A POPULAR author visits childhood roots to inspire youngsters to read. 

Friends of St Thomas’ Church, in Bradwell, and the Essex Branch NSPCC are set to receive £1,000 each from a fundraising event which featured celebrated author Sir Michael Morpurgo. 

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The acclaimed writer of more than 100 books - including War Horse, which in 2012 went on to become an Oscar-nominated feature film and an award-winning stage play adaptation - returned to the village where he spent part of his childhood for the fundraising evening. Maldon and Burnham Standard: Encouraging - Sir Michael gives his talk at St Thomas' ChurchEncouraging - Sir Michael gives his talk at St Thomas' Church (Image: NSPCC)

Having recently attended the coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey, Michael reminisced about watching the coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 at Bradwell Village Hall, where villagers congregated to watch on a black and white television with a nine-inch screen. 

The Evening with Michael Morpurgo at St Thomas’ Church enthralled all ages with an emotive reading from one of his latest books - My Heart Was a Tree

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He also spoke about another recent publication, The Boy who would be King, and of future releases with Bradwell connections, plus what inspires him as a writer. 

Sir Michael is the honorary patron of the Friends of St Thomas', a group dedicated to preserving the church for present and future generations. 

While he and wife Clare were staying at Bradwell, Michael visited St Cedd’s Primary School where he chatted to pupils, read extracts from his latest books and officially opened the new school library.