Heritage: Waterbabies Statue


Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest festival of history and culture involving over 40,000 volunteers. Every year over four days in September, thousands of events across the country invite you in to explore local treasures of every age, style and function. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences.

In celebration of this weekend (8th – 11th September) come and explore some of Wokingham’s beautiful historic venues found here.  Wokingham Library also have a display about the history of Wokingham Library and come help us  complete the jigsaw of Montague House. The children can also enter a colouring competition with prizes available.
A related reading list will be available online and a display of related books in the library for those keen to learn more and we will also have a week of articles about the history of Wokingham Library on our blog.

Waterbabies Statue

The statue was designed in 1999 by Lydia Karpinska.  It was Wokingham’s first public statue. Rev. Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies, interviewed a local chimney sweep, James Seaward of Rose Street, about his recollections as a child sweep, on which he based the character of Tom in the book.

James Seaward, who had 12 children, was elected Alderman of Wokingham from 1909 to his death in 1921, many of his descendants still live locally.

Can you find the representation of a chimney in the sculpture? You might see Tom smiling back at you!


Local History Surgery
A great opportunity to chat to local historian Jim Bell who will be in the library to answer questions about the history of Wokingham. A drop-in event. Friday 9th September 9:30 – 11:30am


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