A CHILDREN'S literature festival held in Haworth and Keighley has been hailed as a huge success.

A series of well-attended events was staged over several days.

Behind the venture was Christina Gabbitas, who has organised similar festivals in towns including Blackburn, Darwen and Selby.

Activities began with a Railway Children walk, which took in many of the locations from the classic 1970 film version of Edith Nesbit's timeless tale.

Actress Jenny Agutter, who starred in the film, is a festival patron.

Funds raised through the walk are going to Childline and towards future children's literature festivals.

Over 100 walkers took part.

"We had an amazing day," said Christina. "By popular request, I’m going to make this an annual event on the calendar."

Ms Agutter had signed more than 100 books, which were gifted to walkers.

Read-aloud interactive sessions with primary schools were held at Haworth's West Lane Baptist Church.

And a 'schools fest' took place over two days at Keighley Library, with interactive reading sessions involving pupils from eight schools. The event was opened by Keighley's town mayor, Councillor Julie Adams. Those present included author Tom Palmer, Blue Peter Award winner Andy Seed, UNESCO Poetry Day ambassador Dom Conlon, Donavan Christopher – aka Rappaman – and illustrators Liz Million and Ursula Hurst. Each child received a token for a free copy of Nutty Nonsense or other free books including Lockdown Life, Share Some Secrets, No More Knives or County Lines and Too & Sarge.

Following the schools session, people could enjoy an Evening with Michael Bradley, of the Northern Irish pop punk band The Undertones – and author of Teenage Kicks: My Life As An Undertone.

The festival culminated with a communities day at the library, attended by more than 500 children and families.

Christina said: "The whole week was a huge success – from the Railway Children walk and sessions in Haworth Baptist Centre to three days in Keighley's beautiful Carnegie library.

"The mission of children’s literature festivals is to give youngsters and families from all backgrounds, cultures and abilities an equal opportunity to attend free festivals. I like to bring children out into libraries and the community to let them know what is freely available to them."

She thanked all volunteers, including Soroptimists, who helped at the events.

Ms Agutter said: "I’m sure Edith Nesbit, who wrote the Railway Children in 1905, would have been thrilled to know about this festival. Books are such a wonderful way of learning about the world around us."