All posts by Kim Worts

October News


At the recent Annual Meeting for the staff of Libraries Unlimited, Emma Aydemir our wonderful Brixham Library Manager was recognised in a ‘Making a Difference Staff Award’ for Creativity & Innovation. Congratulations from FoBL for this wonderful achievement. There is nothing better than to be recognised by your peers for the contribution you make to an organisation and Emma, this is richly deserved.


Dementia Friendly Walks

The Friends of Brixham Library support people with dementia, their family and friends and carers through their fortnightly programme of walks around Brixham Harbour. Dementia is a terrible disease that can attack any function of the brain. As a result, living with dementia brings challenges for anyone diagnosed with the disease and for their family and friends. However, with support and understanding it is possible to live well with dementia. What people with dementia share in common is that they want to continue to do the things that they enjoy for as long as they can.


The Alzheimer’s Society promotes the message that a healthy lifestyle features a varied diet, regular exercise and not smoking can reduce your risk of developing dementia.


If you are interested in walking with us on a Friday morning starting at 10.30am, we meet by the Golden Hind next to the Old Fish Market on Brixham Harbour. We take a leisurely stroll around the harbour towards the harbour arm, stopping along the way if required and then return before enjoying a cup of coffee in one of the local cafes. All are welcome but if you require any further information please contact Mike O’Donnell Tel: 01803 844013. Our next walks are on Fridays 4, 18, October; 1, 15, 29, November & 13 December 2019.

First Friday of the Month Coffee Morning


Our next coffee morning is being held on Friday 4 October between 10.00 – 12.00 noon. As last year due to a number of requests we are devoting half the money raised to Macmillan Nursing in recognition for the all the good work that they do.


Please note that as there will be no coffee morning in November whilst the library is closed for refurbishment the date has been brought forward to Friday 25 October 2019 between 10.00 -12.00 noon.

Please make a note in your diary of this change.

Library Refurbishment


The present Brixham Library building opened in the autumn of 1993 and it is a credit to project team of the time that the building has worked so well with very little expenditure on repairs and maintenance over the years. Funds of £54,000 have become available to enable a partial refurbishment to take place, resulting in the library being closed for a short period of time from 13.00pm on Friday 25.10.19 and reopening at 9.30am on Monday 25.11.19. These funds have been specifically put aside for spending on Brixham Library as part of developer’s contributions to the Brixham community. This is an opportunity to have a spring clean and revitalise the library making it an even better space that can be valued by all in Brixham. Amongst other things the library will be redecorated internally in all public spaces, carpet replaced, and improvements made on the ground floor as well as some minor shelving changes on the first floor. Both the library staff and FoBL have been busy fund raising to help make the improvements that are required take place. FoBL will be helping to fund some new furniture in the childrens library and the cost of refurbishing the meetings room on the first floor. Following the success of the regular coffee mornings FoBL will be funding a coffee counter on wheels. Currently, FoBL’s contribution towards these purchases and improvements is estimated at about £4,500. FoBL kindly acknowledges a donation of £100.00 from the Rotary in Brixham towards the cost of replacement childrens stools.


This is a one-off opportunity to keep the library looking at its best as well as maintaining its appeal to one and all. If you would like to make a donation towards this project, please pop into the library or call the library on 01803 853870.

Events programme – up until the end of the year

(Copies are available in the Library)


Visit to the Met Office – Saturday 5 October

This event has proved extremely popular and was already fully booked. However, we hope to arrange a further visit in the New Year so keep your eyes peeled for fresh dates.

Winter Thrushes on Dartmoor with Mike Langman – Friday 1 November, 10.00am – 13.00pm

Meet at Shipley Bridge (nr South Brent) car park below the Avon Dam. Join Mike for another of interesting and walks and talks as he points out local bird and wildlife life along the way. You are advised to wear appropriate footwear and clothing and to book a place on the walk the charge is £8.00 for FoBL members and £10.00 for non-FoBL members and they are available from the library.

Resuscitation Training – Friday 8 November 2019, 10.00am – 12.00 noon. (FREE Course)

Unfortunately, this training session was postponed earlier in the year, but we are pleased to see a new date in the calendar for this very practical training session. To ensure a place, please book your space and register your name in the library. Whilst this is a FREE course, if you would like to make a donation towards library funds you will be able to do so.

Wine Tasting at ‘The Wine Loft’ – Wednesday 20 November 2019, 18.00 – 20.00pm

This is a first for us in a new venue for FoBL. Over the course of the evening there will be a blind tasting of five different wines, a different canapé per person for each wine, a wine talk from James Brown (the owner of the Wine Loft) and a fun wine quiz and a final revelation of the blind wines tasted.

Please note that as this is a tasting no one is allowed to stick to their preferred tipple, and you will be offered both red and white wines during the evening. Seating is only available on stools, but the owners Claire & James will make you feel very welcome. Finally, should you wish to purchase a bottle or two to take away on the night then they will be happy to offer a 10% discount on any purchase.

Tickets cost £18.00 for FoBL members and £20.00 for non-FoBL members and are available from the library. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 20 so avoid disappointment early booking and payment is advised.


