DescriptionWilliam Goodchild, of Waterloo Lodge, was said to be part and parcel of Wokingham. He took an interest in almost everything relating to the town and it was said that no public meeting was complete without him. Scarcely any undertaking for the general welfare was initiated without his advice and cooperation.
A kind hearted man, he sometimes opened the grounds of Waterloo Lodge and supplied entertainment for everyone. On February 1st 1879 the Reading Mercury reported:-
"On Tuesday the 23rd Ult., Mr Goodchild, the ex Alderman invited his fellow townspeople to spend an evening on the ice on the ornamental water on his property at Waterloo. The large space was well lighted by burning tar barrels, Chinese lanterns and torches. Between 300 and 400 people assembled and all appeared to heartily enjoy themselves. Messrs. L and T Carroll, Messrs. H and H Roberts and others formed themselves into a glee party and sang some part songs and glees. The handbell ringers were also in attendance and much enlivened the proceedings. A large fire was kept burning on the centre island from whence a display of fireworks took place. Mr. W Chambers supplied the refreshments."
William married Ann (1821-1889) in 1853. There were no children.
He and Edwin Ifould were partners in the company of Goodchild and Ifould, a butcher business with premises in the Market Place. Recognised as one of the keenest judges and most reliable buyers, William attended Reading and other cattle markets. Unfortunately, because of his poor health, he became a sleeping partner.
In addition to his civic duties William was chairman of the Wokingham Investment Company; a director of Wokingham Gas & Coke Company; a director of Wokingham District Water Company; a manager of the Wokingham Savings Bank; a trustee of the First Wokingham & Bracknell No. 541 Starr-Bowkett Building Society; a governor of the Palmer Schools; until shortly before his death, a churchwarden of All Saints Parish Church.
A keen cricketer, he was an original member of the Wokingham Cricket Club and captain for many years.
William died from a gunshot wound on the 27th January 1890 while shooting moorhens in the grounds of his home. The verdict at the inquest was that, due to insufficient evidence, it could not be determined whether his wound was self-inflicted or accidental.
A stained glass window was placed by the west door of All Saints Church to his memory. The subject is the Canticles of Morning and Evening Prayer. Beneath the window is a brass plate (no longer visible) bearing the inscription—
TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF WILLIAM GOODCHILD OF WATERLOO LODGE IN THIS PARISH, THIS WINDOW IS ERECTED BY HIS WIDOW—HE WAS 19 YEARS CHURCHWARDEN FOR THE TOWN &; SIX TIMES CHIEF MAGISTRATE OF THE BOROUGH. HE ENTERED INTO REST JAN. 27, 1890. AGED 62 YEARS.
Goodchild Road, off Easthampstead Road, was named in his memory.
SourceFormer Mayors of Wokingham from 1885 - 1946, by J Bell.
“William Goodchild,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed August 15, 2020, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0130.