Friends of Clifton

At Friends of Clifton Centre and Library, we run events at Clifton Library to engage the community more and save the library from closing down.

Becoming a member

Are you able to help out the committee and offer an occasional hour? There are a number of ways in which you could contribute and keep the library running! Contact us today- we need you!



Here are some of the upcoming events with FoCCaL. Click on an event to find out more.

There are no upcoming events at this time.


About Us

Hello, welcome and thank you for your interest in FoCCaL. Let us tell you a little about the Friends of Clifton Centre and Library in the hope that you might decide that you’d like to join!



The group was born out of a real threat to the Library when the Council proposed major cuts to the service in the summer of 2015. There was a surge of support among ‘Cliftonites’ for the maintenance of the Library which, along with protest in other communities across Bristol, persuaded the then Mayor to cut all Library opening hours be 20% rather than close any.


When this reprieve was won, a small group continued to support the Library in the belief that it was only a reprieve and that the building needed to increase usage and develop an income stream if it is to be viable in the future. In the initial meetings, the lack of a community centre in the village was discussed and the need for one to lessen social isolation and bring the community together.



In October 2015 a public meeting was called to see what the community wanted for the future of The Old School House and how the Library would work for the future. Over 30 people turned up and we had a lively discussion during which suggestions for use were made. We used the following headings:

  • Increase Footfall
  • Co-location of services
  • Increase Income Streams
After the public meeting, Friends of Clifton Centre and Library was formed to promote use of the building during non library hours. From April 2016, library opening hours reduced by another 20% which impacted the use of facilities.
FoCCaL’s aim is to create a vibrant centre where the community can meet to celebrate creatively and continue to learn and communicate happily.


*** FoCCaL Appeal to our Clifton Village Community ***
We desperately need new members.  Do you have time to offer the occasional hour helping us put out chairs or making tea or putting posters up on lampposts?  Or perhaps you fancy designing a poster?  Are you wary of joining any committee and making a regular committment but want to do your bit to keep this building for the residents of Clifton Village?  Then we need you! Contact us today.


Paula O’Rourke

Paula O’Rourke

I worked in schools for many years as Head of English and came to Bristol in 2013 to work in a new school out near Parkway but didn’t like it there. I then began working for the National College of Teachers and Leader which means I work from home and have a lot more flexibility – and let’s be honest, more time. Teachers DO really put in a lot of hours!Being new to Clifton and having always been part of communities (married to a soldier and then always at the hub of big schools) I wanted to get involved in ‘village life’ when I set up home here in the heart of Clifton.Libraries were under threat of closure in my first summer in Bristol and I got involved in trying to ensure that ours stayed open. When the reprieve was announced, I was delighted, but not blind to the obvious which is that ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it.’ And as much as that applies to muscle tone, it also applies to taxpayer-subsidised services. That is when I gathered support for what has become Friends of Clifton Centre and Library.In May 2016, I was elected as one of the two councillors for Clifton and am delighted to be able to continue to work to create what I hope will, eventually, be a thriving community centre and library facility.

Marian Tucker

Marian Tucker

I’ve lived in Hotwells and Cliftonwood since 1979 and have been actively involved in the local community for the past 32 years. I worked as a physiotherapist in Bristol for over 20 years doing community work and arthritis research and am now semi-retired. I’m currently a director of Bristol Community Ferry Boat Company and Network for Social Change and the coordinator for the green party in Clifton.

Kate McNab

Kate McNab

Bristolian, attended Christchurch Primary School, where the building is today occupied by the library and an increasingly varied number of classes for our community. Ex-Jazz group – Sweet Substitute, ex- Bristol Old Vic Company, ex-Theatre In Education practitioner, ex-Drama teacher at Ashton Park, Kate currently administrates, produces and performs in shows for Ministry of Entertainment. Kate has lived in ‘the village’ all her life. She wants to introduce ‘Clifton Sings’ into her erstwhile school building and hopes to kick-start live amateur and professional performances alongside a range of Drama activities. Through the website Streetlife she has already noted a wealth of interest in local people becoming involved in the above Community projects.

Gareth Hoskins

Gareth Hoskins

Gareth has more than 30 years of experience, involving finance and project management, in the public sector; working to budgets and deadlines at increasingly senior levels.
Degree educated, from 1985 onwards Gareth has been involved at board level and as part of management boards, including Chief Administrative Officer (finance/admin/property).
Gareth was a founder-Director and CEO of Brendon Energy (founded in 2011) – a community benefit society based in Somerset and is now a Director of Bristol Energy Cooperative.
Gareth has been a member of the Transition movement for over a decade and decided that the most effective way to contribute, given his background, was to help to develop renewable energy.

He is also Chair and Director of freeholder-owned residential property companies setting annual budgets, appointing contractors and managing income/expenditure.


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0117 9038572