Marlow Free Press readers with long memories might say that this picture has been printed before.

Yes, but it seems that several 'shots' were taken, the faces pictured above mostly have different expressions and I have now added a bit of colour tinting. Repeating this today will answer a couple of different queries received by email.

Firstly, Will from Newtown Road wanted to know if any pictures existed of the old tin and brick structure that he had a vague recollection of, somewhere near the Foxes Piece allotments. The best I can do, Will, is the above WW2 line-up with a bit of the building you refer to top right.

It was the Observation Post of the local Royal Observer Corps which I remember as well, and always known as 'The Lookout'. In my young days, it was possible to gain entry, if you were daring enough, and climb up to the top floor via some rickety wooden stairs. If you are ever sitting waiting your turn in the Annexe of The Doctors' House it would have been just outside the window.

The second email came from Clive, following a recent reference in this column, to Harry Clanchy. Clive sent me a copy of the above (obviously not taking the Marlow Free Press 9 years ago!) Thank you, Clive, but I can give you almost all the names in the group with Harry down the front.

Back row: J.Hanson (Jim was an Estate Agent); W.Compton (The West Street Cycle Shop, I think!) W.Mitchell (schoolteacher); L.Smith; A. Chalmers; R.Batting (Reg was a Director of Batting’s Ironmongers in West Street); F.Harman; unknown.
Middle row: W.Hobbs (schoolteacher); D.Hadlow; E.Epton; H.Palmer; T.Tweedy; F.Todd; T.Dunham (Tommy, from Lloyds Bank, was a major figure in local entertainment); A. Wellicome (Angus was owner of the High Street garage).
Front row: J.Denton (Jimmy was also a teacher at the Boys’ School); R.Robinson (Probably Reg from the Spittal Street Hardware Store); W.Waterhouse-Jones (Commander); H.Clanchy (Harry, also an Estate Agent.); H.Habgood (“Habbie” was Lloyds Bank Manager, and a stalwart of both the Rowing Club and the Operatic Society).    

I have found a few extra pictures up top from different eras: Messrs Dunham, Denton, Hobbs, Hanson, Clanchy and Batting. The latter in poor condition – a  faded Bucks Free Press picture of Reg when serving a regular customer, BBC broadcaster Richard Dimbleby who lived at Boulters Lock, Maidenhead.

The Royal Observer Corps (ROC) was a civil defence organisation intended for the visual detection, identification, tracking and reporting of aircraft over Great Britain.

It operated in the United Kingdom between 29 October 1925 and 31 December 1995, when the Corps' civilian volunteers were stood down (ROC headquarters staff at RAF Bentley Priory stood down on 31 March 1996).

Composed mainly of civilian spare-time volunteers, ROC personnel wore a Royal Air Force (RAF) style uniform and later came under the administrative control of RAF Strike Command and the operational control of the Home Office.

Civilian volunteers were trained and administered by a small cadre of professional full-time officers under the command of the Commandant Royal Observer Corps; latterly a serving RAF Air Commodore. 

The three pictures of the ROC were given to me by the late Tony Berry, son-in-law of Harry Clanchy. Tony thought that they might have used the nearby former Red Cross building for training purposes.

Contact Michael at or 01628 486571