We have recently completed our Late Victorian Wokingham project. This is a major piece of original research, undertaken over a period of eight years, which has examined Wokingham in 1901 and looked at changes over the previous fifty years. We have produced a book of 140 plus pages, with many colour diagrams and charts, and are delighted to have had it published.
The book uses data from the 1901 census as its starting point and, by also using newspapers, directories and other records of the time, the group has been able to highlight the changes over the intervening fifty years. For example, what had been the impact of the growth of the railways; what occupations had declined or disappeared and what new ones had come on the scene; how were the demographics of life expectancy and movement of populations reflected in the local community? It is also fascinating to see what of Wokingham in 1901is recognisable today, and discover in what ways we can identify with our local predecessors in how they lived and what they did for work and pleasure. During this project we have learnt an enormous amount about life in 1901 Wokingham and how it had changed over the previous fifty years. We have had a lot of fun in researching the various topics and if you would like to know more, or join us in our next project, please contact Paul King, firstname.lastname@example.org
The group meets monthly to compare research or visit sources of further material, e.g. Reading Local History Centre and National Monument Record.
We are considering our next project which is going to extend the examination of Wokingham beyond the year of 1901. Currently an in-depth review of some streets, examination of health and the role of women are being undertaken. We would welcome additional members who have an interest in researching Wokingham’s past and have ideas of what they would like to investigate.