Friday, 30 August 2019

Using Molesey Library is crucial to its survival

The new season, 2019- 2020, of our popular Author Events will be opened by Robin Driscoll on 24th September 2019.The tickets are on sale in the library this week and as ever it is VERY helpful if you are able to buy your ticket in advance as this helps us with set up.
As a point of information, there will be some changes at the library and we said farewell to three of our regular staff during the last two months. I understand that during this period many staff have left the Library Service so at the moment staff seem to be moving between libraries as needed. Hopefully, in the near future staffing issues will be sorted out and we will have a more permanent team again.
I think you are all aware that the Library Service is under review and I have no idea what the future holds. However, I do know that using the library is crucial to its survival so as ever I urge you to use our library as much as you can as footfall (numbers of users going in) and issues (number of books taken out) are measured each month by officers and comparisons are made between all the other libraries.
We look forward to welcoming you on 24th and do remember that we hold a weekly coffee morning every Friday between 10a.m - 12 noon. 

Kind Regards,
Pauline MorozgalskaChair of the Friends of Molesey Library

My career with TV's Mr Bean!

Robin Driscoll, picture credit: Bridport News
After the summer break, our popular series of Author Events at the Library will resume on Tuesday September 24 with a visit from Robin Driscoll, author and former scriptwriter for Mr Bean.
Robin’s early career was spent travelling with the Cliffhanger Theatre Company and performing around the country including, for a number of years, at the Edinburgh Fringe.  There they were spotted by Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones and in due course Robin had great success writing for, and taking on supporting roles in, their very successful show Alias Smith & Jones.
Later Robin was asked to join Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis (of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Blackadder fame) in co-writing Mr Bean for Thames Television - the start of a dream job that kept him busy, along with other work, for 25 years.
Now Robin has put scriptwriting aside to write mystery thrillers choosing, as he says, to write what he himself likes to read. He has three fast-paced thrillers already under his belt, the latest of which -Still Warm  - tells the story of NYPD detective Josie King searching for the kidnapper of her young god-daughter.
With such a varied career, Robin will have plenty to talk to us about so please come and join us at the Library at 7.30 pm on September 24 for what promises to be a most entertaining evening. Tickets cost £5 and are available from Molesey Library.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Meet the Author event - Harriet Sandys

The next speaker in our series of Author Events at Molesey Library will be Harriet Sandys who will talk about her book Beyond the Last Blue Mountain.
She will tell us about her experiences as a young woman from a sheltered and privileged background who she set off alone to find out more about the plight of Afghan refugees displaced by the Soviet invasion.
Determined to do something about the refugees’ dire situation, she set up a small silk weaving project for illiterate Turkmen refugees, and was sent by UNESCO to Mazar-i-sharif to work with Afghanistan’s last remaining silk ikat weavers. During those years she was arrested by the KHAD, narrowly missed being blown up, survived acute bacterial meningitis in a Kabul hospital, and rescued an abandoned pi-dog puppy who became her devoted companion.
At the end of the first Gulf War Harriet travelled with the Peshmerga in the newly-liberated Iraqi Kurdistan. Then in 1994 she joined a group of unemployed builders and decorators driving convoys of food and aid from Croydon to the Muslim enclaves in Bosnia Herzegovina.
These days, Harriet continues to raise money for charity through her business selling oriental textiles and remains friends with the refugees she helped in Afghanistan.

Harriet will join us at the Library on WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL 2019 at 7.30 pm. Please note the day - Wednesday - rather than Tuesday when we normally hold our Author Events. We hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a fascinating talk. Tickets are available from the Library priced £5. We would be very grateful if you could buy your tickets IN ADVANCE as this really helps with planning the event.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Meet the Author event at Molesey Library - Stuart Laing

