|Questions answered by Jim Fern in 2003 - local writer, speaker, guide and historian and more popularly known as "Little Jim" in Laurie Lee's "Cider with Rosie."
Why do you live here? What brought you to Stroud?
On September 3rd 1939, I was working at G.A.C when war was declared. I was 21 and decided to join up if possible into the RAF. I became "chairborne" and not "Airborne" to suit their requirements. During my service, I moved about quite a bit and eventually returned home after more than 6 years. Married, with little money, no job and nowhere to live, I came back to my parents home at Slad and to G.A.C. again. By then the best jobs had been taken by those who had stayed at home, so after a month or two I managed to get a staff job with the famous Stroud Engineering Company called "Daniels" and I stayed with them for 35 years. As a matter of local interest I wrote a history of the company: "Born 1840 died 1986". This is part of a Millennium document with the Stroud History Society.
What do you love/like best about Stroud?
I love the countryside and the rural simplicity of the area. We are so lucky that an International bestseller like "Cider with Rosie" captures the beauty and delight of this area for the rest of the world.
What do you hate about Stroud?
I am frustrated with present Councillors and politicians. Everyone wants to serve Stroud's best interest, but no one can agree on what that is! Result - chaos!
What do you think is Stroud's best physical feature?
The Parish Church and the Shambles. I love that top part of old Stroud and its rich historical background.
What do you think is Stroud's best communal feature?
Stroud has a rich variety of schools and societies, which offer such a wide range of interest to people. So much diversity in this busy place can only benefit the town.
What would you change about Stroud if you had a magic wand?
I think of Stroud as an unpretentious country town. I would make disappear all things, which make it otherwise......
From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society