Hereford Library, Herefordshire
3600 lbs of Cake
Hereford Library makes for a striking approach through the local churchyard, it’s a magical looking building complete with gargoyles and fantastically arched windows. I was en route to the Hay Festival and just had time to squeeze in a sign-up at this beautiful library before catching another train to Hay-On-Wye. I was immediately struck by the signs for the museum upstairs, the archaeologist in me always loves a local museum and a few items on display downstairs gave tantalising glimpses at what might be found in the museum during opening hours.
I signed up with the wonderful library Assistant Helen Astley who told me all about the brilliant activities on offer such as Bounce and Rhyme sessions for babies, toddlers, parents and carers and even a home delivery service for those unable to access a library. I found this so heartening, I can’t imagine what it must be like to not be able to easily leave the house, but knowing that there are services like this makes me feel better about the world and our ability to care for our communities. I had just missed a lego exhibit but there were still some pieces on show of spaceships in mid-flight which got me reminiscing about my own childhood lego creations. Helen encouraged me to check out a potted history book of the area called ‘An Ornament Of The City’ where I was delighted to find an account of The Free Library and Museum opening ceremony in 1874 during which local bakers make 3600 lbs of cake!!!! The entry was accompanied by a picture of the first Library Assistant, an 11 year old boy called Thomas Reid. Young assistants are still, it seems a big part of the library as Helen showed me the brilliant children’s library display that was created by some of the younger bookworms. My sweet tooth truly salivating I signed up and got the choice of not two but five beautifully designed cards. I went with a flock of crows flying up from the shelves of a library corner. I’ve just finished a book about strange happenings in a library and so could not resist. Thank you Helen and all the Herefordshire Library staff for letting me join your beautiful library.
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