Aldbourne Heritage Centre

Q: Outside temperature is 4 degrees.
DL: There is a nasty wind and no daffodils are yet out.
Q: Right first of all you were, you tell me, born in the village
DL: Yes I was. I was born in the house on The Green in front of the Church. I lived there until I was married and then I went up Baydon Hill to rent a house from my uncle and then, after we were married; oh that was before I was married; and then we came to live here so actually, I’ve not moved out of Aldbourne at all.
Q: And you therefore are well and truly a Dabchick.
DL: I’m a real Dabchick.
Q: Have you been thrown in the pond?
DL: No. You don’t have to be thrown in the pond. If you’re born in Aldbourne you’re a Dabchick
Q: You’re a Dabchick and is that very important to you?
DL: It’s ever so important to me, yes.
Q: You’re very proud
DL: I’m very proud of being a Dabchick.
Q: Wonderful.
DL: ‘Cause there’s not many of us around these days
Q: There aren’t, are there.
DL: No. But I am really proud of being a Dabchick.
Q: Wonderful. What brought your parents to the village? Why?
DL: My grandfather. He was a hedge layer.
Q: Yes.
DL: He used to walk miles and miles to work. I don’t know where it was but he used to work hedge laying and hurdle making.
Q: Yes indeed.
DL: What happened before then I really don’t know. I mean his father probably lived in the village.
Q: That’s pretty good. So you go back a long way , a number of generations.
DL: The Jerrams of course They’re a long lived family.
Q: Indeed they are. And your father did what?
DL: My father was a brilliant carpenter . He was one of the best carpenters around and he used to do undertaking and he used to make all the coffins.
Q: Yes.
DL: He was a wheelwright.
Q: Yes.
C. And he really was known as one of the best carpenters around.
Q: Right.
C Him and his two brothers. They had the Jerram Brothers firm and had a really good firm.
Q: Was it a thriving business?
DL: Very good indeed.
Q: And they lived on The Green.
C. No my mother and father lived in the house where I was born, on the Green.
Q: Yes.
DL: On the Green. Well, I think before that they lived in a house further down on The Green, before I was born.
Q: Yes.
DL: And then they lived on there until they died, most probably
Q: Indeed.
DL: The same house
Q: Tell me about the house. Tell me your first memories of life
DL: The thing I can remember most about that house when we – I can’t remember how old I was – but they decided, my Dad decided , to put an extension on and how he did it I don’t know but…What I can remember is that when we had to go to bed, we had a candle and we would actually go up some stairs and we would have to go into the open air.
Q: Really.
DL: Somehow or other we had to walk round in the open air. I can’t remember why, I think they were putting an extension on. For a while there was a gap there.
Q: They hadn’t joined it up.
DL: No. I can always remember walking with a candle and going up round into the bedroom.
Q: Wonderful.
DL: It was a nice little house, it was lovely and warm and cosy. Very homely.
Q: What sort of age would you have been then, do you think?
DL: Oh I expect I was about eight. Can’t remember really.
Q: You can’t remember memories back before that
DL: No. Not really. We didn’t do very much. We were just happy playing around, and anywhere in the village we could play around. We didn’t worry about cars and things.
Q: You played games?
DL: Yes, and the grass on the Green was all up here. It was very tall grass.
Q: Was it?
DL: Nobody worried about having to cut the grass and anything like that. Mr Liddiard, the farmer from down the road, used to bring his cattle up twice a day to let them all run in the grass
Q: To wander freely.
DL: They used to be there – well he was with them. I mean that was on his way from the Square up to a field up there somewhere; but, yes, they make such a fuss of the Green now. When we were kids we used to hide in the long grass.
Q: So there was ..
DL: There was a road going down the middle.
Q: Oh, was there?
DL: There was a road – cars could drive down the middle. It’s now just a track.
Q: Tell me about the house. You had electricity?
DL: We had electricity. I can remember lighting lamps.
Q: Oh, can you?
DL: I’m sure I can remember lighting lamps; we used oil lamps
Q: Yes. So perhaps there wasn’t electricity.
DL: No perhaps there wasn’t electricity… I’m not saying that. I don’t know, but I can remember she used the lamp. And we didn’t have radio and television, of course. They didn’t have radio
Q: Didn’t have radio?
