Friends Matter – August Update

Welcome to the August edition of Friends Matter and since our last edition, Brixham Library has reopened.

The bunting is up and although the hours may be reduced you will of course receive a huge welcome from Emma and her team. It’s been a huge learning curve for them, but they are proving that a library can be open under pandemic conditions. Their experience as one of the four libraries that reopened at the beginning of July will hopefully help others to follow in their wake. However, you may be wondering how the staff coped during our recent period of lockdown, so, here’s their story through the eyes of Emma and Sarah:


Life at the coal face: Emma’s story….

When I closed the library doors on Friday 20th March, I never thought the next time I would open them would Monday 6th July! Very emotional.

Working from home has been a roller-coaster to say the least. We’ve all had tears, laughter and lots of learning. Oh, and SO many Zoom* calls, which my 5-year old son managed to gate-crash nearly every one of them, either needing something to eat or drink, or just wanting the camera to be on him!

Like so many people, juggling working from home and home schooling our children, we have all found it difficult. Sarah and Becca have done an amazing job delivering ‘Music, Rhythm and Rhyme’. I remember Sarah doing a live session and the microphone wasn’t on, so I tried phoning her mobile, home phone and texting her as we could not hear her. Sarah’s husband who was “DJ” unplugged the home phone as he thought everyone watching could hear it ringing. I even sent Sarah’s son a message to say we couldn’t hear her. After the session Sarah phoned me and we had a great laugh over it. Loads of people commented that we couldn’t hear it but because of the actions we knew what song she was doing.

We also had another funny experience when a member of staff shared an author’s promotional clip on Facebook and didn’t realise that at the end they said a swear word and we had to try and delete it, through the laughter we now know to watch it to the end before sharing something .

Michelle said she has also had to learn how to edit craft videos because once it is done and she watches it back she finds her children or husband are in the background!

We all have had to get use to a new way of working, which was scary as none of us where familiar with posting live/scheduled video, editing them and social media in general. But we did it! and I couldn’t be prouder of my team.

I have to say a BIG thank you to Alasdair who answered my cheeky messages about letting workmen into the library early in the morning, meaning I wouldn’t need to travel. Most of these being last minute. Thank you, my old man, I really appreciate it.

The power of a library card is so under-estimated, as we had an email from someone who found a purse and they contacted us as the person had a library card. Becca picked up the purse and delivered it straight to our customer.

Brixham library had the phone forward to myself (only library to do this) I tried to answer every call I could. I had a call late on a Saturday evening from a lady that lived up country and was worried about the welfare of her friend. (sorry I can’t go into details), but I contacted the police and Sarah dropped on some food for him within half an hour of the call.

Finally, when I got the call to say we could be the pilot library in Torbay we all had mixed emotions. Happy to be finally opening our doors again but also worried as we would not be able to help people like we would normally do. Thankfully, most people have been amazing and so pleased we have opened. We have had lots of IT issues in the first week and many people have travelled from Torquay and Paignton to use the computers, so, they were understandable frustrated. But hopefully this is all now sorted.

Thank you all for being amazing and supporting us throughout this difficult time.

Kind regards, Emma

Emma Aydemir – Team Leader, Brixham Libra

NB: Zoom – a relatively new piece of software designed to help on-line meetings. Other similar software is available known as Googles ‘Meet’ & Microsoft ‘Teams’.

Sarah’s Story

For me the biggest challenge at the beginning of Lockdown was my technophobia and lack of skills around social media. On the very first day of working from home I was asked to download Zoom and Trello, neither of which I had heard of, let alone used. I also had to learn very quickly to improve my Facebook skills!

When I did the first live MRR from the library, I found I was getting messages popping up from old colleagues from years ago, as well as far flung friends and family, and as I carried on singing, I wondered how come all these people followed Brixham Library. It turns out I had been broadcasting live on my own personal Facebook page, and not the library’s.

