Sutton library assistant retires after 50 years of service to borough

Richard Radford (centre) with Wallington Library staff at a presentation in Civic Offices to mark his retirement after 50 years of work for Sutton’s library service.

A Sutton library assistant is retiring at the end of this month following 50 years of unstinting service to the borough.

Richard Radford, 70, is retiring on 29 April, just over 50 years since starting work for the borough’s library service.

Born at St Helier Hospital in 1945, Richard has lived in Sutton all of his life. Currently a library assistant at Wallington Library, where he has worked since 1998, he began his career with the borough’s library service at Carshalton on 12 April 1966 and was there for a year until 1967, when he left for two years to attend library school in Brighton.

After completing his studies, Richard returned to Carshalton library, where he worked from 1970 to 1979. He worked on the mobile library until 1983 then moved to Sutton Central Library’s Music and Arts department for 15 years before starting at Wallington Library.

In 2009 Richard received the Community Engagement Champion Award for his services to the library’s Coffee Concerts, which he has organised and run since 2011.

Richard said:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working in Sutton libraries. Fifty years is a long time to work in this profession, and I must say that I have found the last 30 years particularly rewarding, from working in the music library in Sutton for 14 years and then moving to Wallington library in 1998 where I got settled in to a busy library with plenty to do. It has given me great pleasure to work on the Coffee Concert classical CD recitals in Wallington Library. Although I am retiring I shall continue to run the concerts there. Working in Sutton libraries has been very enjoyable and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

To mark Richard’s retirement, Sutton Council Chief Executive Niall Bolger presented him with a certificate at a ceremony in Sutton Civic Offices on Monday 25 April.

Niall said:

“Richard’s 50 years working for Sutton’s library service is a tremendous achievement and we would like to thank him for the immense contribution he has made to the borough’s library service over these years. Richard has been a valued member of staff for many years and I know he will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues as he has always been a great source of support and a fount of knowledge and advice.”

Sutton residents get access to more than four million ancestors

The register of girls from the Royal Female Orphanage in Beddington from 1890 to 1913 is now available online.

More than 4.6m Sutton names dating back to 1538 are being made available online for the first time thanks to a joint initiative by Sutton Archive service and Ancestry, the world’s largest family history online resource.

Ancestry, at www.ancestry.co.uk, has digitised Sutton’s parish registers, which include baptisms, marriages and burials from 1538, rate books including poor rates, lighting rates, highway rates and sanitary rates between 1783 and 1914, and electoral registers from 1931 to 1970. Records of hundreds of girls from the Royal Female Orphanage in Beddington, now Carew Manor School, from 1890 to 1913 are also being made available for the first time.

There is fascinating information about people who have lived in the borough including:

  • Elizabeth Throckmorton (1565-c.1647), who married Sir Walter Ralegh (correct spelling), was born and baptised in Beddington and whose family lived at Carew Manor.
  • Singer and entertainer Des O’Connor lived at 221 Stafford Road, Wallington between 1963 and 1965.
  • Formula One world champion James Hunt lived in Cheam and is recorded in the electoral registers in 1969 and 1970.

Sutton residents can now go online at all Sutton libraries and trace their family tree for free from today (Wednesday 6 April). If they visit the Ancestry website from home they will have to pay to access it.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“We are delighted to help all Sutton residents looking to learn more about their family histories by making Ancestry access free to all those using the computers or wi-fi at any of our borough libraries. This fantastic resource will make tracing the branches of your family tree easier than before.”

Sutton resident and historical novelist Alison Weir, the top-selling female historian whose books cover the Tudor period – the same era the parish registers date from – is delighted with the new initiative. She said:

“Nearly everyone wants to know something about their ancestry, but trying to obtain genealogical information can often be a time-consuming and frustrating challenge. In Sutton, though, we are very lucky to have this wonderful new online resource that will make tracing the past a joy, and which is easily accessible to all. As a historian and, more importantly, a local resident, I feel privileged to be endorsing this stunning initiative on the part of the London Borough of Sutton and Ancestry.”

