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Colehill library moves to community ownership

By Stour & Avon Magazine  |  Posted: February 18, 2013

  • From the left, Councillor Janet Dover, Annette Brooke MP, Councillor David Packer, Michael Medwin, John Gooch, chairman of the management committee and Councillor David Mitchell, Colehill Parish Council chairman. MB Photo

  • Oliver and Lucinda Roberts with certificates marking their involvement with the opening of the library.

  • Michael Medwin cuts the ribbon, ably assisted by Oliver and Lucinda Roberts. MB Photo

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MICHAEL Medwin, star of some 60 films, script writer and film producer, cut the ribbon on Saturday to formally open Colehill Community Library.

Mr Medwin, who grew up in Colehill and attended Canford School, has returned to live in the village.

"The library is so important to Colehill," said Mr Medwin, who said he could remember a time when the village relied on gaslight as there was no electricity.

More than 150 people filled the library for the event which separates Colehill Library from Dorset County Libraries. Special guests included MP Annette Brooke, and county, district and parish councillors.

John Gooch chairman of Colehill Community Library Ltd, which now owns the building, said: "The library ought to be the jewel in Colehill's crown."

He also paid tribute to Derek Henderson chairman of The Friends of Colehill Library.

Councillor David Mitchell, chairman of the parish council said he hoped the library would obtain charitable status in the near future.

"We intend to make the library a centre for all residents with education and pleasure for young and old at the heart," he said.

Although the county will continue to provide books and some off-site administrative support, the facility is now staffed and managed by a team of 60 volunteers.

After the library launch, everyone moved to Colehill Memorial Hall for refreshments when the Friends of Colehill Library raised more than £300.

The volunteers and members of the Friends will raise money via a number of events to supplement a parish council grant of £10,000 a year to cover the administrative expenses and maintenance.

Marilyn Barber

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