Tribute to ‘generous’ librarian

happy: Sylvia with youngsters at Castleford Library in 1956. Picture courtesy of Wakefield Libraries.
happy: Sylvia with youngsters at Castleford Library in 1956. Picture courtesy of Wakefield Libraries.

A librarian who ran activities for children in Pontefract and Castleford has died at the age of 84.

Sylvia Alderton, who worked at libraries in both towns, and supported children’s charities across the country, passed away on June 6.

Paying tribute, her sister Ruth Gamsby said: “She had a very strong Christian faith.

“She was very generous and kind. She loved children very much and she enjoyed the worrk that she did at the libraries.

“She got on well with her work colleagues and I am finding out now what a really generous person she was.

“She did an awful lot of work for children’s charities.”

Miss Alderton, of Carleton, Pontefract, started her career at Castleford Library in 1950, after leaving Pontefract Girls’ High School.

She gained a professional qualification at the University Library School in Leeds and a degree in humanities through the open university.

Mrs Gamsby said: “She enjoyed the story time and activities she had organised at the libraries and it was evident the children did too. She was stopped often as she shopped in Pontefract by people sharing their memories.”

Miss Alderton’s charity work saw her form a group to knit garments for child refugees.

And every year she sent gifts to disadvantaged children as part of the Christmas shoebox appeal.

After her retirement, she was a member of HOST, an organisation which looks for people to welcome foreign students into their homes.

She had youngsters from Thailand, Japan, China, Europe and America stay with her whilst studying in the UK.

Her funeral will take place on Tuesday, July 4 at St Michael’s Church in Carleton from 1pm.