Post by Chris Horgan:
When we were planning the inaugural literary festival in Chipping Norton, the first thing we did was talk to every author we knew to ask them what they liked about literary festivals and, perhaps more to the point, what they hated.
Service is key
A common thread was that authors liked to be looked after - they want to know where and they need to be and when they need to be there, without worrying about it. As Chipping Norton lost its railway services in the Sixties, we felt it was important to make getting to and from Kingham, the nearest station, as easy as possible.
And although the Festival is based around the centre of town, with all the venues within easy walking distance of the fully stocked Green Room, one of the hotels we use is outside town too.
To solve these problems and to make sure our special guests are well looked after, we instigated Author Transport.
This service comes in the form of writer Chris Hogan, who spends the Festival transporting authors and publishers between the town, Kingham Station and the hotel at Heythrop Park.
“It’s a very front-facing role and although it’s important, it’s fairly straightforward,” said Chris.
“Every now and then there’s an extra challenge, like the poet who got on a train to Birmingham instead of Oxford, and the mainline from Paddington being blocked for three hours on the Saturday last year.”
“But on the whole it’s embarrassing. People are so pleased to have Author Transport on tap but it’s a very easy role. Everyone else in the organisation works their socks off all year round and I just swan up a few weeks beforehand and say ‘right, tell me where I need to be.’”
Firs Garage supports Author Transport
This year, thanks to Firs Garage, our Mitsubishi dealer in nearby Hook Norton, Author Transport will be ferrying guests you in a hybrid Outlander PHEV. We’re very grateful to Firs Garage for their support and hope that the authors enjoy the ride.
Select here to find out more about this year’s steed: the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4WD (plug-in hybrid electric petrol 4x4 vehicle) or contact the Firs sales team 01608 737349.
Chipping Norton Literary Festival : select here to visit the Chip Lit Fest website for more details
With over 50 events and authors to choose from during the festival, whatever your age or literary taste there is an author to suit you, including: David Baddiel, Lee Child, Judy & Richard Finnigan, Sheila Hancock and Helen Lederer. For details of all authors and events select here.