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The Parish magazine is a rich source of historical information.
- Sample page of adverts from parish magazine, 1871.
The Parish Magazines:
The Hungerford Parish Magazine was first published in 1867. For the first 25 years or so of its existence, it was the village newspaper - no other district news, no diocesan news - just the happenings in Hungerford, Eddington, Sanden Fee and Denford.
A very great deal was happening in that last 25 years of the century:
- the building of the new Town Hall;
- the alteration & improvement of St. Lawrence's Church;
- improvements to the roads, the railway and
- the new schools. All children, after 1872, had to go to school until they were 12 years old.
All this was written in the magazine - even the weather; Stock Fairs - 8000 sheep were penned on the Common of Fair Day; Train Timetables; and the dancing bear which knocked down & injured a child in the High Street!
In 1878 advertisements were added to the Magazine. This paid for the printing. 400 copies were sold that year and at a cost of 2s 6d a year, it was worth it!
Mr. Franklin was the printer. He also did Invitation Cards, Calling Cards, Notices etc. and he had the only Circulating Library in the district.
Then there was Miss Carter, dressmaker, who had taken over the business from her Aunt and reminded her customers that she "hopes, by strict attention to
detail & moderate charges, to share the same patronage for so many years bestowed upon her Aunt."
If you wanted to do your own sewing then there was "The Watch Clock, Jewellery & Sewing Machine Club." You could buy a sewing machine for £1 15s, or pay 1s a week until you had finally purchased it.
If you wanted a hat, and no decent woman went without a hat on a Sunday, you could go to E A Richardson, who could make a felt or straw hat for you. And when you got tired of it she would take it back and re-model & re-dye it for next year.
There were two chemists. They supplied the ordinary patent & homeopathic medicines & such items as sulphur candles, horse liniment & leeches (did they sell leeches or just hire them out - & who cared for them when they were 'off duty' so to speak?!).
Mr. Joseph Alexander brought you coal at "reasonable" prices - 9 different types. You could choose between "Somerset", "Forest of Dean", Ruabon" and "Silkstone".
There are many advertisements for events, local shops and traders, as well as articles about many clubs and societies.
Notes from the Parish Magazine, 1870-71:
- George Cherry - appointed High Sherriff for 1871.
- New lamp innstalled at St Saviour's churchyard.
- Work starts on rebuilding the New Station at the railway (to be finished May 1871?).
- Nigh School (men and boys above 12) again in operation.
- Library for Clergy (founded by Dr Bray) augmented.
- National School, High Street (Mr & Mrs Pearce). 180 boys, 145 girls - total 325.
- Hungerford Newtown (Mrs Davies) - 70.
- Eddington Infant School (Miss Bunce) - 45.
- Sunday School increasing +++.
- Hungerford Newtown: small schoolroom bult "nearly 30 years ago". On Easter Tuesday a new building was opened in which school is held.
- Advert for Killick.
- Adverts for Westfield House SChool; M. Franklin; E. Chapman, Gun Maker, Bridge Street;
- Eddington Infant School - started 1869; Early 1869 - Miss Liddiard until Jul 1970, then Miss Bunce - much improved - 47 scholars.
- 1st anniversary of opening of school chapel at Newtown.
- Dr Bray's library - list of books.
Census (1st April): Hungerford 3055 (+54 in past year); of these 594 in Eddington and Newtown, and 152 in Union Workhouse.
Census: West of High Street etc 821; East of High Street etc 716; Smitham Bridge, Charnham Street, Barracks, Marsh 482; Moon Lane, Sanham Green, Stenden etc 290; Eddington & newtown 594; Union Workhouse 159; Total 3062.
Mr Pearce (Master of National School for 4 yrs) leaves - details.
- National School - new schoolroom roofed-in.
Scans of the Parish Magazine, available on-line:
Some pages have been scanned, and these extracts are available on-line: