24 October 2018

Let’s party like it’s 1908!

One of the city’s best loved buildings celebrates its 110th birthday this Friday (26 Oct) – and everyone’s invited!

Hove Library will host a day-long celebration to commemorate the opening of the famous building more than a century ago, including staff in Edwardian dress serving celebratory cake with cream tea.

Adults are welcome to join the party at the Church Road address any time during the day and get involved in the festivities, which include local history displays and a special quiz.

Children are also invited to get stuck into cake decorating, dressing up, taking selfies and colouring in - all in typical Edwardian style.

The iconic building is also known as the Carnegie Library, named after the Scottish/American businessman Andrew Carnegie who donated £10,000 after the then council appealed to the library-loving tycoon for cash.

In a letter to the then Mayor of Hove, Samuel Isger, Carnegie’s private secretary wrote ‘a site must be given for the building, the cost not being a burden on the penny rate’. 

A tender by a Mr FG Minter to build the library for £9,999 was accepted by the full council, and the rest is history.

This Friday will also celebrate the recent refurbishment of the building, with city council financial investment and planning securing the future of the library for years to come. 

The new look library includes a café run by Brighton-based charity Team Domenica, which specialises in helping young people with learning disabilities into work, and Hove Village, an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ pre-school nursery provider. 

Cllr Emma Daniel, chair of the council’s neighbourhoods, communities & equalities committee, said: “This will be a fabulous day of special events recalling the history of our well-loved library and its Edwardian roots.

“The day will appeal to both old and young and will be a fun-filled way of spending a half-term holiday day.”

The library’s official 110th birthday was 8 July this year, but celebrations were held until the refurbishment work was complete.

Cllr Daniel added: “I’m really pleased and proud to say the council has secured the future of the library. A new proposal to retain the service in the existing building was developed with residents and councillors that everyone is happy with and which provides a modern service in an historic building.”