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But I would walk five hundred miles…

Monday, 19th April 2021

The start of this new term is looking very different to the previous one – in fact very different to the last 3! For starters, all students are back on campus which in turn means staff being on site too to support them. Working from home for LRC staff will no longer be an option (we’ve customers to serve!) especially as we’ve lost almost 50% of our work force over the last 12 months. Covering the Issue and Help Desks if – no, when! – we get busy again – will be a challenge.

One activity we are sure to still fit in outside of our working hours will be to doggedly plough on to the final stages of the College’s 101 walking challenge. Sian has already tried to combine her walk with work. She decided one day to mosey on down the river from her home to campus – a round trip of 20 miles. Okay, it was a Saturday and the gates were locked but she had a fantastic sunny spring walk on the footpaths beside the River Wey. On a previous walk, much to the merriment of family and friends, Sian was accosted by a news crew from Channel 4 who asked her opinion on the Government upping local Covid testing because of “foreign” variants. She was “all for it” apparently. Quite the TV star.

Other LRC staff have been busy with the challenge – we are the top ‘team’ – and put their thoughts down in writing for a display just before Easter. This was part of a drive to encourage a few more students to take part during its final weeks. We’ll start with Sian…

Sian
“When the 101 Challenge started, I was a bit concerned as it was billed as a walking challenge and that I would have to stop running! But I figured I could include my runs as well as my walks. I thought to myself that it’s not cheating, as I am using my own legs to do the running – it’s not like I jump on a bike or anything!

I moved to Woking in the year 2000. When I arrived here (from South East London) I took some local history books out of the local library (where I ended up working for five years!) I learnt a bit about the interesting history of Woking and the surrounding area. So for this challenge, I thought I’d take a historical slant on Woking to highlight some famous people, places and buildings that have made this area what it is. 

These are the places and things I have walked/ran to so far that have had a significant effect on Woking and the surrounding areas history: WWF Building – Brookwood Cemetery – Statue of Sir Alec Bedser – Statue of Eric Bedser – Basingstoke Canal – Pirbright Shooting Ranges (MOD) – Brookwood ex Lunatic Asylum/ Brookwood Military Hospital – Muslim Burial Ground & Peace Garden – Fairoaks Airport – McLaren Building and Grounds – Brooklands Museum – Mercedes-Benz World- Brooklands Hotel – Horsell Common – John Singer Sargent’s Grave Stone.”

Miles travelled (at time of writing): a whopping 284 and almost topping the leaderboard and way ahead of her colleagues. Well done, Sian!

Sarah 
“Like many people I was totally inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore’s walking and fundraising abilities last year. It was incredible. I have always done a lot of walks with my family so when I heard about the 101 Challenge in aid of NHS Charities and inspired by Captain Sir Tom, I had no hesitation about joining in. If Captain Sir Tom could do it, so could I! 

Over the past few months my walks have been daily, short but frequent. A quick walk around the block at lunchtime and longer walks locally at the weekends. It has given me the excuse to get out of the house, get some fresh air and feel motivated on clocking up another mile or two. I have enjoyed the exercise, the change of scene and have discovered streets and wooded areas that I didn’t previously know about.

Even on bad days, the challenge has got me up and out in memory of Captain Sir Tom and for the wonderful NHS and has made me feel part of a larger, important and positive purpose.”

Miles covered: 86

Deb 
“Although I have always enjoyed going out for a run or a walk, taking part in the 101 challenge has meant that it has prompted me to walk when I might otherwise have not bothered or used the car! During lockdown I have tried to take regular breaks from the laptop and having the challenge in mind has encouraged me and my family to get out more. I am lucky to live near to lots of open countryside and woodland and have explored my local area even more over the last year. 

The 101 challenge has been really inspiring in getting staff and students together, encouraging each other and raising money for a good cause.”

This is a good time to pause to say goodbye  to Deborah and  thank her for being a great boss, colleague and friend. We will all miss you but wish you well, and look forward to seeing you for a picnic in the park very soon. Will there be cake? It’s a librarians’ get-together so you bet there’ll be cake!

MIles covered: 93

Angela
“I wanted to take part in the 101 walking challenge to make sure that I got some exercise and fresh air – so important when we are all stuck at our desks every day – as well as fundraising for a good cause. My usual walk is 2 laps around Woking Park, which on a rainy or tired day dwindles to one lap but it’s  still better than nothing! I’m not one of the high flyers on the leaderboard but I would really like to complete my 101 miles and I seem to be on track. 

What I love is how it has brought the participants together and it feels like a real team and college effort.”

Miles covered: 62

Alison 
“Over Christmas and New Year, I’d venture out of the house for walks and runs with my husband. We managed to clock up quite a few miles each time. When the College announced the 101 Walk Challenge it was an easy decision to volunteer to be included. I signed up to the Google Classroom and have loved reading the comments and looking at the photos left by my fellow walkers, especially the student ones. Their involvement has been lovely to see. As support staff we don’t always get to see students in this sort of situation.

I hadn’t realised how competitive this would get either. The encouragement for the staff and students at the top of the leaderboard to do more is great.

Our weekly walk on a Saturday has taken us not only to some new places but also familiar spots where we’ve slowed down and actually looked around. We have two small nature reserves on our doorstep – one of which Howell Hill I never knew existed. Over the winter it can seem a little bleak (although I love a frosty landscape) but I have the promise of orchids and butterflies as the summer approaches.

