PROTESTERS sang “we love our libraries” as 500 joined the first protest march in Galleywood’s history.

Residents came together to say no to the planned closure of their library.

Children were joined by their parents, grandparents, and many other Galleywood residents.

Marching from the infant and junior schools in Barnard Road, on reaching the library in the centre of the village the schoolchildren sung specially written protest songs and tied messages about their love of the library to its railings.

The children and other marchers also listened to speeches from pupil representatives of the infant and junior schools, residents and library campaigners.

“The children have been so excited about being able to share their views at the rally and what a great turnout from the local residents,” said Saint Michael’s Junior School teacher and march organiser Kirstie Orton.

“We were there to show how much we love our library, how much we value the service it provides and how united we are as a community in our fight to stop it from closing.

“A rally of this nature is not something that children are involved in very often but it is essential that we make their voices heard and that we teach children that it’s okay to make a stand when they feel passionately about something.”

Resident Maureen Patten said: “Any closure will have a negative impact on children’s literacy, life-long learning and future opportunities.

“We must save our library for all the various groups that use it.

“From new mums and their babies’ sensory club, Baby and Toddler Rhyme time, Knit and Natter, the many book groups, Sylvette’s French Conversation and scrabble groups and computer help. People come into the library for all these reasons and just to browse, and need the librarians’ help.”

“Home schoolers depend on the library for their education, and, older children come to do their homework safely in the peace and quiet of the library. Seniors and vulnerable people will become more isolated and are unable to walk over two miles to Great Baddow Lbrary or catch a bus into Chelmsford with a bag of books.”