Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Toll Bridge Cottage

The Toll Bridge Cottage.
Interest has been shown recently in how the Wheeler family who collected the tolls from those who wished to use the bridge in either direction. The daytime living space for the family was on the top level of the cottage and the sleeping accomodation was on the lower floor. The Wheeler family had one daughter that I know of, who went by the nick name of "Dinks", how that came about I do not know, most likely by her school chums. Village children were great in my day of coming up with nick names. For instance one boy went by the nick name of "Toots" another by "Pepper." So it is quite easy to see how Miss Wheeler, now Mrs. Chaney was so dubbed. She was married and moved shortly after the tolls were abolished.
The yellow block is to show where a sentry-like porch was built as a shelter for either Mr. or Mrs. Wheeler sit in and to collect the tolls from passing traffic. Mrs. Wheeler use to pass the time doing petty point, for she came well known.
The bridge was built as a toll bridge to replace a former wooden structure in 1867 by the Pinder Brown family, from which the village benefited from a share in the profits. For instance The Pinder Hall was built and paid for from money that had been raised from bridge tolls. I remember that in 1936 I took part in a Holy Trinity school concert, in which the senior classes put on "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", with Elsie Hales playing Snow White.
I will be doing more on the Cookham Bridge in a later blog, when I have finished my research.

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