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A rainy day in the Lending Library - Bilbie Street

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Tucked behind the mantle clock were the Library tickets, blue and beige as i recall.

Our house hadn't yet upgraded to a television, and the DER contraption that was eventually got gave such bad tube that Night of The Generals was a task to watch indeed.

So it was within the norm to stroll across St.Albans Terrace and into Bills shop (gay as a bag of rainbows and his cat pissed on the comics & papers) for a bag of pineapple chunks and into the Central Library for some escapism.

By late '72 I had upgraded and gone 'upstairs' to the juicy stuff- the building itself always fascinated me,in particular it's battle scars near Bilbe Walk.The black bike stands to the right as you crossed through wrought iron threshold,the revolving doors once negotiated you were greeted with the lovely smell of books!!

The Porter threw his eye at you and nodded- same tunic blazer as the geezers on the Castle.

Dog a sharp left and you hit the Children's Library, a large shelf lined room crammed with books for the eager reader.

Enid Blyton,Anna Sewell and many others discovered here- if it was sileling down/racks of reference books ( learnt the nations flags here) you could dry your coat on the pipes and lose yourself in a book.

The Destructors by Graham Greene,The Pearl by John Steinbeck and the recently mentioned Otterbury Incident and many others all read here.

When I graduated to the upper level...this was truly another level indeed.

Sven Hassel and his Comrades of War was perused,I was too young to take it home.

An array of tweed and the sweet pipe tobacco, a row of cream crash helmets on the window- with blue macs folded.

Braver I became as time went on ,a rainy day was swallowed up reading and viewing ghastly complaints in Manson's book of tropical diseases.

When our cellar filled up with water- we headed for Bulwell and that Library didn't light my fire.

Anyone ( siddah) recall a great book on 1930's motor racing called 'Full Throttle'?

I often pass the old Library when I'm over...and quietly thank my Mum & Dad for introducing me to such a great facility.

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Phew, yes! We'll miss them when they've gone!

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into the Central Library for some escapism. .... the building itself always fascinated me,in particular it's battle scars near Bilbie Walk.

Must be an age thing....I can just remember going down Bilbie when it was still a Street - a passenger to my dad's driving.

bilbie1_zpsawbafxri.jpg

And I can also just remember going in the library when it was still a library and before the Poly took over.

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And if you went upstairs on the landing there were glass exhibition cases - which I recall were full of interesting stuff. One display was the history of Nottingham trolley buses - presumably those photos are in the archives now

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That is a photograph I have not seen before, with Lambert's tower to the rear? Fine houses Cliff- could have remodernised them.

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Our libraries, museums and archives are a valuable public facility and they must be protected. Access should be free to the public as they are a facility for lifelong learning, social interaction and pleasure. My dad introduced me to the Nottingham Central Library and I loved going there with him. He let me use his tickets for the adult library when I was still at primary school and looking for factual books. I loved going there with him.

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I used to sign in to enter the reference cellar....Old copies of The Times come to mind...

"General Chelmsford in full retreat!"

"Zulus slaughter 1000 British troops and native Levies in Zululand!!"

"And the colours were lost!..."

This was inside the paper...page one was still all adverts

Great stuff...

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I too remember with great fondness the Central Library in Nottingham. Library visits started when I was a baby at the Hyson Green Library on Gregory Boulevard, of which I also have very fond memories. Children's tickets were blue and adult tickets were buff-coloured.

When I was a pupil at the Manning School, I often went into Nottingham on a Saturday and the first place I headed for was the Central Library. It had a very special atmosphere and hunting for books in there was far superior to anything offered by its successor on Angel Row, which I never liked at all.

Many years later, I worked with another ex Manning school girl who was much older than I and who had been born in a house on Shakespeare Villas, close to the Central Library. She was only a baby on the night when the Luftwaffe dropped a stick of bombs over that area. She told me that she had been lying on the sofa shortly before the raid. Her mother picked her up and I believe took her down to the cellar for safety and only seconds later, a large piece of masonry which had come, I believe, straight through the roof and two floors, landed on the sofa in precisely the place where she had previously been lying. If she had still been there, it would certainly have killed her but instead it now has pride of place in her rockery!

