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New history book takes a look at Maidenhead's past

A new history book that explores Maidenhead’s past is due to launch at the library in St Ives Road next week.

Written by Chris Atkins, a local history specialist who works at the library, Maidenhead: Facts, Photos and a Little Fiction includes information about the town’s pubs, streets and architecture.

The 48-year-old has worked on the compendium since 2014, and finished it earlier this year.

“Three-quarters of the pictures have never been published in a book about Maidenhead that I’m aware of,” Chris said.

He researched much of his information from sources available online, and made use of the web to ensure the myriad facts he already knew about the town were accurate.

The photos, which range from modern-day shots to black-and-white pictures from more than a century ago, were acquired from the library’s archives, sources such as the Maidenhead Advertiser and Historic England, and people who helped Chris by allowing him to use photos they owned.

They were part of a string of helpers who assisted in the book’s production, with Chris’ mother contributing to the proof reading.

“People have been really generous with their time,” he said.

His favourite parts of the book include information on Formula One driver Sir Stirling Moss, who was brought up in Bray.

Other choice excerpts include a description of Maidenhead’s ‘big three’ breweries, and stories of the 1947 flood, which saw tanks roll down Bridge Road and the mayor, Dr Osmund Frank, help raise thousands of pounds for flood relief.

Chris will attend the launch event, which will take place at the library on Tuesday at 7.30pm.

Email maidenhead.library@rbwm.gov.uk or call 01628 796969 to attend.

Maidenhead: Facts, Photos and a Little Fiction is self-published with Berforts in Hastings and will sell at £11.99.

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