I’M indebted, not for the first time, to Roy Cooke, who has a load of memories of old Henley.
The latest involves Joe the tramp, who arrived in town after he was discharged from the army at the end of the Second World War.
He had no family and, like so many former servicemen, he took to the road.
When he arrived in Henley, Joe made his home in a cave on Remenham Hill. He would spend summer here and normally make his way to the south coast when the autumn came.
He could be seen walking the streets pushing an old pram that contained all his worldly goods.
Eventually he was forced out of the cave, probably because it became unsafe, and set up camp on the bridle path that leads from Fair Mile by the cemetery into Lambridge Woods. He also spent some time at Temple Golf Club on the Maidenhead road, where he was given the use of a shed.
Joe was well known and everyone would acknowledge him. He became particularly friendly with a member of the town’s Round Table.
When he died in 1978, aged 76, his Round Table friend took control of what little affairs he had, including the £3,000 found in his pram.
Joe is buried in the Fair Mile cemetery. His headstone reads: “Joe, who travelled the roads east, south and west, ‘till your body grew tired and you came here to rest.”