The Opening of Bridgend Free Library, 1907.




On the 28th of August, 1907 - Bridgend Free Library, Wyndham Street was officially opened by Mr. John Randall, County Councillor. The building which was built at the cost of £2000 replaced the Reading Room at Bridgend Town Hall. A large amount of townspeople were present at this historical event.

On the day Mr. Randall was welcomed into the new building by Mr. Michael Davies (Chair of the Library Committee) and Mr. P. J. Thomas, the architect who designed the building. - He was presented with a leather bound copy of  Mr Bradley's book on the Marches and Borderlands of Wales as a souvenir.

Later a gathering was held at the lecture room, here Mr. Davies delivered an address expressing his confidence in the Free Libraries Act along with its history.  He talked about Mr. Carnegie's contribution had attached the condition that a site of free rates should be obtained, this was fulfilled by the Earl of Dunraven who had generously provided three fourths of the cost of the pre-sent freehold - with the other third being paid for by the subscriptions of the wealthier public. Mr. Randall made a speech, which focused on the advantages of the library to the young people of Bridgend, also expressing his thoughts on how it would help the social life of the community.

Mr. H.J. Randall (hon. sec. of the library) proposed a vote of thanks to the donors: Mr. Andrew Carnegie, the Earl of Dunraven and to the subscribers.  He also added that through his connection to Mr. W. Brace MP he had secured a number of historical books which would be valuable to students in the district.

Mr. J. Ballinger, the Chief Librarian of the City of Cardiff, is said to have made an interesting speech about the uses of the Free Library, he pointed out how it would be a valuable aid to education in the area.

The building was designed by Mr. P. J. Thomas with the contractors being Messrs. Price and Morgan.

Bridgend Free Library, 1908.


Sources: Cardiff Times - 1907

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