Saturday, 18 October 2014

New author events at Molesey Library: Living with the Mafia!

Our Author Events at Molesey Library go from strength to strength and tickets are now on sale for the next two evenings in the current programme.


On Tuesday October 28th 2014, Walton-based author Francesco Scannella will talk about his book ‘Sicilian Shadows’ and his childhood living with the Mafia.
Francesco was born in England of Sicilian parents but, when he was seven, his father decided that he had been a foreigner long enough and he was uprooted from his suburban London home and sent, like a lamb to the slaughter, to the heartland of the Cosa Nostra.
In the Sicilian village of Mussomeli, Francesco had to learn to live in a world where violence, lying and cheating were admirable and where you judged people less by their own virtues than by the power of their connections. ‘Siciiian Shadows’, Francesco’s first published book, is an open and at times brutal account of an extraordinary period in his young life.


On a gentler note, we are looking forward to welcoming best-selling author and former Molesey resident, Penny Vincenzi, to talk to us on Tuesday November 25th 2014.
Penny has recently published a new book ‘A Perfect Heritage’, which tells the story of a legendary cosmetic company and the people who work within it. Founded in 1953, the House of Farrell has fallen on difficult times, and the family who still have control of it have been forced to look for help from an outside source. The power struggles between the matriarch Athina Farrell, still its
figurehead, and the hyper-cool and high-powered Bianca Bailey, moved in by the money men to save the company, is fought out against the background of the glamorous cosmetics industry.
Penny, described as ‘the doyenne of the modern blockbuster’ is one of the UK’s best-loved and most popular authors. Since her first novel, ‘Old Sins’, was published in 1989, she has written fifteen best-selling novels.
Both events will start at 7.30 pm. Tickets for each evening cost £5 - which includes a glass of wine or soft drink – and can be purchased at Molesey Library. Alternatively, you can send a cheque (made payable to Friends of Molesey Library) with a stamped addressed envelope, to Author Event, Molesey Library, The Forum, Walton Road, West Molesey KT8 2HZ.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Molesey Library gets an inspiring talk from author Jessica Hepburn

The audience at the latest Author Event at Molesey Library heard Jessica Hepburn give a very inspiring talk divided into what she described as ‘two acts’.

In the first, Jessica told us about her challenging role as Executive Director of the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, a position she has held for nine years and where she is currently overseeing a very ambitious £20 million redevelopment plan which should be completed next year.

In the second ‘act’, Jessica turned to her best-selling book “The Pursuit of Motherhood’, published earlier this year, which relates her long and so far unsuccessful struggle to have a baby. Her account of years of IVF treatment, multiple miscarriages and a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy is a very personal one and Jessica told us how writing the book had marked a shift from her earlier position of secrecy and shame to one of being totally open about her infertility problem.

The reaction to the book has made Jessica aware how many people are affected by infertility and over the past few months she has appeared on TV and radio and in the press, and has started writing a widely-read blog, to open up discussion of the issue. She felt that she could now take some positives from her own experience, including becoming herself again after years of secrecy and discovering a love of writing – she is currently embarked on a second book, due out next year, which will explore motherhood and childlessness.

She summed up her philosophy as being “If you can’t change the outcome, change your attitude to the outcome’.

Jessica concluded by telling us about the latest challenge she has set herself – swimming the English Channel! She hopes to attempt the crossing next year and, given her enthusiasm and get-up-and-go attitude, you can surely put money on her achieving it!

Report by Carol Parker

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Molesey Library is packed out for Love Your Library Day

Molesey Library was the place to be on Saturday September 13th for the second annual Love Your Library Day. Coffee and cake was served in the morning and visitors had a chance to find out about activities the library offers, from rhyme time sessions for children to computer classes for adults.

In the afternoon the building was ready to burst as scores of children and their parents all descended for the summer reading challenge awards ceremony. West Molesey county councillor Ernest Mallett and the Worshipful Mayor of Elmbridge, Councillor Barry Fairbank, presented a certificate and a medal to each child and many also went away with a sticker and a balloon.

