Above: The new library sign near the Pawleyne Arms crossroads at Penge.
A new public library has opened in Penge. It is in a converted building in Green Lane, less than 100 yards from the traffic lights at the Pawlene Arms pub. It is a pleasant surprise to find a new library being opened when so many libraries, that have been established for years, are being closed in the name of local Councils saving money.
Bromley Council is to be congratulated that they feel their funds are being well invested in a new library. It is not the only library to open in recent years. Lewisham Council have invested in an enormous library building near Deptford High Street. It has been open for about three years. On the other side of the Thames, Tower Hamlets Council built a brand new library in Whitechapel Road – giving it the novel name of an ‘Idea Store’.
London seems to live in a financial world of endless cut-backs these days. It is therefore all the more encouraging to see this new library in Penge. Most of us can probably remember joining our first library when we were quite young. We have all benefitted from being able to borrow books freely and to use the resources for doing our homework. With more and more children needing a place outside their home to do their studies, it is obvious that libraries perform a very useful function for today’s youngsters too.
What caused this article to be written is not actually the sentiments expressed above. Our streets and buildings become ever more drab as lovely old Victorian buildings are being replaced by utilitarian blocks for apartments or a new shopping precinct. As this takes place we all yearn for something interesting to look at as we walk around. Outside the new library is an almost ‘Victorian’ sign, in the form or an ornate post with a delightful visual at the top. The imaginative work is a welcome break with the tradition of the inevitable bland frontage with a boring name on it.
Bromley Council should be awarded five stars for opening a new library in a new location and another five stars for the very original sign outside!