To Eltham, from the old Eltham
When Maree Liddington visited London she didn’t want to see any of the well-known sights.
She didn’t want to see Buckingham Palace, she wanted to see Eltham.
Liddington of South Taranaki is the chair of the Eltham Community Board and wanted to see what the namesake of her town was like.
During her time there she was presented with a gift for her local library - a photograph of the Eltham Library in the United Kingdom.
‘‘I was blown away - I wasn’t expecting it at all,’’ Liddington said.
Lis Marrow, the branch librarian at Eltham Library in Taranaki, received the gift from Liddington when she returned to Taranaki.
‘‘I think it’s wonderful, it’s a nice new connection
with Eltham in the
UK,’’ Marrow said.
Miriam Storey, the head librarian in Eltham, London, has made contact and is also keeping in touch with Marrow now.
‘‘Next time I go to the UK I’ll definitely pop in and see her because I think it’s really nice to have that connection.’’
Members from each of the towns have kept in contact for decades, sharing celebrations and more.
When Eltham, Taranaki, celebrated 75 years in 1979, the English Eltham donated trees to be planted.
‘‘They’re still growing in our Taumata Park,’’ Liddington said. ‘‘So I took them photographs of the trees from their Eltham Park growing here.’’
The two Elthams have many differences, Liddington said.
‘‘They’ve got a population of around 35,000 and we’ve barely got two [thousand] so there’s that difference,’’ she laughed.
‘‘Also, everything here is new and young compared with over there.’’
However, she noted similarities.
‘‘There’s the same things like struggling for funding for the arts, struggling for volunteers to help with things and struggling to retain their heritage buildings and keep everyone in the community happy,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s just a balancing act, and it’s just the same over there as here.’’
The photograph is yet to be put up in the library, but Marrow said it would hopefully go up on display soon.
‘‘I’ve been putting it by my desk because I think it’s really cool, but we will be finding somewhere to put it where everyone can see it,’’ Marrow said.