Plenty of inner space in this library...

Darren Wilson and Amanda Maunder, both aged nine, and third year pupils at Baines Endowed Primary School, Marton, at the controls of the Interplanetary Book Shuttle at Marton Library in February 1983.
Darren Wilson and Amanda Maunder, both aged nine, and third year pupils at Baines Endowed Primary School, Marton, at the controls of the Interplanetary Book Shuttle at Marton Library in February 1983.
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THIS photograph, first published 30 years ago this month, comes from a time when children were being encouraged to boldly go where few may have gone before - into their local library.

That was the aim of the ambitious Interplanetary Book Shuttle developed by Gordon Walsh, who was publicity officer for Lancashire County Library Service.

Memory Lane Oil painting of two schoolboys, possibly brothers. The lad in the blue uniform is sporting a Baines Endowed School blazer badge

Memory Lane Oil painting of two schoolboys, possibly brothers. The lad in the blue uniform is sporting a Baines Endowed School blazer badge

It was hoped the space theme would fire children’s imaginations sufficiently to entice them into Marton Library away from school hours.

The youngsters at the shuttle controls are Darren Wilson and Amanda Maunder, both aged nine, pupils in the third year at Baines Endowed School, their class having made the relatively short journey from Penrose Avenue to Waterloo Road.

We must assume the week-long venture was a success before it moved to other parts of the county. But there is an irony that neither children nor adults read books inside Marton Library today. The building stands derelict, a victim of Blackpool Council budget cuts. Sold off in 2004, it is still awaiting redevelopment as flats.

Still with Baines Endowed, the boy in the blue uniform proudly sports that school’s blazer badge, while the youngster in red is possibly flouting regulations with those yachts on his patterned shirt.

Marton Library

Marton Library

Perhaps the boys are brothers.

We are hoping somebody knows these subjects of a large oil painting unearthed here at The Gazette.

Does any reader recognise the lads as part of our effort to re-unite the portrait with its owner? We hope so. Contact details at the end of this article.

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