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The Reading Room

The Reading Room was built by Ann Stangroom as an alternative place to the pubs where young men could read library books and newspapers or play games such as darts, cards, dominoes and snooker. It was also used for village entertainments, dances, concerts, whist drives, parties and wedding receptions.

Mr.and Mrs. James Bambridge from Newcastle were the caretakers from 1910 to 1928.

Mr. Bambridge was a keen photographer and many of the pictures in our archives were taken by him.

As people became more mobile with bicycles and local buses and were able to travel to the town cinemas and dance halls the Reading Room fell out of favour. It was turned into two cottages and later sold. The money was invested and the income, used to provide Christmas gifts for the elderly of the parish, is still used as the Ann Stangroom Trust.

Ann Stangroom always wore a long black dress and a lace Victorian cap and rode a large tricycle. She carried a bag of sweets in the front basket to reward children who helped push the tricycle up Swan Hill.

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