Apologies for the slight technical hitch. In the newsletter below the links will not operate yet. To visit our new donations page (see Summer Reading Challenge article), please click on: www.gofundme.com/f/friends-of-brixham-libraryFriends-Matter-May-2021-Rev
Welcome to another edition of Friends Matter and another full newsletter. The 1stApril is not only the start of many people’s financial year as the first twelve hours enable all sorts of horseplay and joke making but it is also a reminder that subs are due. Your annual membership fee of £5.00 we believe is still very good value, see the update from the Loyalty Card members below. Membership fees are our main income stream, they enable us to continue to invest in our library in support of the many activities and requirements that can’t be funded elsewhere. So, please add this to add your list of things to do and if you haven’t paid, why not make it even more painless by setting up a standing order.
Summer Reading Challenge
This summer the children of Brixham need the support of their library more than ever. So we have kicked off a campaign to raise money for the annual Summer Reading Challenge. It is going to run across the country, and the theme is Wild World Heroes – a challenge to read and learn about the world about us, and how to protect it. There will be books, rewards, and we want to make sure the children get all they need – books, medals, certificates – over the Summer to make the most of it.
The target has been raised to £1000 – please donate now to the Summer Reading Challenge. Just click on the link below to go straight to the Donations Page.
And we shall keep you updated on how much we have raised in the next newsletter.
Libraries Unlimited – Let the Countdown Begin
We’re steaming towards re-opening. Libraries Unlimited have been carefully following the latest Government advice and guidance to leisure facilities and will plan to re-open on Monday 12th April 2021.
From 12th April, Brixham Library will offer phased library reopening for book browsing, and computer sessions. Mobile Libraries will be back on the road offering book browsing for one bubble at a time. Please see Torbay Libraries website nearer the time for opening hours. All our covid-secure working practices will remain in place at this time and ongoing.
From 17th May, the rule of 6 will apply meaning that we can reopen meeting rooms for small groups of 6.
From 21st June, based on the government’s roadmap we should be able to expand our in-person offer, start to introduce events and offer meeting rooms for bigger groups.
The above timetable is subject to government guidance and potential change. Libraries Unlimited will continue to keep customers updated.
FoBL Web Master
FoBL takes this opportunity to thank Graham Offler as he steps down from the position of FoBL web master. Graham was instrumental in setting up the FoBL website initially using a free version of WordPress and as the site developed, recommending changes which made the site easier to use for everyone. Many of you will also have benefitted from his IT experience as he was one of the regular IT buddies helping out in both Brixham and Paignton libraries. In appreciation of his help and commitment, on behalf of FoBL members, I presented him with a token present of two bottles of wine which we know both Graham and Dinah will enjoy.
However, I am happy to announce that Clive Robson has kindly agreed to take over this role. Clive has many years’ experience, working in IT and his skills and expertise will be both valued and appreciated just as Grahams were.
Reader Looking for a new home:
A desk top reader and magnifier made by Presto Ash has recently become available. If you or anyone you know who might it useful this could be for you. I understand that it is not being sold but perhaps a small voluntary donation to the Macular Society could be considered. It is in full working order but might be considered old technology now.
For further information please contact Tracey 01803 391755. The reader can be delivered locally if required.
Exercise Tiger, or Operation Tiger, was one of a series of large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day invasion of Normandy, which took place in April 1944 on Slapton Sands inDevon. Coordination and communication problems resulted in “friendly fire” deaths during the exercise, and an Allied convoy positioning itself for the landing was attacked by E-Boats of Nazi Germany’s Kriegsmarine, resulting in the deaths of at least 749 American servicemen.
Because of the impending invasion of Normandy, the incident was under the strictest secrecy at the time and was only nominally reported afterwards.
To find out more about Exercise Tiger, most of the books below are available to borrow from Torbay Libraries and like me I’m sure you’ll soon satisfy your own curiosity about this major event in Devon history.
- Exercise Tiger by Richard T. Bass.
- The American assault exercises at Slapton Sands Devon in 1944: Exercises Tiger and Fabius by Arthur C. Clamp.
- Pre-paring for D-Day: American assault exercises at Slapton Sands by Arthur C. Clamp.
- Belafonte’s return by Capt. Bob Curtis (Fiction) – local author
- The invasion before Normandy: the secret battle of Slapton Sands by Edwin P. Hoyt.
- Channel Firing: the tragedy of Exercise Tiger by Nigel Lewis.
- The Forgotten Dead by Ken Small – local author
- Magic Army by Leslie Thomas (Fiction)
Other titles not available in Torbay Libraries:
- Slapton Sands by Francis Cottam.
- Exercise Tiger: the forgotten sacrifice of the silent few by Wendy Lawrence.
- Exercise Tiger: the dramatic true story of a hidden tragedy of World War II by Nigel Lewis.
- Disaster before D-day: unravelling the tragedy at Slapton Sands by Stephen Wynn.
