Aldbourne Heritage Centre

Q: How long have you lived in the village?
NM: Since I was 4.
Q: What brought you to Aldbourne?
NM: My parents came to the village and I came with them.
Q: What was your father’s occupation in those days?
NM: A shopkeeper; the shop was at the bottom – in West Street; it’s a framers now.
Q: What did your father trade in?
NM: Ironmongery; I helped in the shop.
I. What is the first thing you can remember as a little girl in Aldbourne?
NM: (with help) I went to school with the vicar’s children. The vicar taught his daughter and myself.
Q: Almost a private education.
NM: That was until I went as a weekly boarder in Swindon at the age of about 12.
Q: You then went to work at Warren Farm? What was your work there?
NM: Yes. I was in the office as a farm secretary.
Q: Did you enjoy the work?
NM: Yes, I did enjoy it and was there until after I got married. I used to cycle up there every day – good weather or bad. Except, if it was bad, he brought me home in the car.
Q: You met your husband in the village?
NM: Yes; I lived in West Street at Oak House and my husband to be lodged with Mr and Mrs Brown who had the fishmongers and fruiterers opposite.
Q: There must have been quite a lot of shops which have closed down since your early days.
NM: There was the fried fish shop next to the wet fish shop which had a greengrocery combined.
Q: Were there many bakeries in the village?
NM: There were several; there was Frank Wilson at the bottom; Ern Barretts; Bert Stacey, Maura’s grandfather.
Q: You attended the Church?
NM: Yes, my father was Church Warden for many years.
Q: Where did you live, here in Red Cottage?
NM: No, in Oak House and I was an only child.
Q: Was there much crime or problems in the village in those days?
NM: No, not a lot.
Q: What did you do for entertainment?
NM: There was the pictures; that used to come to the Memorial Hall twice a week. The hall was built in 1922 after the First World War. My father wasn’t involved in the war.
Q: What did they produce at Warren Farm?
NM: They were general farmers.
Q: Did you go on holidays?
NM: No, my people didn’t go away much so neither did I.
Q: So you were free to play around in the village.
NM: I wasn’t allowed to go out into the village much by my parents so I had to look after my own interests at home.
Q: Did you have many friends?
NM: The vicar’s daughters; he taught us and in the afternoons he went visiting. He used to walk up to Dudmore Lodge and we went with him and played around in the yard whilst he went visiting. Then we walked back down with him. That was the Reverend Jasper.
Q: You mentioned the Foundry.
NM: We lived down at Foundry House. It was just farm machinery and general repairs. It’s down Lottage. We had nothing to do with the blacksmiths in the Square. (with help) We also had a shop in the Square called the Aldbourne Engineering Company which we ran. It had petrol pumps. That was when I was married.
Q: In the war, were you involved?
NM: Yes, in the WRVS. I was village rep. My husband was Inspector in the Special Police.
Q: You were involved in the village.
NM: I was Secretary of the Church Council for many years.