Friends Matter – October 2020

‘Seasons of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness’

With a truly autumnal feel to the air, as the last gasp of summer is almost behind us, we can look forward to the colours of autumn in all its glory. Whilst the thought of colder times to come, along with mixed weather messages, like every season autumn brings its own colourful images. Bright skies; tractors hard at work; the smell of fruit and spices as jam, pickling and other culinary activities take place and gardens begin to shut down for the winter. As you’ll see we have a packed newsletter with lots going on and invitations to all to help and play a part in our fundraising activities. Furthermore, you can enjoy autumn with us every Monday morning on our regular health walk around Berry Head. It only takes an hour with stops along the way and many of us finish with a coffee stop and chance for a natter. At the time of writing the ‘rule of 6’ is in place but as an official walking group we are exempt. Be assured, we still comply with social distancing and encourage smaller groups of six when taking the walk. We would like to think that common sense prevails, and every opportunity is taken to lessen the risk so that we can continue walking under Covid 19 conditions.

The Great Return


On Monday 7 September, Brixham Library returned to its normal hours of opening. You might wonder why I mention this but all through the pandemic, our library has been at the forefront of pushing the boundaries to enable its services to come back to you as soon as possible. In a sense, Emma and her team have been trialling what could be done to enable safe use for both staff and library users and their experiences have proved of huge benefit to the wider library community in both Torbay and Devon. As I write this, 48 of the 54 libraries are now open and in comparison, to library services in other parts of the UK are well ahead of the game. Library staff have been involved in conversations with libraries outside of the Devon area to learn from their experiences both in the UK and abroad and can well be considered market leaders in this respect. As libraries have reopened, take-up has been very varied and it will come as no surprise that in larger towns and cities, return numbers are lower than normal reflecting the change in lower high street visitor patterns as a result of the pandemic. However, for many the library was the first-place people had visited when venturing out for the first time, as they felt safe visiting, and this is surely an accolade to treasure and nurture with those who still have concerns about going out.

Loyalty Card News


We are always pleased to receive news from our loyalty card partners and none more so than from Chloe Pavely, who runs the Fishcombe Cove Café. Many of you will have seen articles in the local press and on local TV news as she championed her ‘Spend a Penny’ campaign. She writes:

With regards to Autumn, the cafe is now trading Tuesday – Sunday 11am until 4pm (weather depending). We hope the cafe will stay open until November this year, just after the October Half Term however this is weather dependent. 

 We have new items on the menu including new Italian Tascas, filled with exciting fillings, served hot to keep warm on autumnal days. Our bread bowls will be filled with tasty Homemade soups. And we have a range of gluten free and vegan cakes to accompany freshly ground coffee, fair trade tea or hot chocolate. 

 With regards to The Spend A Penny Project, we hosted a few fundraisers over the summer holidays, and have raised an incredible £3,000 in total. This will keep the toilet block open for the remainder of this year, and for next year. I plan to renovate them, hoping they will eventually enhance the area, I would like to put new sinks in and get electricity up and running too. This will all be down to Torbay Council allowing me to do so, but the support has been overwhelming so far.

 Such news above is always good to hear and we hope that you will continue to support our loyalty card partners as they support FoBL and in turn the library in so many different ways.


Brixham Maid

FoBL is pleased to welcome Brixham Maid to our loyalty card scheme. Sally opened the shop in Middle Street earlier this year and has a fine range of locally made jams, pickles and chutneys for sale and of course they are all her own work. Sally writes:

‘My mother was my inspiration, she taught me the value of homegrown produce.  From early childhood we would enjoy making seasonal jams, pickles and chutneys using freshly harvested ingredients from the garden. Many years on my passion for making preserves has been reignited through an abundance of crops grown on my allotment. I began experimenting, pairing, creating exciting flavours and with it my understanding for the science and art of preserving developed. Proving popular amongst friends and family the journey of Brixham Maid began. Brixham is home for me. I live with my husband, children and our Jack Russell ‘Josie’. Jam HQ is an old fisherman’s’ cottage over-looking the beautiful harbour – it’s where the magic happens’.

​If you haven’t visited yet, you won’t be disappointed as they not only taste good but make wonderful presents as well as treats. Sally is offering all current FoBL members a 10% discount if you spend more than £15.00. So, with Christmas on the far horizon this may help to solve all those gift problems for you.

For further information why not check out Sally’s website or just call into the shop.