Sound has been an issue. On my first ever Zoom meeting, having struggled to work out how to log on etc, I found everyone chatting away (all Torbay library staff) but I couldn’t work out how to get sound. I was texting Emma to ask if she could hear me, which she couldn’t so I resorted to holding up pieces of paper with what I wanted to say written on. In time I did eventually work out how to converse!

Sound issues were also a problem on one of the Music Rhythm and Rhyme sessions. For some reason I was broadcasting live but no sound was coming out for those watching. People were messaging in the comments that they couldn’t hear, but I couldn’t see these. Emma tried to phone me on my mobile to tell me, but I had turned it to silent while I was doing the music live. Emma then tried to ring my home number, and my husband ran and turned the phone off at the wall, so we weren’t disturbed. Eventually we came to the end of the broadcast not knowing it had all been silent. One of our parents had posted “we can’t hear you but don’t worry we can tell what you are doing by the actions, you do the actions and we will do the singing!” This session became known as the “music rhythm and mime” session.

One last incident was a lesson in not sharing items indiscriminately on Facebook. I saw Sarah Millican talking on her Facebook page saying that she would be reading excerpts from her book “how to be champion” and I shared this on the library page. However, I hadn’t watched it to the end. Having posted it and then watched it I knew all about the book, when it would be read each day etc and she ended with “so join me then, and in the meantime, stay safe, stay home and wash your f****ing hands!” I went totally into panic mode having shared this on the library page, and although I knew how to delete things of course, on this occasion it wouldn’t give me the option to delete. I phoned Becca and Michelle, who are far more computer savvy than me for help, but neither were answering their mobiles. I rang Emma, and she couldn’t stop laughing, I think panic and hysteria had hit. Neither of us could remove the post. Then my 15-year old son just walked into the room, pressed a few keys, deleted the post and walked out without saying anything. Disaster averted, and lesson learnt!

By the end of lockdown, I was able to create and edit films, and have become more confident and I hope a little more proficient.

My highlight of the lockdown has to be the brilliant Book cover challenge. So many people of all ages joined in with real humour, and it was so uplifting for us. They are still available to see on our Facebook page if you click on photos and the book cover challenge album if anyone missed it!

Best wishes, Sarah.

Sarah – Library Assistant, Brixham Library

Window Boxes

During lockdown it wasn’t possible to keep our planters outside the library alive and watered. However, local gardener and horticulturalist John Harvey came to the rescue with an offer to tidy up the plants and replace them for us. Having had a working group down to tidy up the entrance and ramp areas they were swept, clean and tidy but lacked something with the empty boxes. So early one Wednesday morning, I met up with John and Yvonne to get some planting done and they will look lovely once the begonias have settled down in their new home. Thank you to John for supplying the plants and for his generosity of time and to Yvonne for all her help.

And now about me …

Profuse apologies for a personal plug but I am pleased to announce that I have recently been elected by representatives of Friends groups in both Devon and Torbay to join the Executive Board of Libraries Unlimited. My tenure is initially for three years and whilst representing the needs and views of Friends groups I will of course be taking on a wider role as a Board member. I take this opportunity to thank the FoBL committee for their full support and I now look forward to my first meeting in September either in person or by using Zoom.


In recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet up with two of our members who have a holiday home in Brixham but haven’t been able to visit for a while, mostly because of the pandemic. It was a wonderful opportunity to get some feedback from them about the newsletter. Whilst being limited by the copy that is available each month, they both liked our newsy style and the breadth of library topics covered.

Contributions , whether text and or photographs would be much appreciated and can be left for my attention in the library or e-mailed to the FoBL contact address

Summer Activities

We have been told that that for the time being normal children’s activities will not be going ahead for the rest of the year and into next. As the library would normally be doing things throughout the summer and during half term holidays, the library is hoping to make up some activity packs. Each will have a theme and we have been asked to make a contribution towards the resources that they will need. One of the suppliers has a sale on so we hope to get good value from the money we spend. Our thanks to Emma and the girls for making the most of an opportunity to help our younger users during the holidays.

