Bream, The Maypole
Cannock the shop owner at this time can be seen leaning against his shop
window. The canvas advertisement sheets fixed in front of each window
served to protect the stock from the fading effects of the sun. The nearest
sheet carries an advertisement for Wills Woodbines - a cigarette which
was very popular with the village miners at the time. The boy on the
bike is Robert (Bob) Peachey who left Bream in 1962 for Birmingham and
now lives in Devon.
Katherine Ennis adds a comment : " How sad it is that the buildings on the right of this picture are gone. They look well built and would probably still be in use today. Does anyone know why they were knocked down?. I would be interested to know."
- There may be a clue in the 2 S shapes near the windows. The S shapes were used to straighten walls which were sagging outwards. The S 's were usually attached to iron bars running through the building. The iron bar would be put in place and the S shaped iron pieces bolted on. The iron bar was then heated - making it expand. As the bar expanded, the S shapes became loose and were bolted tighter. The bar was then allowed to cool, the iron bar would then contract and pull the walls back into line.
The buildings appear on the Tithe Map of 1840.
Nigel James added (June 2008): ".. My great grandmother Alice Meek and Daughter Ruby lived here at The Maypole during the 1950's and 1960's. I have very fond memories of Bream village. Does anyone recollect the family?... I live in Oakdale South Wales. The connection was the 'Pits' where my
great grandfather met Alice a Blackwood girl".
Julie Bozicek added (December 2014): "... I wondered if I could have more access to the history of the village of Bream and the people who lived there. My ancestors came from there. Their names were Blower, Jones, Brown, Kear. I think the Kear relatives probably may be the best known. I understand one relative, Thomas Blower, died at The Maypole in 1922 and I wondered if this was a home, pub or perhaps shop".
Leslie Graham James added (April 2016): "... Maypole House ,with wash-house attached,was occupied by the Meek family i.e.my Grandmother, with their 2 daughters and 3 sons. A third daughter had married a South Wales miner (my father) in the twenties. During the War my sister and I always sat on the corner shouting 'any gum chum' to the American truck drivers coming from the Lydney road direction.( chocs and gum was a delicious treat) In the shop around the corner towards the Church, lived the Blowers from whom Grandmother rented the Maypole (House) and finally purchased it in the fifties. All the sons left but the 2 daughters ,Chrissie and Ruby stayed after Grandad died. My brother Roy went to live there with them for many years,working at the Noxon Farm, before getting married and moving to Lydney. Wonderful peaceful place and lovely people,with Cannocks shop opposite and Downhams Bakery just on the hill".
The Maypole is an area of Bream. The name is still in use today - Ed.
Debbie Carter added (Feb 2018): "... My ancestor William Karn was the innkeeper of The Cross Keys in 1851".
The Cross Keys pub was situated opposite the New Inn (the gable can be seen just to the left of the first telegraph pole). It later moved to a different premises at the other end of the village - Ed.
If anyone has any other information to add I will be happy to hear from them - Geoff Davis
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