Library Closure

Dear members,

We were all set to contact you today to welcome you to 2021 and remind you that the library would be opening again from tomorrow.

Unfortunately, the Prime Minister’s announcement last night has scuppered that plan, and we now find that sadly, we need to tell you that the library will have to close until further notice.

We will be in touch soon with all of you who already had made appointments for this week, or sent us enquiries over the Christmas period.

Library staff will be working remotely again and we will check emails to enquiries@morrablibrary.org.uk or messages left on 01736 364474 as often as we are able.

Please hold on to any books you have borrowed from us for now, they’ll be safest in your care.

We know a number of you have already asked about renewing your membership for 2021 – many thanks for your support! Please bear with us as we explore logistics and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

We’ll stay in touch through our weekly links email and via social media, but please feel free to contact us if we can help in any way, or just to let us know how you are getting on.

Hopefully this will be the last closure of this type, and not for any longer than it needs to be. Please stay safe, and take care – we’ll miss you, but want you all back with us safe and well when this is all over.

With best wishes from the Library team.

Some Christmas cheer from the library trustees!

We’re pleased to share this light-hearted look at Christmas and our library 100 years ago from the trustees.

John le Carré (9 October 1931 – 12 December 2020)

David Cornwell, better known by his pen name John le Carré, was a passionate supporter and friend of Morrab Library for many years. As well as holding the role of President from 1997-2002, he later continued for many years as our Patron. His relationship with the Library stretched even further back to the 1970’s.

 

Mr Cornwell supported the library in a number of ways. Perhaps the most special was his establishment of the Morrab Fellowship, which for a number of years provided a bursary to local sixth-formers to purchase books for their studies. He will be remembered for his vision for the library’s future, and his aim of encouraging young people to join and be inspired by this special place.

 

His tremendous generosity was evident through his commissioning of the construction of a number of the beautiful Victorian-style mahogany reading tables located in our rooms upstairs, and paying the insurance premium on our book collection throughout his tenure as President. Mr Cornwell also donated copies of  all of his books to the library throughout the years.

 

He also gave his time to many events and meetings to support the library. One very successful fundraiser was a televised event from the Acorn Theatre in 2000, when he was interviewed about his life and writings by Radio Cornwall’s Tim Hubbard in front of a packed audience. Another was an evening in the library, when Radio 4’s James Naughtie interviewed Mr Cornwell for his popular Bookclub show in 1998. The interview was aired the following year and you can listen to it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00fptty 

 

Morrab Library was incredibly fortunate to have Mr Cornwell as a friend, supporter, life member, President and Patron. He wrote of the Morrab Library….”whether you’re an impassioned bibliophile or just someone who loves a good read, the Morrab is for you: a Cornish treasure house, a meeting place for like-minded souls, and a vibrant forum for contemporary writing.” His legacy will endure.

 

Lisa Di Tommaso

Holy Macaroni! by Maureen Sleeman

In this blog piece, library volunteer and member, David Sleeman, speaks about the latest addition to our children’s collection –  Holy Macaroni! written by the brilliant and much missed Maureen Sleeman.

Holy Macaroni!  by Maureen Sleeman

A wonderful new addition to the shelves of the Morrab Library will shortly be arriving. Holy Macaroni a children’s story written by Maureen Sleeman who was a member of the library for many years will be published early in November by AH Stockwell.

Macaroni, an Italian mongrel lives with the Fettuccini family in a pizzeria near the ancient town of Pompeii. Macaroni finds himself carried back 2000 years to the reign of Caligula. Plunged into a madcap world of slaves, gladiators and a lunatic emperor Macaroni becomes a dog with a cause, sniffing out treachery, pitting his wits against villains and saving Pompeii from the Emperors wrath.

Children in the family have read Macaroni and Maureen took him to a local primary school and read to the children who loved it. The inspiration came from her love of Italy and a holiday where we visited Pompeii.

It was against this background that I chose to try and get Macaroni published.

Sadly, Maureen passed away in April 2019 aged 58 and Macaroni just lay there asking to be let out. He has travelled to London, twice to Wales, before finally finding a friendly publisher in North Devon.

Maureen loved to write and was known locally in various writing groups. It seemed as if Maureen always had a pen in her hand making notes about characters and places for the next story. Over time, she has produced many articles and novels, one with a film script which got as far as Working Title in London but alas not taken up. Her last novel set in Rhodes, crime fiction was all but complete prior to her illness. Maureen had planned to go back to her writing in January 2020 and work on getting her writing published but it was not to be.

My tribute to Maureen was to get Macaroni published and let children enjoy the benefit of her wonderful imagination. 

 

David Sleeman

Delivering The Goods – a short story by Julia Grigg

Delivering The Goods was on the shortlist for the 2020 Bridport Short Story Prize. Julia Grigg is the pen name of Julia Spry-Leverton, who’s recently become a member of Morrab Library after coming to live in Penzance. The move to Penzance is a homecoming for Julia after an overseas career in international development, predominantly in Africa, as a writer for UNICEF (experiences of which she has drawn on for her short story.) Julia‘s maternal grandmother, Julia Grigg, from whom she’s borrowed her nom de plume, was born on St Michael’s Mount, Julia herself being born to Cornish parents in Looe. Julia is a poet and historical fiction author – her debut novel The Eyes that Look is a story of art and adventure set in Renaissance Venice. Her current work in progress is a novel about Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch and his family set in the period of the First World War.