This is the story of the wedding venue that never was ……… but just might be. It’s the Carnegie Library in Herne Hill in South East London and it’s in grave danger of being turned into a gym with some residual and probably minuscule library services left over.
It’s a grand, grade II listed building. The main library room is bright and airy with a lovely glass dome. And they recently replaced the old shelving with new ones that can be wheeled away to create space. The library also has a garden that feels delightfully hidden away. It sounds good doesn’t it?
The hard-nosed among you might say that’s all very well but we live in tough times and budgets are being slashed left right and centre, so why should the Carnegie Library be spared? The answer is equally hard-nosed. It could more or less pay its way. As well as being a wedding venue, the library could play host to all sorts of other events. More than that, it already has a solid source of income that could be increased.
Two under-used rooms have been rented out by the desk to local freelancers and small businesses, including our London office. We will all be booted out next spring if this plan goes ahead. As well as WeddingVenues.com’s London office seeking a new home, there will be a collection of graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, writers and translators whose businesses will be interrupted by a search for new premises.
Now WeddingVenues.com is in no way a political organisation. We are a small business like any other but we like to think our heart is in the right place. If a venue is in trouble and we can help, we will. We have given free adverts to a fire-damaged Allerton Castle and a flooded Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel. If the Carnegie Library can pull off a Houdini-level escape and turn itself into a wedding venue, we will give it a free advert too.
So Lambeth councillors, what happens next? Will you be courageous enough to save the Carnegie Library as a wonderful resource for local people, as a hub for small businesses and as a wedding venue?
If any brides and grooms or wedding professionals reading this live or work in Lambeth and would like to sign a petition, here’s the link: