Monday, 29 September 2014

Meetings coming up

Our next programme of speaker meetings gets under way very soon.

On 16th October we are looking at the history of Liverpool's libraries.

John Tienan, a retired Assistant Director of the City's Libraries and an active library historian joins us to talk about the establishment and growth of public libraries in Liverpool from 1852.  He'll look at the importance given to libraries by our civic fathers and by patrons like Andrew Carnegie.

On 27th November we meet the winners of our children's writing competition and hear about the work of Carol Ann Duffy.

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Erica Kemp will present awards to the winners of our summer competition.  We'll then hear from Dr Mar Hughes-Edwards from Edge Hill University who'll be talking about the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy.

On 29th January we'll be joined by local author Dave Joy, who has produced one of the most recently published works about Garston history.

Each meeting is at the Enterprise South Liverpool Academy on Horrocks Avenue and starts at 6 30 (for 7).  We finish at or by 8 30.  There is a small charge which helps us cover our costs.

If you want to get e mails about our events, and don't already get them, please let us know and we will add you to our list.  You can e mail us on

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Library closures update - reprieve for Garston

We're delighted to report that the Council's report on library cuts is recommending that although some libraries will close, Garston will not.  Garston is listed as one of the more popular libraries in Liverpool and so is listed as one of seven that should be retained (others in South Liverpool in a similar situation are Parklands, Allerton and Childwall). 

The report still has to be voted on by the Council's Cabinet (15th August) and then there are other steps before it all becomes final.

Obviously what we don't know at the moment is whether there are any planned changes to opening hours at Garston or elsewhere, but for those who have been campaigning to protect this library, it is good news.

We'll update as and when we can - but meanwhile thanks are due to everyone who spoke up for Garston during the consultation phase.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Can you help us?

The Friends of Garston Library will be running a stall on 3 August at an event organised by The Reader Organisation on 3 August.  It's a great chance for us to meet people and sounds like a fun event to be at.

Can you help by giving us an hour or two of your time?

We need to make a rota for our stall , which will be operating from 10 am to 5pm.  Paula, our Chair, is delaying her holiday to do the first few hours (what a martyr!!) but we do need more people to help with the other times.

If you can do a stint, do please let us know.  You can e mail us at

Monday, 14 July 2014

Another great authors' evening

Big thanks to our local authors who read their work (all poetry) at the most recent Friends of Garston Library literary evening.

We heard from Bill Cooke, Mike Axworthy, Norah Rawlinson (hope that's right Norah, cant read my own writing), Tina Ford and Ray Redfern. 

We heard poems about Garston characters, about our area, about the effects of war, about love and marriage, about patriotism - about just about everything really.

We'll post photos when we have them.

There'll be another season of literary evenings in the Autumn.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Writers' evening - 10th July

10th July sees the next Friends of Garston Library literary evenings with a chance for you to read out your own work.

Our poetry and prose evening includes local poets Bill Cooke and Mike Axworthy as well as a section for others to read out their material.

There is still time (not much) to volunteer for this.  So if you do want to read please e mail us at  (please put poetry evening in the subject heading).

And if you don't write, you are still welcome to come and listen.

The venue is the Enterprise South Liverpool Academy on Horrocks Avenue in Garston.  The time, 6 30 for 7.  We make a small (£1) charge to help cover costs but you do get a soft drink for that!

If you've any questions, do let us know.  You can also come and have a chat at our stall at the Garston Fun Day on 21 June (Garston Park 11 am to 2pm)

Summer writing competition

We're running our summer writing competition again this year.  Open to anyone under 18, all you need to do is write a poem or a piece of prose.  It can be about any topic you like as long as it is no longer than two sides of A4 (it can be quite a bit shorter).

The winners will take part in a special presentation evening, will have their work published on line and in our event programmes and will get a prize.

All you need to do is

Be under 18
Let us have  your work by 12 September
Tell us your name, address, age and school (and e mail address if you have one)

You can send your entries to writing competition, c/o Paula Keaveney, 75 Canterbury Street, L19 8LQ or e mail it (word attachment pleas) to

We would prefer typed work but we will accept handwriting as long as it is very neat.

