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Library staff surprise Perton man for 90th birthday

Staff at Perton library had the novel idea of throwing one of their service users a small surprise 90th birthday celebration.

Staffordshire County Council (SCC) has reminded residents that all its libraries offer a warm welcome this winter along with a range of helpful services, activities and friendly company.

David, a Perton man born in 1933, comes to his local library every day to read the newspaper and enjoy a cup of tea.

He became such a familiar friendly face to staff and other library regulars that they decided to surprise him with a celebratory get-together for his 90th birthday on Friday 3 November out of their own pockets.

That morning, the 90-year-old was greeted with tea, cakes, balloons, beaming faces and a performance from the library’s ukelele group ‘Pear Town Ukes’.

About the Perton Library community, David said: “They are just absolutely brilliant people, some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life, they really are.”

Julie runs the Pear Town Ukes group, which has been meeting at Perton library for four years now. She said that David would often listen to them play during his daily visits.

Julie said: “The library is just brilliant, they are so friendly and it’s just such a lovely place. We couldn’t meet if it wasn’t for the library, the staff have been so helpful and supportive to us.

“It’s always really warm and toasty in here and it’s so light and bright. If you are feeling a bit lonely or cold, just come in and get a book, read the paper and just sit in the warm. There’s always somebody here to have a chat to, it’s lovely.”

Barbara Hodgson is part of the library’s ukelele group, reading group and walking group where she says she has made a lot of friends.

She said: “It’s a nice atmosphere and a beautiful building with a lot of things going on. I’ve found that useful particularly since I’ve retired but I have been a library user all its life because I am an avid reader.”

Cabinet member for communities and culture at SCC, Victoria Wilson, said: “David is a perfect example of how our libraries can be used and I would urge everyone to take a leaf out of his book.

“He comes in every morning without fail, sits down for a few hours and reads the paper. There is a real sense of community here and it was an absolute privilege to see that first-hand when staff and service users come together to throw him a surprise birthday party at Perton Library.

“Our libraries are more than just books, they are community hubs that promise a warm welcome to everyone this winter.

“They play host to a variety of groups, workshops and activities and they offer useful resources including computers, Wi-Fi access, help points and more.”

Staffordshire County Council’s Here To Help campaign focuses on sharing information, advice and support to help residents manage cost-of-living pressures.

More information can be found on Staffordshire County Council’s dedicated cost of living website,


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