Wokingham Memories with Jim Bell

Jim Bell 2  The subjects Miss Baker’s School and other Wokingham Memories, as the title indicates, is about the school that eventually became White House School. The booklet also contains short histories of Wokingham cinemas and libraries; a few amusing early 20th century advertisements, the story of Lee’s bakery and tells of the death of one of Wokingham’s young sailors in an experimental submarine. I opened a file on each some time ago and added items of data as I came across them while researching other items of Wokingham’s history. It is amazing what historical facts are uncovered while researching another subject.

On the subject of  research, Wokingham Library contains lots of valuable data for those interested in researching either local or family history. The biggest treasure trove can be found in a small cabinet in the reference section. With the exception of the top drawer, which contains census microfilms, each drawer is packed with Wokingham Times microfilms which cover the period from the 1960s To 200 with a gap of a few years in the 1970s. Within each microfilm are acres of information relating to births, death, marriages, biographies, cinemas, companies, churches, the town hall. The list is endless. Although it isn’t possible to print the screen a digital camera is just as good and the results can be magnified and safely filed in one’s computer.

The library also provides other sources of research information. In addition to numerous historical volumes on the shelves there are some early Kelly’s Directories plus photocopies of the Wokingham sections of Kelly’s and other directories going back to the late 17th century.

A local history surgery also takes place in Wokingham Library every Friday between 9.30am and 11.30am, for anyone who has a query about the history of the local area. Just drop-in!

Jim Bell  June 2015

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