Christmas Dates for your diary:

Christmas Coffee Morning on Friday 6 December between 10.00 – 12.00 noon. This is always a special library morning with Christmas stalls, music from a local school choir and of course lovely coffee and cake.

Quay Harmony Ladies Choir Concert on 11 December 2019 starting at 19.00pm

We are so pleased to welcome Quay Harmony for their annual Christmas concert and are delighted they have chosen Brixham Library as this year’s Christmas venue. Tickets are £6 for members, £8 non members, and available from the library and also from choir members. During a concert there will be a raffle with all proceeds going to the library.


September News

May I take this opportunity to welcome new members to FoBL and particularly to introduce three new members who have joined the committee since our AGM in July.

Helen Kelly is our new Events Co-Ordinator. She writes:

I worked as anurse for over 40 years and retired to Brixham in 2016, which I am certainly not regretting. I enjoy gardening / visiting NT houses and gardens. I love cruising and have recently returned from a cruise to Russia and looking forward to my cruise next year to Japan.

I enjoy reading and that is why I do voluntary work in Brixham library. I do enjoy meeting people and so also do voluntary work in the English Riviera tourist information centre in Torquay. Looking forward to being involved with the Friends of the Library

Helen will be working closely with Emma in the library on our events programme for next year. If you have any ideas for future events and activities, she would be very interested. Please leave a note in the library marked for her attention.

Angie Robson is our new Membership Secretary. She writes:

Hi, I’m Angie Robson your new membership secretary, a role I am delighted to fulfil. Some of my family have lived and worked in Torbay for well over 70 years so retiring to Brixham was a bit like coming home! I was in education for 42 years, the last 14 as a non-teaching deputy of a large primary school in Solihull, West Midlands. I am passionate about community involvement and an avid reader so I hope I will be able to be an active, positive, committee member.

Hilary Bligh is our new Committee Member. She writes:

I am Hilary Bligh and have lived in Brixham for most of my life. I have always been an avid reader who has continually used Brixham Library and have vivid, happy memories of time spent in the “old library” and our current one. As a retired teacher I have totally understood the value of our library resources for children and wish to be on a committee that promotes and continues this. I also wish to be part of the group that helps the library become a vibrant centre that organises events to encourage all ages to use and enjoy this valuable resource in Brixham.

Missin’ Tackle Shanty Crew Quay Concerts

For three Tuesday evenings last month, Missin’ Tackle Shanty Crew performed down on the old Fish Quay on Brixham Harbour. These free concerts raised nearly £500 shared between FoBL and Brixham Museum. Despite inclement weather, the sun seemed to make its appearance on each evening at the appropriate time, so the crew were blessed as people stopped by to hear them sing. They have really appreciated your support and have thoroughly enjoyed helping to raise funds in this way.

First Friday Coffee Morning

We meet again at the Library on Friday 6 September between 10.00 – 12.00 noon. By popular request, we hope to have mystery book parcels available for purchase. Do please tell your friends, family and neighbours about this diary date and we look forward to seeing you there.

Fundraising Memory Walk

On Saturday 21 September, FoBL is planning a walk from Babbacombe via the coastal path back to Torquay to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society. The plan is to meet outside Babbacombe theatre at 11.00am. Please bring your own packed lunch and a drink with you for a lunch stop along the way. Suitable footwear and clothing is advised because of the footpath terrain and the weather on the day. For more information please contact Michael O’Donnell Tel: 01803 844013. Although we are hoping that those partaking will be sponsored this is entirely voluntary and hopefully will be an enjoyable walk and day out.

More dates for your diary: 

Osprey Watch with Mike Langman       Friday 6th September 10am – 1pm

A walk from Powderham Church to the Turf Locks Pub approx. 2.4miles flat there and back along the Exe Estuary watching – we hope – the migrating Osprey feeding before their long flight.

 Exclusive tour of Paignton Zoo   Tuesday 19th September, 10.30am

Steve Nash, Group Educational Manger for Paignton Zoo will be giving a talk about the history of Paignton Zoo, then you will be able to see the old parts of the Zoo no longer open to the public and meet the lovely animals.

Explore the Met Office   Saturday 5th October, 3pm

Discover more about the weather forecasting and climate research on a guided tour of the modern Met Office headquarters in Exeter.

Skittles and The Skipper     Friday 11th October, 7pm start

Following the success of last year’s skittle night, join the Friends again for a fun social evening of skittles. Enjoy a light buffet (with chips) and see who will be crowned best bowler this year!

And Finally….













Record turnout at the AGM

On Tuesday (16th) the Friends of Brixham Library met for their Annual General Meeting and were delighted when 44 of their members turned up on a very warm and summery evening. Their Chairman, Alasdair Anderson reported that the Friends were in good shape and reflecting on the past year that their regular first Friday of the month coffee mornings were being well attended along with growing participation in the ‘Walking for Health walks’ on a Monday morning and a Tuesday afternoon. At the same time interest in the fortnightly Dementia Friendly walks was growing.

