Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library

We are the friends of the Tate South Lambeth Library, 180 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1QP. For official information about the library, including opening hours and contact details, please visit the library’s own website here.

Tate Free Library design

The Chairman’s and Treasurer’s reports for 2019/20

The Chairman’s report for 2019/20

Covid-19 closes the library’s doors…

All ten of Lambeth’s libraries were shut down on 21st March 2020 in line with government recommendations on social distancing to counter the spread of COVID-19 and, specifically, because of the clear danger to both the general public and library staff from the maintenance of the onsite service.

At the time of writing this annual report there was no immediate prospect of a resumption of all core services to the general public. The Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library look forward to our much loved and valued local library re-opening its doors once the epidemic has abated to safe levels to continue to serve the multiple needs of our diverse community.

… after a year of consolidation

Prior to the shutdown Tate South Lambeth Library had been showing further progress in developing its programmes of activities and facilities.

That progress included:

  • New flooring for the children’s section (replacing the worn-out carpet there)
  • A Portuguese-language reading machine for people with impaired vision or dyslexia
  • New shelving in the first reading room

New activities supported by volunteers included monthly Portuguese conversation classes for beginners, and baby-and-toddler sessions for Japanese-speaking parents and children.

What Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library have done in the past year

In the past twelve months Friends have put on talks and events at the library, covering a wide range of topics, many of them of particular relevance to the local area and the local community.

Here’s the list:

20th May 2019 Family Business: A Memoir by Peter Conradi – the authorised biographer of Iris Murdoch and prolific writer and broadcaster talked about his autobiography.

15th June The Friends annual sale of books donated by local people, with all proceeds going to the library.

2nd September Samuel Johnson and the Lambeth Mysteries – Ross Davies from traced Samuel Johnson’s connections with Lambeth. The talk was preceded by a guided walk led by David E. Coke through the site of Vauxhall Gardens.

2nd October The Age of Stupid – A screening of the famous documentary in partnership with the No Planet B Film Club.

23rd October Vauxhall Tide: Conversations and Creativity Local residents presented and talked about the banner they had created reflecting their lives and histories (The banner remains on display at the library).

13th November Mixed-Race Relationships: A Personal Account– the author Sylvia Vetta explored the dilemmas of identity in mixed-race relationships.

15th November Wall-E – a screening of the Disney Pixar film, in partnership with the No Planet B Film Club.

26th November SW8: The Movie – local resident Andrew Rogers presented a look at our neighbourhood through the lens of cinema and television.

30th November Christmas Craft Market – an opportunity to buy Christmas gifts and decorations produced by local people. Proceeds of the stall rentals went to the library.

7th December Christmas Carol Concert by the Kennington Community Choir.

22nd January 2020 Kimpa Vita – a documentary recounting the previously untold story of the “Mother of the African Revolution, presented by its producer Ne Kunda Nlaba.

15th February 2020 Friends LGBT Fair – a day of arts, crafts, books, zines plus a rainbow cup cake competition and drag queen story time.

End February onwards I am London – an exhibition of watercolours of London scenes by Anthony Mark Peters.

Friends have maintained their contribution to the library’s resources. Donations from members and the proceeds from book sales and our craft fair have paid for the film screening licence for the Movie Matinees held on Tuesdays in autumn and winter, a rug for the children’s area, a large, mobile, television screen, and food and refreshments for children’s parties.

We have added to the stock of magazines – as an organisation through a subscription to The Week and as individuals donating copies of The Economist, New Statesman, Spectator, London Review of Books and Private Eye (among others).

The gardening group has held Open Garden sessions in Tradescant’s Retreat (the courtyard garden at the rear of the library) on the second Saturday of each month during the summer period. People could sit down (sheltered by a gazebo), read, meet the volunteers who tend the garden and share seeds.

Meanwhile, in the hope of influencing the shape and direction of overall library policy and specifically how it affects our library, two members of the committee of Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library have joined delegates from other friends groups at Lambeth libraries in regular meetings with Council officers, the head of the library service and the cabinet member with the libraries portfolio.

In addition Friends have participated in the public library forum, where library managers report on their programmes and activities and local people present questions, challenges and proposals. Friends publicise these events in our newsletter and on our website and report the main conclusions. However, the last 12 months have seen only such forum – in June 2019 – as that scheduled for March 2020 fell victim to the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic.

We say thanks

This is our chance to thank:

  • The staff of Tate South Lambeth Library for making this library a uniquely warm and welcoming place, serving all our diverse local community. We continued to cooperate happily with staff in events and activities put on by the library and also by Friends.
  • All local donors – individuals and organisations -who provided funds, books, magazines, plants, tools, wool, and food for children’s activities.
  • All our speakers, craftspeople and artists.
  • All the local community groups, bloggers, tenants and residents associations. .and local media who help promote our activities.
  • All those individuals who have topped up their annual subscriptions.
  • And, last but not least, all the Friends who have contributed time, ideas and stamina to maintain our programme.

A final reminder

We are always eager to bring new members onto our committee, even in a limited role. Most members of the committee have now been in post for many years, so we’d welcome new people to shake us up. If you are interested, please contact

The Treasurer’s financial statement for 2019/20

Here is the payments and receipts account for the period 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020.

Income Expenses
Opening Balance as at 1/4/19 2,166.18  
Membership fees & donations 217.94 Running costs – p/c  26.99
Other donations: Web and ICT Maintenance and Updates  119.98
Stockwell Festival Stall hire  25.00
Knitting group 25.00 Children’s Library Carpet  196.19
Summer Reading Challenge  56.53
Refreshments for events  197.48
Film screen licence and microphone cables  56.86
Book sales + raffles 271.95 The Week magazine subscription  129.50
LGBT fair- stall rental+donations 174.16 Plants for Jana Hale remembrance  30.45
Market-stall rental + raffle 177.33 Public liability insurance  127.30
total 866.38 total 1,066.28
Closing bank balance as at 31 March 2020 1,966.28


  1. Paypal membership fees for 2019/20 – £509.32 transferred on 28/4/20
  2. Delayed payments – technical difficulties – £168.63 transferred on 6/5/20
  3. With adjustments for items 1 and 2, the bank account stands at £2,644.23.








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