FAMOUS and interesting inhabitants of Colwall, near Malvern, are featured in a new book being launched in the village on Saturday, April 22.

Colwall Folk is the third volume of local interest to be published by Colwall Village Society, following its earlier books Discover Colwall and Bygone Colwall.

The launch event is at the Colwall Park Hotel, Walwyn Road, at 11am and will feature contributions from the book's editor Michael Milne, parish council chairman Rowland Trafford-Roberts, David Armitage of the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

By researching old documents and visiting buildings of interest, Mr Milne, assisted by James Ferguson, has compiled an absorbing account of over 50 Colwall people deserving attention.

Among those who feature in the book are the dominant Ballard family, plus war heroes, a light railway builder, an international artist, poets, vicars, shopkeepers, sport personalities, headmasters, a famous composer, a top class theatre director, a war cartoonist, and many others.

It opens with William Langland, author of Piers Plowman, which ranks alongside with Chaucer's Canterbury Tales as one of the greatest works of English literature written in the Middle Ages.

Mr Milne said: "Piers Plowman revealed that Colwall contained 'A fair feeld ful of folk', and I was keen to find out more. The name of the book was suggested by these words in the poem. The Society's archives already contained many relevant documents and these gave me a good place to start."

"For a relatively small country village, it was amazing to discover what talented people had lived in Colwall over the centuries."

The written text was compiled by Mr Milne and Mr Ferguson, converted into legible form by Penny Milne, and formatted for printing by Derek Rees. Several of the society's committee members, plus Ken Withington, checked the proofs.

The book is priced at £5 and will be available at the launch, and thereafter at Colwall Post Office.