Author Topic: Public Libraries  (Read 76 times)

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Offline MickG

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Public Libraries
« on: 11 July, 2017, 03:35:17 PM »
Public libraries have been for many the long time mainstay source of recreation. Just as important as parks, cinemas or perhaps a night out on the town, there is nothing better for some than becoming engrossed and perhaps lost in a good novel. To allow the author's thoughts to become intermingled with ones own imagination in a form of private escapism from the world for a few hours. Libraries have existed for a long time but mainly for the elite to access in institutions. The coming of the public library coupled with ever growing literacy in the 19th century finally afforded a new source of knowledge for the masses. As they grew many libraries provided reading rooms of public newspapers too. They were the internet of their day. Reference libraries proved to be a invaluable source of information as authors passed on their knowledge on given subjects for posterity.

Most local authorities including East and West Ham provided well stocked libraries in easily accessible locations.

To 'kick' the subject off I have included a couple of pictures of Plaistow Library located in North Street near the Broadway.

Plaistow Library taken from North Street facing the Plaistow Broadway/Greengate Street junction. The picture is undated but there are no overhead electric tram wires or cables. The road surface appears unmade and the long gone public urinal that used to be in the middle of Plaistow Broadway can be seen. I would estimate about c1910.



Another undated picture of the library with Stirling Road on the right. I do not know when Plaistow Library was built but the boys wearing knickerbockers suggests around the turn of the 20th century.


Offline ed styles

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Re: Public Libraries
« Reply #1 on: 13 July, 2017, 09:18:55 PM »
Hi, stood roughly where this picture was taken , stirling rd and greengate st  in2014 watching london leg of Tour de France , by the time I adjusted me camera , woosh , they all flew bye , they don't ang about those boys .

 All the best Ed

Offline MickG

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Re: Public Libraries
« Reply #2 on: 15 July, 2017, 05:28:47 PM »
The great Scottish turned American industrialist Andrew Carnegie became one of the worlds great philanthropists. One thing Carnegie sponsored was the building of public libraries throughout the world.  The old County Boroughs of East and West Ham both benefited from Carnegie's generosity in the form of two public libraries. One in Custom House and the other in Manor Park.

Carnegie Library, Prince Regent Lane, Custom House



Carnegie Library, Romford Road, Manor Park



Offline ron copus

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Re: Public Libraries
« Reply #3 on: 15 July, 2017, 07:35:43 PM »
Used to use the one in  PR lane custom house regular.
 When I moved  to canning town I used the one in the barking rd.
Ron.

Offline ed styles

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Re: Public Libraries
« Reply #4 on: 15 July, 2017, 09:59:37 PM »
When I was an Apprentice carpenter /Joiner in the Docks 1960 we used to hold our A.S.W. woodworkers union meetings at Barking public library opposite Police Station .It was burnt to the ground middle 60s ? and our meetings were moved about 200 mtrs by Blakes Corner to the  Brewery Tap , so you can imagine the meetings got a bit livley as the evening progreesed . The pub is still there but not sure about the library's ruins  .
 All the best Ed

Offline linda co

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Re: Public Libraries
« Reply #5 on: 16 July, 2017, 08:32:15 AM »
Living in East Ham my sister and I used to go to the Children's Library at the Town Hall. It was separate from the main library and you went through the same gates as you did when going to the Swimming Baths. It was up a flight of stairs and the bookcases were dark wood.
Not sure when it closed but when we were older we used the main library.