Pictures from the Past

Alfred Hair.
Alfred Hair.

THE County Borough of Tynemouth was extremely fortunate that its Public Library Service, from 1870 to 1967, was ably served by four distinguished, dedicated and worthy borough librarians: Messrs Dixon, Tidey, Hair and Hatton.

One of the ablest of those, who so diligently served the public and staff, was Alfred Hair, pictured, who had 51 years service with the council, which included 28 years as borough librarian.

Born in 1869, in North Shields, the son of Edward Hair, a shipyard worker, Alfred was appointed to the library service on July 16, 1889, and is recorded on the 1891 census as being an assistant librarian.

Progressing through the service he became deputy to Mr Tidey and succeeded him as borough librarian on April 30, 1906, with a commencing salary of £120 per year.

During his tenure he oversaw the development of library services for juvenile readers.

Ten days before he was due to retire, in 1934, the council expressed their appreciation for his excellent services and retained him as a consultant to the libraries for a further year at an honorarium of £75.

He was interested in local history and contributed several articles to local newspapers.

He also ran the Tynemouth Book Club.

Mr Hair died at his home in Alma Place on November 14, 1944, at the age of 76.

The Shields Evening News said of him: “No corporation official gave more devoted service to the public, or was held in higher esteem by all classes of the borough.”

If anyone has any further information please ask for Local Studies at North Shields Library on (0191) 643 5270 or e-mail