Along with the libraries own programme of events and activities there is something for everyone. Perhaps the most inspiring of all has been the completion of the lottery funded project to record the gravestones in St Mary’s Churchyard, Higher Brixham. With over 15,000 names now recorded and checked over a two-year period, this will be of interest to all archivists, family historians and those with an interest in Brixham history. The evening also included a very interesting illustrated talk by Lynn Williams on ‘Malawi: the warm heart of Africa’. Lynn’s work and knowledge from her three visits there captivated the audience and made a lively finish to the evening.

The library now looks forward to its activities over the summer holidays for children and young people with their ‘Sea Levels of Book Quest’ and their annual Summer Reading Challenge. Missin’ Tackle Shanty Crew will be down on the Old Fish Quay, Brixham Harbour for three FREE evening concerts on Tuesdays 30 July & 6 & 13 August between 20.00 – 21.00pm. There will be voluntary collections in aid of both FoBL and Brixham Museum, the crew’s chosen local good causes.

For the full Chairman’s Report click here

For the full Minutes click here

For more information about any of the above events & activities please visit Brixham Library, Market Street, Brixham, TQ5 8EU or tel: 01803 853870

Alasdair Anderson,

Chairman, The Friends of Brixham Library


July News

Coffee Morning

Our next coffee morning is on Friday 5 July between 10.00 – 12.00 noon. Our theme this month will be tennis as it coincides with Wimbledon fortnight. So why not come along and treat yourselves to some seasonal goodies along with your cup of coffee.

A huge thank you to all involved in last months coffee morning with our theme of ‘Brixham Library back to the 1940s’. This is also an opportunity to thank John Brennan and his team for all that they did during the week of D-Day Commemorations here in Brixham. We are not aware of many other communities along the south coast that had nine days of activities and events and the town should be proud of what it accomplished.

Forthcoming FoBL Events

Boules & Finger Buffet – Berry Head Hotel Thursday 4 July from 6.00pm – If you have a competitive streak or just like to join in a bit of fun, then why not come along and join the Friends for an evening of boules. Previous experience is not required. The event will be hosted at the Berry Head Hotel and after games have finished there will be a finger buffet. Tickets cost £11.00 for FoBL members & £12.50 for Non-FoBL members and must be purchased in advance by Wednesday 26 June. All are welcome and to secure a place please make your booking in the library.

Sailing trip on the Vigilance – Saturday 13 July 9.30am – 1.00pm – this has become an annual event as that allows FoBL members & their friends an opportunity to experience sailing on one of Brixham very own fishing trawlers under sail. Tickets cost £23.00 for FoBL members & £26.00 for non-FoBL members and must be purchased in advance by Saturday 6 July, numbers are limited so make sure you book early. No previous experience is required, and you can either join in working alongside the crew or just enjoy a trip aboard. Wind & waterproof apparel along with rubber soled shoes are advised. Once again if you require further information please ask in the library.

Please note that tickets and reservations for events must be made at the Library as they manage the events lists. If you try and book via the FoBL e-mail, you may miss out on your ticket.


Illustrated Talk by Lin Williams and  FoBL AGM Tuesday 16 July 18.15 – 20.30pm – we are very privileged to have Lin join us giving an illustrated talk about the work being done in Malawi among schools and women’s groups. Come and discover Malawi – The Warm Heart of Africa.  This is a FREE event and refreshments will be provided during the evening.


Missin’ Tackle Shanty Crew singing on the Old Fish Quay, Brixham Harbour – 30 July, 6 & 13 August 20.00 – 21.00pm. To help raise funds for FoBL and Brixham Museum, the crew will be hosting their own FREE concerts down under the Old Fish Quay by the Golden Hind on Brixham Harbour. Singing a wide selection of shanties and sea songs, their repertoire takes you back to a bygone age when times were very different. So do encourage family, friends and neighbours to come along and join in the fun and bring your folding chairs with you so you can sit back and enjoy the evening ambiance down by the harbour.


Libraries for Today & Tomorrow

Ciara Eastell, former Chief Executive of Libraries unlimited recently made an impassioned plea for libraries for the 21st century. The following link: enables you to have an opportunity to hear what she has to say and you’ll make your own judgement but she certainly has my vote!!

Events Co-Ordinator

The Friends of Brixham Library are actively looking for a person or persons to act as their Event’s Co-Ordinator. Working alongside the staff in Brixham Library they will help to put together future events programmes for FoBL as well as organising the detail and requirements for each event as they take place. This is an exciting opportunity for anyone with time on their hands who would like to get involved in community related activities and to encourage interest and the use of Brixham Library. The position is as a volunteer, but the rewards are great, having the opportunity to join the committee as well as working alongside people with a genuine interest in libraries and their important role in today’s society. There will be plenty of opportunity to realise ideas for events for young children to older members. If this is something that interests you, please leave your name and contact details in Brixham Library indicating your interest. This could be a life changing moment, where you could make a real difference.

Summer Reading Challenge 2019

Emma, our local Brixham Library Manager writes:

We are trying to look ahead to our summer reading challenge and activities. Please could FoBL members save and drop into the library any of the following items:

  • Empty 2 litre plastic bottles 
  • Boxes (big enough to cut a hole in and put a child’s head in) we are all about space this year in the summer reading challenge and we would like to make all the children little astronauts! 
  • Yarn 
  • Any interesting rocks they may find on the beach! 
  • And if anyone could donate kitchen foil – this would be amazing! 
  • Also, anything we could use to make a really big rocket 🚀 that will be in the library throughout the summer. 

