Beckenham Library, Beckenham, 1939

Beckenham Library, Beckenham, 1939

Most towns of the size of Beckenham had a public library by 1900 including its neighbours, Bromley, Penge, Lewisham and Croydon. But there was continuous opposition to building one in Beckenham.

Despite its undoubted urban nature many older inhabitants still preferred to see it as a village, and they remained influential enough to block all attempts to open one until the achievement of borough status in the mid thirties.

A borough without a library was an anachronism and in March 1939 the new Central Library finally opened next to the baths in Beckenham Road.

The railings were very short lived, being sacrificed to the war effort.

See historic maps of Beckenham