THE MAYOR, CLLR SHANE BARTLETT ACCEPTS DECORATIVE BANNER IN OFFICIAL PRESENTATION HONOURING WIMBORNE’S ROLE IN HARRY POTTER COMPANION ‘QUIDDITCH THROUGH THE AGES’
WEDNESDAY 7th OCTOBER 2020, UK – Wimborne was recognised as an Honorary Quidditch Town this morning in celebration of the new book, Quidditch Through The Ages Illustrated Edition, an essential companion to the Harry Potter series and guide on the wizard’s favourite sport.
To mark the release of Quidditch Through The Ages Illustrated Edition, written by J.K Rowling and illustrated by Emily Gravett, Bloomsbury Publishing presented Mayor of Wimborne, Cllr Shane Bartlett, with a decorative banner featuring gold Quidditch hoops celebrating the town’s fictitious Quidditch team. The Wimbourne Wasps feature in the wizarding world’s Quidditch league and the banner also bears the town’s Quidditch team crest, a striking design featuring a black and gold wasp. It is believed that Wimborne’s fictitious Quidditch team, Wimbourne Wasps, uses the Anglo-Saxon spelling for the historic market town.
The Mayor of Wimborne, Cllr Shane Bartlett was pictured next to the banner in an outdoor, socially distanced presentation with two young Harry Potter fans at The Minster Church of St Cuthburga. During the official presentation, the young Harry Potter fans celebrated on their Nimbus 2000 broomsticks outside the 1300 year-old church and former monastery, famous for having one of the few surviving chained libraries in the world.
Throughout the week, Honorary Quidditch Town presentations have taken place safely and in line with government guidelines across the UK and Ireland. The ceremonies were held at prehistoric sites, stone circles, medieval castles, Roman forts and churches, celebrating the release of Quidditch Through The Ages and the real-life towns represented by Quidditch teams in the Harry Potter series. In these challenging times, people planning a visit to Wimborne or any of the Honorary Quidditch Towns should check the guidelines and rules of the government, local authorities and specific tourism attraction before making the trip.
Other scenes of celebration took place this week at The Square, Wigtown (Wigtown Wanderers), a beautiful square fringed with trees from the Georgian era; St. Luke’s Church, Tutshill (Tutshill Tornados), a church with Gothic architecture dating back to the 1800s; and The Lump, Portree (Pride of Portree), a gorgeous location off the Isle of Skye.
In total eleven towns and villages across the UK and Ireland, from Appleby to Holyhead, Falmouth to Portree, have been honored in celebration of the new book, Quidditch Through The Ages Illustrated Edition, an essential companion to the Harry Potter series and guide on the wizard’s favourite sport.
A spokesperson from Bloomsbury Publishing said: “We’re really proud to recognise Wimborne as an Honorary Quidditch Town alongside ten other towns and villages across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Quidditch captured the imaginations of children and adults across the world, and the new book Quidditch Through the Ages, beautifully illustrated by Emily Gravett, is a magical companion for those who want to immerse themselves in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.”
“Harry Potter fans can now unearth the real-life towns and villages inspiring the names of Quidditch teams and we ask anyone planning a visit to Wimborne to first check national and local travel guidance on coronavirus to ensure their visit is made safely. For communities that are currently experiencing stricter measures, we encourage people to support their favourite Quidditch team virtually by visiting the official Harry Potter fan club, Wizarding World.”
The Mayor of Wimborne, Cllr Shane Bartlett said: “We are delighted to be recognised as an Honorary Quidditch Town. Harry Potter’s favourite sport Quidditch brings joy to children and adults across the world, and this decorative banner, emblazoned with the town’s team colours, shows our support for our beloved Quidditch team.”
Emily Cross, an eleven-year-old pupil at Parkstone Grammar School said: “I’m obsessed with Harry Potter and dream of playing Quidditch, so I’m really happy to find out that I now live in an Honorary Quidditch Town. I loved visiting the sign and it’s great that Wimborne has been honoured in this way.
The eleven honorary Quidditch towns receiving the banners are:
- Appleby (Appleby Arrows)
- Ballycastle (Ballycastle Bats)
- Caerphilly (Caerphilly Catapults)*
- Falmouth (Falmouth Falcons)
- Holyhead (Holyhead Harpies)
- Kenmare (Kenmare Kestrels)
- Montrose (Montrose Magpies)
- Portree (Pride of Portree)
- Tutshill (Tutshill Tornados)
- Wigtown (Wigtown Wanderers)
- Wimborne (Wimbourne Wasps)
*Due to the local lockdown in Caerphilly, the town and community will be awarded its Honorary Quidditch Town status at a later date when the restrictive measures are lifted and the presentation can be conducted safely.
Two fictitious Quidditch towns are also being honoured, Chudley Cannons and Puddlemere United, and fans can pledge their virtual allegiance to any of the thirteen Quidditch teams by visiting the official Harry Potter fan club, Wizarding World (www.wizardingworld.com), to view the banners in-situ and uncover more information about each Honorary Quidditch Town.
Bloomsbury Publishing has also delivered activity packs to local shops to ensure that everyone can celebrate their Honorary Quidditch Town status.
Bloomsbury’s Quidditch presentations follow the unveiling of last week’s Harry Potter statue in London’s Leicester Square, depicting the memorable moment that Harry Potter (played by Daniel Radcliffe) took flight on his Nimbus 2000 broom over the Hogwarts Quidditch pitch for the very first time, from ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’.
Quidditch Through the Ages Illustrated Edition, written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Emily Gravett, is available now in hardback by Bloomsbury Publishing, in aid of Comic Relief and Lumos.
Published in hardback on 6th October 2020 (£25:00 / 160pp / 9781526608123)
Deluxe edition also available (£120.00 / 160pp / 9781526612373)
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About Quidditch Through the Ages Illustrated Edition
Published in the UK and US on 6th October 2020, Quidditch Through the Ages Illustrated Edition features showstopping artwork from Emily Gravett, twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. Emily’s wildly creative imagination has conjured a cornucopia of sporting memorabilia to surprise and delight. Lovingly created in a dazzling range of media and infused with her trademark visual wit, these charming and funny handmade artworks are the perfect pairing for J.K. Rowling’s humorous insights into the magical, airborne sport.