SHOPPERS were taken by surprise when a flash mob burst into a dance performance in Market Place shopping centre.

About 25 Harper Green pupils, from years eight to 11, arrived on Saturday dancing to music from Dirty Dancing, Grease and Harry Potter - to the delight of adults and children - to promote Farnworth Literacy Festival.

Saturday’s day-long festival — the first of its kind in Farnworth taking place at Harper Green School — will be opened by comedian Dave Spikey and will feature popular children’s authors Anne Fine and Gareth P. Jones.

Nicola Russell, aged 15, said:“The theme of the flash mob was around books and musicals to promote Harper Green’s literacy festival.

“Anyone who wanted to was invited to get involved, and it went really well. We had a good reaction.

“We were trying to get people out and enjoying different things.”

The flash mob, which hit Bury last week, moved on to Bolton Library later the same day to build excitement for the event.

Headteacher Andrew Foster said: “Harper Green's Arts Fest this year promises to be a real hit.

“Featuring top quality children's authors Anne Fine and Gareth P. Jones, as well as special guest Dave Spikey, we have put together a fantastic day's events celebrating our greatest national treasure — the English language and the thousands of amazing novels, poetry and plays it has given birth to. Come along and meet some of your favourite characters from literature, interact with real live writers and find out what it takes to make the spark of an idea kindle and flame into a fully fledged novel.

“You never know we might have the next J K Rowling right here amongst us in Bolton.”


10.30am: Dave Spikey opens the festival
11.15am: Author’s workshop
Noon: Shakespeare in the Park
12.45pm: Literacy Workshop
1.15pm: Author’s Workshop
2.15pm: Dance Performance