Librarian makes 200-mile round trip to support Lincoln protest
A Cambridge University librarian turned out in support of nearly 400 protestors who brought Lincoln city centre to a standstill this afternoon.
Astronomy specialist Mark Hurn said each and every one of the campaigners at today's Save Lincolnshire Libraries march and rally was a true star.
Mr Hurn, 49, will be stopping off at his parents' home at Leasingham near Sleaford for his tea - and to break up the 200-mile round trip to his home.
"I came because this is the first big march and protest about the threat to library services that I have come across in my long career," he said.
"And I believe that the turnout of hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds shows the depth of feeling for libraries in Lincolnshire.
"Although I do have family connections in the county, when I heard about the rally I knew I would have to come and support it.
"The politicians just don't realise all the good work which librarians do.
"It's far more than about lending out books and, as I see it, the community role is in jeopardy."
Hundreds of good-humoured and vocal supporters walked from Castle Square and down Steep Hill, along Clasketgate and Silver Street before a pause at Lincoln Central Library in Free School Lane.
Then they moved on to a rally addressed by 10 speakers in City Square.
Lincolnshire Unison branch secretary Helen Stokes, who represents 7,000 public sector workers, was typical in that she turned out with her four grandchildren all dressed as book characters.
"It's an absolutely brilliant turnout with campaigners from right across the spectrum of community life in Lincolnshire," she said.
"Anyone can join a library. It's free and that's how it should stay. If the cuts go through 32,500 children won't have access to a local library."
Grand-daughter Chloe Horgan, 11, from Hartsholme, Lincoln, said: "My education will be lacking if our library closes.
"And I want it to stay so my children can use it one day."
Firefighter William Dziadkiewicz, 33, from Cheviot Street in uphill Lincoln, turned out with wife Emma and their children Tim, four, and Alice, three.
"Both our children love story books and we go to the library a lot because they are a welcome addition to the ones we have at home," he said.
Matthew Michell, 43, from Nettleham, took his 10-year-old son Peter dressed as Harry Potter and daughter Lydia, seven, in her Silky the Fairy outfit from The Faraway Tree.
"We have a library in our village which our children can walk to on their way home," Mr Michell said.
"It seems a crime that the county council aren't going to carry it on."
Son Peter said: "The thing about libraries is you can take a book out, read it and return it for someone else to enjoy. That's why we're here because we want to keep ours."