The Keeley Cottages.
I often wonder if new residents to Cookham know the history behind the house that they now call home. This is the story about a family that were very much involved in the cottage industry of boot and shoe making, which were not only sold locally but found their way to the fashion houses of London.
Such is the story of John Keeley who seemed to have moved from Clewer near Windsor, after marrying his wife Ellen in 1831. From what I can gather they had about ten children, and as in those days some of them died at a very tender age. There was one son Edward who followed into his fathers business having been born in 1838. When John Keeley died in 1896. Ted took over the business according to the census of 1901.
Ted was a very devoted Christian and a regular attendee at Holy Trinity Church and also a very enthusiastic and dedicated bell ringer. He was the driving force in forming what is now known as the East Berks and South Bucks Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers.
When he died at the age of 93 he was at that time the oldest resident of the village he was buried in his beloved churchyard to the sound of an half muffled peal from the then six ring of bells. He would I am sure, be pleased to know that there are now ten bells in the tower.
He was by all events a very early riser and the expression he was well known for when greeting village folk after seven a.m. “Yes! It’s been a nice day.”
With many thanks to Velma Dinkley, who supplied me with some of this information.