Lane, LesBack to performers
Les Lane, baptised Evelyn Leslie Lane, sang The Farmer’s Boy, If You Want To Find the Sergeant, Me and Pa Went Out one Day, The Old Sow and How Can a Guinea Pig Wag His Tail and snatches of The Old Sow and The Bonny Sailor Cut down in his Prime on 1 November 1978. He had learned the Farmer’s Boy from his mother in Stroud and used to sing The Old Sow at concert parties when he was in the army in France when he had a friend called Walter who played piano for him.
Les Lane’s great grandfather, Edward Lane, was originally from Chaceley in Worcestershire where he was born around July 1790. By the time of his marriage on 9 April 1816 at All Saints Church, Bisley, he had moved to Gloucestershire. His wife was Mary Maria Gawn from Bisley. They had four sons and two daughters and also two daughters called Amelia born in 1830 and 1831 both of whom died in the year that they were born. Their first two sons were born in Bisley and the other children were born in Cheltenham. Their first son, William, who was christened in the Parish Church in Bisley on 1 February 1817 was Les Lane’s grandfather. Edward and Elsie lived in Cheltenham at least between 1821 and 1836 but by 1841 Edward was noted in the census as living at Waterloo Place, Gloucester where he was a shopkeeper. The family then moved back to Bisley where by 1851 Edward was the innkeeper at the White Hart in Bisley. He was still living there on his death on 3 July 1857.
Les Lane’s grandfather, William Lane, was working at Pagan Mill, one of the flour mills in the Stroud valleys, when he married Martha Lawrence, the daughter of a labourer, who was a domestic servant at Farm Mill. They were married at St Lawrence Church in Stroud on 5 January 1845. At the time his father, Edward, was noted as a shopkeeper. They had three sons in Stroud : Walter, Edward, Les Lane’s father, who was christened in Stroud on 6 February 1848 and John William and by 1851 were living at Stratford Mills, Stroud where William was working as a mealman (a person who deals in meal or flour). According to a article by Collen Haine in the Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology Journal for1985, William Lane was the tenant of Stratford Mill from 1856 to1867. William and Martha then had 2 more daughters, Harriet, Emily and a son, Arthur .William obviously ran a successful business at Stratford Mill as by 1861 he was described as a mealman employing 2 Travellers, 3 Clerks, 90 Workpeople and was also a farmer of 30 acres employing 1 boy and 7 Labourers. He was living at Stratford Mill with his family, his wife’s brother, a cook, a housemaid and a watchman. William continued to prosper and by 1871 the family were living in a large property, Holly Tree House, Ebley, William was stated to be a miller and corn dealer employing 30 men. Living with him were his sons, Walter, Edward and John who were stated to be corn millers assistants, his children Harriet, Emily and Arthur, who were scholars, his mother and brother, James, a farm bailiff and a domestic servant. William was still living at Holly Tree House in 1881 described as a corn miller employing 26 men and also a farmer of 200 acres employing 7 men. His family were mainly employed at the mill: his son Edward was corn mill manager and his son Arthur was a clerk at a flour mill. His mother and brother, James, were still living with them and James was an omnibus proprietor however James died the same year. They also had a servant. William’s wife, Martha, died in 1883 but he continued to live in Holly Tree House and in December 1889 he remarried, to Eliza Collins in Whaddon, Gloucester. They remained at Holly Tree House and by 1891 only his children Arthur and Emily were still living at home. William was still described as a miller, Arthur was a farmer and Emily was described as living on her own means. A niece, Daisy Scobell, aged 4 was also staying with them and they had a cook and a housemaid. William Lane died on 12 October 1896 and was buried at Cainscross.
Les Lane’s father, Edward Lane, who was a corn mill manager in 1881, married Elizabeth Ellen Hawke in Chalford Parish Church on 11 October 1890 and by 1891 they were living at Bright Side, Stonehouse Road, Ebley, with his Uncle Joseph. Edward was working as a Miller’s Foreman. Their first son, Evelyn Stanley Lane, was born on 18 September 1891 in the Stonehouse area.
Evelyn Leslie Lane was their second son and was baptised on 5 May 1895 in Cainscross. At the time Edward Lane was working as a grocer’s assistant living in Rodborough. Edward and Elizabeth then had a daughter, Dorothy Victoria Lane, who was born on16 April 1897 and a son, Hamlyn Clifford Lane, born on 12 July 1899, both born in Rodborough. By 1901 they were living at 163 Bath Road, Rodborough by which time his father, Edward, had left the mill and was working as a manager in a licensed grocer’s. By 1911 the family were living at 14 Bath Road Terrace, Stroud where Les was working as an ‘apprentice to fitting at engineering works’. He was also attending school 2 evenings a week. His father, Edward, was a manager at the bottling stores of a licensed grocer and his brother, Edward Stanley Lane, was an assistant in a woollen merchant’s warehouse. Les’ brother, Hamlyn Clifford Lane, died in the First World War in Germany on 23 July 1918 while serving as a private in the Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire) Regiment. A Leslie Lane served in the First World War between 1914 and 1920, firstly in the 8 Bn Gloucestershire Regiment then transferred to the 2 Bn Kings Royal Rifle Corps when he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
On 22 August 1922 Les Lane married Elsie Walker at St Mary’s Church, Tewkesbury. At the time she was living at The Cross, Tewkesbury, the daughter of John Thomas Walker, a coal merchant. Les was working as an engineer’s fitter and still living at 14 Bath Road Terrace, Rodborough and at that time his father was described as a clerk. His father, Edward Lane, died on 26 June 1934 whilst living at 14 Bath Road, Terrace, Rodborough. By 1939 Les and Elsie were living in Cheltenham at 10 Cleeve View Road.
Evelyn Leslie Lane died 14 November 1981 in Cheltenham. He and his wife were still living at the same address at this time. His wife, Elsie, died in December 1989 also in Cheltenham.
Notes by Carol Davies 2020