DL: No. Not for ages and ages, though I think probably we might have done during the war to listen to the news
Q: Quite. Yes.
DL: We didn’t have television when I was at home.
Q: Oh no.
DL: No, no, no, no. No, not all that long time ago. My house was a pretty little house, as I call it. My Mum used to keep it absolutely spotlessly clean.
Q: Yes.
DL: She was a post lady. She used to deliver the post at Christmas time.
Q: Oh did she?
DL: When I was young and while she was out I used to quickly rush round the house so that it would be nice and clean for her when she came back.
Q: Oh Daphne weren’t you good?
DL: But it was a pretty little house and my Dad used to keep the garden absolutely immaculate.
Q: You had a back garden?
DL: No, we had a garden at the side.
Q: Sorry , that’s right.
DL: Yes, and we have got photographs of all the vegetables in rows.
Q: He was immaculate.
DL: He was – yes.
Q: But how many were there of you?
DL: Marion and I.
Q: Just Marion and you.
DL: Yes.
Q: And she was younger than you.
DL: No she’s four years older than me.
Q: She’s older than you.
DL: She’ll be 80 in June.
Q: Will she really. Amazing. So you grew up with a bigger sister?
DL: Yes, I did.
Q: You were great friends?
DL: Oh absolutely, wonderful. We always have been and we have both said that we can’t remember ever having an argument; we are still great friends now.
Q: Wonderful So you played lots of games together
DL: Oh, we did…Used to play on the Green a lot. We used to have a little room round the back which we called The End Place. Yes. I don’t know why. We had a lot of toys in there.
Q: That was your room. I mean that was your play room.
DL: Yes that was our playroom We had a lovely life. Very very ordinary. We never went anywhere or did anything
Q: Did you have treats ever?
DL: Not particularly. No I can’t remember any wonderful treats. I, unfortunately, was always sick on the coach, so I couldn’t go on the Sunday School outings even. I used to wave them all off as they went past…I didn’t like that …We used to have a ride into Swindon with my Mum and I used to be amazed that she knew where she was when we came out of one shop I thought however did she know which way to go now.
Q: How did you get to Swindon?
DL: On the bus.
Q: On the Barnes coach?
DL: No. On the bus.
Q: On the bus.
DL: Yes……..
Q: Right; so shall we go to school? Tell me about school. School was the little school building presumably.
DL: It was the little school which has evolved into The Old School Room today. That was the first and second class up there. It was in the same building, but we used to have a curtain pulled across
Q: Right.
DL: And you could hear everything that was going on in that class. If it was a bit interesting we used to listen to that. Yes, we had lovely sports that I remember. Mrs Moulding was in the first and second class. Mrs Moulding – you remember Mrs Moulding?
Q: I do indeed, yes.
DL: She was lovely . Miss Hawksworth wasn’t quite so nice. She used to rather slap our arms.
Q: Really.
DL: Yes, and then down in the big school was the same thing; a curtain across the school room.
Q: And where was the big school?
DL: The big school was where the new school is, I imagine.
Q: That was another old building.
DL: Yes.
Q: Right.
DL: There were two classes. Classes 1, 2, 3 and 4 and then, of course, you had to move on to Marlborough.
Q: Then you went to Marlborough?
DL: Yes. I went. Marion didn’t want to go. Marion stayed at Aldbourne.
Q: Could you do that? You were given a choice, were you?
DL: She passed but she didn’t come to Marlborough. I didn’t want to go either, but I was made to go.
Q: You were made to go. And you enjoyed school in Aldbourne greatly?
DL: I loved school in Aldbourne. Yes, we did have a lovely time then but the teachers were lovely.
Q: Who was the head then?
DL: Mr. Jackson .. Puffer Jackson we used to call him for some reason. I can’t remember why.
Q: Right
DL: But he was nice.
Q: He was a nice man.
DL: They were all right, I mean; we loved school.
Q: You loved school and you were there until you were eleven.
DL: I was there until eleven and then had to go to Grammar School. Marlborough Grammar School.
Q: And did you enjoy that?
