Memories of a creepy summer…

As the nights are getting darker, we decided to look back at some summer events and remember the fun we had when the sun was shining…

…and here at Chelsea library this summer we had a bumper edition of our summer reading challenge with the theme of ‘spooky house’. Everyone was keen to join in the summer fun and the friendly staff couldn’t wait to take it on: the challenge of a new creepy house activity every week!

Was it too much to expect in the soaring heat? With gay abandon everyone threw themselves into it.We had so many ideas we wanted to try out on the kids.

 Daniel was keen to dress as a bat and hang upside down from the children’s library uplighters.

Di was ready to stand at the top of the stairs in her Victorian nightie holding a flaming candelabra aloft.

We tried them out, we thought better of it.

We decided we needed an entertainer. We searched from A to Z. At Askew Road we found  Zedh (Library Manager) who mentioned Wiz. Mr Wiz it was , Wiz went off with a bang, a wizz bang.He really got the fireworks started with a show that set the library alight

 We were set on a trail of super dooper fun: fun with a capital F.

Thursday afternoons in childrens were not the same, with everyone trying to outdo the others with their classy creepy crafts.

Creepy Summer Reading Challenge crafts at Chelsea!
Creepy Summer Reading Challenge crafts at Chelsea!

Chelsea children chose Thursdays as their favourite afternoon, beating Dr Who on Saturday afternoons into second place.

First they built a creepy house, upon  which  on consecutive weeks they continued in their thrilling quest to fill with all sorts of ghouls and ghosts and spiders and snakes and rats and bats and all things creepy. Not to mention witches and wizards. There was so much we couldn’t capture it all.

Creepy house crafts
Creepy house crafts

Roll on the next Summer Reading Challenge – but we’ll have to get through Christmas first!

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Haunted libraries…

It might sound like a leg-pull, but you do realise that the library that you visit is haunted, don’t you? No? Then read on…

 Let’s start with the oldest library in the borough, North Kensington. Built at the turn of the nineteenth century, this old building has seen a lot, and remembers a lot too. I myself have experienced events that are hard to ascribe to anything other than paranormal activity, doors opening and slamming shut by themselves and lights turning themselves back on whilst locking up the building. I kid you not… and these shenanigans would invariably occur in the winter months, when the nights draw in and the shadows appear to run from themselves. When most of the other staff have already made for the tube or the bus and you are alone…or so you believe.

North Kensington Library, sometime in the 1890s
North Kensington Library, sometime in the 1890s
North Kensington Library, June 1935
North Kensington Library, June 1935

Then there is Chelsea library, based as it is in the Old Town Hall. An old building again and one that seems to harbour its share of denizens of the unknown. How about hearing footsteps in the basement stacks and expecting to see a colleague appear but…nobody does. Or what about a sighing and whispering voice said to have been heard, again in the basement area. Spooky stuff, oh yes!

Chelsea Old Town Hall
Chelsea Old Town Hall

Even here at Central library you might feel the goosebumps rise if you were to go down to the stacks buried deep in the basement of the library. That feeling that, although you know you are the only human present in the area, tells you that you are not alone. Somebody else is there with you…

Kensington Central Library, black & white
Kensington Central Library

 All of the above could of course just be a work of fiction, a load of old rubbish dreamt up by an overactive imagination.

 Well, keep telling yourself that dear readers…