For the last year or so, I’ve been wanting to take a look at Centenary Woods in Langley Vale. Back at the start of the 20th century, the area was heavily wooded but much of it was decimated during the first World War. Trees were cut down and taken over the Channel to reinforce the trenches being dug along the front line. Many army camps were also established in the area as troops were passed through on their way to France.

To mark the centenary of the end of the war, the Woodland Trust have planted over 180,000 new trees for the area. They also commissioned a sculpture or two. The first to be completed was The Regiment of Trees – 12 soldiers carved from trees. The second is Witness – a 6 metres high, 4 metres wide memorial with poems carved on it. 

The walk to see this was our longest one to date at just over 10 miles but it was worth the hike up and over Epsom Downs to find it. The trees are still nothing more than saplings but are still a fascinating sight.

I look forward to exploring much more.”

Miles covered: 243

World Book Night
Just over a year ago, we began this blog. We had decamped to our individual home offices and wanted to make sure people didn’t forget us. Our first post was literally just contact details but we followed up the next week with a reading challenge to our students as a way to kick-start World Book Night.

In February, the LRC received an email from the Reading Agency to say that we’d been successful in a bid to win multiple copies of the book ‘Things a bright girl can do’ by Sally Nicholls to give away to some of our students on World Book Night on Thursday April 23rd 2020.

In conjunction with this, we had decided to set a small reading challenge. We designed displays and posters to adorn the LRC, and printed forms ready to hand out to willing staff and students.

The subsequent closure of the College building amidst a nationwide lockdown put paid to this. The delivery of the books was on hold but, regardless of this, there was no way we could distribute them to our students. We did, however, take the reading challenge online, saying . “With a government mandate to stay home and stay safe, now is a perfect time to get reading! The LRC staff are taking part too – look out for what we are reading on Twitter @BCLibraryWA

And we are still reading, and still talking about it. (Our #bookreviewfriday tweets are very well-designed).

Our copies of Things a Bright Girl Can Do finally saw daylight in December when the LRC had a (socially distanced) stall at the Christmas Fair and were taken home by some eager students. 

The LRC is very pleased to announce that for World Book Night 23rd April 2021 we have yet again books to give out to our students. Books to Make You Smile – a great title – is “a seriously entertaining collection of feelgood stories guaranteed to put the smile back on your face written especially by ten best selling novelists (Jenny Éclair, Katie Fforde, Veronica Henry, Rachel Hore, Vaseem Khan, Dorothy Koomson, Helen Lederer, Richard Madeley, Eva Verde and Mark Watson)…From a hilarious race against time to a moment of unexpected eavesdropping, from righting wrongs in rural India to finding joy in unlikely places, these stories are all rich in wit and humour, guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your heart.”

Book Review 
When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins
Rating: 4/5

This is the first Fiona Cummins book that I’ve read and I will certainly now go back and read her previous titles. I saw this author during the lockdown #LockedUpFestival at the start of July and was struck by her humour and generous storytelling so was keen to try one of her books. And it didn’t disappoint. Not that this book is at all humorous. Quite the opposite. It would be hard to put too much humour in a story inspired by the actions of real life child killers such as Mary Bell. 

The story grabs the reader from the start. Within the first few paragraphs you know that “the grown ups are dead”, lies have been told – or rather one great big whopper – and the prologue literally ends with a bolt of lightning. It’s a great tale – past narrative interwoven with the present day as we are slowly led up to what happened way back when, and how our protagonists find themselves face to face with danger 20 years later. It wasn’t too long before the book became the proverbial page turner. 

It focuses on the relationship of two young sisters (Sara aged just 10 and Shannon 12) and their neighbour/best friend Brinley, on the closeness of their relationship, on the cruelty they face within the home, on the events that occur in each household that end in death, and on the repercussions of their actions in later life. 

The characters as adults each have their own demons to battle. They’ve managed to push these away with different degrees of success in the intervening years but it’s welcoming to see that they do possess the moral strength needed to face them head on when the time comes. I felt for the characters too. One has struggled to move on from the events whilst another has formed a new life albeit with eggshells constantly under foot.

The only misstep I found was a subplot involving a less than honourable politician. Perhaps interesting in the current climate but his role in the story arc, although key, could have been explained in a paragraph or two.

All in all a great read – one to recommend.

– Alison 


Students

Book Loans
Worried about fines during lockdown? No problem. All loans have been renewed and fines waived whilst the LRC was closed. Book returns can now be returned to the Library Desk or renewed by email/telephone.

E-Book of the Week

Each week, the LRC will be highlighting an e-book that we feel will be of special interest to certain students. This week, it’s an e-book for our Engineering students.

Simply click the Brooklands College Login link here and access the book using your College student ID and password.

Tip of the Week

Access our virtual library online
You can search for e-books on the library catalogue or directly through our e-book providers.. Click on the Shibboleth login if requested and select Brooklands College. If you have any problems please do not hesitate to contact us at library@brooklands.ac.uk.

Heritage Online | Proquest | VleBooks

Contact us with an area you are interested in or your assignment title and we can suggest some resources for you.

LRC website 
The LRC website contains links to our resources, our online catalogue and is full of information about LRC use, plus there are book reviews, links to our displays and other items of interest. It is only available to College members (sorry) and can be found through links on the LRC Google Classroom, and on the staff and student intranets.

LRC Google Classroom page
Tutors have been invited to join the Classroom and will be passing the joining code on to their students. It’s full of links to resources, and helpful advice and tips.


Please contact us at library@brooklands.ac.uk if you need support with e-books, e-resources or anything else.

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