Award-winning author’s happy childhood memories of library

Doing the honours ... Helen Peters cuts the ribbon to officially open Ringmer Village Library
Doing the honours ... Helen Peters cuts the ribbon to officially open Ringmer Village Library

More than 100 village residents from across the generations came to celebrate Ringmer Village Library’s official opening.

The ribbon was cut by award-winning local author Helen Peters, who said: “I was thrilled to be asked to officially open the new library.

“I grew up in Ringmer and I know how much this library matters. It matters to old people and young people; to families with young children and to people who can’t easily hop on a bus to Lewes, but who need a library in their own village.”

She continued: “As a child, I came here every week, and have vivid memories of kneeling in front of the lowest shelves where the children’s books were housed, studying the spines and choosing my next read.

“Ringmer is incredibly lucky to have Liz Owen and her team of wonderful volunteers, who have put the most enormous amount of time and effort into making sure that the village will continue to have a library at its heart.”

Liz Owen, the organiser of the library and a trustee of Ringmer Village Hall which now manages it, was presented with a certificate of Community Achievement.

“I’m thrilled with how the community has come together to save a valued local resource,” she said “but saddened that libraries everywhere are under threat and that East Sussex County Council closed nearly a third of its libraries this year.

“Libraries are safe, free spaces, where people can come together without needing to spend money; as well as providing books, they provide information, entertainment and company.”

She said the official opening made it clear how much local people value their library. Villagers had the chance to check out the library’s new stock and catch up with friends and neighbours over tea and cake, kindly provided by Ringmer Baptist Church.

Helen Peters signed copies of her books for young fans, children got busy at the art activity tables, and more than £400 was raised for library funds.

The event also demonstrated Ringmer’s amazing community spirit, and the way that the library continues to bring so many people together.