A BOOK borrowed from a historical Bradford district library almost 76 years ago has finally been returned and is now on display.

As previously reported in the Telegraph & Argus, the book, This Way To The Tomb, a play by Ronald Duncan, was borrowed from Bradford Council's Keighley Library on July 17, 1946, and was discovered by Charlie Studdy when he was tidying up some bookshelves.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Charlie Studdy in Keighley LibraryCharlie Studdy in Keighley Library

The overdue book is believed to have been taken out by his late mum Eileen Hoyle, who grew up in Haworth.

It had been on the library’s shelves for less than a month and had only been borrowed once prior to being taken out by Eileen.

Mr Studdy, who was happy to send it back but less enthusiastic about paying a fine, had the overdue fees on the book waived.

Mr Studdy said: “It’s likely that it was borrowed from the library when she returned home from university for the holidays and forgot to take it back. My mother was an avid reader until the end."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Charlie Studdy, right, outside Keighley Library with Patrick Hill, Library Team Leader, Bradford CouncilCharlie Studdy, right, outside Keighley Library with Patrick Hill, Library Team Leader, Bradford Council

Mr Studdy returned the book and the library has now put the book on display.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “This is such a lovely story and it’s great to see the book being returned. It is now on display at Keighley Library.

“We have operated several ‘fines amnesties’ during the pandemic to encourage readers to bring back their overdue books, however 76 years is somewhat of a record for our libraries!

“We obviously wouldn’t charge Mr Studdy for his mother’s overdue book, and readers can rest assured we would never charge more than the book is worth, however late it is! We would far rather get the books and the customers back wherever possible.

“Our Libraries Service is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year so it’s remarkable that this book has been on loan for over half of that time.”

Keighley Library, on North Street, was the first public library in England to be funded by Scotland-born American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

The library was officially opened by the Duke of Devonshire in 1904 and an extension was added to the building in 1961.

A recent programme of refurbishment work has been completed at Keighley Library by Bradford Council, with final upgrades of the lighting to LEDs being carried out last week.

The whole project saw repairs to flooring and plaster work and redecoration of the Grade-II listed building where required.


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