DL: I enjoyed the fun parts of it but I didn’t really enjoy it, because we used to have to go on Monday morning and come back on Friday night, because of the transport.
I, You lived in Marlborough,
C, We lived at a place called Mayfield which was run by three very old ladies, Miss Rosie was one of them who really looked after us; and there was about sixteen of us in that house I think. There was eight in my dormitory I remember anyway. And about sixteen or twenty of us. We had lots of fun there but I used to hate going away for the week.
Q: Of course.
DL: I think I cried every Monday morning for about two years.
Q: You got used to it in the end did you?
DL: I think I did, yes.
Q: Did you play games?
DL: Yes; I loved hockey and netball. Yes, I used to love all the sport.
Q: Did you play sport in Aldbourne?
DL: No, not really, because we used to play in the streets. No we didn’t do anything; in those days there weren’t many cars.
Q: Yes.
DL: We played just running around the streets. Played ‘ierki’ just around the streets. Had a wonderful time, doing nothing.
Q: Absolutely
DL: It was a lovely ordinary life. We were just allowed to go out and nobody worried how long you were away.
Q: Felt safe.
DL: Oh, yes we didn’t worry. My Mum used to pack us up a little things for lunch and we used to go off up Four Barrows and we never used to come home till….till I don’t know, until it was nearly dark I suppose.
Q: Did you have a bicycle?
DL: I don’t know…If I did when I was very young, I can’t remember.
Q: Did you have any household regimes? I mean presumably you got up fairly early.
DL: Well we had to – my Mum had to get up fairly early because she had to light the fire and whatnot before we could have a cup of tea.
Q: Do the post?
DL: No; that was only during the war.
But no. She used to get up early and light the fire and range, an old fashioned range,
Q: Right
DL: So she had to light that before we could have a cup of tea and boil the kettle on the range
Q: You shared a bedroom with Marion or did you have a bedroom of your own?
DL: We shared a bedroom.
Q: You shared a bedroom.
DL: There was only two bedrooms up there before the extension was put on. So we could have a bedroom each;Dad eventually put on two more bedrooms.
Q: Yes.
DL: Of course it was lovely. We only had to run round the corner to go to school so even in the snow or anything else and we were always there.
Q: Lovely.
DL: Some of the other children couldn’t get there. We, of course, always had to go.
Q: What about washing day?
DL: Oh, washing day. My poor Mum. Yes; she used to get up in the morning. She used to light the copper and then she used a big bath, two big baths and used to wash in the copper; into one bath to rinse it; and the blue bag and do all that and hang it on the line and we all used to have bubble and squeak for dinner on the Monday.
Q: Did you?
DL: Left over from…
Q: Yes, Sunday lunch. Right
DL: That didn’t give her much rest to do any cooking. She used to do the washing all day long. That was Monday.
Q: It was a day’s work.
DL: Yes, it was. And then she used to hang it on the line which was up the garden so many times – it seemed many times that someone would come and knock at the door and say “I want to take a photograph of the church, would you be kind enough to take your washing down?”
Q: Oh.
DL: So she used to be very kind and go and get all her washing down.
Q: Shame; and just for one photo.
DL: Yes, and then she used to put it all back again. I can remember her doing that. Washing day was a big day.
Q: And it was ironed on the same day?
DL: Ironing day – Tuesday, the next day. Tuesday was ironing day.
Q: Right.
DL: She used to muddle through all the rest of it. Another job she used to do was with Aunt Claire – you know Claire Jerram – she and Aunt Claire used to clean the school.
Q: Oh of course yes of course.
DL: That was when I was at Grammar School, I remember. Because I used to come home, and Jose used to come home, up to my house, and we would have a boiled egg for our tea every Friday.
Q: Every Friday?
DL: When they cleaned the school. That was a funny thing to remember.
Q: It was a lovely thing to remember. And bathing? You didn’t have a bathroom?
DL: Oh no. We had baths in front of the fire.
Q: Right
DL: We did tin baths in front of the fire and one got in and then the other one got in. What happened to Mum and Dad I don’t remember.
Q: Perhaps they went first and you went second.
DL: No, I don’t think so.
Q: Shared the water?