If you have queries, you can e mail  or come and see us at our stall at the Garston Fun Day on 21 June - Garston Park 11 am to pm.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Chidren's writing competition

Last year two young people won our first ever writing awards for children and young people.

We'll be running the competition again this year, so watch out for details.  We're writing to local schools but will also post information on this site.

Liverpool's maritime heritage - book list 4

Another list from our speaker on books about Liverpool's maritime heritage.  Do scroll down to look at lists 1 - 3.

This time, more on specific shipping lines

Hyde, F E  (1957) Blue Funnel: A history of Alfred Holt and Co of Liverpool.

Falkus, Malcolm (1990) Blue Funnel Legend: A History of the Ocean Steam Ship Company

Davies, Peter ( two editions, 1973 and 2000) The Trade Makers: Elder Dempster in West Africa

Davies, Peter (1978) Sir Alfred Jones: Shipping Entrepreneur par excellence.

All four books are in the Liverpool library catalogue which you can check at this link

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Liverpool's maritime heritage - book list 3

More books from the list provided by Professor Nick White at our most recent meeting.

This time, on the Great Shipping Lines

Chandler, George  Liverpool Shipping; a short history (1960)

Elson, Peter  The Great Mersey Shipping Lines

Gardiner, Robin  The History of the White Star Line (2006)

Scarth, Alan Titanic and Liverpool (2009)

Hyde, F E  Cunard and the North Atlantic  1840 - 1973.  (1975)

The first four are showing up in the Liverpool Library catalogue.

Liverpool's maritime heritage - book list part 2

Our latest speaker, Professor Nick White, left us with a long list of books on Liverpool's maritime heritage.  We're posting details of these on this blog.  This is the second post in the list (go back a little for the first).  And more are to follow!

Introductory or Overview Books on the topic

Jarvis, Adrian  Liverpool: A History of The Great Port (2014)

Belcham, John (ed) Liverpool 800: Culture, Character and History (2006).  The chapter by Graeme Milne was recommended.

Lane, Tony  Liverpool: City of the Sea (1997)

Haggerty, Webster and White (eds) The Empire in One City? (2008)

Hyde, F. E  Liverpool and the Mersey (1971)

Of these, the Belcham, Lane and Haggerty books are all in the library catalogue.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Library cuts consultation

Dont forget there's just one week now to get your library survey form in.  These forms are part of the Council's consultation ahead of their announcement/decision over which libraries they propose to close.  It's really important that people who value their local library actually speak up for it.

You can find the on - line version of the form at this link.

The Council is also having a few "public meetings" about this.  The meetings are not about specific libraries but about the whole thing.  There's one on 30th May at 2pm at Central Library. 

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Liverpool's maritime heritage - the book list

We had a great talk last week by Professor Nick White from Liverpool John Moores University.

He highlighted a huge range of books and other sources about Liverpool, the sea and shipping.

There were so many in fact that we're going to post the details in different posts so that we don't end up with a massive list!

So if you are keen on this subject, do please keep checking back.

First up is information on contacts and organisations.

The Maritime Museum in Liverpool has a new exhibition starting on 16th May.  This is called Sail Away.  The Museum is also the home for some great archives.  These can be found at

Another source of info is the Liverpool Nautical Research Society.

It can be found at this address

And finally, for this post,  there is the Centre for Port and Maritime History

Friday, 18 April 2014

Liverpool's martime heritage - literary evening 24 April

Our next literary evening is on Thursday 24 April when we focus on literature about Liverpool's maritime heritage.

We'll be hearing from Professor Nick White from Liverpool John Moores University.

The event is at the Enterprise South Liverpool Academy on Horrocks Avenue in Garston.

It starts at 7pm, although we are there from 6 30 with drinks.  We make a small charge of £1 to help cover our costs.

There's plenty of parking at the venue which is also near the 82 bus route and Liverpool South Parkway Station.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Liverpool Library cuts consultation

The on line version of the libraries questionnaire is now up and running.

