Sunday, February 5, 2012

May 3-9, 1940

Well known Swindon photographer William Hooper and his wife Mary celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary this week in 1940.

Born at Windrush, Gloucestershire, Mr Hooper came to Swindon in 1882 and started work as a mechanics assistant in B Shop at the GWR Works. Aged just 22, Mr Hooper met with an accident in the factory which resulted in the amputation of one of his legs.

What first began as a hobby soon became a business venture when William Hooper opened his first photographic studio in Market Street. He later moved to premises in Cromwell Street.

Mr and Mrs Hooper, who were founder members of the Open Brethren Movement in Swindon, were married in the Baptist Tabernacle in 1890.

Pictured below are members of the gardening course class at work at Gorse Hill School. The boys laid out the garden partly for flowers and partly for vegetables on what was formerly a waste plot.

Swindon is earnestly in need of a young woman to become Carnival Queen, announced the Advertiser as the competition opened this week in May 1940.

Hopeful candidates were reminded that a Carnival Queen was not chosen for her beauty alone but that she must possess a charm and grace which will endear her to her subjects.

As the 1939 winner, Miss Olive Browning, prepared to hand over her crown, applications were invited from girls over the age of 16 living in the area served by the Swindon Victoria Hospital

A further 2½ million men would soon receive their call up papers it was announced with the registration of 19-37 year olds. The ratio of conscientious objectors had fallen on the occasion of each registration since the outbreak of war, the Advertiser reported. Meanwhile a bill providing for the imposition of the death penalty in grave cases of espionage and sabotage was introduced in the House of Commons. Sir John Anderson said regulations had been very carefully drawn, to avoid penalising mere expressions of opinions while giving full power to deal with mischievous activities directed toward impeding the war effort.

photograph of William and Mary Hooper is published courtesy of Paul Williams. For a collection of Hooper photographs visit Swindon Central Library's online photo archive on

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