DL: Oh, Marion and I probably did – we probably shared the water – it was a big bath.
Q: Jolly good and that was boiled up on the copper of course.
DL: Yes.
Q: Very cosy.
DL: Very cosy. All wrapped up nice and warm sitting by the fire. We had a really good life actually.
Q: Right. So a happy childhood. What about Chapel – Church; were you great churchgoers?
DL: Yes I was.
Q: Chapel or Church?
DL: Church.
Q: Right.
DL: And our Mum and Dad were – well Dad was in the church choir for 70 years, I think.
Q: Was he really?
DL: Yes. I think it was seventy years – that might be wrong, but I know it was a long time. We used to have to go to Sunday School every Sunday.
Q: Yes.
DL: Hats and best jackets on and then, eventually I went in the choir. So it was Church at eleven, Sunday School at two and Church again at six – it was quite a full day. I used to quite enjoy it.
Q: Yes.
DL: I didn’t take it very seriously.
Q: It was a big choir?
DL: Yes, it was a big choir. Yes, there were quite a few of us then. Quite a lot of girls and boys and men. Yes it was. It was choir practices every Friday night I remember.
Q: When you’d only just got back from Marlborough.
DL: Yes.
Q: And had your boiled egg. Oh yes.
DL: I can’t remember. I don’t know. Anyway I used to like singing and, of course, I was sixteen when
I became a Sunday school teacher
Q: Oh did you?
DL: I taught in Sunday school for eighteen years.
Q: Really.
DL: Sometimes I used to take the service – you know if Mr Gilding asked me. –
Q: Who was the vicar?
DL: Ah; Mr Elliott was the vicar when we were children. When I – and Mr Percy Chapman; I think that’s when I became a Sunday School teacher – and then there was Reverend Perry, absolutely gorgeous.
Q: Yes, that was –
DL: And Mr Gilding – oh, he was lovely.
Q: Was he?
DL: Yes he used to be great fun with Mr Gilding. He used to sometimes say “You take the service today so I’d take the service.
Q: Really.
DL: Yes. We had a eighty children in our Sunday School.
Q: Did you really?
DL: Yes. At one time.
Q: You had a big congregation for the Church too.
DL: Mm.
Q: Most people.
DL: Yes possibly so. Yes, Yes. I think so. All the usual people went, you know.
Q: You were expected.
DL: Yes, I think we were expected to go.
Q: And have your own pews?
DL: Oh yes.
Q: Definitely came to –
DL: Mustn’t sit in Mr Brown’s pew or Mr Bradley’s pew.
Q: Yes, quite.
DL: That was their pew. Because we used to sit in the choir stalls.
Q: Yes.
DL: And people –
Q: Well done; and Church outings you didn’t go on, because of your sickness?
DL: Well, I didn’t when I was a child, but I did later on. Because I used to take the Sunday School then on outings; so I was fine then.
Q: What sort of place did you go to?
DL: Oh, we used to like to go Bournemouth or Weston Super Mare.
Q: Did you?
DL: Something like that, yes.
Q: Quite a day’s outing!
C It was. It took a long time to get there as well. I don’t expect we were there very long. We did used to take them. I remember watching them all the time to see where they all were dipping their toes in.
Q: Just you?
DL: Irene Jerram used to help.
Q: Oh Irene.
DL: Yes two or three of us used to help. Yes, we really enjoyed that. We had really good times.
Q: Wonderful.
DL: With the children.
Q: No family outings that you can remember, or holidays.
DL: Never a holiday.
Q: You can’t remember a holiday.
DL: No – not when we were children. My Dad never had a car – he never drove.
Q: He made the coffins but he wasn’t the undertaker.
DL: He was the undertaker.
Q: He was the undertaker. So they would get cars or hire cars or somebody would have a car – a hearse of some sort
DL: He used to hire a car. I don’t know. I can’t remember. I think Uncle Fred was the undertaker first – Vin’s father – then Dad was. I can just remember him walking in front of the coffin in a top hat.
Q: Yes.
DL: Because then they used to walk and take them all through the village on the bier.
Q: They would.
DL: I can remember standing on the street with them all coming along and the men taking their hats off. Yes they didn’t use a car in the village; they just used to go to the house, put the coffin on the bier and push them all through the village.
