Latest News

Our AGM and theatre talk

Posted on: May 4th, 2023 by admin

We held our Annual General Meeting on 27 April 2023. The following members were re-elected/volunteered for the FOSAL Committee:

Chair: Barbara Mackenzie
Secretary: Vacant
Minutes Secretary: Pam Foster
Treasurer: Allan Foster
Membership Secretary: Olga Depledge
Anne Fielding: Garden/Knitting
Annette Ford
Meg Greenfield
Rowland Taylor
Roy Winter
Library representative: Aileen Smedley

If you would like to join the committee or have any ideas for future events please do get in touch – our email address is

The AGM was followed by a talk by Alan Ridgway, former Front of House Manager and volunteers coordinator at Lowther Pavilion, who spoke about growing up in the world of entertainment as a professional child actor from the age of 12. His journey over five years introduced us to many famous names and aspects of the profession.

Knitting group help with festive decorations

Posted on: December 8th, 2022 by admin

The Knit Together group have been busy creating colourful decorations for the Library. The festive items include lanterns, angels, Father Christmases, bells, candles and much more, providing a lovely seasonal display.

The knitting group meets every two weeks, on Fridays,  in St Annes Library, 10.00 am – 12.00 pm. Both experienced and novice knitters are welcome.

As well as doing their own knitting, members of the group also undertake various charitable projects. These have included knitting soft woollen toys for children who are victims of war, HIV babies, orphans and those who suffer from plain want.


Knit Together members with their decorations


Library Manager Aileen Smedley admiring the deorations

Partying in the sunshine

Posted on: May 30th, 2022 by admin

Thanks to all who contributed to our Jubilee Garden Party on Saturday 28 May – the library staff, FOSAL volunteers and friends, and the families and people who came along and joined in the fun. All agreed that it was lovely to be able to hold a ‘proper’ event again after the limitations of the last two – three years.

Click on the photos below to see everyone enjoying themselves in the Library Garden.





Library knitters ‘bomb’ St Annes Station with sea life creatures!

Posted on: May 27th, 2022 by admin

The Knit Together group has ‘yarn bombed’ St Annes Station! The knitters have created some fabulous nautical creatures which went on display at the station to mark the beginning of Community Rail Week.

From left Dorothy, Anne, Joan, Marjorie, Meg, Marie and Norma.



The Knit Together group meets in St Annes Library on the first and third Fridays of the month.





Adding some summer colour to the Library Garden

Posted on: May 10th, 2022 by admin

A big thank you to the handful of volunteers who came along to help plant geraniums in the Library Garden. We can look forward to a colourful display in a few weeks time.

Aileen Smedley, Library Manager (centre) helps out Pam Foster FOSAL secretary (left) and Anne Fielding garden volunteer



Our Garden Gang meets weekly on Tuesdays 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm (unless it’s pouring!) – all equipment is provided.

Apart from the mowing of the grass, which is undertaken by the local authority, the Friends of St Annes Library look after the garden themselves – planting, weeding, pruning, general maintenance, etc. – so the more help the better. If you have any queries please contact Anne Fielding 01253 711123.

Invitation to join the Jubilation Project

Posted on: April 27th, 2022 by admin

St.Annes Library has been offered the chance to take part in a fantastic opportunity. We are having a visit from The Jubilation Project on Thursday 12 May, 10am to 3pm. We are the only library in Lancashire that will be visited.

“The Jubilation Project will work with libraries from across the North West of England to create a ‘book of Jubilation‘, celebrating jubilant events that have taken place throughout the reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Artist Thomas Byrne will be setting up the Jubilation Station within St Annes Library to speak to members of the community and to record their jubilant memories.” Details can be found on the website at  The Jubilation Project

As part of the visit Thomas Byrne is offering the opportunity of a one hour workshop at 11am to work with him to share your celebration stories. The Library is offering the Friends of St.Annes library the first chance to book a place on the workshop. Click here for more information on the artist’s original concept document for more general guidance.

The Jubilation Station will be in place all day if you’d prefer to just call in.  We hope to see you there!

New homes for our birds!

Posted on: April 18th, 2022 by admin

Children and adults spent time on Saturday 3 April 2022 decorating bird boxes donated by the Friends of St Annes Library (FOSAL). The Friends were also on hand to help out with refreshments. Thanks to all who turned up and especially to those who made donations.



Aileen wins Manager of the Year Award!

Posted on: December 6th, 2021 by admin

Aileen receiving her Manager of the Year Award at the Lancashire County Council Staff Excellence Awards

St Annes Library Officer, Aileen Smedley, has won the Manager of the Year Award at the Lancashire County Council Staff Excellence Awards, which were held on 25 November 2021, at the Crow Wood Hotel in Burnley.

LCC said: “With this award we were looking for managers who motivated and inspired their team. Our finalists all demonstrated a forward thinking approach and a commitment to continuous improvement.”


The Friends of St Annes Library would like to offer their congratulations to Aileen and to thank her for her ongoing support and encouragement.


Winner: Aileen Smedley – Library Officer, Cultural Services

We’re back!

Posted on: November 4th, 2021 by admin

The Friends held their first Committee Meeting in the Library at the beginning of November 2021 – our first since just before the Covid pandemic. Although we are still limited in organising some social events, we’re delighted that we can organise other safe events such as a Christmas Quiz evening – please keep checking our website for further information.

Meanwhile, the Garden Gang have been back meeting for a couple of months or so now. They meet in the Library Garden on Tuesday afternoons between 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm. We’d be delighted to welcome any new volunteers, especially at the moment with so many leaved to clear!

Our Knit Together group is also up and running again. Both experienced and novice knitters are welcome. Social distancing is observed and, currently, no drinks will be provided. Further information about the group is available here.

Knit Together is back!

Posted on: October 11th, 2021 by admin

We’re delighted to announce that our Knit Together group will be up and running again from Friday 15 October 2021, 10.00 am – 12.00 pm. Both experienced and novice knitters are welcome.

Social distancing will be observed and, currently, no drinks will be provided.

Further information about the group is available here.

Welcome back to our Garden Gang!

Posted on: August 2nd, 2021 by admin

We are delighted to announce that we are able to start up our Library gardening sessions again. As from next week (17 August 2021) the Garden Gang will meet weekly on Tuesdays 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm (unless it’s pouring!) – all equipment will be provided.

Apart from the mowing of the grass, which is undertaken by the local authority, the Friends of St Annes Library look after the garden themselves – planting, weeding, pruning, general maintenance, etc. – so the more help the better. If you have any queries please contact Anne Fielding 01253 711123.

All volunteers are welcome. We hope to see you there.


Cake sale raises over £100 for Library

Posted on: February 29th, 2020 by admin

The Friends Cake and Bake Sale on Saturday morning, 29 February, raised over £100 for the Library. As you can see from the photograph we had a lovely selection of different types of large cakes, cup cakes, scones, buns, tiffin, etc.

A huge thank you to all of our bakers and to those of you who came along and bought cakes to either enjoy with a cuppa in the Library or to take home.