Your help will make a difference to activities in the library over the summer period.

And Finally….





















Brixham remembers D-Day

Brixham Library and FoBL played their part in the D-Day commemorations last week with a fine exhibition put on by Phil Trayhorn, Paul Bennett and museum items borrowed by Brixham Library staff. Our activities culminated in the 1940s coffee morning complete with Bare Cupboard Cake and served by the land girls crew! Well done to all staff and volunteers who entered so wholeheartedly into the Library events. John Brennan, Chairman of Brixham Futures, has thanked all the organisations, retail outlets et al in Brixham for bringing together nine days of activities and events to commemorate D-Day, a fitting tribute to the community spirit in the town.

June News


D-Day Coffee Morning

Our next coffee morning is on Friday 7 May between 10.00 – 12.00 noon. As Brixham remembers the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, our theme this month will be ‘Brixham back to the 1940’s’. We are delighted that Debs Ellis & Kim Wilson will be singing a 1940’s medley of songs round about 11.00am for us. There will also be a D-Day Exhibition on the Ledge which opened on Saturday 1 June 2019 and no doubt there will be other surprises during the morning.

A couple of 1940s recipes borrowed from Carolyn Ekins, The 1940’s Experiment

Vinegar Cake

  • 6 oz self-raising flour
  • 3 oz margarine
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4-pint milk
  • 4 oz dried mixed fruit


  1. Cream the margarine and sugar
  2. Sift the flour
  3. Pour milk into a basin and add the vinegar and bicarb of soda and the mixture will froth a bit
  4. Add this mixture and the sifted flour a bit at a time into the sugar/margarine mixture until all blended then add the dried fruit
  5. Pour into a greased and floured 1lb loaf tin and cook for about 45 minutes at 180C until golden brown all over.

Lord Woolton Pie

This was  named after Frederick Marquis, 1st Lord Woolton (1883-1964), who became Minister of Food in 1940.

  • Various in season veggies like swedes, turnips, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, leeks, onions, carrots
  • Potatoes for mashing
  • Flour, butter and milk for sauce
  • Strong grated cheddar cheese
  • Herbs such as sage or thyme for sauce


  1. Peel washed potatoes (save peelings to bake in oven with salt and herbs)
  2. Dice potatoes and cook in salted water until soft
  3. Mash with butter, a little milk and add salt
  4. Peel, wash and dice in season veggies as applicable and boil until nearly cooked
  5. Drain and place in pie dish
  6. Make sauce – Use dessert spoon of butter and melt in pan, add two dessert spoons of flour and mix and slowly add in milk, keep stirring. Add salt and herbs and pepper
  7. Pour thick sauce over the vegetables
  8. Put mashed potato in piping bag (baggy with a hole in the corner)
  9. Pipe over the top of veggies and sauce
  10. Finish by placing some grated cheese over the top
  11. Place in oven at 220 C for around 30 minutes until the potatoes have browned


One of our members has written the following poem describing her wartime experiences from 1942. With the family men away because of the war in these few words Julie conveys the worry and uncertainty of that long forgotten age.

Under the Stairs (1942)

The unexploded bomb imbedded in the Green
had sought us out – invaded our village,
at our door, a policeman urged departure.
We trudged the half mile to Grandma’s –
evacuees – food and pyjamas in baskets.
That night brought another raid
we sheltered huddled together –
wrapped in blankets, gas masks ready.
My Mother sang her siren song of sleep
held us tight, none came that night
women and children afraid in the dark.
Dad away, Grandpa on duty at the Hall
Why wasn’t he at home guarding us?
Outside searchlights crossed the sky –
gunfire like thunder, thuds and crashes
every window rattled, walls shuddered –
I shut my eyes and said my prayers,
Over and over again under the stairs.

Julie M. Harris

Farewell to Helen

We were all sorry to hear that Helen will be leaving us at the end of May as she takes up work in the health sector again. Helen has proved to be wonderful member of staff bringing energy and vitality to the library in her short time there. She has undertaken a number of resuscitation workshops for us and hopes to come back and continue to provide these very popular and useful courses. Unfortunately the course last week had to be cancelled, but Helen aims to reschedule it shortly. We will let you know when this has be arranged.

Summer Reading Challenge 2019

Emma, our local Brixham Library Manager writes:

We are trying to look ahead to our summer reading challenge and activities. Please could FoBL members save and drop into the library any of the following items:

  • Empty 2 litre plastic bottles 
  • Boxes (big enough to cut a hole in and put a child’s head in) we are all about space this year in the summer reading challenge and we would like to make all the children little astronauts! 
  • Yarn 
  • Any interesting rocks they may find on the beach! 
  • And if anyone could donate kitchen foil – this would be amazing! 
  • Also, anything we could use to make a really big rocket 🚀 that will be in the library throughout the summer. 
  •  Your help will make a difference to activities in the library over the summer period.