Q: Baydon Hill could have been a problem.
DL: It could have been, couldn’t it, yes.
Q: Right Daphne, so you left school at sixteen.
DL: I left school at sixteen.
Q: Sixteen, Right.
DL: And I went to work at Chilton Electric.
Q: Did you?
DL: Which we had to cycle there and back everyday.
Q: Yes.
DL: In all weathers.
Q: Which was in Hungerford.
DL: No, it was in Chilton. It was, what we used to call, the big house, the Wards.
Q: The Ward’s house.
DL: My office was actually in the big house and the factory was out there as well.
Q: Right.
DL: Well, Jose Swash, Jerram –
Q: Yes.
DL: She got me the job. It was her job and then she was going to move up one and so she got me in.
Q: And what did you do?
DL: I was odd job girl for a long time; I was the telephonist, ringing round to all the bosses. I enjoyed it. We had a good time and I stayed there until I was married.
Q: So you went straight from school.
DL: Straight from school, straight to work and I think. within a few days. I went to work. And I stayed there right up until I was married.
Q: You were paid a reasonable wage?
DL: No. No. Fifteen shillings seems to come into it somewhere.
Q: How often?
DL: A week – it was terrible. I know I didn’t have very much money. I enjoyed it – I enjoyed working there.
With Jose, we used to pedal up there in the morning and pedal back at night.
Q: Yes, and did Marion go as well?
DL: No she didn’t. No, Marion just went down to the Post Office. She worked in the Post Office; I suppose she went there when she was fourteen. She would have left school at fourteen and she went straight down to the Post Office. So neither of us have been very far.
Q: Well no. but obviously you enjoyed yourselves.
DL: Yes.
Q: And then you met Peter.
DL: I met Peter when I was eleven years old at Grammar School.
Q: Did you?
DL: Yes and I took a shine to him. And then he used to watch us play PE, do PE, out of the window, I can remember.
Q: Right.
DL: And all with little short knickers on and whatnot.
Q: Indeed.
DL: We started going round together when I was thirteen.
Q: Did you really?
DL: Or fourteen; and then Pete was off to the war.
Q: Of course, yes.
DL: We didn’t see much of each other then. But that’s when I started going out with him. when I was thirteen.
Q: And you were married when you were how old?
DL: I married in 1949 – I was 19. In the Church in Aldbourne, of course.
Q: Because he was living in Ramsbury.
DL: Yes he was. We decided we were going to get married the following year, probably, be engaged for about a year. Then Uncle Bob’s house became free. He said “The house is free to rent, would you like it?” And so we decided to get married very quickly because, if we were paying rent, we might as well be in the house. So we decided to get married in a few weeks, and there was rather a lot of talk round the village then as to why we had changed our minds and got married in a hurry. So we moved in there, until we came down here.
Q: So that was the house on Baydon Hill?
DL: Yes; which was just a little one up and one down sort of thing until Uncle Bob had it extended.
Q: He was a good carpenter as well, wasn’t he?
DL: My Dad taught him.
Q: Did he?
DL: He was a very good carpenter.
Q: So you lived there for quite a few years.
DL: We lived there – until we came down here. I can’t remember when we came down here. We’ve been here for about twenty years. I can’t remember.
Q: Well, you tell me this was built for you.
DL: Yes. Pete did all the planning and everything. He contracted out; lovely muddy drive. Take your shoes off and then –
Q: Tell me about the shops in the village.
DL: Oh yes, the shops. Five or six shops. Palmers which is now, of course, the Co-op. Alice Hale and Mrs Stacey.
Q: Oh, by the Crown.
DL: Jack Hale. They had the shop which is now on the corner.
Q: I remember it.
DL: Opposite was Mrs Wilson who had the shop opposite and the bakery. And then there was Mrs Stacey, the other Mrs Stacey, had a bakery which is now an ordinary house. And the Post Office wasn’t there; it was, the Post Office, still on The Green.
Q: That’s right, which Tom ran. And was there something else where the Post Office is now?
DL: Oh in Jez’s. That was another shop. That was Barnes’s. Barnes had that shop; Charlie Barnes.