She too was a regular visitor to the Central Library and an avid reader.

Somehow, Kindle and online books are just not the same. Maybe it's an age thing!

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I used to use the libraries a lot but had not been for a few years, about 6 months ago I popped into Stapleford library and got a few books, at the self check out thing my card would not work. I spoke to a librarian and she issued me with a new inspire card. She mentioned that the libraries are coming out of Council control and will be run like a charity.

So it is best to support them before we end up losing them.

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Joined the library here when I started at Mundella in 1955. It was on the walk home from school. It was on the corner of Wilford Crescent and Wilford Grove in the Meadows

library.jpg

I remember being quite amazed that I could take books home to read, and as long as I returned them by the due date it was free. You had little cardboard "holders" with your name and address on them. The librarian would take a ticket out of a book place it in the the cardboard mini-envelope/holder you would give her which then went into a filing box on the counter, stamp the book with the date it was due back, and hand you the book.

IIRC I had six cardboard holders which meant I could have six books out at any one time, and I always had six books out. Some of the happiest times of my childhood were spent in this place.

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I see it was a rainy day there too Alison. Very appropriate!

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Posted this before somewhere, but it fits here as well. Bilbie Street looking up; the Uni / Library on the left. The cross-roads is Shakespeare Street, and the road at the very top is Goldsmith Street.

bilbie.jpg

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#11

Alison, I too spent many happy times in that library. I joined as soon as I could and remember I started with Larry the Lamb books before going on to Jennings, Just William, Biggles etc.

One day I got several books in the morning, read them by the afternoon and took them eagerly back to get some more. The old trout of a librarian said I couldn't return them until the next day and sent me away! Aged about six, I think that must have been my first encounter with a Jobsworth.

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Nice to see some photographs of Bilbe St.I can only recall the concrete Walk,Jill mentioned Shakespeare Villas opposite- our homeopathic Doctor Turner lived there...and Dr.Much before him.

The records available in the Central Library were varied: steam,classical, jazz,folk and sound effects!

Angel Row doesn't have that mystique.

Not forgetting the black and white bound ' large print' books.

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I believe it was Cicero who said, "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."

I'd like to amend that to a garden, a library, some cats and Bach. That's everything I need!

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I did a bit of back- tracking on Cliffs aerial pics to get my bearings on Bilbe Street,very much like Dryden st.

Of course due to age I can't recall it..even though i probably walked the upper section.

I had mates on Alma Terrace and Dryden st.

Living in town we knew all the short cuts and could get to Robin Hood Chase/ Mount Hooton in a New York minute.

For a change, the shop/post office on Goldsmith st.sold those teacake sweets ( loose) brown toffee sugar coated.

A quarter of those in the reference library.. no rustling the wrappers!

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#1 Yes Iandawson I know this book ........ written by Henry Birkin in the lat 20s possibly early 30s and is a famous account of his life in motor racing including enigmatic references to the Brooklands track. Its a rare book these days and a good copy would probably cost £30-50 at a specialist Autojumble ......worth keeping your eye out in the second hand bookshops/ charity shops.

I also remember the library in the 50s/60s and used to really enjoy reading books it was one of my favourite places then I got interested in other things! The habit of reading has never diminished I read something every day. The library on Shakespeare St was the University attended by DH Lawrence and others; I think it was a hospital during WW1.

Terrific to see those pics particularly the one up Bilbie Street is that the masonic hall at the top? I used to live in a real run down bedsit at the back of the masonic hall on (I think it was ) Goldsmith Square. Great times there in the mid 60s all of Nottingham's fun and games easily accessible.

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At the bottom of Goldsmith st.on the same side as the Premier Hotel there was a quadrangle of tiered houses, they followed the hill of Clarendon st.

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Probably Waverley Terrace ? Clarendon Street is on the right. And the row of buildings fronting Clarendon St is still there.

waverley%20terrace_zpsteezvi6k.jpg

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Thanks Cliff,the set up inside was kitchen on the ground floor, then lounge on the first floor.A bit rough around there..even for me!

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