Thameslink rail users can now grab a book on the go following the launch of a new book exchange at St Albans City station.
From thrillers to fairy tales, there is something for all tastes and age groups. Just look out for one of the well-stocked bookcases that can be found on each platform at the station. Rail users are encouraged to help themselves to a book and drop off any unwanted books by handing them in to station staff.
The book exchange was organised by Station Assistant and poet, Sharnice Miles, 29, who said: “I feel reading is a lost art and I wanted to give something back to the community. It’s been a little bit overwhelming because I wasn’t expecting the huge response I have received, so I’ve been really grateful. We made some posters asking people to bring in books and every day we’re getting boxes of books.”
The book exchange was officially unveiled on Thursday (18 July) with a ribbon cutting by mum-of-one Sharnice, who lives in Luton, and Bedford author Tony Drury.
Thameslink and Great Northern Managing Director, Tom Moran, said: “It’s fantastic to see another book exchange up and running in one of our stations and I would like to thank Sharnice for taking the time to go above and beyond for our customers. I’d delighted there is such a variety of books available here for people to browse and help themselves to.”
Bedford-based authors Tony Drury and Oliver Richbell both showed their support for the new book exchange by donating their novellas. Twice-published author Oliver, who runs a legal consultancy firm, said: “It’s a wonderful community project.”
The book exchange has been supported by the Bedford to St Albans Community Rail Partnership (CRP), which encourages people to become involved in their local stations.
St Albans City Station Manager Harsitt Chandak said: “Customers are loving the new book exchange. There’s something for all ages.”
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria