Worcester book shop proves Charles Dickens stayed in their building - The Worcester Observer

Worcester book shop proves Charles Dickens stayed in their building

Worcester Editorial 3rd Feb, 2024 Updated: 3rd Feb, 2024   0

AS CHARLES Dickens birthday approaches, a Worcester bookshop has launched a bid to put the Faithful City on the historical map after it proved the legendary author stayed there over 150 years ago.

Dickens, famous for classics such as ‘A Christmas Carol’, visited the Worcester High Street building on August 11, 1858, back when it was the Swan Hotel.

In a quirk of fate, Dickens old stomping ground was recently transformed into the Script Haven independent book shop.

Script Haven has now contacted Worcester Civic Society about potentially getting a blue plaque installed to mark the visit.

A few weeks ago, photo historian Michael Hallett and his friend Chris Garner visited Script Haven and told owner Leena Batchelor the tale of Dickens visit and where to find proof.

Eager to find out more, Script Haven bosses delved into the details of Dickens stay at The Swan.

With the help of The Hive and Tudor House Worcester, they were able to find definitive evidence of the visit.

Proof includes an abundance of letters Dickens himself wrote, one of which was to fellow novelist Wilkie Collins.

Photos of the building have also been uncovered.

The letters were found in Volume 8 of The Pilgrim Edition of The Letters of Charles Dickens.

Leena told the Observer: “I have always felt drawn to the building when I first started to dream of having a bookshop, but didn’t reveal my dream to anyone for years.

“It’s incredible to think such a prestigious author touched these walls. To have the link that we’re a bookshop where once Charles Dickens stayed couldn’t be more appropriate.”

She now has a meeting with Worcester Civic Society about the blue plaque idea on Tuesday.

Leena added: “Worcester deserves to be prominent on the history trail of this country.

“Dickens is internationally recognised for his writings, and to know Worcester played such a prominent part in his life is wonderful.

“We have so much incredible history in Worcester which so many are unaware of- a situation Script Haven is hoping to improve.”

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 – 212 years ago next week.

This occasion is marked across the country every year with a day named after the ‘Oliver Twist’ author.

To celebrate the date, script haven will be decking out its window.

They will also host a free event from 5pm on Wednesday, which will include a reading of the letter he wrote and readings of one his works.

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