EVENT UPDATE: Meet the Authors – Angela Clarke and Harry Sidebottom












We had an excellent Meet the Authors event on Wednesday 13 September at Church House.  Angela Clarke and Harry Sidebottom had a conversation between themselves and with those attending about their writing styles and skills.  Everyone present found it most interesting.  There was brisk business with the book signing after their talk.

Our grateful thanks to Angela and Harry for travelling quite a distance to speak to us and for providing such a stimulating and interesting perspective.

Thanks also to John Osborne

for hosting the event and to Anne Dawson and Peter Britton for their support.

NEWS UPDATE: Annual General Meeting – 25 September 2017

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Community of Adderbury Library will be held at Church House from 7:30 pm on Monday 25 September 2017.

The annual report and accounts will be presented and open to questions from members of the charity.

Nominations will be invited before the meeting for election to the Executive Committee where there are spaces for nine elected members as well as the four nominated by Oxfordshire County Council (2), Cherwell District Council (1) and Adderbury Parish Council (1).

Notice of the meeting together with the Report and Accounts will be circulated to members by e-mail (or snail-mail for those without e-mail).  Nomination forms for the Executive will be available from the secretary.


NEWS FLASH: Library manager appointed

Catherine Drake

Congratulations to Catherine Drake on her appointment as Library Manager at Adderbury Library following the retirement of Janet May, our previous manager.  Catherine’s official start date is 01-Aug-17 but she has been working at the library quite regularly since Janet left so many library users will already know her. Catherine lives in the village which is always a bonus!

Chrissie Garrett and Keith Mitchell from Focal were involved in the selection process.

EVENT UPDATE: Meet the Author – John Julius Norwich

The Institute was packed on the evening of Saturday 8 July to hear John Julius Norwich (JJN) speak about his passion for Venice.  He spoke to a slide presentation of 23 pictures showing the history of Venice and its recording by many famous artists.  He spoke with conviction and enthusiasm and everyone present clearly enjoyed it immensely.

Very sincere thanks to JJN for an entrancing talk about a subject in which he is clearly an expert and also passionately committed.

Thanks are due to a number of Focal Executive members:

  • Evelyn Jacomb for inviting JJN and for hosting the evening;
  • John Prentice, ably assisted by his wife, Sue, for setting up, clearing away and looking after the money!
  • Liz Wingrove, ably assisted by her entire family, in providing a speedy and enjoyable bar service even after discovering that the Institute did not run to a corkscrew!  Were we daunted?  Not for long!

Thanks to everyone who participated.  We made £608.75 from the event.  Another welcome addition to our funds to support the library.

EVENT UPDATE: Book sale and raffle

Thanks to Chrissie and Chris Garrett for organising a book sale at Church House on Saturday 8 July.  It proved to be a happy social event with many old friends taking the opportunity to catch up over a cup of coffee in the strong sunshine.

Thanks also to Evelyn Jacomb for running the raffle with a brilliant basket of goodies as the prize.

Congratulations to June Simpson who won the raffle hamper!

We made £204.50 from the event which is a very welcome addition to our funds in support of the library.

EVENT UPDATE: Meet the Author – Anne Watts

Anne Watts

Anne Watts proved a great hit when she spoke of her life as a nurse working in many countries of the world.  Twenty two people came to hear Anne talk about her work and her books and to answer questions.  She spoke movingly of the plight of refugees in many remote camps and of the contribution she had made to improve their life chances.

Thanks to Anne Dawson and Bobbie Howard for their hard work in setting up, relieving people of their entry fees, serving drinks and dealing with book signing with the author.  Thanks also to Anne Watts for speaking so vividly and sharing with us her experience of supporting vulnerable people in the most difficult circumstances.  It was also good to see Catherine Drake who has been acting as temporary library manager until a permanent appointment has been made.

NEWS FLASH: Thank you to Contact

Our very grateful thanks to Contact magazine for a donation to Focal of £500.  We understand they sometimes accumulate surplus funds and there is a decision to donate to a local organisation.  We were delighted to learn that they had recently designated Focal this year.  We are very grateful to the organising committee of Contact for their generosity.  it will help towards our fundraising target for 2017/18.

EVENT UPDATE: Auction of Promises

We held our Auction of Promises on Saturday 20 May at The Institute and, although numbers attending were lower than we had hoped, everyone who attended had a grand evening and took home some wonderful promises.  Our grateful thanks to the many people who donated a promise.  These ranged from a laptop, phone and bits of IT gadgetry through lessons in flying, violin, drumming and fly fishing, through pictures painted or to be painted or to be drone-photographed and personal services including massage and gardening to mention only a few and not to forget meals at various restaurants, a tour of Covent Garden Opera House and a House of Commons tea caddy generously donated by the Banbury MP.

Thanks also to Chrissie & Chris Garrett who organised the Auction and to Stuart Phipps and a bevy of Chrissie’s friends and family who supported the event.  Also thanks to Simon Davies our auctioneer for the evening.

Through their combined efforts, we raised £2,000 for Focal funds.  Well done and thanks to all.

EVENT UPDATE: Pub quiz success

The Focal Pub Quiz on 29 April was an enjoyable and successful evening.  Thanks to David & Aline Griffiths for organising the event and running the quiz and to Chris and Sandra Shallis for providing space at The Bell and serving food.

Forty-six people took part, making up eleven teams of various sizes ranging from two  to seven.  The winning team were The Invincibles, comprising six members.  They were Sir Martin & Lady Evelyn Jacomb with Tim & Caroline Jones and two friends.  They scored 147 points.  Second were The Bar Flies,  comprising Chris Shallis and Steven Cox.  They scored 129 points.  Third were The Sherlockeans on 127 points, comprising the Holmes family.  The booby prize went to Universally Challenged with 70 points.

Focal raised £435 with very modest expenses of £43, making an excellent contribution to our fund raising target.

Thanks to everyone who supported this event and to David and Aline for giving everyone a most enjoyable evening.  They are looking forward to the next one in November.



NEWS FLASH: A thank you and a goodbye

Friends of the library said a big thank you to the volunteers who support Adderbury library by giving of their time and expertise at a special luncheon in Church House on 21 March 2017. Volunteers support the library manager during opening hours and there should always be two present for every session.  Volunteers also support activities like the regular Rhyme Time.

It was also a suitable moment to say goodbye and thank you to Janet May who is retiring as Adderbury library manager.  She took over from Sue Hitchings who was a hard act to follow but stepped into the role magnificently and worked hard to support both the library and the Friends group.  Living locally, as Sue did before her, she had an excellent knowledge of the village and of her customers.  We will miss her.

The county council will ensure there are interim arrangements in place until a replacement is appointed but will be reviewing the opening hours before recruiting a successor to Janet.  The review will ask users and residents generally whether the present pattern of openings works for them.  There will be no change to the total hours that the library opens but a change within the total will be possible if there is the demand.  Consultation will start shortly but a speedy response is requested to enable the county council to get on with recruitment as soon as possible.

The top picture shows Bobbie Howard, our volunteer co-ordinator, Janet May, our retiring library manager and Keith Mitchell, Chairman of Focal.  The second picture shows the luncheon in Church House.


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