June News


D-Day Coffee Morning

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

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

Vinegar Cake

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


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

Lord Woolton Pie

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

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


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


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

Under the Stairs (1942)

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

Julie M. Harris

Farewell to Helen

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

Summer Reading Challenge 2019

Emma, our local Brixham Library Manager writes:

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

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


Help Required

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


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

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

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

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

Watering our plants

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

… and finally

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

Please address any contributions

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