Author Archives: kensalriselibrary

May 2018 Update

Our May Market on May 5th raised £925 towards our final refurbishment push.
We still need about £70,000 to completely finish the works – these include the children’s library, furniture and shelving.
We are getting there by raising funds through local events and grant applications.
Thanks to all who helped at the May Market, donated and attended to make it another very successful FKRL community event – strengthening our links with local schools, businesses and local radio, Kilburn 2 Kensal, as well as local residents.
There was a terrific exhibition of the winners and runners up from our Library Card Competition by students from Queens Park Community School and Capital City Academy. FKRL QPCS library card winners May 2018
The May Market had many elements, including a public consultation, an antiquarian book stall – and even a popular mini-massage retreat (!).
FKRL Paula & Doris head massage May Market 2018
Satisfied customers of the Massage Retreat!
A  recent application to Brent Council’s Love Where You Live has been successful and we have been awarded the maximum of £500. This will go towards our ‘Official Opening’ in September. Two other awards are pending decisions.
You can help our fundraising efforts by sponsoring our fantastic Triathlon Team at the Blenheim Triathlon.  The target is £2,000; the current total is £430.  It’s easy to sponsor –  just click on this link:
As well as these fundraising events the library is also available for hire and we have had our first customers and bookings as far as November, including NHS Well-Being Workshops.
We have also held our first ‘Storytime’ in the library, with children from a local nursery.
Our May Market efforts were part of the ‘Community Business Weekend’, run nationally by Power to Change – which has previously awarded us £75,500.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Events, News

MAY 5th Market

FKRL May 5 final poster jpg
As well as  over 20 stalls and a ‘mini-massage retreat’, the May Market will include an exhibition of QPCS and Capital City students’ entries for our library-card competition. Entries were  judged by Paul Stolper, who represents some of the country’s most famous living artists e.g. Damien Hirst, Peter Blake and Brian Eno.
The library-card competition is sponsored by Queen’s Park Books.
This is an exciting collaboration between Kensal Rise Community  Library, local schools and business – and the contemporary British art scene.

Kensal Rise Community Library receives no public funding, but has to generate its own revenue – so with the May Market on Saturday May 5th, it is joining other community businesses around the country to celebrate the third annual Community Business Weekend.

Aimed at shining a light on the 7,000 community businesses across England, Community Business Weekend offers a unique opportunity for local people to visit and see how they can get involved.


Leave a Comment

Filed under Events, News

Update March 2018

1. November 30th 2017: we signed our lease – on Mark Twain’s birthday.

FKRL Lease signing 30 No 2017 no1Signing our lease.

2. December 2017: our library refurbishment works began.

First phase of works to be completed by end of February 2018. This means all the basics will be in place, including flooring (we have restored the original parquet), heating, lighting, plumbing, the ceiling, etc. The Second Phase will then begin and will be completed dependent on funding. The library space, though not yet fully furnished, will be useable and available for hire from March 2018.

Fully appointing and furnishing the library may take a little longer, but we will use the space to continue fundraising to meet final refurbishment requirements.FKRL parquet floor restored Jan 2017Our newly restored parquet floor.

3. Our Operations Committee continue to meet at 7.30 pm on the first Thursday of each month in the Long Room behind St Martin’s Church on Mortimer Rd. Kensal Green. This group works on the operational needs of the library; books; policies; volunteers; cataloguing; supporting events; IT; communications.

We particularly need more IT support and website design expertise.

Please contact: if you would like to become involved.

4. Events: ‘Lionel Shriver In Conversation with Tim Lott’ on Sunday January 28th was very successful, raising over £1000 for the library refurbishment. Attended by over 120 people it was thought-provoking and sparked some lively debate.FKRL Lionel Shriver Jan 2018 MB 2

Lionel Shriver signing books at our January event.

Thanks to Graham Noyce for letting us have the event at St Martins, Alex at Berkmann Wines for donating the bar and all the volunteers who helped on the night. We are also grateful to the raffle prize donors: Tulip Siddiq MP, The Paradise, Jivita Ayurveda and Straker Hair.

Other events are being planned and we look forward to holding our first in the library.

5. Funding applications and grants: We have been successful with our bids for funds to both the Community Infrastructure Levy and the Harvist Trust. From the former we have two grants totalling £95,000 and from the latter £5,000. All will go towards the refurbishment of the library space, computers and books.