We hope to see you again soon at our next event – Bingo Night on Thursday 19 March 2020 at 7.30pm.

Postcards of St Annes Library for sale

Posted on: February 5th, 2020 by admin


We are selling postcards of a water colour painting of St Annes Library. These beautiful cards are only 50 pence each and are currently on sale in the Library.

All proceeds go towards supporting the Library

LSA Embroiders’ Guild present Elmer gift to the Library

Posted on: January 31st, 2020 by admin



In January 2020 the Lytham St Annes Embroiderers’ Guild presented St Annes Children’s Library with a beautiful embroidery of popular  book character Elmer the elephant.


There were a number of after school Elmer activities and stories. Anne Fielding (right) from FOSAL helped with the event.



A Merry Christmas from the Friends

Posted on: December 11th, 2019 by admin



The Friends of StAnnes Library (FoSAL) would like to wish all our members and supporters a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and healthy 2020.

If you haven’t visited the Library lately do pop in and see the festive decorations made by the KNIT Together group. There’s a lovely crib and an amazing Twelve Days of Christmas.  Our KNIT Together group meets twice a month – both novice and experienced knitters are welcome. Click here for further information.




Knitting group create Worry Monsters to help with child therapy

Posted on: September 17th, 2019 by admin


Our knitting group has been busy making Worry Monsters. These are used to help children who have maybe suffered from abuse, neglect or other serious problems.  When a worrying or troubling thought comes into the child’s mind they can write it down, or draw a picture, and feed it to their monster – they will often be willing to tell the monster about the worry rather than ty and explain to an adult.

A therapist can get out the piece of paper on which the child has written or drawn the worry, and they can discuss it and offer reassurance and help.

Our knitters donated their Worry Monsters to carers in Blackpool.


KNIT Together sessions are held every other Friday in St Annes Library, 10.00 am –  12.00 pm. Both experienced and novice knitters are welcome.

Up and running again!

Posted on: April 15th, 2019 by admin

Following a steering group committee meeting on 10 April 2019, a new FOSAL committee has been formed:

Chair: Barbara Mackenzie

Treasurer: Allan Foster

Secretary: Vacant

Minutes Secretary: Pam Foster

Membership Secretary: Vacant

Anne Fielding

Hilda Spencer

Ron Spencer

Rowland Taylor

Roy Winter

We’d like to thank our past Chair Annette Ford for her hard work and, more recently, for dealing with all the paperwork involved in ensuring that the Friends were able to re-form following the long closure of the library.

We look forward to welcoming old and new members to our upcoming events.

Chair’s and Treasurer’s Reports

Posted on: April 15th, 2019 by admin

Hard copies of both our Chair’s and Treasurer’s Reports were made available at the cheese and wine event, held in the library of 28 March 2019.

Copies are also available for downloading: Chair’s Report; Treasurer’s Report.

St Annes Library Opens its Doors Again

Posted on: March 5th, 2019 by admin


The entrance doors to St Annes Library were ceremonially opened at 9.00 am on 4 March. A crowd of residents had gathered outside and were welcomed inside by library staff to look at the renovations and find out more about the new layout. Below are some photos.

Councillors, Lancashire County Council staff, school children and others enjoyed tea/coffee and cakes, served by the Friends.

The Friends are looking forward to organising some public events very soon – keep an eye on our website for further information. We’ll also be updating information on our regular events such as KNIT Together and Together Wii Play.

We hope to see you there!


STOP PRESS!! St Anne’s Library gets ready to open its doors again

Posted on: February 11th, 2019 by admin

We have just received the following press release:


St Anne’s Library gets ready to open its doors again

Monday, February 11, 2019

St Anne’s Library will reopen on Monday 4 March at 9am following the completion of extensive specialist repair work to preserve the historic building.

The library will be reopened jointly by County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services and County Councillor Edward Nash.

As the library is over 110 years old and Grade II listed, specialist heritage surveyors had to be brought in to support county surveyors to carry out the work. The repairs have been ongoing since August 2017 after some plaster fell from the ceiling which meant the library had to be closed for safety reasons.

Areas where work has been carried out include the masonry, windows, foundations to the 1930s extension, weather sealing, roof trusses and the cupola.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our much treasured Carnegie Library will be reopening again very soon.

“This has been a massive job with many specialists involved and when opened we will have a fantastic library that will serve St Anne’s residents for many decades to come.

“The work required to a building of this age and nature has proved to be both time intensive and complex due to the very specific requirements and I would like to thank all those involved. The contractors have now finished on site and handed the building back to the county council to re-shelve over 11,000 books and configure the new PCs.

“In addition, the Local History collection will be in place and we will continue to provide newspapers and access to comprehensive online reference materials. The fiction and non-fiction stock has been refreshed and a significant buying and selection process carried out so that library users will have lots of new stock available to borrow.

The library opening hours will be:

Monday 9am -5pm
Tuesday 9am -5pm
Wednesday 9am -5pm
Thursday 9am -7pm
Friday 9am -5pm
Saturday 9am -5pm

Anyone who lives in the UK can join a Lancashire library, either online or by visiting in person. Membership is free and there are no age restrictions.

For more information, phone 0300 123 6703, or go to

Anyone who lives in the UK can join a Lancashire library, either online or by visiting in person. Membership is free and there are no age restrictions.


Letter to Lancashire County Council from St Anne’s Town Council

Posted on: May 6th, 2018 by admin

Below is a copy of the letter sent to the Chief Executive of Lancashire County Council from St Anne’s Town Council re: St Annes Library closure.


Ms A Ridgwell – Chief Executive Officer Lancashire County Council
County Hall
Lancashire County Council
Fishergate, PRESTON PR1 8XJ


Dear Ms Ridgwell


I am writing to you on behalf of both the Town Council and the residents of St. Anne’s regarding concerns for the future of St. Anne’s Library which has been closed since 4thAugust 2017. Initially the closure was attributed to ceiling/plaster repairs, however the closure appears to be ongoing and the library is still closed 8 months later.

The Library is a local and important community hub, residents being without access for a considerable time. It is a Grade 2 listed building which has been awarded a well-deserved Blue Plaque for historical significance. It should be noted that Lancashire County Council are custodians of this highly important and valuable building and has both a legal and moral requirement to ensure it is correctly maintained.

It is now considered that it has taken too long for Lancashire County Council to share a report as to the true state of the fabric of the building; it appears that successive administrations at County Hall have failed to maintain the building correctly.

Whilst it is acknowledged that there is now the temporary provision of a Library van, it only holds a finite stock of material. With the increase in the number of services and organisations who insist upon on-line responses; (Lancashire County Council being one of these organisations) residents without a computer no longer have access to the very popular public computers which were available in the now closed St. Anne’s Library building.

The provision of the mobile Library unit within St. Anne’s and the extra hours opening of Ansdell Library do not in any way provide reasonable cover for a town with a population nearing 30,000 residents. I am sure you are aware that St. Anne’s is the largest populated parish within the Fylde coast.