After the excellent talk about Iraq given to the Friends at January’s AGM by Sir Terence Clark, we are pleased to welcome another career diplomat - Stuart Laing - as speaker at our next Author Event on Tuesday 26 February.
Stuart Laing is co-author of a book on Omani-British history, Unshook Till the End of Time, took an MPhil at Cambridge in 2012 on the abolition of slave trading in the Indian Ocean, and has published a biography of Tippu Tip, the Arab ivory trader of the late 19th century.
His talk for us has the intriguing title Tippu Tip - Ivory, Slavery and Discovery in the Scramble for Africa.
In his Foreign Service career, Stuart Laing specialised in Arab and Middle Eastern affairs and served in Saudi Arabia and in Cairo, and then as High Commissioner in Brunei, Ambassador in Muscat, and later Ambassador in Kuwait. After leaving the world of diplomacy, he served as Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge for 10 years.
We hope you will be able to join us on Tuesday February 26 at 7.30pm - tickets cost £5. It is very helpful for planning purposes if you can commit by buying your ticket IN ADVANCE from Molesey Library.

Friday, 21 December 2018

What to expect at the Friends of Molesey Library AGM on 22 Jan, 7pm

The Friends of Molesey Library Annual General Meeting will be taking place at the library on Tuesday 22 January at 7pm. Admission is free, and we've lined up a distinguished speaker in Sir Terence Clark, a former diplomat and expert on the Middle East.

He will be entertaining us with a talk entitled 'In The Cradle of Civilisation'. Sir Terence will introduce you to Iraq, where he spent nearly 5 years as the British Ambassador, during much of Saddam Hussein’s war with Iran. But, as he will show, it was not all bombs and bullets and in the many quieter interludes he was able to explore this ancient land in depth, often with the aid of a native four-legged ally, his Kurdish Saluki.

Sir Terence was a career diplomat and Arabist and had previously served in many other countries of the Middle East as well as in Europe. He and his wife went to war-torn Iraq with some trepidation in 1985 but found the situation less fraught than media coverage suggested. By showing an interest in the history of Mesopotamia (the Land between the Two Rivers - Tigris and Euphrates), with which Britain has often been closely involved, he had licence to travel far and wide, getting to know Iraqi professionals, academics, artists, tribal sheikhs and people at every level of society and visiting the many historic sites from the Garden of Eden on-wards. In this talk, Sir Terence will highlight some of the fascinating people and places that he came across in the hope that it might encourage a more positive view of Iraq.

Sir Terence was also Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman. In retirement he has written extensively on the history and politics of the Middle East. His latest book – The Salukis in my Life, here, there and everywhere, from the Arab world to China – describes his many adventures in unusual places with these “Companions of Kings” across the vast region of their natural habitat.

In addition to hearing from Sir Terence you'll also hear briefly from our Chair Pauline and Treasurer Liz and assist in appointing the Committee for the coming year. We will aim to get the formalities out of the way quickly and on to our guest speaker. We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Talk cancelled

Unfortunately the talk this evening with Dr Peter Clark has had to be cancelled due to ill health. We will try to arrange this for another date. If you have already purchased tickets we will contact you to arrange a refund. - The Friends

Saturday, 27 October 2018

From the Middle East to Molesey

What connects Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens and the Middle East? They are all specialist subjects of Dr Peter Clark who will at Molesey Library on Tuesday 20 November to give a talk.

The Middle East is never far from the news and Peter has known the region for over 50 years, 30 of them working locally for the British Council. In 1988 he was posted to Abu Dhabi to run the Council’s office there. As a self-confessed romantic, he took up his new job rather reluctantly, initially viewing the United Arab Emirates as a brash, consumerist society and lacking in history.

Over time he fell in love with the country and its people. He got to know Abu Dhabi sheikhs and Dubai merchants and people at every level of society. He introduced a riotous Shakespeare company, organised the return of explorer Wilfred Thesinger and greeted royalty, politicians and celebrities.

With fluent Arabic, Peter has had access and insights denied to most visitors. The country was on the cusp of enormous economic expansion and his Emirates Diaries paints an affectionate picture of the country when it still resembled a chain of large informal villages.

Our events organiser John Coope will be 'in conservation' with Peter on the night and assisting the audience to find out more about Peter's life and works. He says: "Peter is a recognised authority on the Middle East and has translated and edited books written in Arabic and published other books in English about the area. He has led cultural tours to many countries in the region. We are lucky to have the opportunity to hear an expert view of an area which features so largely in the news headlines today."