Walking for Health – Monday Walk
The recent period of lockdown has meant that we haven’t been able to continue with our regular Monday walks. However, in a recent communication from Catherine Williams, Sports Development Officer,
Community & Customer Services, Torbay Council, she says:
I hope everyone is keeping safe and well. Over the past few months, I have confirmed funding through Active Devon to be able to continue Baywalks under the new Ramblers Wellbeing Walks umbrella. I have also attended training covering the transfer of digital information over to the new system, over the coming months I will keep you informed with the progress. Essentially as Walk leaders the walks will not change but there may be more people joining you. I am hoping to encourage more people to become Walk Leaders for the Baywalks scheme and to be able to offer more walks that spread across Torbay. If you know of anyone interested in becoming a qualified Walk Leader please either contact Michael O’Donnell or myself via the FoBL website.
Finally, we will be following advice from Ramblers and currently they are hoping that from Monday 12 April our Monday walks will start up again as normal. We look forward to this but are mindful that because of the pandemic this cannot be guaranteed.
Feedback is always welcome and none so much following the March edition of Friends Matter as follows:
‘Nice FoBL newsletter Alasdair. L’s family dynamics mirror yours. They emigrated to Saskatchewan’. sent in by J
‘Great newsletter Alasdair really looked good and very interesting’. Sent in by A.
‘That’s a great newsletter and thank you for the write up – fantastic !!!’, sent in by Taste.
Loyalty Card News
As lockdown regulations at last begin to ease, our Loyalty card partners are all busy preparing for their new season. This month we have news from two of our local retailers. Many of you will have seen coverage of Fishcombe Café either on the BBC’s Spotlight News or in the Herald Express and Torbay Weekly newspapers. Chloe has been busy and is looking forward to seeing her customers again. She writes:
We are delighted to announce the cafe won Gold for the Cafe of The Year with Devon Tourism Awards, which has made us even more excited for what the new season will bring! The cafe will be opening the front hatch again from March 27th on a daily basis from 10.00am (closed Mondays).
We have some lovely events lined up, from interactive storytelling with a local performer & writer, wildlife talks with projects and events with local teams such as Health Scape to talk about cold water swimming. So, it’s fingers crossed for a summer with no social limits but lots of sunshine and family fun.
Our next stop is at Brixham Maid in Middle Street, Brixham. Sally has been able to open throughout the winter but with spring in mind she has made some welcome changes in the shop. The cheese counter from the now closed shop ‘Taste’ has found a new home, along with a display of delicious chocolates from the ‘Taste’ range. So along with Sally’s selection of locally made jams and pickles, your taste buds will just be wanting to try out many of these items on offer.
Sally makes many of her jams and chutneys in the shop, so it’s always worth popping in to see what’s in the making and she is always happy to talk about her products and the ingredients she uses in making these yummy preserves.
Joke of the month
What is the world’s tallest building? The library because it has the most stories!
Welcome to the March edition of Friends Matter and with Spring almost upon us we can start to put the dark days of winter behind us and enjoy seeing the first peeps of snowdrops, daffodils and other spring flowers in our gardens and parks as well as on our regular exercise walks. For many of our readers, faced with another daily commute from bedroom to kitchen table (“sorry I’m late CJ – unexpected congestion in the hall area”) while juggling the demands of home schooling, such thoughts must seem a world away.
I was reminded during the last few weeks how lucky I am to live at home with my wife as company and that for so many the pandemic has made loneliness a growing problem in our time. Of course, one doesn’t have to be self-isolating to feel lonely and it has often been said that one can feel lonely in a crowded room, or, in family situation with the family all around you. The pandemic has made many of us realise that we have the luxury of being able to communicate in so many ways. I say this because my grandparents’ communication in their younger days was restricted to letter, telegram and, for the well off, the telephone. When my grandmother’s elder sister emigrated to Vancouver in her early twenties, all communication until latter years was via post and only in their twilight years could they marvel at speaking across the great divide by telephone and even then, only for a very short time.
Today, the power of mobile phones, laptops and tablets using Texting, Zoom, Facetime, What’s App and all social media applications mean that it is so easy to catch up with friends and family. Thus, when an acquaintance fell at home breaking any number of bones, I decided to fall back on a traditional route, communicating with her by sending her a card. Technology is wonderful but the written word still retains the power of someone receiving something and being able to read a card or letter as many times as they wish. I am pleased to say my friend was thrilled to receive my card as she was recuperating in hospital feeling very alone. So, my message today is, there is always someone out there to talk to, and in the absence of meeting and visiting, now has to be a good time to get in touch and break the solitude of all those lonely hours that so many of us know only too well. Our library staff are doing just this, making contact with people they are aware of alone at home. We can all do our bit, for as the well-known BT advert used to say, ‘It’s good to talk’.
