The Forster Institute Waterloo Road Linslade
The Forster Institute in Waterloo Road June 2008
The Forster Institute stands in Waterloo Road. It was built in 1890 to replace the parish Reading Room in New Road; the foundation stone was laid on 11th June by Mrs.C.M.Forster in memory of her husband.
The building was designed by J.T.Lawrence, who lived at Binfield in Stoke Road and cost just over £1,000. It was built as an adult school with the purpose of educating local working men who may not have received a particularly thorough education at either the National or, later, Board School in the town, or in the locality they originally came from (the railway had, both by itself, and by the trade and industry it attracted, encouraged many people to move to Linslade in the preceding half century). Mrs.Forster remarried, becoming Mrs.Simpson, and lived in Linslade House in Church Road.
Directories can help to build up a partial list of 19th and early 20th century secretaries of the Institute (dates are not the beginning and end dates, simply the first and last known dates):
1899: T.Lloyd, secretary (Thomas Lloyd and son, booksellers, Post Office, New Road)
1903: Alban Fathers junior;
1931: Bert William Oliver (grocer at 34 New Road);
1939: George Page, secretary.