At the Town Council meeting held on the 24th April 2018, it was unanimously agreed that the Town Clerk be requested to formally write to both the Chief Executive and the Leader of Lancashire County Council expressing the Town Council’s concerns over the delays in repairing and reopening St. Anne’s Library permanent building. The Town Council also wishes to have sight of the formal report on the current state of repairs, an indication of the building work, a time scale for the completion of the repairs and a projected opening date.

The Lancashire County Council website states that St. Anne’s Library will reopen “next year” but does not give any tangible dates nor provide any reassurance to local people. The library also accommodated the Registrar service and the displacement of this service is extremely inconvenient to residents.

I would be grateful if you could explain/provide the formal report on the current state of repairs, an indication of the building work required, a time scale for the completion of the repairs and a projected opening date. The Town Council wishes to reassure residents that their library does have a future; as things stand it seems that it is at risk of closure by “stealth”.

I look forward to receiving your response to the requested information.

Yours sincerely

Sally Taylor
Town Clerk
On behalf of St. Anne’s Town Council

Little progress made on St Annes Library repairs

Posted on: April 30th, 2018 by admin

If you’ve noticed a lack of any sort of work being carried out on St Annes Library that’s because there hasn’t been any. Even worse, Lancashire County Council can’t promise a date as to when the work will even begin.

It is now months since part of the ceiling collapsed and the library was temporarily closed with the promise that it would re-open shortly. It appears that the main beam holding up the library roof is in a bad state of repair, so it’s likely that repairs will be lengthy and costly.

Years of complacency and a lack of basic maintenance by Lancashire County Council means that they are facing a huge repair bill before it can re-open again.

Why haven’t we been kept aware of this lack of progress? Why haven’t our councillors been upfront and honest with us? Is the funding even in place to ensure that the building will re-open as a library again? This lack of transparency is inexcusable; the people of St Annes deserve better.

There will be a meeting of the Town Council at 7.00 pm on 22 May in the St Annes Palace, 18 Garden St. St Annes. Please do try and attend so that our town councillors are in no doubt about how we feel and can put pressure on Lancashire County Council.

Proposal for St Annes to get mobile library during repair work

Posted on: February 27th, 2018 by admin

A press release issued by Lancashire County Council today (27 February 2018) claims that LCC is in discussion with Fylde Borough Council about proposals to put a mobile library on land near the Public Offices on Clifton Drive in St Annes, to ensure people have access to library services.

The plan is to transfer 3,000 books from the main building to the mobile library.

Lancashire County Council is currently considering the results of specialist heritage conservation surveys which have been carried out to inform repairs needed to the grade 2 listed St Annes Library.

Areas under consideration for repair include the masonry windows, foundations to the 1930s extension, weather sealing, roof trusses and the cupola.

It looks like St Annes library will be closed for a considerable time yet.


Latest news from Lancashire County Council on Library re-opening

Posted on: January 30th, 2018 by admin

The below is the latest statement from Lancashire County Council (end January 2018) on the situation at St Annes Library. Please keep badgering your county councillors and especially Peter Buckley (Email: -we need to ensure enough of us are seen to care about our local library.

Lancashire County Council is considering the results of a detailed survey to inform repairs needed to St Annes Library.

The library had to be closed in August 2017 after some plaster fell from the ceiling. It had been due to be closed later that year for survey work, but the unexpected event meant the library had to be closed for safety and the survey work brought forward.

As the library is over 110 years old and grade 2 listed, specialist heritage surveyors have had to be brought in to support county surveyors to undertake the work.

An initial survey has now been completed, with the results being considered by the council’s design team to identify the work needed before the library can reopen.

Areas under consideration include the masonry windows, foundations to the 1930s extension, weather sealing, roof trusses and the cupola. Due to the nature of the findings in the initial survey, it has been necessary to undertake a secondary survey of the building’s foundations.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “We’re sorry for the continued disruption caused by the unexpected closure of St Annes Library last year and I know that local residents are keen to learn how things are progressing.

“It has taken some time to commission and carry out these specialist heritage surveys, which are necessary because of the age of the building and the fact that it is Grade 2 listed. I’m pleased we’re now nearly at the point of fully identifying all the repairs that are needed.

“So far we’ve had the results of the initial survey, but it has been found necessary to undertake a further investigation of the foundations. Our design team will continue to work closely with the surveyors, identify all the work needed, and propose a comprehensive scheme of repairs.

“At this stage, we do not know exactly how long it will take to complete the repairs, but we will continue to keep people updated as soon as we know more.”

Opening hours have been extended at Ansdell Library and Kirkham Library to cover the hours St Annes would normally be open.

Update as of December 2017

Posted on: December 13th, 2017 by admin

News of when St Annes Library will re-open is patchy.

As of 13 December 2017, we have learned that the the planned survey has not yet been completed, but that it hoped it will be finished before the end of January. Apparently, the foundations under the extension need work. All the books, etc are still in the building.

No date is available for when the Library will re-open but it seems likely that the building will re-open as a library and not as a community hub as was originally planned

Freckleton Library is planned to re-open on 9 January 2018; Ansdell Library staying open; Lytham Library’s future is still uncertain.

Latest upate

Posted on: October 18th, 2017 by admin

The latest news from Lancashire County Council

St Annes library had to be closed at very short notice on Friday 4 August after plaster fell from the ceiling and was deemed structurally unsafe. As it is a Grade 2 listed Carnegie building, a specialist heritage surveyor has inspected the site alongside Lancashire County Council’s own county surveyors.

The amount of work needed to repair the building is significant but has been approved by LCC.  At this stage it is not possible to give a precise timeframe for reopening since further complications may arise, but it is not expected to reopen until next year.

Meanwhile, Ansdell Library will maintain its extended opening hours.

St Annes Library closed for structural repairs

Posted on: August 8th, 2017 by admin

St Annes Library will be closed from today (Friday 4 August) while Lancashire County Council investigates structural issues with the building.

Lancashire County Council have issued the following statement:


Safety concerns force temporary closure of St Annes Library

Friday, August 04, 2017

St Annes Library will be closed from today (Friday 4 August) while Lancashire County Council investigates structural issues with the building.

Specialist surveyors have advised that the building should be closed for the safety of the public and members of staff until further investigations can be carried out, after some plaster fell from the ceiling.

The library had been scheduled to close for four weeks later this year to enable a structural survey to be carried out but these unexpected events mean that work has had to be brought forward.

The closest alternative libraries to St Annes are Ansdell Library and Kirkham Library, which will extend their opening hours to cover the hours St Annes is normally open. (Please see below for revised opening hours.)

Customers of the Registration Office at St Annes have been contacted to make alternative arrangements. During the duration of the closure the service will operate from the Preston Registration Office. Anyone who needs to access the Registration Office is asked to call Lancashire County Council’s Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 6705 or email

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “We are very sorry for having to close St Annes Library at such short notice, however we must act upon the safety advice of our surveyors while we investigate this issue. The safety of library users and members of staff has to be our paramount concern.

“I represent residents from St Annes on the county council so I know how much people value this library and how busy it is at this time of year. We are working very hard to minimise disruption and reopen the library as soon as possible. We anticipate the detailed survey will take four weeks and any necessary work will then have to be carried out so this won’t happen overnight, but we will keep people updated as we know more.”

