Literary detectives uncover library secret

Three literary detectives have uncovered one of Central Library’s hidden secrets…

The eagle-eyed visitors spotted some red letters on the literary pavement which leads into the building, and embarked on a mission to crack the mysterious code.

More than 500 people took part, with 200 solving the clues which led them to… well, that would be telling, and we’re not going to ruin the answer for future puzzle-solvers!

Three of the budding Poirots and Miss Marples were picked at random and will receive a £50 book token. The winners are:

  • Six year old Joel Hardman from St Helens, who had a little help from his grandmother and two brothers.
  • Tony Carter, who is 67 and is Liverpool born and bred. He first visited Central Library when he was 11years old, and it was his regular haunt for weekly homework sessions. Since the re-opening of the building Tony has enjoyed many picnics on the brand new roof terrace.
  • Kath McGuire, 36, who lives in Wirral and has been visiting the library regularly since it opened in May

The winners will return to Central Library to collect their winnings at 11am on Friday 25 October.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet member responsible for libraries, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Even in very early designs of the literary pavement, we wanted to have contained within it a secret puzzle that would pique the interest of our visitors.

“We knew the red letters would stand-out and get people questioning why they were different to the rest of the lettering on the pavement and as soon as they asked a member of staff they were told they were on the way to uncovering one of the library treasures.

“Even though more than 200 people uncovered the mystery, we’re not giving away the answer, which means visitors can continue to take part in the fun and get to know more about this beautiful city gem at the same time.”

What the winning detectives said about Central Library:

Tony said: “I love the way Central library has been modernised. I have fond memories of studying in the Oak Room and I like the way you have let light pour into the building.

“There is a huge range of material and this should hopefully bring more people into the library.  You know you are in Liverpool. I think the whole experience is stunning, and the people responsible deserve the highest praise for their wonderful achievement.
“We have told all our friends that they must go and visit the marvellous building.”

Pam, Joel’s mum, said: “Joel is very excited to be named one of the winners! The day Joel visited the library was very special as he came with me, his two brothers and his grandparents.  It was the first time we had visited, and the purpose was so that I could go to the records section with my father to research his family.  Joel completed the competition with his grandmother and two brothers whilst we were otherwise occupied and they were so excited to hand in their entries.

“When we reconvened, we all went into the children’s section and the boys thought it was absolutely fabulous.  We agreed that we would bring my brother and his children next time they visit from London as the new library is visually stunning with something for everyone and a great venue for children.”

Kath said: “I love the renovated library – it’s a perfect blend of preserving the old while moving to the future. As a photographer I admire the architecture of it all and as a library user I feel the library looks inviting and user friendly. The kids’ library is wonderful!”

The literary pavement is a 22 metre long, 4.5 metre wide granite walkway which leads from William Brown Street to the entrance of the beautifully restored and redeveloped library.  Engraved on it are titles from world books, cinema and music – which you can find inside the Grade II* listed building.  Members of public were consulted on the choice of titles.