Tape 007. Mrs Dorothy Ireland (nee Goss), sides 7 and 8

Tape 7

Mrs Dorothy Ireland (nee Goss), was born in 1894, and was interviewed on 25 November 1976. when she lived at 12 Chalks Road, Witham.

She also appears on tapes 1, 2, 3, 33, 86, 90 and 97.

For more information about her, see the the notes in the people category headed Ireland, Mrs Dorothy (Dolly), nee Goss

The original recording of this interview is held at the Essex Sound and Video Archive. To listen to the recording, please contact them at ero.enquiry@essex.gov.uk or 033301 32500.

[???] shows words that are not clear enough to interpret and so have had to be omitted.
[?] after a word shows that its interpretation is not certain.
Later explanatory additions by JG or the transcriber are in square brackets [e.g. explaining locations etc.]


Side 7

Q:    What the one ….?

Mrs I:    The next one, where Mrs Richardson lived [44 Church Street].

Q:    [???]

Mrs I:    Well, Hasler left, well, she was good and worked for him and he left her the cottage, she paid ninety, she said. Oh, how nice to see that. Course, that’s Dorky [Henry Dorking, blacksmith at Chipping Hill, must be discussing pic thereof]. That’s strange. But you’ve got to just think for a moment.

m0589 bottom of church street for pic 1
Picture 1. The bottom of Church Street.
tape 007, pic 1, church street bottom, drawing
Sketch relating to Mrs Ireland’s information about the photo above. (1) was the fish shop (8 Church Street], (2) was Alderton’s paper shop [10 Church Street or 10a Church Street], and (3) the fruit shop [10b Church Street or 12 Church Street]. Also (1) was Fuller the butcher as on this pic. Probably he was before the fish though this not absolutely clear.

Q:    That’s right. Well, I’m amazed you can remember at all, really. That’s further down, isn’t it, that’s not all there now, where the chip shop is, is it [showing photograph: see pictures 1a and 1b, of bottom of Church Street]?

Mrs I:    This is what annoys me, you see. That was the, that’s the, oh, they’ve got that house very nice, haven’t they. Well, there was the fish shop [(1) in picture, 8 Church Street], and there was Alderton, the paper shop [(2) in picture, 10 Church Street or 10a Church Street], and the next one was a fruit shop [(3) in picture, 10b Church Street or 12 Church Street], now we haven’t got that. So we used to come from the butcher’s, and we could go and get our vegetables and bring our paper home, and now we’ve got nothing. Oh, there’s the lamp. There’s the carts, you see, the bakers’ carts. The barrels are there.

Q:    What’s in the barrels, I wonder?

Mrs I:    Well, there would either be vinegar, oh they’d be vinegar, wouldn’t they, for the greengrocer, yes.

Q:    I see. So what happened, if somebody would [???] vinegar at your shop, if somebody came in for some vinegar, would they have to bring a bottle?

Mrs I:    Oh yes, half a pint of vinegar a penny.

Q:    You’d bring your own bottle, would you?

Mrs I:    Own bottle. And you had your cask, and you’d got the little cork, yes.

Q:    And I suppose other things ….?

Mrs I:    Oh, it is nice to think you’ve got that one. Oh, I think that’s great. Oh, I wouldn’t have even thought, I couldn’t imagine you’d got it.

Q:    I am surprised anybody taking a picture of it, it’s a good job they did.

Mrs I:    Oh, it was nice.

Q:    I don’t know whether I can read any of these names, on here. Fuller’s, that says [(1) on picture, 8 Church Street].

Mrs I:    Oh, it’s Fuller the butcher. Then he had the butcher’s shop right opposite Collingwood Road. You know you go straight down into Collingwood Road and there’s a big shop, that’s a fish shop now, I think [29 Collingwood Road].

Q:    That’s it, yes.

Mrs I:    Well that was Fuller. He went from Church Street there, and he opened one up here. He was the first man to open one here, in Church Street at the end [perhaps St. Nicholas Close]. Oh, that’s Fuller.

Q:    I can’t read the others there. That must be the paper shop, mustn’t it?

Mrs I:    Alderton, yes, that’s Alderton [10 or 10a Church Street].

Q:    And that next one was the ….?

Mrs I:    That was fruit [10b Church Street or 12 Church Street].

Q:    The fruit shop, was it, yes?

Mrs I:    Fruit, yes. We often think, and you’d walk up and then you’d get your bread, wouldn’t you, and your sausages and everything. So strange, you know, and now we’ve nothing. I quite think that Sainsbury’s, and another shop, would have come, but the bothering fish shop stopped it, see the smell of the fish. That’s a pity they ever put the fish shop there [probably referring to present shop in newer building, at 10 Church Street]. But then it was here, originally, and so that’s what they did. But after the fish got there, you see, none of them came.

Q:    What, Fuller’s was the fish, was it?