With this in mind, later in this newsletter there are details of two library initiatives that may be of interest in the form of the ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’ and the new ‘Reading Friends Group’, a lifeline for isolated new parents and carers in Devon & Torbay.
Membership update from Angie Robson, FoBL Membership Secretary
After a very unusual year we hope to get FOBL membership back on track. Thank you everyone who continues to pay their subscription by standing order and to the people who have paid in cash for 2020/21.
Membership payments of £5.00 are due on 1st April and it has been decided not to increase this. Money raised through annual subscriptions is an important part of our regular annual raising activities helping us to support Brixham Library.
Please do consider a standing order payment, it makes the process very painless!
If you did not renew your membership last year, due to data protection rules we are unable to retain your information for another year and you will need to complete a new application form. This is available on the website or from the library.
We are disappointed that the committee were unable to offer any special events last year, however the membership is still great value, it supports library projects and entitles you to 5 offers of any combination from the following:
- Free DVD hire
- Free CD hire
- Free reservations on any item from Torbay libraries
Your membership card can also be used as a loyalty card in a number of retail outlets in Brixham (details of participants on the FoBL website). Please note that any offers or benefits made by the retailer are offered on their own volition and are not prescribed by FoBL and hopefully are considered as privileges.
Cards for members who pay by standing order will be available in the library as soon as opening is allowed and for other members as soon as payment is received.
Membership cards this year are blue!
We very much hope we can all meet soon.
Loyalty Card News
Sadly, ‘Taste’ in Middle Street will be closing down at the end of February BUT the good news is Denise will be carrying on with her business ‘Taste’ from home. She will be selling her wonderful Belgian Chocolates, Italian and French Nougat, Turkish Delight and lots of other sweet treats. Keep an eye on Facebook and on Instagram for updates. Free local delivery or post to someone who deserves a treat. A website is being planned so you can order online. Taste will still be part of the loyalty card scheme.
Ides of March
The phrase ‘The ides of March’ is very familiar but what does it mean?
The Ides of March is the 74th day in the Romancalendar, corresponding to 15 March. It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts. In 44 BC, it became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar which made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history.
The Romans did not number each day of a month from the first to the last day. Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (the 5th or 7th, nine days inclusive before the Ides), the Ides(the 13th for most months, but the 15th in March, May, July, and October), and the Kalends (1st of the following month). Originally the Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, reflecting the lunar origin of the Roman calendar. In the earliest calendar, the Ides of March would have been the first full moon of the new year.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Libraries Unlimited – News Update
I hope you are all keeping well and hopefully starting to have your first vaccine ?. We miss seeing you all in the library.
As the library is still closed, we are continuing to offer Choose and Collect, please telephone/email on the morning you would like to collect your books.
We will be launching an adult reading challenge entitled – Bay Book Bimble- The Adult Reading Challenge. We are hoping to launch this in March. Each month there will be a topic or theme that you will need to read about. This challenge is to run right through to December. Everyone that has completed all of the challenges will be entered into the draw to win a prize! I will have more information on how you can take part very soon.
Emma has asked me to include the image below, some examples of new stock that has recently arrived in Torbay and there will be lots of other titles too.
Craft packs – over half-term the library have been making up Superhero craft packs helping to raise funds for the library. FoBL has just helped by paying for craft materials for future packs for forthcoming half terms and for the summer holidays to include the summer reading challenge. Being ever watchful, Emma has been able to make use of a clearance sale offer thus gaining some real bargains.
Join Brixham Library’s ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’
Did you know you can sign up as a Good Neighbour and collect books for them?
Our Good Neighbour membership is for family, friends or neighbours wishing to choose and deliver books to people not able to get to the library.
Contact Brixham Library to find out how to become a Good Neighbour and utilise our Choose and Collect service during lockdown on behalf of someone else.
New in 2021- Reading Friends Group
A lifeline for isolated new parents and carers in Devon & Torbay
We’re providing extra support for new parents and carers, who may be struggling with isolation and mental health problems during the pandemic, with our Reading Friends initiative.
Reading Friends is being launched under the Reading Agency’s ‘Read Talk Share’ 2021 campaign and aims to promote the use of books and reading to help mental health.
The scheme will run across all 54 libraries in Devon and Torbay. Reading Friends participants will get to chat with a member of staff on a one-to-one telephone call, providing a safe and trusted place where they can share how they’re doing and ask for support. There’s no pressure to read a book before the telephone session and the member of staff will support the discussion, which could include chatting about magazine articles, news items or a book.
Once libraries reopen and social distancing is relaxed, Reading Friends groups will meet in person, with toys and books for the children. If you’re interested in joining the Reading Friends group, or would like to find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dogs tied here will be stolen!’
