Monday, 14 March 2011

Long Eaton Library Revisited

Following on from my earlier posting on the subject, we return to the story of my bookish ancestor, Arthur Hooper.

Arthur, it turns out was my great-grandfather on my mother`s side of the family. He was apprenticed in the boot and shoe trade (manufacturing ? repair ? the details are unclear) in his native Worcester but moved to Long Eaton to set up his own business as a cobbler.

In that time and place, people were reluctant to throw away a good pair of boots if they could be repaired, and business prospered. Arthur became friendly with a number of local councillors and other civic-minded individuals, including his good friend Samuel Clegg. Arthur was to credit Samuel as the driving force behind the introduction of a free library in Long Eaton.

Here are a couple of  pictures of the library that I took on a recent visit to see my great-grandfather`s papers.  The frontage of the building is something of a photographer magnet, so you may like to look at the many images there are on the web.  Some are older and show a slightly different appearance.

I now have the text of two talks gven by my great-grandfather on the movement for free public libraries. Hopefully, I`ll be posting something about these in the not too distant future.  In the meantime, here`s a picture of the inside of the library as it appeared in my great-grandfather`s day.

More articles on libraries and library-related matters appear elsewhere on this blog and on , though you may have to search about a bit. Hopefully, I`ll be returning to the subject fairly soon.

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