Hyde Library was originally Hyde Technical School and Free Library. It opened in 1897 replacing the former Mechanics Institute.
This Architects drawing was found in an old book at St George's Church.
PROPOSED NEW TECHNICAL SCHOOLSAlthough the library as built was not quite as grand as the architect's drawing it wasn't far short.
"It is proposed to build, at a no-distant date, new TECHNICAL SCHOOLS near to the Public Baths in Union Street. The probable cost, including furnishing, will be £12,000. Towards this expenditure, subscriptions have been promised to the extent of £3,500, a grant has been offered by the County Council, while a further grant has been made by the Science and Art Department in London. The deficit, £5,000, is being raised by a Loan on Corporation Security, to be repaid out of a rate at one pebby in the pound. Plans of an elaborate building have been prepared. Above we give an illustration of the exterior of the Schools, from which it will be inferred that, to Hyde at any rate, the edifice will be a thing of beauty.
The need of these Schools has arisen through the impetus given to Technical Instruction by the Technical Institution Acts of 1889-91. At present there is an insufficiency of accommodation for the several classes held, while there is a demand for other classes that cannot be met. Classes, for example, meet in the Mechanics' Institute, the British Schools, and the Town Hall, in rooms by no means adapted for the purpose. When the new Schools are completed this defect will be remidied, and additional instruction given in Cookery, Laundry, Manual Instruction, &c."
The old public baths building has been long gone and now with library services been removed to the Town Hall the building is under threat from a council now based in Ashton which has a wide "programme to reduce the number and costs of Council-owned buildings. Tameside Council's priority is to save services over buildings in its challenge to meet £142m Government funding cuts to its budget." They have already done it in Denton, now they want to do it in Hyde.
Update: Hyde Library closed on Monday 12th January 2015. The library service in the Town Hall opens in February,
See also Hyde Daily Photo.