Library's golden day is worth the wait

May 03 2022

MP Darren Jones cuts the anniversary cake at Henleaze Library

MP Darren Jones cuts the anniversary cake at Henleaze Library

IT was party time at Henleaze Library on Saturday 23 April as the Friends and members of Henleaze Library finally got to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the library opening in April 1970.

This was the first event the Friends had organised since the library had fully opened up again after a two-year delay because of Covid restrictions. Guests were welcomed by chairman Barry Williamson, followed by readings from writers Philip Pullman and Alan Bennett, in which they expressed a debt of gratitude to the libraries they had used while growing up. 

Phil Monks read his own poem about libraries, and also explained the second phase of the Happy Place creative writing project, which the Friends will run throughout May and June.

This will consist of free drop-in sessions working with poet and broadcaster Mab Jones and Bristol Poet Laureate Caleb Parkin. If you’re feeling creative and want to have a go, watch out for full details at the library or on the Friends’ website

Innovation Fund manager Josie Solle from Bristol City Council Library Service was on hand to explain their support for The Happy Place project, which is also funded by Literature Works.

She thanked Friends groups across the city, as well as the Henleaze branch, for all their work. She also talked about the further redevelopment of Henleaze library, including the installation of an accessible toilet in the near future.

Special guest Darren Jones MP said how invaluable libraries had been for him personally and also stressed their importance to the community. 

He praised the hard work of library staff and Friends Groups during the last two difficult years. 

He was then invited to cut the celebration cake.