Belsize Park Library Users Group
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Belsize Park
Chalk Farm
Kentish Town
Swiss Cottage
St Pancras

West Hampstead

Note for Historians: the current 1937 building replaced the original building of 1896. The land was sold cheaply that year for £400 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to the then Hampstead Vestry for the sole purpose of building a Public Library. Hampstead's affairs subsequently passed to the control of Camden Council. Restrictions specified in the 1896 Deed may now have lapsed (the archaic legal language is positively Dickensian)

Library Opening Hours
Tue 10-7Wed
10-7Sat 10-5

Antrim Road London
USE this library and
KEEP IT OPEN is our aim
Belsize PLUG
c/o 30 Constantine Rd,
London NW3 2NG

Early battles
Belsize PLUG was the first User Group to be officially formed, in 1989, following closure threats. Camden gave a definate closure date for September 1991. Protests mounted, including a sit-in. Following a Public Meeting in Hampstead Town Hall, a legal challenge was mounted. A local solicitor gave his services and we applied to the High Court for a Judicial Review. Legal aid was granted as the application was made in the name of a local pensioner-user who lived on Income Support. Barrister Sydney Kentridge QC gave his services. Nevertheless Belsize PLUG had to raise around Ј2000 to pay into the court. The Judicial Review was granted, Camden withdrew its plans and the Judicial Review has not taken place.

Users maintain vigilence
Tucked away in Antrim Grove this small purpose-built library is open only three days a week - Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and may well have to fight for its existance again in the future. So the user's group maintains a fighting fund by holding a variety of events open to the public - talks, discussions, poetry readings - well known names such as Al Alvarez and Deborah Moggach appeared last year.

Also in 2000 we promoted a series of Concerts for Children provided by the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust which specialises in introducing chamber music to junior school children. Any profit from these musical events are put into a special account for the library to spend on its child ticket holders. All these were sold out well in advance !

Wine tasting has also appeared on our programme of events - and brought in people who did not even know Belsize Library existed! (We have a new road sign now, after two years agitation).

Current Committee Members
Barbara Charterton - Suzanna Duncan - Elain Hallgarten - Athole Hughes - Mary Lewis - Roz Perrott - Madelaine Wardley - Stanley Waterman - Ron Watts





























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