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reading room

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reading room

Extract from Kelly's Directory 1914

In 1885, a reading room opened in the village. In those days, most villages had a reading room where villagers could go to read books and newspapers. Remember that there were no lending libraries around at that time, and few peasants would have had money to spend on luxuries such as books.

The reading room was located in Church Street, next to the Kings Head pub, in what is now Museum Casts' workshop. The stone arched doorway which was the original entrance to the reading room can still be seen to the right of the room.

The Reading Room is listed in the Kelly's Directories with the following entry: "The Reading supplied with the daily and other papers and periodicals." Thomas Beecroft, listed as secretary in 1890 and 1903, was also the schoolmaster at the time (1903-1914). Thomas Spriggs is listed as secretary in the 1906 and 1914 directories.

The reading room was taken over as the headquarters for the Home Guard during the Second World War. I have been told that the reading room re-opened after the War for a few years, but opinion is mixed! I have also been told that the local lads used to play snooker in there for a while after the War.

Any more information on  this would be very welcome.