Library memories from the Sheffield Forum (Part Two)

Here are more memories of local libraries from the online Sheffield Forum.

L recalls:

Courtesy Picture Sheffield

Courtesy Picture Sheffield

When I worked at Brown Bayley’s on Leeds road, Attercliffe in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, I used Attercliffe library all the time. I remember on one occasion I wanted to reserve a book called “Sir you *******”. Feeling a little awkward at asking for the book, I whispered the title and author to the librarian. Unknown to me the librarian was a little bit hard of hearing and asked me to repeat the title again. I raised my voice a little and repeated the request, again she asked me to repeat the title of the book. I did so in a slightly higher voice ( but still quite low). She suddenly realised what I had said and almost shouted back at me ” Sir you *******” yes we do have it but it is out at the moment so do you want to reserve it?. The library was quite busy at the time and everyone turned round to see who was ordering a book with such a title.

If you still haven’t read the book, replies someone else, it’s available via Abebooks.

B remembers the library’s own reading clubs:

I remember Hillsborough Junior Library in the late 40s.  They had a reading club.Which I seem to remember was run outside normal opening hours. The perk of this was that you could get first chance of reading any new books that had arrived. Which was a rare event at that time. The downside was you could only read them in the library, not allowed to take them home.

Yes, in the 1950s it was on Wednesday evenings – I think it was called the “Reader’s Circle”. (says H)

Hillsborough Library

Hillsborough Library, with the children’s library extension

TW went to Walkley Library:

Walkley Library

Walkley Library

Whilst at St Mary’s School, Walkley, in the mid 1960s, we used to gather in pairs just after lunch with the oldest at the front (add the year group of each child in the pair), and then be walked along South Road, past all the shops, until we reached Walkley Library on the end. We then had to replace our library books from the children’s section. Sometimes it was difficult to choose a new one in the time. I remember liking: the Cherrys (by William Matthew Scott), the Adventure Series (by Enid Blyton); Secret Seven (by Enid Blyton); Famous Five (by Enid Blyton); Jennings (by Anthony Buckeridge); Just William (by Richmal Crompton), Biggles (by W. E. Johns) and probably many more. At least one time we spent longer in the library (I think it was also over several weeks) and researched a topic. I chose (or was given) “History of Railways” as I thought at that time that my great great great grandfather (who was called Rockett) drove Stephenson’s Rocket when it won the Rainhill Trials. I remember taking great care to colour in a picture that I had drawn of the Rocket.

KK remembers fun at Firth Park Library:

Oh dear! I might be lowering the tone, but…I lived on Firth Park Avenue from 1960 age 5 to 10, don’t recall what age I was but, I loved to go in Firth Park library and play hide and seek around the great big bookcases, spent what seemed like hours in there and had lots of shushing and tutting from the librarians and stiffling the giggles made it even funnier. At age 60, I still immediately see the hide and seek potential in most big or ornate buildings I go into, before I see the architectural beauty of the place!!

More serious response to your question…I do remember paying the fine for late return and it going into the triangle shaped collection box on the high counter. I used to feel like a mini criminal. Also the sound of the date stamping in the book and the flicking through of the cards to put your library ticket into the index system. Hide and seek anyone? Lol

What are your memories of libraries in Sheffield? Use the Comments box to let us know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.