Monday, March 03, 2014


The Reading Rooms: 150 years of Literary and Social Enjoyment in Billericay.


This weekend sees a rather special event. Thanks to a mighty effort by the Trustees of the 150 year old Reading Rooms at 73 High Street, Billericay and the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Reading Rooms which we use so often, will be in the spotlight. 


In the 150 years of its proud history, the Rooms have been about reading, newspapers, books, about people discovering great authors such as Charles Dickens and creating social pleasure for the townsfolk.


It was the brainchild of the Trustees to approach the Heritage Lottery Fund to help make 150 years a wonderful occasion. Through the Sharing Heritage grant programme, £4,800 was awarded to the Trust to explore the history of the Reading Rooms in partnership with local schools. As part of this project, a Victorian style celebration and exhibition will now take place over the weekend of March 7 (by special invitation that day)  but open to the public on 8th and 9th.


On offer will be a Victorian menu, with Victorian cakes and biscuits as our ancestors used to make. Mouth-watering!


The Trustees have brought the event into the modern era by asking four local schools to take up the challenge of exploring the Victorian era. Buttsbury Junior School,  St John’s School. St Peter’s Catholic Primary School and Quilters Junior School responded and all four will be contributing in their own chosen way – displays, wall-hangings, special projects. They prepared by attending the Billericay Cater Museum and the Braintree Victorian Museum for information and research.  Well worth a visit.




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