Back ‘home’ to rest for Sid the library cat

Sid the cat after the library fire in 1990 PNL-141108-121509001
Sid the cat after the library fire in 1990 PNL-141108-121509001

A well-remembered cat who was much loved by the elderly of the area and who survived a fire has been moved to a new resting place.

Sid the cat was a familiar face in Buckingham in the 1980s and ’90s, after he took up residence in the town’s library, in Verney Close.

He featured in the Advertiser in December 1990, after the newly refurbished library burned down in a catastrophic fire, when members of the public were concerned for his safety.

Following the loss of his ‘home’ in the suspected arson attack, Sid decamped to the Red Cross Centre opposite, where he used to socialise with the elderly people.

A cat flap was put in and a bed was made for him.

Carers even took it in turns to go in and feed him at the weekends.

Assistant line manager Jenny Hall said: “Sid was well loved by many and had a mind of his own and no one could change his ways.

“He used to monitor the youth and juniors’ first aid techniques in the evening.

“When we were serving teas in the day room, Sid would sit in the middle of the floor licking his backside and not move for the tea trolley.”

Jenny said Sid also had a habit of sitting in the road at the top of Verney Close, stopping traffic and hissing at anyone who tried to move him – which is how he acquired the name Sid Vicious.

She said: “If the Red Cross bus was to bring the elderly to the unit, then the escort would have to get off the bus and try and encourage him away from the middle of the road. Not an easy task.”

When Sid died in 1995, he was laid to rest in the grounds of the Red Cross Centre.

Jenny said: “We had a bit of a ceremony and a funeral and we buried him in the garden.”

But now Sid’s body has been moved to a new resting place, in the library’s award-winning garden.

The elderly service, formerly provided by the Red Cross and now run by Bucks Care, is due to relocate to the revamped Well Street Centre when it reopens later this year.

A meeting for service users last Monday highlighted concerns over Sid’s grave, should the former Red Cross Centre building, which is owned by Bucks County Council, be sold off in future.

So last week Sid’s remains were dug up and re-interred.

Jenny said: “I thought, ‘We can’t leave him there.’

“He is well remembered and is laid to rest safely in a beautiful, award-winning garden over in the library, where he will no longer be disturbed.

“We did it as respectufully as we could and the plaque was put up and the cat statue was put back.”