The database of some 4,619,369 names will allow residents to learn about household names who were born, grew up or lived at one time in the borough.

Other people on the database include:

  • Thomas Wall, of Wall’s ice cream and sausages fame, lived in Sutton for a number of years. He is in the rate books living in Worcester Road, Sutton in 1902.
  • Writer and raconteur Quentin Crisp (real name Denis Pratt) was born in Carshalton and his family later moved to Sutton and Cheam. His father, Spencer Charles Pratt, is in the rate books.
  • Legendary rock guitarist Jeff Beck, who grew up in Wallington and attended Sutton Manor School, now Sutton Grammar.
  • The late singer, actor and television presenter Harry Secombe lived on Cheam Road in Sutton.
  • The world-famous percussionist James Blades, who died in 1999, lived at 191 Sandy Lane, Cheam and is in the electoral register. One of his pupils was percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

 

The following parish register collections are available online:

  • Sutton, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 Records: 26,907
  • Sutton, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915 Records: 42,381
  • Sutton, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1940 Records: 49,687
  • Sutton, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985 Primary Records: 28,258
  • Sutton, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
  • Sutton, England, Electoral Registers, 1931-1970 Records: 320,807
  • Sutton, England, Tax Collection Rate Books, 1783-1914
  • Beddington, Surrey, England, Royal Female Orphanage List of Children, 1890-1913 Records: 595
  • Ancestry LLC is the world’s largest online resource for family history with more than 2 million paying subscribers across all family history sites.

Sutton to change library service following Government cuts

Beddington Library and the Mobile Library service will close as part of a restructure forced by unprecedented government cuts to local authority funding.

However, the savings mean that Sutton Council can keep its other libraries open, increase total opening hours and develop the Housebound Library service to serve vulnerable residents who were using the Mobile Library service. The council will also make more use of volunteers and community groups in order to save money, and will not outsource the library service.

The changes are being made because the council has to save £31m from its annual budget by 2019 because of unprecedented Government cuts to funding and increased pressure on services.

The council has already saved £43m from its annual budget since 2010. Its annual budget currently stands at £148.4m.

To contribute to the savings, the Library, Heritage and Arts Service has to save £1m from its annual budget by 2019.

Facing having to rationalise the service, Sutton Council ran an extensive three-month consultation through its Sutton’s Future campaign to see how savings could be made while trying to meet community needs.

Almost 3,000 people took part in two consultations. One was an online survey people could volunteer to answer and hence were mainly library users (95 per cent) and another was an independent telephone survey of 1,000 people called at random based on a representative sample of the borough – of which 58 per cent of people were library users.

Some of the key findings were:

  • Sutton Central was the library used by most users of both surveys – 33 per cent of respondents to the telephone survey and 34 per cent of respondents to the online survey.
  • Only one person in the telephone survey and only 2 per cent of respondents to the online survey said they used Beddington Library.
  • Only 13 people in the telephone survey and 9 per cent of respondents to the online survey said they used the Mobile Library.
  • 53 per cent of people in the telephone survey and 47 per cent of people in the online survey said they supported more community involvement and volunteering in libraries.
  • 65 per cent of people in the online survey and 57 per cent of people in the telephone survey disagreed or strongly disagreed with outsourcing the library service.
  • 32 per cent of respondents to the telephone survey said savings should be made from the library service, 53 per cent disagreed.

On Thursday 4 February the council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee decided to:

  • Close Beddington Library from 1 April 2016 saving £40,000 annually.
  • Close the Mobile Library service from 1 April 2016 and develop the Housebound Library Service to ensure that services continue for vulnerable people. This would save £113,000.
  • Rationalise library opening hours across the network of eight libraries – Sutton Central, Wallington, Cheam, Worcester Park, Middleton Circle, The Life Centre, Westcroft and Phoenix.
  • Sutton Central Library will be open for 63.5 hours a week with all floors open all-day Monday and Thursday evening, and open on Sunday. Although this means losing one hour a week, residents’ access to the library will be enormously improved, and the children’s library and IT suite will have 13 extra hours a week.
  • Make changes to Sunday service at Westcroft and the Life Centre from staffed to fully self-service libraries.
  • Agree that the model of council-led services with community support is better than sharing the service with another borough or commissioning the service from another provider.

Cllr Steve Penneck, Lead Councillor for Libraries, Arts and Heritage at Sutton Council, said:

“I want to thank everyone who took part in our consultation. The Government cuts mean we have had to make some hard choices, but we have managed to keep the majority of libraries open at a time when many local authorities are making deeper cuts to their library service.

Still time for Sutton residents to have their say on future of library services

 

Sutton Council is reminding residents they can still take part in the public consultation on the future of the borough’s library service.

Around 2,200 people already have voiced their opinions in the 12-week consultation, which runs until Wednesday 16 December 2015. A public meeting at Sutton Central Library on Saturday 14 November saw residents discuss issues with councillors and find out more about the proposals.

Sutton Council is being forced to look at changes to the library service due to unprecedented government cuts to its annual budget. As a result, it has to save £74m from its annual budget between 2011 and 2019. The council’s annual revenue budget is currently £148.4m (2015/16).

So far the council has saved £43m from its annual budget, with a further £31m to go.

As part of the cost-cutting measures, the council has identified £1m of savings from the annual libraries, heritage and art budget, which currently stands at £4.4m. It launched the campaign through its Sutton’s Future campaign to ensure that residents can have their say in the future of the service.

Options for consultation include the closure of Beddington Library and the discontinuation of the Mobile Library service, considering a community library model that increases the number of volunteers and volunteer roles, and sharing services with a neighbouring borough.

An enhanced housebound library service to cater for vulnerable residents is already being provided in partnership with Sutton’s Old People’s Welfare Committee, who provide Meals on Wheels services for the council.

Carshalton Central Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“We have had a tremendous response to our consultation so far and there is still time to have your say. While we have to reshape our library service because of Government cuts to our budget, we want to maintain the quality and customer standards that people expect.”

The library consultation is through the council’s Sutton’s Future campaign, which was launched last year to involve residents in helping to make savings due to unprecedented government cuts. It includes an online survey, available here, and an independent telephone survey of 1,000 residents.

In January 2015 Sutton Council adopted a Library Strategy for the borough’s library service, setting out the strategic and operational direction for the service to 2019. It has four key aims:

  • Literacy: growing the readers of the future.
  • Meeting the needs of an aging population.
  • Narrowing the digital divide.
  • Creating a viable, sustainable and quality service within available budgets.

Have your say on the future of Sutton’s library service

Sutton Council is launching a public consultation on the future of the borough’s library service. The 12-week consultation will run from 23 September to 16 December 2015 through the council’s Sutton’s Future campaign – launched last year to involve residents in helping to make savings due to unprecedented government cuts.

It will include an online survey available at www.sutton.gov.uk/suttonsfuture, an independent telephone survey of 1,000 residents and a public meeting at Sutton Central Library on Saturday 14 November from 10am to 12 noon, where residents can discuss issues with councillors and find out more about the proposals.

The council is being forced to look at changes to the library service due to unprecedented government cuts to its annual budget. As a result, the council has to save £74m from its annual budget between 2011 and 2019. Our annual revenue budget is currently £148.4m (2015/16).

So far the council has saved £43m from its annual budget, with £11m of that through our Sutton’s Future campaign. There is a further £31m to go.  Sutton Council wants to achieve budget savings while ensuring that it maintains and, in some areas, potentially enhances library service provision. As part of the cost-cutting measures, the council has identified £1m of savings from the annual libraries, heritage and art budget which currently stands at £4.4m.

There are a number of options up for consultation, including the closure of Beddington Library and the discontinuation of the Mobile Library service. Other options include altering library opening hours, considering a community library model that increases the number of volunteers and volunteer roles, and sharing services with a neighbouring borough.

An enhanced housebound library service to cater for vulnerable residents is already being provided in partnership with Sutton’s Old People’s Welfare Committee, who provide Meals on Wheels services for the council.

