THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS. 255
professional services to the charity, which were gratefully accepted. For a long period the institution did good work therapeutically, but was less successful financially. Mr. Rogers controlled the finance department as honorary secretary until January, 1865, when he tendered his resignation of this office, and was succeeded by the Rev. C. W. Payne Crawfurd, who still carries out its duties. It may be remarked that the position of the Dispensary now greatly differs from that which it held at its incep­tion. It then occupied a hired house, there was no patients' waiting room, the medical officers received no salary, the credit balance was at zero. But the curtain has risen on a transformation scene. The freehold house has been purchased and vested in trustees, a commodious waiting room has been supplied, the medical officers are salaried, there is a credit balance in Consols. The Com­mittee of Management embody the principal residents in the district, and the average annual number of medical, surgical and dental cases treated may be taken to be about
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTIONS.
One hundred years ago, when circulating libraries in the country were unknown, book clubs were common institutions in the country districts. Some survive in parts of Cardiganshire to the present day. A number of people associated together and each was allowed to order books to a given amount. These were then circu­lated for a year in regular order amongst the members, and at the end of 12 months each member had the first privilege of purchasing any book which he had ordered at a given discount, and those books which were not so disposed of were put up to auction among the members generally and a fresh stock procured for the following year. A club of this kind existed in East Grinstead, at any rate, from 1811 to 1841, and possibly for a much longer period. The only relic of it now is a decanter waggon (for passing the decanters round the table after dinner) in the form of a large boat mounted on wheels,
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