Calls to see Southend Library preserved

First published in Southend

A PROFESSIONAL musician has backed calls for Southend Central Library to remain as a cultural centre rather than see it demolished once the town’s new £27million library opens.

Jazz trumpeter Digby Fairweather wants the Seventies building to be preserved and used as an art gallery, exhibition space and concert venue.

The library will transfer to The Forum library, which is being built on the site of the former Farringdon car park, off Elmer Avenue, in August 2013.

The building, which will feature research facilities, an art gallery, lecture theatres and a huge television screen for public screenings of theatre and art shows, is being jointly funded by Southend Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College who will share the building.

Mr Fairweather, a former librarian at Central Library from 1965 -77 before his musical career took off, said: ”The library was only built 40 years ago it is a beautiful building and extremely versatile. It seems profligate that it could be going under the hammer.

“It would be a waste of money and space to flatten it. It could be used a social centre for cultural purposes and should be listed.”

He also questioned how suitable it is to have a public library and academic libraries housed together.

He added; “They have very different aims and objectives. An educational library doesn’t provide enough information, education and recreation for the public.

“Libraries are very important and people must use them. The internet is a valuable development but it is a cheap substitute for a library and the 700 years of culture they record.”

Labour councillor Julian Ware-Lane, who represents Milton ward, has called for the building to be listed and wants it preserved for the community.

Cabinet member for culture Derek Jarvis said no decision had yet been made about Central Library nor any branch library and urged people to take part in the review of the service.

He said: “Once the service has transferred, Central Library will be a council asset and it is being assessd what it could be used for.

“I have a fond hope that it will continue to be used for something within my cultural portfolio. It is a big building but is unsuited to modern needs of a library.

“It could be something comes forward quite different to what we have imagined and we have to consider everything.”

He denied a public and college library were not suited adding that the resources available for residents will be double what they are now. To take part in the library review visit www.southend.gov.uk

Comments (16)

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2:42pm Wed 28 Nov 12

GlenEckett says...

I disagree that the current library is a "beautiful building", but that of course is a matter of opinion. It would be good to keep it as a cultural space if that is possible/viable, but it is quite a big space to fill.

I work at the Uni and see the building progress at the Forum out of the window every day, and I think it will be a great replacement. And if what Derek Jarvis is saying about the resident resources being doubled, this can only be a good thing and will hopefully encourage plenty of use from the public as well as students.
I disagree that the current library is a "beautiful building", but that of course is a matter of opinion. It would be good to keep it as a cultural space if that is possible/viable, but it is quite a big space to fill. I work at the Uni and see the building progress at the Forum out of the window every day, and I think it will be a great replacement. And if what Derek Jarvis is saying about the resident resources being doubled, this can only be a good thing and will hopefully encourage plenty of use from the public as well as students. GlenEckett
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Wed 28 Nov 12

GrumpyofLeigh says...

Students? Don't they just cut 'n paste from Wikipedia these days?
Students? Don't they just cut 'n paste from Wikipedia these days? GrumpyofLeigh
  • Score: 0

5:39pm Wed 28 Nov 12

rhowes says...

I too think that the Central Library should be preserved. Not sure about the accoustics there, but we desperately need a concert hall!

We should support this iconic building for many more years.
I too think that the Central Library should be preserved. Not sure about the accoustics there, but we desperately need a concert hall! We should support this iconic building for many more years. rhowes
  • Score: 1

5:50pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Shoebury_Cyclist says...

Yes the Central Library should be preserved. Moving it to the uni to be filled with students to the detriment of the public was a shameful decision.
Yes the Central Library should be preserved. Moving it to the uni to be filled with students to the detriment of the public was a shameful decision. Shoebury_Cyclist
  • Score: 0

5:57pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

as soon as they've built a big enough jar and manufactured enough vinegar....
as soon as they've built a big enough jar and manufactured enough vinegar.... Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

6:51pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Joe Wildman says...