Cllr. Jill Whitehead

Cllr. Jill Whitehead

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“We have to reshape our library service so we can maintain the quality and customer standards people expect while also meeting the significant cuts being forced upon us by the government. Over the past four years, we have been able to make £43m of savings to our annual budget without our libraries being affected. Now, with a further £31m of savings needed, we have no choice but to change our frontline services. We know our residents hold our library service in high regard and we want to hear their views on proposals for the service so we can help shape Sutton’s Future together.”

In January 2015 Sutton Council adopted a Library Strategy for the borough’s library service, setting out the strategic and operational direction for the service to 2019. It has four key aims:

Literacy: growing the readers of the future.

  • Meeting the needs of an aging population.
  • Narrowing the digital divide.
  • Creating a viable, sustainable and quality service within available budgets.

Sutton libraries team up with young readers to help break world reading record

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Libraries across the borough are encouraging local readers to help break a world record this summer.

The Summer Reading Challenge 2015 was launched last Saturday 11 July. You can sign up at any library throughout the summer, but if you want to help break the world record, head to a branch library (excluding Beddington and the mobile service).

Readers aged from around 4 to 11 years and their families are encouraged to make a pledge to complete the challenge, which could go towards setting a new Guinness World Record for the Most Pledges Received for a Reading Campaign. The annual campaign encourages young readers to devour six or more titles of their choice over the summer holidays. Children will receive collectable incentives and rewards and, at the successful completion of the challenge, a certificate and medal.

The theme this year is Record Breakers, bringing together fact and fiction, and encouraging young readers to explore astonishing real-life achievements and world records.

Collecting stickers as they go, young readers will discover the weird, wonderful and wacky records from around the world in six different categories: Cool Tech, Way to Go!, The Big Stuff, Animal Magic, People Power and Action! Adventure! The Summer Reading Challenge is a popular national reading initiative, created by The Reading Agency. Last year nearly 2000 children in Sutton took part in the Mythical Maze, with 50 per cent  of those reading all six books and completing the challenge, which is a record achievement for the borough.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 15.35.51

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of Sutton Council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee, said:

“The Summer Reading Challenge is a wonderful initiative which makes reading truly fun for children of many different ages. I am delighted that our libraries are launching it with a bang this (last) Saturday and I would encourage all local children to come along and make their pledge. The borough already has an excellent track record of young readers completing the annual challenge, so I am certain that we can make a huge contribution to breaking the world record. Let’s get reading!”

Signing up for the Summer Reading Challenge is free.

For more information about the Summer Reading Challenge 2015, go tohttp://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/ or contact your local library branch.

Tracing your Ancestors in Sutton Libraries

Hamish's Great Great Great Grandfather

Hamish’s Great Great Great Grandfather photographed in the early 1860s!

Budding genealogists may not yet know this but “Ancestry” and “Find my Past” are free to use in the Local Studies and Archives Centre and in all Sutton Libraries.

Archives and Local Studies

Here is a wealth of information you can use to research anything from local history, archived documents & your family tree.

Archived Court Rolls

To help you with you research, the following areas include links to other articles or external websites.

These links include:

  • Local Studies
  • Family History
  • Parish Register Holdings
  • Archives

Local Studies & Archives Centre
2nd Floor, Central Library
St Nicholas Way Sutton, Surrey SM1 1EA
tel: (020) 8770 4747, fax: (020) 8770 4777
email: local.studies@sutton.gov.uk

OPENING HOURS :
Tue, Fri 10am-5pm; Wed 10am-8pm;

Closed Mon & Thur;
Alternative Saturdays 9.30am-5pm;
Alternative Sundays 1-4.30pm

We will be open the following weekends in 2014 :
9/10 Aug, 23/24 Aug, 6/7 Sep, 20/21 Sep,

4/5 Oct, 18/19 Oct, 1/2 Nov, 15/16 Nov, 29/30 Nov, 13/14 Dec

An Introduction to the Archives & Local Studies Collections

The Local Studies Collection: encompasses a variety of different resources — printed books, photographs, maps, newspapers, pamphlets and slides. These resources relate particularly to the past, present and future life of this Borough and more generally to Surrey and Greater London (especially south of the Thames). We have especially strong collections of material relating to Croydon Airport and the River Wandle.

