I know the library very well as this building was used by us kids to open our eyes to the rest of the world.I would like to contribute to your story by giving information about the Library neighbours.. To the right the building in 1945 was a small concrete hut where an elderly gentleman with a long white beard sat on a high stool dishing out disinfectant from 3ft high decanters which were enclosed in straw. We had to keep it at arms length as it was so strong. He used to sit there all day chatting away to all and sundry. We gave him any old containers which he would fill and then we would take home for mum to do the washing and cleaning.Further down the street and to the left was a brick built First Aid Station about twice the size of the library but on one level except for a belfry which housed the siren. It was decommissioned in about 1946 and remained empty for some years. About 1950-54 it was used by us very untidy kids from Glengall Grove Secondary school as our hide-out. The teachers got wind of what we were doing and tried to bar us from this building.. One day we heard that the teachers were coming for us and about six of us climbed up into the belfry, about 30ft up, and hid in the beams. They were shouting and screaming and making all types of dire threats which resulting in one bright kid deciding to get his own back.. I wont admit I was party to this but the next thing I heard was… Christ its raining.. Then another teacher screamed it aint raining we are inside. Once again we were in the headmasters office with a copy of the Beano comic firmly held between our buttocks but alas the pain still came when that whiplash of a cane connected to our bottom. Sad to say we did not go to the hut many times after that and had to settle for getting into Hawkins & Tipson Rope works and undoing the ropes from the spindles.
At this point we were hungry and made our way to the river to wade into the mud and get aboard the peanut barges where we stuffed ourselves silly and then proceeded to make our shirts into bags so we could take some home to mum.
Getting back to the library: Just before and to the left was an Off License which I believe was called Happy go Lucky. It was a sacred site as it sold the Beano, Dandy and the most desirable of the lot The Eagle, which came out in glossy paper. It was a double storey building but got clobbered by a 500lb bomb compliments of the Luftwaffe which left just the first floor operational.
As it was made of the same material of the surrounding double storey tenement houses it was demolished in the early 50s.. Two days after it was gone we went on the site and found that the wreckers had left the cellar intact. When we got into it we found about 100 threepenny bits which to us was a fortune. Even after sharing 4 ways we were still able to lots of sweets and lots of comics.
Nobby and Joan and their three children then moved to Hadleigh in Essex in the 1970s and then decided to move to Australia where they have lived for the last 38 years.