Friends Matter – November 2020


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!

Winter Raffle

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.

Torbay Council

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. 

The budget proposals and link to the consultation can be viewed on the council  budget page.

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!

Caption Competition

Responses to last month’s CAPTION COMPETITION were as follows:

‘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!!’

And Finally…..

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!!