Huge glass pane crash near Dalston Square is latest problem at troubled CLR James library

Above and right, the girders outside the first floor — minus the broken glass

HACKNEY’S new £5 million CLR James library had another problem to add to its list when a huge pane from a glass roof crashed outside it and on to Blues Street, the open space at the side of the Dalston Lane building.

Children and adults enjoying the music at a council event a few metres away in Dalston Square screamed. People rushed out from the library café.

Nobody was hurt but Lucy McMenemy, a Hackney council staffer working at the event, called police. A property management company that looks after the buildings was informed and council library security guards were deployed immediately to keep people away.

The area below the remaining panes was taped and a day later workmen removed the glass, leaving the girders.

Andy Townsend, who lives in a flat in one of the Barratt flats, told Loving Dalston: “A lot of people were around at the time. One sheet fell and another was hanging down. Three appeared to be damaged.”

Local residents said that boys had thrown stones on to the panes. Library staff spoke of hearing noises as of heavy objects being thrown.

Music promoter-DJ Newton Dunbar © ∂å
Dunbar: DJ maestro outside the  library where the glass fell

Some people thought the bass rumble from a sound system might have caused the panes to be dislodged. Well-eperienced DJ Newton Dunbar, who had been playing there, said: “That’s ridiculous — as if such glass could not withstand a sound.”

Barratt, which built the library and surrounding flats, told Loving Dalston: “As a result of reckless vandalism at Dalston Square, on Saturday 29 September a number of glass panels on the awning in Blues Street was damaged and fell from their frames.  A Barratt maintenance team sealed off the area and removed all of the panels in the interest of public safety.

“Consultants are now assisting us in finding alternative solutions to avoid a recurrence.”

The library has been beset by problems. Its opening date was delayed by months and the move of archives from Downham Road was further postponed. The archives is still not ready to receive material because of storage difficulties. When the library was officially opened, the launch event had to moved to the foyer because the building’s small conference room was overheating.

David Altheer 081012

* Backstory: Hackney drops black hero; How Loving Dalston alerted Hackney to threat to CLR James name 

* Newton Dunbar DJs on the ground floor of Hackney Picturehouse on Sundays 4pm-11pm. Free.

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

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