News from the Membership Secretary

Angie has asked me pass on her thanks thank to all those people who have renewed their FOBL membership for this year. This is also a reminder to the outstanding people that £5 can be put in an envelope labelled with your name & last year’s number & dropped into the library or returned via the book drop box. 2019/2020 cards will remain valid this year provided membership has been renewed. Payment enables us to continue to support library activities as mentioned in the previous article.

Remember your Mask







And finally……


Alasdair Anderson,

Chairman – The Friends of Brixham Library July 2020

Friends Matter – July 2020 – AGM Special

Welcome to the July edition of Friends Matter

The months, weeks and days have affected us all, in one way or another as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Even now, as life slowly returns to normal our everyday lives are daily being influenced by the changes being announced of what we can do with regular updates from the government.

Brixham Library Reopens

The good news is that from Monday 6 July 2020, our library in Brixham will be reopening its doors. Whilst every attempt is being made to provide as good a service as possible, safety is at the top of the agenda for both library users and library staff. Thus, the library will open with reduced opening hours to enable the staff to have time to regularly clean and sanitise the library where it is appropriate to do so. At the time of writing the planned opening hours are as follows:

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 10.00 – 12.00 & 14.00 – 16.00 Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 10.00 – 12.00

You will be able to return your books by dropping them off in the entrance way before entering the library with a hand sanitising station available for your use. Directional guidance is in place on both floors and a one-way system will be in operation. Access to the first floor will be via the back stairs behind the lift, returning to the ground floor by the main stairs. As well as being able to borrow books again you will be able to book time on the computers and the photocopier will be available for use. Unfortunately, the Childrens Library will be closed, but the staff will be able to help you if books are required. It is hoped that the Childrens Library will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Finally, staff will be in the building to help where they can.

All library users are asked to respect the current social distancing rules (1 metre+ rule in distancing) and to keep physical handling of books to a minimum. Returned books will be isolated for 72 hours before being returned to the shelves.

During lockdown you may be interested to learn that none of the library staff were furloughed as they continued to work their normal hours. With a mixture of working from home and working in the library they have:

●  Undertaken regular on-line Baby bounce & rhyme time sessions.

●  Undertaken regular story times.

●  Formatted activities for children and young people to do at home.

●  Kept regular updates of events etc on social media – e.g. Facebook & Twitter.

●  Kept in contact with older library members to help reduce the feeling of being home alone.

●  Taken the opportunity to catch up with their training needs.

●  Participated in meetings via Zoom.

I was saddened to learn that a minority of people in Torbay have criticised staff for libraries not being open during lockdown. However, whilst plans were in place for a reduced service to be put into operation, it was a government decision that libraries should close at the start of the pandemic and Libraries Unlimited had no alternative but to comply. With the library reopening on Monday 6 July, this will be a very new experience for all the library staff, so a heartfelt plea goes out to ask that we support, respect and show appreciation for their efforts in these difficult times.

It is hoped that other libraries in the Bay will benefit from Brixham’s experiences and will be able to open in the weeks to come.

Annual General Meeting

In the light of the pandemic and current restrictions on numbers that can gather together, our AGM this month has been deferred until a suitable date can be rearranged. We apologise for having to make this decision. The committee looked at alternative ways of holding such a meeting, e.g. our AGM in a Zoom format on-line but decided against it as many members don’t have access to such a facility.

Thus, you will find some summary reports completed by officers to bridge the gap which I hope you will find of interest and also as a reminder that the show does go on. My thanks to all who have submitted the following for your perusal.

Chairman’s Update Report

This last year, prior to the pandemic, has continued to see FoBL flourish with its many events and activities adding funds to the coffers. Thus, we were able to make a considerable financial contribution towards the refurbishment of the library which took place last autumn, putting new life into the building and making good those areas that were well worn and had a tired feeling. The results, I am sure you will all agree have made the building light and airy again with clean and modern lines. Once again, we have supported the library sponsoring prizes for last year’s summer reading challenge, materials for children’s events and activities as well the maintenance of the external defibrillator, amongst other things. Our monthly coffee mornings have been a huge success becoming a regular diary date for so many of you.