Mrs I:    No, Fuller’s was butcher’s, you see.

Q:    Fuller’s was the butcher’s, that’s right.

Mrs I:    You see, but that went.

Q:    But then when he went there was fish, was there? [or just possibly fish first in fact]

Mrs I:    Yes, yes.

Q:    Yes, I see.

Mrs I:    Pity, ‘cos we often think, you know, a nice, although the shops, but, I think Coates does well [16 Church Street], and so does the car shop, good [8 Church Street]. Clive was saying that’s a very handy shop, to pop in for odds and ends, for the car. And then there’s the hairdresser [12 Church Street] [these all at time of interview].

Q:    That’s right, people come up to those from quite a way, don’t they?

Mrs I:    They do, oh yes, yes. Clive says’ it’s a good, he said ‘I think that did well there’.

Q:    Yes.

Mrs I:    Yes, they’re beautiful ones, aren’t they. Fancy seeing Dorky and poor old Freddy Hasler. Ah. Poor old Freda, Griggs [see tape 3].

Q:    These are Chipping Hill again, that’s a bit further away [showing photograph: see pictures 2a and 2b, showing Chipping Hill towards the green].

MW II 17 b chipping hill towards green for pic 2

MW II 17 c chipping hill towards green for pic 2
Pictures 2a and 2b. Chipping Hill looking west.
tape 007, pic 2, chipping hill towards green, drawing
Sketch relating to Mrs Ireland’s information about the photos above. (1) was Tyrrell’s, bootmaker, and (2) was a sweet shop and postcards run by his mother (both since demolished for 39 Chipping Hill). (3) is two cottages, put into one now [probably no.43]. (4) (22 Chipping Hill) was where the people probably went from the cottages on the green that were pulled down (32-34). Previously Cheek the basketmaker lived there. At (5) there are window boards on the shop for protection.

Mrs I:    Have you got the nice, very nice. Oh. Oh yes, that’s the same, and these are still here. Oh, now, you’ve got something here very interesting. That’s the bootmaker where he used to do these boots.

Q:    Where the lady’s standing there, you mean?

Mrs I:    Yes, that’s right, that was Tyrrell’s. And this was another little, just sweet shops and postcards and different things [both now demolished for part of 39 Chipping Hill]. That’s his bootmending place, and then of course these are all down.

Q:    Which was the boot ….?

Mrs I:    Tyrrell.

Q:    Sorry, the boot man was Tyrrell.

Mrs I:    Yes. In this little piece. And his mother, usual again, mother in the business, and the son had the other little corner piece, see, to do the boot repairing.

Q:    Oh, so that’s where the Chase goes, is it?

Mrs I:    That’s right.

Q:    Oh, I didn’t realise it was right up there, yes. So that’s gone, then?

Mrs I:    That’s nice. And then of course these two cottages, they’re into one now, aren’t they  [probably 43 Chipping Hill]?

Q:    Yes, and this is a big, a different house?

Mrs I:    That’s right.

Q:    Or bungalow, oh is that where the bungalow is? Oh, I’m lost now.

Mrs I:    No, not[?] the bungalow.

Q:    No, that’s the Chase, isn’t it [actually I think I was mistaking the gap on the far side of 39 for Moat Farm Chase, which isn’t actually on the picture; it is out of view to the front left].

Mrs I:    No, past, yes, that’s right the Chase, past. They’re all down, you see. Oh look, you’ve got this all nice. And still again. Oh, this is a good one, because you’ve still got that little row of cottages, again, and the sweep’s [32 Chipping Hill and 34 Chipping Hill, see tape 3]. But then it avoids those at the back [26 Chipping Hill]. Oh, and then you see there’s the one which the people from there moved over the road into these.

Q:    The one right at the edge [right hand edge of picture, i.e left-hand part of red-brick buildings next to the blacksmith’s house, probably known as 22 Chipping Hill].

Mrs I:    Yes, you’ve only got one, there are two. Yes, that’s nice.

Q:    Oh, the people from the cottages that were pulled down?

Mrs I:    Yes, that’s right, yes. That used to be a basketmaker lived there.

Q:    Really? Before they moved there, you mean.

Mrs I:    Yes, before they moved in.

Q:    ‘Cos he was in, now I’ve heard of Smith in Guithavon?

Mrs I:    Oh, not, no, these were Cheek.

Q:    Cheek?

Mrs I:    Yes, they were basketmakers. Used to take the chairs there to have the canes, you know, the bottom of the chairs. You know it’s been a very interesting place.

Q:    There was a lot going on, wasn’t there, yes.

Mrs I:    You wouldn’t think so, would you, for Chipping Hill. Cheap Hill, Cheap Hill, you see, that’s where they got the Chipping from. Cheap Hill.

Q:    Cheek? Wasn’t there Cheek a printer? Was there Cheek the printer when you were ….?

Mrs I:    Pardon. No.

Q:    Cheek the printer? No, that must have been before then?

Mrs I:    No. Afford was the printer.

Q:    Afford was the printer, yes.

Mrs I:    Yes, the cars.

Q:    That one’s nearly the same [picture 2b].

Mrs I:    I’m surprised you’ve got this one with the cottages [32 Chipping Hill and 34 Chipping Hill, on the green].

Q:    When did they pull them down, I wonder? I never read when they pulled them down?

Mrs I:    Well, after. After the 1914 War, ‘cos I remember Vera [Rudkin, see tape 3] living there. It was after. They pulled them down, and they didn’t rebuild, you see, did they?

Q:    No, no.

Mrs I:    And course, you could go round the back of the houses.

Q:    What, round the back of the cottages between the two. I suppose you had to, to get to those. That’s nearly the same, that one, isn’t it [picture 2b]. So you can see this shop a little a bit better.

Mrs I:    You’ve got some …. Oh yes, oh yes you can see the shop now. Oh yes, look, and you see how they used to have the window boards, and then close them in, didn’t they, always, for protection [(5) on picture, now part of 39]. People thought there was no robbery or no wrong, but you see they always did that for protection, didn’t they, put the windows back. Yes, there’s the shop.

Q:    That’s what it was for, you reckon?

Mrs I:    Oh, definitely, oh yes, yes. Oh, it is nice to think you’ve got that, with those again. Brings that house very nice, doesn’t it.

Q:    It always strikes me as strange, that one doesn’t have a garden, does it [26 Chipping Hill]?

Mrs I:    No. At the back. They’ve got to come,. they’ve got to come and walk along and go past the third house and then go into the garden.

Q:    I know she always has, nowadays she always has her washing out by the door there.

Mrs I:    Oh that’s was the Vicar was upset about,  Black. Well there’s nowhere.

Q:    There’s nowhere else, really, handy, to have it, is there?

Mrs I:    Well, she couldn’t go right round, could she. Oh, isn’t it nice, though.

Q:    These are all rather similar, really. That’s the, that’s a big wide one with the White Horse [2 Church Street].

Mrs I:    Oh, course, this is the White Horse, of course. Oh and this. That used to be a nice house [Barnardiston House, 35 Chipping Hill]. Bibolini lived there. He worked at, he was a butler at Faulkbourne Hall.

Q:    Really? And he lived there, did he?

Mrs I:    Yes. Yes. And then, he ran away with a girl in the pea-field, I always remember.

Q:    Really?

Mrs I:    Yes, and they came and lived in that beautiful house, old Bibolini [laugh]. Oh, I remember him. Oh, you do get some nice …. See, and there’s the back of the White Horse, you see. How nice, that is.

Q:    That must have been quite a story in those days, then? The butler. Would the butler be quite a respectable, sort of, thought of as quite respectable?

Mrs I:    Oh yes, and he used to say, we used to laugh, he used to say ‘I am an Englishman. I am a naturalised Englishman’ [laugh]. Well, you remember those little tales, don’t you?

Q:    He must have done quite well to have a big house like that.

Mrs I:    Oh, yes, he did, but that’s where he was, he was butler at Faulkbourne Hall. Course we say ‘Forburne Hall’, that’s Faulk-bourne [with k], you see.

Q:    Was that the pea-fields round here somewhere?

Mrs I:    Oh yes, right off. Oh yes, I remember that tale. You do, don’t you, naturally scandal, especially a girl and another fellow [laugh].

Q:    That’s right, yes. Was it somebody you knew?

Mrs I:    Oh, yes. Relative next door to me.

Q:    Oh, I see, oh well, how exciting.

Mrs I:    Yes, peas [or Pease?], oh, I remember that.

Q:    ‘Cos I remember you saying that your grandma didn’t like the pea-fields much?

Mrs I:    Oh, no, I went once, and I never shall forget, it was the only time I ever had a smack.

Q:    She, I expect she thought that was going to happen, did she [laugh]?

Mrs I:    Well, she thought, you see, might be some of my people might arrive, and she wasn’t taking care. Oh, I always remember that.

Q:    But you quite wanted to go, did you?

Mrs I:    Well, naturally. And you get there, and you see them putting the peas into the sack, and you then, and I always remember they[?] would keep combing my hair, we just sat on the pea-sacks, and I suppose I was happy You used to go and take the tea or something up, into the fields. I remember we did that for Driberg [Tom Driberg, M.P. for Maldon, 1942-55]. That’s the last time I ever went in the pea-field. I went with Mr Goody, he lives at the top of the road.

Q:    I know, yes, near Crittall’s [46 Braintree Road].

Mrs I:    You remember, do you? Well, we went across the pea-field to, for the women, ‘cos they weren’t at home, to canvass.

Q:    No, I see.