It has been brought to our attention that many dog owners, particularly, elderly people have no idea how dangerous it is now to tie dogs outside shops or the library. One of our members stood with two elderly dogs outside Rea Barn Co-Op until the elderly owner came out and told her about how dog theft has gone up 270% in the past year and suggested she leave them at home next time she goes to the shops. She was very thankful as she had no idea of the risk
Feedback is always welcome and none so much following the February edition of Friends Matter as follows:
‘Thanks very much for sending this, was really good to read. ?’ sent in by E
‘Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed your new footer (I’m an administrator after all) and all the images’. Sent in by another E.
‘Just to say thank you for the FoBL newsletter, it was so cheerful and full of news, just what we need at the moment.’ Sent in by W.
If you’ve not been receiving a lot of your posts recently it’s worth doing the following:-
Facebook has changed Notifications for ALL groups again.
They have automatically switched members of most groups to receive “Highlights” instead of “All Posts”.
This means that you will only see about one in ten posts on the groups you’re in! (Even if you’ve updated this in the past)
To change these settings, go to the group page (you have to do this for every group you’re in):
- click the 3 dots on the top right of the GROUP HOME page
- Click Notifications
- Change from “Highlights” to “All Posts”.
Pass on the word to your other groups.
Welcome to the first letter of 2021. The pandemic may still be in evidence but life goes on despite the many restrictions. Brixham Library is closed to visitors entering the building but a ‘Choose and Collect’ service is available (see below) and if you haven’t discovered e-books and e-magazines then they are definitely worth trying. The vaccine has already been given to a number of known library users and we hope that in the days and weeks to come this too will escalate. Unfortunately, our Monday Health Walk can’t take place under the restrictions but as reading exercises the mind, a daily walk, run or cycle helps the body too. So, without further ado, let’s move on from pandemic news to our newsletter round-up, which this month has a plethora of articles.
Emma writes: Happy New year to you all!
So, we begin the new year with another lockdown! I hope you are managing to keep yourselves busy. I have found it harder this time, partly due to the season we are in. So, the library staff are back (mostly) working from home and are focusing on the Libraries Unlimited recovery plan. We have started to introduce Choose and Collect again. We are offering this service when we can. This is because there can only be one member of staff in the building at any time. This is why we can’t offer pre-booked slots in the week. If you request a book, we are asking that you call/email the library in the morning and we will offer you slots where there is availability that morning.
This is the official wording from libraries Unlimited:
After receiving updated guidance and reviewing local information, we have introduced Choose and Collect as a lifeline service.
Lifeline library services are offered by appointment only and customers will need to get in touch with us via phone/email.
Our lifeline library services are COVID secure and contactless. We encourage you to book at a time when you’re leaving the house for other essential reasons or taking exercise to avoid unnecessary trips out.
Masks must be worn when approaching the building (unless exempt). Please only come to the library if you have a booked slot.
The raffle was huge success and thank you to everyone who supported it. We raised a huge £421, and our Christmas stall also raised a huge £221. Thank you! (This is a huge success for both FoBL and Brixham Library and our thanks to you all for supporting both initiatives and to the Brixham Library staff for making it all happen under very difficult circumstances).
We are continuing to offer our online services e.g., Libby, BorrowBox and free access to Ancestry UK has been extended to 31st March. If you need help accessing any of these services, please get in touch by phone or email.
Hopeful soon we will have better news about opening again for browsing but until then, please stay safe and we can’t wait to see you all again.
Emma, Michelle, Sarah and Becca – Brixham Library
Jottings from the Sofa:
Lockdown has meant different things to different people whether it be the frustrations of not being able to see friends and relatives, go on holiday and a host of other things. Thus, we all have our own strategies to overcome the sense of being at home for such long periods of time. One of our committee has been inspired by the works of A.A. Milne and his Winnie the Pooh stories and shares this inspiration in our newsletter. She writes:
I might be an old softie but how about some of the brilliant quotes from Winnie the Pooh stories! I have chosen some if you care to use them.
‘A little consideration, a little thought for others makes all the difference.’
Winnie the Pooh
‘What could be more important than a little something to eat.’
‘The things that make me different are the things that make me.’
Winnie the Pooh & Piglet
‘How do you spell love?’ asked Piglet
‘You don’t spell it, you feel it,’ said Pooh
Above illustrations by EH Shephard.
Whilst on the theme of words, another committee member has enjoyed word games and thinking about her favourite words. She writes:
Mine is petrichor – that smell after it rains! Love the word because of what it represents – a freshening shower after a humid summer’s day. If I owned a racehorse that’s what I would call it!
So, if you have a favourite word or words or would like to share quotes from your favourite books do send them in and we’ll publish your entries in the next newsletter.
Reading and the Media
For many of us of a certain age, reading was an interest that in my case came in two forms. I was one of the fortunate ones who loved listening to a story and a bedtime story was always something to look forward to. Then again, ‘Listen with Mother’ on the radio also had its pull, especially during the autumn and winter when snuggled up near the coal fire, as all the other rooms in the house were freezing cold for the days of central heating were yet to come. The flip side of this was actually learning to read and that was a personal trauma for me to begin with so the sudden appearance of the ‘Dick and Dora‘ reading series, the forerunner of ‘Janet and John’ and the ‘Ladybird’ learning series of books was the source of this personal anguish. However, my discovery of the local library in the High Street in Banstead soon made up for all this and those early visits were to shape my life for ever.
Many years later I was to rediscover my love of listening to reading either on spoken word cassettes available from the library or in more recent times on CD, but also on the radio. ‘Book at Bedtime’ continues to entrance so many people and introduce new authors, titles and of course new worlds. Such programmes as ‘The Book Programme’, ‘Open Book’ and ‘A Good Read’ all inspire and who could ever forget the wonderful Sue McGregor and Jim Naughtie as our hosts.
As with everything else, the digital world that influences our living so much today, is also having its impact on reading. The recent announcement by the Duchess of Cornwall, in her launch of an on-line book club, will once again inspire us to read more widely. In her first reading list of books, she includes ‘Where the Crawdads sing’ (mentioned later in the newsletter) but I’ll leave you to follow the link to find out more.
Or try ‘The Reading Room’ on Instagram: “HRH The Duchess of Cornwall welcomes you to The Reading Room”.
For those people without the technology, you might like to ‘join’ The Duchess by knowing what her reading list includes:
The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, Restless by William Boyd, and Elif Shafak’s The Architect’s Apprentice.
If you have read and enjoyed any of the above books, then please let us have your thoughts on any or all of the above titles by sending in your review(s). For those of you joining ‘The Reading Room’ on-line we welcome your reviews too as new books are introduced by HRH. We look forward to publishing these in future editions of ‘Friends Matter’ as well as inspiring you to try out new titles.
Thus, reading whether a paperback, hardback or e-reader continues to be with us all in one form or another. With ever more reading resources available on-line, through listening to book programmes via catch-up or through on-line reading groups, lockdown has reminded so many of us how important reading is for us all, enhancing our lives, helping our mental health and bringing us together on new virtual platforms.
If nothing else the national lockdown has inspired many of us to try new authors and genres and to go back to old favourites. My favourite ghost story of all time is one that is so short but nonetheless just a fantastic read and a great railway story to:
‘When my fellow companion in the railway carriage suddenly asked me if I believed in ghost, I replied: ‘Well … er … no.’ ‘Neither do I!’ he chuckled – and vanished.’
Splendid isn’t it? In those few words are two instantly recognisable images – a railway carriage and a fellow traveller – and a dénouement that any passenger who has ever boarded a train can appreciate.
Extract from ‘Mysterious Railway Stories‘, edited by William Pattrick
My wife Sue writes:
Three of my favourite books borrowed from Brixham Library during 2020, all very different and great for escapism.
My best read of 2020 too – Alasdair.
Really enjoyed this book too as it is set around Winchester, a place I grew to love during my final working years – Alasdair.
Why not let me know some of your favourite reads during lockdown so we can share your good read thoughts with other newsletter readers.
Alasdair Anderson – Chairman, The Friends of Brixham Library, 29 January 2021
Poetry – Brixham Theatre invites you to write a Love Poem…….
Valentines Day is coming – you can submit your poem or poems by e-mail or via the Town Hall, and you may win Champagne – or Chocs!
Click here for all the details: love Poem poster Final
Well, Christmas is almost upon us and I have to confess that I enjoy the seasonal treats of mince pies, Christmas Cake and Turkey with all the trimmings, but I know that’s not for everyone. As this is the Christmas edition of ‘Friends Matter’, it is an opportunity to thank all our loyal supporters both before and during the pandemic for your unending support for all that we do.
Final figures for our Winter raffle are yet to be declared but we believe that just over 400 raffle tickets were sold which is a fantastic result, considering that for many weeks the library was closed to visitors. So, may I also thank all those who contributed prizes and to all of you who have purchased raffle tickets. The draw took place on Friday 11 December and all winners have been contacted by phone, but if you wish to doublecheck if you were a winner, do visit the library or call 01803 853870.
Our Christmas Market Stall is still open with a number of lovely gifts and decorations for sale and will remain open up until the library closes on Christmas Eve at 13.00pm. Brixham Library reopens on Thursday 31 December before their New Year closure from Friday 1 January, reopening on Monday 4 January 2021.
Our thanks to all the staff in Brixham Library, particularly to Emma, Becky, Michelle and Sarah but also to the relief staff too and the library volunteers who work so hard to keep our library as it should be.
Did You Know?
Whether you are taking the opportunity to enjoy sitting by the fire or perhaps a looking for a distraction from endless Christmas viewing on the TV (or trying your hand at being quizmaster), I hope you will find the following of interest, an assorted list of past events that took place during the month of December.
1 Dec.1135 England’s King Henry I died. He had fallen ill seven days earlier after eating too many lampreys. He was 66 and had ruled for 35 years.
65 years ago, Rosa Parks, an American black lady refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. This action started the American Civil Rights Movement.
