A POPULAR local author recently reopened North Baddesley Community Library in its new location.

Claire Gradidge, whose World War II mysteries are set in and around Romsey, was the guest of honour at the new library, which is now within All Saints Church on Rownhams Road.

Before cutting a purple ribbon to declare the library open, Claire,said how pleased she was to have been invited.

Claire spoke to the crowd gathered for the ceremony outside. She said: “As a child, I read my way through Romsey Library."

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She went on to explain how she got special permission to read adult titles as long as the librarian decided they wasn't too rude.

Hampshire Chronicle: Childrens books within North Baddesley Community library.

Claire later donated copies of her books to the library and also the proceeds from books she sold and signed on the day.

Members of the church and library volunteers had worked hard to put together the celebratory event.

Local council and business representatives attended the opening, and refreshments were provided.

People were able to browse the well-stocked library shelves and look through scrapbooks that tell the story of the community library’s history to date.

Volunteer library co-ordinator, Debbie Evenhand, said she was really excited about being able to continue providing a library service in its new venue.

She said: “We’ve already had more than 20 new members sign up since reopening.”

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The library is currently open for three sessions a week: Tuesdays 2pm until 4pm, Wednesdays 10am until midday and Thursdays 10am until midday.

Adult books are available downstairs and the library tiger guards the children’s library on the church balcony.

Rev Vanessa Lawrence said: “I am delighted the library is running within the church as it’s such an important part of the community.”

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