Mrs I:    And we went into the field.

Q:    To canvass them, did you really?

Mrs I:    Yes. That’s Driberg, I told you.

Q:    Oh, that was when he was standing as an Independent, was it [in 1942]?

Mrs I:    Yes, yes, oh, yes, Independent. And the Tories put him in, didn’t they, because the poor old Labour candidate was fighting in the War. Wicked, wasn’t it [laughing]?

Q:    So, how did you get involved in helping him, then?

Mrs I:    Goody asked me.

Q:    Did he?

Mrs I:    And when I said, I went to several, and they said ‘You know very well we’re not going to vote’. ‘Oh’, I said, ‘it’s ridiculous’. ‘Oh, we’re not voting, no, it’s not fair. He’s out there fighting, why should I’. ‘Well’, I said, ‘you’ve got to have someone’. I said ‘Anyway, it’ll put the other one out, won’t it?, old Fortescue Flannery’ [laugh] [Driberg’s opponent was not actually Fortescue Flannery, who was an earlier M.P.]. Oh, I remember going across the fields with poor Goody, mm, I do.

Q:    So, what did you, you just to talk to them? Did you have to write down what they ….?

Mrs I:    No, we just asked them.

Q:    You just went to talk?

Mrs I:    We just said, you see, he was Independent. Oh, he was a splendid man. Oh, he was.

Q:    Oh, I didn’t know you did that?

Mrs I:    Yes. Oh, poor Goody, we often speak about it, when we went across the pea-fields [laughing]. Well, you like to think. I’ve always interested myself in politics, I don’t know why.

Q:    No, it is interesting, isn’t it?

Mrs I:    I always have. But I’m not at all interested in the Jubilee. No, not at all. Fact I’m annoyed. I think the money could be well spent in others. When you know, there’s, the country’s in such a state.

Q:    I remember you said elections were exciting when you were little.

Mrs I:    Oh, they were beautiful.

Q:    Was your grandma involved, interested in politics?

Mrs I:    Oh yes. Liberals. We were Liberals, you see, more Liberals.

Q:    Of course, she wouldn’t have the vote would she, till, no probably wouldn’t have a vote at all, would she?

Mrs I:    No, no. Oh dear, I remember.

Q:    So I suppose the women wouldn’t get involved much?

Mrs I:    No. Course, old Strutt. You know, Strutt, I went to see my friend yesterday afternoon, and her father was the bailiff, farm bailiff for the Honourable Strutt, and she was saying, ‘They never had a road or anything after Strutt, did they’, she said, ‘and he was very good to his people’ [Charles Strutt].

Q:    Yes, that’s strange, yes.

Mrs I:    Yes. She said, because she said, there’s been a Conservative, they were all, then, weren’t they, Council men, there weren’t many. She said she just couldn’t understand it, ‘cos we were speaking about the Smith family, because somebody, a big friend of hers, is coming out of a house into Maldon Road, because Rowley the garage people need it.

Q:    Oh, I know, yes.

Mrs I:    And she was speaking about Smith, you see [Councillor Ted Smith, whose wife was Peggy Smith, born Peggy Wood, of the Trafalgar Square Wood family]. Oh, and she said the same old thing again, yesterday. ‘Course’, she said, ‘we weren’t allowed in Trafalgar Square, were we?’. And yet all those son-in-laws married those girls [hushed]. And they’re nice fellows, aren’t they? I’ve never spoken to Smith, I should like to. ‘Cos they say he’s a very good man. Well, he’s trying to fight for her, I think, ‘cos Rowley wants those four cottages down [77-83 Maldon Road, demolished by 1979].

Q:    Yes. I know the ones. I’ve got a friend that lives next …. It’s Mrs, Pachent.

Mrs I:    Oh it is, Hilda Pachent, yes.

Q:    I’ve only met her once, but my friend lives next door to her.

Mrs I:    Yes. Well, that’s who I’m speaking about, you see. So she said ‘Oh, have you heard if Hilda’s got a place yet?’. And then I asked Margaret Brown, she lives in Collingwood Road [7 Collingwood Road], next to the optician. Course they’re friendly. But of course Hilda, strange thing she did, she married, she lost her husband, and then she went back to her own name.

Q:    Oh, I see.

Mrs I:    Hilda Pachent. Oh how strange. So, we wondered if she, you know, what was happening, and she said ‘Oh, Mr Smith’, she said, ‘is a councillor’, and she said ‘he’s fighting the case for her’.

Q:    So you knew the Woods in those days as well, did you?

Mrs I:    Oh, I knew those. And then we said, we said the same thing, it’s funny, that Strathearn [Alex Strathearn, married Nin (Edith) Wood], he was on the Council wasn’t he, and this Mr Smith, and was there another, another man?

Q:    Yes, Bentley, was on the Council, yes, that’s right [Alf Bentley, married Vi Bentley, born Vi Wood].

