New Romford library set in Motion

FORMER poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion was the special guest at the official opening of the newly-refurbished Central Library, Romford, on Tuesday.

Sir Andrew, the country’s laureate from 1999-2009, treated visitors to some of his works, including a piece on last surviving World War One veteran Harry Patch, who died aged 111 in July 2009.

He also read a poem he wrote after meeting his wife, and an emotional tribute following the death of his father.

He said: “I was absolutely delighted to be here – it was a great honour.

“The building combines all the activities a good, modern library should have and is a beacon that shows how central libraries are, to all aspects of a civilised society.”

Hundreds of children later enjoyed a half-term treat with fete-themed activities, including hook-a-duck and beanbag throwing, as well as learning circus skills.

Romford-based performance group, Original Talent, closed the event, which was attended by almost 2,000 people throughout the day, with a Glee-club themed routine.

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The group recently made it to the semi-final of Channel Five’s TV talent competition, Don’t Stop Believing.

Central Library in St Edward’s Way is the most recent project to be completed under Havering Council’s transforming libraries programme.

Council leader Cllr Michael White said: “Central Library is a fantastic facility right in the heart of our borough.

“It provides a range of services for Havering residents and we know how valued it is.

“We have worked to improve all our libraries to encourage a love of learning and books in all ages.

“This provides a better quality of life for all, something we always strive to achieve.”

The refurbishment, the first since the building opened in 1965, was completed earlier this year and has made the library more accessible for disabled visitors.

The new open plan layout is also modern and light, with glass walling around the front.