A JAM packed schedule of events has been announced for this year's Loughton Festival.

Inspired by the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, the programme of events was started in 2006 by Sue Taylor as a means to show off the town and delve into its illustrious history.

Over the years it has changed to encompass more literature, art and culture.

Although the schedule is not set in stone, the festival will run throughout May and start at the end of April, with a quiz night on the 27th and a reading of Arthur Morrison's work, a man best known for his in-depth look at the East End, on the 28th.

Mrs Taylor said: "This year we have Robert Creighton reading Arthur Morrison, who was a huge author in his day.

"He wrote Child of the Jago and a lot of detective stories. Robert is going to read two complete stories from Arthur Morrison.

"He doesn't just read though, he acts out every part."

April closes with the Annual Mayor's Charity Fun Run from Roding Valley Recreation Ground from 10.30am.

and the May programme begins with Come and Craft on the 5th.

Held at the Loughton Club, the day provides a chance to do it yourself on a number of stalls.

Other events throughout May include a walk around High Beach forest led by the Sunflower group on May 6, a talk renowned lecturer Nicholas Hagger about the global outlook of the UK on May 9 and an art exhibition for disabled people and their friends on May 11.

Mrs Taylor added: "We are not trying to be a Hay-on-Wye. We are trying to be a community festival.

"What we really need are volunteers and sponsors to help us print the brochures.

"We will also be raising money for charity. Last year we collected £2,000 for Loughton Youth Project and £ ,000 for Essex Air Ambulance. This year we will be collecting funds for the Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs and the Community First Responders."

To find out how you can help and for a full programme, go to www.loughtonfestival.org.uk/