The committee meets regularly and I take this opportunity to thank both past and present members for their help, support and the work they put into making the group work so well.

Our thanks to all those who support us through their talks, supporting events and to the retail outlets who participate in our loyalty card scheme.

FoBL is a member of Brixham Chamber of Commerce. We were due to give a talk in their Spring programme but unfortunately this has been delayed due to the pandemic. The Chamber produces a street map of Brixham for the benefit of visitors to the town and I am pleased to report that the library will be prominently marked on the next edition of this map.

As part of the refurbishment, FoBL worked closely with Brixham Town Council and Libraries Unlimited to site BTC’s Information Point in the Library. Prior to lockdown a member of BTC staff also made themselves available to work in the library to assist with any enquiries.

I will of course be reporting more fully when our AGM takes place, hopefully later in the year but any queries can be forwarded to me for my attention.

Alasdair Anderson Chairman, FoBL

Membership Secretary

Dear Friends

Due to the unique times we are currently living in there will be some slight changes to membership card arrangements this year.

Thank you everyone who has paid by direct debit, I have a record of your payments. Friends who pay by cash may still do so by putting their £5.00 payment in an envelope, clearly marked with your name and membership number from your existing card. Please also add any changes to your contact details. This envelope can be put in the library drop box.

For this year only, your existing card will remain valid provided your subscription has been paid! I will contact all our wonderful partners who offer discounts to ask them to recognise your card and continue to apply their benefits.

It is with sadness we can’t offer the planned social events to include the Friday coffee morning. Pleased be assured normal service will be resumed as soon as it is safe and sensible to do so.

Thank you for your patience Angie Robson
Membership Secretary, FoBL

Treasurers Update



Finally, in the interim period the committee members are as follows:

Chairman     Alasdair Anderson

Secretary      Eunice Dodd / Kim Jackson*

Treasurer     Jo Gale

Membership Secretary Angie Robson

Events Co-ordinator Helen Kelly

Web Liaison  Kim Jackson

Coffee Morning Liaison Eunice Dodd

Committee Member  Hilary Bligh

*Eunice has indicated that she will be stepping down from the position of Secretary, a position she has held for three years now. We have all appreciated her hard work, enthusiasm and help and are pleased that she will continue on the committee in her liaison role relating to our regular coffee mornings. Thus, I am pleased to welcome Kim as she takes over the secretarial role from Eunice.

If anyone is interested in joining us on the committee, please do get in touch. Our meetings tend to be quarterly and I can honestly say having spent a lifetime in meetings of one sort or another, they are often great fun and very relaxing whilst at the same time work does get done. We would ideally like someone to organise our volunteers at future events, a role that is not arduous but lovely for someone who likes people and something that takes place intermittently.

Walking for Health

For those who enjoy our regular Monday morning walks, the latest advice from the Ramblers Association is that walking groups should be no larger than a group of six walkers. As it happens, small groups have been walking on a Monday anyway and what better way to be able to spend time enjoying our wonderful coastal path in the summer weather. However, our regular Monday programme is still on hold until further notice. For your information the advice continues to be:

●  Limit your group size to a maximum of 6 people – 1 walk leader, plus 5 walkers.

●  Follow the latest guidelines on physical distancing and hygiene.

●  Take steps to assess and reduce the risks on group walks.

Something a bit different….
If you would like a personal challenge with a difference, then do follow the link below. We are all familiar with jigsaws but not necessarily jigsaws in a digital format. They require both eye and hand coordination and perhaps with a drink it may be challenging and more fun! Thanks to the Toronto Public Library Service for this link


And finally……

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John Harriman

We are sad to announce the death of FoBL member John Harriman who died on Monday 25th May at Hill House Nursing Home. John was the husband of Jenny Harriman, our former Chair and was active in supporting her in this role.