Shoebury_Cyclist wrote:
Yes the Central Library should be preserved. Moving it to the uni to be filled with students to the detriment of the public was a shameful decision.
I take it you shall not be using the new library then.

The current building has not got the best accoustics so using it for music would be problematical, arts might work but you would have to find enough people wanting to use it as studios to warrent the cost of converting it into such a use.

I can't see it working as a replacement to the Beecroft Art Gallery, there are a lot of windows which would need changing to eliminate any UV light damage to the paintings.
[quote][p][bold]Shoebury_Cyclist[/bold] wrote: Yes the Central Library should be preserved. Moving it to the uni to be filled with students to the detriment of the public was a shameful decision.[/p][/quote]I take it you shall not be using the new library then. The current building has not got the best accoustics so using it for music would be problematical, arts might work but you would have to find enough people wanting to use it as studios to warrent the cost of converting it into such a use. I can't see it working as a replacement to the Beecroft Art Gallery, there are a lot of windows which would need changing to eliminate any UV light damage to the paintings. Joe Wildman
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

Joe Wildman wrote:
Shoebury_Cyclist wrote:
Yes the Central Library should be preserved. Moving it to the uni to be filled with students to the detriment of the public was a shameful decision.
I take it you shall not be using the new library then.

The current building has not got the best accoustics so using it for music would be problematical, arts might work but you would have to find enough people wanting to use it as studios to warrent the cost of converting it into such a use.

I can't see it working as a replacement to the Beecroft Art Gallery, there are a lot of windows which would need changing to eliminate any UV light damage to the paintings.
Very good comments but for the council they will have there fingers in their ears and be thinking about how they could get a top up for the trough ....
[quote][p][bold]Joe Wildman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoebury_Cyclist[/bold] wrote: Yes the Central Library should be preserved. Moving it to the uni to be filled with students to the detriment of the public was a shameful decision.[/p][/quote]I take it you shall not be using the new library then. The current building has not got the best accoustics so using it for music would be problematical, arts might work but you would have to find enough people wanting to use it as studios to warrent the cost of converting it into such a use. I can't see it working as a replacement to the Beecroft Art Gallery, there are a lot of windows which would need changing to eliminate any UV light damage to the paintings.[/p][/quote]Very good comments but for the council they will have there fingers in their ears and be thinking about how they could get a top up for the trough .... Olivia2847
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Nebs says...

Turn it into a prison. Right next door to the police station and the courts, so no transport costs. You could charge tourists a shilling to look through the windows at the prisoners.
Turn it into a prison. Right next door to the police station and the courts, so no transport costs. You could charge tourists a shilling to look through the windows at the prisoners. Nebs
  • Score: 0

7:37am Thu 29 Nov 12

abd123 says...

To keep both buildings in use you will need extra money. The Council budget is drastically reducing due to a drop in government rate grants. Therefore some other service will have to go. That service will have to be less worthwhile than a cultural centre. Whatever you suggest there will supporters of that other service who will probably have a better case.
To keep both buildings in use you will need extra money. The Council budget is drastically reducing due to a drop in government rate grants. Therefore some other service will have to go. That service will have to be less worthwhile than a cultural centre. Whatever you suggest there will supporters of that other service who will probably have a better case. abd123
  • Score: 0

10:55am Thu 29 Nov 12

Broadwaywatch says...

Shoebury_Cyclist wrote:
Yes the Central Library should be preserved. Moving it to the uni to be filled with students to the detriment of the public was a shameful decision.
The college I understand has a whole floor, the length of the college building as a library with computers etc. But by releasing that floor creates more space for more courses thus more students plus more money which in time, I believe, will offset the colleges financial contribution to the new library. It would seem a case of sow and reap.
[quote][p][bold]Shoebury_Cyclist[/bold] wrote: Yes the Central Library should be preserved. Moving it to the uni to be filled with students to the detriment of the public was a shameful decision.[/p][/quote]The college I understand has a whole floor, the length of the college building as a library with computers etc. But by releasing that floor creates more space for more courses thus more students plus more money which in time, I believe, will offset the colleges financial contribution to the new library. It would seem a case of sow and reap. Broadwaywatch
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Thu 29 Nov 12

madmax1 says...

