The Keens
The Common and Loudwater

As the mills in Loudwater once looked
(picture from SWOP website)

As it looks today with the M40 cutting across the valley


Many folk of yesteryear
Worked in the mills nor far from here,
And all along the valley route
You’d hear the distant factory hoot
To call their workers to the fray
And also end their working day.
Claptons, Glory, Bowdens, Greens
And any mill which could be seen
Would call their workers from the heath
And they, with cap and gritted teeth,
Would make the journey down the hills
To work within the paper mills.

It is not known exactly where the Keen family lived but it was not far from The Three Horseshoes pub. The 1891 census reports them as living in this area but by 1901 they had moved to Loudwater, presumably to be nearer to their work in the paper mills. Peter Keen appears in local newspaper reports about the White House Tunnel disaster of 1902 (see below) and his brother, James Keen, is remembered on the Loudwater War Memorial.
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