Q: Then Wilkins had a shop.
DL: No, that was after the Barnes.
Q: Tell me about Tommy Barnes.
DL: Tommy Barnes and Ada; we used to go on his bus – this funny little bus to go to school. He used to have this blue bus that was called a ‘Biscuit Tin’. And the kids at Marlborough used to say “Here they come in their Biscuit Tin”. He was very well known in the village but I didn’t have much to do with him; he was into the Chapel in Baydon, I think.
Q: How many of you went to Marlborough to school?
DL: I suppose about fifteen of us.
Q: And that was a bus full.
DL: And the girls used to stay at Mayfield and the boys stayed at a place called Wye House.
Q: Do you know where it was and is it still there?
DL: I don’t know if it’s still there; we had great fun in Mayfield, but it was run by these old ladies who didn’t really give us enough to eat.
Q: Really. You starved.
DL: We used to take tuck boxes with us for midnight feasts and things like this.
Q: Fill you up.
DL: Sometimes my Mum and Aunty Claire used to cycle in to Marlborough and bring us in some food.
Q: Keep you going.
DL: We did have some good times at Mayfield.
Q: Were you cold?
DL: Freezing cold; I was in an attic which was right at the top; there were eight of us in there and it was very cold. I got chilblains and I would fill up a hot water bottle at night and I couldn’t have any hot water to wash in in the morning; so I used to use the hot water bottle which was a bit warm so we had to use that; but it was very cold. We were very naughty girls when I look back. Yes, we were. We had lots of fun but I didn’t like it. I used to like it at home. After all we had the soldiers here and here I was, taken away from all the dances. I was whisked away Monday morning.
Q: Tell me about the soldiers. Were they on the Green?
DL: Oh yes, they were. They were everywhere.
Q: They were everywhere.
DL: On the Green, they were everywhere; in the stables, they were in the Crown, they were everywhere; on the Playing fields.
Q: And these were Americans.
DL: Yes, and English.
Q: And English as well.
DL: The Americans stand out a bit more; they used to have dances nearly every night of the week which we used to go to. I’m ashamed to say that some of the best years of my life were during the war. Because I was just that age; I wasn’t old enough to sort of, get carried away by them, but I was – because they were so lonely, soldiers that we, even a thirteen or fourteen year old, would do when it came to dancing. They did teach us to dance, oh yes. Jitterbugging and all the rest of it.
Q: Wonderful.
DL: I loved that.
Q: How long were they here for?
DL: They were here right up until – I don’t know.
Q: They were here for D Day.
DL: One new lot came in and then they went and another lot came in. …
Q: And what were they doing?
DL: I’ve no idea what they were doing. I can’t remember at all what they were doing.
Q: They weren’t flying……I mean they flew from Ramsbury.
DL: Yes, they flew. Yes they did. We used to know ; we used to say goodbye to them all one day and we would see these aeroplanes.
Then the next lot would come in. It was good years for me; very good years for me.
Q: So this was quite a long time.
DL: It was; I can’t remember it all. But we got very involved with them because we had all these dances. They had a cinema, pictures, in the Hall; we looked very longingly at them.
Q: Could you not go in?
DL: Not unless they took us in.
Q: Oh I see.
DL: We did have the cinema apart from the Americans but when the Americans came and took us in.
Q: So your war was an exciting war rather than a worrying war.
DL: I had no worries at all. There was only one bomb dropped, I believe. We used to have GFS, Girls Friendly Society, and when we were leaving there one night, a bomb dropped and there was a crater. I remember coming down from the Vicarage.
Q: Really. Where was this bomb dropped?
DL: I think it was up Four Barrows. There was a big bang; then we ran indoors. I can’t remember much about it. I remember we went up the next day to get shrapnel.
Q: Probably. It wasn’t a frightening one.
DL: No. Now I can remember in Marlborough, there was this great big dining room table and the siren must have gone off, when we were there, because we all got under this great big dining table I remember.
Q: But you don’t remember much happening.
DL: No, I really really did have a wonderful time in the war.
Q: What about rationing, Daphne, did –
DL: My Mum had a – I don’t know how she did it; my Mum was wonderful. We had the most lovely food all through the war. Of course the Americans used to give us a bit as well.
