Sights of 60’s at Great Yarmouth Library

THE sounds and sights of the Sixties were there for all to enjoy as Great Yarmouth Library marked its half century anniversary on Tuesday.

From 10am staff and public met at Tolhouse Street to mark the milestone and reminisce over the past 50 years with food, drink and a range of activities.

Library manager Kymm Lucas has been at the centre for 18 months and felt the occasion was an important one with which to take stock.

“It was great, and I think you just take it for granted but it’s days like these that remind you about what’s gone before and to appreciate what you have.”

The day kicked off with a team of green-fingered enthusiasts showing visitors how it’s done at the library’s communal garden, and those taking part left with a range of herbs to take home and grow.

The Friendship Group gave lessons in French knitting, and at noon long-term library user Hilda Watson cut a sponge cake decorated with a photo of the library.

Having used the facilities as long as she can remember, the 77-year-old was “honoured” to be chosen.

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“It’s such a friendly place with great staff and there’s a real atmosphere at Yarmouth library,” she said.

“I remember it used to be a place where you could hardly breathe, no one spoke and when you went in you had to be on your best behaviour but it’s changed so much.”

All this took place against a backdrop of the century’s most swinging decade, with music from groups like The Beatles and memorabilia from the town’s heyday as a holiday destination on show.

Kymm said: “We had staff who came dressed in clothing that people wore in the 60s, with lots of black and white and big earrings and while giving out coffee we encouraged people to share their memories of that time.

“People were chatting about how they remembered Great Yarmouth 50 years ago and how things have changed, and as a Yarmouth girl it was nice to hear.”

Most recently given a �1.3m refurbishment in 2009, the library was built 20 years after its predecessor, the Tolhouse Hall, was flattened by bombs in the second world war.

Now, it holds more books than ever, as well as 42 computers, a children’s activity area, arts and crafts workrooms, a function room with a sprung floor for sports and leisure activities and two gallery spaces.