Friends of Molesey Library chairman, Pauline Morozgalska, said: "It was a very special day for the children and their parents and a great way to celebrate their reading achievements during the Summer. We were a bit taken aback by the numbers – about 110 children plus their parents. This was about twice the number who attended last year. However, once the medal presentation started everything went smoothly and I thought the atmosphere was very positive and parents appreciated the efforts made on behalf of the children."

Visitors had a chance to enjoy the garden, which has recently had new benches installed paid for by Mr Mallett from his county councillor budget and topped up with money from the Friends.

One thing the day highlighted was that Molesey Library would benefit from more space, particularly in the children's library area and the Friends are looking into the possibility of extending the building. We will update on progress on this website.



Monday, 8 September 2014

Love Your Library Day is this Saturday

Come along and join us for our 2nd Day. A day when our whole community can celebrate our library. You will find a warm welcome during the morning at a Coffee Morning. You may surprised at the number of activities that take place in library, get some information about our programme of Author Events and you may like to join the Friends.

The Friends and staff are thrilled that so many children in Molesey have taken part in the challenge that a special presentation ceremony has been arranged during the afternoon. We are delighted that the Mayor and Mayoress of Elmbridge and Mr. Ernest Mallet, representing Surrey Council, who will present the children who have completed the Summer Reading Challenge with medals and certificates.

 Love Your Library Times as follows

10.00 – 12.00 – Coffee Morning

2.30 – 4.00 – Presentation Ceremony for children who have completed the Magical Maze Summer Reading Challenge

We look forward to seeing you

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Lyric Theatre director Jessica Hepburn to speak at Molesey Library - tickets on sale now!

The Friends of Molesey Library has a regular programme of guest author events which have proven extremely popular.

These take place at the library at 7.30pm (dates below) and tickets cost £5. Already this year audiences have heard from Nicholas Ennos, a West Molesey-based author who believes Jane Austen’s famous novels may not have been written by somebody else, and novelist Jonathan Buckley who spoke about the influential of Italy and travel in his work and the difficulties facing writers in today’s market.

On September 30th we are delighted to be welcoming Jessica Hepburn, to speak about her book The Pursuit of Motherhood. Jessica is the executive director of the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith and her book is a brave and frank account of her long struggle to conceive a baby.

It was published in February and launched at Waterstones in Covent Garden by Jessica with help from the TV presenter Janet Ellis. It already become an Amazon Bestseller.

Jessica said: "I wanted to write the book I couldn’t find - an emotionally honest account of the secrecy, desperation and pain that surrounds infertility which acknowledges that, however hard you try, there might not be a happy ending but that even out of failure and disappointment there can be opportunity and triumph."

The evening will be an opportunity to find out more about Jessica’s life and work and how she approached the book. As always there will be time for audience members to ask questions and to chat to Jessica as well as the Friends committee afterwards. Please contact the Friends for a ticket or ask at Molesey Library itself. Our other forthcoming author events are as follows.
  • October 28th, 2014: Francesco Scannella author of Sicilian Shadows, living under the shadow of the Mafia.
  • 25th November 2014: Penny Vincenzi, the celebrated fiction author and former resident of Molesey.
  • 27th January 2015: Friends of Molesey Library AGM and guest author to be confirmed.
  • 24th February 2015: Robert Irvine, A Row of Beans - mystery on the allotment
  • 28th April 2015: Elizabeth Proudman from the Jane Austen Society

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Tickets on sale to Jonathan Buckley guest author event at the Library

On Thursday June 24th we will be hosting another hugely popular 'guest author' evenings at Molesey Library, this time with novelist Jonathan Buckley - who is coming all the way from Hove to speak to us.

Jonathan Buckley’s latest novel Nostalgia, published last year, is set in the fictitious Tuscany town of Castelluccio. Like his earlier novels, this new work has been acclaimed by readers and critics alike.

Describing it as ‘a kaleidoscopic novel’, the Sunday Times said ‘From a multitude of angles – history, geography, present and past residents, flora, fauna, festivals – a small Tuscan town is brought to teeming, vivid life. With a central storyline about an English expat painter, it's as exhilarating as an Italian holiday.’

