A CELEBRATION of books held annually in Knutsford was in jeopardy until businesses stepped in to save it.

Sue France has been holding a literary lunch in October for the past nine years.

Last year's event was hosted online and previously the lunch took place at The Belle Epoque moving to Larkspur Lodge in 2019.

Sue, who runs the Creative Connection in Cheshire networking group, said: “My annual lunch had grown bigger and bigger and in the past I had sponsorship from the banks to help pay the costs of running the proceedings on a grander scale."

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This year, after reducing numbers to make the room more Covid safe, she invited seven speakers but feared she would be unable to secure funding.

"When I did the figures I didn’t think I could afford to hold the event this year," she said. "The banks had stopped sponsoring and I needed some help.

"To my astonishment, members of my business networking group stepped in and seven wonderful companies paid for the authors' lunches and even the table flowers.

"The companies were mostly based locally but I also had help from two other networking groups which were based in Connah's Quay and Llandudno.

"We had the most wonderful day on my 73rd birthday at literary lunch number nine and I am so grateful for the help from those amazing ladies who rallied round."

Sue's lunch brings together authors, editors and many people involved in the world of books for an afternoon of fine dining and guest speakers.