Memories of visiting the library


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I loved the old library when I was younger.  For years I went down most Sat mornings.  I loved the atmosphere in there, the calm and the smell of books. In the entrance porch..on the left wall as I recall, there was a framed needlework 'Sampler' by some youngster from many many years before.  Although I have no interest in needlework, the historical idea fascinated me. Would leave my old push bike outside.  Nobody pinched 'em back then. 

 

In earlier years I spent most time in the 'Children's Library' section, which I think was in the back.  Everything from the Famous Five and the Secret Seven, to Biggles and Jennings.  Also a series of space adventures featuring 'Kemlo'.. who could apparently breathe in space.  Yeah right.. that didn't work for me for too long..

Kemlo+Double+Spread.jpg

 

I recall a whole wall full of bright yellow 'Gollancz' SF books. Apparently Gollanczs are still publishing. Some of their books were too cryptic and obscure for me.. but a few grabbed me, especially stuff by Arthur C Clarke such as 'A Fall of Moondust'.  A great idea. and though it came later I still rate his 'Rendezvous with Rama' as possibly the best SF book I've ever read.

 

One thing which always kind of vaguely bothered me, even before I developed any real political consciousness..was that all of my heroes in kid's books, were clearly very middle class.  Biggles, The Famous Five etc...  Nothing wrong with middle class heroes, until you reralise that there are apparently no working class heroes....  A bit odd that.  Cue John Lennon..

 

Later I got some great books on Aero Modelling and so on... including the 'Book of the Jetex Engine'. Also some books on early cave exploration. I dare say many of those are rare and sought after now.  I also remember the 'Motorcycle Data Book', which listed all current models of motorcycle, with all sorts of stats and specs.  The Vincent Black Shadow 1000cc V Twin was the only bike in the book with no listed maximum speed.  This was pre motorways and apparently they couldn't find anywhere to run the bike flat out...  :)

 

Little did I know that the spotty youth scouring the shelves of the library, would go on to be the huge star DJ in the club opposite, only a few years later.... :rolleyes:

if only....

 

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Hyson Green library...now also relocated...had a whole section of yellow jacketed Gollancz titles of which my father was an avid reader.

 

I loved that library and was an almost daily visitor from being in my pushchair. All the furniture, including the huge, circular desk, was of oak. The floor was composed of parquet blocks. The atmosphere an almost worshipful hush.

 

The last time I visited, in the early 80s, it was all gone. Plastic chairs and similar rubbish. Incessant noise and screaming children. The smell of books and wax polish had fled! It lives on, now, in my dreams. I loved that place.

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The library at Clifton had a children’s section which I often visited in my early years. Even back then it fascinated me because all the shelves were a bit smaller and closer to the ground.  About a year ago I went back there for one of the Library Service Local History talks. There’s still a children’ s section although it’s been redesigned. One of the staff (a mere youngster) asked me if I’d been there before; she was a bit gobsmacked when I pointed out that I’d been there many times about 50 years ago - probably when her parents were still children.

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I used Arnold library when I was a child. That was a magnificent red sandstone Victorian building. The inside was just like a 'proper' library should be. Everyone talked in whispers!

Another elegant building demolished to make way for a concrete monstrosity firstly for Sainsburys and now Wilkos. 

 

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48 minutes ago, Cliff Ton said:

One of the staff (a mere youngster) asked me if I’d been there before; she was a bit gobsmacked when I pointed out that I’d been there many times about 50 years ago - probably when her parents were still children.

I was similarly accosted in my local library a few weeks ago by a rather dotty DCC employee who launched into an impassioned lecture about the importance of using libraries. I let her finish and then informed her that I'd been a library user (albeit not that one) since my mother had to park my coachbuilt pram outside along with the bike racks!  That shut her up!

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13 hours ago, Jill Sparrow said:

Hyson Green library...now also relocated...had a whole section of yellow jacketed Gollancz titles of which my father was an avid reader.

 

I loved that library and was an almost daily visitor from being in my pushchair. All the furniture, including the huge, circular desk, was of oak. The floor was composed of parquet blocks. The atmosphere an almost worshipful hush.

 

The last time I visited, in the early 80s, it was all gone. Plastic chairs and similar rubbish. Incessant noise and screaming children. The smell of books and wax polish had fled! It lives on, now, in my dreams. I loved that place.

I remember it well Jill. My mother took me there on most Saturday mornings in the 1940's. She would leave me in the children's section on the left while she browsed the large adult section. She always told me in a quiet but firm voice "you must keep quiet". That big round oak desk that you mentioned brought it all back.

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Gateshead-Central-Library.jpg

My local library is still the same building i loved to visit as a child, the main adult section is also the same.  As with all things some aspects have been updated, large wood doors have been replaced by automatic ones but are set well back and the blue building is a cafe i suppose we must have progress.

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I was a regular at Basford library, on Vernon Road, in the 1950s. I remember the wooden parquet flooring, and the old men - probably younger than I am now - reading through the national and local papers. Out of the library and back home via the lake in Vernon Park, with a couple of Brambly Hedge books, full of anthropomorphic mice, rabbits and squirrels who lived in hollow trees. I suppose the library no longer exists, or has been turned into a 'cultural centre'?

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My interest began in Aspley library in the 50s when I went during school lunch break. I discovered the joys of book browsing and the workings of Dewey's indexing. Later I borrowed vinyls and CDs from Aspley and Central. The Aspley building is unique in its Art Deco design, the big heavy doors of wood and glass with elaborate brass handles, in fact it seems most old library buildings were civic statements of permanence and progressing of the human condition.

Modern libraries are perhaps less daunting to most and more user friendly with a wider choice of including modern research activities.

