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15 December 2017

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Families enjoy Cobbett Library’s busy Christmas fayre PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 27 November 2017 10:10

cobbett christmas fayre 2017santa and elfIt was a very busy Christmas fayre at Cobbett Hub and Library on Saturday (Nov 25) as youngsters queued to see Father Christmas and the Friends group thanked two long-serving committee members who have been instrumental in keeping the library open.


cobbett christmas fayre 2017santa and elf
Santa and his Elf dropped in for Cobbett Hub & Library's Christmas Fayre

Children’s crafts, face painting, stories, balloon modelling and more were the order of the day, as well as a popular quiz, and various stalls offering gift ideas and refreshments.

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Pic: Steve Hickman

Making a presentation to Friends of Cobbett Road Library secretary Rachel Hickman, and chair Kevin Lancashire, who were both standing down from their posts, committee member and MC Tim Forcer referenced the campaign to keep the library from closure.

That threat lifted in 2016 as Social Care in Action and Unexpected Places came forward to run it as a community library.

Tim Forcer said: “They have been the secretary and chair of the Friends from the very beginning. And the fact that this library is still open, functioning, with perfectly good opening hours, is to a very large extent down to them. They led the fight, and they won… and we won as much as we could.

“We would prefer to be a council library, but we’ve got the council library service in Cobbett. Cobbett is still open. There’s still lots going on here. It’s very healthy, very vibrant: look at the numbers here today.

“It’s in large part down to what these two people, and their friends and associates, managed to do for all of us.”

Father Christmas was then called upon to present gifts to Rachel and Kevin as a token of thanks for their work.

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Santa hands over the goodies to Kevin and Rachel

Kevin Lancashire said that it wasn’t just the Friends of Cobbett Road Library, which is a voluntary group of library supporters, but the community who had kept the library open.

“For goodness' sake, keep it going! It’s up to you, as the community, to fight to make sure it does stay open as it is,” he said, also thanking Rachel Hickman for all the work, energy and effort that she put in.

Rachel Hickman said it had been down to teamwork, and urged others to get involved with the Friends group.

“It’s a lovely group. We have a good laugh. It’s jus really nice and we organise things like this, and you can offer as much or as little as you can manage. It’s a really nice thing to be part of.”  

Rachel’s been part of several campaigns against closure or reduction of hours at the library since 2007.

Here’s one from the archives, of her speaking in a audio interview recorded (with, at that time, our rather rudimentary equipment!) back in February 2007, along with other campaigners – and below here she is in a photo of a protest outside the Civic Centre taken a few days later.

No audio? Try this link

One from the archives - protesting against library closure outside Southampton Civic Centre in 2007

• You can find out more about joining the Friends group here

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