Gal­ston Li­brary: Favourite Things

Passers-by might think the Old Em­manuel Church on Gal­ston Road hasn’t changed since it was built in 1938, but they’d be wrong.

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Community News - Story and pho­tos by Carmel Lid­dell.

Af­ter a much larger Angli­can church was es­tab­lished in Du­ral in 1983, the Old Em­manuel branch was closed, de-con­se­crated, and sold. Due to its her­itage list­ing, the gothic style, brown brick build­ing with rose and lancet type win­dows, re­mains out­wardly the same. How­ever in­side, it is home to the ut­terly en­chant­ing, Gal­ston Branch of Hornsby Shire Coun­cil’s, Li­brary and In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice.

Just walk through the arched door­way and you’ll step back in time; into the realm of an old world book store - with li­brary

ben­e­fits. Like a tardis, the in­te­rior ex­pands. All day, a kalei­do­scopic pat­tern of light beams in through the rose win­dow, slowly sweep­ing left to right, and il­lu­mi­nat­ing the space from floor to cathe­dral ceil­ings. More light fil­ters in through stained glass win­dows, and through glass bricks in the shape of a cross. The book­cases are stacked with a trea­sure trove of fic­tion, non-fic­tion, ref­er­ence books, CD’s and mag­a­zines etc., and wooden troughs, ac­ces­si­ble to lit­tle peo­ple, con­tain the chil­dren’s pic­ture book col­lec­tion. The li­brary ex­udes char­ac­ter and charm, as do two of its ‘reg­u­lars’, David and Lucy. Con­stant com­pan­ions, David and six­teen year old res­cue dog Lucy, are well known in Gal­ston. Lucy pads around ‘off leash’, to the shops and the li­brary, where she’s con­tent to rest awhile. Her tail wags of­ten but her soul­ful gaze never strays far from the man with twin­kling eyes, white beard and Christ­mas red braces, a gift from his grand­chil­dren.

In­side this mod­est, brown build­ing, sur­prise and de­light awaits. In­side, there’s an aura of an­tic­i­pa­tion which fu­els the imag­i­na­tion and in­vites ques­tions. I mean, ever won­der what the man with twin­kling eyes, white beard and red braces does, in the lead up to the Silly Sea­son? Per­haps he walks the dog, mixes with lo­cals, drops in to the li­brary and bor­rows David Bal­dacci thrillers… Just a thought...

So, don’t pass by the Old Em­manuel Church. Stop. Take time to visit the Gal­ston li­brary. Who knows? It might be­come one of your favourite things – this plain brown pack­age tied up in string.

Ref­er­ences: hornsby.nsw. gov.au/li­brary & Wikipedia

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