Wallsend Library 1975

Wallsend Library 1975.
Wallsend Library 1975.

Wallsend Customer First Centre is due to open at the turn of the year in the old Co-operative Building in the Forum shopping centre.

The spacious entrance will house local views, some will be supplied by Discover North Tyneside, but it is hoped that members of the public will bring along their snaps for a grand opening display.

Images can be scanned and returned or donated.

The first Wallsend Central Library in Park Road was converted from Castner Memorial Institute of Castner Kellner Alkali Company in 1933.

The Mayor of Wallsend, Alderman William North, invited Sir George B Hunter to formally open the library on Wednesday, May 24, 1933.

That library closed on September 3, 1966, and staff packed around 35,000 books which were transported by a local firm to their new premises in Ferndale Avenue to be unpacked and put on the shelves by Monday, September 12.

Around 3,000 books were issued on the first day.

Built to the specification of architects Williamson Faulkener Brown & Partners, the current library was started in July 1965 and officially opened on Thursday, October 13, 1966.

A commissioned head sculpture was made by Murray McCheyne, displayed in the enclosed patio area.

The open-plan design was quite innovative at the time, with glazed walls to allow maximum light, underfloor heating and freestanding shelves, and furniture for minimal maintenance and featured in Architect & Building News and Municipal Review.

Library and architecture students, including a party from Botswana, visited within its first year.

If anyone has further information or would like to donate photographs please contact Discover at North Shields Customer First Centre on (0191) 643 5270 or email discover@northtyneside.gov.uk