A new library opened its doors yesterday, more than 70 years after the last permanent facility in Camberwell was destroyed in World War Two.
The grand Camberwell Central Library on Peckham Road was opened in 1893 by the Prince of Wales, who later became Edward VII, but was razed to the ground by a doodlebug in 1944.
For decades SE5 bookworms have been served by a temporary facility in a shopfront on Camberwell Church Street but yesterday children from Comber Grove Primary School piled in to the new library on Camberwell Green for the first time.
Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle, cut the ceremonial ribbon revealing a children’s library, computer facilities and a stock of new books and e-books.
Southwark Council faced a wave of public opposition in 2013 when they cleared a community orchard on the site in order to begin construction. Cllr Ian Wingfield, Southwark’s cabinet member for business, employment and culture said:?“It is fantastic to see this brand new library open to the public and to show that despite local authority cuts, to Southwark, libraries remain a valuable part of our communities and we are proud to be able to continue investing in them.”