Hilda Quick & VE Day

 

The library is lucky to hold archives of work by the Cornish artist and illustrator Hilda Quick.

Quick was born in Penzance in 1895 and trained at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, later specialising in wood engravings. Locally, she created designs for the Minack Theatre programmes, working directly with Rowena Cade (founder of the Minack). She also illustrated numerous books including her own — Marsh and Shore, about bird-watching on the Cornish coast, which became a bestseller.

She lived in Penzance until the death of her parents in 1951, after which she moved to St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly, remaining there for the rest of her life and continuing to produce work until her death at the age of 83 in 1978.

During her long career Quick produced numerous studies of the local community in Penzance and Newlyn, including these rather wry and playful sketches. They were made during the second world war and give an insight into the everyday lives of people in Penzance during that time – from the desperate and dutiful queues at the local fishmongers and chaos at the food office in St John’s Hall, to Penzance’s exasperated ‘chief billing officer’ pulling at his hair.

VE day commemorates the beginning of peace in Europe, a peace that must have been felt in a thousand little ways across the country, from our own land’s end to the highlands. It celebrates the peace that started the long and complicated process of healing for many countries. Hilda Quick’s drawings capture a time that is past but VE day reminds us that the value of peace, and working together, is ever-present.

 

 

Library closure from Friday 20th March, 4.00pm

A message from our Librarian to the membership – 

To all our Members,

I am incredibly sad to have to tell you that, based on advice from government authorities overnight, the library will close at 4.00pm on Friday 20th March until further notice.

This is not a decision taken lightly. We all know that Morrab Library is more than just a building in which to work or borrow a book. It is also an important space for our members to meet and spend time with friends and colleagues, be it through a coffee together in the members’ kitchen, or a class or workshop. I am keenly aware that removing this option from so many of your lives, at such an uncertain time anyway, will leave a significant gap.

But it is impossible to ignore the level of risk that remaining open poses to our members, volunteers and staff, and it is a risk the library feels it cannot take.

At this stage, it is not possible to say when we will be able to re-open. As you will be aware, this is an unprecedented time, with circumstances changing daily, and we will be guided by official advice as to when it is considered safe to open our doors again.

In the meantime, staff will be working from home, and be contactable via email and social media. Unfortunately, we cannot forward the library phone number to another number, but we will check for voicemail messages once a week. So please stay in touch, and if we are able to help in any way, we would be delighted to do so.

If you have any library books out on loan, please don’t worry about returning them. As you know, we do not impose fines for overdue books, and rather than try to return them to the library when we’re not here (they won’t fit in our letterbox!), we would rather you held on to them and kept them safe until we are open again.

One last thing – obviously all classes and talks will not be able to take place for some time. For those of you who have booked events with us, we’ll keep your names and let you know when we are able to reschedule. Please note that this week’s Medical Students Display event will not be going ahead. Sadly, the Penzance Orchestral Society concert on Saturday has also been cancelled.

We will miss you, and hope to see you again very soon. Please stay safe and take care.

Lisa and the library team

 

Student Membership

We’re now offering individual student membership at £20 for the whole year.

Membership means access to over 70,000 books, book-lined Victorian rooms with desks, sockets & often a sea view, the all essential WiFi, tea & coffee & the equally essential biscuit tin, and help navigating our diverse collections from our wonderful staff & volunteers (if we say so ourselves). All for the price of a hardback 📙.

Immy & Marlene – Duke of Edinburgh Volunteers

Looking back one of the highlights of 2019 was having these wonderful young ladies complete their Duke of Edinburgh volunteering with us. Their enthusiasm was completely infectious! Near the end of their time here we asked them to write a little something about the library which you can read below. We think they’re some of the best reviews we’ve ever had! 

 

 

“Hello! My name is Immy and I have been coming to the Morrab Library for a few months now and it’s been really great. The people are so nice and funny, just being at the library I lose track of time and I end up spending a few hours here. By doing this it takes me away from my phone and stress… the atmosphere is so peaceful and quiet it feels like you’re in a different place, completely stress free. Which is absolutely needed in this 21th century. Even if you might not realise it, you probably are stressed out by one thing or another. And if you’re not it’s a great place to experience! The rooms are lovely! If you like a modern look you might like the art room and if you want to learn about West Cornwall then visit the Cornish Room. My friend and I found these funny poems written by a Cornishman, and it got me into poetry! I never really liked it until I found that little treasure. There’s many beautiful looking books from and about different eras. You can learn so much from a library, why not do it in a peaceful library with a stunning view of the Morrab Gardens right in front of you? I never came here before I started volunteering and it’s so refreshing and relaxing. If you don’t like reading just come to the library to look at its beauty. It’s been here since 1818 and it’s just so beautiful being in such a historic place.” 

 

“Hey! I’m Marlene. I volunteer at the library with Immy and I completely adore it. We’ve been coming here for almost nine months and our Duke of Edinburgh time is almost up, but I’m going to come by and visit afterwards because I’ll really miss all the lovely lovely people here and the beautiful vibe. My favourite place is the Natural History Room. The walls are covered with row upon row of gorgeous wooden shelves and stacked with hundreds of old volumes and pretty pictures. The light comes in gently from one tall window and the room is always in a state of peaceful twilight. Morrab Library is absolutely one of my favourite places in the world – and there’s something for everyone! Immy’s already told you all about the many attractions of the Library… there are so many hidden treasures to be stumbled upon here. The tiny book of Cornish poetry that we unearthed and pored over for hours is probably one of my favourite books. I’ve also found tons of beautiful clothes books from centuries ago which were a portal to another world entirely – just like the library itself!”

Christmas Closing Times

Please note that the Library will close for Christmas at the end of the day on Saturday 21st December and re-open for business on Thursday 2nd January. We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the new year.