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Coleford High Street and Harriet Matilda Williams.

Coleford
(courtesy of Royston Pritchard)

Harriet Matilda Williams
Harriet Matilda Williams - photographed by J M Connop. Courtesy of Margaret Wilce


Margaret wrote (July 2007): "This a photograph of my husband Dennis' grandmother:- Harriet Matilda Williams born 8th January 1873. She was baptised at Parkend Church. Her father James Williams was a railway ganger. She married George Moss from Coates, Near Cirencester. They lived at lived at The Park, Upper Lydbrook and had eight children....I thought the Coleford photographer could be of interest to local people".

There is a 'James Morse Connop, photographer and innkeeper' mentioned by Dr Cyril Hart in his book on Coleford in connection with the trustees of the Weslyan chapel, opened in 1850 (it was sometimes known as 'Ebenezer') that once stood opposite the Studio cinema*.

The upper photo shows High Street, Coleford around 1960. The 'Red and White Services Ltd.' garage seems to be in operation behind the Triumph Herald car on the right. The cinema occupies the next building up Cinder Hill.

Thanks to Michael Stephens for adding (July 2007): "The Red and White garage closed in 1968 and services were transfered to Lydney, Monmouth, Cinderford, Chepstow and Ross",

Thanks to Dave Nash for adding (July 2007): "This photo should really be called High Street. Cinder Hill really begins past the Council Offices, which is the tall building above the cinema. On the left of the picture,as we look at it, are Mundays (tobacconist and hairdresser) and now the Credit Union shop, then Brittanic Assurance, now K.J. Toombs. After the Brittanic is the solicitors, not sure names of present occupiers. The post office was a Crown Office when this photo was taken, it later became a Sub Post Office; which is now at the back of Tesco's. The old Post Office is now used for collecting undelivered parcels from Royal mail. The next buildings were Adams decorators and hardware shop and above Adams was the Wesleyan chapel which by this time was being used as Coleford Library. Out of shot is the house where Miss Reeves, the owner of the cinema at this time lived. All three of these properties were demolished to make way for the shops we have today. At the time this photo was taken the goods train was still running from the quarry at Whitecliff to Parkend and you can see the advertising hording which is against the old railway bridge. Eventually the stone from the quarry was taken by lorry to Parkend and loaded on to railway trucks in the siding just opposite the Fountain Inn. Meanwhile in Coleford the track was taken up, the land filled in, the bridge was demolished and the car parking etc in use today was laid out".

Thanks also to Eric Gibson who added (November 2007): "The solicitors office next to the Brittanic when I arrived here in 1965 was called Taylor and Buchanan and was run in the main by a Welsh chap, Mr Evans who I believe lived with his wife Dorothy at Newland".

Anonymous comment: "Bob Roberts worked in the cinema from 1948 to 1953. Bob lived in Gloucester Road".

Jonathan Wilkey added (June 2011): "... The solicitors next to the Brittanic which used to be Taylor and Buchanan is now Gwyn James Solicitors who have offices in Coleford, Cinderford and Ross-on-Wye".

* Coleford - Cyril Hart, pub by Alan Sutton 1983.

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