Library named after BBC’s first black radio producer opens to public

A brand new library has opened to the public, named after the feminist, activist and writer Una Marson.

The Una Marson Library in Thurlow Street, Southwark, opened today as part of the council’s redevelopment of the Aylesbury area.

The new library will offer book and DVD loans, newspapers, public access PCs, printing and copying facilities, meeting rooms, study spaces, free Wi-Fi and a full programme of events that will run throughout the year. 

The library’s name was chosen by the community to honour the borough’s rich cultural heritage.

The new library will offer book and DVD loans, newspapers, public access PCs, printing and copying facilities (Picture: Southwark council)

Una Marson, a Jamaican-born feminist arrived in the UK in 1932 where she was helped by Dr Harold Moody, who offered her a room at his family home in Queen’s Road, Peckham. 

During the Second World War Ms Marson became the BBC’s first Black programme maker. 

She broadcasted messages from servicemen and women in England, to their friends and families in the Caribbean, in her popular weekly series, Calling the West Indies. 

In 2009 a Blue Plaque was unveiled at her former home on Brunswick Square in Camberwell.

The official launch celebration is set for January 2024 (Picture: Southwark council)

The official launch celebration is set for January 2024 and will feature performances from local poets and authors.

Leader of Southwark council, Councillor Kieron Williams, said: “I’m delighted to announce the opening of the Una Marson Library.

“It’s a fantastic space for our whole community, and the sixth new library we have opened in Southwark since 2010. 

“A place to relax, learn, meet and be inspired, whether you are one or ninety one. 

“Una Marson was an inspiration to thousands, so it is absolutely fitting that this inspirational space is named after her.”

Picture: The Una Marson Library (Picture: Southwark Council)

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