Bromley (Poplar) library

Brief description

The mayor of Poplar heard a speech by Andrew Carnegie in 1902 at the Guildhall, which included his offer to finance public libraries. He responded quickly, and within a  month it had been agreed that £15,000 would be provided for the erection of libraries at Bromley and Cubitt Town.The architects were Squire, Myers and Petch. This library is on the approach to the Blackwall Tunnel – now on a busy dual carriageway.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1973.

Current status: Not sure when it closed as a library. Now repurposed as offices (2021)

  • Year grant given (if known): 1902
  • Amount of grant: Part of the £15,000 provided for Bromley-by-Bow and Cubitt Town.
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1905

Photo of library in 2021 :

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Driven past a number of times.

Web links:

Grantham library

Brief description

Grantham was late among Lincolnshire communities in applying for a grant for a Carnegie library. Rather than apply for funds directly to Andrew Carnegie through his private secretary, James Bertram, they dealt with the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, which was set up in 1913.

The architects were Gilbert. A. Ballard (borough surveyor) and H. A. Gold

A metal plaque, which used to be inside in the entranceway and is now mounted on the outside of the Grantham building, acknowledges that: ‘This building was provided by the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust and the Corporation of Grantham. Opened on the 6th day of May 1926 by Sir Charles C.E. Welby, Bart. C.B ‘ [from the article by David Lambourne – see link below]

Current status: No longer a public library. It now houses the town’s museum. (2016)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened: 6 May 1926 by Sir Charles Welby, Bart.

Photo of library in 2020:

Photo credit: Oriel Prizeman 2020. Image shared under CC license CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 Cardiff University AHRC Shelf Life project

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Tividale library

Brief description

One of three public libraries opened in 1909 by Rowley Regis Urban District Council; the other two being Cradley Heath public library (listed Grade II) and Blackheath (listed Grade II but no longer a public library). The architects were Herbert Winkler Wills and John Anderson. The Shelf Life project notes that it was built from (or at least faced with) limestone.

Current status: Demolished.

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1909

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Web links:

Wellington library

Brief description

None of my usual reference sources has any detail about this library, beyond the opening date, and the note that there were two benefactors: H. H. France-Hayhurst and Carnegie. 

Current status: Closed, assume after library services moved to a new home in 2012.

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1904

Photo of library in 2020:

Former library. Photo credit: Oriel Prizeman 2020. Image shared under CC license CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 Cardiff University AHRC Shelf Life project

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

  • Nothing found online yet.

Watford central library

Brief description

The architects were Hugh A. Gold & W. W. Newman. The original library outgrew its space, and plans were drawn up for a new building. From the news article linked below “Building work was halted by World War One and work on a new building in Hempstead Road did not begin until 1927. It was completed 12 months later at a cost of £20,000.”

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Hertfordshire county council (2021)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £5,000 was raised “by the Library Committee and a grant from the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust.”
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1928

Photo of library in 2020:

Watford central library. Photo credit: Oriel Prizeman 2020. Image shared under CC license CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 Cardiff University AHRC Shelf Life project

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Torquay library

Brief description

From the History of Torbay library services (linked below): “It was not until June 1903 that a reply was received from Carnegie’s Secretary offering £7,500 for the erection of a public library building providing the Act was adopted, and a site provided, the cost of which would not be a burden on the penny rate. The letter was read at the Council meeting of 29th June 1903 and accepted unanimously. The formal adoption of the 1892 Public Libraries Act was made on 1st September….. It was suggested that the library be incorporated with the Town Hall. “

After a competition which attracted 80 entries, the chosen architect was Thomas Davison, from London.

The firm of R.E. Narracott of Stoke Gabriel were appointed as builders. It soon became obvious the £7,500 was not going to be sufficient and another application was made to Andrew Carnegie who gave a further
£1,400. The foundation stone was laid on 14 February 1906 by the Mayor, John Smerdon.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1975 (note – the Town Hall listing specifically includes the former Carnegie library. The new library is also Grade II listed, and that listing also contains details of the Carnegie building.)

Current status: In 1933, the council decided to build a new library on a site closeby. It was opened in 1938. Council departments then expanded into the former library building. The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust donated £700 for books for the new library. Still open as a public library, run by xx (2021)

  • Year grant given (if known): June 1903
  • Amount of grant: £7,500, plus £1,400
  • Year opened: 2 October 1907, by F. Layland-Barratt, Member of Parliament for Torquay

Photo of library in 2020 :

Former library. Photo credit: Oriel Prizeman 2020. Image shared under CC license CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 Cardiff University AHRC Shelf Life project

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Pleasley Hill library

Brief description

The architect was John E Goodacre.  From the website linked below: “Thomas Smith was a Mansfield Town Councillor who lived at 18 Bagshaw Street. By profession he was a builder and donated a piece of land further along the street on which the Free Library was built. …. When the Library was closed, Mansfield Borough Council, as it then was, put the building up for sale for £575. It was bought by a local butcher, Alf Fensome, who had it converted into a bungalow, in which state it still exists today.”

Current status: Library closed in 1941. As described on the website linked below, it is now residential. (2020)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £750
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1907

Photo of library in 2020 :

Former library. Photo credit: Oriel Prizeman 2020. Image shared under CC license CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 Cardiff University AHRC Shelf Life project

Details:

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Old Swan library

Brief description

The architect was Thomas Shelmerdine.

Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Liverpool council (2021)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant:
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1913

Photo of library in 2020 :

Old Swan library. Photo credit: Oriel Prizeman 2020. Image shared under CC license CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 Cardiff University AHRC Shelf Life project

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Knutsford library

Brief description

The architect was Alfred Darbyshire, from Manchester. The building was extended in the late 20th century, with minor alternations.

Awarded Grade II listing in 1999.

It was replaced as a library in 2002 with a new library building on a different site.

Current status: Now repurposed as a nursery (2020)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £1,500
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1904

Photo of library in 2020 :

Knutsford – former library. Photo credit: Oriel Prizeman 2020. Image shared under CC license CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 Cardiff University AHRC Shelf Life project

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links:

Failsworth library

Brief description

The architects were Ernest Ogden and Percy Cartwright Hoy. The library was on Oldham Road.

“The library moved out of this building into a then modern building around the corner in the 60’s/70’s and the library was used as council offices for many years and became a bit dilapidated. Then about ten or fifteen years ago the council saw sense and it was refurbished, extended and they moved the library back in” (source – blog post linked below.)

Current status: Not sure when the library moved out again – but it is currently in the buildings next door to the original library, which were originally council offices. The library space is now offices. (2021)

  • Year grant given (if known):
  • Amount of grant: £3,000
  • Year opened (and by who – if known): 1909

Photo of library in 2020 :

Former library. Photo credit: Oriel Prizeman 2020. Image shared under CC license CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 Cardiff University AHRC Shelf Life project

Old photo of library (postcard):

Nothing in my collection yet

Visited?

Not yet

Web links: