Yesterday, Thursday 10th January, I ran a workshop in the library to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the library. 10th January 1969 was when the library first opened its door to the general public.
I did not get many people to my workshop - four in total; the head librarian, another librarian, the man running the Fair Trade stall and a friend from church, who didn't in the end stay to compete her poem. But that was fine. I got some much more from it than running the workshop. I learned some Abergele history.
I met the man who designed the library and many of the buildings built around that date. I met the first head librarian and heard some great tales from her. And of course learned that nothing happens overnight and that a lady named Mrs Lyons campaigned vigorously for years to get a proper library in Abergele.
We all got to remember the difference in health and safety between then and now. Six months after the library was opened a bomb went off less than 100 yards away but the library did not close at all. . https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/abergele-martyrs-killed-bomb-explosion-14852293 Read more about it here.
In fact the library was not into closing at all. During the 3-day week in the 1970s, when for 3 days each week parts of the country had no electricity, Abergele librarians would hand out candles to the borrowers so they could still choose their books. Now they would not be allowed the hand out candles due to health and safety. And if a bomb went off so close the whole area would be cordoned off and fears of a second bomb. Times have changed.
1969 was also the year the first man landed on the moon. It was when I was living in a small village in Dorset and remember seeing the moon landing in the living room of our bungalow. I was 7 and the bit I remember most was that our living room walls were painted tomato red because my Mum and let my sister and I be involved in the colour scheme.
1969 was also the year that the book the Very Hungry Caterpillar was first published. It has survived as well as the library with no changes at all. Look out for a photograph on local kindergarten children doing the caterpillar conger round the library in celebration before singing happy birthday to the library and eating cake.
Interesting this year is also when Tesco supermarket celebrates its centenary.