Help Required

During one of our regular catch up meetings with Eleanor & Emma (Libraries Unlimited), with two new staff joining the Brixham crew in the near future, those left behind are feeling the pinch a little bit. We are now looking for a volunteer to act as our Events Co-Ordinator for FoBL. As well as acting as our link between Brixham Library staff and FoBL, this will be an opportunity to help with organising events both before and on the day. At the same time, the committee are in the main willing to help where they can so whoever takes over this role really won’t feel that they are on their own. For an informal discussion about what is involved please feel you can contact me (Alasdair – tel: 01803 850255).


Unfortunately, the event on Wednesday 5 June entitled ‘London- The Tales behind the Statues’ has been cancelled due to insufficient interest.

Evening at The Guardhouse Café with Harping Mad Wednesday 19 June 6.00pm – 9.00pm – this a date for your diary as we return once again for a delightful Greek themed evening. Music will be provided by Susie & Bill Trezise. Tickets cost £15.00 -FoBL members & £18.00 – Non-FoBL members and must be bought in advance, the last available date for purchase being Monday 10 June. For further information visit Brixham Library where you can purchase your tickets.

Boules & Finger Buffet – Berry Head Hotel Thursday 4 July from 6.00pm – If you have a competitive streak or just like to join in a bit of fun, then why not come along and join the Friends for an evening of boules. Previous experience is not required. The event will be hosted at the Berry Head Hotel and after games have finished there will be a finger buffet. Tickets cost £11.00 for FoBL members & £12.50 for Non-FoBL members and must be purchased in advance by Wednesday 26 June. All are welcome and to secure a place please make your booking in the library.

Sailing trip on the Vigilance – Saturday 14 July 9.30am – 1.00pm – this has become an annual event as numbers are limited but allows FoBL members & their friends an opportunity to experience sailing on one of Brixham very own fishing trawlers under sail. Tickets cost £23.00 for FoBL members & £26.00 for non-FoBL members and must be purchased in advance by Saturday 6 July. No previous experience is required, and you can either join in working alongside the crew or just enjoy a trip aboard. Wind & waterproof apparel along with rubber soled shoes are advised. Once again if you require further information please ask in the library.

Watering our plants

Following our request for help last month with help to water our planters outside the library, Marian Parker has received two offers of help with the watering. Thanks to both Sue & Yvonne for keeping an eye on the planters. However, should we be lucky and have another scorcher of a summer any further volunteers would be most welcome as well as spreading the load. 

… and finally

The following cartoon was recently brought to my attention. Whilst not specifically aimed at libraries it is a reminder that libraries can be fun for both children and young people and take them into so many imaginable new worlds.

Please address any contributions

F.A.O. The Editor, Friends Matter, Brixham Library and either hand to a member of Brixham Library staff, pop into the FoBL post-box or e-mail to

1 June D-Day launch at the Library

Pop into the Library this Saturday (1st) at 11 am for the official launch of the library exhibition relating to D-Day and Brixham’s week of commemoration. Cllr. Jill Regan, Chair of Brixham Town Council has kindly agreed to come along and say a few words. The launch will just be a simple 15 minute ceremony to kick off the town’s activities. Brixham played a major part in D-Day as the gathering and launch point for the South West armada, and there are many who remember the morning they woke up to a harbour filled with all the boats that had been hidden among the estuaries and inlets of Devon and Cornwall.



May News

WBW Launch Brixham Legal Surgery

WBW Solicitors are launching a free legal surgery in partnership with Brixham Library.
Surgeries will take place on the first Wednesday of every month between 10:30am and 12:30pm at Brixham Library.

These sessions require no financial obligation and are designed to provide local residents with some free legal advice and guidance.

Lisa Stanton, Chartered Legal Executive and private client specialist said: “By holding these informal free legal surgeries, we hope that we can support local people with any legal queries they might have. We can explain their legal position and put them in touch with the right person to resolve any issues.”

WBW Solicitors delivers a full range of legal services including Wills, trust and probate, tax advice, residential conveyancing, family, personal injury, medical negligence and motoring offences. It also offers litigation, employment law, company commercial, commercial property and financial services, as well as a dedicated team of farm and estate, and food & drink specialists.

For further information or to reserve your slot, please contact a member of the Brixham Library Reception Team on 01803 853870.

Coffee Morning

Our next coffee morning is on Friday 3 May between 10.00 – 12.00 noon. Being the start of the Pirate Weekend, our local shanty crew ‘Missin’ Tackle’ will be along to sing a few shanties and sea songs from about 10.30am. So why not come along and join in some rousing songs as well as enjoying some coffee & cake.

Farewell to Sue

At the last coffee morning there was an opportunity for folks to say their farewells to Sue Pitman who is leaving to work just around the corner for Brixham Does Care. Sue has been working in Brixham Library for 14 years now. In recognition for all her hard work and help she has given library users over the years, FoBL have given her a Marks & Spencer’s voucher as their way of saying thank you. She will be missed but her smile and good nature will stay with her and after all she’s only just around the corner and has threatened to come along and enjoy coffee with us once a month.

