Issue 219
Winter 2021/2022


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Dec 2, 2021

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ArtWork Newspaper Issue 219
Winter 2021/2022 (6.02MB)

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Dear Sir…

Sir, – May I share my experience of the Borders Book Festival just past, held at Abbots-ford House?

I was keen to attend to hear guest speaker Alexander McCall Smith. I was told when I phoned, yes, there was still a ticket available. However, this is where the trouble started and to not put too fine a point on it, I felt humiliated by the staff of both Abbotsford and the book festival.

The problem was, as I am registered disabled (still recovering from Cardiac issues), I needed a wheelchair. As well as a wheelchair, which was eventually found, I needed someone to push me the 100 yards down to the event from the car park. But that, I was told, was not possible at all.

I was told first it was because of insurance, then no one was trained to push a wheelchair or as, Alistair Moffat the Director told me finally, it just was not on. "Why don’t you ask a friend to oblige?" he said.

I had wanted to attend to buy some of Sandy’s latest books as signed Christmas presents. As a 71 year old living 5 miles from Abbotsford, this left me in tears.

I spoke afterwards to my MSP, Rachel Hamilton, who was shocked at the treatment I had received.

In my previous working life I was employed to carry out disability access visits for bodies such as The National Library in Edinburgh and was always treated with courtesy and with proper measures in place

Yours,
HUGH MUNRO
Scottish Borders.


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