6.  Support from local businesses, schools and organisations: we would like to thank the incredible generosity of all our local friends, including: Daniels Real Estate; The Paradise Pub Kensal Green; The Royal Oak Pub Harlesden; The Whippet Inn Kensal Green; MDS Builders London; Topps Tiles; Cresswell Carpets; Curry Nights; Messapica; Tesco; Nandos; The Parlour; Nuffield Health;Howdens Kitchens; Rajvel Deco (paint); Jivita Ayurveda; Gracelands; Scarlet & Violet; Bel and Nev; Berkmann Wines; Borough Wines; St Martins; Kensal Green Under Fives; Malorees Parents; QPCS; Princess Freds Parents; Brent Library Service; our Ward Councillors from Kensal Green, Brondesbury Park and Queens Park.


Leave a Comment

Filed under News

Lionel Shriver – Sunday 28 January

Award-winning writer, Lionel Shriver, will be talking to fellow author and journalist Tim Lott.
FKRL Lionel Shriver cropped pic, by Eamonn McCabe dec2017

A prolific journalist, Lionel Shriver has authored twelve novels, including the bestsellers The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047, Big Brother, So Much for ThatThe Post-Birthday World, and the Orange-Prize winner We Need to Talk About Kevin (a 2011 feature film starring Tilda Swinton). She won the 2014 BBC National Short Story Award. Her novella and story collection Property is scheduled for spring 2018.  Her work has been translated into 30 languages. Lionel will also answer questions and sign her books.

19.30 – 22.00 pm St Martins Church, Mortimer Rd Kensal Green,
NW10 5SN
Bar and nibbles available.
All proceeds go to Kensal Rise Community Library.
(Photo: Eamon McCabe Harper Collins)

Leave a Comment

Filed under Events, News

We have signed our lease!

On Mark Twain’s birthday, 30 November 2017, we signed the lease for the library.

Thank you to all those who have helped us get to this point, especially our local community who have supported the campaign to save the library for almost seven years. Proud of all of us!

(Pics Brendan Bailey)

FKRL Lease signing 30 No 2017 no1FKRL Lease signing outside library Nov 30 2017

1 Comment

Filed under News

Poems and Song Night Dec 3rd 2017

A starry cast perform their favourite seasonal readings and song.

FKRL 3 person pic 2 July actors night June 2017

Actors: Lucy Cohu; Ben Miles; Tamsin Greig; Haydn Gwynne; Rick Leaf; Emily Raymond; Stephanie Schonfield.

Radio 6 DJ Gideon Coe; Guardian columnist Tim Lott

Singers: Robin Tyson; Janice Kelly.

Plus Allen Samuels.

7.30 pm St Martin’s Church 132 Mortimer Rd NW10 5SN

Bar, refreshments, raffle.

Tickets £12 on the door and at Eventbrite Poems and Song Night Dec 3rd 2017 

All proceeds go towards the refurbishment and running of the library.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Events, News

Indoor Market a great success!

5 November  2017 – A terrific feeling of community as residents use the library space.

Local residents thronged the soon to be refurbished library space selling and buying – from cakes and coffee supplied by the Kensal Green Under Fives Community Nursery to delicious pumpkin soup from Nadia.

Vintage clothes, crochet, plants, jewellery, books – there was a bit of everything!

We raised nearly £1000 towards the library refurbishment.

The space, both indoors and out, was vibrant – a great community turnout!

FKRL Indoor Sale outside Nov 2017

The library plaza in use again!

FKRL Indoor Sale Mo and kids Nov 2017

Local dad Mohamed with Hussein and Mariam.

FKRL indoor sale inside crowds Nov 2017

Looking for bargains.


Nadia with her brilliant pumpkin soup.

(Pics: Allen Samuels and Pedro A Perez)

Leave a Comment

Filed under Events, News

Kensal Rise Library Awarded £75,000!

FKRL Low key event 1 July June 18 024FKRL Sep 75k (2)

Leave a Comment

Filed under News


FKRL vol poster enhanced Aug 2017

Leave a Comment

Filed under Events, News


1st July  Open Day in the library 2nd July Actor’s Night Fundraiser.

                FKRL Marcus at the Open day July 2017FKRL Open Day 2017

Open Day in the library. The local community gets to view the library space before our works begin. Very emotional being inside after so long.

Actor’s Night Fundraiser: brilliant night of words and music. We raised over £3,000 for the library. Thank you to all the cast for such a wonderful performance and their continued support.

Tamsin Greig, Paterson Joseph, Ron Cook, Rick Leaf, Haydn Gwynne, Lucy Cohu, Stephanie Schonfield, Ben Miles, Emily Raymond, Gideon Coe, Tim Lott, Robin Tyson and Friends.

Actors Night whole cast cropped 2 July 2017

(photos: M Bailey and F Mulaisho)

Leave a Comment

Filed under Events, News