FESTIVAL organisers have been overwhelmed with interest in a series of events focusing on extraordinary women.

With just a few weeks to go before the start of this year’s annual heritage and culture festival in Knutsford, organisers are urging people to book quickly for the last remaining places for some events.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest in our Extraordinary Women-themed festival,” said Sarah Flannery, the chairman of Knutsford Promenades.

“Whilst most of our events are either first come, first served or drop-in events, a few - such as the keynote Alison Uttley presentation and privately-owned venues - need to be pre-booked, so we are urging people to do so as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, rehearsals for the specially commissioned performance piece From Station to Station are well under way.

Steven Downs, who researched and wrote last year’s acclaimed Regina v Turing and Murray, said: “It’s a real thrill to turn my attention to two amazing women, Elizabeth Gaskell and Alison Uttley, and write a play about them inspired by one of Uttley’s own novels, interwoven with the influences of many other influential women such as Elizabeth Raffald, Mary Fildes and Emmeline Pankhurst.”

From Station to Station is being performed at Brook Street Chapel, Knutsford, where Mrs Gaskell worshipped and is buried, along with her husband William and two of their children.

There are two other performances, on Thursday, September 13: one on the 11.02am train from Chester to Manchester and again at the main concourse at Manchester Piccadilly railway station, at 1pm.

“Thanks to our collaboration with Mid-Cheshire Rail Community Partnership’s ‘Amazing Women by Rail’ project, and our fabulous sponsors and supporters, we’ll be representing the cultural powerhouse of historical women along the Mid-Cheshire Line,” added Sarah.

“It’s a wonderful way to celebrate our local heritage and culture in the centenary year of the first women getting the right to vote – and every event is free to attend.”

For full details of all events, booking details and sponsors visit knutsfordpromenades.co.uk