Category Archives: Events

Open Day in the Library!

Open Day in the Library!
 Saturday 6th June 2015 1-4pm
The Friends of Kensal Rise Library and the new owners of the library building, Uplift Properties Ltd,  invite everyone to an Open Day inside the Kensal Rise Library building.
I don’t need to tell you all how significant this event is – it will be the first time in nearly five years that our community will once again have access to the library building. The Open Day will be an opportunity for the community to meet the new owners and hear about their plans for the building, as well as seeing exactly where the new library and community space will be situated. 

Queens Park Community School students will be on hand to interview the Friends, the new owners and members of the community for their Student Magazine. The students will also share their design ideas for the the new hoarding that will replace the current black board hoarding while the refurbishment takes place.Thanks to the hard work and commitment of our committee and the continued support of  residents and friends, we can at last look forward to having a library and public space at the heart of our community again.

Karen Ellis, from Uplift Properties (, sent us this message:
‘We are delighted to have the opportunity to restore this lovely building in  a way which not only creates new homes but allows the community to bring back a much loved library and gathering place after a long and effective campaign.’

Come and celebrate before the hard work truly begins.

There will be refreshments and entertainment.


Margaret Bailey

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Public Consultation

 The Friends of Kensal Rise Library invite you to the




Saturday 14th March 2015

1pm to 4pm (drop in)

 The Long Room, St Martin’s Church,

Mortimer Road, NW10

(2 mins from Kensal Green Tube Station)

 The Friends of Kensal Rise Library will have a rent free space for a community library on the ground floor of the library building. We want to hear your views on how it should be designed and used.

 Our award winning architects, Shepheard Epstein Hunter, have experience in public library design and community consultation, with projects including Enfield Town Library, Fore Street Library in Edmonton and Clapton Library in Hackney. Steven Pidwell, Director and Chairman of the practice, has particular experience in library design and will be available at the public consultation to discuss the proposals.


Refreshments                              Activities for children

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Hi Everyone,

  1. Planning Permission Progress

    Although planning consent was given at the July planning meeting to develop the library, the Section10 6 agreement between the developer and the council has yet to be finalised.  The Section 106 is an agreement where a developer has to provide contributions to offset negative impacts caused by construction and development (affordable homes with a large development, new open space, funding extra schools places, etc). The developer implements these or makes payment to the council for them to be carried out. We have heard from Brent’s planning legal officer that the agreement may be sorted and signed in the next week. We may then know when work will begin on the library building.

  2. FKRL has three new Trustees: Mike Hulme,  Headteacher at Queens Park Community School; Karl Hemsley (former Librarian at Kensal Rise and Kilburn Libraries) and Anthony Bennett , local resident, who joins our Finance Sub-Group. These are great additions to our team and we welcome them and their expertise.
  3. FKRL and QPCS Partnership: we will be formally launching the partnership in February next year with a celebratory musical evening and photographic display at Queens Park Community School (that would be a dancing musical evening with contributions from within and without the school). We are looking forward to working with Mike Hulme and the school community, not just for their support but for sharing their expertise and having the involvement of their young people. We will be having one of the students as a Trustee also and hope this promotes the involvement of students from the school not just in using the library and community space but taking ownership and having a say in how it is run.
  4. Library Users Forum – Brent Civic Centre 9th October;

    This forum for users of libraries in Brent aims to encourage residents to have a say in the library service. It has also become a forum where the prospective community libraries in Brent get to discuss the possibility of sharing resources and expertise with the local authority.

    Apart from members of the other library campaigns in Brent (Barham, Preston Rd and Cricklewood), James Denselow (Brent Cabinet Lead Member for Stronger Communities which includes Libraries) and Sue McKenzie (Head of Brent Library Service) were present and the Lead Officer for Libraries in Buckinghamshire, David Jones (who used to work in Brent libraries and Kensal Rise Library.
    One of the important subjects discussed was the exploration of what could be shared by the Brent Library Service and Community Libraries. This is very important for us because part of our future success, I believe, will be the extent to which we are able to develop a good working relationship with the Brent library service – maybe not financial (as such), but, sharing services, contracts for outreach services, volunteers, training and being part of their lending and IT services could save us a lot of headaches (and finance) and be very significant for our operation of a community library.
    There was a very good discussion about community libraries and the lead officer from the Buckinghamshire Library Service spoke about the relationship between community libraries and the statutory service in Bucks and presented a model that Brent could become interested in.
    It was an extremely positive meeting and we are due to meet with Sue McKenzie to explore ways in which the Brent Library Service could offer us assistance and the potential for mutually beneficial exchanges.
    This is indeed progress from the day when she stripped our library of its books etc and could mean a great deal to the future of Community Libraries in Brent.

