Ex-student’s bequest creates new library

Students at work in the newly remodelled CRGS library. Photo: Martin Toole.
Students at work in the newly remodelled CRGS library. Photo: Martin Toole.

Students at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School’s sixth form centre are happily studying in a new library thanks to a generous donation from a former student.

The library at York Street has been completely remodelled, with a mezzanine floor, and renamed the Smithies Library, having been made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of Mr Arthur Smithies and his wife, Joyce.

The library will be officially opened next Wednesday (November 4th) by The High Sheriff of Lancashire, Amanda Parker JP.

The original library has been extended to provide study space for over 100 students and is equipped with iPads, laptops and, of course, books and journals.

The addition of a mezzanine level has doubled the space where students can work and the students are delighted with the facility.

Chloe Richardson, a Year 13 student, said: “It provides a calm workingenvironment in which I can complete my work and explore my subjects in greater depth.” 

Headteacher Mrs Judith Child said plans to refurbish and extend the library had been made many years ago but the school had not been able to secure the funds.

She said: “We are incredibly grateful for the generous bequest from the estate of Mr Arthur Smithies and his wife, Joyce.

“Arthur was a student at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School from 1930 to 1937 and obviously had very fond memories of his time here.

“During Arthur’s time at the school, what is now the library was the school hall and its conversion into a library commenced in 1989.”

“It is very fitting that Mrs Parker is performing the official opening of the library as she, too, is a former student of the school. Mrs Parker also taught at the school a number of years

“Whilst the library has been fully modernised, we have retained the original style of windows which are a beautiful feature.

“The school honours boards and memorial boards have been re-housed within the school building, as has an oak chest made in 1610 for the storage of the school’s papers and documents.”

Parents and members of the local community are invited to view The Smithies Library and meet students and staff on Wednesday between 2-30and 3-30pm.