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What’s on at The Amelia, Tunbridge Wells

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Photo of the library at The Amelia, Tunbridge Wells
Image via mytunbridgewells.com

More than just a library or a family centre, The Amelia offers something cultural and historical for all the family to enjoy.

With an extensive library, a café run by Fine Grind, museum exhibitions, and a stacked programme of activities and cultural events, The Amelia promises much more than a book collection.

The location it inhabited remained closed off and dormant for several years, before a £21 million pound project spearheaded by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council materialised a vision of a cultural centre for all the family.

Photo of the outside of The Amelia, Tunbridge Wells
Image via constructionmanagement.co.uk

The cultural centre takes its name from Amelia Scott, born in 1860, a social reformer who helped young working-class women and mothers, and one of the first two women elected to the local council.

Her time spent on the council saw her advocate for municipal services, which included a museum and a library. Now, her vision is honoured by The Amelia, whose vision falls fittingly in-line with this eponymous centre.

Photo of Amelia Scott
Image via KentOnline

So what’s on at The Amelia?

The bright, airy, high-ceilinged children’s library offers a vibrant space for kids to read, learn, and interact with others, boasting a comprehensive selection of children’s literature, both fiction and non-fiction.

The adults library, similarly bright and vibrant, is a relaxed space to explore a range of works, “where you can browse some very old and some newer resources to discover the history of Tunbridge Wells and its surroundings”.

Both libraries have the option of remote learning, with tens of thousands of eBooks available through their website.

Image via wearebandm.co.uk

As well as a library, The Amelia’s other main offering is exhibitions, from artistic to historical.

Taras Bychko, an emigrant relocated to Tunbridge Wells after the Russian Invasion, recently held an exhibition displaying his photographic perspectives of his new locale, offering a fresh lens to the Royal town.

Being Inbetween, by Carolyn Mendelsohn, is a photographic exhibition that looks at the transition between childhood and young adulthood, displaying powerful portraits of unique young women. The exhibition runs til the 16th of June.

Hosting the Tunbridge Wells Literary centre, The Amelia offers talks from a range of artists and writers, including Michael Ball, Michael Palin, and Lenny Henry. There are a mesmerising myriad of talks and events occurring at The Amelia during the literary festival, which runs from the 9th to the 12th of May.

Have a look at their full list of events here

Image via willmottdixoninteriors.co.uk

There’s also much to be offered in the realm of adult education. Crime of the Century, a 12-week writing course, teaches how to research historical local crime and how to write based on your discoveries.

You’ll get feedback from your work, and have the chance to write in various styles. No previous writing experience required, and it’s free. The course runs til the 4th of September.

On top of this, they hold numerous Research Surgery events throughout the year, encouraging the historically nosy among us to discover more and more.

Lastly, The Amelia is simply a great space to get your own work done too. Fine Grind, who run the café, are a local family business who provide high-grade, single-origin coffee to patrons, and a modern food menu to keep you going.

An ideal work from home space, you also have a whole library at your disposal for whatever research purposes you require.

So why not come down and pay The Amelia a visit? Their address is The Amelia Scott, Mount Pleasant Road Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent, TN1 1AW.

Opening Hours
Monday 9am - 6pm
Tuesday 9am - 6pm
Wednesday 9am - 6pm
Thursday 9am - 8pm
Friday 9am - 6pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 4pm

Excluding Bank Holidays