Ickle village book exchange unveiled in grand opening
- Credit: Karyn Haddon
If you’ve ventured into Ickleford recently, you might have spotted an old red telephone box on the green that hasn't been there in recent years...
The parish council was keen to see the classic kiosk installed, and funded the telephone box. Ickleford resident and artist Samantha James then came to the council with the idea of establishing a micro book exchange inside, available for the whole community to freely use.
The Ickleford Telephone Box Book Exchange was opened in an official ceremony on Saturday, September 11, by the chairman of the parish council Ray Blake.
Samantha approached Cllr Blake - who had equal enthusiasm for the concept - at the beginning of the year, and encouraged her to fundraise to help pay for the project, which was also boosted by a generous donation from Cllr David Barnard.
She collected donations from Ickleford residents to pay for the shelving for the book exchange, with the ultimate aim that the library becomes a self-run project based on trust.
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At the event, Cllr Blake said: “This is an exciting new venture for our village, and I hope it gives many years of enjoyment to all our residents.”
Samantha added: "It was such a fantastic day - everything myself and Judith had envisioned. The sun was shining and there was about 200 residents in attendance.
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"The Ickle Café was there serving tea, coffee and food and the local pub, The Old George, put on a fantastic complementary spread along with Pimm's and soft drinks for the children.
"The shelves of the book exchange were fit to burst with generous donations from the residents which I organised and collected, and Hitchin Lavender donated some dried lavender to decorate the inside of the telephone box with.
"Overall, a fantastic day bringing the community together and I have seen lots of people using the exchange since it’s opening on Saturday."