Saturday, 3 October 2009

SWF 09 - Techrec

Only three weeks to go until SWF 09. Excited? I went to the Technical Recce at The Cheltenham Ladies College yesterday, and it’s a fantastic venue.

One thing - It’s a bigger, more sprawling site than the Manor by the Lake. Wandering round the college yesterday was a bit like the first day at big school. Not in the head-flushed-down-the-loo*-by-the-bigger-boys-sense, but in the sense that the campus seems huge. There will of course be maps, and highly trained runners to ask directions from, but be prepared to take a while to get acclimatised. The programme has been designed to give plenty of time between sessions, so hopefully that won’t be a problem.

IT**was a problem last time, but the college has its own state of the art IT (and isn’t located near a secret government communication centre,) so that should be better this year.

Transport might be more of a problem (Pity the poor sucker who has to coordinate that!) There will be no direct trains to or from London that week, so anyone travelling from London will have to change at Bristol - the current advise can be found at but obviously check well before you travel.

There is also NO PARKING ON SITE, and you will be very, very lucky to find a road without parking restrictions to park on. Most of the central hotels are within walking distance of the college, and the Travelodge is about 10 minutes by bus, so we’re*** recommending delegates leave their cars at their hotels and walk/bus/taxi it.
btw, The Queens Hotel will be the venue for the Post-Festival drinks Monday till Wednesday. Thursday drinks venue TBC.

Might be an idea to check with your hotel/ landlady how far where you’re staying is from the college, if there’s a bus connection etc. Any questions about Cheltenham, or the festival itself, then post them here and I’ll try to answer them, or find someone who can.
The provisional schedule is available now. Hopefully more names TBC, including (hopefully) one household name (who‘s not a writer.)

Oh and one more thing - Hypnotism is expressly forbidden by the terms of the Festival‘s contract with the college. You have been warned.
* Speaking of which, it‘s also one of the few places in the country where there shouldn’t be a queue for the ladies - there are only 2 gents on the whole site!
**That’s I.T. obviously, not the eponymous Big Bad from the 19?? Steven King novel ‘It’.
***Feels strange to say ‘we’ - it’s not like I’ve had that much to do with setting up the festival so far!


Lee said...

I am having to gnaw my toes off to stop myself dashing to Cheltenham right now. See you there!

Jon Peacey said...

Findng unrestricted on-street parking will be more than lucky... more miraculous! I've been looking round there for as long as I've been driving.

The prospect of going into the Ladies College seems very strange to me- I've walked past the porter's entrance so many times with a latent sense of inferiority. Now, I'll finally get to find out the Truth.

That one non-writer household name has got me intrigued... my money's on Barry Scott.