Roundhay Park Mansion: Stalwart's name lives on at library

Well wishers jetted in to support a new library at Roundhay Park Mansion, set up in memory of a former headmaster.

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Around 40 people attended the official opening of the library, dedicated to the late Bernard Lester, one of the park's biggest supporters.

Mr Lester was head of Halton Moor, Talbot and Moor Allerton Hall schools from 1955 to 1974. He was also the regular MC at the annual Children's Day in Roundhay Park.

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His children Richard, Ruth and Elizabeth were behind the plan and donated 7,500 towards The Lester Library.

Richard flew in from Boston, US, while Ruth, a plastic surgeon, came from her home in Birmingham. Elizabeth, who lives in Israel, could not attend the ceremony.

Also present was one of Mr Lester's former school secretaries – now 95 –who had travelled from Majorca.

David Binns, secretary to the Friends of Roundhay Park, said: "The family were really pleased with what we had done. It was an idea they had and they offered us 7,500. They bought the fittings and first lot of books and now we want to make it grow. We have 150 books so far, but we are trying to build up an archive."

The library, due to open next month, is based in the education rooms of the visitor centre. Its books are on parks, wildlife and nature.

Councillor John Procter, the council's executive member for leisure, said: "It is a wonderful way to remember one of the great supporters of the park."

Mr Lester died six years ago after moving to Birmingham.

The library will open from 10am to 2pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays or on appointment by calling (0113) 2145715.