Best-selling author pledges her support after arson attack on village phone box library

Ruined books outside the library

The mini library that opened in a redundant phone box in Oldland Common last summer has been torched.

Firefighters were called out in the early hours of today after what appears was an arson attack on the popular book exchange in Westcourt Drive.

The library was officially opened last July by the bestselling author Susan Lewis, who grew up in Kingswood, and after learning of the fire today she pledged her support to get it up and running again.

The idea for the community project came from friends Sarah Hemings, Deb Wright and Anne Thomson who decided to set up a book swap in the derelict phone box. They were inspired after reading an article in The Week In about BT’s Adopt A Kiosk scheme.

The trio presented their idea to Bitton Parish Council which approved the application and paid the necessary £1 fee to finalise the lease.

They and other volunteers worked hard to prepare it for the grand opening last summer.

Today Anne said that she, Deb and Sarah had decided to work to get it open again: “We are not going to let this beat us.”

Author Susan Lewis at the opening

As well as receiving support from Susan Lewis, the parish council has offered to pay for the electrics to be checked.

The box will need a major clean. Some of the window panels may need replacing and new shelving will have to be installed. They have more books so restocking it will not be a problem.

The police crime reference number if anyone has any information about who may responsible for the fire is 5219004696.