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 http://angpav.blogspot.com/ , though you may have to search about a bit. Hopefully, I`ll be returning to the subject fairly soon.