John had Lewy Body Dementia which is difficult to diagnose. It appears later as Parkinson’s shake.

John overcame this illness for many years and continued enjoying playing Bridge at national level (he was a life master), cycling, swimming, supporting Leicester City and birdwatching; encouraging Jenny to arrange FoBL classes with Mike Langham.

Covid has enabled Jenny and Sam to arrange special celebrations of his life, with a 5 am birdwatch at Berry Head with Mike and a private family service at East Devon Crematorium on 2nd June. Donations to the Lewy Body Society are welcomed in his memory and may be given at

The overwhelming memory people have of John was as a kind and gentle man, no one could doubt his love and loyalty for his family and friends.

On behalf of all FoBL members and friends we send our condolences to Jenny and family at this sad time

Alastair Anderson

Chairman, The Friends of Brixham Library

June 2020


May Update

The coronavirus epidemic continues to influence our daily lives in so many individual ways. None more so than for the library staff who continue to support and develop the service behind the scenes. I take this opportunity to thank all the Brixham girls as they rise to the challenge of providing a virtual service through their activities on-line. Whether it be competitions, on-line stories or Baby, Bounce & Rhyme, they have been there to support our children and young people through this difficult time. For the rest of us, the promotion of reading through e-books, for example ‘Libby’, whether in a print or audio format and other goodies have been widely promoted through the Brixham Library and FoBL Facebook pages. All these details can also be found on the Libraries Unlimited website.


In the meantime, we all have an opportunity to read whatever is available. Whether it be forgotten books lost in the bookcase, volumes that you never thought you’d read or books shared with neighbours, friends, family or discovered whilst out on one’s daily walk, the fact remains that reading still plays an important part in all our lives.


I know that some of you are worried that your books may be overdue and incurring fines as a result. Be assured that you will not be charged fines during this period of the library being closed. If this still worries you, books can be posted through the library letter box using the book drop facility and will be dealt with the next time a member of staff is visiting the library.


At the time of writing this we don’t have any information of when libraries will be reopening and when they do, what services will be provided. However, we can only hope that it won’t be too long before we will be browsing amongst the bookshelves and the overriding consideration must be that they open safely with safe distancing being a major consideration.



One day this will all be over. When it is, we at Brixham Library want to celebrate…and what community event would be complete without swathes of colourful bunting!?
So, we are asking our locked-down library friends to help us create bunting flags for us. Whilst we have been closed during the Coronavirus lockdown it has been easy enough for us to engage with some of our service users online. However, apart from ‘phone calls to our most vulnerable customers; we are finding it difficult to interact with those who are not internet users. Our bunting project is a way of helping isolated people feel a part of the community under lockdown and for us all to look forward to a brighter ‘bunting decorated’ future. So please HELP SPREAD THE WORD…
How to make your bunting: We are asking contributors to make triangular flag bunting with dimensions of 5” across the top and 6” from the top to bottom. You can use any fabric, single or double layered, in any colour and sew, glue or staple depending on your level of skill! Once the lockdown is lifted and the library reopens you can deliver your bunting flags to us or pop through our book drop. If you are housebound just give us a call and we will arrange to come and collect the flags from you.
Friends of Brixham Library #buntingproject #lockdowncraft #librariesfromhome#keepsmilingbrixham #wewillmeetagain


And finally……

I have taken the liberty of copying this from a friends Facebook page, but you can’t not smile when you see it!!

A message from Emma

Hello Everyone

On what should of been our first Friday of the month coffee morning I am currently working from home with no cake! and no lovely smell of coffee.

I hope you are all keeping well.There are a few things I wanted to let you know:

Please do not worry about your books being overdue as all charges have been stopped and our IT team are working on renewing everyone’s books to the end of June.

