Friends of Kensal Rise Library to hold Mark Twain fundraising evening

Children protesting outside Kensal Rise Library

Children protesting outside Kensal Rise Library - Credit: Archant

Library campaigners are holding a special evening to launch a fundraising drive for their impending community-run branch in Kensal Rise.

Mark Twain opened Kensal Rise Library in 1900

Mark Twain opened Kensal Rise Library in 1900 - Credit: Archant

The Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) will be devoting the evening to American author Mark Twain, who opened the original library in Bathurst Gardens in 1900.

It was axed alongside Cricklewood, Barham, Neasden, Preston and Tokyngton branches by Brent Council in 2011.

Dr Cindy Lovell, executive director of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Connecticut, USA, will be flying in especially from America to give a talk on the Huckleberry Finn author including how he came to be in Kensal Rise.

She said: “I love to visit places that were special to Mark Twain.


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“Because he was an original supporter of the Kensal Rise Library, I feel very privileged to be giving this talk.”

FKRL, which was formed by residents to fight the closure of the branch, will take over a community space in the building and launch their own library once the site has been developed.

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Margaret Bailey, FKRL chair, said: “We felt very strongly that we should celebrate winning a new community library and public space in the building after nearly four long years of campaigning.

“Dr Lovell’s Twain evening will mark the start of this new phase of the campaign and will also be a unique opportunity to find out more about this extraordinary man and his surprising links with our community.”

The evening will also feature readings by Kensal rise writer Tim Lott who has won the Whitbread First Novel award and the PEN/JR Ackerley Prize.

The ‘Mark Twain Comes to Kensal’ talk will be held at St Martin’s Church, Mortimer Road, Kensal Green, this Sunday at 7pm

Tickets on the door cost £5.

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