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A new chapter for Thatcham historian

Historical Society chairman has been invited to write a book about the town as part of a UK series

A THATCHAM historian has been commissioned to write a history book about the town.

Dr Nick Young, the chairman of Thatcham Historical Society, will look at how the town has changed over the years, as part of a series of books looking at towns around the UK.

The book will be about 96 pages, with each double page spread featuring an old and recent photograph and some text about the history of the area.

Dr Young said: “If you have a text book, people just pick it up and put it down.

“You pick up a book with pictures and you look at it.

“I'm hoping people of all ages will look at it.

“When you get children looking at old pictures, they ignore them because they don't know where they are.

“We are hoping that modern pictures will make them look at them.”

He has enlisted the help of local people, who have been providing photos and said that it was going to be a real community effort.

“Some of the people have their own stories behind them [the photos] and that's another part of it – you have to listen to their stories and document them.

“I'm very much looking forward to it.

“Some of the stories I have already got are amazing."

Dr Young said that although he was pleased at being approached to create the book, he was nervous about the project as the publishing company initially wanted historian Peter Allen to compile the book, unaware that he died in 2009.

Mr Allen, who was a published author, a teacher at Kennet School and former columnist for the Newbury Weekly News, was project manager of Thatcham Vision, chairman of the Old

Bluecoat School Charity and a member of the Thatcham Historical Society.

Dr Young said: “I'm taking on Peter Allen's role and I've got to live up to that.

“The way I'm looking at it is that I've got to do a good job by doing what I think Peter would have done.”

He added that he hoped the book would make people remember the vast history in the town.

He said: “We should not forget the history and heritage we have on our doorstep.”

The publishing company, History Press, is planning to make the book available in time for Christmas.

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