FLASHBACK: The history of now-threatened Adlington Library

The official opening of Adlington Library; Leonard Fairclough to the left of the door and Arthur Harper to the right.
The official opening of Adlington Library; Leonard Fairclough to the left of the door and Arthur Harper to the right.
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At a time when most of Chorley’s beloved libraries find themselves at risk of closure due to proposed council cuts, Flashback looks at the history and popularity of Adlington Library.

Adlington’s first library was opened on October 5, 1926, in St Philip’s Classroom off Railway Road.

Adlington Library in the late 1960s

Adlington Library in the late 1960s

But within a decade it had relocated, 20 yards away to within St John Ambulance Hall.

During this period, there was in the region of 1,500 books available, and the library was only open for a few hours once a week.

As demand grew and libraries became an integral part of the community, Adlington Urban District Council acquired land on Railway Road for the construction of a purpose-built library.

Not one for having to move the books too far again, the chosen site was a little further back along Railway Road.

Adlington Library

Adlington Library

The library building was officially opened on March 25, 1964 and was stocked with 14,000 books, in preparation for the first day of service to the public on March 31.

The proceedings were opened by Mr G E Williams, chairman of the Horwich Regional Library Committee, and the building was declared open by Mr L M Fairclough, JP.

County Alderman L. Ball, JP, Chairman of the County Libraries’ Sub-Committee, formally handed over the library for the use of residents.

In turn, the library was accepted on behalf of the residents by Coun A Harper, JP, Chairman of Adlington Urban District Council.

My personal affinity to Adlington Library is that Coun Harper was my great-grandfather.

Today, the library has been modernised and even extended and has developed from the quiet book-only venue, into an active, well resourced social hub.

Books are still readily available but also DVDs, resources for those with disability or difficulty, resources for all ages and a useful IT network.

In addition, a number of social organisations frequent the library and it is well used as a venue for public consultation, as well as educational and entertaining presentations.

The story and growth of Adlington Library is similar to those in Coppull, Eccleston and Euxton.

All now exist and thrive offering similar resources and facilities to the residents who have come to see them as a permanent and expected fixture of their community.

- There will be a ‘read-in’ held at Adlington Library between 9.30am and 12.30pm on Saturday, February 27, to show support for the ‘Save Adlington Library’ campaign, and a similar one at Euxton Library on Saturday, March 5, also from 9.30am to 12.30pm.