Doors Open at The Reader Café and Gallery

The Reader Organisation’s developments in Calderstones Park entered a new phase this week as Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Gary Millar, officially opened The Reader Café and The Reader Gallery at a special event.

The charitable social enterprise has been running activities at Calderstones Mansion House since May last year, welcoming on average 100 visitors a week to their shared reading groups and events. The new café and gallery mark the next stage in plans to transform the buildings into an international centre for reading and a community hub.

At the launch on Thursday, the Lord Mayor was joined by photographer Carl Hunter who collaborated with Frank Cottrell Boyce on the award-winning children’s book The Unforgotten Coat. His stunning and atmospheric polaroids, transforming Liverpool into a version of Mongolia, were first shown at Edge Hill University and will be on display at The Reader Gallery until April 19th. The gallery will be open throughout the spring and summer months with a programme of exhibitions.

Lord Mayor Gary Millar with Hospitality Manager Patrick Morrison and Social Enterprise Manager Edward Woollard in The Reader Café
Lord Mayor Gary Millar with Hospitality Manager Patrick Morrison and Social Enterprise Manager Edward Woollard in The Reader Café

The Reader Café is open 8.30am-4.30pm seven days a week, and will be open longer in the summer, providing high quality and delicious food for park users. Visitors can enjoy hot and cold drinks, freshly baked cakes, and homemade lunches, as well as a good book.

The Reader Organisation’s Head of Development, Sophie Povey, said:”We are thrilled to welcome the Lord Mayor to celebrate this special occasion at Calderstones. Providing a café for park visitors had been one of our priorities and the response so far has been very positive.

Similarly, the Reader Gallery is the result of our consultation with the local community, many of whom were keen to see the Coach House come back to life as a community art space. We’ve lined up a variety of local artists for future exhibitions, but are very proud to open with the photography from The Unforgotten Coat, written especially for The Reader Organisation in 2011.”

Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Gary Millar said:”I am delighted to be opening this wonderful facility at Calderstones Mansion. This is a beautiful cultural setting where visitors can meet, eat, read and get involved in the local community.

“This is yet another great reason for people to come along and have a look at what the Reader Organisation has to offer.

“It is fantastic to see one of our many jewels being put to good use and attracting more and more visitors year after year and I am sure this new café and gallery will only add to its appeal.

“I hope the Reader Organisation continues to build on their success and welcome many more people through their doors.”

As well as The Reader Café and Gallery, The Reader Organisation have just launched their new spring events programme, featuring Easter activities for children of all ages, heritage walks, literature courses, craft sessions and weekly shared reading groups. Find out more on their website: www.thereader.org.uk.

Visitor information
The Reader Café at Calderstones Park is open Monday-Sunday 8.30am-4.30pm
The Unforgotten Coat Exhibition is on display at The Reader Gallery from 3rd-19th April, 11am-5pm (closed Mondays and Bank Holidays)