Revised opening hours for Ansdell and Kirkham libraries are as follows:

Ansdell library
Monday 9-6
Tuesday 9-5.30
Wednesday 9-6
Thursday 9-6
Friday 9-6
Saturday 9-5

Kirkham library 
Monday 9-6
Tuesday 9-1
Wednesday 9-6
Thursday 9-6
Friday 9-6
Saturday 9-5

Important announcement regarding the future of the Friends of St Annes Library

Posted on: September 30th, 2016 by admin

We are delighted that the St Annes Library building has been saved to become a neighbourhood centre that includes a library service.   The building is to undergo some alterations to accommodate the Registrar from Lytham, meetings rooms, etc. During this phase it will not be possible for FOSAL to hold its Wii Keep Fit sessions or any evening events. As such, we will not be planning any events until further notice, including the upcoming AGM.

We are pleased that we can still offer our Knit Together sessions on the third Friday of each month. The Library Garden will still need us – perhaps even more so given the planned building work – so please do come along and help out to ensure that it will continue to look attractive and cared for.  To find out more about helping in the garden please contact Anne on 01253 711123 or email

Please keep checking back on this site for any further news. The Friends are a committed bunch of volunteers and will be planning a new season of events as soon as the Library work is finished.

Revised property proposals go before county council cabinet

Posted on: August 26th, 2016 by admin

Press release from Lancashire County Council re future of libraries and the establishment of ‘Neighbourhood Centres” (26 August 20160

The county council’s cabinet will be asked to agree revised plans to change the way frontline services are delivered, and save millions of pounds, by reducing the number of buildings the council owns and rents, after seeking people’s views during an extensive consultation.

Feedback from 7,700 responses has been taken into account in forming the alternative proposals to bring services together to form a network of multi-functional buildings known as Neighbourhood Centres, which would provide a base for a range of different services in one place.

The plans, which form part of the council’s property strategy, propose changes to where some services including libraries, children’s services, children’s centres, young people’s centres, youth offending teams, older people’s daytime support services, adult disability day services and registrars are delivered in the future.

Meanwhile more than 100 buildings would no longer be used for county council services and the number of places at which some services are available would reduce.

The cabinet will also be asked to agree to explore proposals made by a number of community groups and other organisations to take on responsibility for running some of the affected buildings and services.

The changes are in response to Lancashire County Council’s need to save £200m by 2020/21 as a result of ongoing government cuts to its budget and rising demand for services.

A report to the council’s cabinet published today outlines changes to the original plans, following a 12-week consultation held from 18 May to 14 August, with a number of revisions to which buildings are being proposed to house future services.

County Councillor David Borrow, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council and portfolio holder for finance, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the consultation – their feedback has been invaluable in helping to shape the final proposals and the Cabinet will be giving the report careful consideration.

“Our aim is to find a solution that still gives everyone in Lancashire good access to good services, despite the pressures on the council’s budget. We have done a lot of work to assess where services should be located in future, taking account of things such as geographic spread, accessibility and the needs of different communities. Some of the changes to the proposals reflect what people have told us about the way they access these services.

“We’re also keen to continue exploring the potential for other groups and organisations to take on responsibility for some of the affected buildings and services, so we’re grateful for the interest that has been shown in that possibility over the last few months. The report acknowledges that more work will be needed to assess the business cases that have been put forward.”

The report also asks councillors to agree plans to explore alternative options for the future delivery of library services, with a focus on examining whether community-run libraries could add to the statutory service provided by the county council.

A package of help is proposed to help establish any community-run library, including £5,000 to cover set-up costs, shelving, an initial supply of books from the county’s store, and advice from a dedicated community library development officer.

Please hurry and fill in the consultation – you only have until Sunday 14 August

Posted on: July 25th, 2016 by admin

If you want your library to remain open please respond to the consultation

It has been brought to our attention that not many of  St Annes residents have not voiced their support for the current proposal to keep St Annes library open. Lancashire County Council could decide to close St Annes library because of a perceived lack of interest in keeping it open.

Please do respond to the consultation questionnaire and register your ongoing support for St Annes Library. We must ensure that positive support for St Annes Library is expressed loud and clear, otherwise the town could be left without a library.

The questionnaire can be completed online here   (paper copies are available in libraries and children’s centres).

If you have not done so already,  please could you sign the ePetition here.


Got a cat? Treat him to a cat nip mouse and help the PDSA

Posted on: July 4th, 2016 by admin


Cat not included but he says buy one or the mouse gets it!

Made by the St Anne’s Library Knit Together Group

£1 all for PDSA

On sale in the Library

St Annes Library to be saved?

Posted on: May 6th, 2016 by admin

According to the list of libraries to be closed – published late this afternoon (6/5/16) – St Annes Library isn’t on the list! Great news if true but not so good for Ansdell and Lytham libraries. More news as we get it.

A list of proposed closures is available here.

LCC to reveal which libraries will close on 6 May

Posted on: May 5th, 2016 by admin

Today’s (5/5/16) LSA Express includes an item that says LCC’s plans for the retention of certain public buildings (including libraries) and the closure of others will be released online tomorrow (Friday) 6/5/16). The period of consultation on these proposals will take place thereafter.

We will update as and when more news becomes available.


Sign the ePetition to Save St Annes Library

Posted on: March 7th, 2016 by admin

Councillor Peter Buckley has created a ‘Save St Annes Library’ ePetition on the Lancashire County Council website which can be accessed here. You will need to register, if you haven’t already – registration is quick and easy – it just requires an email address, password and your postal address.

Please sign the petition, spread the message and encourage friends and colleagues to register and sign the petition also.  Thank you.

Save our Library – Big Book Walk

Posted on: March 3rd, 2016 by admin

library book walk

The Lancashire Libraries Big Book Walk is taking place on Saturday 12 March.  We will meet at 9.30am  outside St Annes Library and walk to Ansdell Library, where we will meet up with others (at approximately 11.00 am) and then walk on to Lytham Library.  The idea is to read stories and poems along the way, as well as share local history.

As you are probably aware Lancashire County Council is to close 40 of our 70 public libraries. Only one of the three libraries in Lytham St Annes will survive. The Big Book Walk is taking place across Lancashire as a way of raising awareness of our libraries and their importance in the communities they serve.

Please do come along and walk part, if not all, of the way to Ansdell Library and please ask your family, friends, colleagues, etc to join us. Please bring your own refreshments.

A new purchase for the library

Posted on: February 28th, 2016 by admin

We were delighted to purchase a new camera and memory card for use by the staff of  St Annes Library. The camera will be used to photograph various library events and will be used for publicity purposes as well as providing a photographic record of past activities.

FOSAL was able to make the purchase from funds raised from our events. Thank you to all who came along and supported us. WEehave a number of varied events planned for 2016, information is available here. Further details will be made available shortly.

