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Embracing Janet's Legacy: The Janet Corcoran Memorial Library Unveiled

Friday, November 17th, was a special evening at the Boathouse studios as we unveiled the Janet Corcoran Memorial Library—a tribute to a woman whose love for books continues to inspire.

Janet’s untimely death in 2022 left a profound impact on her friends and family but her legacy lives on through the generosity of her children, Rosa and Nick.

Early in 2023 in casual conversation Rosa and Nick mentioned to Carole Pluckrose (Boathouse CEO) that their mum had over 3000 books and they were really at a loss as to what they could do with them. In a heartbeat Carole suggested that they might donate her cherished collection to the Boathouse. The ideas developed over the following months and together they set about creating a haven for the community to share, exchange, and donate books—a fitting way to honour their mother's memory.

Over 75 people attended the event, all drawn together to celebrate Janet's passion for books. Amidst the cosy ambiance, the tasty graze table from the Glow and Graze company added a much appreciated touch to the evening. A number of contributors made the event truly special. Pen to Print, representing Barking Dagenham, showcased their Challenge books, echoing Janet's own spirit of curiosity and emerging pleasure in writing. Claire Steele and Jill Glenn, with their works under their new Constellations Press, not only shared their books but also their passion for writing and encouragement to aspiring writers Janet’s friend Pat Cooper reminisced about Janet's pivotal role in the Luton Women's Reading group, emphasising her commitment to feminist literature along with some very funny memories.. Nick and Rosa's words painted a vivid picture of their wonderful mum, capturing the essence of her love for books and her profound impact on their lives..

The Janet Corcoran Memorial Library is more than just a collection of books; it is a living tribute—a space where the community can immerse themselves in the magic of reading. It embodies Janet's enduring spirit and invites everyone to explore new worlds and experiences through the pages of a book. As the doors open wide, the library stands as a testament to Janet's legacy, beckoning all to embrace the joy and pleasure that reading brings.

This is an honesty community library, where people are invited to borrow, return, swap and donate books. The library will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-5pm for local people to come in and choose books and has a comfortable space to relax and read. For more information please email us at

Carole Pluckrose - Artistic Director/CEO, Boathouse Barking CIC.

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