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J.K. Rowling featured in Sunday's Who Do You Think You Are?

From TLC --

J.K. Rowling’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? airs Sunday, August 2 at 9/8c on TLC

Episode Summary:

JK Rowling goes on a journey in France to trace her mother’s roots. She discovers that a family war story might not be what she thought when military records reveal a surprising truth. Tracing the trail even further back, Jo learns of her 2x great-grandmother, who had plenty of struggles both as a poor, single mother and a witness to German invasion during wartime, which forced her family to choose sides in a time of turmoil.

Major discoveries throughout the episode:

-Author J.K. Rowling (Jo) goes on a journey to trace her late mother’s French roots.

- Jo pours over Louis Volant’s Legion d’honneur records. She finds a fascinating tale of bravery, but is surprised to realize the man in this account is actually not her ancestor! There are two Louis Volants.

- Jo finds the correct war records for Louis Volant. She learns that in WWI he found himself caught unexpectedly, and with barely any training, in a battle when Germans attacked his regiment in France.

-Louis Volant heroically took command of his troop and killed several German soldiers to save his regiment. Jo is overcome with tears to find that for his bravery, Louis won the  prestigious Croix de Guerre, an award for fighting; and for a soldier, a distinction greater than the Legion d’honneur.

-Jo then sets out to learn more about her 2x great-grandmother, Salome Schuch. Jo discovers that when Louis was born, Salome was an unwed servant working nearby in Paris. As an illegitimate son, Louis’ given last name was “Schuch,” making Jo wonder how he became a “Volant.”

- Documents reveal that some years later, Salome moved up in the world, becoming a dress maker and marrying Pierre Volant, who took on Louis as his own son.

- A census reveals that Salome had five other siblings and that the family was rather poor. Jo sees that Salome’s father died young, continuing a trend in Jo’s family of single mothers raising children. Salome’s mother’s death certificate creates new questions for Jo as she sees it is written in German and not French; a result of the area changing hands from France to Germany during wartime.

Community Based Festival Celebrates Harry Potter Fans of All Ages

From Chestertown Harry Potter Festival --

Dust off your broom and join a fantastic weekend of fun and magic when the Chestertown Harry Potter Festival returns to this colonial river town -- featuring free and ticketed events to benefit the MSCF’s Fund for Kent County and the nonprofit Garfield Center for the Arts, which plays host to many of the weekend’s events. (Warner Bros. Entertainment and J.K. Rowling are not associated with or responsible for the festival in any way, and the inspired group of fans who created it hope they won’t be sent to Azkaban for expressing their enthusiasm!)

Inspired by fabled destinations from J.K. Rowling’s award-winning books, this second annual festival takes flight on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 4:30p.m. with a talk and discussion on “Harry Potter and the Art of Spying” at The Bookplate, 112 S. Cross Street. Then muggles and wizards alike will want to grab their robes and wands for the festival’s Kick-off Party at the Garfield Center for the Arts at 210 High Street, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. This event welcomes fans of all ages for wizard rock, magical demonstrations by an infamous Potions’ master, photo booth, trivia, and more.

Saturday’s schedule includes Quidditch matches, a self-guided, all-day Scavenger Hunt through downtown Chestertown and riverfront activities. Local shops will be transformed into magical-themed retailers, through inspiration from the books. Wizard crafts and licensed merchandise will be available from artisans, local merchants, and vendors. Fans can discuss Wandlore with crafters of fine wands and experience street theatre interpretations of the Triwizard Tournament tasks.

Beginning at noon, ‘Potter in the Park’ will offer free wizardly activities and performances in Chestertown’s central Fountain Park. Visitors are encouraged to wear their robes for dueling lessons with the Phoenix Dueling Club, wizardly crafts, face paintings, live entertainment and magical snacks. The afternoon will culminate with this year’s Costume Contest on the outdoor Fountain Park stage.

Back by popular demand is a Saturday ticketed event for children ages 8 to13, a highlight of last year’s festival. Students will experience a sorting ceremony and join wizard “professors” in their favorite magical classes at the Garfield’s spacious theater. This year the popular event has expanded to two sessions, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

Saturday evening events will feature more wizardly fun to be announced on our festival website, including a Festival pub event for adult wizards (age 21 and over) and a new event for all ages.

