I was intrigued by your article on local musician Martin Henderson, (News Guardian, December 7).
As a musician and historian, I’ve spent the last year researching the same, building up a burgeoning dossier, and I’m not the only one as a fellow exhibitor at May’s local history fair at North Shields expressed similar feelings.
Apart from collating news reports, my wish is to discover as much as possible about his musical repertoire, which seems a mix of classical and popular music, especially as the Great War was raging during his performing lifetime.
My sources? Local libraries, of course. North Shields Library has card indexes useful to the family and local historian, and computer access to British Library newspapers, from which his movement across the UK can be traced.
At a time when the government pleads ‘austerity’, with cuts to local councils, care is needed to provide for the elderly and for education, as well as fund free local libraries.
Libraries are essential, not just for people like myself, but also as an education resource for the young, especially students who have limited opportunity in their own homes for study.
If it wasn’t for the local library and the space it afforded, I would never have progressed beyond A-level as it was impossible for me to study at home, albeit in the 1970s.
Our libraries must be treasured.