The Independent suggested ‘if you are holidaying in Italy this summer, I'd pack this instead of, not as well as, your Rough Guide.’ This is perhaps no surprise as Jonathan has also been an editorial director at Rough Guides and has written guidebooks on Venice & the Veneto, Tuscany & Umbria, and Florence, as well as contributing to the Rough Guide to Classical Music and the Rough Guide to Opera.

Living in Hove, Jonathan has moved into fiction writing in recent years and has published seven other novels before writing Nostalgia. The Friends of Molesey Library are delighted that he has agreed to come and talk at the next in the current series of Author Evenings being held at the Library. Drawing together his factual and fictional writing about foreign places, Jonathan will be talking on the subject of Places Real & Imagined – Fiction & Travel Writing.

The event will take place on Tuesday June 24 2014 at 7.30 p.m at Molesey Library. Tickets cost £5 – which includes a glass of wine or soft drink – and they can be purchased at Molesey Library.

Alternatively, you can send a cheque (made payable to Friends of Molesey Library) with a stamped addressed envelope, to Author Event, Molesey Library, The Forum, Walton Road, West Molesey KT8 2HZ.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Will the real Jane Austen please step forward...

Molesey-based author Nicholas Ennos has an interesting theory about who really wrote Jane Austen's famous novels! He will be at Molesey Library to give a talk on Tuesday April 29th, so please come along, ask a question and see if you are convinced.

Jane Austen: genius or fraud?
It was recently announced that Jane Austen’s portrait will appear on the Bank of England’s next £10 note, a further accolade for one of our finest and best-loved novelists. But are we actually celebrating the right woman? According to Molesey-based author, Nicholas Ennos, the answer is NO!

After 10 years’ research, Nicholas has recently published his book, Jane Austen – A New Revelation, which sets out to challenge whether a poor, uneducated woman like Jane with no experience of sex or marriage could really have been the author of works such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

Much supporting evidence – including the language, style of writing and locations used in the novels - is presented to support his challenge to the authorship of the novels, published anonymously at the time but later attributed to Jane Austen. But, if not Jane, then who? Nicholas is convinced that we need look no further than Eliza de Feuillide, Jane’s Austen’s cousin and later sister-in-law.

In contrast to Jane, a retiring spinster, Eliza was a married lady of the highest intellect whose education was supervised by her natural father, Warren Hastings - Governor General of India, politician, linguist, translator, poet and man of letters.

Eliza’s exciting life began in Calcutta and took in the court of Marie Antoinette, the execution of her first husband by guillotine during the French Revolution, travels through France, and connections with many of the leading literary figures of the London of the day. Nicholas argues that Eliza had the talent and experience to author the novels but that her illegitimate birth prevented her from publishing them under her own name, something which would have brought shame upon her family.

Whilst continuing with his day job as a solicitor, Nicholas continues his research and is passionate about his championship of Eliza de Feuillide as a major, if unrecognised, contributor to English literature. We are delighted that Nicholas has agreed to come along to Molesey Library on April 29th 2014 at 7.30pm to
tell us more about his intriguing ideas and controversial conclusions.

Tickets for the event are £5 – which includes a glass of wine or soft drink – and they can be purchased at Molesey Library. Alternatively, you can send a cheque (made payable to Friends of Molesey Library) with a stamped addressed envelope, to Author Event, Molesey Library, Walton Rd, West Molesey KT8

And there's more...

Nicholas Ennos’s talk on Tuesday April 29th will be the first in a series of author events which Molesey Library is planning to hold this year. Two further dates for your diary are:

  • Tuesday June 24th - Travel Writing and Novels by Jonathan Buckley 
  • Tuesday September 30th - The Pursuit of Motherhood by Jessica Hepburn 

Further details of these and other future events will be sent out in due course.
By Carol Parker

Monday, 10 February 2014

A lively and entertaining AGM also brings good news for Molesey Library

A lively and thoroughly entertaining evening was had by everyone who attended the Friends' third annual general meeting on January 30th 2014.

Guest speaker Liam Dixon (pictured right with Pauline Morozgalska) from the Surrey Library Service's 'Property Environment Stock Team' (PEST for short!) spoke about his role in managing the vast array of stock across the county. It's his job to make the judgement call on what books to buy and how many, and where to deploy them!

