Notices and Newsletters
2019 Annual General Meeting
The 2019 Annual General Meeting was held at 7.30pm on Monday 20th May at the Berkshire Record Office, 9 Coley Avenue, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 6AF. Following the AGM Mrs Joan Dils discussed her forthcoming volume, Tudor and early Stuart Churchwardens’ Accounts of Stanford-in-the-Vale.
Volume 26 - Berkshire Schools in the Eighteenth Century
Volume 26, Berkshire Schools in the Eighteenth Century, was launched at the Berkshire Record Office, Reading, on Monday 25th February 2019.
In 1833 the Government provided the first public money for schools; within 70 years there was a national system of primary and secondary education covering every place in every county. These milestones built on what had existed earlier: a complex patchwork of charity, religious and private schools – many of which are now long gone, having left little evidence of their existence. This volume recreates that pre-1833 picture and, in doing so, celebrates the wide range of schooling offered in Georgian Berkshire. Volume 26 will be available to members of the Berkshire Record Society as part of their 2018 subscription. The price to non-members of the Society is £25.00 (plus £2.50 Post and Packaging).
Volume 25 - Records of Reading Abbey
To coincide with the re-opening of the ruins of Reading Abbey, Berkshire Reading Society published volume 25, Reading Abbey Records - a new miscellany, edited by Brian Kemp, on 23rd June 2018. Volume 25 is available to members of the Berkshire Record Society as part of their 2018 subscription. The price to non-members of the Society is £12.50 (plus £2.50 Post and Packaging).
Volumes 23 and 24 - Berkshire Feet of Fines, 1307-1509
In December 2017 the Berkshire Record Society published volumes 23 and 24, Berkshire Feet of Fines, 1307-1509, edited by Dr Margaret Yates, in two parts.
The volumes contain abstracts of all the fines in the records of the county of Berkshire, amounting to 1,581 fines for the reigns of Edward II to Henry VII. The Introduction discusses the nature of the documents and their constituent features, and provides an indication of their use as historical evidence revealing a wealth of information about Berkshire’s landowners and their properties.
Volume 22 - Newbury and Chilton Pond Turnpike Records 1766-1791
In May 2017 the Berkshire Record Society published volume 22, Newbury and Chilton Pond Turnpike Records 1766-1791, edited by Jeremy Sims.
The Berkshire section of the Andover, Newbury and Chilton Pond turnpike ran from Wash Water, just south of Newbury, to the pond just west of the village of Chilton on the Berkshire downs. Here it met the turnpike from Oxford. From Newbury, a short spur ran to the Newtown river, south of Sandleford, where it met the turnpike from Winchester. The road, which in the twentieth century became the A34, thus formed an important link in the route from Southampton and Winchester to Oxford and the Midlands.
The surviving records of the turnpike trust – comprehensive minutes and detailed accounts for the period 1766 -1791 – make this the best documented of all Berkshire's eighteenth-century turnpikes. Through them we learn how the road was planned and how the funds were secured to get the turnpike trust established. They show the practical difficulties of raising and spending money and of negotiating with interested parties, and show also how the road was maintained and improved and how attempts were made to control its use. Along the way we meet a great many of the people who, in way or another, were connected with the turnpike trust. There were the promoters of the project and the turnpike trustees, the people who subscribed money, the officers of the trust — the clerks, the surveyors, the gatekeepers and other servants of the trust — as well as many of the local users. Editions of turnpike records are relatively rare among the publications of English county record societies. This volume will be a rich source, not just for the history of this trust but also for the wider story of turnpikes in Berkshire and beyond.
In 2015 the Berkshire Record Society came of age with the publication of its twenty-first volume. In this short article, the General Editor, Dr Peter Durrant highlights this achievement.