Littlehampton Library’s 110th anniversary celebrated

Staff dressed in Edwardian-style clothing to serve cream teas
Staff dressed in Edwardian-style clothing to serve cream teas
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Littlehampton Library’s 110th anniversary has been marked with a series of special events.

The library, located in Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, officially opened its doors to the public on May 30, 1906, at the start of the Edwardian era.

Littlehampton Library became the scene of a crime for a murder mystery evening

Littlehampton Library became the scene of a crime for a murder mystery evening

Celebrations for the anniversary kicked off with an Edwardian-style afternoon tea on Tuesday, May 31, when more than 200 people flocked to the library for scones with jam and cream, as well as birthday cake.

Manager Jane Chilton gave a speech in which she thanked all the customers for their support and continued loyalty to Littlehampton Library.

Littlehampton mayor Ian Buckland joined the celebrations and helped Jane to cut the birthday cake.

Staff were dressed in Edwardian-style clothing throughout the afternoon, while serving the teas and scones.

Families listening to stories during the teddy bears' picnic

Families listening to stories during the teddy bears' picnic

The following day, the library became the scene of a crime for a murder mystery evening.

Around 50 people enjoyed solving the mystery of the death of Tony Ferdinand, a fictional literary star maker.

Four suspects were interviewed and gave their account of what happened. Forensic reports were examined during the interval, when wine and cheese was served, then everyone reconvened to hear the confession.

Community librarian Lyndsey Power said: “A prize was awarded to one lucky customer who managed to finger the murderer and guess the motive.

Library manager Jane Chilton and Littlehampton mayor Ian Buckland cutting the cake

Library manager Jane Chilton and Littlehampton mayor Ian Buckland cutting the cake

“Everyone had a fantastic evening interacting with the suspects and playing sleuth. The overall opinion was ‘more murder mysteries, please!’.”

On Friday, June 3, the final day of celebrations, the library hosted a teddy bears’ picnic. Families went along to hear stories, play parachute games, make doilies and eat a picnic lunch on rugs.

Littlehampton has one of the Carnegie libraries, as it was built using money donated by the businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and there have been efforts in the past to have the building listed.

The front of the building is the oldest, being built in 1906.

In 2002, there was an extension to the rear, which provided a quiet study area and space for adult events and evening talks.

Last year alone, Littlehampton Library welcomed 99,498 visitors through its doors and issued 120,203 items.

Littlehampton Library is open on Monday from 10am to 7pm, Tuesday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm, Friday from 10am to 5pm, and Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/libraries for more information.

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