Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Past Library Battles in Southport 1953

Our resident historian writes:

I have been looking at a cutting from the Southport Journal dated May 8th 1953. There is report of a Southport Town Council meeting which had taken place three days earlier. There was a discussion  concerning later opening hours and the drop in borrowings which the Libraries and Art committee claimed that their figures  proved conclusively was due to the restricted hours of opening at the branch libraries  
In those days there were branches at Crossens and Wennington Road as well as Churchtown, Weld Road Birkdale, and Ainsdale.

The report went on say ;-

 “There is no doubt that the public living away from the centre of the town have been greatly inconvenienced by the hours of opening during the past six or seven months. So I am certain that the decision to bring all libraries into line immediately – 10a.m. to 7-30p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday and 10 a.m. and 6p.m. on Saturday will be generally welcomed”.

There are a couple of quotes from Councillors who took part in the debate which merit repeating. Cllr Sam Goldberg* (Liberal, Park Ward) said “It is a major tragedy when a town is without a library in the evening…. The lifeblood of a town is its culture”. Tory Councillor Barbara Pogson* who lived next door to Birkdale Library in York Road said “We have a duty to the public and the library is a very important duty”.
Barbara was  was a staunch ToryAlderman who complained in 1971 when I delivered leaflets on a Sunday that her people would not do that kind of thing. I was surprised to read in an Eection Focus leaflet probably in 2001  that she was living in residential care in the Lake District and was now voting Lib Dem !

*Sam and his wife Madge deserve a posting all to themselves. Sam was the Liberal candidate in 1959 and took second place in a three cornered fight.

Cllr Pogson was Mayor of Southport 1966/7 sandwiched between Sir Ron Watsons's in-law HH Barber and J Sims Mitchell

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