Eccentric Count inspired Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, says Offham author

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Some fascinating nuggets of information are included in the second book penned by the wife of the Rector of Offham.

Following great success with her first book ‘Follow these Writers in Sussex’, Judith Bastide has now written ‘Follow these Writers in Kent’ with photographs by Michael Rich.

“We sense this is the beginning of a series!” she said.

Both books look at writers who have lived and written about the two counties.

James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, lived in St Margaret’s Bay outside Dover, for instance.

“He bought White Cliffs from Noel Coward, his next door neighbour in Jamaica (now not a lot of people know that) and set many of 007’s adventures in the area,” she said.

“During his researches Fleming met the wildly eccentric Polish Count Zborowski, who customised his fleet of racing cars with Maybach aero-engines ((yes really!) and then road tested them on the A2, much to the consternation of the local constabulary.

“The Count called his cars Chitty Chitty Bang so it was a small change to produce Fleming’s immensely successful children’s story ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ also depicting an eccentric car designer.”

If you want ideas for a great day out or somewhere to take the kids in the long summer holidays this could be the book for you. Each chapter has very helpful suggestions for child friendly attractions near literary shrines.

Copies are £9.99 in local bookshops, Lewes Tourist Information Centre and at the Offham Farm Shop.