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It was only a couple of years ago that Hirst Wood Regeneration Group decided to put a Little Free Library next to the children’s playground on Hirst Lane. It was brilliantly decorated by pupils of Saltaire Primary School (right)  and became an instant hit with local youngsters. They loved the idea of being able to borrow a book and if they liked it being able to keep it and replace it with another title. It soon became apparent that the LFL Mark One was too small, and being wooden, it also took something of a beating from the weather. Sturdier So it was decided we needed something bigger and sturdier. But what? Someone suggested an old telephone box. A lot of them are no longer in use because so many people have mobile phones and it seemed the ideal solution. Our secretary, Pauline Bradley- Sharp managed to find one that was surplus to requirements outside a cafe in Menston, The Cafe owner was delighted to get rid of it because it took up space
he wanted for tables and chairs for his customers. But how to get the phone box - they weigh about 1250kg - from Menston to Hirst Wood? It’s not the kind of thing you can put in the boot of your car! Fortunately, the end of February was one of the quieter times for Bradford Parks and Landscapes Department  and they agreed to move it. Once in place by the playground, it was given a smart new look by Ian Hunt and Graham Sharp, who decorated it in Saltaire Primary School colours. Thanks to Manor Coating Sysems for their support with the paint.
Graham fitted it out with shelves and our friends at the Chirldren’s Charity Shop on Gordon Terrace provided us with stock to fill it. Pupils The grand opening took place on 25 April, with John Dembickjy, manager of Parks and Landscapes doing the honours and cutting the ribbon. Some pupils from Saltaire Primary School were there to pose for the T&A photographer and the first customer to borrow a book was Dorian, who thought the selection of picture books was just up his street.
And what of the first Little Free Library? That is going to a new home at Saltaire Primary School who will put it to good use.
The Little Free Library is a little bigger
Above, the chaps from Parks & Landscapes lift the box out at Menston and, below, put it in place in Hirst Wood
Top: gathering to see the opening, despite the threat of snow; Above right: John Dembickjy opens the Library; Below Right: our first customer, Dorian, picks out a book and below, pupils from Saltaire Primary School pose for the camera