Postcard of the month - #44 - January 2004
|LIMEHOUSE LIBRARY ~ The Librarys
foundation stone was laid on the 19th October 1900 by J. Passmore Edwards, a social
reformer, who had also paid for the Library to be built. Then on the 6th November
1901, Edward Mann, the first Mayor of Stepney, opened the Library.
Originally the Librarys entrance housed the Victorian Brockwell Collection: an exhibition of species of fish caught in the River Lee between 1876-1881. Many of the exhibits had won prizes for their quality both nationally and internationally. However by the 1960s the fish had been replaced by an exhibition of library books and items on local history.
In 1931, Limehouse Library was enlarged at the rear by the addition a Childrens Library and Reading Room, both claimed to be the largest in East London, as well as a Lecture Hall capable of seating 300 people.
With the formation of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in the 1970s, the library
services of the three merged Boroughs of Stepney, Bethnal Green and Poplar and Bow, were
reorganised. Limehouse Library became the home for the new Boroughs
non-fiction collection. Also, in the Lecture Hall a weekly programme of popular feature
films was shown to the public free of charge.
On the 30th November 1988, a statue of Clement Attlee was unveiled by Lord Wilson outside the Library. Clement Attlee had been Member of Parliament for Limehouse between 1922-1950 and Prime Minister between 1945-1951.
Recently Limehouse Library, a Grade II listed building, has been closed and awaits future development.
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