All posts by Frances Lamb

Work proposed on trees in grounds of Carnegie Library building, Autumn 2019

Lambeth Libraries are about to do some work on the trees in the grounds of the Library, to remove dead and diseased wood and protect the building where trees  are likely to cause  damage. You can see what is proposed here.  If you have any comments about the proposed work on the trees please contact Susanna Barnes

It is planned that the work will be carried out in early November.


Planning permission, the garden, volunteers…and putting the record straight

Workspace planning permission
We have now received planning permission for the change of use of two rooms at Carnegie to accommodate the “Enterprise Centre” – as previously, this is a shared workspace with fixed desks. The two rooms covered by this permission are the Old Lecture Room upstairs and the room immediately below it (next to the lift). Initially only the upper room has been  fitted out, and we will be advertising this workspace soon.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our consultation on the garden design.  The garden group will be putting all your ideas together and sharing these. They are keeping the rear garden tidy and making progress on the dense overgrowth in the border gardens; please let us know if you would like to help – we arrange fairly impromptu gardening sessions quite often.

The Volunteer Training Sessions are now underway – on Saturday 7th September the  Equality Training was very successful. These are short, informative sessions. If you would like to volunteer and also join these sessions please contact:
Volunteers are needed at all levels, from occasional helper to Trustee. To discuss, please contact Helen Schofield on 07729806881 or Frances Lamb on 07976 965536

Putting the record straight
We hope you received our July Newsletter, either online or by hand delivery. We will have more to communicate in the coming months, and we know that you are keen to know what we are planning and achieving. If you aware of areas, or neighbours, not receiving our newsletters, please either let us know so we can post a print version or feel free to share our website/twitter/email details
A bulletin from the Friends of Carnegie Library was circulated recently by hand to a number of local addresses. It includes some outright lies which we would like to correct now:

  • CCT has no plans to apply for approval for a licensed bar at Carnegie. For some events there will be ad hoc licensing.
    We will be opening an unlicensed Community Café, for which we need approval of plans.
  • CCT has no plans to create a terrace at the front of the building for drinks, food or any other purpose. The garden group is consulting about and applying for funding to restore and improve the gardens.
  • CCT has received no funding from Lambeth since we became a charity in October 2015.  Prior to this Lambeth had made a project development grant to the original Project Group out of the Co-op Borough Fund. The Council had also funded an architectural options appraisal, a conservation report and a condition survey as well as a public consultation.  All of that was before the gym proposal emerged.

Trustees and local Councillors have received and replied to a number of emails about the false assertions in the FoCL Bulletin, and we are sorry that local residents have yet again been given misleading and worrying information by the Friends’leadership.


Carnegie Library Gardens – consultation

Everyone who cares about the Carnegie building will be aware that the gardens all around are in poor overall condition and it would be great to have these restored. The garden at the rear of the building was turfed and modestly planted following the gym development; this garden is being maintained by volunteers.

The gardens are currently the responsibility of Lambeth Council and they are keen to work in partnership with the users of the building. A gardening group coordinated by the CCT has been meeting and would like to know your views on how to improve the gardens.

A number of factors need to be taken into consideration when planning.  These include:

  • The original layout of the gardens – a number of the original round beds still visible, paths and borders
  • Environmental issues including need for low water use
  • Access for people with disabilities
  • Ease of maintenance
  • The Ferndene Road side garden: a number of drains and power supply run closeto the surface, this may mean using plants with short roots, or as an alternative, raised planters, which would also improve access to gardening for those who have restricted mobility.

CCT will seek funding for the improvements and are keen to know what you would like to see in the garden. Please let us have your thoughts. What would you like the gardens to look like in perhaps 3 years’ time?  If you would like to join the Garden Group let us know in your response.

Please reply either by completing the attached Word document and sending it back by email, or just sending a simple email setting out your thoughts to:

Alternatively, there are paper copies of this consultation in the CCT Post Tray.
Please let us have your views by 31st August.

We look forward to hearing from you, thank you.


2019-07 Garden consultation

John Ruskin at 200 – Launch Party at Carnegie – this Wednesday 3rd July

Join the Friends of Ruskin Park  for a launch party for John Ruskin at 200 – a festival to celebrate the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth by thinking about his life, his ideas, and his relevance to us today.

The launch will be held at Carnegie Library, close to Ruskin Park, which is hosting an exhibition of heritage materials relating to Ruskin’s Denmark Hill, curated by Jon Newman of Lambeth Archives.

Join the Friends of Ruskin Park to raise a glass to Ruskin, to his legacies, and to our community in and around Ruskin Park.

The free event is free, but please book using Eventbrite.

Part of John Ruskin at 200, supported by Arts Council, England and the Maas Gallery.

Ruskin Park Summer Fete 2019 needs YOU! Saturday 22nd June 12-6pm

A message not from Lord Kitchener but the Friends of our local Park:

The Friends of Ruskin Park’s Summer Fete is our biggest Community day and fundraiser and it wouldn’t be possible without people offering to volunteer on the lead up and on the day.   Help us make it great success.

