You are here: Home > This Month's Highlight > 2012 Archive > September 2012: A New Toll Collector for Cookham Bridge

September 2012: A New Toll Collector for Cookham Bridge

Toll collector's family at Cookham, 1902

This photograph was taken as a house-warmer for Arthur and Ethel Sewell.  They had just moved from Wimbledon for Arthur to take up work as the new toll collector on Cookham Bridge.

It was summer 1902, and Arthur and Ethel are also showing off their first baby, daughter Christine.

Cookham Bridge was effectively a Victorian PFI initiative.  It was run by a private company, who in turn mortgaged the tolls each year to a speculator who employed a toll keeper.  The keeper and his family got to live in the toll house, which had been built in 1839 to the designs of a man known only as 'Mr Pratt'.

The toll house is still there today on the Buckinghamshire side of the river, though it has been much restored.  When the payment of tolls became increasingly unpopular, the Bridge Company was purchased by Berkshire County Council and the crossing made free.

After Arthur's service as toll keeper the Sewells moved to Warwickshire, where Arthur ran a shop.  Baby Christine grew up to work in public service and later received an MBE.

Toll collector's family at Cookham, 1902

 

Leave a Comment

Fields marked with a * are required

1 response(s) so far…

James Hatch
Posted on the : 13 Nov 2012

Very interesting indeed, as I am very much into the past history of Cookham, see my blog: http://widbrook2.blogspot.com

 

Latest News
We're Accredited!
The BRO is now an Accredited Archive Service
10,000th collection received at the BRO
The Berkshire Record Office celebrates receiving its 10,000th accession
Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol online exhibition
New online gallery showcases Oscar Wilde and Reading prison
Distance Enquiry Services Survey 2015 Results
The results of the CIPFA Distance Survey for the BRO are now available
Survey of Visitors to UK Archives 2014 Results
The results of the PSQG Survey 2014 relating to the BRO are now available
Follow us on Twitter and Find Us on Facebook
Follow the Berkshire Record Office on Twitter

Latest Galleries

Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol

Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol
Biographies of Wilde and Berkshire's Victorian prison

Small Objects of Power

Small Objects of Power
An Exhibition about Medieval Seals

Enemies of the State

Enemies of the State
Irish Patriots in Reading Gaol

The Berkshire Echo

The Berkshire Echo 80
July 2017: The Assizes - A Reading Judge - Applause in Court: the juror's tal...