Mrs I:    Yes, oh, we couldn’t think of anything. We could not think of his name. I said ‘I know his wife’. And we said, she, I said ‘Well, I suppose Mr Smith used his influence, and you can train the man’, I said ‘if nobody else would stand, so what have you got to do, you’ve got to be represented, haven’t you?’

Q:    Yes.

Mrs I:    But I’ve never met Mr Smith.

Q:    Haven’t you? Oh, he’s nice. Yes, I met his wife going over, down the town this morning. I think they go about a lot in the car, so you don’t see them.

Mrs I:    I knew their mother, she died recently, Nellie Wager, yes, I knew their mother, but I’ve often ….

Q:    She was, Wager was her name?

Mrs I:    Yes, and her mother, see, remarried and it made it Smith [not sure that Nellie, the mother, was ever a Smith; think she was Wood when I knew her]. ‘Cos there was, there was Colonel Smith. They were nice people, it was just that the place you weren’t allowed into.

Q:    I remember talking to somebody else who said she lived down there, now she’s Mrs Brown now, Keith Brown’s mother, what did she say her name was {Edith Brown]?

Mrs I:    Hawkes.

Q:    Hawkes, that’s right.

Mrs I:    Come from there, yes, and the Haygreens. Oh all lived, but, it wouldn’t be them, I suppose it would be some, some of them, you see, you can’t condemn everyone, can you?

Q:    Well, it sounds as if Mr Hawkes had quite a good job and so on.

Mrs I:    Yes, definitely, and they, I think they worked hard, and done well, haven’t they, extremely well.

Q:    As you say, it’s just, a place gets a bad name, I suppose?

Mrs I:    Yes, and why should they, you see, these, I suppose these fellows were soldiers, and I suppose that’s how he met the girls. I shouldn’t think he would meet them in Witham, I should think they would meet them ….?

Q:    You mean they were Witham men and would bring the girls back with them [the Woods’ husbands weren’t actually]?

Mrs I:    Yes, wouldn’t you think so?

Q:    Maybe, yes.

Mrs I:    Oh how strange you should think of Hilda Pachent.

Q:    Yes, because, I know they were very upset about the houses, it does seem a shame, doesn’t it? ‘Cos she didn’t really want to move away, did she [Mrs I: Well, I think ….], perhaps she’s got used to the idea now?

Mrs I:    Well, I think it’s ridiculous, because I mean they’re not that valuable, and I mean, they put them in nice places, don’t they, the Council.

Q:    Oh yes, she’d probably be more comfortable, won’t she?

Mrs I:    And then, definitely.

Q:    They were a bit ….

Mrs I:    Well, she is, and we only said yesterday afternoon we wondered what was happening. Still, people do these things. Well, years ago, you could just buy a house, someone living in it, and get them out, couldn’t you, which used to be very unfair.

Q:    Yes, at least they have to find them somewhere now.

Mrs I:    Oh yes, oh, times have changed, haven’t they?. They talk about the old times, but I think everything is done for the good, isn’t it, if you can get people to vote for it.

Q:    I suppose when, did you, when you were rent-collecting, was anybody ever evicted?

Mrs I:    Oh, good gracious, no. Only where I told you of, Oliver Cromwell cottages, he would not come out. And they took the roof off and he was laying in bed [‘Cromwell cottages’ now are 25-31 Church Street, which seem quite old; possibly she referred to 39 Church Street etc. where the old ones have been demolished].

Q:    Really?

Mrs I:    Old Shelley. Well, they were so ‘dilaperated’, you’d got to do something, the land was there, wasn’t it? Oh, no, you’d never, we’d never do a thing like that.

Q:    What, so, they had to pull them down, you mean, and he wouldn’t come out?

Mrs I:    Yes. Took the roof off, and then he came, and went up to Wickham with his son. But that’s the only one I know.

Q:    But not if they didn’t pay the rent or anything?

Mrs I:    Oh, no. Oh no, you, the debts had to die, there was no getting it back, it would cost you more to get it back, wouldn’t it?

Q:    And if they didn’t have it, there wouldn’t be ….?

Mrs I:    And old Blood, have you heard of ….?

Q:    Yes, I have, yes.

Mrs I:    Yes, well, he wasn’t a good magistrate. Oh no, he wasn’t, he was for the people, I know one or two cases that were really genuine and they lost, he ‘wasn’t going to have his clients proved guilty’.

Q:    What, he was a magistrate or a solicitor, you mean?

Mrs I:    Yes, yes, magistrate he was, yes, Bindon Blood. Lived next to the Public Hall [10 Collingwood Road].

Q:    So he turned them down because they were people he ….?

Mrs I:    Oh, people that he knew. Oh, he ‘wasn’t having his clients proved guilty’.

Q:    Really?

