AUTHOR Jamila Gavin stepped up to support the restoration of Minchinhampton Market House.

Jamila, who lives in Stroud, spoke to more than 50 villagers about what inspired her to write her most famous novel – Coram Boy – which has links to Gloucestershire.

The children's author was invited to a special literary lunch, organised by Sue Simmonds, a member of the Market House Management Committee on Wednesday, November 4.

Mrs Simmonds has organised a series of literary lunches as an innovative way to raise money for the renovation of the Grade 2* listed building.

She and her husband Tony, chairman of the management committee, have spearheaded a campaign to bring facilities at the 300-year-old building up to date.

Generous bequests left by the town's well-known Vosper brothers, means the committee already had a starting fund of £50,000.

But much more money is needed to continue the renovation which includes double glazing, a lift and new kitchen.

If anyone is interested in becoming involved with the market house call Tony or Sue Simmonds on 01453 889321 or email For more information visit If you would like to hire the market house for any event, party or play, visit the website or contact bookings secretary Rosemary Day on 01453 731331 or 07747 805 742.

*A recent fashion show at the market house by Minchinhampton clothes shop Stafford Cottage raised £750 for the restoration fund. Organisers would like to thank Ruth at Stafford Cottage, Emma and Vanessa from Brookes Hair and Beauty Salon, and local traders who donated raffle prizes.