MORE than 60 Longhope villagers attended the opening of the latest community venture for the area.

Latchen Central was initially going to be a bring and swap book library for the community but it will also act as an information point for the village

Two pupils from Hopebrook Primary school, Sandy Stead and Charlie Kay, cut the ceremonial ribbon and declared the hub officially open.

Longhope Parish Council agreed that the bus stop would be perfect site for the facility.  

Longhope has an enviable pool of willing volunteers and soon some reclaimed scaffolding boards were put up in the bus stop to act as shelving for the books, and the very talented Dave Thorpe used his graphic design prowess to create a village map based on the London Underground.

 Once the call to donate books to the library went out, it did not take long for the shelves to fill – with a section specially for the children of the village. 

 Cathy Griffiths, who played one of the key roles in the implementation of Latchen Central said: “What started off with an idea that was discussed between a couple of us for members of the community to donate and borrow books, soon snowballed into just the most wonderful facility where not only can you borrow books but also find information on the many local organisations, groups and societies.” 

“A huge thank you must go out to all those that have donated books, to Keith Fenton for putting up the shelves and to Dave Thorpe for his design acumen for creating the wonderful theme for the facility and Dave Tradgett for fixing things together.” 

Tina Coull, another of the original group of organisers, said that it was a credit to the community - with the support of a forward-thinking parish council, that such a facility could be setup.  

She added: “A huge thank you to Books For Bugs for the donation of children’s books which are taking pride of place within the children’s section of Longhope Central. 

“Books For Bugs – based in Mitcheldean, are passionate about literacy for children and do an awful lot of good work within the local communities, and farther afield,  with schools and groups to encourage the younger generation to pick up a book.”