DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
On Tuesday December 5 our next and very special guest is the award winning actor, Sir Derek Jacobi (below). Even better, the evening will be hosted by our Patron, Jim Carter, an actor and local resident who needs no introducing to FoWHL members.
However, with apologies to all those who have tried to book a place, the event is now fully booked. In an unprecedented show of demand, all 80 places were booked within a few hours of FoWHL members being alerted. There is now a waiting list, should there by any cancellations, but obviously we cannot make any promises.
Thanks to all those who booked so promptly. And in answer to a query as to why we don't hire a larger venue for such high profile events, chair Simon Inglis says, 'The whole point of FoWHL is to promote the library. Also, if we have to hire somewhere else, we have to start charging for tickets, and whilst that may not be an issue for some members, for others it is.'
'So, alas, short of a new and larger library being built in West Hampstead – which is of course highly unlikely – FoWHL has to work as best we can with what we have.'
PREVIOUSLY at WEST HAMPSTEAD LIBRARY
Since the formation of FoWHL in 1998 a number of authors, actors, journalists and performers have been invited to speak at the library, starting with appearances by novelist Doris Lessing, agony aunt Anna Raeburn and actor and author Stephen Fry, all of whom were then resident in West Hampstead and kindly agreed to become patrons of FoWHL.
Most recently, in October 2017, songwriter and musician, and now West Hampstead resident Graham Gouldman regaled the Friends with stories of his youth in Manchester and the influence of his father Hymie – who gave Graham the line 'No Milk Today' and 'Art for Art's Sake, Money for God's Sake. Among the songs he played for us were 'Bus Stop' (a hit he wrote for the Hollies), 'For Your Love' and Dreadlock Holiday. Truly, a night to remember.
In July 2017 novelist Linda Grant was our guest, talking about The Dark Circle, her intriguing tale of TB sufferers in post war Britain. In May 2017, local historian Dick Weindling treated us to an extraordinary series of tales concerning sundry oddball residents in our area during the First World War. For more on the Kaiser's Spies in West Hampstead, click here.
In February we had a full house for an evening of anecdotes and Downton Abbey stories with local actor and longtime FoWHL supporter Jim Carter. For a full report of this truly memorable evening, click here.
We had another full house in December 2016 when the FoWHL Players, accompanied by the Occasional Choir, treated us to a series of Season's Readings; some hilarious, some poignant, plucked from the bookshelves. The readers were locals actors Michael Simkins and Julia Deakin, joined by one of the stars of West Hampstead, actress and Celebrity Masterchef winner Sophie Thompson. Adding their voices to this wonderful evening were singers Phyllida Hancock, Marie Louise Clark and Andrew Frank.
In October 2016, our Writer in Residence Ted Booth combined with FoWHL member Flick Rea to put on an excellent evening of works by Hampstead Poets. A report of the evening from the West Hamptead Life website can be seen here.
Before then, in September 2016, our guest was the author Kate Summerscale, who talked about her books The Wicked Boy and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, and in general about the Victorian public's fascination with detectives and murder cases. In July, our guest was the author and film-maker Iain Sinclair, who discussed his latest book London Overground – A Day's Walk Around the Ginger Line in front of an attentive capacity crowd. For a report of the evening from our friends at West Hampstead Life click here
In June 2016 we were joined by non-ficton writer Simon Garfield, who spoke about his book, A Notable Woman, the diaries of Jean Lucey Pratt. You can read a report on the evening by our own Writer in Residence, Ted Booth, here.
Our other guests since have included Times columnist David Aaronovitch, TV historian Michael Wood, children's author John Burningham, novelists Fay Weldon and Zadie Smith, theatre director Jude Kelly (who at the time, in 2002, was setting up an arts space called Metal, in the former Metropolitan Line station office on Broadhurst Gardens), local historians Dick Weindling and Marianne Colloms, Stephen Russell, aka The Barefoot Doctor, the author and historian Judith Flanders (who read from her study The Victorian House), and the railway historian and campaigner, Christian Wolmar (who told amazing tales of London's subterranean railways).
FoWHL has also received terrific support from locally-based actors, forming themselves into an ad hoc troupe known as the FoWHL Players. Among their esteemed ranks have featured Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter, Sophie Thompson, Phyllida Law, Edward Petherbridge, Emily Richard, Tracey Ann Oberman, Michael Simkins, Michael Jenn and Paul Brightwell.
Our gallery above recalls some of the highlights. To find out more click on any of the images above.
A packed audience tapped their toes and sang along as songwriter Graham Gouldman regaled FoWHL with stories of his youth in Manchester and his path to success via the Yardbirds, the Hollies and 10cc.
Read the full report here. (photo by Janet Nabney)
Ted Booth signed off from his duties as FoWHL's first ever Writer in Residence with an entertaining and moving selection of his favourite prose and poetry in September. If you missed the evening and want to know what readings Ted and his co-star Flick Rea (below) chose, please click here (Photos by Janet Nabney)
OTHER EVENTS / ACTIVITIES
In addition to the Friends of West Hampstead Library, a number of other organisations hire the library for classes, musical performances, lectures and meetings.
The AM Club – for the retired, but not retiring
drop in for a cuppa, a chat and a speaker
11.30 - 1.00pm on the third Wednesday of every month
The Reading Group – this group meets to discuss a particular book on one Monday a month from 6.00-7.00pm in the Children's Library. At the moment there is a waiting list to join, so please leave your name with one of the librarians. If there are sufficient numbers interested, it is possible that FoWHL may form a second Reading Group, also on a Monday from 6.00 - 7.00pm. Watch this space!
To check out regular events in the Children's Library at West Hampstead, click here
AT OTHER CAMDEN LIBRARIES
For a full list of events in other Camden libraries look on the FoWHL Noticeboard in the library or click here
To find out more about hiring the library for your event
• Please note this website supersedes our previous website at www.fowhl.co.uk