We are still trying to provide a Library service for you all through this difficult time, this has to be in the digital form at the moment.  Please do follow the Brixham Library page on Facebook as we have lots of things going on. We have Live Music Rhythm and Rhyme sessions, quizzes, storytime and much more. Please do let us know if you have any ideas on what else we can do.

I wanted to let you know that 363 new eAudio has been added to Borrow Box which now has a collection of over 2000 titles.

4288 new eBooks and eAudio have been added to the Libby app and it now has 20,400 titles.

Don’t forget you can also read magazines on the RBdigital app.

On all these apps you will need your pin number, if you do not know it please do email us at and we can help you.

Stay safe everyone and we are really looking forward to see you all again soon.

Kind regards


Emma Aydemir, Team Leader, Brixham Library

Brixham Library – Coronavirus Update and Beyond

In case you aren’t aware this was the message sent out by the Librarians when Brixham Library closed until further notice:

It is with great regret that we have had to let you know that in view of the latest guidelines, we are now unable to open for our 2 hour sessions; we understand how disappointing this will be for our customers but hope you understand that it’s with a view to keeping you all safe.

Although Brixham Library will be closed until further notice…..The online library remains open 24/7 – visit for FREE ebooks, audiobooks and magazines. (if you don’t know your PIN, then please give us a call – 01803 853870) We have the following available online:

Libby app – Download the Libby app Find your Library (Torbay Libraries) Enter your Library card number Borrow a title & start reading BorrowBox – Install the BorrowBox app Select your Library Service (Torbay Libraries) Activate with your Library membership Borrow eAudiobooks rb Digital – Download the app Select your Library Enter your Library Card number Choose a magazine to read.

We will be working and contactable via email at, Facebook, Twitter and the phone on 01803 853870 so please keep in touch. Borrowed items can be renewed online or over the phone. Our book drop letterbox is also available for returning items if you are out for a walk. Wishing all of our customers our very best wishes in these difficult times, we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Looking to the future – Wanted: Childrens Jigsaws

Brixham Library has a small collection of jigsaws in the Children’s Library which unfortunately, is depleting due to old age and missing pieces. If anyone has any children’s jigsaws that they would like to donate to the library, they would be very much appreciated.

Head in the Clouds: 37 Years of Flying


Thanks to Kate & Bruce Graeme-Cook for their afternoon with us in the library. An inspiring talk about Bruce’s career in flying followed by a ‘must have’ cream tea provided by Kate. We were so pleased that so many of you came along as the afternoon was a sell-out. So, this is an opportunity to thank everyone for their support.








An offer of IT Help

The following was received in my ‘in-box’ which I am pleased to pass on. Mike is a long standing FoBL member and many will already know of his genius with anything to do with IT. He says, ‘at this strange time when we are all told to stay at home, technology is enabling us to stay connected with friends and family’.  If you are having problems with your laptops, tablets and phones Mike O’Donnell will try to help.  Give him a call on 01803 844013. Secondly, if there is anyone else out there with a similar interest and would also like to help please let Mike or myself know.

And finally…….

Library closure

A message from our Librarian, Emma Aydemir:
It is with great regret that we have had to let you know that in view of the latest guidelines, we are now unable to open for our 2 hour sessions; we understand how disappointing this will be for our customers but hope you understand that it’s with a view to keeping you all safe. 
Although Brixham Library will be closed until further notice…..The online library remains open 24/7 – visit for FREE ebooks, audiobooks and magazines. (if you don’t know your PIN, then please give us a call – 01803 853870) 
We have the following available online:
Libby app –  Download the Libby app
                      Find your Library (Torbay Libraries)
                      Enter your Library card number
                      Borrow a title & start reading
BorrowBox – Install the BorrowBox app
                       Select your Library Service (Torbay Libraries)
                       Activate with your Library membership
                       Borrow eAudiobooks
rb Digital –    Download the app
                       Select your Library
                       Enter your Library Card number
                       Choose a magazine to read
We will be working and contactable via email at, Facebook, Twitter and the phone on 01803 853870 so please keep in touch. 
Borrowed items can be renewed online or over the phone. Our book drop letterbox is also available for returning items if you are out for a walk. 
Wishing all of our customers our very best wishes in these difficult times, we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Corona Virus – Important Message to FoBL Members

In the light of the government announcements and as many of our members are near or over the age of 70 or fall within the category of those with underlying health conditions, we have taken the decision to cancel all FoBL events until further notice. This is a huge disappointment but we are not alone in making such decisions.