Now back in the UK, Peter has also published two books on places associated with the life and works of Charles Dickens and has a new book looking at locations linked to Winston Churchill.

It promises to be a lively and wide-ranging discussion so we hope you will be able to join us - tickets cost £5 and are available from Molesey Library.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Jessica Hepburn returns to Molesey Library

Regular supporters of our Author Events will remember the inspiring talk given by Jessica Hepburn - then Executive Director of the Lyric Hammersmith - on her first visit to Molesey Library. On that occasion she spoke to us movingly about her book The Pursuit of Motherhood which charted her experience of eleven rounds of unsuccessful IVF, multiple miscarriages and a pregnancy which almost proved fatal.

Following the success of that book, Jessica has become a leading spokesperson and campaigner on infertility and founded Fertility Fest, the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility, modern families and the science of making babies.

In her early forties, after her last unsuccessful round of fertility treatment, Jessica decided that it was time to move on and, in her new role of ‘adventure activist’, she has taken on some of the world’s most iconic endurance challenges to raise awareness and money for adults and children without the families they long for.

Her successes so far have included swimming the English Channel, running the London Marathon and climbing both Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and the highest peak in South America.

Jessica will be returning to Molesey Library on Tuesday September 18, 2018 to talk to us about her latest book 21 Miles which draws its title from the distance she swam across the Channel.

As her punishing training for this challenge commenced, Jessica learned that she needed to put on weight to stave off the cold. And this led to another idea: what if she were to write to a collection of inspiring women and ask if they would meet and eat with her, and answer the question: does motherhood make you happy or can you have a fulfilling life without children?

21 Miles tells how Jessica ate 21 meals with 21 women, from baronesses and professors to award winners and record breakers, amazing women from different walks of life - and swam 21 miles to try and find an answer to this question.

Join us at Molesey Library on Tuesday September 18, 2018 at 7.30 pm to hear Jessica speak about her new book. Tickets cost £5 and are available from Molesey Library.

Your support is important for the future of the library

We are delighted to welcome back Jessica Hepburn on 18th September 2018 at 7.30pm to open our season of Author Events.

Tickets are now available at the library. We would ask you to purchase tickets prior to the event, if at all possible, as this helps us to know how much space needs to be created by moving the book stacks and then setting up an appropriate number of chairs.

Please remember that YOUR SUPPORT is very important to the future of the library. We are living through a period of time when very sadly libraries in many parts of the country are being closed as Council budgets are being squeezed and the service often under-used for the size of the local population. As Friends of the Library, we don’t want this to happen in Molesey and we try to boost the numbers of people using the library by arranging Author Events and a weekly Coffee Morning.

You can help by coming along or if you are unable to attend, please spread the word to friends and neighbours.

We cannot afford to be complacent and always remember that if we don’t use the Library we could risk losing this wonderful resource.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Molesey author Holly Vanstone to reveal African adventure

Holly (right) and a friend, in Uganda
Local resident and respected teacher Holly Vanstone will be joining us at Molesey Library on the evening of Tuesday 24th April 2018, from 7pm to talk about challenges, joys, risks and achievements of the eight years which she spent as head of a primary school in Uganda.
Holly has lived in Molesey for 32 years and was well known as a teacher at St. Lawrence Junior School from 1990 to 2000. Having then become a Head Teacher in the area, she succumbed to stress and severe depression. After continuing for a while with supply and music teaching, she then set off to pursue an adventurous dream.
A passion for Africa led Holly to move to Uganda in 2005 to head a primary school near Kampala. Here she found pupils who ran with joy into their classrooms but also a somewhat rigid, exam-based curriculum. While striving to maintain exam performance, she also worked hard to ensure that creative subjects had their place in school life.
Although this was a voluntary post for two years, Holly stayed for eight. And, since returning to the UK, she has continued to visit Uganda annually to provide both teacher and leadership training.
There will be an opportunity to buy Holly’s book Africa: Birthright and Calling on the night, cost £8.
Do come along and join us for what promises to be a fascinating talk. Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased from Molesey Library or on the night.