About Me

I'm the Bishop of Southwark, this is what I do.

I’m the Bishop of Southwark, this is what I do.

If idling in second hand bookshops flicking through ancient books is one of your great pleasures in life, then I hope this site is for you.

I am Estelle Hargraves, I live in Liverpool and I love all books apart from “The World According to Clarkson”.

My aim is to fill this site with excerpts from out-of-print goodies, things that are amusing, bizarre, thought-provoking, wonderful and strange. Things that should be on the Internet, but mostly aren’t (yet). Most of what I post is from my own old book and ephemera collection and it feels so good to finally have a place to share all these interesting scraps. I also do a bit of history detective work in whatever online archives I can find.

My interests can pretty much be summed up as history, comedy and space and anything that involves at least two of these things is probably one of my favourite things (Blackadder, Doctor Who and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy are some of them). I will take any excuse to post a related comedy clip in amongst the bookish stuff, too.

I’d also love for other people to add to the Skittish Library archives. If you have anything you’d like to share, please send me a scan or photo and the details of where it’s from. I’d love to hear from you. Email skittishlibrary@outlook.com

Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/skittishlibrary
And my Facebook page is here –https://www.facebook.com/Skittishlibrary where I’ll post links to new entries.

All posts are in good faith that the books are out of print, but please let me know if I am treading on any current copyrights. I work for LJMU and any views I express here are my own and do not represent those of LJMU.

12 Responses

  1. Samantha says:

    Thanks Estelle for your wonderful write ups. Never knew there was a Zoo in Liverpool! I’m on the hunt for 1937 Liverpool stories, ads etc to group together for a gift to my Grandad who was born in 1937 and came across your blog. I live in Singapore now and miss Liverpool and the people. Great reading all your posts 🙂

  2. Estelle says:

    Thanks very much Samantha – and what a wonderful idea for your granddad!

  3. Gary Adams says:

    I live in California. I’m an anglophile and a fan of all things Victorian. I love your site. Thank you for all this great reading material!

  4. Estelle says:

    Thank you Gary!

  5. Wonderful stuff, Estelle. Thank you!

  6. Carlotta Eland says:

    Love your site. Was wondering if you know the meaning and/or origin of the term “happy as a sandboy”? I heard it on the tv show One Foot in the Grave, but cannot find any information.

  7. Estelle says:

    Thank you Carlotta (by the way, yours is one of my favourite names). I’m a big, big One Foot in the Grave fan as it happens. It seems to be one of those phrases that isn’t entirely agreed upon, but most likely refers to the men who delivered sand to be scattered on the floor of Victorian pubs (that and sawdust to soak all kinds of things up) and who were paid in beer, hence being happy!

  8. Jet Cuthbertson says:

    Hi Estelle- fab site! You posted in January about trying to track down a copy of How to Entertain at Parties. Did you ever track one down?

  9. Phil Brown says:

    Hello, I was directed to your interesting website when I searched for information on the national ‘Veget’ loaf. An eccentric (and presumably elderly) chap had written to his local newspaper to suggest that its reintroduction would revive Darwen (East Lancs.) market. Not so sure about his suggestion that his mate Ken might like to restart his 1950s delivery round in his van, though.

    Anyway, thanks for the information on the Veget loaf. I stayed to browse many other whimsies!

  10. Fran Donnelly says:

    hello Estelle, I was very interested in your articles about zoos in Liverpool as the Cross family were relatives of mine. I’m still working on the family tree but most of what I know was told to me by my mum who sadly passed away earlier this year. She told me about Cross’s menagerie and that her relative had married into the family. One of her female relatives was a lion tamer and on one occasion during a performance, a tamer was badly mauled and without further ado she stepped into the cage and continued with the act. This was borne out by an article in the Echo many years ago when they used to have a column ‘100 years ago today’ and my mum’s story was confirmed. I’m still struggling with the family tree though.

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