A book of stories inspired by the history and archaeology of Eastbourne has been published and will launch at the Spring Rise Festival next week.

The Story Book of Eastbourne features 11 fictional stories, and each introduces a piece of archaeological or historical evidence.

This collection of stories, takes place over thousands of years, and includes a cast of hundreds, in just one town.

They include an Ice Age elephant struggling with a warming climate; a Welsh slave girl who has her faith tested in an Anglo-Saxon village and a bootmaker’s son who grows to old age as the Victorian era brings prosperity to the town.

It is written by Eastbourne author Annalie Seaman, who takes her inspiration from archaeology, history, and human nature, and illustrated by Ellie Fryer, an accomplished etching and linocut artist whose favourite concepts are folklore, nature, and history.  Both Annalie and Ellie will be launching their book and presenting some of the stories through a free ‘drop-in’ creative workshop for budding writers and illustrators at the Spring Rise Festival next week on Sunday 20 February.

Each of the stories are blended with evidence from Eastbourne’s own history as the author asks what it tells us about human life.

Councillor Margaret Bannister, Eastbourne Borough Council’s Lead Member for Tourism and Culture, said, “This is a beautifully crafted and illustrated book packed with historical facts from Eastbourne’s history blended together with some wonderful creative writing. It’s a must read.”

The Spring Rise Festival from 14 – 20 February, will celebrate the natural landscape of the South Downs National Park and the emerging spring season with a range of activities from wildlife walks, craft workshops and photography to folk inspired puppetry and even graffiti.

With pre-bookable and drop-in activities based out of The Beachy Head Story visitor centre throughout the day and evening, the free festival also includes the chance to help create an amazing nature inspired outdoor artwork with a graffiti artist.

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, via the Welcome Back Fund, free tickets can be booked online via www.visiteastbourne.com/spring-rise.

The 127 page The Story of Eastbourne hardback book is £12.99 and currently only available at the Beachy Head Story visitor centre on Beachy Head Road.