Debra from Queen’s Park Library and Maureen, a regular volunteer, set off from the Library on Saturday loaded up with books to give away for the World Book Night 2017 event .
Unfortunately, in the rush to get to the lunch club at St Peter Elgin Avenue, the actual World Book Night book, ‘Of Mice and Men’ was left behind.
So while Maureen did brisk business giving away the books at the lunch club, Debra whizzed back to the library and picked up a stack of the missing books. This worked out well as several copies were handed over to startled members of the public at bus stops and traffic lights along the length of the Harrow Road.
After the lunch club, bikes were reloaded and Maureen and Debra headed over to the Spring Sale at WECH’s community space for more chatting about books and giving away titles to happy recipients.
Finally, the pair headed back to the library with the few books that were left.
It was a great way to connect with people from the community who do not (yet) use their local library.
The extraordinary stories of those who have lived in and around the area certainly brought a lot of people into Marylebone Library recently – a record-breaking number attended the ‘Marylebone Lives ‘ event. Everyone had a great evening hearing from Carl Upsall and Mark Riddaway as they delved into some historical essays on the people, places and events that have helped shape the character of the area.
We learned about, for example:
The ‘King of the Marylebone Plains’, who initially made a living fighting for money at local fairs and developed a fearful reputation by defeating all challengers. Under the patronage of the Earl of Peterborough, Figg was able to open an arena in Marylebone Fields, just north of Oxford Street. The arena was known as Figg’s amphitheatre and became home to an academy at which Figg taught other young fighters.
Nightingale worked at 90 Harley Street and became known as the ’ lady with the lamp’. She did much to make nursing a respectable profession for women: before her, nurses were lower class women with no specific medical training who followed the army around, fulfilling any functions required of them.
Marylebone lives: rogues, romantics and rebels – character studies of locals since the eighteenth century is a must-read book for anyone interested in the social and local history of the Marylebone area.
Thanks to Carl and Mark for such an entertaining evening.