Located in Main Road, Lacey Green, The Reading Room was situated close to the School, with the ground boundary only 7 feet away. The building was of wooden construction, with a corrugated iron roof.
The land frontage of the plot up Main Road, going North from the post box, was approximately 105 feet deep. The depth of the plot from Main Road into the field was approximately 42 feet.
It is thought (now confirmed, see below) that John Forrest of Grimsdyke may possibly have had the building erected for the benefit of the villagers, (men only it is thought), but this is uncertain.
Another contender would be Charles Brown of Stocken Farm. The building was certainly in existence as early as 1895 when Thomas Poulton of Grimsdyke Farm is recorded as the Secretary. Sadly, however, the records remain silent on the history of the building.
In approximately 1924/25, John Saunders acquired the property, and converted it into a dwelling. His son Will and wife Flo, together with their children Ted, Maurice (Mosh), and Millicent, went to live there. It is thought that the building, at this time, was extended at one end, making three large rooms with a narrow area at the back for a kitchen, larder, copper, sink and pump, leading to the back door. It was known as "Cromleigh".
Mr and Mrs G. Rixon and their son. Leslie, lived there from 1939 until late 1951.
Soon after the Rixons left, it was sold by Will Saunders to Gordon Davis and his wife, Pat. They later had two children, Larry and Susan.
They further extended the original Reading Room in the 1960s, adding a further bedroom facing South, looking towards the School. They also erected a precast garage in the grounds.
The Davis family lived in the property until the late 1970s, when they moved.
The building was then sold to Bucks County Council as a residence for the Caretaker of Lacy Green C of E School. The caretaker and his wife eventually moved out, the building fell into disrepair, and was finally demolished.
By mutual agreement with Bucks County Council, the land was divided between the school and the property known as "Coolangatta". This was in the early 1980s. A new boundary was erected, which is still in place today (2011). This was to enable the main entrance of the School to be used by the pupils.
Further research has confirmed the owner and benefactor to be John Forrest. The following references are appended from the Bucks Herald:
Bucks Herald 10.11.1888
THE READING ROOM. - A meeting of the members was held in the above room on Monday last for the purpose of passing the accounts for the past year. The room is a neat wooden structure nicely lined inside with stained and varnished match boarding and heated by a stove. It is fitted up with all necessary furniture - chairs, tables, bookshelves, lamps &c,. And was thus given to the members, rent free, wholly through the kindness and liberality of Mr. J. Forrest, Grymsdyke lodge, by whom it was built and fitted up. The room has been weekly supplied with the Graphic, Illustrated London News, and Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, by Mr. & Mrs. Forrest and other friends. Two daily and other papers are also supplied by the committee. The room contains some volumes of useful books, an atlas, dictionary, map of England, &c., which have been given by friends and well-wishers; and the balance-sheet which we append, affords some testimony how fully their kindness is appreciated. Abundant proof has been furnished that the members enjoy their evenings in a warm and comfortable room, amidst their games and papers, much more fully than they would at the street corners or public house. The room is managed by a committee of six of the members, who are young men and labourers. Appended is the treasurer's balance sheet from the 1st July, 1886, to 31st October 1888; - Receipts: Members' subscriptions, £ 16 : 0 : 6 ; sale of grass. 3s. 6d. ; sale of old newspapers, £2 ; sale of clock, 5s. : total £18 : 9. Payments : Lighting (oil &c.), £1 : 5 : 9 ; coals, 25s. 9d. ; newspapers, £3 : 7 : 1 ; cleaning, &c., 14s ; alterations, 10s.; new clock and games, 9s. 9d. ; new lamp, 3s. ; balance in hand, £0 : 13 : 8. The only liability outstanding is 3s. 3d. for newspaper subscriptions.
Bucks Herald 28.10.1891
THE READING ROOM. - A meeting of the members was held in the above room on Monday 16th inst., for the purpose of examining the accounts of the past year. These were presented by the treasurer, Mr. T, Poulton and were examined and passed by the president, Mr. J. Forrest, showing a balance in hand of £14:2:1. A vote of thanks was given to Mrs. Forest for the papers kindly supplied by her; also to Mr. Forrest for the use of the Room and other kind help. It was also proposed by one of the committee, seconded and heartily agreed to by all present that a ton of coals be given from the amount in hand to the widow of the late George Adams; the man was killed by lightning. The coal has since been delivered and Mrs, Adams has given to the members her heartfelt thanks for the same. It is hoped that the Room mmay prosper in the future as it has in the past and be a pleasant meeting place of warmth and happy enjoyment for many years to come. During the cold winter months it is most fully and enjoyably appreciated. It may be added that it is wholl managed and carried on by the members themselves and a committee of six chosen from their numbers, who are mainly or wholly labourers.
Bucks Herald 28.10.1899
THE READING ROOM --The annual meeting in connection with this institution was held on Monday, when there was a large attendance of members. Mr. A. Brown presided, and the Treasurers, Mr. F. Currell and Mr. Forrest, presented the accounts for the year, which showed a balance of £9: 9 : 1½ in favour of the Club. During the thirteen years of its existence (the room having been opened in 1886), it has provided many hours of recreation and enjoyment to the members, more especially during the winter evenings; but never more so than at present, when it has, by a plentiful supply of daily papers, enabled them to study for themselves the latest war news, which is eagerly followed from day to day by the many members who present themselves each equally keen to know the "latest intelligence." The membership at present numbers about thirty and is steadily increasing, thus testifying to the uniqueness and also to the appreciation if the Room in the parish.
Bucks Herald 13.02.1909
THE READING ROOM -- Owing to s many members havin joined the Reading Room, Mr. Forrest (to whom it belongs) has kindly had it enlarged - a boon which is highly appreciated by the embersand for which he has been heartily thanked.