The Library

It was like another world you could go into ...

Barry Hackett remembers the first library at The Tudor

Yvonne Neblett remembers Middleton Library

Hugh Slavin enjoyed the facilities at Middleton

The site of the library has moved over time.  Can anyone put dates to this?  Many residents have used and appreciated the facilities over time though in the early days some new residents were unsure as to their rights of access.

I used to go with Ronnie Brown who lived next door to me to the library in Wrythe Lane and it was like a big raised up shed and I used to stand outside while he went in to get another 'Just William' book - and he didn't keep me waiting long. He never asked me to go in and I didn't think I was allowed to go in because I wasn't a member. (James Jackson)

Photo:Middleton Library at The Circle

Middleton Library at The Circle

Margaret Thomas

This page was added by Cheryl Bailey on 19/08/2010.
Comments about this page

The building Barry Hackett refers to, the wooden library, was there at least 70 years ago. I remember my sisters taking me there. You had to be very quiet and the pictures and colours of the books in the children's section fascinated me. You had to join but it was very cheap. I had never seen so many books even though we did have books at home. I still use a library now though not as often.Wonderful institutions.

By Ted Blowers
On 20/08/2010

In the light of the current threats to libraries for financial reasons, the children’s author Jacqueline Wilson has been on TV discussing her books and it reminded me of the pleasure that I gained from the library during the 1950s, when my family lived at the Circle. I don’t know when the Circle library was built, but in those days the nearest library was somewhere in Wrythe Lane, I don’t recall exactly where, but I used to cycle there. Lorna Hill was far and away my favourite author. To a child living on an LCC housing estate in the South East, the stories of middle-class children in Northumberland riding their ponies over the moors, holding tennis parties, and going to the Saddlers’ Ballet School were an insight into another world. One of Mazo de la Roche’s novels, I think it was Jalna, was televised, and this lead me to find a whole series of novels about the Canadian family whose home Jalna was, again setting the imagination flying

By Winifred Tyler
On 09/02/2011

About 70 years ago the library was a wooden hut which was at the end of Winchcombe Road opposite the Tudor, which was a paper shop/post office. To join the library you had to get a blue card from school and get it signed by your parents. You were allowed one fiction and two non-fiction and as a desperately keen reader i always finished the books long before I was allowed to exchange them. The shed doubled up as a Welfare place where mothers got their children weighed and they could collect their dried milk, cod liver oil and orange juice. I loved that shed 'cause I loved all the books.

By Irene Cooper
On 24/03/2012

I believe the Middleton Circle library opened in 1961 when I was in my early teens. Prior to that my Mum and I were members of Mitcham Library which involved a journey on the no.80 or 88 bus. I waited for the new library to open with much excitement as I would be able to pop round from our house in Sherborne Crescent as often as I liked! It all seemed ultra modern, with big sliding doors between the children's library and the adults', and a reference library at the back with picture windows and red chairs. As time went on, I became a library helper and was allowed to check books in and out and do the other routine jobs which the library assistants did, which made me feel very important and I used to willingly give up my Saturdays to help.

By Christine Gawthorpe nee Watts
On 07/06/2012

I talk to people about my first experience of a library as a pre 11 year old in Carshalton, born in 1942 and left Buckhurst Avenue to live in Cornwall in 1953. I remember the library as red painted corrugated iron but as most other comments here describe it as wooden I'll have to accept that was the case. I can remember the smell of the books and excitement of having my own library ticket. Wonderful memories !

By Richard Prince
On 29/03/2016

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