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Excitement as £27million Forum finally opens
5:50am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in Local News
EAGER readers lined up to be the first to get a glimpse inside Southend’s new public and academic library, which was opened by professor Brian Cox.
The £27million Forum, in Elmer Square, appeared to be an immediate hit with users and worth an early morning wait.
Elizabeth Gosher and husband Raymond both 74, were the first in thequeue to takealook inside.
Mrs Gosher, of Alleyn Place, Westcliff, said: “We arrived at 7.40am and sat outside waiting for it to open,because my husband is disabled and can’t stand for very long. We were the first in the queue, and by the time it opened there were around ten or 12 people waiting behind us.
“It was a very good experience. The building is lovely – bright and colourful – and we enjoyed being shown around by a member of staff.
“I was very impressed."
Obviously, a lot of hard work has gone into it, and the connection with the university and the college makes it more of a community project.
The first nine visitors to the library were given signed copies of a thriller by bestselling author Martina Cole, who visited it last week to add some of her novels to the shelves.
The library is a partnership project between Southend Council, the University of Essex, and South Essex College.
Derek Jarvis, councillor for culture and tourism, visited the Forum yesterday morning.
He said: “I was there from 9.30am, and it was very busy. I went into the university and college sections to have a look around and the college section in particular was very busy, so it seems to be working well for them.
“Overall, I think we’re on to a winner.”
The inaugural talk at the Forum’s lecture theatre was held yesterday evening by TV and radio presenter Professor Brian Cox.
Kirsty Nice, 21, and Patsy Stevenson, 20, who both go to South Essex College and study access to higher education science were there to meet him.
Kirsty said: “I can’t believe I just met him, it was unreal!
Physics has become a bigger part of my life and it’s something that I really want to do.”
Patsy added: “We started watching his shows and he said then that he took a few years off to do his own thing like we have.
He made us want to come back to college so we could go on to university to do physics.”
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