Q: They probably did but it was home grown. Your wonderful father’s allotment or garden.
DL: Yes ; we ate very well during the war. I do remember that; but the little bit we were given –
Q: You didn’t have a pig or chickens? You had lots of friends who did.
DL: Yes, I suppose everybody helped everybody else.
Q: Uncle Charlie, talk about him.
DL: I know, with our tickets; what do you call them? coupons.
Q: Coupons.
DL: Coupons; when Marion got married they swapped coupons with somebody so that she could buy the material for her dress.
Q: Oh yes you had a ration.
DL: So she could get the material.
Q: You didn’t miss chocolate or –
DL: Well it was very quickly around the village if somebody said” You know they’ve got chocolate up at Palmers”. We all used to roll up and queue up for chocolate; so they would dish out so much for the coupons.
Q: But you never missed anything very badly.
DL: I didn’t miss anything, really. I was very lucky. My Mum was absolutely wonderful. I used to take my friends home for tea and they still used to be fed. She was a lovely lady.
Q: Shall we talk about farming or is there any connection with farming?
DL: No, not really. I used to go up to Uncle Charles a lot, ever such a lot, and I used to go round collecting the eggs, and I used to go up and wash the eggs. Aunt Emmie would give me 2/6d for doing the eggs and whatnot.
Q: And that would take you how long? A morning?
DL: No, in evening, probably. I would go after school, I expect. I used to go up and help with separating the milk. I used to collect the cream cartons when they were separating it. I used to go round delivering the milk; give Uncle Charlie a hand. I used to almost live up his farm, playing around, riding the big carthorses.
Q: You rode them did you?
DL: Yes, Mr Harry Wootton used to be in charge of the horses and he used to let us have a ride on them.
Q: And this is getting the crops in, and did you help with that?
DL: Yes I used to go round putting the stooks up, whatever you call them. Then we used to have to go round and turn them all back and round again to dry them. Every now and then rats and rabbits used to run away. Yes, I used to love doing anything on the farm; I was up there such a lot, helping Aunty Emmie push the milk churn right up the hill.
Q: They had a splendid Guernsey herd didn’t they.
DL: They were very good.
Q: They were prize winners. They produced lovely milk; I remember it well.
DL: I used to spray the cows with fly spray so that they didn’t kick.
Q: Did you milk them?
DL: No. They, probably, were all hand milked.
Q: Which Charlie did.
DL: Yes, and Bill, he milked. I had lots of lovely times on the farm.
Q: And he was into cereals as well as milk
DL: Yes; he used to grow the beets and everything.
Q: You weren’t involved in that.
DL: No – Only the land farming.
Q: Lost buildings; what was but isn’t anymore.
DL: Oh gosh, I don’t know.
Q: What about the fustian factory?
DL: Oh no, actually, I don’t remember about that. I really don’t know anything about that.
Q: Perhaps it was still there
DL: No, I don’t remember – I know my Dad – That’s where Adey’s Barn –
Q: The Adey’s. No, that was the theatre.
DL: That was where the play. I remember that theatre.
Q: Did you go to that?
DL: No. My Dad used to be in it.
Q: Was he?
DL: Took part in it but it was before my time that was. I never took part.
Q: You must have joined the Girl Guides or Cubs or whatever?
DL: I can’t remember much about that, but I did do …I remember, for a while I used to help with the Cubs and I remember, for a while, I was a Guide in Aldbourne. I can’t remember too much about it.
Q: You would have been, I’m sure you would.
DL: I would have been because I used to be in the Daffodil Patrol.
Q: Were you?
DL: And we used to have our meetings above – you know where Tony Gilligan’s office was…opposite the shop ….up there I remember.
Q: And was it a strong troop, I mean a lot of you?
C I suppose it was quite good. I can’t even remember the name of the lady that she did the Guides and her husband did the Beavers, I mean the Scouts. There was quite a lot of us, I think.
Q: There were.
DL: We didn’t do anything, really.
Q: And you must have got involved in entertainment Daphne; I can’t believe –
DL: Oh yes. I used to belong to groups. But I joined the WI to be in the Drama Group.