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On ‎12‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 10:35 PM, ValuerJim said:

I was a regular at Basford library, on Vernon Road, in the 1950s. I remember the wooden parquet flooring, and the old men - probably younger than I am now - reading through the national and local papers. Out of the library and back home via the lake in Vernon Park, with a couple of Brambly Hedge books, full of anthropomorphic mice, rabbits and squirrels who lived in hollow trees. I suppose the library no longer exists, or has been turned into a 'cultural centre'?

No, it's still there. Didn't the Queen visit near there recently?

Spent most of Saturday mornings in there. 

Phil

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  • 3 years later...

If you have nothing better to do during this week you could go along to the (closed-but-open-for-this-occasion) Central Library on Angel Row where they are selling off a lot of old stock very cheaply.

 

https://www.nottinghamcitylibraries.co.uk/booksale/

 

I was there this morning and picked up a few books, DVDs and a CD. I imagine the best stuff will disappear before long.

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I remember that place when it was a bed shop. Could never take it seriously as a library, not after the splendour and gravitas of its predecessor. I've spent many hours viewing microfiche/film on the top floor in the days when family history was hard work!

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I was at Manning when the Central library moved there. Every Saturday morning, I was to be found in its predecessor. It really upset me when the place moved.

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Dad used to take me to the library in the city when I was primary school age. At that time there was no library in Bilborough. I loved going there. The new library in Bilborough was a nice building. I liked the glass doors with the little wooden hand shapes. It was so  much smaller but had enough novels to keep me happy as a teenager! The city library was best and I was horrified when I made one of my rare visits to Nottingham and discovered that it had been moved! 

Libraries are such interesting places and I have always found them welcoming. Being interested in family history I have spent lots of time in there. I can recommend: Birmingham, Leeds, Hull, KIngs Lynn, Caistor (Lincolnshire), Beverley and Aberdeen. Libraries and archives have online catalogues and access to electronic publications now. This can save time and money but there is no substitute for being in there and being there to read and talk to the librarian. Before it was moved I think Notting city library was my favourite.

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I first went to Central Library  when I was at BGS, I think, around 1973 and later, when I was doing History O and A Levels.  I loved it there

 

I was a regular visitor at Bilborough Library too, for many years, although when I was around 18+, they didn't hold the sort of books I wanted to read

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I have always gone to Bilborough Library, never been to the one in Nottingham city. My Dad used to take me there when he went and we were all encouraged to read. My dad had a lot of books, can remember reading Three Men & A Boat amongst others. We also had a lot of the classics like  Black Beauty (which I didn’t like), Moby Dick and after a teacher at primary school (Miss Walton) read The Lion, Witch & The Wardrobe my Dad got us the full set.

I go to the Bilborough Library now to borrow books, I have a kindle but it isn’t the same reading a book on that. I also attend a book club there and 2 other social type “knit & natter” clubs. After the announced closure of the 3 or 4 libraries the Librarians there gave us all the website information to give our opinions on these closures.
They also said that Bilborough will be in the bottom 5 for books taken out when these are closed so could be in danger of being closed if more are selected. it is so well used, there are a lot of other clubs that use it (I once went in and there were 3 “ninjas” all dressed in black robes complete with the biggest swords I have ever seen in one of the rooms practising their ninjaing, very impressivecool2). There is also a food bank once a week as well as computers, whenever a I go in there are always people using them. 
As with the other libraries it would be a great loss to a lot of people if it did ever close.

 

 

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Hyson Green library was my second home from as early as I can remember. It was and still is, although no longer a library, a single storey, Victorian building. The woodwork was light oak, the floor of oak parquet blocks and brass work was polished to perfection.  Silence was mandatory. A reverent hush: almost like being in church! I remember the feeling of anticipation of being taken inside by my mother or grandfather and wondering what sort of new books I was going to borrow. The librarians were rather crusty elderly females and they had no sympathy for the old gentlemen who went in, ostensibly, to read the newspapers and then fell asleep in the silent warmth! They were peremptorily turfed out with the quiet admonition, "You can't go to sleep in here!" Would it have hurt, as long as they didn't snore?

 

 

 

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My nearest proper library was in Arnold back in the ‘50’s. It was a magnificent Victorian sandstone edifice. It was demolished and replaced with a bland looking Sainsbury’s supermarket along with the adjoining swimming baths were I learned to swim.  I think it’s now a Wilco’s.

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I use to love going and getting a book from the libaray. One day from school I called to pick up a book and outside was a german shepard dog, Well he looked very sad so I went up to give him a hug only for him to jump up and bite me ? right on the slde of my nose, But it never put me off dogs even through I still  have the scar to prove it.

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As everbody here knows I'm daft over dogs, but I don't trust German Sherpherds,  (Alsatians).  When I was about 2 or 3 I toddled along the backyards of the terrace we lived in.   There in a backyard was a GS.  I toddled in to pet him and he nailed me in the upper lip.  It took two stitches to fix and I still have the scar.  Still love dogs, but I don't mess with Shepherds.

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It's Jack Russells I don't trust. Been nipped twice by them. I was once floored by a very friendly Great Dane! Thank goodness he didn't bite but he almost licked me to death!

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Meadows library was my haunt when I was a kid, it's where I first got books on space, not black holes though as they didn't seem to know about them back then, but everything else about space & science I could find, I'd also borrow New Scientist & Scientific American mags,I read those online now though. When we moved to Bestwood Village it was Bulwell or Hucknall libraries I'd usually frequent, now I live in Hucknall it's usually the same libraries. If I got dragged down town by wife to go shopping I'd go to central library to get their latest books on black holes & quantum physics, but of course it's not there anymore as it's shut down so that's that... 

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