Bureau Members

Damian Trafford

  • President

I qualified as a in 1974. After normal post graduate training I was a Genertal Practitioner for 12 years before moving into Occupational Medicine gaining specialist Qualifications in 1997.  I retired in December 2012 and was living in France a month later.  I bought my present house after extensive searching and then embarked on an ambitious renovation.  My reasons for being here were the ability to have the house I wanted, to live in peaceful countryside, to enjoy my classic cars on quiet roads, and to enjoy the slower pace of life in rural France.  I have sung in good choral groups for many years and have joined a group based in Argenton sur Creuse with English, French and Dutch members.  I am a member of a local dance association, a local car club, and have both english and french friends.  I hope my spoken french is improving all the time.  I believe it is very important as an English community living in another country that we do our utmost to integrate in order to support life in this rural area and support french associations rather than starting our own where possible, and I see the Library as a resource to help English people to do that.

Linda Bates

  • Secretary

I was born in Leicester a few years ago and moved to France in 2006.Between those dates I studied French and German at the University of Leeds and then went on to forget everything about languages. I worked in Personnel Management (now has the posh name of Human Resources), and was responsible for recruiting the mint makers to Fox’s Glacier Mints.  I then joined the Careers Service, enjoyed telling people what they should do, and ended up managing the service in Leicestershire.

Since moving here I have taken up French again! Until recently I taught French for 4 years to members of ‘Entente Cordiale’ in Dun le Palestel. After that, I thought I might relax a bit, but here I am now, new Secretary of the English Library!  At home I enjoy singing, walking, reading, history and spending time with my husband and 7.5 cats. (The half cat is Harry who can’t decide whether he lives with us or not!)


John Bowler

  • Treasurer

My name is John Bowler and I am the recently elected Treasurer of the Library.

Together with my wife Glennys I have lived near Lauriere in the Haute Vienne for the past 3 years. We have 3 grown up daughters.

Born in 1950, my professional life took me to Switzerland for 17 years where I was president of the English Speaking Club of Lausanne for some years.

I was also president of the Gym d’Hommes of Renens, which is a section of a national organisation under the tutelage of the Swiss army.

Back in the UK in the mid 1990’s, I ran my own business for over 20 years, and volunteered as a school governor, finishing as chairperson. I look forward to getting to grips with the Library accounts.

Conseil Members

Christine Seaman

  • Library volunteer Co-ordinator

The time came when I realised a lifetime ambition to finally work with books when I started to help at the English Library in La Souterraine.

After a working life as a Mental Health Nurse and Social Care Manager I was looking for a new challenge when I came to France.

I have always been an avid reader and meeting up with Rodney Sabine, being asked to help him with the new venture was my idea of heaven.

The Library went from strength to strength with our team of helpers and Rodney showed me how to maintain the book collection.

I am still happily working with the library several years later and have met so many people who enjoy reading and books in the same way I do.

The Librarians Prayer

Our librarians at Puy Charraud

Hallowed be thy categories

Thy issues be increased

Thy books be strict ordered in fiction as they are in non fiction

Give us back this day our overdue books

And forgive us our classification errors

As we forgive those who misplace our books

Lead us not into false subject headings

But deliver us from categorisation

And from cuts in opening hours

And reductions in the book fund.

For thine is the issue system

And the date stamp

For ever and ever.

Kim Tunnicliffe

  • Cafe Volunteer Co-ordinator

I am responsible for the making sure consumables are available and volunteers are trained,  I will also take care of the Calendar for Library so I am a good source of information for the day to day activities.

I have been a cafe volunteer for several years and a member of Conseil since December 2018.

So why not come and join us for coffee and cake.

Francesco Zangrandi

  • Integration Co-ordinator

A degree in Psychology followed by a career in Human Resources has encouraged the enjoyment I get from dealing with people. Patience, both with myself and others, is a strong point.

I’ve had to learn both English and French as an adult, and am more than aware of all the difficulties. Over the last 12 years, with the assistance of a French neighbour, I have organised and given French classes, at intermediate level, in our village hall. Besides joining the Conseil last November 2018, I am now enjoy helping a small group of beginners coaching French at the English Library.

I was born in Milan in 1948. In my twenties I moved to work in London, where I stayed for 30 years. My wife and I moved to the Limousin in 2004, and we enjoy giving our horses and dogs the freedom afforded by the unspoilt French countryside, and also getting involved in local organisations. I like reading – especially about cosmology, and I’m trying to learn to play the cello!

Linda Makanga

  • French Liaison

As a bilingual French person having experience with associations, I think I can help at the Library,  especially with translations or with contacts with the French community.

I learnt how to speak English very early, because both my parents could speak English. Then I studied  English Litterature, language and Civilisation at Limoges University.  I worked as a replacement teacher near Limoges for a few years, then we moved to La Souterraine as my husband worked there. I then trained as a Montessori teacher in order to be able to do home schooling for my 3 children.  When they grew up and went to grammar school,  I did some tutoring with children who had difficulties at school,  I even helped English pupils.  We are both retired now and enjoy gardening, cooking, reading and generally taking it easy !