Saturday 26 March 2022

Enjoy our annual festival of words...

We are delighted to welcome back our ‘What’s your Story, Chorley?’ event to Chorley town centre for 2022!

After the event went virtual in 2021, it’s really positive news that we can welcome our event back to Chorley to take place in person once more.

We have so much on offer with published authors, writers, poets, musicians, theatre directors, sports journalists, arts and crafts and so much more! There will be workshops, performances and people sharing their own stories with us including Sir Lindsay Hoyle as he talks to us about his life story, from local Councillor to Speaker of the House of Commons.

This event has expanded over the years into a wonderful arts festival, with so much to offer for visitors of all ages! Our popular book bench trail is back across the town centre, with thanks to local schools and Edge Hill University students for creating these for us. 

So put the date in your diary and get involved – we can’t wait to welcome you back!

What's it all about?

What’s Your Story, Chorley? is organised by a group of dedicated volunteers and Chorley Council.

The event is based on a similar concept to Chorley Live and gives authors, writers and storytellers of all kinds the chance to showcase their craft in a range of venues in Chorley town centre. You can meet the authors and get a chance to develop your writing skills, listen to poetry or watch dramatic presentations. Plus, you can pick up a leaflet and follow the book bench trail around Chorley town centre. Look out for the fabulous book benches which have been hand painted by schools across the Chorley borough.

What's happening and where?

Chorley Library, Chorley Theatre, Union Street Council Offices and our local independent bookshop Ebb & Flo will host our event contributors with sessions starting on the hour from 11am – 4pm. 

Popular children’s author Jen Carney will kick things off at Chorley Library at 11am as she reads extracts from her comedy series, ‘The Accidental Journey of B.U.G.’ in the Junior Library, and you can join in with a fun doodling game with Jen too!

Gareth Walker will be in the Main Library at 12 midday to discuss his career as a sports journalist for a national newspaper for 20 years, and his recent launch of ‘Literacy Kicks’, a schools programme that engages students in reading and writing through sports reporting lessons – a session not to miss!

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House, will be at Chorley Theatre at 1pm to tell us his story as he details his journey from local Councillor to the House of Commons in Westminster.

There will be live music at the Union Street Council Offices throughout the event with local musicians playing songs and telling their stories, and at Ebb & Flo bookshop poets and published writers will host workshops and pass on their tips and ideas to budding writers.

At 5pm we will have a special additional session at Chorley Theatre with Libby Burke who is currently directing a production of Macbeth there.

There really is something for everyone!

Take a look at our event programme and plan out which sessions you will attend on the day. Programmes will be available from all venues on the day, or why not collect one from the following locations ahead of the event?:


  • Chorley Town Hall – Reception
  • Council Offices – Union Street
  • Chorley Library
  • Ebb and Flo

What's the book bench trail ?

Our popular Book Bench trail will be back, bigger and better for 2022, showcasing vibrant artwork created by local school children and students from Edge Hill University.

These brightly coloured benches are designed and decorated by eleven schools in Chorley, Acorns Primary School in Preston and Asmall Primary School in Ormskirk who have been working in partnership with Edge Hill University. Each school has painted a design based on a popular children’s book, encouraging children to explore the story while decorating their bench. 

The book benches will be scattered around Chorley town centre for people to find. Book bench trail leaflets are available to pick up from Chorley Town Hall reception, Union Street Council Offices, Chorley Library, Covered Market – (side of noticeboard), Ebb & Flo bookshop, Eden Florist, Malcolm’s Musicland and Bubble n Shake. 

You can also fill in our online book bench trail and send it to us by email at: to be in with a chance of winning a prize! 

You must download and save the trail to your phone or smart device to fill in your answers!

On the back of the leaflets you will find the Book Bench Quiz. Find each book bench on the trail and answer the question related to the book benches. Then return your completed book bench trail leaflets to Chorley Library or via email to for your chance to win prizes! Some benches will have a QR code on to display all the information about the book, the author and how the schools have created these benches. Be sure to check it out!

After the event, the book benches will be returned to schools for the children to enjoy, and to inspire reading for years to come

The primary schools taking part include:

  • Acorns Primary School (Preston)
  • Asmall Primary School (Ormskirk)
  • Brinscall St. John’s CE & Methodist School
  • Buckshaw Primary School
  • Charnock Richard CE Primary School
  • Coppull Parish CE Primary School
  • Duke Street Primary School
  • Eccleston Primary School
  • Gillibrand Primary School
  • St George’s CE Primary School
  • St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School
  • St James’ CE Primary School
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

What's the latest?

For further information and all the latest updates on ‘What’s Your Story, Chorley?’, please visit the Facebook event page where you can also share your pictures of the day.

Thank You

We want to say a big thank you to all the following people and groups that have donated their time and efforts to making this event happen in person once more:

The following organisations have supported the event in many ways:

  • Chorley Council
  • Chorley Library
  • Ebb and Flo Bookshop
  • Chorley Theatre
  • Edge Hill University staff and students
  • Local Primary Schools for their excellent Book Benches


Video stories for all ages

Follow the links below to find all the great content from last year’s virtual ‘What’s Your Story, Chorley’ for you to enjoy any time!

Find your way

By Car

Use junction 8 off the M61 or junction 28 off the M6. Chorley town centre is easily accessed from the A6, which passes directly through Chorley.

By Bus

Chorley is well-served by bus routes linking the town centre with surrounding villages. The main bus route is the 125/126, which links Chorley to Preston and Bolton. There are also direct bus routes from Greater Manchester, Merseyside and the Lake District.

By Rail

Chorley is on the main train line between Manchester and Blackpool. If you are travelling on a long distance service you will need to change at Manchester or Preston.