The unlikely pilgrims of St John’s Wood Library

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ tells the story of recently retired Harold, who after 6 months of sitting in his chair, is inspired by an unexpected letter to walk from Devon to Berwick upon Tweed with a plastic bag, a pair of yachting shoes and the clothes on his back. The story of Harold’s journey is formed by the people he meets along the way.

So, in celebration of National Libraries Day and our forthcoming author event with Rachel Joyce, St John’s Wood Library staff asked a few of our retired customers what inspires them to get up and visit us each day.

We received lots of lovely responses  and have just selected a few, but we hope this shows you how the rich tapestry of our community life is woven through these daily interactions.

Vivienne Levan

Vivienne Levan at St John's Wood LibraryI have volunteered at the library with the children’s events since 2009 and I have learnt to use the computer since visiting the library. The staff always help me with whatever I need on the computer and request the books I want for me. I consider the library a vital part of my community. I have lived in St John’s Wood for over 40 years and love this place!

Ann Samson at St John's Wood LibraryAnn Samson

An extension of home, friendly helpful people, further education, a glass of wine after being read to by a local author, and open seven days a week. What more could you ask for?

Mr Gilbert

Mr Gilbert at St John's Wood LibraryI started coming into St John’s Wood Library in 1966. At that time the librarian used to bring in his Labrador dog. It was well trained and very quiet – very well behaved. The staff were very nice and helpful in getting the books that I requested. The staff is still friendly and welcoming and I like the range of books that are here.
Downstairs is a lovely place to interact with people as I have been a widower for some years.

Sandra Jadir

Sandra Jadir at St John's Wood LibraryMy husband and I have always visited to get books, DVD and CDs, but now I am a Gran I have found even more reasons to visit the library. I love bringing my grandson tor Under 5s rhymetime and  we like to spend time reading together in the children’s library.

National Libraries Day 2013We have lots of copies of ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ to lend  and hope to see as many people as possible at the event on Monday 11 February at 5.30pm. If you have a story about the library that you would like to share please email



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