Volunteers are needed to help with the following:

Before the day we need:

  • Cakes for the Tea & Cake Tent
  • Plants to sell

Please bring along on the day or drop off.
Contact for drop off points

On the day we need help with:

  • Supervising vehicles in and out of the park (slots between 9.00am-11.30am & 6.00-7.30pm)
  • Setting up tables, gazebos & deckchairs (between 9am and 12pm)
  • Helping on a stall – Tea & Cake, Tombola, Coconut Shy, Donkeys (between 12 and 6pm)
  • Packing up at the end of the day (from 5.30pm)
  • Clearing up at from 6pm-7.30pm
  • Help with Litter picking throughout the day

We really do need your support so if you are able to offer some of your time to help with any of the above activities, please contact the FoRP Events team by email at with details of your availability and your preferred
activities.   Thank you.

Brixton Advice Centre – a call for support

“There is no such thing as society”
-Margaret Thatcher

“Oh yes there is!” 
-the people of Lambeth


A Call for Community Solidarity  – support your local Advice Centre

For 50 years the Brixton Advice Centre on Railton Road has helped, advised and acted for local people with legal or administrative problems who would otherwise be unable to afford legal services.  It averages getting on for 5,000 cases each year, mostly housing, debt or employment issues.  It is a vital part of life in Herne Hill, Loughborough Junction, Tulse Hill and Brixton.  Unless you have used its services you probably don’t know it exists.

Austerity has savaged the Centre’s budget, so to generate income, trustees and staff will be taking part in the 2019 Legal Walk on17th June when the Lord Chief Justice and thousands of lawyers raise funds for good causes.

I am asking you to invest in the community in which you live by sponsoring our walkers.  Follow the link below:

So, support your community Advice Centre.  Give us a fiver (or more if you can).
By making life better for some the Centre makes the community better for everyone.

Fred Taggart  
Honorary Secretary
Brixton Advice Centre
(and Herne Hill resident for 39 years)

Garden update

You will be pleased to know that the back garden at Carnegie is once again accessible from the main room.  You can also enter via the Ferndene gate.  It’s good to see people out there on sunny days.  The new steps are solid and safe, and we have cut the grass and weeded.  Do feel free to enjoy this peaceful space.  All it needs is some furniture,  including a parasol or two!
We understand the library Friends are planning to garden once a month also.
We will reconvene the garden planning group in the next few weeks, please let us know if you are interested.

‘Positive Future Lambeth’ Forum on Gun & Knife Crime – this Saturday 20th April at Carnegie Library

The second Anti-violence Forum focusing on Gun & Knife Crime will be held by Lambeth Councillors this Saturday, 20th April 2019 from 12 noon to 2 pm at Carnegie Library, 192 Herne Hill Rd SE24 0AG.

Following the successful launch of this Forum on 16th February 2019, the Councillors are looking forward to further work in the Community to develop strategies to prevent and if possible eradicate this epidemic.

With your help at the first meeting, a range of areas were identified that needed to be tackled including:

  • Poverty – especially in-work poverty
  • School exclusion: disproportionately black children excluded from schools
  • Lack of youth provision
  • Mental health support
  • Role of religious institutions (for example Churches, Mosques and Synagogues)
  • Opportunities for young people
  • Role modelling
  • Housing shortages

You are invited to join us once more to develop our work in this area.  Please come and take part with the help of speakers:

  • Florence Eshalomi London Assembly Member
  • Cllr Mo Seedat Cabinet Member for Community Safety
  • Pastor  Peter Adigun, Province Head, Celestial Church of Christ, Loughborough Junction
  • Abdul Karim Chair of Lambeth Neighbourhood Board
  • Representative from Lambeth Police Service

Organised by Herne Hill Councillors Cllr Pauline George and Cllr Jim Dickson.Hosted by Carnegie Community Trust CIO


Carnegie moves into Spring

With the second meeting of the Garden Group coming up Carnegie Community Trust is moving into Spring both in the garden and inside.  See a note of the first meeting here.


Our new Project Development Officers start work a few days from now and they will be making more visible progress with the Community Hub; confirming hire prices for the available rooms, recruiting volunteers and working up their training offer, planning the Enterprise Centre with entrepreneurial activities, and building the overall business plan with the Trustees.

Already we are taking bookings for both regular and one off events in the Community Hub including yoga, exhibitions and large meetings and we are opening discussions about the community café.

We are developing local groups to take forward specific activities, including chess.  If you would like to get involved, or have an idea for an activity or project you would like to see at Carnegie – particularly if you are ready to offer some help – please let us know at:

Best wishes,

A new garden group for Carnegie – first meeting

Are you interested in helping to restore the garden at Carnegie?  The building works have left the border sections of the garden in a sorry state.  The rear garden has been landscaped, however the border gardens urgently need restoring.

Several people have expressed interest in forming a  garden group to take forward a careful renovation of the garden areas. This will involve firstly planning and seeking funds, and eventually planting to restore a lovely garden.   Some hard digging,  preferably by machine, will be needed along the way but we would not be expecting you to dig!

If you would like to join this group, or just to find out a bit more, come to a meeting at Carnegie on Saturday 2nd March 2019 at 11.00 am.   We will meet inside the building, in the large room on the left as you enter.  If you might be interested, but can’t make that date let us know and we’ll keep you informed.