The Borough’s Archives: These are kept separately from the Local Studies Collection and comprise primary source material relating almost exclusively to this Borough. The main exceptions to this rule are records of the Wallington (previously Croydon) Magistrates Court and a large collection of copies of Surrey parish registers. Again, material is held in a variety of different formats – paper, parchment, magnetic tape and video. Because archives are, by their very nature, unique, readers are asked to observe a number of guidelines designed to protect this material.

Where are the collections kept? The Local Studies Centre is situated on the 2nd Floor of the Central Library. You may need to produce proof of identification (e.g. library ticket, driving licence, CARN ticket etc) before using some material.  Whilst we try to have as much material as possible readily available for consultation at least 24 hours notice is required before we can produce archives and hard copy of reports to council and council minutes prior to 1965.

Finding a particular item: Only a small percentage of the Local Studies Collection, and none of the Borough’s Archives, appear on the Libraries’ computerised catalogue. Instead, separate catalogues exist for books and larger pamphlets and for the Archives. These can be found in binders in the Local Studies Centre. Place, person and subject indexes to the Archive catalogues are also available there.

A large proportion of our archive catalogues can be accessed via A2A – National Archives external website. 

Library at Westcroft Centre

Westcroft Leisure Centre, Westcroft Road, Carshalton, SM5 2TG
Tel: 020 8647 1151

sutton_council_logoOpening Times:

Mon to Fri 7am – 9pm
Sat to Sun 8am – 7pm

(Monday – Friday: library will be in self service mode between 7:00 – 9:30 and 19:00 – 21:00, Saturday: 8:00 – 9:30 and 17:00 – 19:00, Sunday: 8:00 – 10:00 and 14:00 – 19:00)

Address:

Westcroft Leisure Centre, Westcroft Road, Carshalton, SM5 2TG
Telephone: 020 8647 1151

The Library @ The Westcroft Centre provides:

  • Self Service facilities
  • Public Internet Access
  • Free WiFi
  • Children’s story times with Surestart (Tuesdays from 10am)
  • Children’s story times with the library for 0-4 yrs (Wednesdays at 10:00-10:30 and 10:45-11:15)
  • Disabled access
  • Free membership to volunteer society ‘Friends of the Library in Carshalton’ (FROLIC). Members who volunteer skills, talents and time in order to raise funds for the library, and maintain the library grounds

Become a fan of Library @ The Westcroft Centre on facebook
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New Caterpillars Children’s Nursery, Old Library, The Square

The imminent opening of the children’s nursery in the Old Library, The Square, Carshalton is announced on a bright banner by the front door.  (Photo taken by Hamish on 15th Feb.)

The building works are nearing completion to convert the old Carshalton Library and the offices for former council services into the facilities for the children’s nursery. 

For details: See their web site: www.caterpillarsdaynursery.co.uk; E-mail: info@caterpillarsdaynursery.co.uk; Tel: 020-8773 3882.

Sutton-20140215-00857

 

Success at Carshalton Library at the Westcroft Centre

Cllr. Jill Whitehead says:

“We are delighted to report that the new library at Westcroft has been a great success one year on from its move from the Square in Carshalton. An amazing 19,207 people visited the new library in October 2013 and it has been averaging between 18,000 and 19,000 visitors every month throughout the year to date. This is six times the number of people who visited the old library in Carshalton each month during its last year.

It is clear that the new library is attracting Westcroft leisure centre users of all ages, as well as residents who live in the general area of the new Westcroft Centre, which is just off Carshalton High Street at its’ eastern end.  

Not only are there more visitors, who come to take part in different activities (such as to use the library’s computers), but the number of issues of books has also gone up substantially. This October, 6,914 books were issued and the library has been averaging between 6,000 and 7,000 book issues every month throughout the year since opening. This is double the number when compared with the old library.

The Friends of Carshalton Library (FROLIC) celebrated this success last Saturday as well as enjoying mince pies, Xmas carols and bell ringing from the All Saints Church bell ringers.”