Monday 4th April, 2020
So said our own Queen Elizabeth very recently in an address to the nation during these very strange and testing times.
And so Vera Lynn sang to the troops in the midst of World War II. Although fighting with Japan continued for several months until 2nd September, Victory in Europe was officially declared on 8th May 1945.
VE Day this year marks the 75th anniversary of peace in Europe. And celebrations had been planned. Before coronavirus appeared, plans had been made around the country to mark the date. The government moved the May Bank Holiday date from Monday to Friday – only the second time this has ever happened so that three days of celebrations could take place. In a style reminiscent of royal weddings and jubilees, the British public were to be encouraged to get into the party spirit.
Plans were made for Red Arrow displays and a Battle of Britain memorial flight above Buckingham Palace, there was to be a procession down the Mall and St James’ Park was to be turned into Victory Park where there were to be themed events based on life in the UK during WWII. Around the country other events and parades were planned. For now, these plans have been postponed until mid-August.
As ever, the LRC would have taken the time to present a display on the events of VE day in order to commemorate its 75th anniversary. Sian, one of our library assistants decided that just because we currently lacked a physical library was by no means an excuse to not do a display. So she set aside part of her own home to recreate a display fit for the LRC (see main photo).
On Sunday 26th April, several thousand people were due to participate in the Virgin London Marathon which is the single biggest fundraising day in the charity events calendar. The marathon organisers decided to seek charitable status at its inception in 1981 and so far have raised over £1 billion. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on this source of income for many charities – large and small. In 2019 alone, it raised more than £66.4 million for thousands of charities.
Many of these charities have had to reduce or stop services at a time when vulnerable members of society need them most; thousands of staff have been placed on furlough and many charities will not survive the next few months.
Although the Marathon has been postponed to October rather than cancelled, there was still a gap in the diary for many people. Organisers looked at what could be an alternative fundraiser for Sunday 26th April.
And so the #twopiointsixchallenge was initiated. The 2.6 Challenge can be any activity you like – from running 2.6 miles to holding an online workout with 26 of your friends (following guidelines on how to exercise safely and, of course, social distance). Whatever your age or ability, you can take part. After all, no one is looking for superheroes. Just Home Heroes.
Check out here how LRC staff undertook some 2.6 Challenges of their own…
“While lying in bed this morning, shortly after waking up, a brilliant idea came to me. A couple of days ago, a colleague mentioned the 2.6 challenge. Today (26/04/20) was supposed to have been the London Marathon. I could only imagine the knock-on effect for all the charities this Coronavirus is having. So, I decided to dress up as a superhero (as you do!) and run to all the roads that spell out M.A.R.A.T.H.O.N. So, you could say that I ran my own little marathon! I ran 6.2K and donated to a charity called Solving Kids’ Cancer Europe. Now, I must fly…!” Sian
“I should have been following my husband around the streets of London this Sunday as he’d finally received a ballot entry for the VLM and would be fundraising for SKC. My own efforts this weekend seem a bit feeble in comparison. I did a 2.6 mile run – rather than 26 – but it was more a case of mind over matter than physical as I ran loops of my road. Probably one of the most boring runs that I’ve ever pushed myself to do.”. Alison
“Great idea and not too complicated too. I have decided to have 2 sessions on my rowing machine (1 morning + 1 afternoon) for 12 minutes for 6 days. Normally I do about 10 minutes once a day. My son wants to join too with a virtual racing challenge.” Paola
Click on this link to see Paola’s plan and who was her inspiration. She’s also done an ‘in action’ video. Paola and her family have made a donation to Woking Lions, who are currently raising funds for the local food bank.
“I know it wasn’t anything sporty but yesterday I carried out a challenge given by one of my friend groups to do a household chore in a fancy dress and heels (they are doing it in wedding dresses on Insta #doitinthedress during lockdown). I chose to do gardening and to donate to Thrive, the gardening for health charity.” Sarah
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
A lovely, joyous read.
The main protagonist of this story is Juliet. Juliet is an author who has spent the years of the Second World War writing a column in a newspaper to keep the spirits of its readership up. Now that the war has ended, she is looking for inspiration for something a little more worthy to write about. Over a series of letters from a man in Guernsey, who bought a book second hand from a local bookshop that Juliet had once owned and had written her address inside, she learns about the eponymous society of the title and how it came about. Many of its members start to write to her too and soon a picture starts to form about the only part of the British Isles to have been occupied by Germany during the war, and the life that its inhabitants faced.
Juliet decides that if she’s to write about these special people that she has met through these letters then she needs to visit the island and meet them in person. I wasn’t entirely sure whether I wanted to read this book after the first few pages. I realised that it was written in quite an unusual style – the story unfolds in its entirety over a series of letters. However, it didn’t take very long at all to follow the rhythms of the letters as a beautiful story starts to unfold.
I always knew about the German occupation of the Channel Islands but I never really thought much about what this entailed. There are detailed descriptions of the hardships the islanders faced here but mixed with much humour and love.
I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone.
Also, like Juliet, I now want to visit Guernsey.
A story set not long after VE day which seems appropriate for this week.
– Alison M
Teachers Appreciation Day 2020
This is a US initiative to recognise the hard work of school teachers around the country. In the UK, we have a Teachers Day in October but Library Assistant Paola thought it would be a great idea to show our appreciation of our staff during this period of remote learning. Please click here to view a slideshow she has put together.
National Walking Month
May is National Walking Month – which seems very apt for current times with our daily exercise allowance. The organisers behind this, Living Streets, have been campaigning for more people to walk and for a better walking environment for over 90 years. They campaigned for the first zebra crossing in the UK, and for the introduction of speed limits on our roads. This year’s drive focuses on the mental health benefits of walking. As Hippocrates said “Walking is man’s best medicine”.
The government seems to agree and during lockdown has listed exercise including walking as being one of the few reasons for leaving the house.
Star Wars Day
Since 1977, there has been an annual opportunity around the world to say to others “May the 4th be with you”. Some people get it. Some people don’t. Happy Star Wars Day to those who do!
Reading Genre Survey
We thought it would be interesting to find out what people at Brooklands like to read. Click here to fill out a very, very quick survey.
Spring into Reading
We would still love to receive some reviews of books from our students. – the more reviews the better. So don’t forget our Spring into Reading challenge. Read a book, write a review and return this form.
Access Our Virtual Library Online
You can search for e-books on the library catalogue or directly through our e-book providers Dawson and Proquest. Click on the Shibboleth login if requested and select Brooklands College.
Heritage Online | Proquest | Dawson
LRC Subject Guides
LRC staff have created subject guides for all courses – they are located in your Tutorial Hub on Google Classroom. Here you will find links to e-books, online databases and useful websites.
Worried about fines? No problem. All loans have been renewed and fines waived while the LRC is closed Please contact us at email@example.com if you need support with e-books, e-resources or anything else.
Don’t forget to follow us on @BCLibraryWA. We will be posting useful information and, of course, we’d still love to know about your #tbr book pile and maybe any #twosixchallenge you may have done.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need support with e-books, e-resources or anything else.