Mapping routes into history

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Mapping routes into history' page

Robert Howard's story

The photo on this page was taken in 1945 at the back of 36 Swinderby Road, Wembley, Middlesex, and shows (from left to right) my maternal grandfather (who I called 'Pop'), my mother and Pop's brother, my Uncle Sid, who was an in-patient at Springfield Mental Hospital, near Tooting, in south London. He was admitted in 1922 and spent the last years of the First World War as a prisoner of war in Persia (modern Iran ) Pop was a self-employed plumber and the back room of the house was his workshop and was the same when he died in 1976. He avoided call-up during the First World War and I am very proud of him for this fact alone. He was a kind and gentle man. My mother wasn't married when I was born and I never knew my father or who he was. This photograph was placed in the London Borough of Brent Archives, along with other family photographs, by my Uncle Frank, Sid's son, a few years ago. 'The Howards' were well known in Wembley, so I grew up listening to family and friends talking about people and events, past and present. How could I not become interested in local history? I bought my mother a 'History of Wembley' in 1952 as a birthday present from my paper-round money. It came back to me when she died in 2006 and in 1957, my Sunday School prize was 'The Book of Harrow', so I must have been showing an interest of sorts even then. It feels odd to be part of a 'archive' and the only person in a photograph who is still alive.

By Robert Howard, Angel Row History Forum organiser and Notts Local History Association

This page was added by H W on 18/12/2012.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.