Library book returned after 64 years on loan

Credit: Portsmouth City Council

A library book has been returned to Portsmouth's Library service after being on loan for 64 years.

The book, named Forgotten Submarine, was found by Jill Davies while she was decluttering during lockdown.

Ms Davies originally rescued the book from the side of Fratton Road in 1957, and decided to keep it to read before returning it.

But she forgot to return it and rediscovered the book last year.

In a letter to Portsmouth City Council, Jill said: "As an avid reader, there was no way I was going to return the book until I had read it - which I did, and thoroughly enjoyed.

"But the one thing I never got around to doing was taking it to the library.

The book, named Forgotten Submarine, was rescued from the side of Fratton Road in 1957 Credit: Portsmouth City Council

"Covid lockdowns have led to my decluttering and minimising generally, and a radical cull of my books, Jill added.

"At the back of a dusty shelf, I discovered this vastly overdue novel.

"Over the past sixty-four years it (along with about a thousand other books) has moved from Gosport to Southsea, back to Gosport again, and eventually to London, but I now feel it’s time for it to make the return journey home."

Jill said she was worried about the possible fine, but was thrilled to discover that Portsmouth City Council has scrapped all overdue library fines to help encourage people to return to the library.

Cllr Ben Dowling, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: "I'm delighted Jill has got in contact with us to return the book, and I hope this story inspires others to rediscover their library and not be afraid of any previous fines.

"Portsmouth libraries welcomes everyone who lives, works or studies in the city, and the team are more than happy to help with any questions or concerns."