Thankfully, he said, he hasn't messed up spectacularly yet, but he lives in fear of getting it wrong! One in five of 50 Shades of Grey issues were from Surrey, said Liam, and he was pleased to have anticipated the popularity of series.

Liam's passion for reading shone through and though he learned his trade with Waterstones, he said he is happier in the library service where he can recommend a good read to customers without them worrying that he might be trying to get them to buy. Referring to the successful coffee and cake mornings introduced at Molesey Library in November, Liam said: "The coffee is the cheapest in town but the books are a great deal too - we have these wonderful books and the fact they are free makes the library the best deal in town."

Liam had some surprise news for the audience and the Friends when he revealed that footfall at Molesey Library was up 10% and the number of 'issues' was up 1.4% in December - the equivalent of 725 extra books being borrowed. He said children's picture books were going great guns.

Printed books nationally are in decline as sales fall year on year, and the numbers being borrowed are falling too - however in Surrey issues are increasing, which suggests the service is doing something right. December is traditionally a quiet month for issues, as everyone's preoccupied with Christmas, so to have numbers rise at Molesey was very encouraging, Liam said. And in fact Molesey was one of the top performing libraries in Surrey at the end of 2013 - which is excellent news.

He also spoke about 'grubby stock' and dead stock, which are books that are falling apart or not being read because they are out of favour. In April 2013 the amount of dead stock was 14% but currently 92% of books on the shelves are in with a good chance of being borrowed. Paperbacks have a shelf life of two years and hardbacks have four, and Surrey makes efforts to sell unwanted stock rather than pulp it.

Prior to introducing Liam, Friends chairman Pauline Morozgalska listed some of the high points of the previous 12 months, including a successful ‘meet the author’ event with Bill Nicholson, the acclaimed author and screenwriter behind the cinematic version of Les Miserables. She told the meeting how the Friends had successfully obtained a grant from the RC Sheriff Trust to purchase a picture hanging system for the library, and had formed a partnership with Molesey Arts Society to display their work.

The Friends arranged Love Your Library Day in September to show off the picture system and other attractions such as children's rhyme time and computer classes. And the weekly coffee mornings introduced by the Friends in November continue to be well supported, and the group has purchased a fridge freezer to assist the coffee mornings.

Russell Seekins, who was stepping down as treasurer, said the Friends had income of £1,402.50 for the year but had spent £2028.81 on purchases for the Library, leaving the current balance at £1,244.69.
Pauline was reappointed Chairman for another year, with Steve Bax stepping up to Vice Chairman and Liz Cooper replacing Russell as Treasurer. Carol Parker and Mary Gill join the committee.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Friends of Molesey Library AGM

The Friends would like to invite you to attend our annual general meeting on Thursday January 30th, 7pm at Molesey Library. It will be a chance for you to find out more about the Friends and some of the challenges facing our library.

There will be refreshments provided and once the formal business is concluded, there will be an excellent guest speaker - Liam Dixon from Surrey County Council's library service - who is going to take you behind the scenes and reveal how the books are chosen. He will also be answering your questions. So please do come along and support our AGM and your local library.

Molesey Library welcomes the long arm of the law!

Fighting crime and keeping the public safe can be thirsty work, so it was no wonder the police stopped by Molesey Library to investigate its ever popular coffee mornings!

The Friends have been arranging these every Friday with volunteers selling hot drinks and home made cakes from 10am to midday. Word has been getting around town about how good they are, and reasonably priced (just £1 for tea/coffee and cake) - and not to forget the warm welcome extended to visitors - that they have been building a steady following.

Last Friday the police dropped by to chat to library users and answer any questions they may have about local policing in a relaxed and informal setting.

The Friends recently purchased a fridge freezer for the Library's upstairs area which can be used in conjunction with the coffee mornings. For the future we're looking into a shelter for the garden area so that library visitors can make use of the space in the warmer months.

Pauline, chairman of the Friends, said of the coffee mornings: "People can drop in for a few minutes and read the newspapers, browse through a book or have a chat.

"If you have not been in to see us yet, make sure to put a note on your calendar to join us in the near future. If you are not able to come along, you can help the library by spreading the word to friends and neighbours as our community needs to make more use of this wonderful resource and new volunteers are always welcome."