44 Middle Street, Brixham, Devon, TQ5 8EJ.

Grand Raffle & Christmas Market Stall

With autumn and thoughts of Christmas starting to bubble to the surface, we have joined together with Brixham Library with a Seasonal Raffle. Tickets cost £1.00 each and are already available in the library. The draw is taking place on 13 December 2020 so there is plenty of time to encourage all your friends, neighbours and relatives to pop into the library to buy some and you never know perhaps borrow a book at the same time. Like any raffle it is only as good as its prizes and Emma would welcome any donations to add to her growing collection which amongst other things currently includes:

  • Taste hamper
  • Alexa show 5
  • Lipsy set
  • Brixham Maid hamper
  • 2 x children diy smiggle drinks kits and pencil case

There will be more prizes to follow.

This nicely leads into the next joint initiative as we are planning a Christmas Market Stall in the library selling a whole range of goodies and gifts. We hope to launch this towards the end of November and hopefully more news in the November newsletter. In the meantime, if you would like to donate jars of jam, pickles, relish or chutney, soft toys (made from safety compliant materials), craft items, Christmas cards and tree decorations, please do pop them into the library the next time you are passing. Many local shops have lots of Christmas themed fabrics and trimmings and Sandy in Brixham Sewing Box is always pleased to help and advice with ideas. We hope to be able to provide cover for the stall some of the time and the library have kindly agreed to fill in the gaps.

Proceeds from both the raffle and the stall will be split between Brixham Library and FoBL. In the absence of our normal income generation activities this year we will be able to fill the empty hole in our coffers so that we can continue to support the library in every way we can.

Brixham Museum

A recent e-mail sent to us may be of interest and reads as follows:
From: legendarytenseconds <>

I have just released a new album of songs about the history of Torbay and I am donating money to Torquay museum from the sale of the CDs. One of the songs is about William of Orange landing at Brixham. Here is a link to the song: –

The Pageant of Torbay Part One Poster

Here is a link to the album—part.html

Regards, Ian Churchward

Mob: 07484300210

 And Finally…..

CAPTION COMPETITION – no prizes but please send me your entries for publication in next month’s newsletter.















‘When you’ve worked all morning doing the laundry then you’d feel exhausted too!!’

Friends Matter September 2020


As we all continue to respond to life under Covid 19 conditions one might be asking do we need a recharge? Whether you’re looking for family inspiration, outdoor adventure or simply a place to pause, Brixham Library has the answer this summer. Whether at home, in the library or just out and about take a book with you, you can always read about how to paddle a canoe, what you can feed the ducks with or just read a book about somewhere beautiful. In times of stress, our libraries have even more to offer. So, why not reconnect with your family, with friends, or with your own inner-calm as you enjoy a good read.

A close friend brought the following to my attention. She writes, ‘I first saw this saying on one of the benches around the harbour when the Pom Pom angels were decorating them to cheer us up. I thought it was a lovely approach to managing the current situation. I don’t know who wrote it but it’s lovely!

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain!’

Couldn’t have put it better myself and I hope you all feel the same way!!

© – Photo by Kate Graeme-Cook from Elberry Common


September has in past years been the start of the autumn programme of events and activities. However, in these unsettled and unpredictable times all our activities are on hold and many of the planned events are being held until next year of which more later. Thanks, must go to all those who have been so understanding about this but then we are no different from others in the same boat. However, I am pleased to say that our Monday ‘Walking for Health’ walk is up and running, all be it by a modified route and we have been pleased at the numbers turning up. For some, it is still a mite early to join in such an activity but be assured we have social distancing in mind and a walk is always a good walk.

In our last newsletter we were able to share some of the experiences of lockdown from Emma and Sarah. Thus, I was pleased to receive the following in my mail which I am delighted to share with you. Julie writes:

‘Really enjoyed reading about the experiences of the librarians especially the Sarah Millican faux pas which cracked me up! I’d have laughed just as heartily if I’d read that in the original message.  It might even become my new mantra hahahaha.  The article will certainly help me view the young ladies in a more personal way’.

Future Events

With the onset of the pandemic our events and activities programme instantly went on hold and as time has gone on our restart date continues to be put back. However, Helen has been busy behind the scenes and has provided the following update for you as follows:

Hello Friends of Brixham Library

Well, much was organised for the Friends this year but unfortunately, due to circumstances completely out of our control, could not take place. 

So, moving positively forward to 2021 hopefully the following events can go ahead:

  • Talk and tour of Paignton Zoo
  • Evening meal and entertainment at Guardhouse Cafe Berry Head
  • Boules and Buffet at Berry Head Hotel
  • Visits to The Met Office in Exeter.
  • Visit/Tour to Exeter Cathedral
  • Wine Tasting with nibbles at the Wine Loft in Brixham
  • Fish and Chip evening with entertainment 
  • Evening boat trips.

