Habits, culture and belief.
Reg Beeston grew up in a small working class village in Gloucestershire. He lived a very simplistic life, where his community played a huge role in his habits, his culture and his beliefs. Despite Uley having a parish and parish council, Beeston was not a religious person, instead favoring local traditions.
As he had a typically working class childhood, Beeston made do with simple fun and games, rather than talking about any actual toys or games. This mainly was any time the village held events, which Beeston loved as he felt like they were part of a wider extended family.
The Uley feast was the big event for Beeston. Held every year in September before it was finally banned during the war. This was where the village could get together and play on traditional fairground stalls for one or two pence according to Beeston’s memoir. Fond memories of the feast are evident, as he recalls playing on the stalls and watching everyone he knew from the village gather together to have fun and laugh.
Beeston also mentions the ‘Reading rooms’, a sort of youth club for young men where he could play games like billiards and ping pong with other men his age, rather than going to the rowdy pubs, something Beeston felt was the only other thing to do in Uley. But, he does mention that the pubs could also be a fun place to visit when the men would gather together for a sing song, where the local policeman would also sometimes attend. This was usually before the pub got rowdy and the fights broke out.
The younger Beeston would also habitually play pranks on old Mark at work to wind him up, resulting in his boss warning him he would be sacked. It was a period of fun for Beeston who did not take life too seriously in his little village, even when the war was on.
Beeston, Reg, ‘Some of my memories of and about Uley until about 1930, Brunel University Library, vol no. 2:56