Kelso Library Centenary 1906 - 2006
100 years of reading at Kelso Library
Kelso Library hosted a special Centenary Day on Tuesday 16 May marking 100 years since the library first opened.
Councillor Hutton, Convener of SBC and local Councillor, presided over the festivities which began with a Celebration Ceremony attended by invited guests. Kevin Wells from Kelso High School played the bagpipes which got everyone’s feet tapping. Kelso Librarian Ruth Holmes and Margaret Riddell, Kelso Provost joined Councillor Hutton to say a few words of thanks and welcome. During the ceremony the Centenary lamp was switched on which has been restored to symbolise the illumination which reading can bring to everyone.
Shirley Aitken, Locality Police Officer and Bob Marsh from Kelso Library conducted a recreation of a schoolroom of a hundred years ago for pupils from Eccles/Leitholm Primary School. This was a big success, as they all completed the mental arithmetic exercises on slates and the only person who had to wear the dunces hat was Bob.
Ian Brown, Head of Cultural Services gave a short speech as to the future of libraries.
The numerous displays, photographs and archives which had been arranged by Susanne Batchelor were enjoyed by guests and regular users.
The afternoon brought a memory session hosted by Friends of Kelso Library which gave staff and library users the chance to reminisce the library.
Councillor Hutton, who is also the narrator of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, gave an immense performance when he read poetry and stories which reflected the character of the Borders.
The day was rounded off with a Centenary Supper at the Cross Keys Hotel to replicate the lunch enjoyed at the same hotel 100 years ago by those who attended the library’s opening ceremony. Ivy Elder from Friends of Kelso Library welcomed 48 guests who then enjoyed an excellent supper. Ruth Holmes toasted Alasdair Hutton who was chief guest and a tireless supporter of Kelso Library, Alasdair reciprocated with a toast to Kelso Library.
It is hoped that work will commence later in the summer on the new outdoor reading area This area at the back of the library has been derelict for many years, now it will be used to create an area where library users can enjoy reading outside. £2500 has already been gifted from Charity begins at home and other funding is being sourced
Councillor Hutton says, “The library has given great pleasure to many thousands of Kelsonians in the hundred years since it was founded here by the generosity of Andrew Carnegie. The Centenary Day marked the start of the next hundred years of the library’s work in Kelso.”