2 Dec.1697 Sir Christopher Wren’s St Paul’s Cathedral opened in London.
250 years ago, Ludvic Van Beethoven was born.
3 Dec.1989 The Cold War ended after 52 years of superpower rivalry. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George Bush ended their shipboard summit meeting off Malta.
4 Dec.1872 Crew from the British brigantine Die Gratia boarded a ship drifting mid Atlantic. The captain’s table was set for a meal aboard the US ship Marie Celeste, but the Captain, crew and passengers were all missing.
5 Dec.1905 The roof of Charing Cross Railway Station in London collapsed, killing five people.
6 Dec.1921 Ireland’s 26 southern states were granted independence from Britain, becoming the Irish Free State. Ulster in the north remains part of the UK.
7 Dec.1783 William Pitt became British Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer at the tender age of 24.
8 Dec.1980 Forty-year-old ex-Beatle John Lennon was murdered in New York.
9 Dec.1608 Birth of John Milton, English poet whose works included Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes.
10 Dec.1901 The first Nobel Peace Prizes were awarded worth $30,000 each. Nobel, a Swedish chemist, had died five years earlier leaving the fortune he had amassed from his invention, dynamite, to the awarding foundation.
11 Dec.1936 Britain’s King Edward VIII renounced the throne in a radio broadcast to the nation. After the broadcast he boarded a ship to join the twice-divorced Mrs Wallis Simpson in France.
12 Dec.1955 British engineer Christopher Cockerell patented a new kind of vehicle. Half-ship and half-aircraft, his “hovercraft” floats on an air cushion.
13 Dec.1989 In South Africa, ANC leader Nelson Mandela met President F. W. de Klerk for the first time.
14 Dec.1895 Birth of King George VI, who succeeded to the throne when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated.
15 Dec.1791 The Bill of Rights became part of the United States Constitution providing protection for the basic rights of the individual to free expression and justice.
16 Dec.1773 Unruly American colonists boarded three ships in Boston harbour and emptied 342 chests of tea into the sea.
17 Dec.1778 Birth of Sir Humphrey Davy, English inventor of the safety lamp for miners, who also discovered sodium, magnesium, calcium, barium and strontium
18 Dec.1946 Clement Atlee’s Labour government won the vote on state ownership which led to the nationalizing of the railways, ports, mines, etc.
19 Dec.1848 Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights, died of tuberculosis at the tender age of 30.
20 Dec.1803 The United States doubled in size when it acquired 88,831,321 square miles of land from France for $15 million – The Louisiana Purchase.
21 Dec.1988 A Pan American jumbo jet bound for New York was blown out of the sky by a terrorist bomb and crashed onto the Scottish town of Lockerbie killing all 259 passengers and 11 people on the ground.
400 years ago, the Mayflower arrived in America.
22 Dec.1715 James Edward Stuart, son of James II, the deposed Catholic King of England, landed in north-east Scotland to lead a Jacobite rebellion.
23 Dec.1922 The world’s first regular entertainment radio broadcasts were transmitted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
24 Dec.1508 London houses received piped water again, for the first time in over a thousand years, since the Romans left town!
25 Dec.440 Church leaders agreed to fix the date of the birth of Christ. Previously some people had celebrated it in May, others in January.
26 Dec.1943 In World War II, a Royal Navy convoy including the battleship Duke of York and cruiser Jamaica attacked and sunk the mighty German battlecruiser Scharnhorst.
27 Dec.1831 The Royal Navy vessel HMS Beagle set sail from Devonport, the official naturalist onboard was a recent BA graduate: Charles Darwin.
28 Dec.1918 The results of the first General Election in Britain in which women have been allowed to vote, confirmed David Lloyd George as Prime Minister.
29 Dec.1170 Four of King Henry II’s knights murdered the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas a Becket, in Canterbury Cathedral.
30 Dec.1879 First performance of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, at the Royal Bijou Theatre, Paignton, Devon.
31 Dec. 1720 Birth of Charles Edward Stuart, Scottish royal better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie or the Young Pretender, son of James, the Old Pretender.
On behalf of the FoBL Committee may I wish you a very Happy Christmas and look forward to meeting you all again in the New Year.
Alasdair Anderson, Chairman, the Friends of Brixham Library
14 December 2020
Welcome back – the Library has now reopened. Opening times and numbers are a littlerestricted but the books and the Christmas Stall are waiting for you. We have to limit the time people spend in the library hence the amount of people being allowed in.New opening times:Monday – 10 to 12 then 1 to 4Tuesday – 10 to 12 them 1 to 4Wednesday – 10 to 12Thursday – 10 to 12 then 1 to 4Friday – 10 to 12Saturday – 10 to 12There will be 3 computers in use and we ask that you book in advance. Due to the restrictions we can only allow 12 people in the building at one time, this includes two members of staff. A member of staff will be on the door to advise you when you can come in. We will still offer the chose and collect service between 10 and 4. Thank you for your continuing support.
