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Southwold Library
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1900 approx
The present building is constructed as 'The Assembly Room' at around the turn of the century. A few years later, a much larger 'Assembly Rooms' is recorded behind the King's Head pub in York Road.

Perhaps this is when the building becomes a temporary Roman Catholic place of worship pending the completion of the new church in 1916.


Until 1916
Roman Catholic Chapel.

It is not clear how the building was used throughout the rest of this decade, but for a time it was a gym club, offering boxing etc.



George F Booth - Cabinet Maker, French Polisher and Apartment Bureau (SRB1927). G F Booth has recently moved his business from No 13 Station Road.


George F Booth - Cabinet Maker (K1933)
This year, George moves his business to Blyth House in St James Green.

Southwold Library - moves here from its previous home in the Town Hall.
Miss (Forename) Butcher is appointed Librarian. The following passage by the Vicar of St Edmund's is from the Southwold Magazine of July 1939

'The new and reconstituted County Library is to be located in its new and convenient premises in North Green. ‘Whilst an ample provision of fiction will be maintained, special and greatly increased facilities for non-fictional readers will be provided.’
‘A new local committee has been appointed. This consists of Alderman Bee, Miss Brooks, Mrs A J Critten, Alderman Draper, Mrs Hope and myself. I have been elected Chairman.’

The committee has appointed Miss Butcher as Librarian. The fact that this young lady has at her age won such high commendation from Lowestoft Library is greatly to her credit.

Unfortunately, a very large number of books are missing. ‘If it will save anyone embarrassment at returning such books so late in the day I will gladly receive them at any time, or they can be handed in at the Vicarage without any name being given. In any case, I will restore them to the library and undertake to mention no names at all.’ 

Mrs (Forename) Weston
becomes the Chief librarian with Annie West as her assistant (LM)

Note: The library leases the front of the building only, while the rear, separated by only a thin partition wall, is used as a private residence.

June Seago (nee Palmer) who lives here with her parents and brother, remembers that they had 50 or 60 chickens in the back garden and an outside toilet.

Southwold Library. still occupying only part of the building with the rear continuing as a home for the Palmer family.

Annie West - takes over from Mrs Weston as Chief Librarian at about this time. Olive Lloyd is her assistant.(LM)


Southwold Library -
now takes over the entire building.

Olive Lloyd becomes Chief Librarian when Annie West retires through ill health (LM)


Southwold Library

Southwold Library

Southwold Library

Southwold Library


Charlotte Clark - Appointed Librarian

We are grateful for the lelp of Librarian, Charlotte Clark, Kevin Whitmee-Haddock and others in the compiling of this page. With thanks, also, to Michael West, son of Annie, for information on the librarians,


Do you have any memories or records about this address? Can you correct any of our information or fill in any of our blanks? If so, please email Barry Tolfree
Our forum facility has been withdrawn by the provider. Sorry for the inconvenience. We are looking for an alternative.

BSD - Bernard Segrave-Daly
BCS = Bygones & Characters of Southwold by Barrett Jenkins
C = Census
CP = Cinema Programme 1958
CSP = Coronation Souvenir Programme 1953
G = Gales Trade Directory
GRO = General Register Office
K = Kelly's Directory
LM = Local memory
M = James Maggs' Southwold Diary 1818-1876
MCG = Methodist Church Guide 1930
NA = National Archives
PP = Pantomime Programme 1933
PLR = Petrol Licence Records

POD = Post Office Directory
PPP = Pier Pavilion Programme 1924, 1926
RCE = Rotary Club Exhibition 1969
SCM = Southwold Catholic Magazine 1923
SCTG = Southwold Corporation Tourist Guide
SER = Southwold Electoral Register
SFP = Southwold Scouts Fete Programme 1947
SG = Southwold Guide
SGCH = Southwold Golf Club Handbook
SLHR = Southwold Local History Recorder 1980s 1990s (Mrs R. McDermot)
SMHS = Southwold Museum & Historical Society

SN = Southwold & Neighbourhood 1903
SPM = Southwold Parish Magazine 1895 -1954
SR = Southwold Recorder 1927, 1932, 1934, 1935
SRB = Southwold Rate Book
SRT = Southwold Railway Timetable 1915
SSAS = Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook 1909
SST = Southwold Summer Theatre Programmes
SSW = Southwold Shopping Week Programme, June/July 1922
STG = Southwold Town Guide 1930
SVL = Southwold Visitors List 1907, 1930
SVCP = Southwold Victory Celebration Programme 1946
SWCG = Southwold Wesleyan Church Guide

TTR = 'The Town Revisited' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 2000
TTT = ''To The Town' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 1988
W = White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1874

Note on dates
Unless otherwise stated, dates given do not indicate the years in which the business started or finished but those for which there is firm evidence that it was trading at this address. Sources in brackets; key at bottom of page.


Southwold Library

Libary Building as temporary RC chapel before 1916
Prior to the completion of the new Roman Catholic Church in 1916, the building was used as a temporary chapel .
Click the picture to enlarge

Library Building in 1930s

The library building on the left of the picture, probably in the 1930s. The words 'Cabinet Maker" can be seen above the door in the enlarged version. Click the picture to view.

The library later in the 1930s. Click the picture to see the full view.

With thanks to Charlotte Clark for providing the historic images. Provenance is not known. Please advise if you know the copyright holder.

Annie West, Chief Librarian, photographed in 1950
Photo courtesy of her son, Michael West

Click the picture to enlarge

Stradbroke Road