A WELL-LOVED Tranent resident who has been giving out free books, games, DVDs and other items to keep people entertained during the coronavirus pandemic has called time on his venture.

Raymond Liddell began handing out books from his own collection on a table beside his garage on Sanderson’s Wynd last March, at the start of lockdown.

When vandals broke the table a year later, he moved the items into his garage.

The items on offer soon grew, with people donating their own books to be handed out. At one point there were as many as 14 crates.

And Raymond accepted a variety of items at what he called ‘Raymie’s Community Corner’, with games, DVDs, furniture, bags and paintings all available. He also helped find a wheelchair for a neighbour to give to a family member.

All items were free and 75-year-old Raymond, a father of one and grandfather of two, encouraged people to instead donate cash to nearby charity shops.

But now Raymond has closed his garage for the final time and plans to spend more time with his wife of nearly 47 years, Diane, who is unwell.

The former Edinburgh taxi driver, who retired two years ago after 51 years in the job and has lived in Tranent for 26 years, said: “I just wanted to keep people entertained during lockdown.

“All of the libraries were shut, charity shops were shut; people couldn’t get any books.

“People used to come here and take 10 books at a time.

“I started with my own collection and then one person said they had two bags of books and asked if they could bring them along. I said yes and it grew from there.

“I’ve also made some benches using spare wood.

“I’ve had so much donated. I had 110 pictures at one point too!

“But this is all down to the community. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I want to thank everyone who donated stuff to help out and who came along.”