Family Business: A Memoir by Peter Conradi

Monday May 20th, 7pm (doors open at 6.30)

As part of  Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival Tate South Lambeth Library will be hosting  a talk by the author Peter Conradi on his new book – a memoir of an eventful life, both literary and personal.

About the author:

Peter Conradi was the authorised biographer of Iris Murdoch ( 2019 marks the centenary of her birth) and his memoir contains new material on her. His other published works include Going Buddhist (2004), At the Bright Hem of God (2009), and A Very English Hero : the Making of Frank Thompson (2012). He has also written or reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, Financial Times, Spectator, Independent and Guardian, and appeared on programmes on Radio 3 and 4, and  BBC TV.


Great news about Tate South Lambeth library

Here’s some very good news about funding for Tate South Lambeth, in the words of the head of the libraries service, Susanna Barnes:

Lambeth has fully restored the funding for Tate South Lambeth and Durning Libraries and they are now provided for as part of the library and archive service budget. The Council recognises the huge contribution that libraries have made in delivering a range of services to the local community and the overall improvement of the service in the last few years and is keen to protect the service from further savings.

 Why is this good news?

Because it ends an uncertainty that had been hanging over Tate South Lambeth library for the past three years while it was being funded not from the overall libraries budget but through a separate, special allocation of money. So each year it was unclear whether that money would continue or the full public library service at TSL be allowed to fade away.

Now TSL is back within the budget for Lambeth Libraries – which Susanna’s words show have received  a vote of confidence from the Council.

Friends of TSL want to thank Susanna Barnes for running a library service that fully deserves recognition – and also Councillor Sonia Winifred (formerly  library manager at TSL and Durning) who as holder of the libraries portfolio has been a staunch supporter of the service at a difficult period for Council finances..

You can find out more from Susanna Barnes  at the next library  public forum, at Tate South Lambeth on Saturday March 2nd.

So come along on Saturday March 2nd  2-4pm.  Everyone is welcome – to ask questions and make their views known.

Two amazing events to celebrate our LGBT community

February is LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) History Month.

As part of our celebrations, Tate South Lambeth Library is hosting two events.

Come along, have fun, share the joy at:

Friends LGBT+ Fair
Saturday February 9th 2019
12 noon-4pm

Art, crafts, second-hand books, zines,comics and more…
Stalls available, contact Colette at

LGBT+ Fair - 9th February 2019 - 12:00 - 4pm

12 noon: Drag Queen Storytime (yes, really!) for Under 5s and their parents (provided through Leap Lambeth)

2pm Rainbow Cake competition judging and prize-giving.
Make a rainbow cake and bring entries to the library by 12 noon on the day

Download and circulate our leaflet

Queer Alphabet Soup – LGBT+ Spoken Word
Tuesday February 19th 2019 7pm

Queer Alphabet Soup - LGBT+ Spoken Word - 19th February 2019 7pm

An evening of queer words from writers, poets and performance artists, with Isabel Waidner, Julia Bell, Zia Almos Yeshua, Holly Casio, Len Lukowski, Sogol Sur and Ashley Howard.
For more information on these participants, go to

Free entry, refreshments available

New Pride flag
New Pride flag

Come and meet our new manager

The next library public forum at Tate South Lambeth Library is on Saturday March 2nd 2019.

As is the regular pattern, the head of Lambeth’s library service – Susanna Barnes – will be there to talk about what is happening at the library and what is planned, and to answer questions and hear suggestions from the public.

This meeting will also give an opportunity to meet our new manager – Pauline Edole – and hear what she hopes to achieve.

Everyone is welcome – to ask questions and make their views known.

Art for All – British socially committed art from the 1930s to the Cold War

Wednesday December 5th 7pm

Christine Lindey, a renowned art historian, talks about her latest book, Art for All.

The book reveals a forgotten or marginalised area -British socially committed art from the 1930s through to the Cold War. With over 100 illustrations, she demonstrates why the artists deserve to be rediscovered. This extensively researched book provides a vivid understanding of the political and aesthetic contexts that turned a wide variety of individuals into socially committed artists. It also examines the artist’s circumstances of production and patronage and explains why these often handicapped those artists who were swimming against the current of their times.

At the current time, when young artists are joining the popular demand for social change, this book takes on a new relevance.

Copies of the book will be available at the talk.

Entry free. Refreshments available.

The library’s public forum is back – after a nine-month break

The library public forums at Tate South Lambeth Library are an opportunity for the general public  to hear from management what’s happening at the library and what’s planned. And to present  suggestions, complaints – or even praise.

The forums have in the past taken place at three-monthly intervals. But none has been held since February this year.  The gap is down to a combination of events – the “purdah” on policy statements in the run-up to the Council elections in May, the departure of the library manager in July, and the delay in appointing a new manager.

Although the latter problem is not yet sorted out, the public forum at TSL is due to  resume in November, with Susanna Barnes, the head of the library service, and Colette Townend, the TSL librarian.

The place is Tate South Lambeth Library.

The date is Saturday November 17th .

The time is 2-4pm.

The invitation is to everyone.


Seeing Better Now: the personal story behind a book of poetry

Wednesday November 7th,  7pm (doors open at 6.30pm)

Michael Roc Thomas, the son of Anthony Steel and Patricia Roc, two of Britain’s biggest film stars of the 1940s and 1950s, tells the story of how the birth of a child with a severe visual  impairment changed his life.

A former fashion photographer based in Cape Town, London and Madrid, he had moved to an idyllic location in Sri Lanka in 2000. He was present during  a turbulent period, with the south Asian tsunami of 2004 and the ongoing civil war. It was in  Sri Lanka that his daughter Steele was born in 2006, extremely premature and suffering from retinopathy of prematurity, a condition which usually results in total blindness (think of Stevie Wonder).

The concern that Steele might never see led Michael to start writing silly songs and nursery rhymes to entertain and stimulate his daughter. Over the years Michael’s writing skills progressed, culminating in  Seeing Better Now, a collection of 56 illustrated tales told in verse.

Michael will recount his story, read from his poetry and answer questions.

Copies of the book will be available at the talk. The proceeds are going to a Sri Lankan charity NEST that cares for children with severe disabilities across the island, where public funding is minimal or non-existent.

Entry free. Refreshments available.