THE heart of Slough was transformed overnight last week as the town's new £22million Curve library and cultural centre was finally opened to the public on Friday morning.

Suddenly the 90m long, 15.5m high building covered by boardings and steel barriers for so many months was open to reveal a library boasting 44,000 books, a 280 seater performance space, 35 public computers plus exhibits from Slough Museum all scattered over all three floors.

The building may have been pure 21st century. But a sense of history was everywhere - and not just in the museum exhibits.

Actor Miles Gallant dressed as the famous 18th century Slough based astronomer Sir William Herschel posed with his telescope at the window, looking out over beautiful St Ethelbert's Church outside.

Slough Observer:

Actor Miles Gallant dressed as famous astronomer Sir William Herschel.

Andy Howell, general manager of Slough Urban Renewal - the partnership behind the new building - said: "The impetus behind the architecture of the whole building was the lens of Sir William's telescope - its angle is matched by the angle of the Curve building to the church."

Victorian James Elliman - the Slough man whose Horlicks factory dominated the town's landscape for a century - was also honoured by the presence of a lookalike.

More modern history was reflected by the presence of those famous Thunderbird puppets, which delighted television viewers in the 1960s and in numerous reruns.

The famous shows were all made by Gerry Anderson in his Slough studio in Stirling Road.

His son Jamie Anderson and producers Stephen La Riviere and Andrew T Smith have made three new episodes in the original studio.

The new shows will be shown on television in a few weeks.

They were were welcome guests at the Curve - along with those famous Thunderbirds puppets which were lovingly recreated.

Mr La Riviere said: "I started watching reruns of the old shows when I was seven. My mum was in her 30s and had loved them as a child. They are timeless."

Click here to see a full gallery of pictures from the opening.