Lancashire libraries consultation 2016 – Have Your Say

Posted on: January 28th, 2016 by admin

The cuts are forcing Lancashire County Council to cut back on services. The Council may have to shut 40 of Lancashire’s 70 public libraries. The feeling is that only one of the three libraries in Lytham St Annes will be funded in the future.

LCC is undergoing a consultation process whereby residents can have their say on library services. A short questionnaire is available here. Please do take the time to fill it in – your library’s future depends on it.

Thank you.

We’ve won a RHS Gardening Award!

Posted on: November 8th, 2015 by admin



FoSAL Committee members Pam Foster, Meg Greenfield, Annette Ford and Anne Fielding receiving the RHS Award at Clifton Memorial Housing, 4 November 2015

The Friends of St Annes Library have won an In Your Neighbourhood award for the Library Garden. The award is part of the RHS North West In Bloom awards.

Our thanks go to the ‘Garden Gang’, a group of dedicated volunteers who turn out in all weathers to ensure the garden is maintained, and also to St Annes in Bloom for their help and advice.

Can you spare a couple of hours a month to help look after the garden? If so please ring Anne on 01253 711123 or  email


Majestic murder solved!

Posted on: August 3rd, 2015 by admin

murdermystery2murder mystery1

The Friends of St Annes Library and other guests proved to be a canny group of sleuths on Saturday (1 August), when they put their detective skills to good use in solving the mystery of who murdered the guest at the Majestic Hotel.

The Windmill Players acted out a mystery play where everyone had a motive for murdering the unpopular guest. After the play had finished, the audience was invited to question each of the ‘suspects’ Once the questioning had finished, members of the audience enjoyed a glass of wine while they identified the murderer and gave their reasons why.

Congratulations to ‘Team Bostock’ who not only identified the killer but also provided the correct clues that led them to the right decision. They won a pair of tickets of see an upcoming performance by the Windmill Players and a box of chocolates.

It was lovely to see so many new faces at this event and FoSAL would like to thank everyone who attended. We hope to see you at some of out future events.

And an especially big thanks to the Windmill Players for making this evening such a success!








Fylde DFAS sponsors kite making event at St Annes Library

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by admin

As part of the St Annes Music & Arts Festival, Fylde DFAS (Decorative & Fine Arts Society) sponsored a kite making event at St Annes Library on Saturday 18 July 2015.  Our contribution enabled the library to purchase art materials, paper, etc.

Once completed and decorated the kites could either be taken home or  used to decorate St Annes Library in advance of the St Annes Kite Festival, which took place the following week.

Wild flowers in memory of a friend

Posted on: July 5th, 2015 by admin



We have scattered some wild flower seeds in the Library Garden in memory of Margaret Richmond.  The seeds were given to the library staff by a friend of Margaret’s. We hope the eventual display will provide a happy reminder of a special friend.

Knitting ‘Twiddle Pockets’ to help dementia patients

Posted on: May 17th, 2015 by admin

St Annes Library Knit Together members Marjorie,  Nolene, Dorothy,  Anne,  Meg and Rhondda.


If you don’t know what a “twiddle pocket” is just take a trip to St Anne’s Library. The St Anne’s Library Knit Together group have set up a display of their Charity Projects, which includes twiddle pockets for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Following the example of other hospitals around the UK the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is asking knitters in the community to “cast on‟ and make twiddle-pockets that will help people suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer‟s. A twiddle pocket is a pocket or glove that has attachments added to it, inside and out, that patients can twiddle and fiddle with. They are used to calm patients with dementia or Alzheimer‟s by giving them something to do with their hands.

Paul Jebb, Assistant Director for Nursing (Patient Experience), said: “Twiddle-pockets have become very popular in the caring environment thanks to their simplicity. Patients respond really well to them as it gives them something to occupy their minds. People suffering from Dementia often think they should be working or keeping themselves occupied which is why they often become irritated or anxious. These knitted twiddle-pockets have been shown to fulfil that need.”

The Trust is asking community-minded, caring knitters to turn their needles to knit a supply of twiddle-pockets to donate to the trust so they can be given to patients. Paul adds: “We estimate around 70% of patients to the Trust are over 65 years of age and of those 25% will suffer from dementia or some kind of delirium. Dementia is a growing concern and caring for people with dementia is one of our priorities. The Trust is doing some great work already around dementia; particularly with its work on the dementia corridor and memory pods. Twiddle-pockets are just a simple way to add to that work and the community can also get involved.”

Making a twiddle-pocket is simple. They can be basic “sleeves” of wool or can be more extravagant. Some versions include details that make them look like animals that some patients will actually treat like a pet.

The St Annes Library Knit Together group meets the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month, 10.00 am to 12.00 pm. both novice and experienced knitters are welcome.

We have a new Chair!

Posted on: November 28th, 2014 by admin

Annette Ford is the new Chair of the Friends of St Annes Library. She was voted in at the AGM held on 19 November at St Annes Library. The other official posts were uncontested. We are, however, without a Vice Chair. Please do contact us if you are interested in this pot or if you would like to join the committee. We are always looking for new people with new ideas!

Current Steering Group officers are:

  • Chair – Annette Ford
  • Secretary: Pam Foster
  • Treasurer: Allan Foster
  • Minutes Secretary: Meg Greenfield
  • Committee members: Anne Fielding, Pauline Germain, Seetha Shearer

Thanks to all those who attended the meeting and a special thanks to Marie Riley who gave a lively, informative and often humorous talk on the life of Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell. Thanks also to Angela Brown who provided the readings. It was a most successful evening.


St Anne’s on the Sea: the Rossendale connection

Posted on: September 15th, 2013 by admin


The Lancashire County Council Community Heritage project ‘St Anne’s on the Sea: the Rossendale connection’ explores the links between the Fylde Coast town and Rossendale. It looks at the associations between the two areas and the importance of Rossendale people in the emergence of the seaside town. The project includes talks in both St Annes and Rossendale, Local History walks and a project working with local schools. The Community Heritage team would  be interested in hearing from anyone with any further information, stories and images about this subjectYou can email them at


SunnyBank Mill c.1900

SunnyBank Mill c.1900


The Clifton family, owners of the Manor of Lytham, guided by their land agent James Fair, began planning for the new town of St Anne’s on the Sea as early as the 1840s. During the 1850s they invested in the railway between Lytham and Blackpool which was opened in 1863. In the early 1870s a road was laid from what is now Fairhaven to the present St Anne’s Square and a further road continued to the Parish Church of St Anne, built in 1872/3 and funded by Lady Eleanor Cecily Clifton. The name of the new town comes from the Parish Church.


In 1874, the St Anne’s on the Sea Land and Building company was formed by eight Rossendale men led by the chairman Joseph Wood Whitehead.  This company negotiated 999 year leases with Thomas Fair who had succeeded his father James as the Clifton’s agent and  sought to develop what became known as the Square Mile. The architects for the project were Maxwell and Tuke of Peel Chambers, Bury.  James Maxwell himself was from Haslingden.

The ambitions for an exclusive  and select resort can be seen in an early company document which states, “of late years Blackpool has become so much the resort of Excursionists that a decided want is felt for a watering place which, whilst possessing the same bracing atmosphere and commanding position, shall secure a more select and better class of visitors”!


