It has been a magical journey. For us at Book Swap, and for everyone who has ever stepped through those antique brown doors. I wanted to say something small, especially seeing as how the very first chapters of Book Swap were written here. 🙂

It was about music and art and dance and food and books. It was a place that nurtured the best in everyone who walked on its stone tiles. It was a place for musicians, and artists, and poets, and writers, and singers, and rappers, and book lovers, and coffee drinkers, and chefs, and foodies, and odd balls, and teachers and students of all sorts of crafts.

For those of us who have been touched by Charcoal, it was a place of magic.

It was a place for travellers, and explorers, and wanderers. It was a place where some of us learned who we are, of ourselves, and what we are capable of. It was a place of discovery.

Hung on its walls are the work of amazing individuals. Within its halls were flocks of young ones experimenting with colour, and dough and clay and their own imagination. On its stage performed many talented musicians, half of whom I have had the honour and privilege to brush shoulders with.

For those of us who know Charcoal, it is not a place. It is a way of life.

Everything was to do with the people who were the soul of this place. It’s founders, Priscilla and Ian along with their three children, and staff, have nurtured it to what we know and love today. It was their home, to which we were welcomed with open arms, to coincide as we pleased, and to take something from, and to give something back.

With the closing of its doors, we are reminded of its beginning, its a role in our lives, of who we are and where we go, and will always be in our hearts as the place where we began. We are forever in humble gratitude to everything that Charcoal offered us.

The happy people of Charcoal Gallery Cafe are organising their last gig, ‘Cross Roads‘ on Saturday 27th. Its entirely free, much like their spirit and they invite everyone to join them in their moment of celebrating a ‘curtain close’.

While bidding farewell to a great master piece, we do hope that the spirit of Charcoal will continue elsewhere so that talent can find an outlet to emerge.

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