BOOK lovers in north Lancashire are celebrating a happy ending for their village library.

The reopening of Silverdale library yesterday (Wednesday) is being described as "a very important milestone" by the leader of Lancashire County Council.

Carrying a giant golden key, Cllr Geoff Driver said he was "very pleased" to restore library services to Silverdale, and the county council would be welcoming back "many more" closed libraries in the months ahead.

There were jubilant scenes on Emesgate Lane as villagers packed into the freshly repainted and carpeted library to borrow titles from the stock of new books. Ukulele group Silverdale Strummers entertained the crowds by playing Happy Days are Here Again.

Margaret Mackintosh, a leading light in the campaign to reopen the library, said: "People are feeling really buoyant and it's so busy, it's absolutely packed."

Locals would be setting up a Friends of Silverdale Library group to offer any help needed in future, she said, and the benefit of free, easy access to books, computers and information for villagers was "unquantifiable".

Margaret added: "Somebody said, it's strange how they had taken it for granted for so long, and having it back was a big celebration."

Silverdale villagers were dismayed in September 2016 when their much-loved library closed, among 26 shut as part of major county council budget cuts.

The Support Silverdale Library campaign on Facebook attracted support from world-famous book illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, who let campaigners use a picture from Roald Dahl's The BFG.

Cllr Driver said: "We recognise that libraries are one of the most valued services the county council provides, and are committed to reopening them wherever they've been closed."

Silverdale library's opening times will be Monday 1-5pm, Wednesday 9am-1pm, Thursday 1-7pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.