Carnival time at the Tate Community Market

The Notting Hill Carnival is on August 27-28. Tate South Lambeth library will be holding its own Carnival on Saturday September 2, at the Tate Community Market in Wilcox Close. Come along. Or put up a stall.

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Bring out your books – for Friends annual sale

Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library are holding our annual book sale on Saturday July 29th  (10am-4pm)

Prices are modest – £1 for hardbacks, 50p for paperbacks, 40p for children’s books (with three for £1)

All proceeds will be used to buy equipment or materials for the library or fund special activities.

Please add to our stock of books for sale (all in good condition), by dropping them off at the library desk, in a bag or box clearly labelled Friends Book Sale – by mid-day Friday July 28th .

And come along and buy, and support our library


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Any questions time again

Saturday July 22nd is the date of the next quarterly library forum at Tate South Lambeth Library – your chance to monitor and question our library’s performance, plans and policies, at a public get-together of library managers (the head of service, Susanna Barnes, and TSL’s manager, Maria Kwofie) and local people.

What do you want to hear about? Come along and ask, propose, object – at 2-4pm on July 22nd

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What is the future of our neighbourhood parks? A presentation from park Friends groups

Vauxhall Park 1Wednesday July 12th  7pm (doors open at 6.30)

Public parks – like public libraries – are vulnerable to reductions, even cut-off, in local government funding.  So local people are concerned about the future of two neighbourhood parks – Vauxhall and Larkhall. Two organisations have spearheaded local interest and support, the Friends of Vauxhall Park and the Friends of Larkhall Park.

The chairmen  of the two Friends groups, Charles Vyvyan at Vauxhall and Carl Kowsky at Larkhall, will discuss the current situation at the two parks and the options for their future. They will refer to the present proposals by Lambeth Council for improvements at Vauxhall Park and a new development at Larkhall Park, both of which are now up for public response/consultation ( and

Admission free. Refreshments available


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The 2017 AGM – keep up the fight

Friends of TSL held their annual general meeting, at the library, on May 31st  .

The chairman’s annual report highlighted the tremendous performance of our library in the year since it was saved from conversion to a gym with minimal library provision. In the twelve months ending March 31st 2017  the number of visits reached 192,595, one fifth up on the year before and  double the figure just  two years earlier. It was the fourth busiest public library in Lambeth, outranked only by three of the much bigger and better resourced “town centre” libraries.

And in late 2016 TSL won a Time Out Love London award  as top of the local culture category in our neighbourhood – the only library to do so in South London.

These results are all the more gratifying in that TSL gets very limited resources from the Council and very little interest or backing from councillors (with one exception). At the same time they strengthen  the commitment of Friends of TSL  to keep this a full-service public library, even as library funding is squeezed. So the  focus of our campaign has been to secure confirmation that Council funding will continue after the end of the current financial year – ie March 31st 2018 – and that whatever the still nebulous plans to set up a town centre library in the north of the borough TSL is not marked for demotion or closure.

Library management and staff were thanked for their energy, initiative, hard work and friendliness.

The treasurer’s report showed a slight improvement in our bank balance last year, by just under £200 to £1,477. A contributory factor was the success of the library manager in securing donations from local businesses (including developers at Vauxhall) channelled through Friends of TSL to fund special, community-oriented   events at the library.

In voting for the committee for 2017/18 the following were elected:

Chairman                                         Edith Holtham:

Vice-chairman                                  Laura Swaffield

Secretary                                           Philip Inglesant

Treasurer                                           John McCay

Membership secretary (interim)     Helen Holmes

Other members                                 Jana Hale and Ben Rymer

All of these were re-elections. The chairman stressed that we are very keen to bring new members on to the committee – either taking over existing posts (notably membership secretary) or bringing in new responsibilities. In addition the chairman has had to reduce her commitments to the basic roles of chairing meetings and editing the monthly newsletter, so an immediate vacancy exists for an events organiser .

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The author speaks – Howard Cunnell

As a boy growing up on the south coast of England, Howard Cunnell’s sense of self was dominated by his father’s absence. Now, years later, he is a father, and his daughter is becoming his son. In Fathers & Sons Howard tells the story of the years of self-destruction that defined his young adulthood and the escape he found in reading and the natural world. Still he felt compelled to destroy the relationships that mattered to him. Saved by love and responsibility, Cunnell charts his journey from anger to compassion, as his daughter Jay realises he is a boy, and a son.

Most of all, this is a story about love – its necessity and fragility, and its unequalled capacity to enable us to be who we are. Deeply thoughtful, searingly honest and exquisitely lyrical, Fathers & Sons is an exploration of fatherhood, masculinity, authenticity and family.

The talk- which is part of the this year’s Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival –  is on Wednesday May 24th starting at 7pm (doors open at 6.30) 


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Any questions time at the library

The next public library forum is on Saturday April 29th  from 2pm to 4pm. The head of Lambeth libraries, Susanna Barnes, and Tate South Lambeth Library’s manager, Maria Kwofie, will give an update on what’s happened at the library, its performance, and plans for the future. This is the opportunity for the general public – both users of the library or non-users  -to state their questions, proposals – and complaints.

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English Heritage Festival Limerick competiton April 2017

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A festival to celebrate English heritage and history

English Heritage Festival 2To mark St George’s Day and the birthday of William Shakespeare – both on April 23rd – Tate South Lambeth Library, backed by local businesses, organisations and  volunteers, is putting on an English Heritage Festival, over the period April 22nd  to April 29th.

The presentations, workshops and activities are all free of charge.Here’s the programme.


Saturday April 22nd

Activities in Wilcox Close

Displays in the arena (to be temporarily roped off) include demonstrations of skill at arms in a tournament, the training and arming of knights and –weather permitting – medieval dancing

11.30am -12 am Punch and Judy puppet show

11am-4pm Games – Medieval stocks , Skittle alley and Throw the hoops

2.00-2.30pm Morris dancing

2.40-3.05pm Punch and Judy puppet show

Performances, competitions and games inside the library

11am-1pm Facepainting

11am-11.20am In-Harmony Ensemble

12 -12.30 Kennington Community Choir

12.30-1.30pm Passamezzo (Shakespeare’s music)

2-4pm Facepainting

2-2.15pm Guess the name of the dragon

2.15-2.35pm Medieval fancy dress competition

2.40-3pm Shakespeare Readings

3.05-3.25pm Limerick competition announcement

Guess the weight of a cake

3.30-4pm  A capella performance

Exhibitions inside the library

Four displays are planned – on St George (the English, Portuguese and Polish  versions) and  on Shakespeare

Activities in the neighbourhood

Sunday April 23rd

 A Vauxhall riverside guided history walk, led by lcal historian, publisher and activist, Sean Creighton  (organised by the Vauxhall Society in cooperation with Friends of TSL) – 10.30 am sharp at the library.

This walk will centre on the St George Wharf/ MI6 stretch of the Vauxhall riverside and cover local history, past and present, in particular the question of local identity.

Monday April 24th

Classes from two local primary schools will be attending a presentation – with participation – on three famous Shakespeare plays (Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Saturday April 29th

Tea and a tour of Brunswick House – 11am



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The library market is back

Poster - Tate Community MarketWith the arrival of spring and warmer weather, the Tate Community Market is back again on Saturdays, every two weeks, in Wilcox Close just beside the library.

The market is now managed and coordinated by the Business Women Network UK, in a cooperation with Tate South Lambeth Library that will generate income to support our local library.

At the sessions in April (on the 8th and the 22nd, from 10am to 4pm) there’s an extra – live music – to add to the familiar market produce (food, wine, arts and crafts, health and beauty products).


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