Monday, 1 August 2011

Library in a Phone Box #13 Shirley, Derbyshire

So at the weekend just gone, I was out in the wilds of Derbyshire, under glorious sunshine, zipping through country-lanes in my Smart car, and I took the opportunity to visit the village of Shirley.

Its a teeny tiny place, little more than a crossroads, a pub and a church, but it has a phone box library.

It was jam-packed with books,ten shelves at least with books shoved on top, and also boxes for children's books. It was wonderful.

So, it was around lunchtime on a Saturday, and the lanes of Shirley were empty except for a roving crowd of Jehovah's Witnesses, smartly dressed in shirts and ties. We chatted to one of them about the phone box library, he seemed pleasant enough and quite impressed by the extensive range of books, although somewhat disappoving of Dean Koontz as he might be a Jew.

A sign on the outside reported that Oscar, a young colt, had gone missing. Who would have thought that a town with a population of 254 would have horse rustlers?

I dropped off the copy of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian which I'd picked up from the library in Thruxton in June, and picked up a copy of Julian Cope's The Modern Antiquarian. Its quite a find, I can't believe someone would want to be shot of it.

Having having visited a couple of these villages, lost in England's countryside, with their anachronistic phone boxes re-purposed as book repositories, were they ever big enough to host a complete library of their own?

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