The Official Opening of the Public Library in Campus West

Wednesday 21st November 1973

By Susi Smith

Official Opening of the Public Library
Welwyn Garden City Library Ref P027.409
Official Opening Programme
Welwyn Garden City Library Ref P027.409

Welwyn Garden City Public Library was officially opened by the then Poet Laureate, Sir John Betjeman, during an evening opening ceremony on 21st November 1973.

A grand official event was held with invitations sent out by The Chairman and Members of the Hertfordshire County Library Committee.

The Library at Campus West was designed by Richard Sheppard, Robson and Partners in consultation with the County Architect, Mr G C Fardell, CBE, FRIBA. It replaced the library which was built in the 1960s, as a wing of Mid Herts College of Further Education on The Campus, now Oaklands College.

This page was added on 08/01/2014.

Add your comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.

  • The Bust of Sir Frederick Osborn was not damaged during the Library refurbishment, and is permanently on display in the local Studies room at Welwyn Garden City Library, Campus West.
    The Bust of Ebenezer Howard did suffer from some damage, but was restored with the help of a grant from the Henry Moore Foundation
    Both busts are keeping watch over the Local Studies collection and can be visited at any time during the library opening hours.

    There is a time capsule marking the 2012 refurbishment, buried in the area outside the local studies room, and this is marked by a plaque on the wall. No busts were included.

    By susi smith (19/08/2023)
  • Michael McArdle’s sculpture of the head of Sir Frederick Osborn stood in the entrance to the library when it was at Mid Herts College. Michael told me that when it was being moved to Campus West it was dropped and broken. He enquired about its whereabouts and was told that they did not know what to do with the pieces, so they buried them in the concrete foundations of Campus West Library.

    By M Wilkinson (29/07/2023)
  • The Library in Guessens Road and originally was the house of, I think Ebenezer Howard. As a schoolboy at Handside School the class went to tend the garden as a school subject. Gardening session once a week

    By Harry Punter (14/02/2017)
  • I remember the Library used to be in either Guessens Court or Guessens Road. That was in the ’40s. And I went to Kindergarten in Guessens Court before the war. A lovely blonde German girl looked after us. Her name was Lottie. I haven’t been back to the Garden City since about 1980 and I’m sure I’d get lost. I hear my old Junior School at the bottom of Parkway has gone. I lived in Blakemere Road from a baby in 1035 till I left home in about 1953.

    By Mary Atkinson(nee Hutchings) (04/02/2017)
  • On 4 February 2013, Joanna Trollope, OBE officially opened the refurbished Welwyn Garden City Central Library and Information Services located on The Campus.  For a year or more previously, the library had relocated temporarily into the Howard Centre, whilst building works were carried out following the physical separation of the County run Library from the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council run Campus West leisure facilities.  As part of the wholesale refurbishment, the artwork referred to above by P Birch was rehung in its full 3-D glory.  The 3-D dimensional macrogauze weaving was the work of Peter Colllingwood (1922-2008) and had been commissioned for the library in 1974.



    By Jennifer McCann (02/10/2014)
  • There was a recital/meeting room in the new library named the Myra Hess Room, soon referred to (by the less career-minded staff anyway) as the Rudolf Hess Room or just Spandau.

    By Andrew John (18/09/2014)
  • I worked at the library for 6 years (1984-1990) loved it. The steep stairs to the children’s library and the slope up to the reference library helped kept you fit. I think the layout has been rearranged since my day and I suspect the magnolia walls and brown carpet might have been changed too but wonder whether the art work survives (I remember it as a woven piece in orange?) Hope it still has lots of lovely books but presume the racks of 33 rpm records (so lovingly tended by Mr Head, the librarian) are a thing of the past.

    By P Birch (29/04/2014)