A TOP comic turned children’s author has helped a Bradford primary school open its “beautiful” new library facility.
Adrian Edmondson, the Bradford-born star of comedy classics The Young Ones and Bottom, has recently become a children’s author.
Yesterday he returned to Bradford to officially open the library in Thackley Primary School, and praised the school for opening such a facility in a time when tightening budgets across the country meant many libraries were closing.
During his visit to the school he read the children excerpts from his book, Tilly and the Time Machine – released earlier this year, posed for photos, answered questions from pupils and signed books for children, staff and parents.
He had also brought a number of books to present to the library.
Thanks to questions from the school’s inquisitive reading club, the group found out that Mr Edmondson would travel back to the days of Lord Nelson if he had a time machine, that he is a fan of TV comedy The Windsors and that he has a pet Whippet.
He also told the children about his next book, about a boy who becomes friends with a talking Shetland Pony.
Tilly and the Time Machine is about a girl who recently lost her mother, and one pupil asked why he chose to include that sad detail. He said: “We don’t really talk about people dying in this country. It is something we kind of bypass.
“Quite a lot of people close to me have died in the last few years, so the book is a bit of a reflection of that and coming to terms with death. A child character can cut through all the rubbish and things adults are afraid to say about death.”
Mr Edmondson, known to older generations as Eddie and Vyvyan, also turned the tables on the children, asking them questions about what type of books they like, and listening to their own stories.
Head Annette Patterson said: “Before this we had a library a third of the size, so this library is much better. It holds about 3,000 books, but we haven’t stocked up on them all yet.
“We were thinking of who we could get to open the library, and then remembered we have a children’s author who lived just up the road. It is great for children to meet someone who grew up around here and has gone on to be so successful.
“We just wrote to him asking if he wanted to open the library, and he said he’d be happy to come.”
Mr Edmondson, 60, grew up a short distance from the school, and told the Telegraph & Argus: “It is a brilliant library. I don’t normally do things like this, but the school wrote to me and they sounded so positive about this magical sounding library.
“It is great that a school is creating a library when all around the country people are closing libraries.
“Some people say that kids can still get books on their iPads, but it is not the same as going into a library and picking up a book. And this is a beautiful library.”