Michael Blakeway was a retired history school-teacher, who came to retire to Hungerford in the early 1970s. He lived, with his wife June, at 13 Bridge Street, where they ran a delightful second-hand and antiquarian bookshop, Blakeway Books.
When Hugh Pihlens called a meeting in May 1979 to discuss the possibility of setting up a Historical Association, Michael was a key supporter, and became the Hungerford Historical Association's first Secretary. He was Chairman between 1984-1987.
When the HHA collected an increasing amount of archive material, Michael volunteered to make use of a room in his house as our first HHA Archives - "The Reading Room". The Archives were housed there from 1984-1995, then moving to the Methodist Church Hall in Bridge Street.
Michael gave two talks to the HHA:
- May 1986 - "Quarter Session Records"
- May 1988 - "Hungerford and the Nation in 1688".
In 1988 he published a book to commemorate the tri-centenary of the "Glorious Revolution", entitled "Hungerford and the Nation in 1688" [ISBN 0 9513582 0 0].
Michael Blakeway chaired the Buildings Group of the HHA from 1983-1988 when they researched many individual buildings of Bridge Street and High Street.
He was a keen photographer, particularly enjoying work in black-and-white. In 1982 he took a large series of photographs of buildings in Bridge Street, and more of the High Street in 1984. Together, this "Blakeway Photo Gallery" provides us with a valuable record of the town in the early 1980s.