From: Vivienne Baird,
Short Brow Close.
When I was a child in the 1930s two events marked my “growing up.”
One, when I was seven, was opening my first post office savings account, I still have the book with my printed signature because I hadn’t yet learned joined-up writing.
The other was being able to join the library.
Every Saturday morning, off with my uncle Les to our local library.
I was thrilled and I have never lost that feeling, losing myself among the books.
Of course I’ve bought lots of books over the years, and still do sometimes.
Though my eyes are not so good now but I can’t go into Waterstones for example buying books, read them, decide I don’t like them and take them back over and over again.
I’m now unfortunately dependent on the housebound service and I’d be lost without them, even though it’s not as good as it used to be.
I miss being able to sit and browse, read a newspaper, etc and find out about local events and issues.
To face losing them, especially in Willingdon, would be a real blow.
I’d need a taxi to go anywhere else, and I don’t like the Eastbourne one, it would cost me £16-£18 in taxi fares to go there anyway.
I don’t drive and can’t get on a bus or train. Possibly Langney, but they are all impossible for me anyway, and I believe they face the chop as well.
Once another part of our village life goes it is gone forever.
At one time I was lucky enough to have a part-time job in Stoke-on-Trent city libraries, Tunstall branch, for five years when our children were young and I was thrilled to bits, I loved it.
Now alas they have lost I believe both Burslem and Fenton, a sad loss especially Burslem where I briefly went on relief, with Arnold Bennett’s Gold Angel in the top of the lovely building.
Also when I was working in a bank with full membership of Boots library, we used to go after work for crime, best sellers etc., but I still went to the town library in Leek, for things like Pepys’ diary, or Molière in French, or War & Peace.
People now, particularly young people, seem to have forgotten the pleasure of being absorbed in reading and it’s quite sad.
I think so anyway.