Well at least they are building a new one.
Well at least they are building a new one. madmax1
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Thu 29 Nov 12

clairella says...

Mr Fairweather questions whether public and academic libraries should b housed together........they will actually have their own floor in the building.

Who knows how it work until it happens, but lets not be negative before it opens. A lot of people have worked hard to bring this together. It is going to happen, so let's all get behind it and support it :-)
Mr Fairweather questions whether public and academic libraries should b housed together........they will actually have their own floor in the building. Who knows how it work until it happens, but lets not be negative before it opens. A lot of people have worked hard to bring this together. It is going to happen, so let's all get behind it and support it :-) clairella
  • Score: 1

2:23pm Thu 29 Nov 12

rhowes says...

It is only going to happen, because our elected Councillors wanted it. The Central Library is an excellent place now! Why move our library in to a new building which is not served by the private bus companies, if you don't need to?
It is only going to happen, because our elected Councillors wanted it. The Central Library is an excellent place now! Why move our library in to a new building which is not served by the private bus companies, if you don't need to? rhowes
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Thu 29 Nov 12

clairella says...

Sorry rhowes I can't agree with u.........the library is excellent, the staff are great......but the building is NOT!!
Sorry rhowes I can't agree with u.........the library is excellent, the staff are great......but the building is NOT!! clairella
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Joe Wildman says...

clairella wrote:
Mr Fairweather questions whether public and academic libraries should b housed together........they will actually have their own floor in the building.

Who knows how it work until it happens, but lets not be negative before it opens. A lot of people have worked hard to bring this together. It is going to happen, so let's all get behind it and support it :-)
Good point about moaning about it before it is even open, people should remember that the French did not want the Eiffel Tower to start with...

As has been said if you don't like it donlt use it, it really is that simple.
[quote][p][bold]clairella[/bold] wrote: Mr Fairweather questions whether public and academic libraries should b housed together........they will actually have their own floor in the building. Who knows how it work until it happens, but lets not be negative before it opens. A lot of people have worked hard to bring this together. It is going to happen, so let's all get behind it and support it :-)[/p][/quote]Good point about moaning about it before it is even open, people should remember that the French did not want the Eiffel Tower to start with... As has been said if you don't like it donlt use it, it really is that simple. Joe Wildman
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Thu 29 Nov 12

perini says...

Joe Wildman wrote:
clairella wrote: Mr Fairweather questions whether public and academic libraries should b housed together........they will actually have their own floor in the building. Who knows how it work until it happens, but lets not be negative before it opens. A lot of people have worked hard to bring this together. It is going to happen, so let's all get behind it and support it :-)
Good point about moaning about it before it is even open, people should remember that the French did not want the Eiffel Tower to start with... As has been said if you don't like it donlt use it, it really is that simple.
It's not really that simple when you consider the multi-million pounds of local tax payers hard earned has been poured into it! Unnecessarily so some might say!!
[quote][p][bold]Joe Wildman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]clairella[/bold] wrote: Mr Fairweather questions whether public and academic libraries should b housed together........they will actually have their own floor in the building. Who knows how it work until it happens, but lets not be negative before it opens. A lot of people have worked hard to bring this together. It is going to happen, so let's all get behind it and support it :-)[/p][/quote]Good point about moaning about it before it is even open, people should remember that the French did not want the Eiffel Tower to start with... As has been said if you don't like it donlt use it, it really is that simple.[/p][/quote]It's not really that simple when you consider the multi-million pounds of local tax payers hard earned has been poured into it! Unnecessarily so some might say!! perini
  • Score: 0

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