Library Cottage is Number 1 Church Lane, (the alley between the High Street and The Croft). It stands behind what is now 7 & 8 High Street.
An advertisement in the Parish Magazine of 1871 states that "The Library Cottage Day School (established upwards of 3 years), conducted by Miss Sweeting. A thoroughly Sound English Education, with Plain and Fancy Needlework of all descriptions. Preparatory School for Little Boys". How surprising to find out that little boys did fancy needlework!.
It appears therefore to have been established around 1868. It is unclear when the school closed. It is thought that the north window from the "old" town hall was re-used in Library Cottage.
The school is not mentioned in any of the following directories: Post Office 1869, Kelly 1877,1891.
Mrs Dorothy Kittel (late of Dobbins, 88 High Street) explained that after the First World War, the building was used as a TOC H meeting house. [TOC H was a society formed in England to fight loneliness and hate, and to encourage Christian comradeship. Its name derives from the obsolete telegraphic code for T.H. - the initials of Talbot House, Poperinge, Belgium - the original headquarters of the society. The TOC H lamp was always lit at meetings]
The building housed a cadet's training room before the Second World War (Mrs Brenda Newton, Oak Lodge), and during the 1940s it was used as a library (downstairs) and the labour exchange (upstairs) (Mrs Joan Macey, late of 100 High Street).
The Rev Ardagh Walter and his wife Hazel lived here in the 1970s. In 1987 Mr Steve Hodges bought the building - then known as "The Old Town Library", and carried out renovations to the building.
- Library Cottage, Aug 2001
- Advert in Parish Magazine 1871 for Library Cottage Day School