Reading and writing.
Beeston’s cursive handwriting in which he has written his autobiography is already proof that reading and writing was important in his life. Although there is no reference to reading in his account, he did attend school for ten years where reading would have been just as important as writing was. His writing is very fluent, even when at times he has forgotten to mention something, he writes it in grammatically correct with no spelling errors.
There is the possibility that Beeston may have read the local newspaper, as he mentions journalists filming the Uley Gorilla, John Daniel that was big news for the locals in the village. This is the only possible mention of reading in the autobiography.
This lack of reading and writing for leisure would have been common for the working classes like Beeston’s family, as they were more absorbed in working in the mills, and joining together in community activities to build stronger community spirit. He would have been too busy with hard labour, which is the likely reason he left school age thirteen, to earn more money for his family to survive on.
Beeston, Reg, ‘Some of my memories of and about Uley until about 1930, Brunel University Library, vol no. 2:56