  5. C&D Food and Wine and more flats for the neighbourhood?

    A planning application has been submitted to the council to turn our corner shop on the corner of College Rd and Clifford Gardens into a flat.

    This is causing a lot of anger in the neighbourhood and rightly so. We do not need more flats in an already densely overcrowded neighbourhood but we do need services and facilities for the community.

    Both the Patels, Jaymini and Pritesh, who have been part of our community and provided a great service for over 15 years are also strong supporters of the library campaign.

    If you want to object please contact Brent Planning.

    Comments close on 29th October!!!!!

    Planning Application: 14/3550

    This is the link that will take you straight to the planning application on Brent’s website where you can lodge your comments: (please let me know if this link does not work)


    Matthew Harvey

    Or write:

    Matthew Harvey

    Brent Planning

    Brent Civic Centre

    Engineers Way

    HA9 0FJ

    Some objections could be:

  • The shop is a going concern
  • The area is densely populated and needs services and facilities
  • Increase in parking
  • The shop provides a service to the community
  • The opening hours of the shop contribute to the safety of the area as it encourages people to use the streets
  • The shop contributes to the mixed nature of the community, thus increasing its sustainability
  • The area has already lost facilities – most of our library, the newsagents, Mr Henry’s grocer shop.



    Margaret Bailey

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Queens Park Day 2014

FKRL at Queens Park Day 

September 14th 2014
 It was great to meet and chat to everyone on the day. There was a lot of interest in what the campaign has been doing and its achievements, and lots of ideas about what the community might want in the new library and community space.
We hope to be having a launch in the Autumn when we will be having an Open Day where we will be discussing with the community their ideas for the library. We will have on display input from architects and designers to show what might be possible –  and calling for discussion and input from the community about what they want from the space and how the library might meet the needs of all in the community. There will also be a photographic display of the campaign from our Archive Committee.

Time to start thinking about design and purpose?

We will be discussing our plans for working in partnership with the Queens Park Community School and other local organisations and businesses and harnessing the skills and energy of all the locals who have supported the campaign for the last four years.
And ending the Open Day with a musical evening to celebrate the achievements of the campaign.

Dancing included!

FKRL at Queens Park Day – sold all the books and made £500.
Mark Twain Event – You can read a report at the  ‘More intelligent life’ blog at The Economist’  – here

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 1.       Mark Twain Talk  –  Dr Cindy Lovell

 When a distinguished American expert on Mark Twain offered to come and present a talk, FKRL jumped at the chance. We were delighted when over 200 people came along on Sunday to hear Dr Cindy Lovell, director of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Connecticut, USA, give a fascinating lecture-with-slides about Twain’s life, his love of England and his connection to Kensal Rise. It was of course Twain who, on 27 September 1900, opened Kensal Rise Library and received (Dr Lovell told us, among many interesting details) a giant, engraved key as souvenir, now owned by a collector in Texas. Before Dr Lovell spoke, local author Tim Lott read from Twain’s works, complete sets of which, kindly donated by Penguin Books, were raffled in the interval.

On speaking at the event Dr Lovell said:
It was such a huge privilege for me. I felt so strongly about the work you have all done to save the library and knew that if Sam were here he’d want to come over and raise a fuss. I only wish I could have come sooner to speak on his behalf but am glad I finally made it.
This was the first of what we hope will be an annual event, a Mark Twain Memorial Lecture in aid of the library. Humorous, serious and irreverent – like the great man himself.
The event raised £1850.

 Many thanks to Rev Graham Noyce for once again letting us use the church and thanks also to businesses who supported the event (Daniels; Borough Wines; the Paradise; Queens Park Books; L’Angolos; C& D Food and Wine, Berkmann Wines).

Good to see many of the local councillors from the three wards around the library, Kensal Green, Queens Park and Brondesbury Park supporting the event. Thank you to Cllr Joel Davidson for his generous donation and thank you to Tulip Siddiqi the prospective parliamentary candidate for her support.

Special thanks to Richard and Laura and Stephanie and Margaret for organising the event.

Major thanks of course to our wonderful community for their continued support
David Butcher – FKRL

2.  Queens Park Day – Sunday 14th September

 FKRL will be there. Please come and talk to us about the campaign and the exciting plans for the future of the community library. We want everyone to be a part of these plans and would love to hear your ideas for the library and community space and if you have any expertise or energy to share.

  Margaret – FKRL

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Mark Twain Comes to Kensal Rise!

The Friends of Kensal Rise Library present

Mark Twain in England

A talk by Dr. Cindy Lovell,

of the Mark Twain House and Museum, Connecticut, USA

With readings by Tim Lott, award winning author & journalist

Sunday 7th September at 7pm

St Martin’s Church, Mortimer Rd,

Kensal Green NW10 5SN

(2 mins from Kensal Green tube station)


Tickets: £5, available from L’Angolo Delicatessen, 120 College Road NW10,

C & D Food & Wine, 62 College Rd NW10,

Queen’s Park Books, 87 Salusbury Rd NW6, and on the door.

Bar: wine and soft drinks

 A fundraising event in aid of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library

Did You Know?

America’s greatest writer, Mark Twain, visited Kensal Rise in 1900 – and opened Kensal Rise Library!


“I formally declare this reading-room open, and I think that the legislature should not compel a community to provide itself with intelligent food, but give it the privilege of providing it if the community so desires.” Mark Twain


Mark Twain’s many works include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn  and The Prince and the Pauper. Twain has been called America’s conscience on racial issues, famously supporting the abolition of slavery. He educated himself in public libraries.

This is a unique opportunity to find out more about this extraordinary man and his surprising links with our community from expert speaker Dr Cindy Lovell. Dr Lovell is the executive director of the Mark Twain House & Museum in Connecticut.

Tim Lott’s books have won a number of awards including the Whitbread First Novel award and the PEN/JR Ackerley Prize for Autobiography. His latest novel is ‘Under the Same Stars’. His column on family matters appears weekly in The Guardian Family section. Tim Lott lives in Kensal Green.

Save Kensal Rise Library Update – Exciting News

After four years of non-stop campaigning against the library closure, we have won (at last!) a new community library and public space on the ground floor of the old library building. The developer has named the Friends of Kensal Rise Library as the actual tenants, subject to agreement of the lease and management arrangements. FKRL are now working on plans for the running of the library. If you would like to be involved, we would love to hear from you – contact us at and keep an eye on our website for details of more events. Come along to the Mark Twain event on 7th September 2014 for a campaign update.



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Christmas carols at the pop-up!

Christmas Carols at the pop-up, Wed 18 Dec., 6pm start. Bring candles in jamjars!

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Pub Quiz, Tuesday 16 July 2013, 8pm start at The Masons Arms

PUB QUIZ on 16 July 2013 at the Mason's Arms

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Public Meeting Reminder!

Hi Everyone,
1. Public Meeting Reminder!
A reminder that we are holding a public meeting at 7.30pm on Tuesday 21st May in St Martin’s Church, Mortimer Rd, Kensal Green (first street on the right from Kensal Green Tube as you walk up College Rd, about 1 minute walk).
The Leader of Brent Council Cllr Muhammed Butt will be there and local councillors and we hope that Roxanne Mashari, the new Lead Member on the Executive responsible for Libraries will be able to make the meeting.
Roxanne came to a meeting of SOS Brent Libraries (the umbrella group of the campaigns attached to the closed libraries in Brent) on Sunday and stated most strongly that she wanted to have a dialogue with us and envisioned a partnership between the council and our community.
It is really important to let both the Leader of the Council and Cllr Mashari know how strongly this community feels about the loss of our library and the importance of the Kensal Rise Library building as a library and community space, a space that we will lose if the building is turned into flats.
To achieve this we really do need as many of you as possible to come to the public meeting.
We are still fighting after nearly three years and they need to know what we are fighting for and what we value in this community.
Thank you once again to Graham and his parishioners for not only letting us have the church for our meeting but for also offering to provide refreshments.
Such solid support we have had and we are very grateful and heartened by it.
2. Pop Up Library
More goodwill!
Thank you to Michael Cosgrave for his terrific gift of shelves on wheels for the pop up and he brought them all the way from East London.
We’ll be able to save many more books from damage by the elements thanks to Michael’s generous gift and as they are made out of recycled wood we can feel very virtuous about using them too.
Michael has a link if you are interested in buying any of his furniture.
Thanks Michael. x
Regards and looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday.
Margaret Bailey

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The Save Kensal Rise Library Campaign will be holding a public meeting.

7.30pm Tuesday 21st May at St Martin’s Church, Mortimer Road, Kensal Green.

  • Campaign update
  • Options
  • Way forward

Everyone welcome!

Thank you to Graham and the PCC of St Martin’s Church for letting us have the meeting in the church and for continuing to support the campaign.

More details to follow.


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