First Friday of the Month Coffee Morning

These have been cancelled until further notice.


Met Office Open Day – Saturday 23 May 2020.

This visit has been cancelled by the Met Office and we hope to be able to rearrange it later in the year. If you have already paid for a place to attend the open day then our Treasurer will be refunding your money as soon as she is able to and will advise you when this can be collected from the library.


Walking for Health – Monday Walk

Until further notice these are now on hold and although we would encourage all to continue to take regular exercise, we are also mindful that our Monday walks are also great social occasions. It is because of this that we felt they should be cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Finally, the latest advice from Libraries Unlimited and their commissioners Devon County Council & Torbay Council is that all libraries will be remaining open as normal. All library users are being asked to follow government guidelines relating to self-isolation. If in any doubt please contact Brixham Library 01803 853870 who will confirm which events have been cancelled etc.

In conclusion, these are challenging times and for the foreseeable future life will be very different for us all. Fortunately, we all recognise the power of reading and for once we will all have the opportunity to do just that and find time to read.


Friends Matter – February Update

Farewell January….

As many of us say farewell to January, it will be a month they are pleased to leave behind. With huge amounts of flu doing the rounds along with seasonal coughs and colds it’s not been a good month for many. So spare a thought for the library staff when you next visit and try to leave your infections etc behind you as being on the front-line they get hit with everything that’s going and unlike some public sector workers they aren’t entitled to a free flu-jab!! Rant over and we can all look forward to warmer spring days to come.

Coffee Morning 7 February  – free cake when you borrow a book!!


Our next coffee morning is on Friday 7 February between 10.00 – 12.00 noon. We have been so pleased with the numbers of you coming along each month, but we would like to push the boundaries even more. One of the ways that Libraries Unlimited measure the performance of each library is by monitoring the loan of books each day. So, at this coming coffee morning if you produce a book receipt showing that you have borrowed more than one book from the library on the day of the coffee morning, you will be entitled to a free piece of cake (whilst stocks last) with your coffee. Thus, we can all do our bit to help the library cause – go on you know it makes sense!!


But do you find borrowing a book from our library easy?  If not, the committee will be available to help explain how to borrow and return books etc. Comments from a number of you have made us see that there are a number of people who might attend the coffee mornings but have no real idea of how a library works now. So, if you’d like to know more, both library staff and the FoBL committee are there to help you.

FoBL Events programme – January to July 2020

Huge thanks to all involved in putting together our events programme for the start of this year. We hope there is something for everyone and like last year it lists events and activities until the end of July, and we will be producing a second programme later in the year. Many of you expressed concern about the small type face used in previous years, so we hope you’ll approve. As always to avoid disappointment do book places early and pay in advance to secure you a place and all bookings can be made at the Library Help Desk.

Future Events include:
Lifesaving Skills with Helen – Wednesday 29 January 10.30-11.30 – a free event, a few tickets are still available

Quiz Night – Friday 7 February – doors open at 7.00pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets £3.50 per person. We understand a couple of tickets are still available, so book up quick!

Talk – The Berryhead Hotel over the last 25 years – Date to be confirmed.

Health Walks Update.

We are very sorry to say that our regular afternoon Tuesday health walk is no more. Both Joy and Sharon have led these weekly walks for many years, and we were pleased that they continued to lead them when FoBL took over responsibility for the walks from the health authority. However, a combination of declining numbers and difficulties leading on such a regular basis mean that they have been discontinued. Our thanks go to all those involved over the years and if anyone feels like taking on the challenge and starting them up again do come and talk to us. However, I am very pleased to say that attendance on the Monday walk continues to thrive and information about this regular walk can be found in the new events programme.

