A SPECIAL preview event was opened by the mayor of Cirencester over the weekend.

Town mayor Sabrina Dixon opened a launch party for Home Ground, a new book inspired by local landscapes, at Crumps Barn Studio in The Waterloo, Cirencester on Saturday, January 27.

Home Ground is a collection of short stories and poems inspired by locations that are important to the many authors that contributed to it.

Around 20 of the authors are from Gloucestershire and Wiltshire including former Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard reporter Diana Alexander, Stephen Connolly, Toby Crabbe, Myles Cutler, Daphne Denley, J.J. Drover, Vicki Fletcher, Rose Leicester, Olive Malcolm, Stuart Samuel, Derek Skinner and Julie Wiltshire.

An art exhibition under the same name also opened at the publishing studio on the same day.

Visitors got the chance to get a copy of the new book, to meet some of the authors as well as admire a selection of Alison Vickery's landscape paintings that adored the publisher's walls.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: The Home Ground exhibition features paintings by Alison Vickery and launches a new bookThe Home Ground exhibition features paintings by Alison Vickery and launches a new book (Image: Crumps Barn Studio)

Lorna Brookes, editor at Crumps Barn Studio, said: “Home Ground is the name of both the new book and an art exhibition at our bookshop on The Waterloo in Cirencester.

"Both are about revealing the mystery and magic of a familiar landscape.

“We opened the show with a special preview event on Saturday and it was an amazing party.

"We were so full that people were waiting on the street to be able to get in to see the show and get their copies of the book.

"It’s been a captivating experience bringing it all together. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Artist Alison Vickery in her Woodchester studioArtist Alison Vickery in her Woodchester studio (Image: Alison Vickery)

"I’m really looking forward to sharing the book and artwork with more visitors to the exhibition as it runs throughout February.”

Daphne Denley, who had several poems accepted for the collection, said: “I had such a brilliant time at the launch – Crumps Barn Studio is a treasure trove of books and art.

"I’m so proud to have some poetry included in Home Ground.” 

Home Ground is available in paperback and ebook from bookshops and online retailers now.

The exhibition of paintings by Alison Vickery runs until Friday, February 23 and admission is free.