“And this month and year, September 2116 in the 22nd Century, marks the 100th anniversary of a stout and sturdy band of men and women setting out to save the heritage of Desford Library.
“Libraries had their origins in the English way of life in 1464 and became popular and widespread in the mid 19th Century. A special magical cabinet was created to nurture and look after these wondrous buildings, to encourage everything they stood for in their latter years: homework support for children; free broadband internet and email for those with no home access to it; photocopying and fax facilities; free information and book loans; and information about local history and families.
“But a dark curse spread across the land when the Dickblunter Group ascended and swallowed them up, left, right and centre, just like the whale did to Jonah.
“Dickblunter’s all-consuming flame turned with even greater fury upon the parish of Desford, moving the goalposts in the group’s desperate bid to replace that village focal point with a mobile chariot. Volunteers spoke up and pledged to run the much-loved and much-needed service.
But Dickblunter played a previously cunningly concealed Ace: ‘Hold hard,’ it cried. ‘You will also pledge to foot a £45,000 repair bill.’
“Desford’s response was swift and inspired: ‘We will take on an internal lease, where your all-powerful cabinet maintains the fabric of the building. Such precedents have been set with other libraries.’
“But t’was not to be. ‘Away with you,’ cried the rattled Dickblunter Group. ‘That will not come to pass. If no deal is done by the end of September, we will carry out a three-month consultation with the good folk of Desford and then recommend that their library be replaced by a mobile chariot.’
“And so, my children, the Dickblunter Group are long gone. Unfortunately their legacy lives on. Libraries are long gone too.”