Tribute to Bryan Berryman - known as 'Mr Scarborough Library'

Bryan Berryman, former reference librarian and local historian at Scarborough Library, has died at the age of 81.

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 12:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th September 2020, 12:55 pm
Mr Berryman has died at the age of 81. He was known by colleagues as 'Mr Scarborough Library'

He was born in Seamer Road, Scarborough, and attended Hinderwell School. At the age of 10 he moved to Scarborough High School for Boys, a year ahead of his peers.

After gaining a BA in humanities and languages at King’s College, Durham, and associateship of the Library Association at Newcastle, he began his career at Durham Library.

In 1969 the opportunity arose for him to return to his hometown to take up the post of reference librarian. As part of this he was responsible for the Scarborough Room, which still is a veritable treasure trove for those interested in the local history of Scarborough and the surrounding area.

During his career he wrote articles for the Scarborough Evening News and published two books – Scarborough As It Was and Vintage Scarborough.

He gave many talks and slideshows concerning local history to local groups, which were always entertaining and well received, thanks in part to his dry wit.

He became known as ‘BB’ to his colleagues and he commanded respect from them and the customers, becoming the ‘go-to man’ for many. He was christened ‘Mr Scarborough Library’.

He was involved in the Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society.

In 1998, he was invited to the British Library in London to receive an award as part of the Library Association centenary. It was to be presented to 100 librarians across the country for “outstanding contribution to and achievement in library work”. He received the award from Princess Anne.

After retiring in 2004, he kept his library connections by being involved in the Scarborough Library Archive Group. He was still attending the group up until last year when illness prevented him.

He was a life member of Scarborough Cricket Club and spent many years at North Marine Road, the annual Scarborough Cricket Festival being a highlight.

He was also a lifelong supporter of Scarborough FC and later Athletic, having attended his first match in 1947 with his father. When he moved to Newcastle he attended matches at St James Park, the support of NUFC becoming a family affair in particular with grandson Rob following on the tradition.

He will be much missed by daughter Rachel, son-in-law Andrew, grandchildren Rob and Becky and his many friends and former colleagues.