And anything else that comes along………

Happy to look into any suggestions from Friends regarding trips / talks etc. They can be left with the staff at Brixham Library for me.

 Here’s to 2021.


Walking for Health – Monday Walk as from Monday 10 August 2020

Brixham Bay Walks – Restarting the Monday Walk

After this long pause Walking for Health have now given the green light to restart group walks.

All walks have to be managed in line with all Government guidance like social distancing and limitation on numbers to keep us all safe.

We would ask that we all wear face coverings at least for the start of the walk while we all congregated together.  The route will be along the footpath next to Berry Head Road as this will avoid the stiles and narrow sections of the coast path.  Depending on the number of walkers we may need to split into two groups to keep within the guidelines.

We have to keep contact details of all walkers to give to Track and Trace teams if they are required, this is the sole purpose of this data that has to be kept for 21 days minimum.  Once the Covid emergency is over and the contact data is no longer required it will be destroyed.

 Coastal Path Walk to Berry Head

All are welcome on this walk, which is once again designed for a wide range of abilities. We meet at the rear of Douglas House in Gillard Road, Brixham at 10.00am every Monday morning whatever the weather.

For more information about these walks please contact:

Mike O’Donnell tel: 01803 844013    Alasdair Anderson tel: 01803 850255  

Outgoings – Jottings from the Treasurer

Since lockdown, whilst we have all missed all the events and activities of more normal times, we have still been active in supporting library needs. So far this year we have spent:

To LU for the Summer Reading Game                                                          £30.00

Prizes for Summer Reading Game                                                                £50.00

Recourses for activity packs                                                                           £60.00

Web Site                                                                                                                  £95.40

Replacement paddles and spares for the Defibrillator                      £206.40

So, if you have any doubts about paying your subs this year and just haven’t been able to pay them yet, your help through the annual subscriptions is a real help to us in continuing to support our library. I am also reminded that under current data protection legislation we are required to delete all personal information from our data base if subscriptions haven’t been renewed. This of course was put in place without a pandemic in mind and hopefully our annual fee of £5.00 is something you will feel happy to support or even consider as a donation for this year. Any queries please contact either Angie Robson, our Membership Secretary or myself, Jo Gale.

Photo from the Archives

This photo shows the previous library building that many will remember with great fondness. Originally opened as a drill hall it later became the Public Library in Brixham and was run by the County Council up until 1968 when the newly created County Borough of Torbay was formed. In 1974, library services transferred back into the county and the present library building was one of the few new builds by the then Devon Library & Information Services. The ornamental stonework above the entrance can be seen in Brixham Museum from time to time.

If you have any photos of past times, we would love to see them, along with any of your library anecdotes and recollections.


And finally……

Pronunciation Poem

I take it you already know

Of tough and bough and cough and dough?

Others may stumble, but not you,

On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.

Well done! And now you wish, perhaps

To learn of less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, a dreadful word,

That looks like beard and sounds like bird.

And dead – it’s said like bed not bead –

And for goodness’ sake don’t call it deed!

Watch out for meat and great and threat

(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt)

A moth is not the moth in mother,

Nor both in bother, broth in brother.

And here is not a match in there,

Nor dear and fear for bear and pear.

And then there’s dose and rose and lose –

Just look them up – and goose and choose,

And cork and work and card and ward,

And font and front and word and sword,

And do and go and thwart and cart –

Come, come I’ve hardly made a start.

A dreadful language? Man alive.

I’d mastered it when I was five.

Jennifer Wagner / Lynn Westmore


Stop Press

As from Monday 24 August the hours of opening for Brixham Library have been further extended as follows:

Mon, Tues & Thurs     10.00 – 12.30  13.30 – 16.00

Wed, Fri & Sat            10.00 – 12.30 


Do you have the missing raffle ticket?

Brixham Futures raffle was held on  Sunday 26 July, but the winner has not been found.  The winning ticket number is 0933.

The prize is either £2,000 in cash or holiday cruise (when restrictions are lifted
this year or next).

Details of how to claim are given on the ticket and the winner
must come forward by midnight on Sunday 23 August with proof of purchase. If
the prize is not claimed, then the draw will be made again after that date so do
not discard tickets until notification that the prize has been successfully claimed.

For further information please contact:

John Rudden: 01803 475739
John Brennan: 01803 852270

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……

page6image15499008 page6image15712256page6image1016432 page6image1016224

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…….