Finally, thanks to all who supported the last coffee morning raising over £200.00 for FoBL funds. Whether you bought plants, refreshments or did your bit as part of the coffee morning crew, thank you for enabling such a terrific result.

Coach trip to the Eden Project, Cornwall

There are still some vacant spaces for this day trip on Thursday 23 May 2019. To avoid any disappointment please book your coach seat(s) in the library. The costs include the price of the coach and the £26 entrance fee into the Eden Project.

Senior members £26.50; adult members £30.50

Senior non-members £29.50; adult non-members £30.50

The pick-up is from Brixham Library leaving at 8.30am and it is hoped that the coach will be back in Brixham for 16.00pm. This is a first for FoBL as we have never organised a coach trip before, but we are hopeful it will be the first of many future day trips away.

Plant Watering

Two very kind volunteers are now helping with regular watering of the plants outside the library. If anyone else can find 10-15 minutes to help with this task to keep the boxes looking at their best, your help would still be much appreciated as ‘many hands make light work’. For further information please contact Marian Parker as she is kindly organising this for us – tel: 01803 855130.

Loyalty Card Scheme
We are very pleased to welcome the Brixham Steam Packet Company to our list of participating retailers. Any purchases made by FoBL Members in The Brixham Steam Packet over the value of £100.00 will entitle them to a 10% discount on their purchases. If you have an interest in ocean liner memorabilia or things nautical, then this is a shop that will interest you and the owner Bob Higginson will be delighted to show you around. It’s a great place to take your visitors and like an emporium there is a lot to look at and enjoy returning to a bygone age of the sea and maritime traditions.

Please note this discount does not apply to any purchases made in the Chart Room First Class Coffee Lounge.

… and finally

When was the last time you took five minutes for yourself? As the days are getting longer and lighter, this is the perfect time to steal away, step into the library, borrow a book and relax. Whether it’s with a lunchtime sandwich, a post-work or evening moment or a weekend treat, we know that spending time with a book will make you feel good.

Post Script
We’re always on the lookout for good copy for the monthly update. So, if you have something to say about library matters, books or ideas for future events do drop us a line.

Please address any contributions
F.A.O. The Editor, Friends Matter, Brixham Library and either hand to a member of Brixham Library staff, pop into the FoBL post-box or e-mail to

Eunice Dodd

April News

Welcome to another edition of our regular newsletter from The Friends of Brixham Library. This is an opportunity to remind you that annual subscriptions are now due. If you haven’t made use of our standing order facility, it is available for you to use and helps to overcome the annual worry of whether you have paid or not for the coming year. For £5.00 we hope that you will agree it is tremendous value for money and this is soon redeemed through our loyalty card scheme with a variety of local retailers as well as library offers in the form of free reservations or loan of DVD’s.

New data protection laws mean we need your permission to stay in touch, even if you’ve given us permission before. Thus, at the end of this newsletter you’ll find there’s a form to complete.

This is also an opportunity to ask you all to help spread the word about The Friends of Brixham Library in the hope that you can persuade friends, family and neighbours to join us. With our on-going events programme and the many events now being organised and planned by Brixham Library staff as well, we hope that there is something of interest for everyone. If anyone has any doubts about joining, why not get them to come along to our regular first Friday of the month coffee morning, the next being on Friday 5 April between 10.00 – 12.00 noon where you will be sure of a warm welcome. We will be holding a plant sale and what better place to enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and a piece of cake too, all for only £1.50.


Forthcoming Events

  • Easter Trail – 9th& 16th April 3.00pm – 4.00pm – Come along and make an Easter basket and then find the eggs to put in your basket. Stories & craft included. BOOKING is essential for this event.
  • Children’s Easter Holiday Craft Activity – Wednesday 10 April & Thursday 17 April between 10.30am – 11.30am. This is a FREE fun-filled activity with stories and crafts and an opportunity to have fun in their library.
  • Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – Thursday 11th & 18th April 11.00am – 12.00 noon – Come and enjoy Easter Bonnet making and decorating cupcakes, followed by stories and refreshments.

BOOKING is essential for this event.

  • World Book Night Poetry Workshop – Thursday 25 April 10.30am – 12.30pm Join award winning poet Suzy Miles for a poetry workshop to celebrate World Book Night. Suzy has run workshops as part of the FoBL programme for the last few years. Be inspired to write poetry, whether it’s your first time or not, or just come along and enjoy poetry at its best. There will be free Books and refreshments. FREE for FoBL members & £3.00 for non-FoBL members.
  • Bingo – Brixham Library is hosting a fund-raising Library Prize Bingo Night on Friday 26th April. Doors open at 6.45pm- eyes down at 7.15pm. A bar and raffle will be available. It is £5 a ticket and this will include all games!
  • Visit to the Eden Project – Thursday 23 May. Join FoBL members for a coach trip to the Eden project, leaving Brixham at 8.30am and estimated return time of 4.00pm. The cost of the ticket includes return coach travel and entrance fee in to the Eden Project. This is priced at £26.50 for Senior FoBL members, £30.50 for FoBL members, £29.50 for Senior Non-FoBL members & £30.50 for Adult Non-FoBL members.


