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198 High Street Cottenham

198 High Street, Philo Union, Victoria Institute, Conservative Club, Cottenham Club, Cottenham

History of 198 High Street

1853 The Philo Union Reading Room built. ‘Philo’ referred to ‘Philology.’

Philo Union Reading Room , pre 1895 (photo E Smith)

1895 Fred Smith, member of Cottenham threshing machine family, returned from Africa having made a fortune in a diamond mine. He purchased Lordship House, demolished the Philo and used Rayments to build the Victoria Institute.

Victoria Institute acquired by John Morlin Goode of Mitchell House and name changed to Constitutional Club.

1920 Mr Kirby of Over opened the Electric Cinema in the Lordship Hall at the rear of the Club.

1928 The seat outside the Constitutional Club was brought here from the Margett Street School when new two seater desks were installed.

1930 Mr Goode died.

1932 His widow, Elizabeth Amelia, left the building to the Cottenham and Rampton Conservative Association when she died. Named the Conservative Club.

1938 this was a dreadful year for agriculture in the village because of a severe frost followed by a drought. Local men gathered on the seat to discuss the crop failure and it became known as the Cottenham Parliament.

See Cottenham in Focus (2002)


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