The last month has undoubtedly been one of mixed fortunes. Sadly, dominating the news – both national and in the library – has been the imposition of a second national lockdown. Once again, our planned events had been put into limbo. This has primarily affected the opening of our Christmas Market Stall which is now operating a choose and collect service until library opening resumes. These alternative arrangements hopefully will mean that you will be able to purchase gifts and goodies for Christmas. While this news is an undoubted blow, the safety of our staff, volunteers and library users remains the library’s highest priority.
When we have details of the Library reopening times we shall publish them here.
As we have all heard we, like the rest of Devon, will be in Tier 2. The new guidance from Walking for Health inform us that group was in tiers ! and 2 can restart. However, after consulting the walk leaders we shall NOT be restarting the Monday Walk due to the number of Cvid cases in and around Brixham, We shall keep this under review, but the general feeling s to stay as we are until we have had the vaccine.
Keep walking, stay safe, and look forward to the time when we can all walk together again without risk.
Christmas Market Stall
The current Covid 19 pandemic poses many problems for us all and thus in this period of lockdown, we are looking at doing things differently. We were hoping to launch our Christmas Market Stall on Monday but with the library being closed to visitors into the building this is not possible at present.
However, over the last few weeks and months, friends have been busy making items to sell on the stall. We would like to invite you to take a look at our stall to see whether there is anything to help with your Christmas gift purchases this year. All items are being sold at very reasonable prices from model cars; knitted woollen bears; Christmas candles; keys racks to Christmas cards and decorations. Other goodies are also available. Newly made occasional tables and a magazine rack are also for sale. In addition, Christmas cakes (un-iced) can be ordered. These are made from a traditional family recipe which is tried and tested and is as good as it sounds. Once you have made a list of chosen items you will need to telephone the library to make an appointment to collect your chosen items – 01803 853870. To help things run smoothly payments must be made in cash and if you have the right money that’s even better.
All proceeds are being divided equally between Brixham Library and The Friends of Brixham Library. Please do let your friends, neighbours and family know about our Christmas Market Stall.
Finally, we are hoping that with the end of lockdown the library will reopen for use so that you can come in to see the market stall for yourself. In the meantime, please don’t wait as we know that some of the items will sell very quickly so order now to avoid disappointment.
PS – our winter raffle is still running, and tickets are available at £1.00 each from Brixham Library so do make an appointment to buy tickets. The raffle ends on Friday 11 December when the draw will take place.
Christmas Market Stall Gifts for Sale include:
- Christmas Cards & Kits – £1.00
- Handmade Fabric Doorstops – £4.00
- Snow Wooden Decorations
- Knitted Animals – £10.00 each
- Mexican Spiced Onions in Cider Vinegar – £2.00 a jar
- Christmas Angels £1.00 & £2.00 each
- Handmade Baby Blankets – £5.00 each
- Knitted Chain Garlands – £2.00
- Knitted Teddies – £1.00 each
- Model Wooden Buildings – £5.00 each
- Vintage Mounted Model Vehicles – £5.00 each
- Large Occasional Table – £25.00
- Small Occasional Table – £15.00 each or two for £25.00
- Handmade Key Holders – £5.00 each
- Handbags – £4.00 each
- Locally Made Magazine Rack – £10.00
- Handmade Angel Decorations – £2.00 each
- Christmas Candles – £3.00 each
- Large Homemade Blanket – £15.00
- Handmade Knitted Christmas Stockings – £1.00 each
- Handmade Angel Decorations – £2.00 each
- Handmade Tree Handing Sweetie Bags £1.00 each
- Bunches of Lavender – 50p a Bunch
- Handmade Bookmarks – £3.00 each
- Handmade Mice – £2.00 each Bag
It’s a great way to kickstart your Christmas shopping!
If you hadn’t guessed from last month who the young librarian in the photo is, I can now reveal it is Sue Anderson nee Evans. The photograph was taken in Southway Library, Plymouth.
As we await to hear what further restrictions we will be experiencing when we move into Tier 2 on Wednesday 2 December, we are all hoping that our libraries will be able to reopen. However, in the meantime the choose and collect service is available to all. No fines are currently being charged during the closure period and staff are trying to work near normal hours to keep the service going even under their restricted circumstances. Any queries of concerns can be raised by tel; 01803 853870 and all the staff will be pleased to help you.
Chairman, The Friends of Brixham Library
23 November 2020
Keep reading in Lockdown 2 as once again the library staff are once again providing a full Choose and Collect service.
The Christmas Stall will be up and running from 16 November. You will be able to see the items for sale on the library Facebook page, or pick up a stall leaflet at the Library. Just Choose and Collect (and pay).
And finally we are happy to announce that the Winter Raffle tickets are still on sale – just call the library on 01803-853870 and arrange a time to collect. Payment in cash with the right money preferred.
Welcome to another edition of Friends Matter. The expected lockdown has just been announced so many people and businesses are looking again at their plans for the run up to Christmas. At the Library we have been preparing our Christmas Market Stall which will have all sorts of goodies, Christmas treats, gifts and decorations as well as scrumptious handmade Christmas cakes.
We hope the Stall will open – with the Library – in the first week of December once the national lockdown is eased. We will send out updates as we know more – in the meantime stay safe and keep reading. If restrictions persist longer than 2 December, then the Christmas Stall may well become an Easter Stall!
There is time to purchase raffle tickets for our Winter raffle. Tickets cost £1.00 each and are available from the reception desk when the Library is open. With an ever-growing range of prizes to win, please help the library by entering the draw which will take place before Christmas. All proceeds from the raffle are being split evenly between Brixham Library and The Friends of Brixham Library.
Museums Chit Chat
If you have been following the local news recently you may have caught up with the news that two local museums have reopened after a period of closure. The first is The Box in Plymouth which sees the museum expand next door into what was the former Plymouth Central Library along with the former St Luke’s Chapel at the rear of the museum. For many years this occupied by the libraries administrative, bibliographical and home services for Plymouth and West Devon. Can you identify the person taking a school class visit in the photo below?
The second museum to reopen is in Newton Abbot in the former St Leonards Church. Once again there is a strong library link with the Railway Studies Collection in the Passmore Edwards centre. It is interesting to note that both museums occupy former churches.
News Update from Libraries Unlimited
Libraries Unlimited recently held their Annual General Meeting and for the first time this was held on-line using Zoom. Attended by Trustees, representatives from Friends groups and library staff from both Devon and Torbay, the meeting heard reports from both Professor William Harvey Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Alex Kittow, Chief Executive Libraries Unlimited. The meeting was looking back on events for 2019/2020 and already there are huge contrasts between levels of service pre-Covid 19 and current provision during the pandemic. Whilst many messages were conveyed during the AGM perhaps the most striking were the following very positive developments these last few months. For example, eBook downloads have gone up in leaps and bounds; attendance at on-line Bounce & Rhyme times has proved very successful and above all no library staff have been furloughed, a huge achievement in these difficult times. If you would like to find out more, a reference copy of the Annual Report 2019/2020 is available in the library to read with a photo included on page 23 of the recently refurbished children’s library. As a colleague noted ‘The annual report has just been released by Libraries Unlimited and this shows off how well we are still providing a service for our local communities’. Can’t think of a better way of putting it.
News from the Front Line
Please note that as a result changing Covid 19, Brixham library has had to change a few procedures within the library meaning only one person is allowed at the main desk at all times. This could mean a slight delay and some queues and the staff we are asking library users to bear with them at this difficult and challenging time. When we know what the new lockdown service will be, we shall send you a separate email.
Whilst this caption is very apt, you don’t have to buy them to make you feel richer and that’s why our library is so important.
It is easy to forget that Torbay Council still maintain a great interest in the four libraries in the Bay even though they have outsourced the day-to-day running and management of the service to Libraries Unlimited. As one of the main funders of the service the following is very important in terms of libraries of the future level of funding will be determined by the outcome of their budget setting. As you will see from the more below, you have an opportunity to tell them what you think about their budget proposals.
Torbay’s budget – it’s your business! Have your say
We’re launching our 2021/22 budget consultation this week and we want you to have your say.
Along with our partners and the wider community, we’re facing one of our most challenging periods in recent years. Our spending is going up to meet the emergency response costs of the pandemic and we are seeing an increase in demand for council services. In addition, the income we receive, which supports the services we deliver, has reduced massively this year. It’s not all bad news though – we have worked hard to make efficiency savings.
What we really want now is to hear your views so we can understand how these budget proposals may have an impact on you. We want to know how we can work together to mitigate the impact or find new solutions to help Torbay thrive.
In the News…
It is always a pleasure whilst reading through our local papers to spot comments about libraries in general and in particular about Brixham Library. Recently in his regular fortnightly column in the Herald Express, Capt. Bob Curtis did just this for which we take this opportunity to express our thanks. The Covid 19 pandemic has placed great pressures on library staff these last few months. So, the words of comfort expressed below are a much-valued expression of support for the work that they do.
Extract from the Herald Express – Wednesday 14 October 2020, Page 21
Joke of the Month
What is the longest word in the English Dictionary?
Smiles – because there is a mile between the first letter and the last!
‘Reading a good book always sends me to sleep’
‘Paws for thought!!’.
‘Well, if I’m not allowed on the chairs….’.
‘The camouflage isn’t working!!’
‘If I lie still they won’t see me!!’
‘When you’ve worked all morning doing the laundry then you’d feel exhausted too!!’
As thoughts of travel or lack of travel this year haunt our thoughts, why not take a look at the new series of “Lonely Planet” guidebooks which hopefully will make you smile!!