Letter: The Lindley Library belongs in London

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The Independent Online
Sir: The dreadful rumbling that the Lindley Library is threatened to be uprooted from London and reshelved at Wisley is becoming more and more likely. Please may this never happen.

Since the 1960s, I have used the Lindley Library regularly from my home in Gloucestershire, especially on show days. During these years my rarer visits to Wisley have always been special expeditions devoted to seeing the garden, and there would never have been time to read in a library as well. I am sure this must be the norm for members of the Royal Horticultural Society who, like me, do not live in London or near Wisley.

Without this unique and friendly library I would never have been able to make a study of garden history through the use of such a comprehensive collection of old and rare books. It is the only academic library I know where you have such personal help, and your selected old books are in front of you within ten minutes.

I would feel devastated were the collection to be moved out of London. Wisley is wonderful, but how do septuagenarians like me get there regularly, and where would we stay if the lure of the books kept us overnight? Young research students, whose need isgreater than mine, must feel the same.

May I ask Sir Simon Hornby, the new president of the Royal Horticultural Society, to put himself in all our shoes, and somehow leave the Lindley Library in London.

Yours faithfully, Rosemary Verey Barnsley, Gloucestershire

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