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Torch vigil remembers anniversary of library closures in Brent

PUBLISHED: 09:39 13 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:29 13 October 2015

Andria Greaves (right) reciting a poem outside former Tokyngton Library with Sonja Nerdrum from Cricklewood, Gaynor Lloyd from Barham and Philip Bromberg from Preston listening in.

Andria Greaves (right) reciting a poem outside former Tokyngton Library with Sonja Nerdrum from Cricklewood, Gaynor Lloyd from Barham and Philip Bromberg from Preston listening in.

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Campaigners held a vigil for Brent's lost libraries with a spring in their step to celebrate volunteer campaigns to bring them back into use.

Andria Greaves from Tokyngton Team handing over to Paul Lorber of Barham Team outside 428 High Road Wembley Friends of Barham Library Library and 2nd handing book shop.Andria Greaves from Tokyngton Team handing over to Paul Lorber of Barham Team outside 428 High Road Wembley Friends of Barham Library Library and 2nd handing book shop.

Brent SOS Libraries’ Light of Learning relay took place on Sunday to mark the four-year anniversary since Brent Council axed six branches to save £1millon-a-year.

Campaigners lead the relay linking the closed libraries with a reading at each stop starting at Kensal Rise library in Bathurst Gardens, Kensal Rise, and finishing at Preston Library in Preston Road, Wembley.

Philip Bromfield, of Preston Community Library, said: “It’s the fourth time we’ve run this relay to commemorate the closure of six of our libraries, and this year, for the first time, we actually have quite a lot to celebrate.

“We’ve re-opened Preston Library, work has started on the new libraries at Kensal Rise and Cricklewood, and we’ve just had the wonderful news that Barham Library will return in the very near future.

“There’s a real possibility that this time next year there will be four fully-functioning volunteer-run libraries in Brent, the product of almost five years of very hard work by dedicated, tenacious and persistent library campaigners across the borough.”

The torch passed the re-opened Willesden Green library in High Street, Willesden, on route to Cricklewood Library in Olive Road, Cricklewood, Neasden Library in Neasden Lane, Neasden,Tokyngton Library in Monks Park, Barham Volunteer Library in Wembley High Road, Wembley, Barham Library in Harrow Road, Sudbury, Barham community-run Library in Barham Sudbury Town Station before the final stop at Preston Community Library in Preston Road, Wembley, where the members of the group read a selection of poems on the subject of light.

Last week, Friends of Barham Park (FOBPL)was awarded a 15 year lease to return their library to Harrow Road, in the Lounge Room of their former building.

Paul Lorber from FOBPL added: “The Brent SOS Libraries Torch Relay was a great success in highlighting the importance of Libraries to local people.

We hope that by 11 October next year there will be successful Community Libraries operating across Brent in Barham Park, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise and Preston. This success will be due to the determination of committed Library Campaigners and our fantastic local volunteers”.

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