Norwich library celebrates 50 years

While normally libraries are a place to be quiet, a community branch was filled with cheer and celebration as it marked its 50th birthday.

Tuckswood library has been open since November 11, 1960, and to celebrate the milestone, it threw open its doors for a party.

Past and present members and staff of the Robin Hood Road library enjoyed a slice of cake, a cup of tea and a chapter of memories as they joined in the celebrations.

Elisabeth Spry, the former area librarian for Tuckswood, had the honour of cutting the 50th birthday cake, while others reminisced about the past five decades.

The Norfolk County Council-run library has become something of a hive of activity for the local community.

Over the last half century, it has been a meeting point for everybody from the local school dentist to the parents and babies attending the baby clinic, and the children swotting up on road safety at the Tufty club.

While many of the services which used to be based at the library have now moved out, it still remains a focal point of the community.

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Jane Parsons, 58, library assistant from south Harford, who has worked at Tuckswood library for nearly 20 years, said: 'There have been many changes over the years, the biggest change has been moving over from the old filing system to the computer system and we now have self-service.

'It's a lovely place and it's a community library. Most people know each other and they all know me and my colleague Suzanne. It's a family-orientated library. It'll be nice to think it'll keep going for a good number years.'

The library, which is open 20 hours a week over three days, changed over to a computerised system in the 1990s.

As part of yesterday's event, a selection of first edition books from the 1950s and 1960s were available for people to browse through.

Fiona Williamson, county councillor for Lakenham, said: 'This library is treasured by many people living in and around Tuckswood, and its appeal spans the generations. Not only does it provide the community with a meeting place but it remains a focal point for people of all ages to access and share information, and long may it continue.'

Is your community celebrating a special milestone? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email