Q: You did. Tell me about that.
DL: That was wonderful. We used to have a wonderful group in the Drama Group. All the pantomimes in the chorus. I always used to be in charge of the children. I did all the children’s choreography and looked after them whilst somebody else was on stage; and kept them quiet and gave them sweets to eat, so that they kept quiet. So I was always involved with the children. Yes, I was involved and enjoyed it all. I didn’t get big parts.
Q: You were much involved.
DL: I was.
Q: With the scenery as well?
DL: No, I didn’t do much with the scenery; my job was with the children.
Q: And you had an annual pantomime.
DL: Yes, and we had lots of plays and things; I was also in the drama group of the Mothers’ Union. Yes we had a little drama group.
Q: So you produced those as well.
DL: No, I’ve never produced the plays; I’ve only produced anything to do with children. I produced the Gang Shows and things like that. That was way back when – Ralph Reader. The last Gang Show I did -. No I didn’t do much until I was older. Every thing I did was involved with children. I’ve always been involved with children.
Q: When did you start the Play Group then?
DL: I don’t know. I think Peggy and I started it in 1959 – gosh, I really don’t know. I don’t know the year I started it.
I think Philip was about five.
Q: Do you remember the Coronation? Did anybody have a television in those days?
DL: I can’t remember what happened. No it really doesn’t ring a bell at all.
Q: Was there a street party?
DL: No. I can remember, why at all I don’t know, but I can remember all the school kids going to the Green – had to sing or something or other. I can remember we received something, mugs probably. That was probably where they were given out.
Q: Have you got a mug still?
DL: No.
Q: Do you think you dropped it?
DL: Can’t remember.
Q: What about the winters. That dreadful winter of ’63. Snow up to –
DL: Great fun, wasn’t it. I remember. We had to get the Army out to get about.
Q: You did indeed.
DL: That was a real lovely time in the end but of course all the village came together and everybody was helping everybody else, cleaning up the snow and you could go up to Bill Hale and he’d give you some milk straight from the cow. Gordon Hale he would, as well. Oh, we had a wonderful time. The kids thought it was brilliant fun.
Q: You went tobogganing everywhere.
DL: Yes, Four Barrows. We had to dig our way through.
Q: It lasted a long time.
DL: It did for us.
Q: It was hard going, I think.
DL: Oh, it was. I know we had to have the Army in to clear the roads for us.
Q: It wouldn’t go away.
DL: No – I think there was a flood too. We had floods down West Street.
Q: Oh, and always the Lottage.
DL: One year it was flooded all round by the pump round by West Street; around there once. I can’t remember much about it.
Q: Can I ask you about the pubs?
DL: The pubs?
Q: Perhaps you don’t know about the pubs?
DL: Yes. There were five or six pubs weren’t there in the village. Blue Boar, The Crown, The Masons, The Bell, The Queen Victoria. That’s the only ones I knew. I know there was some before but…
Q: Do you remember the publicans?
DL: Yes. There was Mr West, Barney West
Q: Which pub was he.
DL: He was in the Bell. Who was in the Boar. Oh gosh I can’t remember his name. Mr Dady; I think had the Blue Boar. He was in the Blue Boar and had two sons. One of whom I fancied, in his uniform. The Crown. That would be Dick, a racing person – no, Holland – and his mother in law was a Smith I think; and of course Mr Dew had the Queen Vic. My Dad would never ever go in pubs.
Q: He was teetotal.
DL: Oh yes, I didn’t start going to pubs till I met Pete – he led me astray.
Q: Wicked ways.
DL: Yes, he led me astray.
Q: What else shall we talk about Daphne? I think we’ve covered everything on the list. You have done extraordinarily well. Are you happy with that?
DL: Yes. As I say, I’m happy to remember all that I can remember.
Q: You’ve spoken for an hour. I told you you would.
DL: It’s not true.
Q: It is true. Right, lovely.
DL: Thank you very much, Trevor.
Q: Well shall we stop it?
DL: Yes let’s stop it.
Q: Well, thank you very much, Daphne. I’m extremely grateful to you.
DL: So you should be.
Q: You’ve done extremely well. Thank you very much indeed.