W.J.Porritt cuts first sod for drainage scheme - St Anne's 18th August 1892

W.J.Porritt cuts first sod for drainage scheme – St Anne’s 18th August 1892

The first lease between the Company and the Clifton estate was signed on 14 December 1874. Work began on the development of the Promenade and the St Anne’s Hotel began in February 1875 and the foundation stone of St Anne’s on the Sea was laid on 31 March of that year.











Perhaps the most important Rossendale influence on the development of St Anne’s was William John Porritt who was born in Ramsbottom in 1828. With his father Joseph he built Sunnybank Mill in Helmshore in 1866 and bought Higher Mill in the same town in 1880. He was present at the laying of the foundation stone of St Anne’s and soon after joined the board of the Land and Building Company, being the chairman from 1881 -1896.



Construction of 1 Oxford Rd., St Anne's , 1912

Construction of 1 Oxford Rd., St Anne’s , 1912


The success of the scheme to develop St Anne’s on the Sea wasn’t guaranteed. In the 1880s and 1890s it was struggling financially and various factors such as the opening of the pier and, most significantly, the continued investment of William Porritt ensured its success. He is particularly well known for the ‘Porritt Houses’ that were built north of the pier. It’s thought that he built property to the value of £100,000 in St Anne’s – by today’s standards he invested millions of pounds in the area.


Porritt Houses, C.1900 - 16700

Porritt Houses, C.1900 – 16700

To some extent Porritt can be seen as the saviour of St Anne’s on the Sea but many Rossendalians contributed in smaller ways to the success of the town. As a new town St Anne’s attracted people from all over the country to work on its development and in its new businesses, shops, hotels and guest houses.










Given the links through the Land and Building Company it perhaps isn’t surprising that, looking at the 1891 census, we find many people from Rossendale. Amongst these people we find joiners, corporation labourers, laundresses, housekeepers, domestic servants, stonemasons, char-women, slaters, timber merchants, tin plate workers, boarding house keepers and grocers. So, as well as providing some of the investment Rossendale was embedded into the working fabric of St Anne’s on the Sea from its earliest days.


Beach and Porritt houses, North Promenade, St Annes on Sea c.1884

Beach and Porritt houses, North Promenade, St Annes on Sea c.1884


Lifeboat and Pier, St Annes on Sea c.1920

Lifeboat and Pier, St Annes on Sea c.1920


These and other photographs are from the image archive available at


Other useful resources include:

Peter Shakeshaft’s book, ‘St Anne’s on the Sea: a history’ and



Medicinal plants take root in library garden

Posted on: June 23rd, 2013 by admin

medicinal garden1The Friends have planted a new medicinal garden in front of the library. The bed includes herbs and plants that all have healing qualities. Each plant has been labelled and you can read more about all the plants on information sheets situated in the noticeboard.

We hope to add more plants over time. If you have any cuttings of medicinal plants you would like to donate then please do get in touch at

Owl and the Pussycat Celebrations in the Garden

Posted on: December 20th, 2012 by admin

Unveiling of the mosaic by members of FoSAL

FoSAL’s latest gift to the Library Garden was finally unveiled on Saturday 17 November. The Friends commissioned artist Patricia Lee to create an Owl and the Pussycat mosaic to celebrate the bicentenary of author and poet Edward Lear, who also created the children’s poem.

Following the unveiling of the work of art by members of FoSAL, library staff members Stephaine and Sandra performed a reading of the popular poem in front of a large crowd of adults andchildren. Once back inside, the children’s Library was quickly packed with children attending Patricia’s workshops, which saw them making  Owl and the Pussycat bookmarks and masks. The children were also able to purchase themed cup cakes, which proved to be very popular.

Owl & the Pussycat Mosaic

The event was organised in conjunction with Fylde DFAS (Decorative & Fine Arts Society). During the summer, DFAS organised a series of workshops for both adults and children to design birds for the It’s A Birdie! Community arts
project which celebrated the Open Golf competition. The Library birds were exhibited at various locations throughout St Annes for several weeks during th summer. DFAS used the Owl & the Pussycat event to return these birdies to their owners, together with a certificate of participation,. Any unclaimed birdies are being stored at the Library, so if you wish to claim your birdie please contact the Library staff.

Meanwhile, the hard work of maintaining the garden continues and the Friends have been busy planting hundreds of  bulbs. We look forward to seeing their colourful presence in the spring!

Knitted babies’ garments delivered to Victoria Hospital

Posted on: October 30th, 2012 by admin

The Friends of St Annes Library KNIT Together group have been working on  a project to create tiny garments that can be used for stillborn babies. The project is in support of  the charity Lisa’s Star’s, which was set up in the Autumn of 2010 in order to make a difference to those who are unfortunate enough to lose a child prematurely. More information can be found at

The photo show a selection of the cardigans, hats and bootees made by the Friends’ knitters and, below, staff at Blackpool’s Victoria Hospital Maternity Unit receiving them.


The KNIT Together group meets at the Library on the first and third Friday of each month, 10.00 Both novice and experienced knitters are welcome. As well as doing their own knitting, members of the group also undertake various charitable projects. These have included knitting soft woollen toys, called ‘Izzy’ dolls, for children who are victims of war, HIV babies, orphans and those who suffer from plain want. Another project saw the group knitting miniature bobble hats for Age UK, who forwarded them to a juice company for their Christmas promotion. The company paid Age UK for their efforts..

New members are always welcome and also the group would appreciate any donations of knitting wool. More information is available here.


FoSAL Wins Fylde Together Volunteering Award

Posted on: September 15th, 2012 by admin

FoSAL Steering Group with their Award

The Friends of St Annes Library have won a Fylde Together Volunteering Award, in recognition of their contribution to volunteering. FoSAL was the winner of the Best Volunteer Team category. FoSAL Chair Anne Fielding and Sheila Woodburn, Library District Manager at Lancashire County Council, attended the Award Ceremony at Lytham Hall on 12th September. The Award was presented by the Mayor of Fylde.

Fylde Together recognises the contributions made by volunteers each year across Fylde and acknowledges this with a number of awards.

Thanks to the very kind person who nominated us, whoever you are!


Best Volunteer Team Award

Sun and Fun at the Garden Party

Posted on: August 2nd, 2012 by admin

Birdsworth is now official! He was formally unveiled at our Garden Party by the Chair of Fylde DFAS, Hilary Alcock, on 21 July. And what a lovely day it was. The warm and sunny weather was perfect for a  party in our beautiful garden and it was a pleasure to welcome both local residents and visitors – we did get some passing traffic from folk on their way to the Open Golf, who nipped in for a quick coffee and a cake whilst en route.

Fylde DFAS Chair Hilary Alcock unveils Birdsworth

This year’s event was a little different from previous years as we involved Fylde DFAS (Decorative & Fine Arts Society) and their ‘It’s a Birdie’ project. As well as unveiling Birdsworth, books were also presented to the children from Home Start Fylde, who have also been participating in the It’s a Birdie project.

Fiddle Faddle entertained us in the marquee, while Nochas de Salsa demonstrated their salsa skills. There was plenty of entertainment for the children too – face painting from Funky Monkey, badge making with the RSPB and a very lively puppet production of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’.




We can’t do all this without your help, so a very bigl thanks to all who gave up their time to make this a very special event. And a specially big thank you to those people who made cakes – what a lovely selection!

Lovely cakes!

Further information about the Its A Birdie project, plus photos of all the birdies made at the library workshops are available here.

Summer 2012 Newsletter Now Published

Posted on: August 2nd, 2012 by admin

The Summer 2012 newsletter is now available. Those of you who have email accounts should have received your copy electronically by now. Printed copies can be picked up from the FoSAL table at the Library.

This latest issue includes lots of information on the It’s A Birdie! project and the important role FoSAL and the Library have played in making this arts project so successful. It also includes a piece on Patricia Lee, the artict who
created our lovely mosaic bird Birdsworth. You can also read about past events and get an update on the garden.

Please click here for the latest issue.


Birdsworth Makes His Home in the Garden

Posted on: July 1st, 2012 by admin

If you’ve visited the library this weekend (30 June) you will have noticed a new feature in the garden. Our beautiful mosaic bird sculpture has been installed, close to the pergola where he can be seen from the road. Go and have a sneak preview of him before he is officially unveiled at our garden party on 21 July. I’m sure you’ll agree that he’s a real asset for the garden.



‘Literary Bird’ Sculpture for Library Garden

Posted on: June 6th, 2012 by admin

The Library Garden is to get a ‘literary bird’ sculpture as part of the It’s a Birdie! project, currently being organised by Fylde DFAS (Decorative & Fine Arts Society). Nearly 80 birdies were created at the St Annes Library workshops, held in May. All ages took part, ranging from toddlers to grandparents. Working together with DFAS, artist Patrica Lee took away all the ideas behind these 80 birds, in order to decide on a winning design that would be the basis of her sculpture for the library garden.


The winning bird is ‘Birdsworth’, a literary bird, which will now be transformed into a beautiful mosaic and fused glass permanent piece of art. Patricia has given him a bit of a Wordsworth look with the hair and collar! He has a host of golden daffodils on his breast – individually made from fused glass. His beak is golden and his wings are red and gold; his back and head are a sky blue. Well known quotes from books will be incorporated on the wings, encapsulated in yellow fused glass.

Fused glass daffodils

Birdsworth will be unveiled at our Garden Party on 21 July 2012.

The 80 perspex birdies will be used to decorate shops, hotels and restaurants in St Annes during the Open Golf Championship. They can all be viewed on the It’s A Birdie! web site at



Waking up the garden! Getting ready for summer

Posted on: April 2nd, 2012 by admin

On Saturday, 31 March, the Garden Crew had its third and final garden workshop. Expert advice was provided by Jim Carey from Myerscough College , who spent all morning and part  of the afternoon with the volunteers, offering advice and tips on how to treat the plants and shrubs to get them in tip-top condition for the summer months.

Jim showed us the best way to prune each individual plant, how to take cuttings, how to train the clematises, and much more. Each individal plant was assessed to see how it had fared obver the winter months. Unfortunately, some of the evergreen shrubs aren’t doing as well as expected, given the relaively mild winter we’ve had. It appears that the quality of the soil is poor in some areas of the garden and we were given advice on how best to treat it.

A well deserved lunch break

As usual, this workshop was both informative and fun and we’d like to thank Jim Carey for his help and advice over the last year or so.

As any gardener knows the spring and summer months are the busiest, and the Library Garden is no exception. We do need help in maintaining and looking after the Garden. Whether you have lots of experience and know-how or are a complete novice, please come along and join the Garden Crew.



We don’t ask for a lot of your time – every other month you will be asked to help for a few hours doing seasonal planting, weeding, tidying and watering.

To find out more, call Paula on 01253 720191 or email


International recognition for Knit Together Group

Posted on: January 22nd, 2012 by admin
Certificate from ICROSS Canada

ICROSS (International Community for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering) Canada has awarded a certificate to the Knit Together Group in recognition of their efforts in helping babies and children in developing countries.

The certificate says, ‘In recognition of knitting, gathering and shipping of Izzy African comfort dolls and Boomer Newborn Baby Caps for the children of war, the HIV and AIDS orphans, the child survivors of natural disasters, and the poorest of the poor in the global village on our battered and bleeding wee planet.’

Congratulations to the group for all their hard work.

Child with Izzy dolls

The Knit Together Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. New members are always welcome. The group would also appreciate any donations of knitting wool.

More information is available at

Knit Together Group Help Lisa’s Stars Charity

Posted on: November 8th, 2011 by admin

The Knit Together Group have a new project. They are knitting for the charity Lisa’s Stars.

Angel wrap & hat

Lisa’s Stars was set up in the Autumn of 2010 to make a difference to those who are unfortunate enough to lose a child prematurely. Their Founder is a lady who has sadly experienced this and felt something was massively missing from the aftercare of those babies and their parents. Lisa’s Stars initially started out as a way to support her local hospital, and her aim was to supply them with tiny blankets, hats and angel wraps so that any baby born too early would be kept warm and wrapped in love. Within three days of starting the group on Facebook, Lisa’s Stars had a website, a forum to give support to families and nearly a thousand members (now currently having over 5000 members on Facebook alone), not to mention an army of ladies loving knitting and sewing a mountain of angel clothes. More information can be found at

The Knit Together Group, which meets on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month, are knitting small blankets and tiny wraps. These will go to the Victoria Hospital, Blackpool.

New members are always welcome and also the group would appreciate any donations of knitting wool.

More information is available at

Library Garden Helps St Annes Win North West in Bloom Award

Posted on: October 29th, 2011 by admin

We did it! St Annes has won the North West in Bloom Award for Large Coastal Resort, finally beating Southport after six years of trying! Overall, Fylde scooped 25 awards, more than any other area of the North West.

It seems a long time since the judges visited the Library Garden on a hot and sunny morning during the summer, but they were obviously impressed, not only with the beauty of the garden but also by how much of an asset it is for the local community.

Congratulations to all gardeners in St Annes but especially to FOSAL’s green-fingered Garden Crew volunteers!


Gardening Thursdays!

Posted on: October 3rd, 2011 by admin

Keep your Thursdays free and come along and help out in the Library Garden! The Friends decided that it would be easier for the Garden Crew and other volunteers to dedicate one day a week to garden maintenance.

There’s plenty to do. The recent warm weather means that the weeds, as well as the plants, are flourishing and, of course, there are always leaves to be picked up and bagged. Later this month we’ll be planting spring bulbs. Come along and help keep our garden beautiful and ensure that we have a wonderful display next spring,

For further information please contact Paula on on 01253 720191 or email


Putting the Garden to bed – Garden Crew get some expert advice

Posted on: September 26th, 2011 by admin

The FoSAL Garden Crew has been getting some expert tuition on how to look after the Library garden’s plants over the winter months. Jim Carey from Myerscough College spent a morning with the volunteers on 24 September advising on all sorts of winter maintenance.

