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Children at 42 Forest Road, Lydney, Gloucestershire.

No 42 Forest Road, Lydney

42 Forest Road, Lydney

Peter wrote: (November 2007): "There is writing on the back of the photo saying "About to get wet, March 1953 -this is more likely 1954" but I'm not convinced of the exact date as I would have thought our clothing was a bit on the light side for March.

There is no doubt about the venue. It is a plank across the River Lyd alias Cannop Brook alias Newerne Stream at the bottom of 42 Forest Road, Lydney where our grandparents lived. David, furthest to the right in the photo, would have been living in Bathurst Park, Lydney, shortly afterwards, having moved there from Ross-on-Wye. My sister and I would have been at Forest Road on holiday. I am the one giving apparently erudite instruction in fishing (about which I knew absolutely nothing - typical London know-all kidology!) to the bored guy on the left who I am almost certain is Keith Little who lived at No. 44.

If the date 1954 is correct, I am aged 10 and my sister is 7 whilst David, I think, would have been about 6.

The significance of "About to get wet" is that my sister and I hardly ever stayed in Lydney without falling in the brook or, preferably, the static and extremely mucky Pidcock's Canal just above it.

As for Keith, it's a long shot but when my wife and I were staying near Coleford in June this year I noticed an advert somewhere for a social event which was to feature "Keith Little's famous band". I have a vague recollection that somebody in a house neighbouring my grandparents played a trumpet which our grandmother denounced vociferously each time it was blown. I think Keith was a year older than me. Other guys living nearby in Forest Road and whose names I remember were Billy Grant, Carl Cox and Tudor Powell (possibly spelt "Tydwr" as the family were Welsh).

The house at 42 was then inhabited by our grandparents William Frank Essex and his wife Frances nee Sterr(e)y - her family having been long-standing occupants of 29 Albert Street, Lydney - who were members of Lydney Springfield Methodist chapel, and William Frank had been a member of Lydney Rural District Council as well as something stratospheric in the freemasons.


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