You can find it at this link.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Libraries consultation starts

The consultation on Liverpool City Council's cuts to the library service is due to start this week (w/c7 April).

It's due to run to 16th May with hard copy forms available in libraries and a questionnaire also available on line (link not up yet at time of writing).

It's really important for people who value their local libraries, or who have something to say about the service, to fill in one of the forms.

We understand that the Council will be using the information to make its decisions about which libraries to close/cut back.  There'll probably be a delay from the 16th May for several weeks for the info to be sorted through.

We'll blog regular updates when we can but meanwhile do join the Save Garston Library Facebook Group to keep in touch.


The on line consultation is now findable at this link

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Want to read out your work?

The Friends of Garston Library are holding another event for local people to read out their work.  This time it's both poetry and prose we're interested in

July 10th is the date.  This might sound a long way away but we need to hear from you ahead of time if you want to take part.

If you have a poem or a short piece of prose, or are working on something now, and you want to have a chance to read it out,please get in touch.

You can e mail us at  Please put the word "writing" in the subject line.  We'll reply with more details.

The evening will also include readings by local poets Bill Cooke and Mike Axworthy.

The venue is the Enterprise South Liverpool Academy.  The time, 6 30 for 7.  We ask for a small donation £1 to help us cover costs like soft drinks and room hire.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Next literary events

24th April is our next literary evening.  We'll be hearing about literature on Liverpool's maritime heritage with a talk by Professor Nick White of Liverpool John Moores University.

And on 10th July our event focuses on your writing, with a chance to read out your own poetry and prose.

Both start at 6 30 for 7 at Enterprise South Liverpool Academy on Horrocks Avenue.

We'll publish more details soon about how to get a poetry reading slot.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Library cuts - what's next

We understand that there'll be a consultation about library services starting later this month.

We know the Council has announced plans for cuts to the service, but the Council is also obliged BY LAW to run a consultation ahead of any changes/ proposals.

We're told there'll be surveys (both on line and in hard copy) for library users and others to use to give feedback.

There's likely to be a six week "survey" period followed by six weeks for the Council to go through feedback and figures etc.

We'll post again about this when we know the surveys are ready but do please look out for them and fill them in.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Literature of the First World War - talk - 20 March

Our 2014 series of literary evenings kicks off with a session about the literature of the First World War.

We'll be joined by guest speaker Dr Guy Cuthbertson from Hope University.

Dr Cuthbertson teaches on this topic and is the author of a newly published biography of Wilfred Owen.

The event takes place at the Enterprise South Liverpool Academy on Horrocks Avenue in Garston.  Drinks (cold) are available from 6 30 with the talk starting at 7pm.

The venue has plenty of parking and is also near Liverpool South Parkway Station and the 82 and 86a bus routes.

Here is a quote from the Amazon review of Dr Cuthbertson's book

"One of Britain's best-known and most loved poets, Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) was killed at the age of 25 on one of the last days of the First World War, having acted heroically as soldier and officer despite his famous misgivings about the war's rationale and conduct. He left behind a body of poetry that sensitively captured the pity, rage, valour and futility of the conflict. In this new biography Guy Cuthbertson provides a fresh account of Owen's life and formative influences: the lower-middle-class childhood he tried to escape; the places he lived in, from Birkenhead to Bordeaux; his class anxieties and his religious doubts; his sexuality and friendships; his close relationship with his mother and his childlike personality. Cuthbertson chronicles a great poet's growth to poetic maturity, illuminates the social strata of the extraordinary Edwardian era, and adds rich context to how Owen's enduring verse can be understood."

We'll be making a small charge of £1 at this meeting. This is to help us meet our room hire and other costs.

The literary evening following this will be in April and will focus on Liverpool's maritime heritage.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

General Meeting tonight - all welcome

The Friends of Garston Library General Meeting is tonight at 7pm at the Enterprise South Liverpool Academy on Horrocks Avenue.

Do come along to find out more and give us your thoughts on what the Friends ought to be doing for tne next year or so.