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That’s our dad in that picture
LAST week we appealed for information about a photograph of the 3rd Swindon Scouts which turned up at a car boot sale.
Within 24 hours we were contacted by a son of one of the young men, who told us the image was far older than we’d thought.
Maurice Small, 70, from Gorse Hill, revealed that the man sitting to the left of the vicar in the photograph was his late father, Edward.
Mr Small and wife Evelyn read the Swindon Advertiser every day but they weren’t the first members of the family to spot last week’s Remember When.
“My eldest sister, Jean, saw it in the paper,” said Mr Small. “She phoned my other sister, Beryl, and Beryl phoned me. I’d never seen a copy of that photograph before.
“My father would have been 18 or 20 years old when this photograph was taken. He was a Scout leader.”
Because of his age at the time it seems the image was captured in or around 1920, making it much older than our initial estimate.
Edward William Small was born in Rose Street on August 13, 1902 and was a railway worker. He married Minnie on Christmas Day, 1924, and the couple had nine children of whom seven survive. Edward died in 1949 and Minnie in 1978.
Maurice Small believes the photograph may have been taken in a Methodist chapel on the site of what is now 125 House, a short distance from the station. He added: “As soon as I saw the picture, I knew it was our dad. I was only seven when he died, but I can remember him doing little jobs around the house.”
Another of the children, 78-year-old Roy, also got in touch after seeing the photograph. He thinks the location may have been a Methodist chapel in Percy Street or the church building in Faringdon Road which is now a youth centre and housed the Swindon Railway Museum before Steam opened.
Roy, who lives in Greenmeadow, said of his father: “He was a good man. You can tell that by his activities outside work. He was a scoutmaster, he ran the football club for Even Swindon in Percy Street and he was an ARP warden during the war. He was also an AEU shop steward.”
Vieve Forward, the Swindon artist who bought the photograph for 50p at a car boot sale last month, was delighted to learn it had stirred some memories.
“It’s fabulous that you have found that out,” she said. “I’m also surprised that it’s so old – I would never have thought it.”
Vieve plans to donate the image to the Swindon Collection at the Central Library.
If you have any further information about the photograph or need help to identify an image of your own, please call 01793 501821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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