Until the late 14th Century, Sudbury Manor was the main Middlesex home of the Archbishops of Canterbury. The land was used for farming, which thrived in the area until the beginning of the 19th Century.
In the 16th Century Harrow School was founded leading to the development of Sudbury, which was the first part of Wembley to begin to grow during the 1800s when a number of large houses were built.
The Copland sisters, local philanthropists, built a new house – Sudbury Lodge – in the grounds of Crabs House, their father’s home. Sir George Barham, founder of the Express Dairy, came to live in Sudbury in the late 1800s, purchasing the Copland estate in 1895, renaming Sudbury Lodge, Barham House.
George Barham formed the Express Country Milk Supply Company in London in 1864. He wanted to provide top quality milk to his customers and so arranged to transport fresh milk into town from the countryside by railway, hence his choice of name “Express Milk Company.”
The beautiful Barham Park in Wembley was donated to the local Council in 1937 by Titus Barham (George Barham’s son who had carried on running Express Dairies) for the “enjoyment of local people”.
One of the buildings in the park – Crabbs House, the original home of the Copland Sister’s father – is the current home of Barham Library, which was opened on 31th May 1952 and served local people for almost 60 years until closed by Labour Councillors in October 2011.
Following the closure Friends of Barham Library have been campaigning to get the Library reopened. They have organised ‘pop up’ library events. In 2012 they operated a Saturday library service & activities for young people from temporary premises at Barham School for 3 months.
When the temporaryt building had to be demolished in July 2012 the Volunteers moved to a temporary shop premises at 428 High Road Wembley. A Library and 2nd hand bookshop operates from here and is open 3 times per week on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays.
In September 2013 a 2nd Volunteer Library & Bookshop as opened in empty premises within Sudbury Town Underground Station. These premises offer a number of library/community activities including English conversation classes and a book club for adults, a chess club and arts & crafts club for children. Other activities are planned as new volunteers with particular skills come forward.
Please see other pages for activities and how to get involved.
(Friends of Barham Library are a Charity (No. 1142113) and a Company Limited by Guarantee.)