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Brampton Institute

Photo Brampton InstituteHunts County News, Saturday, 23rd January 1897

The New Institute at Brampton
A Munificent Gift

Few villages have the advantage of such splendid rooms in connection with their reading club as now have been placed at the disposal of the parishioners of Brampton.  As is well known in the locality, a building hitherto to be known as “The Institute” has for several months past been in course of erection on the site formerly occupied by the Whitehall.  Indeed, the structure above represented was commenced as long ago as last May.  It is to the generosity of Mr John Newberry that Brampton owes the unique advantages it now enjoys; that gentleman having borne the whole expense.  The Institute has not yet been formally opened, this being a ceremony which is to take place in the very near future.  However, on Monday the members of the reading club took possession of their new quarters consisting of the two rooms on the ground floor facing the street.   Hitherto the reading-room was held at the Cross-rooms for some two seasons, and so far during the present winter rooms have been temporarily hired from Mr Crawley awaiting the completion of the institute.

The building, it will be seen, is erected in two gables, in the centre being a portico, with balcony above, and viewed from the street it certainly looks very imposing.  The material used is white brick, faced with red, and the roof is slated.  The rooms taken over on Monday consist of reading room on the right hand side of the entrance; the room on the opposite side being devoted to games of all descriptions.  Each of the apartments measures 20ft by 18ft with square bays 10ft by 4ft each being of exactly the same dimensions.  So far these are the only rooms which may be said to be open, but above there is a lecture room, measuring 45ft by 20ft and extending the entire length of the building.  This, however, does not represent the whole width of the structure, which altogether amounts to 65ft.

The lecture hall is a very comfortable apartment, and like the lower rooms is handsomely furnished.  The ceiling is composed of matchboarding on turned trusses, stained and varnished.  Here there is a moveable platform, which can be erected in one or two sections as preferred.  The room is capable, it is believed, of accommodating 200 persons, as many as 150 chairs having been provided.  It is intended that the hall shall be open to villagers for concerts, entertainments, etc on application to Mr Newberry.  In addition to the above, there are caretaker’s rooms, a spacious hall and landing, kitchen, scullery  and bathroom, cellar, cloakroom 14ft by 14ft and other accommodation and six bedrooms.  The living department is occupied by the Rev. J Parr, the pastor of the Union Chapel.  The walls of the various apartments at present look somewhat bare, but when thoroughly dry, they, of course, will be papered or coloured.

As already stated, the rooms have been elaborately furnished at the cost of Mr John Newberry and the floors covered with linoleum.  Indeed this is quite a model of village clubs.  The firing and lighting are also supplied by the generous donor, all that the society really have to do is to provide the daily papers and periodicals, and pay for the cleaning of the two rooms.

On Monday evening there was a large attendance.  The rooms were opened at six o’clock and shortly after that hour Mr Temple Layton, one of the vice-presidents, Mrs Temple Layton and several of the committee were present.  The rooms looked very cosy and comfortable.  At present they are lighted with oil lamps placed on the mantel pieces and tables, but, undoubtedly, some better method will be adopted, such, for instance, as hanging lamps, by means of which more light can be thrown down to the tables.  In the reading room is a small library, and in the other room all manner of games, such as draughts, etc, are provided, including bagatelle.  The existing table, it is stated, is soon to be supplemented by a new one.  It may also be mentioned that coffee and cocoa are supplied at eight o’clock each evening at a nominal charge of one penny so that both recreation and refreshment may be obtained.

The membership of the reading room is about 70, and it is earnestly to be hoped that with such handsome surroundings the number will considerably increase.  Hitherto the club has only been carried on during the winter months but the institute will keep open all the year round.  The villagers now have only to show their appreciation at what has so kindly been placed at their disposal.

The officers of the reading room are:-

President, the Earl of Sandwich; vice-presidents Messrs C Temple Layton, B Beasley, sen., J Bird, W Windle Taylor, Revs H F Burnaby, H S Budge and J Parr, secretary Mr W H Riddiford; treasurer , Mr C Temple Layton; assistant secretaries, Messrs A Brown and H Fairey; committee, Rev J Parr, Messrs B Beasley, jun., W Wright, E J Emery, S Croot, W Elvidge, A Sharp, J Howland, W Abaraham and Lindsey Keane.

At the formal opening it is hoped that Lord Sandwich and Mr John Newberry will be present.

It should be added that the architect was Mr John Bird, and the builder, Mr Allen, both of Brampton.

Hunts County News, Saturday, 30th January, 1897

The New Institute

A dinner for the workmen who had been engaged in the erection of the new institute took place on Wednesday evening (27 Jan).  A sumptuous repast in the old English style was provided in the spacious lecture-room, those present numbering 55, including Mr John Bird, the architect who presided, Mr G Newberry and Mr M J Allen, the builder.  Various toasts were given.  Mr G Newberry, who replied in the absence of Mr John Newberry congratulated the architect and builder on the splendid manner in which they had carried out their work.  A pleasant evening was spent, tea, coffee, etc, being provided.  Songs were given by the workmen, music by Miss Parr at intervals and a humorous speech by the Rev J Parr who congratulated all concerned.  A recitation was also given by Miss Maud Parr.  Mr Thomas Smith was the caterer.

The party dispersed about 11.