While most activities will be free and open to the public, some will have limited space and will require advanced ticket purchases and registration. For festival updates, accommodation recommendations, directions and further details visit or the Chestertown Harry Potter Festival on Facebook.
The Chestertown Harry Potter Festival is organized by an all-volunteer committee of loyal Potter fans to celebrate the spirit of Harry Potter and promote the local community and its arts.

Located in the historic district in Chestertown, The Garfield Center for the Arts ( is a cultural organization whose mission is to nurture, celebrate, and support arts and artists through performance and education.

The Mid-Shore Community Foundation ( is a 501(c)(3) public charity that supports nonprofit organizations and charitable efforts that enhance the quality of life for residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties, Maryland. The Fund for Kent County is MSCF’s permanent source of discretionary grant funding for Kent County initiatives.


Bloomsbury announces deluxe edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

From Bloomsbury --


Bloomsbury are set to publish a deluxe edition of the full-colour illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay, alongside the much anticipated £30 edition.
Published by Bloomsbury 5th November 2015, £150
The deluxe illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling’s timeless classic will feature an exclusive pull-out double gatefold of Diagon Alley; intricate foiled line art by Jim Kay on a real cloth cover and slipcase; gilt edges on premium grade paper; head and tail bands and two ribbon markers. It is the ultimate must-have edition for any fan, collector or bibliophile. This edition will be sold exclusively from the website until March 2016 when it will be made available to retail outlets.

This special edition is an utterly enchanting feast of a book and something to treasure for a lifetime. Brimming with rich detail and humour, Jim Kay’s dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters will captivate fans and new readers alike. In oil, pastel, pencil, watercolour, pixels and a myriad of other techniques, Jim Kay has created over 115 astonishing illustrations.

The £30 edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition will be published on 6th October in more than twenty-one languages around the world. All editions will include Jim Kay’s stunning artwork. 

Alan Rickman & Helen McCrory's A LITTLE CHAOS on Blu-Ray and DVD August 4

From Universal Pictures Home Entertainment --


Against all odds, an impoverished widow makes her mark in the glittering court of King Louis XIV of France in A Little Chaos, a sumptuous romance set in the legendary gardens of Versailles, available now on Digital HD and coming to Blu-ray™ and DVD on August 4, 2015, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Starring Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet (Titanic, The Reader) and Alan Rickman (Love Actually, Harry Potter Franchise), A Little Chaos is a gorgeously appointed, gloriously acted and purely entertaining romp through one of the most splendid settings in history. 

Kate Winslet plays Sabine de Barra, a strong-willed and talented landscape designer who is chosen to build one of the main gardens at the new palace at Versailles in the court of King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman). In her new position of power, she challenges gender and class barriers while also becoming professionally and romantically entangled with the court’s renowned landscape artist André Le Nôtre (Matthias Schoenaerts – Far from the Madding Crowd).

The film will be available on Blu-ray™ with DIGITAL HD and UltraViolet™ and on DVD

  • Blu-ray™ unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
  • DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
  • DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet™ lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.

‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’ casting film role for girl 8-12yrs

From Warner Bros --

Warner Bros Pictures and the makers of the Harry Potter films are casting a role in their new film ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’.

We are looking for a girl between the ages of 8- 12 yrs for the role of  ‘Modesty’.

‘Modesty’ is a haunted young girl with an inner strength and stillness. She has an ability to see deep into people and understand them.

If  you would like to apply to be considered for this role and you fit the criteria below, please come along to make an application and to meet a member of the Casting Team and have a photo taken.

    Saturday 18 July 2015
    Excel Centre Hall
    Royal Victoria Dock
    1 Western Gateway
    London E16 1XL

-- Queue will open at 9:00am and will close promptly at 1:00pm. No one will be permitted to join the queue after 1:00pm.
-- Application process will begin at 10:00am.
-- There are no facilities for overnight queuing and camping is strictly prohibited.
-- Please? wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather on the day. Even if sunny it may be advisable to bring a sweater for air conditioned areas. [/B]

Application Criteria/ Restrictions.

- All girls between the ages of 8-12yrs may apply.
- [B]All applicants must be available for the shooting dates between August 2015 – January 2016.[/B]
- All applicants must be eligible to work in the UK
- All applicants must be accompanied by one parent or legal guardian over the age of 18 yrs.
- Additional guests cannot be admitted into the venue.
- Unaccompanied minors will not be permitted to make an application.
- Travel expenses will not be reimbursed.

