Stevens 1887-12-23

Text, letter

Thomas Atkins said to me he should much like to see a reading room established in the village. “So should I, but I do not see how it is to be supported if we start one. I might get £10 or £12 to put up rooms. But it ought to be self supporting after that.”

“Certainly it should, Sir”. “Well, there would be required for rent etc., say

Rent 1s.  
Firing 2s.  
Papers etc 2s.  
Cleaning 2s.  
Lighting   6d.
  7s. 6d.


That is to say it would require 90 members at a penny per week each to keep the thing going even if it were started fully provided. Do you think we should be able to get that number of members, or anything near that number for say a couple of years?”

“I am sure you would not, Sir”

“I have thought about the matter ever since I have been at Sibford, and don’t see my way to starting it with any prospect of success.” There’s the rub, and Adkins saw it as well as I. He said there was a talk among the Quakers of starting one at Sibford Ferris, where there are certainly not half a dozen young working men.