OUR main photograph was taken in 1935 outside what are now council offices but was then Clarence Street Boys School.

A photographer was summoned to mark a school production of The Beggar’s Opera, a classic piece of 18th century musical theatre.

The poster for the production can just be made out in the centre of the image, and eagle-eyed readers - or those with magnifying glasses - will spot musical instruments in the hands of some of the children.

One of the boys in the five-by-three-inch photograph - it’s impossible to say which as the image is too small - is Joseph Richard Lewis, who was born in 1924 and lived until the age of 81.

We know this because the picture is one of the most treasured possessions of his daughter, Josie, who would be delighted if any Rewind readers are able to shed further light on life at the school in those days.

By 1935 Clarence Street School was already in its fifth decade, having been built in the late 19th century.

By the early 1960s, changing demographics and the building of other, more modern schools meant falling rolls. The building began a new life as offices.

Josie, who is fascinated by local history, used to work for the borough council and was at one time based at the former school.

She admits that her knowledge of what the photograph shows is limited.

“I just know that he went to the school, that it was an all-boys school and that he is in the picture somewhere,” she said.

“He lived around the corner in Regent Place - what is now the back of the Wyvern Theatre, where the stage door is. They were lovely brick cottages.

“He lived in Swindon all his life.”

After Regent Place, Joseph lived in two addresses in Beatrice Street before finally moving to Tiverton Road.

He spent the whole of his working life with tobacco company Wills, although he was away from the town during military service with the RAF.

As detailed in a previous edition of Rewind, Joseph was called up at 17 and served in World War Two in the Far East, India and Egypt, returning to civilian life in 1947.

The young man’s duties in the Far East included one of the war’s most perilous rescue tasks. Joseph helped to pluck downed Allied aircrew from the South China Sea, saving them from almost certain death at the hands of Japanese naval patrols.

Josie still has the nameplate of the rescue vessel, The Flying Norseman, which was handed down to her.