Maidenhead Heritage Centre is running a project during Summer 2019 to collect photographs, documents and memories relating to the community that existed BEFORE Nicholson’s shopping centre.
The layout of the area changed very little for a hundred years up to 1960. Then, in turn, it became a car park, an open-air shopping centre, a covered shopping centre – and now has new owners with big plans. A recent community consultation by their architects JTP Studios suggested returning the area to a network of streets and lanes – with a micro-brewery.
Our aim is the build up a fuller profile of that original organic community with Nicholson’s brewery at its heart. It will be a historical foundation to help guide the plans for what comes next.
What material is wanted
The story of a place-based community is built up from:
- the layout – of streets and buildings
- the people – their family and neighbour relationships, employment and leisure patterns
- the activities – businesses, schools, pubs.
To piece together this story 60+ years on, we are interested in:
- Photographs – of people and places
- Letters, documents, commercial ephemera (invoices, bottle labels and the like)
- Desk research of business directories, electoral registers
- Ancestral histories
- Aural histories from people remembering the area, and diaries
Please have a look at the photographs on this page to check what is already in MHC’s collection. If you have something new to offer (that is related to this area before 1960), please let us have a look.
We are always happy to consider materials unrelated to this project. If you are reading this, and wish to offer something else, please contact Maidenhead Heritage Centre anyway.
How to provide images
We can scan photographs, slides, negatives and paper documents and books. It is your choice whether to donate the items to Maidenhead Heritage Centre’s collection or simply to loan them for copying. In both cases, as an “accredited” museum, we will ask you to grant us the rights to reproduce any images.
It is important to get good-quality scans. Using a phone camera is not usually good enough. If you wish to prepare scans yourselves – and just supply us with the image files – please ensure they are captured at 300dpi. Materials that can be sent to us electronically should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the package of files is large (5Mb or more), we recommend using WeTransfer.com – which is free to use.
Physical materials, including 3-dimensional objects, can be handed over to the front-of-house volunteers during our normal opening hours (Tuesday – Saturday 10am-4pm). You will be asked to sign a form covering the terms of the gift or loan, and we will confirm within a few days whether the items can be admitted. In some cases, our professional curator may need to undertake a more detailed assessment first.
We need to know the copyright status of all items. With photographs, please let us know as much as you can about who took the image. Owning a print does not necessarily mean you own the copyright of the content.
If the rights are owned by yourself, there are two choices:
- Assign the copyright to Maidenhead Heritage Trust (the charity behind the Maidenhead Heritage Centre), making us the beneficial owner
- Licence the copyright to MHT perpetually and royalty-free.
To understand the layout of the area, we recommend using this interactive map. Click on the image to open it in a new tab. The Full-Screen button (top-left) is worth pressing.
Historical maps are on the left, ranging from 1875 to 1968. A selection of contemporary maps and satellite images are on the right. The Development Proposals are one of the layers available on the right.
You can zoom in-and-out using the buttons, and drag the map with a mouse or two fingers on a tablet. A phone screen is probably too small, but we are working on a version suitable for small-screen mobile devices.
It has been tested on the leading browsers. The slider will not work on Microsoft Edge.
We have no photographs showing the south side of Moffatt Street, nor any of South Street and Sydenham Place.
We have no internal or close-up images of the brewery. There are a few photographs of the High Street frontage (published elsewhere), but we could do with more.
Keith Osborne, a collector of old brewery labels, has kindly granted access to some of his images. We have a small number of invoices and letters, which are now of historical interest, with a few shown here. Ephemera is not junk!