RECORD numbers attended talks by authors at the third Chipping Norton Literary Festival.

About 3,500 tickets were sold for events across the town last month – 800 more than last year.

Festival director Clare Mackintosh said: “It was a fantastic event and it’s got bigger and better each year.

“We had some really lovely talks and sold a lot of books.

“We had a food market in the town and even though the weather wasn’t very kind, people still seemed happy.”

Mrs Mackintosh said one of her highlights was a talk by “inspirational” former BBC war correspondent Kate Adie, pictured, who discussed how the First World War changed women’s lives.

Other events included Sir Roger Bannister speaking about his book Twin Tracks ahead of the 60th anniversary of his four-minute mile record in Oxford, and former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken discussing his Margaret Thatcher biography and seven-month prison sentence for perjury in 1999.

A debate on newspaper opinion pieces by a panel of national columnists, including Tim Dowling and India Knight, in Chipping Norton Town Hall was sold out.

Mrs Mackintosh said: “We’re building a really strong reputation for looking after authors and they love coming here. It leads to a great atmosphere that everyone enjoys.”

The festival is a registered charity and there were 65 volunteers working across the four days.