Library set to close

Library assistant Pam Readman pictured in Foggy Furze library
Library assistant Pam Readman pictured in Foggy Furze library

BOOKWORMS have the chance to be involved in the final chapter of a popular library before it closes its doors for good.

Foggy Furze Library, in Stockton Road, Hartlepool, is set to close this weekend, after serving the community for more than 60 years, as part of a money-saving drive by Hartlepool Borough Council.

To mark the occasion, staff have organised an open day this Friday to give library users the chance to say goodbye.

Bookworms can pop in any time between 10am and 4pm, anyone is welcome and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

The branch library, which first opened in 1948, is popular with residents, schoolchildren and community groups, which have now been relocated to other venues.

Sharon Iddon, library officer at Foggy Furze Library, said: “It is a sad time and there have been a lot of people coming in that haven’t actually realised that we are closing.

“A lot of people have been reminiscing, some of whom even came in when it first opened as a library.

“Saturday will be the final day so we decided to hold an open day this Friday to give library-users, and past and current staff members, the chance to pop in and say goodbye.

“They can come at any time between 10am and 4pm and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with staff.

“I would like to thank everybody for using the library over the past 60 years.”

Foggy Furze Library will be open for the final time on Saturday, April 2, between 9.30am and 12.30pm.

Civic leaders took the decision to close the doors of the popular branch library as part of a package of measures under the business transformation programme, which aims to streamline services.

Other plans include merging Throston Grange Library with Throston Community Centre and shortening opening hours at town libraries.

Closing the Foggy Furze branch will save the local authority £47,536.

Hartlepool has the main Central Library plus branch libraries at Owton Manor, Seaton Carew, Throston Grange, West View and on the Headland.

There are no current plans for the future of the Victorian Foggy Furze building, which was not originally designed for use as a library, but officers say it has potential commercial value.

Library staff have been re-deployed at other branches in town, while library users can return any books that they have taken from Foggy Furze to any other library in town.

For more information about the open day, call the library on (01429) 274095.