I have heard it said by people who have regular market stalls or car boot pitches that any event other than outdoor extravaganzas staged on a Bank Holiday Monday are doomed to failure. They may well be right.
Last Monday (a Bank Holiday) there was a book fair, staged at Grange Court in Leominster as a part of the Leominster Festival. Now in theory, being a part of a larger event and having a ‘fun-day’ being staged on the park area in front of the Grange, one might have been forgiven for thinking it would have been safe from the usual ‘Never on a Monday’ wisdom.
To be fair part of the problem undoubtedly arose from Leominster being ‘closed’ for the day. Most of the many antique shops and chichi cafes in the town had decided not to open and the high st footfall was close to zero other than the few making their way to the fun-day (which was a thinly disguised village fete to all intents and purposes).
Once you entered Grange Court (which is a lovely building) there was a distinct dearth of signage up to the book fair so that – had they made it that far – few people would know it was even happening.
Then the readings… oh dear. A rather poor PA was set up for readers to launch their prose from a stairwell – termed ‘balcony’ – at right angles to the cafe area just yards from the serving counter and its queue of noisy people ordering their teas and ice-creams, meaning that speakers could not be seen and nor could they be heard.
The old adage ‘excess drinking in a brewing establishment’ sprang to mind.
We had fun interacting with fellow book sellers and we did make some sales – but not enough to make the expedition (90 mins drive each way) worth the effort.
Bank Holiday events will be more carefully chosen in the future!