2, The Quadrant, Richmond

From: Richmond Local Studies Library and Archive (Local History Notes: 55 Richmond Public Library):

“…The Committee decided that they had 2 options – either accept Miller’s offer or find alternative premises. At their next meeting, it was reported that 2 rooms on the first floor at Mr Tuohy’s, Photographic Artist, at 2 The Quadrant had been taken from Christmas at an annual rent of £35 and that the front large room had been taken from the half- quarter day till Christmas for £3. The lectures and entertainment would continue to be held at the National Schools for an annual payment of 2 guineas including the storage of chairs.

The move to 2 The Quadrant proved to be a financial disaster. By June 1880, the decision was being made to quit the rooms at Christmas, close the Reading Room and keep the library open in the evening in another room. Mr Eldridge, the Librarian resigned in October and, in the same month, Mr Tuohy offered the front room at his premises for £20 per annum plus £5 cleaning, the room to be open only in the evenings. A curator was appointed at 4s per week and the number of morning newspapers taken was cut to 1 – The Times.

The prospect of a Free Public Library being opened in Richmond in 1881 did nothing to improve the situation and so, in August 1881, the decision was made to discontinue the Reading Room at the end of September and move the Library back to the National Schools where a room for bookshelves in the Infants’ School would be rented at the cost of £2 per annum. Miss Holt was offered 1⁄2 guinea per quarter for arranging the distribution of the books and the Library would open 12.30 – 1.30 on Wednesdays.”

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