Library sing-song in Blackhall

QUITE PLEASE: Acoustic duo Carol and Steve  Robson of 'Fools Gold' play to Blackhall Library staff from left, Louise Smith, Deborah Sanderson and Carol Close.
QUITE PLEASE: Acoustic duo Carol and Steve Robson of 'Fools Gold' play to Blackhall Library staff from left, Louise Smith, Deborah Sanderson and Carol Close.
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TRADITIONALLY, the only sound you would hear coming from a library was “silence!” as people read books in peace.

But Blackhall Library was buzzing with the sounds of live music, to the delight of residents, proving the library is “not just about books”.

Acoustic duo Fools Gold, consisting of Steve and Carol Robson, from Stanley, performed a string of songs at the venue, off Hesleden Road, to around 40 people.

The duo play traditional story songs, with strong hooks and choruses, with the flute, mandolin, tenor, six and 12-string guitars featuring in their set.

Senior library assistant Carol Close said: “It was absolutely brilliant.

“The songs were very much based on this area, about mining and different places.

“We had a really good response. For a little library like us it was fantastic, really well-supported.

“Everybody really enjoyed it and there were plenty of compliments flying about. There were biscuits and tea and coffee afterwards, it was just a really nice atmosphere, with a nice community feel, and we had the support of both the parish and county councillors.”

Fools Gold contacted Durham County Council to see about playing at libraries and Louise Smith from the library service thought the experience would go down really well in Blackhall.

Carol added: “It just goes to show that those days of people having to be silent in a library are well and truly over.

“It’s not about that any more, it’s not a quiet place.

“We have Rhyme Time where children come in, it’s a noisy, busy environment.

“It’s a community venue, it’s not just about books, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Carol Robson said: “We have played a few libraries and they are always great venues.

“Audiences seem to really enjoy the connection between the stories and the song, and I think everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.”