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This Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One Step

Monday, 3rd May 2021

You would think that, as a college, having just completed our own walking challenge lasting 101 days that we had had enough of walking. Captain Sir Tom Moore’s birthday on 30th April saw our walkers complete a collective grand total of over 7700 miles, raising £1,032 for NHS Charities Together. A wonderful achievement for the staff and students involved. And yet, no sooner had we reached that momentous day, National Walking Month was underway.

National Walking Month is an initiative supported by Living Streets, a charity that encourages people to choose walking as a means of travel for local journeys as this is far better for our physical and mental health, and for the environment that we live in. On their website, you can pledge how many walks you think you will do during the month. In return you’ll receive an estimate of how many calories that would likely burn as well as an indication as to how much of the all-important CO2 has been saved. Remember how much cleaner the air seemed during the first lockdown when road use fell dramatically?  

Part of the 2021 campaign is #Try20 – 20 tips on how to add 20 minutes of walking to your day. 

Surrey Page Turners
Great news for Surrey residents. Surrey Libraries has formed an online reading group. Once a month, there’ll be an online chat about a book (see list of dates and books below). All of the books are available from Surrey Libraries as a physical book, e-book or audiobook. We have become more accustomed to participating in these sort of events over the last year and being online does make them quite accessible – as long as you’ve a ticket, of course (and are over 18 and a member of Surrey Libraries). One day, these sorts of events will be back to being in person, but for now you can book your free ticket here.

Chosen books are:  

  • 20 May, 7pm: Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot see 
  • 24 June, 7pm: Andre Aciman, Call Me By Your Name 
  • 22 July, 7pm: Ali Smith, Summer 
  • 19 August, 7pm: Abir Mukherjee, A Rising Man (see our book review)

Hay Festival 2021
In 2020, the organisers of the Hay Festival demonstrated how to successfully transfer live events onto a digital platform with only a few weeks notice. Twelve months on, with restrictions having not quite relaxed in time, the Hay Player is scheduled to be back online. A full programme of free events has been recently announced with an opening gala night on Wednesday 26th May kicking off proceedings. The winner of The YA Book Prize 2021 will be announced at the Festival, with author Sarah Crossan interviewing the winner on Tuesday 1st June. 

VE Day 8th May
This time last year, there should have been nationwide celebrations for the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe. The government had moved the Bank Holiday and had planned a series of large-scale events. Then along came a novel coronavirus and all thoughts of organised partying was abandoned. We were in lockdown.

When it came to 8th May, however, the British public still tried their best. Up and down the country, residential streets were awash with clusters of garden and household chairs of all shapes and sizes, perched at the end of driveways and positioned the required two metre distance from their neighbours. 

The glorious early summer weather we were experiencing meant that people could just sit and chat with neighbours – so simple yet something we had begun to become unaccustomed to. The majority of the country complied with all this socially distanced contact. (Perhaps better not to Google the word ‘conga’ however.)   

One of our team members wasn’t going to let a coronavirus stop her from displaying the work she’d prepared in honour of the day. She decided to carry on and recreated it in her conservatory at home instead. Sian, it was a great display.

World Fair Trade Day 9th May
#BuildBackFairer is the theme for this year’s World Fair Trade Day. The whole world has been hit by the coronavirus and pretty much all economies will need rebuilding. The World Trade Fair Organization believes that “We cannot simply go back to the old normal. The old normal left millions behind and was destroying our planet. We have now/today the opportunity to reboot our economies so it is equitable and sustainable…we can channel profits to the many, not the few”.

Here’s a presentation prepared with a littlemore about Fair Trade

Book Review 
The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn
Rating: 4.5/5

It’s 1625 and Nat Davy lives in Oakham, Rutland  

Based in part on the life of Jeffrey Hudson – courtier of Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I – who was bestowed with the nicknames The Queens’ Dwarf and Lord Minimus, The Smallest Man tells the tale of Nat Davy. 

At age 10, Nat is living with his family in the Rutland town of Oakham and is still dreaming of the day he will start to grow in stature to match that of his younger brother. His father has no such illusions and makes the frightful decision to sell Nat to a travelling fair. Nat’s fortunes change for the better when his father accepts a last minute offer from the local duke. The Duke of Buckingham, adviser to King Charles I, then presents Nat as a gift to his Queen.

The story follows Nat over the course of the next 20 years as he goes from a mere novelty gift for a newly-married teenage queen to trusted adviser and confidant to the mature and politically aware one that she becomes. It’s a fascinating and well told tale set during very turbulent times for the English monarchy. Nat’s journey at the Queen’s side is fraught with danger and his actions are often genuinely heroic. As his mother said to him “You’re small on the outside. But inside you’re as big as everyone else. You show people that and you won’t go far wrong in life”.

A rather lovely read.

– Alison (LRC staff)


Continuing the College Life Skills tutorial theme, this week we have a presentation on Housing.

We love…

As with many popular films, the Star Wars franchise generated several famous, quotable lines – none more so than May the force be with you. In its own right, it’s well known but once a year it gives rise to an equally famous play on words. Tomorrow is the day where we can say to our nearest and dearest, and to complete strangers across social media, Happy Star Wars Day… May the 4th be with you.

Out of curiosity, a quick keyboard search was undertaken to find out which Star Wars character* was actually the first to say the original line. The search initially came back with a surprising answer to a slightly different question. 

Legend has it that the first person to record the phrase “May the 4th be with you” in print was a member of the Conservative Party communication team who placed an advert in the Evening Standard in 1979, congratulating Margaret Thatcher having been elected Prime Minister that day. This may very well be an urban myth but do you think she understood the reference or not? We will probably never know..

*The answer to the original question posed was General Dodanna, a minor character in the first film.


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.

Students are now allowed to browse our book collection as long as they adhere to simple Covid rules.

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 Hair & Beauty 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

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 if you need support with e-books, e-resources or anything else.

Contact Us

Brooklands College Weybridge Campus

Heath Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8TT

Brooklands College Ashford Campus

Stanwell Road, Ashford TW15 3DU