A host of super events as Library’s future becomes clearer

Shropshire Council has now published its draft Strategy for the County’s Library Services for the Years 2018–2023 which is out for consultation until 6 October. The Friends are pleased to note that the draft Strategy classes Pontesbury as ‘Tier 2’ in its proposed hierarchy of Libraries in Shropshire, whereas on a basis of size we would expect to be in Tier 3. Once the Draft Strategy is adopted, this would mean, amongst many other benefits, that we would have a ‘staffed library’ and would continue to receive full ‘back-office’ support from the Council, though, of course, it would still be largely funded by the Friends and Parish Councils. Our Steering Group is meeting with the Council shortly to discuss the implications. Please feel free to comment directly on the County Library Website www.shropshire.gov.uk/libraries.
The children thoroughly enjoyed a Cartoon Workshop with Malcolm Whittall at the start of the school holidays. The Library was bursting at the seams and bubbling with fun as each of them showed off their work.
Malcolm Whittall

Children’s cartoon day at the Library
Credit: Yvonne Davies

Library lottery
The first two monthly prizes have now been drawn. The results are: July – Denise Evans, Ken Jenks, Catherine Cooper; August – Kath Oldfield, Tony Payne (Worthen) and Pat Hignett. Membership is still growing and the monthly first prize has now reached £40! Why not join the monthly draw for just £12 per year.
Those who enjoyed the Village Quire’s delightful ‘Precious Bane’ concert last year will be delighted to know that the Quire are returning to the Congregational Church to raise funds for the Library on 28 October. Space is very limited so please put it in your diary as we expect a sell-out as last year, based on the number who have asked for them to come back and those who are kicking themselves for missing it last year. This year the Quire will perform ‘Back to the Garden’ based on local personal stories of the first world war as part of the Passchendaele centenary events. Reports suggest that this concert is ‘even better than Precious Bane’. Tickets to include refreshments priced at £10 will be available from the Library.
Following last year’s successful Autumn Fayre, this year the Friends are proposing to join with the Congregational Church to celebrate Apple Day at the Congs on 23 September. See page 4 for details. As well as apples to be pressed and juice to be sold, there will be crafts, stalls – plants, cakes etc. and refreshments. The Congs Apple Day has always been fun. This time, the Friends of the Library are joining and proceeds will go into Library Funds as well as for a community garden at the back of the church, so please come and support. As always, bring apples (particularly eaters). Donations for the Library stalls of plants, books, cakes, jams, preserves and produce can be taken to the library during normal opening hours or to the Congregational Hall on Friday 22 September from 2:00 until 4:00. We will also accept items on Saturday, 23 September before the event begins.
On Thursday, 7 September at 7:30 in the Public Hall we are delighted that author and historian Keith Pybus will be speaking. Keith is a lively raconteur with a fund of fascinating and dramatic stories to share about the First World War. For instance, did you know that a world famous WWI cartoonist lived in Shropshire? that an airman ‘fell to earth’ in Market Drayton? that a memorial lych gate revealed a romance across the class divide? and that there was a POW camp in the Abbey Foregate car park? Do join us for an entertaining evening with Keith as he brings some of these stories to life as part of the County’s WWI centenary commemorations. This will be preceded at 7:00 by an Open General Meeting. This is particularly to seek the community’s agreement to submitting a formal application to the Charities Commission for Charitable Status for the Friends of the Library. All are welcome to both events.
Finally, the Friends have submitted a bid to the Co-op Local Communities Fund. If we are successful, when you shop at Pontesbury Co-op, buy ‘own brand’ goods and nominate us as your chosen charity. Funds will help boost community facilities at the Library.

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