Brixham Commemorates VE Day

John Brennan from Brixham Futures writes:

‘Our thank to the `FRIENDS OF BRIXHAM LIBRARY` for the £100 Donation [note from editor: this was the payment to advertise Library services, not a donation] to VE events. We hope that all your Members will be pleased with the adverts in the Brochure. Hopefully there will be a large FOBL presence at all the VE Events -but please publicize so people get into diaries etc!  Please highlight to your FOBL Members the following:

1) FREE Launch Thursday 7th May 7pm- Conservative Club -all your Members invited  
2)FREE Friday  8th May -Public Parade from `Man & Boy` statue 1030am-All your Members invited
3) FREE Friday 8th May Service in Town Square 11am -1145am-All your Members invited
4) FREE Friday 8th May 12 Noon Reception Scala Hall-All your Members Invited
5) FREE Friday 8th May  3PM Concert -Baptist Church –All welcome ( first come for seating)
6) FREE Sunday 10th May 1045am -Service @ `All Saints`-All your Members invited
7) FREE Belgium/ Evacuees Reception 6pm-Conservative Club -All your Members invited
In total there are 40 FREE  public events planned as per brochure to which  everyone is welcome.

We do hope this major event in 2020 helps promote Brixham and its heritage.

Thank you for all your help.

Best wishes

John Brennan, Brixham Futures

And finally…….

January 2020

Happy New Year


Welcome to our first newsletter for 2020 and not only the start of the New Year but also for the start of a new decade. To start this January edition of the newsletter if you didn’t get around to making any New Year resolutions this year, why not take a leaf out of Maureen Chivers book and sign up to ‘Intentional Health taster Session’. This is part of a wider programme taking part in libraries throughout Devon & Torbay and anyone can become involved. I have included details supplied by Maureen below but further information about other related events and activities can be found in the library.

Maureen writes…….


I’m writing to ask you to give some publicity in the next Friends Matter to the Intentional Health Taster Session which I’m running at Brixham Library on Tuesday 14th January between 10.30am and 11.30am as part of ‘Active Life, Active Mind’.

Intentional Health is an excellent programme which takes a whole person approach to health and well-being.  I’m attaching a poster which gives an idea of the scope of the programme and mentions one taster session, but not the one at the library.

I’ve really benefitted from the programme and am sure that other Friends would, so I’d be grateful if you’d bring it to their attention and perhaps mention that it’s being run by a FOBL member.


Maureen Chivers

Torbay Council


In the run-up to Christmas I have received a letter from Torbay Council relating to their proposed ‘Torbay Council Cabinet Draft Budget 2020/21 Consultation’. Copies of this document are now available in the library and I seriously urge you to ask for a copy and share your thoughts on why you think Brixham Library plays an important part in your life and why it is important that no further cuts to the service are not considered.  Following the recent refurbishment I think we can sensibly argue that future investment in to our libraries is considered, whether it be in terms of an increased budget and/or increased opening hours, so that once again the library can provide a service that can be used by the whole community and not just those who can visit during daytime opening hours. It’s a big ask but the more that people respond, the more likely the decision makers will listen to what we as library users have to say.

In the meantime, we have been invited as a Friends group to offer our views as part of the consultation. Whilst we are happy to do this on your behalf, your own views are just as important and I cannot over emphasise the need to respond as individuals.



Forthcoming Events


Our events programme is still being worked on by Helen and we hope to see its publication in the near future. In the meantime, our next coffee morning is on Friday 7 February 2020 between 10.00 – 12.00 noon, so please make a note of this in your diary or on your calendar. In fact, why not ask a friend a neighbour who has never been to a coffee morning meet you there and show them around our wonderful library.


And finally…….