Please note we have a change of date for our AGM which is now being held a week earlier than previously planned on Tuesday 16 July 2019 starting at 6.15pm. This is an opportunity for you have your say on FoBL matters and we are now planning a Gin tasting to follow the AGM.

To avoid disappointment for any of the above events early booking is advised either by visiting the library or phoning 01803 853870.


Cowtown Exhibition, St Mary’s Church Higher Brixham


Last Saturday, Brixham folks focussed on the activities in St Mary’s Church, Higher Brixham. This was the launch of an exhibition illustrating the activities and work on the two-year Lottery funded project organised by The Friends of Brixham Library. As the project approaches its end; the history of the church; its burial grounds and the inhabitants from the past are all celebrated and commemorated. The present church dates back to 14th-15th century being a fine building of red sand stone. With photographs, maps and much data collection, this is far more than just listings of names and dates but brings the histories of individuals both prominent and lowly to life, as well as presenting reconstructions of everyday life in Higher Brixham and beyond. The centrepiece of the exhibition is that of a model of the Church as it was in 1862 undertaken by local model maker Paul Bennett. This very talented and skilled modeller has made this model to exacting scale standards of the church; the former cottages which formed the entrance, now in ruins and the graveyard with its many individual headstones and burial monuments as they would have looked all those years ago. The exhibition is on view on Saturdays between 10.00am and 12.30pm and on Wednesdays between 11.30 -12.30 until the week before Easter in St Mary’s Church. For more information please check the Friends of Brixham Library Facebook page.


The above work has involved 100 volunteers over the two-year period to bring together what will become a digital archive of the history of Higher Brixham. This could not have happened without the management, guidance and hard work of the project leader and organiser, Phil Trayhorn. He has tirelessly guided and steered the group, meeting with his fellow helpers every Wednesday and Saturday morning as the recording of data from the graveyard has taken place. The town indeed owes its grateful thanks for the work of all those involved.

Help with our Planters Please


Marian Parker, who many of you will know from her years working in Brixham Library, is looking for some help in keeping our planters in the front of the library watered and kept tidy. Ideally, she would like to set up a rota so that the work isn’t onerous for those involved. Anyone who is interested in helping to keep them looking fresh and looking at their best can do so by contacting Marian direct by mail to Alternatively, please leave a note with your name, address and telephone in the library marked for Marian’s attention.


Reading stories to your child

Reading stories to your child can help improve their imagination, communication and is a great way to settle down for bed. We are very fortunate in having such a lovely Children’s Library here in Brixham and access is totally free. So whatever age you are, let’s encourage all our children to make use of and get the best out of this wonderful resource. Whether you be a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle or even a neighbour of friend, the excitement of being introduced to the world of books and reading is one that will live with you for ever. Like many facets of life, children’s books can be bewildering and that’s where the skills and imagination of the library staff can help, so that you too can get the best out of our ‘treasure chest in the town’. You can be sure that Emma, Sarah, Sue & Helen will all be pleased to help you find your way around and let you know of any forthcoming events that may be of interest to your child.


  • Brixham Library holds regular activities and events for children
  • Brixham Library has a Lego Club every Saturday morning
  • Brixham Library holds a regular Music, rhythm & rhyme session every Monday 10.15 – 10.45, Tuesday 10.30 – 11.00 & every Wednesday 10.30 – 11.00 (Term time only)
  • Brixham Library holds a regular Storytime (Teddy Tales) on Thursdays at 10.30 (Term time only)
  • From May, Brixham Library we will be having Steve Shaw and his lovely dog Honey (registered PAT dog) on Tuesday afternoons to help less confident readers.

Loyalty Card News

Apologies from the Editor as in the March edition of the newsletter we didn’t make it clear that when our retail partners offer discounts these are instead of the normal percentage discount offered to FoBL members and NOT an additional discount. All offers made to FoBL members are at the retailers discretion and we really appreciate their support to FoBL when these offers are made.

Fishcombe Café – Chloe, owner of the Fishcombe Café on Fishcombe Cove tells me that the Cafe is now open Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10.00am – 4.00pm, weather depending until May (from May – only CLOSED on Mondays). Chloe is offering currant FoBL members a 10% discount on all orders over £5.00.


She has introduced a slightly newer menu (including home-made soups, cream teas and weekly specials). She also has an event on Saturday 4 May with the Torbay Seal Project at the cafe to talk about the Grey Seals we are lucky enough to see daily in Brixham.  Tickets are £5 and a donation will be made towards the charity to help protect & monitor the seals.

Bertie & Crew – The clothing sale continues, and Leanne tells me she has lots of new ranges in store including Becky Bettesworth mugs, coasters and fridge magnets; The Sea Shed soap, scented sachets, jewellery & cards, plus lots of new china gifts.


….and Finally

Whilst out and about in Somerset recently I came across the picture below. Just for the fun of it, is it a bookcase or is it just a picture. The answer will be in next month’s newsletter.

And follow the link here to bring up your membership renewal form –

FoBL Membership Form 2019


March Update

Stop Press
Bertie & Crew are offering up to 60% discount on many items in the store. Please don’t forget to take you FoBL Membership Card/ Loyalty Card with you.

