A true village gentleman.
Eddy Smythe was a very well known local resident of Cookham for just over 80 years. According to his mother he was born on the 2nd of August 1909 at 9.00 a.m. in the village of Braunton in northwest Devon. A very special day by all accounts, as it was the day of August Bank Holiday Fair.
At the age of 14 he left school and started an apprenticeship as a wheelwright then changed to become a joiner. After finishing his four-year apprenticeship at 18 he first came to Cookham, and found work on a new building site in Bromley in Kent. He also worked for a time for Lovell’s, builder in Beaconsfield.
It was in 1940 in Grace’s Builders Yard by the Moor in Maidenhead and he looking for work when he came upon Courtaulds lorry loading material for their new wartime site at Islet Park in Maidenhead Court. He asked if they had any work for a Joiner at midday, and by 2.00 p.m. he was at work. This is where he worked until he retired in 1974.
Eddy took a very active part in village life, married to the eldest daughter Roberta (Bob) of P.C. Joe Tubb, who it was often heard him refer to his wife in that soft Devonshire burr as “My Tubby.” After the war the bell ringers of Holy Trinity use to have a ringers outing to the seaside, of which Bob was a very active member, and it was always on the August Bank Holiday Monday, which at that time use to be the first Monday in August. So it was always close enough to his birthday as well.
Among other things he was for a long time Church Warden and also helped in constructing the sets for the annual pantomime in the Pinder Hall. The last time I saw Eddy was to sit with him Lodge in Cookham Dean together with Jim Ricketts in 1998. May they both have found their reward in The Grand Lodge Above?
I would like to thank at this time the help given me by the Maidenhead Waterways Preservation Society and the Bourne End Video Camera Club.