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Brent library campaigners unite to honour first anniversary of closures

PUBLISHED: 18:33 16 October 2012

Barham pop up library in High Road Wembley.

Barham pop up library in High Road Wembley.

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Torch relay takes place at axed Barham, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise, Neasden, Preston and Tokyngton branches

The spirit of unity seen at the Olympic and Paralympic Games was on display in the borough again as campaigners honoured the one-year anniversary of the closure of their libraries.

Campaigners from all six branches marched across the borough carrying a makeshift flame.

During the commemoration on Saturday, residents marched from Kensal Rise Library, in Bathurst Gardens, to Preston Library, in Carlton Avenue East, taking in all six closed buildings along the way.

The relay was also honoured with celebrations including multi-lingual readings at each reading room.

Joining the torchbearers was Ray Tucker, a former European Champion runner and novelist Adam Baron.

The speakers included children from each of the closed libraries while a special message was also read out sent in by Julia Donaldson, children’s laureate and author of The Gruffalo.

Geraldine Cook, a member of the Friends of Preston Library hailed it is an “amazing” day.

She told the Times: “It was a fantastic day and so many residents came out to show their support.

“People also made very powerful speeches about the importance of reading and libraries and it showed how much they still matter to the community.”

Following the relay, a celebration was held at the Windermere pub, Windermere Avenue.

The move to close Barham Park, Preston, Neaden, Tokyngton, Kensal Rise and Cricklewood libraries will save the local authority £1m.

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