Cow Town 1850 – 1900: come celebrate a great project for Brixham

This month sees the culmination of our two-year lottery project in St Mary’s Churchyard – Cowtown 1850-1900. Almost without exception a group of volunteers has regularly met on Wednesday and Saturday mornings to record as many names as possible of all those buried there. Unfortunately, the original records were lost in the Exeter Blitz and a sad reminder that despite sending them so they would be kept safely, this wasn’t to be the case. As the project has developed and more and more people have become aware of it, the project team have recorded not just the names and the dates but where possible they have added the details of many of the individual’s lives, along with photographs of where they lived and where and what work they undertook. Thus, a living history has been constructed that will provide inspiration for today and for future generations. Copies of the work will be held in St Mary’s Church; Brixham Museum, Brixham Library and Torquay Libraries Local Studies Section.

A dedicated website is being created by team members and all project material including a searchable family ‘Commemorative Headstone’ database of the existing graves in St Mary’s churchyard is soon to go online. So far over 9,500 names have been added to the database.

Weekly project updates have been posted on social media including Facebook.

The project also owes a huge debt to local artist Peter Archer, sadly no longer with us. However, before he died, he drew and painted a number of pictures for the project to show what the inhabitants of Cowtown would have looked like and as a result will be a lasting tribute to his wonderful work. Peter’s illustrations also complement the project Primary School Key Stage 1+2 ‘Victorian Britain’ (Brixham) booklet and story-bag. The contents of which include a pair of ‘Workhouse Children’ thanks to Martine Brumwell, a cat and mouse, thanks to Angela Trayhorn plus samples of ‘oakum’ and ‘junk’ old rope unpicked by the workhouse children and then added to tar to waterproof wooded hulls.

Churston Grammar School VIth Form Photographic Studies Students have also joined our project team and their photo studies will be displayed in our March 23rd Exhibition in St Mary’s Church.

To further illustrate the project, an aerial map has been painted by Dave Brumwell to show the area as it would have looked at the end of the 19thcentury. In addition, a very fine tapestry by Barbara Dawes has been made. Finally, a scale model of the church and the churchyard has been created by local model maker Paul Bennett to recapture the many features lost through the passage of time. Both the model and painting will be on permanent display in St Mary’s Church from March 23rd.

A number of Cowtown family histories have been written and illustrated by team member Jenny Crisp. These have been put on DVD and will form another part of our Key Stage 1+2 ‘Victorian Britain’ (Brixham) educational packs. The DVD’s will be streamed on our website.

Written by team member and ecologist Nigel Wood an introduction to ‘The Lichens of St Mary’s Graveyard Brixham’ has been written proving that the Graveyard is a living space for wildlife. The guide is in leaflet form and will be available at our exhibition and downloadable from our website.

Project member Nina Hannaford has created a series of ‘Cowtown Walks’. These guided/historical walks of the parish will be on display at our exhibition and will be downloadable from our website.

Date for your Diary – Saturday 23 March 2019  The project’s climax comes with an exhibition of all of the above work in St Mary’s Church on Saturday 23 March 2019 when project members will be there to tell you about all that has been achieved. Paul Bennet’s scale model is to be unveiled at 2.30pm which opens the exhibition.

A concert entitled ‘Cowtown in Words and Music’, is being held in the church in the evening, the proceeds of which are being donated to the St Mary’s Church Tower Appeal Fund which is in urgent need of restoration.

Doors open at 7pm, tickets will include a ‘glass of wine’ and will be £5 for adults and children have FREE entrance. Performers include Harpin’ Mad, Folk Inspired, Missin’ Tackle Shanty Crew and Friends with ‘Words’ from ‘Victorian Cowtown’ spoken by members of South Devon Players written in part by local playwright David Murphy.

As I am sure you will agree, the project has achieved an incredible amount of work which will provide a lasting legacy for people interested in and researching into the history of Cow Town, Brixham. FoBL acknowledges the dedication and enthusiasm of all those involved and my thanks go to all for them for everything they have achieved.

Library Shop

For many years now libraries have embraced the need to create their own income, generating funds in a variety of different ways. This can at first seem daunting and alien to those who have worked in local authorities for many years. However, it can also be inspiring, motivational and, once targets are met,  can see real returns to each individual library. In Brixham, the sale of spectacles, cards as well as seasonal calendars and other offers has almost become part of the furniture. Now  the library has a wide range of stationery items for sale at very reasonable and competitive prices. These include fun items for the children as well as something for your office needs. So next time you’re in the library do take a look as you’ll be helping the staff and you may come away with something to tick off your shopping list too. For more information about this, do ask the staff as Emma and her team will be pleased to help you.

Coffee Morning Update

Our next coffee morning is being held on Friday 5 April between 10.00 – 12.00 noon. We hope to hold a plant sale and any plants you can bring along on the day for sale would be much appreciated.

Our last coffee morning raised £161.51 of which £75.00 was raised through the selling of silk flowers that were donated by one of our members. We were also selling jars of marmalade which sold very quickly. All in all, another very successful morning and once again thank you for your continuing support. If you have any similar ideas for future coffee mornings, do talk to us about them.

Eunice Dodd (Secretary)