LIBRARIAN Roger Trayhurn has bid an emotional farewell to his colleagues after clocking up 47 years in the job.

Roger, 64, who has been with the town’s library team since 1964, said working in the £10m Central Library since it opened in 2008 was a fitting end to his career.

He became a library user at the age of three and said Libraries have, and always will, be a big part of his life.

“Libraries are second nature to me,” he said.

“I have always been a customer and when the job of trainee librarian came up back in 1964, I thought it sounded like a really good job.

“I remember my first day in the job was pretty scary, it was all very daunting.

“Obviously it was very different to what it is now, there were no computers back then, it was all book based.

“I am really lucky because I have always enjoyed it and have always been very happy in my job – there has never been a day when I have thought of a career change, which is quite unusual nowadays.”

When Roger first began his job, the Central Library was made of prefab buildings which had seen better days.

“Although the conditions weren’t ideal I still absolutely loved it,” he said.

“I never thought the new Central Library would happen during my working lifetime so it was absolutely brilliant to work in the new building. We have been able to do lots of things we were never able to do before like hosting different events to attract more people. It has been fantastic.”

Roger, whose dedication and expertise were rewarded in 2006 by a Swindon Council staff excellence award, spent two years managing the Park Library, in Cavendish Square. Since then he has been based in the reference library, where he enjoyed answering people’s queries and helping them access information.

“I am going to miss the people most, both the staff and the public,” said Roger, who lives in Northampton Street.

“It has been so much part of my life, but I was a customer before I started working there and I shall be a customer forever.

“With my spare time I will be doing a lot of research into the history of Swindon’s Empire Theatre which I hope to write a book on one day, so I will be keeping busy and doing lots of things I have never had time to do before.”

Roger’s colleagues described him as an “iconic local figure”.

Colleague Darryl Moody said: “We have been inundated with tributes and good wishes from customers, friends, staff and former colleagues, all wanting to let him know just how much his hard work and dedication has been appreciated.

“For generations of Swindonians he has become an iconic local figure – the trusted backbone and the friendly face of our service.

“Roger has been with us through many changes, from the succession of ‘temporary’ sites, to our final move into the new Swindon Central Library at Regent Circus.

“In that time he has been the major force in the expansion, promotion and improvement of the Swindon Collection, our local studies archive.

“His efforts have ensured that we always maintained personal and rewarding connections with Swindon’s many historical groups and societies. His knowledge, experience and charm will be sorely missed.”