Jim Carey and the gardening volunteers

Each plant was examined carefully to see how it had flourished (or not) since the planting a few months ago. Most are doing well, but next spring some will be moved to a more sunny/shady position as needed. Volunteers also learned about the best time for pruning, splitting plants, taking cuttings and soil analysis.

This was a very informative and fun event. And, of course, as well as gaining knowledge on how to look after the Library Garden, volunteers also took away a lot of hints and tips for their own gardens. Another session has been arranged for next year. Would you like to join us? We do need your help in maintaining and looking after the Garden. Whether you have lots of experience and know-how or are a complete novice, you’re invited to join the Reading with a View Garden Crew

We don’t ask for a lot of your time – every other month you will be asked to help out in the garden for a few hours doing seasonal planting, tidying and watering.

To find out more, call Paula on 01253 720191 or email


Best Practice Award for FoSAL!

Posted on: September 17th, 2011 by admin


Glass plaque

FOSAL members Paula Fodor & Seetha Shearer receive the LEF Award

FoSAL has won another award, this time from the Lancashire Environmental Fund! The Fund recently visited the Garden at St Annes Library as part of the judging for its LEF Best Practice Awards 2011, and selected the Friends’ group as one of the winners.

On 16 September, FoSAL members Paula Fodor and Seetha Shearer attended LEF’s Annual Event at the Brockholes Nature Reserve to receive the award, which includes a beautiful glass plaque and certificate, together with a small cash prize. The day’s programme also included a guided tour around this innovative new nature reserve and the viewing of the Fund’s film, ‘From Blank Canvas to Brockholes’, which charts the development of the site. Keynote speaker was Ben Osborne, wildlife photographer, who has worked on the BBC’s ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Life in the Freezer’ series with David Attenborough.

The plaque and the certificate will be hung in the Library.

This is the second award FoSAL has won in just a few weeks. In August, the Garden won a Highly Recommended prize  in the New Fylde Housing garden competition.

Lancashire Environmental Fund is a partnership between SITA UK Ltd, Lancashire County Council, The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside and Community Futures. Formed as a non-profit company in 1998 the Fund has allocated over £15m to more than 500 environmental, community and waste management projects throughout the county to date.

Garden wins award!

Posted on: August 27th, 2011 by admin

St Annes Library garden has been awarded a Highly Recommended prize  in the New Fylde Housing garden competition. This is wonderful news for FoSAL as the garden is still relatively immature. It’s also very encouraging for the volunteers who have worked hard this summer tending to the new plants and trees.

The certificate from New Fylde Housing is to be displayed in the garden noticeboard.

Come along and visit our prize winning garden and purchase some books from our second hand book sale on Saturday, 3 September at 10.00 am. There will be a children’s Book Swap Shop as well.

We have a new web site and logo!

Posted on: July 24th, 2011 by admin

If you’re reading this then you will know that we now have a new web site. The Friends thought it was important to have a web presence for lots of reasons – to serve the increasing number of silver surfers, to attract a younger audience, to embrace social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and to reach a wider community.  The site enables us to keep members up-to-date on what’s happening and to view photographs of events, as well as allowing us to make our presence more visible to a wider audience.

We’d love to have your feedback on the site and any suggestions you have for improving it. Please send your comments to

You may also have noticed that some of our forms, posters and other materials now display our new Friends of St Annes Library logo. The logo is based on Thompson Dagnall’s wooden sculpture which stands in the Reading With a View Garden.

Making good use of the garden

Posted on: July 24th, 2011 by admin

St Annes College Grammar School pupils enjoying the reading garden


When walking past the library you can’t help but notice that the garden is proving popular with library users, passers-bys, library staff, schools and other groups. Whether you’re looking for ten peaceful minutes to read the paper, eat your lunch or just generally relax in a lovely environment, then the garden is for you!

Don’t forget to check out the two new noticeboards too, which display posters and other information about upcoming events.

Sustainability grant ensures future of garden

Posted on: July 24th, 2011 by admin

The Friends have been awarded a sustainability grant of £3,500 by Community Spaces. Over the next 12 months we will use this money to organise community events, focusing on seasonal activities in the garden and the support of other library events. The grant will also be used to  purchase gardening equipment and to pay for volunteers to be trained in horticulture and first aid.

Ian Shearer

Posted on: July 24th, 2011 by admin

It was with great sadness that the Friends learned of the untimely death of Ian Shearer in May this year. As well as being a founder member of the Friends of St Annes Library, Ian was well known in the community for his activities with Amnesty International, the World Development Movement and more. He also worked tirelessly on the Library garden project but, sadly, missed the grand opening.

The Friends are currently in discussion with Ian’s wife Seetha regarding the planting of a tree in the Library garden, together with a plaque.

What a wonderful day it was!

Posted on: July 24th, 2011 by admin

We did it! After years of planning and hard work, the Friends, together with the local community, celebrated the official opening of the Reading With a View Garden at the beginning of May. The rainy start didn’t dampen spirits and everyone agreed that the event was a huge success.









The grand opening was conducted by Taffy Thomas, the Storyteller Laureate, who later entertained the children with a range of exciting stories, both inside the library and, once the rain had stopped, outside in the pergola.

A host of other entertainment was laid on. There were musical interludes from Fiddle Faddle, the Guardian Band Ensemble, and the KEQMS Singers. There was dancing too. The Fylde Coast Cloggers treated us to a display of traditional North West Morris dances, and children from Heyhouses School danced around the maypole. In between stories, children could have their faces painted for free and join in other activities.

This wasn’t a fun raising event. The Friends wanted to create a fun day for everyone and to celebrate a long-held dream – the creation of a beautiful reading garden for everyone to use.

Maypole dancing performed by children from Heyhouses School

Morris dancing by the Fylde Coast Cloggers

Face painting fun


Friends present Gough Map to St Annes Library

Posted on: July 24th, 2011 by admin

Following a consultation with Community History Manager Andrew Walmsley, the Friends have obtained, as a gift to the Library, a copy of the Gough Map, plus an accompanying book from the Bodleian Library.

The Gough Map is a map of Great Britain, dating between 1355 and 1366, and is the oldest surviving road map of Great Britain. Its precise date of production and authorship are unknown. It is named after Richard Gough, who donated the map to the Bodleian Library in 1809.

The map has been laminated and endorsed with the text ‘A Gift from Friends of the Library’.

Jenny Eclair endorses FoSAL!

Posted on: July 24th, 2011 by admin

Our patron Jenny Eclair


Local stand-up comic, actor and writer Jenny Eclair has agreed to be a patron of the Friends of St Annes Library. She was unable to attend the opening of the Reading With a View Garden, but she sent us a message about her love of books and gardens.

She said, ‘Basically, there are two things in life that keep me sane and they are  books and gardens. Life is nothing without reading and green spaces, so enjoy your garden, enjoy your books, and when the sun comes out, enjoy both and take some time to think how lucky you are. Hope you have a great day.’

We hope to see Jenny at future events.