This year’s Silver Sunday programme launches in the borough on Sunday 1 October.
Kensington and Chelsea residents who are 65 years of age or over are invited to participate in an amazing week long programme of mostly free activities and events to celebrate their contribution to community life.
The aim is to increase health and well-being by reducing social isolation through introducing older residents to new activities, meeting new people and staying active and involved in their communities. Some activities are held regularly throughout the year and others are one-off events delivered specifically for Silver Sunday.
If you are not able to get out and about due to physical limitations or ill health, and want to join in from the comfort of your own home, the Phone Club is a free and friendly activity that you can take part in on Monday and Thursday during Silver Sunday week and throughout the year too. Topics include: current affairs, health, food and culture.On 1 October why not join in and –
take the opportunity of visiting the Design Museum, the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design, at its new location in Kensington High Street and explore your creative side with a range of design briefs (tea, coffee and cake provided)
grab your dancing shoes and join in the Open Age dance-a-thon with fantastic music and instructors
discover what goes on behind the scenes at the English National Ballet and take part in their artistic dance activity which improves physical and mental health and well-being through creative expression
join a tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground and then relax with an afternoon tea and watch a cricket match
add a little colour to your windowsill or balcony by planting up winter pansies and spring bulbs at Sybil Thorndike House in Earl’s Court (planter, compost and flowers/bulbs provided as well as refreshments)
visit 18 Stafford Terrace (the preserved Victorian family home of Punch cartoonist Linley Sambourne) and discover what life was like back then
These are just some of the events that you can choose from and you don’t have to go on your own – why not invite a friend, family member or carer to join you.
You can find the full programme of events on the borough’s website – most activities and events are free of charge, some have limited space and others need to be booked in advance.
The last few weeks have been really busy here, as students return to start a new academic year and sign up for library cards while families and schoolchildren come to make use of our great junior section, browse the study guides and participate in our children’s activity sessions. We have also noticed a surge in visitors borrowing and returning books, possibly boosted by the upcoming Booker Prize competition and perhaps the return of cold weather. As they say in Game of Thrones: Brace yourself, Winter is coming… As we say at Brompton: Brace yourself, Winter is coming…So stock up on library books!
In addition to our usual services we have had some interesting events taking place. Our weekly computer classes for beginners take place on the first floor in the learning centre and we are also currently hosting private piano lessons that are available to anyone of any ability. If you are interested in these services either phone libraries line on 020 7361 3010or pop into our branch and speak to a member of staff.
This month RBKC history buff Dave Walker and resident Librarian Stephanie Webb hosted a local history event in the Brompton meeting room:
Silver Sunday event
On a Wednesday afternoon in the week leading up to Silver Sunday, Brompton hosted a local history event concentrating on Earl’s Court Rd at the turn of the 20th century and some of the highlights of Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre long before it became home to the Ideal Home Exhibition and stadium style rock concerts. Dave Walker (Local Studies Librarian) brought along some fantastic photographs and original postcards and answered questions from interested locals. We were very happy to welcome Councillor Mills to Brompton as she was the lead Councillor for Silver Sunday in this borough. After having a good look at the exhibits every one sat down and had a good chat about more recent changes to the area and, inevitably, how much property prices had changed!
One of our most popular displays recently has been our “Haven’t you read…?” pod display. It started off as a means to promote our Reading Groups Book Collection which usually languishes in our first floor office but contains some classic titles.
We went on to use it to display modern classics which often appear on student’s reading lists (To Kill a Mocking Bird, Catcher in the Rye etc) and were surprised at how popular it turned out to be, however, it had to make way for our Mood Boosting Books display to support World Mental Health day.
This summer it was great fun for the children to create a book at Brompton Library in collaboration with an organisation called Celebrate My Library. They are a -not for profit- project created by library lovers Hilary and Victoria. They celebrate libraries and everything they do by speaking to people who love them most and through this show people who don’t yet use libraries just how great they can be. They collaborate with councils to inspire the widest variety of library lovers possible.
The children took part in two workshops in the library during Summer Reading Challenge and created the book, Creepy Library. This is a result of fun packed story writing workshops inspired by the children and illustrated by up coming illustrators. The children enjoyed every bit of it and so did the parents. They are proud to see their names as the authors of the book.
The children who attended our weekly Saturday Storyland and craft session read a crocodile story and got a chance to make some crocodile-puppets!
Earls Court Fete
The Library Service participated in a local street fete in Earls Court in late September. The fete gave opportunity for local businesses and services to showcase their activities. Penny Girling from Central Library and I (see photo) staffed a stall, where we promoted our services, activities and events. We engaged with over 200 local residents and were able to register many, as new library members.
As well as promoting our quarterly events calendar and the forthcoming London History events, I was able to engage with locals about our Earls Court and Brompton Local History Event on Wednesday 02 October. I had displayed some very interesting photographs of Earls Court in by-gone days, including the Great Ferris Wheel, built in the 1890’s on the site of the Exhibition Centre. These photographs attracted a lot of attention and inspired some to attend the local history event at Brompton.
It was a very enjoyable afternoon and wonderful to be part of a local community event. It would be great to do more.
As an aside, my daughter, Abigail, was also there, singing with a local jazz band. She was fabulous!
A reminder that books are not the only resource we have available. All the libraries across RBKC, Westminster and Fulham have a fantastic selection of audio books, music CDs and DVDs to borrow, as highlighted by resident creative guru and library assistant David Bushell:
Recently I was given the task of organising the CD collection at Brompton- my, what a selection of music we have!
All the pop is covered of course, plus an amazing diversity of other music- from Heavy Metal to the rhythms of the Congo, From Jazz to Country and Western, plus soundtracks for films and a selection of easy listening compilations. Then there are extensive classical recitals, famous composers and all the opera you’ll ever need.
At £1 for three weeks, it sure beats trawling the internet for that elusive download. You can admire the artwork and read the sleeve notes and lyrics while you listen, just like old times!
Also don’t forget that the Nour Festival of Arts runs from 1 October until the 30th November and the London history Festival will commence from 18th November with a range of fascinating talks from respected authors and speakers. Visit your local library for more information.
Silver Sunday is 6 October this year, and is a day to celebrate older people by offering them free activities and events in their local areas. Activities are made available to older people on the Sunday and other days during the weeks before and after to encourage them to try new things, to keep active in body and spirit, to meet their neighbours and to overcome loneliness.
We have two events that have been organised especially for Silver Sunday but there are other activities happening across libraries all through the year – reading groups, writing groups, computer classes and so on. Ask at your local library for details of these and other things you may be interested in.
The Local History of Brompton and Earl’s Court
Wednesday 2 October, 2 to 4.45pm
Want to learn more about the local history of Brompton and Earl’s Court? Then come along to meet our Local Studies Librarian, Dave Walker. He will be on hand to discuss some interesting items from the Local Studies archive relating to the Brompton and the Earl’s Court area. Come and see how the area has changed over the decades. There’s no need to book a place to this free event – just come along.
Silver Sunday Quiz
Sunday 6 October, 2 to 4pm Chelsea Library
Come along to our Silver Sunday Quiz – a great opportunity to test your general knowledge, meet people and enjoy a cup of tea. There’s no need to book a place – just come along and it’s free!
There’s more information about this special day on the Silver Sunday website.