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Silver key donated to museum is part of Ashby history

A silver key has been donated to North Lincolnshire Museum that was used for the official opening of Ashby Free Library in March 1906.

The key, which was made in Sheffield in 1903 and is solid silver, was presented to the museum by Hugh and Angela Chatterton, who live in a village in North Lincolnshire.

Mr Chatterton’s grand-parents Frank and Mary Carr Chatterton performed the grand opening of the library after donating the land on which it was built.

They were farmers at Crosby, on the site of what is now a car showroom, but also owned land in Ashby. Chatterton Crescent is named after the family.

Frank Chatterton was on the founding committee of Scunthorpe and District Agricultural Association in 1893 and his wife Mary was president of the Ashby and District Nursing Association in 1912.

Ashby Free Library was one of hundreds of UK libraries to be funded by US philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who donated £1,500 for the building and furnishings.

Black and whote photo of the opening of Ashby Library in 1906

The first librarian was Mr Clement Kendall, who stayed in post until he passed away in 1931.

The library, which stands on the junction of High Street and Everest Road, closed in 2006 and moved to Ashby Link. The building is now a gym.

The key will be displayed in the Local History Gallery at North Lincolnshire Museum, where there is also a commemorative trowel used to lay the first stone for Scunthorpe Free Library in 1903.

“We’ve kept the key in a corner cupboard all these years but decided it was time to donate it to the museum,” said Mrs Chatterton.

To find out more about North Lincolnshire Museum, including opening times, go to the dedicated page on our website.

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