WITH today being the date he would have celebrated his 100th birthday, the life of author and poet Laurie Lee is being celebrated across Stroud.

Born in Slad on this date, June 26 in 1914, Laurie Lee is Stroud’s most famous son and widely recognised as Gloucestershire’s greatest ever author.

After leaving Stroud Central Boys School at the age of 15, Lee worked as an errand boy at an accountants before working as an office clerk and builders labourer. He lived in London for a year, before leaving to travel across Spain.

His experiences of growing up in Stroud and living in Spain provided the inspiration for Lee’s best known work, an autobiographical trilogy which consisted of Cider with Rosie (1959), As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991).

In a 60-year writing career, Lee wrote eight other books and five poetry volumes, as well as being involved in screenwriting and play writing.

He returned to live near his childhood Slad home with his wife in the 1960s and stayed there until he died aged 82 in 1997.

The centenary of his death is being remembered today, Thursday, with musician and author Cerys Matthews opening a new six-mile walk trail around Slad Valley.