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The Reading Rooms

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Rubex

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The exact date the reading rooms were built is unknown, but on the 2nd November 1895, at a meeting of the local Parish Council the Chairman raised the question of building a reading room. In May 1896 they had 4 Tenders to build it and one for the amount of £163 10s was sent to the Local Government Office for approval.

The Reading Rooms belonged to The Eltisley & Croxton Insitute which was founded in 1903. At that time the Institute had 57 members. It was closed as a reading rooms during the First World War and re-opened in the winter of 1918 for 3 nights a week increasing to 5 nights a week by 1926.

The rules of the Institute Reading Rooms were clear and strict, they included:

  • No intoxicating or other drinks shall be brought into the room.
  • No other game of cards other than Whist is allowed.
  • No gambling, no using bad language, no loud talking or laughing.

If you couldn’t follow these rules, you’d be kicked out - that's me gone!


Thanks for looking,

Rubex
 

Brewtal

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Lovely stuff again Rubex, some cracking shots there! Lovely colours and really sharp pics. Nice work, thanks for sharing!
 

jsp77

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Very nice indeed Rubex, loving the colours. The rules lol, you wouldn't last 5 minutes.
 

Dirus_Strictus

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This place is siting 'unused' because I suspect it is like the other half dozen ex Institute reading premises that I have come across - nobody really knows who the actual ownership is now vested in. In some of these ex communal buildings it is very easy to trace ownership and thus secure future use, in other cases the trail is full of pitfalls and present ownership is impossible to trace.
 

krela

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I'm assuming this would have been a Christian reading rooms? Dirus? Enlighten me!
 

Dirus_Strictus

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I'm assuming this would have been a Christian reading rooms? Dirus? Enlighten me!

The build date certainly implies that they would have been set up under the 'Christian ethos' of educating the soul first and then the mind - not the modern equivalent containing a pile of Sun, Mirror and Metro newspapers. Books were very expensive back, then so it was a natural thing for monied people to set up these rooms with a selection of suitable books, all with a Religious / Christian theme, for the members of the working class who could read, to peruse at their will within the building. Not a lending library in anyway and somewhat - You will read what we think is suitable for your class! Still they developed into a very sound and valued public provision. The early 1900's saw many of these places built - some have been extended into public library buildings over the years, others sold off or demolished. Where town councils or public bodies built the original they can survive as part of a library, those built by the Institute movement seemingly end up being used for other purposes or demolished. Perhaps the 'Christian' content being too narrow for the reading habits modern society, meant they were not used enough. Who knows? The relative cheapness of printed matter, compared with yesteryear, certainly makes the original reasoning for these rooms redundant.
 

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