Downtown Abbey creator backs fight to save Hampstead library

The creator of Downton Abbey praised the cleverness and determination of Hampstead people - as he backed the fight to save a threatened library.

Julian Fellowes, writer of the hit ITV historical drama, was at the annual meeting of the Friends of the Heath Library, in Keats Grove, Hampstead.

He said he had faith in the power of residents to save the library, which will lose its Camden Council funding from next year.

“Hampstead people are far cleverer than my characters,” he revealed. “Mine are far more likely to go out on bracing walks than to a library. People here read a lot.”

He said that libraries are vital resources in a community.

“I think libraries are very important for people who don’t have a place to think or work quietly, and we must keep them open wherever we can,” he said.

He also lent his support to the current proposal to integrate the library with Keats House next door, as a private community enterprise.

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“I’m very impressed with the idea to join private initiative with public bodies,” he said. “I think its a good way forward, in fact the only way forward.

“What’s happening here is a great example of how other services must move forward and embrace change.”

Mr Fellowes also spoke about his own career highs and lows, the importance of self-belief, and the excitement of finally having his television script selected for Downton Abbey.

“To this day I find it slightly thrilling,” said the writer, who spoke at the library on Wednesday last week (November 9).

He is currently working on a new film of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and a TV serialisation of Titanic - described as “Downton goes to sea”.