Travel Recommendations from ExCel

Travelling By Tube

The Jubilee Line is recommended as the quickest route to ExCeL London and the ICC. Alight at Canning Town and change onto a Beckton-bound DLR train, for the quick 2-stop journey to Custom House for ExCeL (West) or Prince Regent for ExCeL (East) and ICC London.

Travelling By Rail
As the Capital of the United Kingdom, London is connected by rail to all major cities in Great Britain
London's main rail terminuses are Charing Cross, Euston, Kings Cross/ St Pancras International, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Marylebone, Moorgate, Paddington, Victoria and Waterloo.

Travel by Road
When driving to ExCeL London follow signs for Royal Docks, City Airport and ExCeL. There is easy access from the M25, M11, A406 and A13. For a map showing major local roads
Please contact the AA for information on planning your journey and 24-hour live traffic reports, by calling on +44 (0) 906 888 4322.
For a map of ExCeL London's location please visit [url][/url] and search for ExCeL London by postcode - E16 1XL.
For Sat Nav purposes, we recommend using postcode - E16 1DR.
ExCeL London offers on-site car parking for 3,700 cars.

Parking Information
All onsite parking is pay and display, with the exception of the Royal Victoria multi-storey car park, which is located at the west end of the site. Parking in the Royal Victoria multi-storey car park can be paid for at one of the three pay points located within the car park at the end of your visit.(the machines are located on level two and level zero and all machines accept both cash and credit card).
Click here to download our parking map

Parking across our onsite locations is £15 for up to 24 hours.
This tariff is applicable for the following locations - Royal Victoria multi-storey car park, Undercroft parking (Orange and Purple) and the East Car Park.
Please note the multi-storey and undercroft areas only permit vehicles up to a maximum of 1.9 metres high.

Pay and Display Machines
Please use the correct change as no change will be given or notes returned.
For refund enquiries please contact [email] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [/email] 
Motorcycles can be parked free of charge in the designated motorcycle parking area.
We also operate an additional tariff for our lorry and coach park areas and these are charged as follows (costs based on 24 hour durations);
    Transit Vans up to 3.5 T / Mini bus: £20.00
    Coach: £30.00
    Vehicles over above 3.5 T / Lorry: £35.00

As ExCeL London is a green venue all pay and display machines will be found on stand-by. However, the machine will activate as soon as you insert your card or cash.
ExCeL London offers 158 disabled parking spaces, located within close proximity of the venue. Spaces are available to blue badge holders only and badges must be displayed at all times. Parking for disabled visitors is charged at the normal rate.
For enquiries please call+44 (0)20 7069 4568 (within office hours).

Travel by River and Cable Car
The Emirates Air Line (Cable Car) connecting ExCeL London and the O2 opened in summer 2012, making it possible to travel by Thames Clipper between central London and the O2 and then by Cable Car across the Thames to ExCeL London
Ticket prices:
•         Cash Single Fare: £4.40
•         Oyster Fare: £3.30

MBNA Thames Clippers (Connections by River):
MBNA Thames Clippers is the leading commuter boat service on the River Thames. Departures are available  from all major piers, including The O2, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Tower, London Bridge, Embankment and Waterloo, every 20 minutes during peak hours. See below for timetable: prices:
•         Adult Single: £6.80
•         Oyster Card £6.12
•         Travelcard (1/3 off): £4.50
From the O2 visitors can use the Emirates Air-Line Cable Car for the quick 5-minute connection to ExCeL London.

Cycling to ExCeL
ExCeL London has 60 cycle racks in total.
6 cycle racks are located at the West entrance taxi drop off point just underneath the DLR walkway.
54 cycle racks are located next to the East Entrance underneath the stairway connecting Level 0 to Level 1.
There is no charge to use the cycle racks.
For a map of ExCeL London's location please visit [url][/url] and search for ExCeL London by postcode - E16 1XL.
If you are using satellite navigation, we recommend using postcode - E16 1DR.
Barclays Cycle Superhighways
ExCeL London is located very close to the Superhighway route CS3 which runs from Barking to Tower Gateway. For more information on the route please visit

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