A vision for the future

Michael Powell (1955-2019) was Chetham’s Librarian for 35 years. His deep knowledge and collaborative spirit was integral to the Library’s success. Here he is, sharing his vision for the Library and his hopes for the future, in a short film made in 2017 by our friends at Belle Vue Productions.

Chetham’s Library from Belle Vue Productions on Vimeo.



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  1. Ian Cryer Molloy

    When I drove out of Chetham’s Hospital School on 17 July, 1964, my final day as a pupil, I swore to myself that I would never come back. I had had enough! For over forty years I never entered Chetham’s, even though I was doing some work for the archives of Manchester Cathedral from about 2003. Michael was one of three people who got me back into Chetham’s, together with his colleague Fergus Wilde and with Christopher Hunwick, then the archivist of the cathedral. I was able to do much of my work for the cathedral in Chetham’s Library where, in 1962-4, I had done much of my studying for the A-level Woodwork exam (probably the only person ever to have done so). Michael and Fergus always made me feel welcome and my questions were never too much trouble, whether they were face-to-face, by telephone or e-mail. The best analogy which springs to mind is that it was like having a pair of very helpful kid brothers! They have made me feel comfortable in Chet’s; indeed, I have become a member of the Friends of Chetham’s School of Music and of the Friends of Chetham’s Library. That would have been inconceivable in 1964.
    When I next visit Chetham’s library, Michael will be there no longer; however, his spirit will remain for future generations and will be undiminished. I am one of many who will not forget him.
    Ian Molloy.

    • ferguswilde

      Thanks, Ian! It’s good to know we made you feel welcome. You always will be – all the best to you from library staff.