Mrs I:    Mm. I remember that. See, I’ve always been interested in that kind of thing, you see, some people are not, you see.

Q:    No, I find it …. As you see, things are so different, aren’t they, I mean if a magistrate said that now, he would be off.

Mrs I:    Oh, definitely.

Q:    Whereas I suppose everybody took it for granted in those days, did they?

Mrs I:    Well, well, Philip Hutley, well, they used to say he was clothed in gold.

Q:    Really?

Mrs I:    Yes. Powershall End. We used to say, here he comes, clothed in gold.

Q:    What, from the farm [Powershall]?

Mrs I:    Yes, yes, Powershall End. Oh, yes.

Q:    So what sort of cases would these be that Mr Blood was involved in, things about the houses and things, do you think?

Mrs I:    Yes. And baby cases, in particular. And, you know, when they were trying to prove for the father. He wouldn’t have them proved guilty.

Q:    You mean if, to prove whose baby it was?

Mrs I:    Yes, that’s right, yes, to get the money, maintenance money. I always remember one person in particular lived in that house by Chipping Hill Post Office, and I know for a fact she knew the father, and, and the child grew up and you could see. But Bindon Blood said no. ‘Wasn’t going to have him proved a guilty man’.

Q:    What, you think partly because he was man, perhaps, as well?

Mrs I:    In it, you see. Oh yes, you’ve got to be …. Well, so did old Honourable Strutt, gracious, they used to say some tales about him.

Q:    Really, what sort of tales?

Mrs I:    Well, the same thing. Gracious. They used to say ‘He’s got Doug Bowyer there, and he’s got old Gaymer’. Used to say ‘Course, don’t want to ask any questions, they’re his sons [laugh]’. Poor old Strutt. And you’ve got the blacksmith here, that’s very nice. And here and the different things. The doctors were the first to have the cars that we noticed, the Gimsons, they were the first cars.

Q:    Yes, everybody speaks, everybody speaks well of them, I’ve never heard a bad word spoken of the doctors, really, the Doctor Gimsons.

Mrs I:    Oh no, they would, oh no, they would never charge. ‘Cos course in those days you had to pay. Five shillings for a visit, I always remember, seven and sixpence to the Hill.

Q:    Really, it must have been a lot, seven and six up to Chipping Hill?

Mrs I:    Yes. Yes, ‘cos I remember with the children, you know, if they had a cough, or measles, you’d always got to report it, because you just, or whooping cough, and you had the doctor in. And it would be seven and sixpence.

Q:    Yes. That was when your, when you had children, yes?

Mrs I:    Yes, when my children, you see, fifty years ago.

Q:    But you think they, they charged, if somebody couldn’t afford it, what, they would …?

Mrs I:    Oh, they were good, they were good. But they weren’t generous in the town.

Q:    Weren’t they?

Mrs I:    Oh, no, they weren’t generous.

Q:    What way do you mean, they ….?

Mrs I:    Never helped. Now, Laurence did, Percy Laurence at the Grove, he did, he did a lot. And Strutt, he did it for his workmen.

Q:    Yes.

Mrs I:    But Gimsons were mean people, very mean.

Q:    Really, that’s interesting, yes.

Mrs I:    Oh yes, very.

Q:    ‘Cos I suppose it must have been quite a good job being a doctor?

Mrs I:    Well there were three, you see, wasn’t there, in it. Doctor Ted was the poor man’s doctor, they used to say, Karl went to the rich.

Q:    I wonder how that came about? Do you think that was actually true, or just what people said?

Mrs I:    No. I think it was just …. ‘Cos Doctor Karl drank a lot.

Q:    Yes.

Mrs I:    And, old Ted used to like to go into people’s and tap their legs and call them by their names and all different. Oh yes, Doctor Karl was more snooty.

Q:    Was he?

Mrs I:    Mm.

Q:    But Doctor Ted didn’t mind going in ….?

Mrs I:    Drank. So did old Bawtrees, they used to drink.

Q:    Did they?

Mrs I:    Yes, Bawtrees, they were the solicitors.

Q:    Did they actually live in Witham, the Bawtrees?

Mrs I:    Yes. In the High Street.

Q:    Where the business is, they lived there [65 Newland Street]?

Mrs I:    Yes.

Q:    Where would people, when you say people like that drank, would, where would they go to drink?

Mrs I:    Constitutional Club.

Q:    Ah.

Mrs I:    It was burnt down, wasn’t it, in the High Street, I remember that well.

Q:    Would you see them drunk, or just hear about it?

Mrs I:    Oh, you’d know, the speech.

Q:    Speech, from their speech, you mean, yes.

Mrs I:    Speech, oh yes, definitely. Oh yes.

Q:    With the doctors, Doctor Karl didn’t live as long, he died before Doctor Ted didn’t he, as well, so he wouldn’t have ….?

Mrs I:    Yes. Doctor Ted had his fancy lady, Nurse Wood in Collingwood Road.

Q:    Did he? I see.

Mrs I:    Of course he did, used to see the car out there, used to say ‘Oh, Doctor Ted’s there’ [laugh].

Q:    ‘Cos they weren’t married, were they [the Gimsons]?

Mrs I:    No. I expect they saw enough of the women, didn’t they [laugh]. Oh yes, well you get the fairy tales, don’t you, when you’ve lived in the place all your life. Whether it was scandal or not, you had to have your own opinion on everything. But when I go up to see the Cissie [Miss Taylor], we have all that over, because she knows, and she tells me about the Honourable Strutt [Charles, of Blunts Hall], and she only said the other day, she said ‘Old Bob Gaymer died, didn’t he?’ ‘So’, she said ‘course’, she said, ‘you know, Honourable Strutt’, she said, ‘of course, that was his son, can’t you see the likeness’. See, ‘cos she used to hear her father say it, didn’t she? And of course she was at the house, the farm bailiff’s house, right near, and she could always into the Honourable Strutt’s. And she said ‘He called my father in, and he said, “Oh sit down, Moss”’. Moss Taylor. ‘Got something I want to tell you’. And he said ‘I’m getting married’. I suppose he was surprised ‘cos he married late in life. ‘So get the champagne out, and, let the men have just what they want’. And Brenda was saying yesterday afternoon, she said ‘And they laid in the stables all drunk, all the workmen’ [laugh’].

Q:   Really?

Mrs I:    Yes. And then of course there was the torchlight procession, there was everything, yes.

Q:    ‘Cos you said he was good to his workmen?

Mrs I:    Oh he was. Oh yes, because Mr Woodwards used to bring his rent, two pounds twelve, every harvest, time. And he’d ask for the two shillings back.

Q:    Who was, he was one of their workmen, was he?

Mrs I:    Yes, he was.

Q:    Where did he live, then?

Mrs I:    In Church Street.

Q:    Oh I see.

Mrs I:    Yes. Oh yes, he was good to his workmen, but …. Oh yes, you have got Laurence Avenue, well he was good, he really was good. I think Philip Hutley was good, was generous. But Gimsons weren’t. Oh no, no, not at all.

Q:    Yet they did sort of mix?

Mrs I:    Speak as you find. Well, they didn’t hold their position. You see, and they didn’t in those times. You were all one. There was no class distinction, no nothing. There was no-one really that you could look up to, only your parson, you know.

Q:    I see.

Mrs I:    Course we always had canons in those times.

Q:    So you wouldn’t reckon to look up to the doctors or the solicitors, or Mr Laurence or anybody?

Mrs I:    Oh no, no. No, ‘cos Laurence was good, I mean, he used to have that pathway right down, with the big gates. But I mean he never complained when we used to go into the Avenue and sit under the trees. And the animals were all there, ‘cos there was no building. Oh, he never complained [The Avenue, then part of the grounds of The Grove, Newland Street, home of Percy Laurence]

Q:    Do you think some people looked up to them?

Mrs I:    Yes, I think so, you thought ….

Q:    Perhaps you didn’t but perhaps others did?

Mrs I:    No. But they were very good, they were, they were nice, they were all Sunday School teachers, the daughters.

Q:    So I suppose, probably people looked up to them but they knew them as well, perhaps?

Mrs I:    Yes, well I think they thought …. You see there was so much poor, wasn’t there? There were so many poor people, that they helped them, didn’t they. And the bow and scrape and all that sort of business, was all over. Oh I was, I thought of you yesterday, oh I laughed. I met Harry Rudkin and I hadn’t seen him for years, and off came his hat. I said to Clive ‘I could have knocked the hat over the other side of the road’. I thought ‘You old-fashioned thing, you’. It was daft.

Q:    We talked about that, didn’t we, yes?

Mrs I:    Daft. I mean, this cold weather, I don’t think it’s necessary, do you?

Q:    [Laugh] He probably didn’t, he’d been doing it so long, he couldn’t help himself.

Mrs I:    [Laugh]. That’s strange, though, it only happened yesterday, I thought ‘How strange’.

Q:    Anyway, where ….?

Mrs I:    Oh, you have some lovely photographs.

Q:    They all belong to Mike Wadhams, you know?

Mrs I:    Oh, yes definitely.

Q:    His father was the Public Health Inspector.

Mrs I:    Oh, the father, I knew the father. Yes. He was very nice, but …. See, I went to a wedding and he brought me home, at Rivenhall, Golden Wedding, but I’ve never met his son, but I’ve met Mr Wadhams. He’s, well, I don’t know, he’s a strange man. Do you know him?

Q:    Yes, isn’t he, I only met him once or twice, he’s a bit shy perhaps?

Mrs I:    Yes, oh, I’m glad. No, I don’t know quite ….

Q:    ‘Cos he was quite strict, really?

Mrs I:    He couldn’t hold his position. That style of man. Oh no, I didn’t like him, at all.

Q:    I didn’t really meet him very often.

Mrs I:    And a friend of mine was having the sewers and all that put on in the village at Rivenhall, and I remember he was there, but, I thought he was a strange man.

Q:    Yes.

Mrs I:    He’s got the son, but I don’t know the son.

Q:    I think we’ve nearly finished Chipping Hill now, that’s from the other end, isn’t it [showing photograph: see picture 3 (showing Chipping Hill looking east) ?

MW II 16 c chipping hill looking west for pic 3
Picture 3. Chipping Hill looking east.
tape 007, pic 3, chipping hill looking west, drawing
Sketch relating to Mrs Ireland’s information about the photo above. (1) was the Post Office (45 Chipping Hill). (2) was a private house adjoining (43). The bootmaker was Tyrell and is also marked on the previous photo

Mrs I:    Yes, you’ve got some nice ones. Oh, this is another nice one again. I like to see the lamp posts ‘cos that interests me, to think he used to come at night.

Q:    Oh, this one here, right at this edge here [(1) on picture, now 45 Chipping Hill]?

Mrs I:    Oh yes, that’s the Post Office.

Q:    That was the Post Office, wasn’t it, yes?

Mrs I:    That’s the Post Office, and that was a private house next [43 Chipping Hill], then there were the two. And there comes the little shop, sweet shop and postcards, and then it’s the bootmaker [see earlier on this tape; left of (2), now demolished for 39 Chipping Hill].

Q:    And the Post Office, did they sell other things there as well?

Mrs I:    Oh yes, this side, yes, Mr Doole, yes, he sold the sweets and the different things and kept this part. Oh and there’s a nice part of the blacksmith again. They are really nice.

Q:    That’s similar, I think, that’s the Post Office there, isn’t it?

Mrs I:    Oh, yes, because look, you’ve got one of the houses there, where the doctor went into recently, didn’t she [47 Chipping Hill, Dr Ogden]?

Q:    Oh that’s right, yes.

Mrs I:    Yes. Allison[?] used to live there, there’s a passageway there, they’ve no back way. But the passageway is that way, to your back.

Side 8

Q:    [showing photograph: see picture 4, of Vicarage, now the Old Vicarage, Chipping Hill]. That was bigger then, was it, or is it just ….?

MW II 18 vicarage for pic 4
Picture 4. The Old Vicarage, probably in the early 1900s. Part of it was later taken down by Reverend Payne because he thought it was haunted.

Mrs I:    Oh no, you’ve got the front, oh yes, because, yes, there’s the front door, you’ve got this part of it. How ridiculous, that new parson, I always say parson, has asked them to have a pathway put from his end house [new Vicarage, 7 Chipping Dell] I’m going to have that walk up Chipping Dell, into the church.

Q:    That’s right, yes.

Mrs I:    Now, isn’t it a pity that they sold this vicarage where it was supposed to be, come across. I don’t see where he’s coming, across the churchyard. And another thing, if they put that pathway just for him, naturally people are going to use it, aren’t they?

Q:    To cut through, yes, ‘cos it’s a long way round otherwise, isn’t it?

Mrs I:    Well, it’s only natural, yes. I think it’s a strange idea. Oh yes, well, this was chopped off, all the side there [Old Vicarage; left side?], because it was supposed to be haunted. Ridiculous. I think it was Payne, Doctor Payne, was an ill man, the Reverend Payne, not Doctor Payne, we had a Doctor Payne. I think he was nervy, and he had an idea because those horses killed that lady in the stables that it was haunted. But anyway, he had it chopped off.

Q:    Which, when was that, in the stables at the Vicarage?

Mrs I:    Yes, yes. ‘Cos the stables are now made into that nice Church Hall, isn’t it?

Q:    So what happened then? I haven’t heard that tale about the horses.

Mrs I:    Well, then, Black, there used to be a big iron tomb opposite Church Street, and it told you, it was all the reading there, and then silly Black had it taken off. I know it began to go rusty at the bottom, but you know it was interesting to see the people stand there and read it.

Q:    Yes that’s right.

Mrs I:    You see, the lady went into the stables with these beautiful satin dresses, that rustled, you see and the horse ‘stampled’ on her.

Q:    Really? Was that somebody you knew?

Mrs I:    Oh no, that’s an old tale.

Q:    That was before, yes?

Mrs I:    Before my time, you see.

Q:    Rather like the tale of the castle down at Powershall End, that was an old tale as well?

Mrs I:    Oh yes ,oh yes, they’ll all tell you that. But as children we used to be interested and go to see if we could see this beautiful lady coming out.

Q:    Really?

Mrs I:    Yes, so it wasn’t that distance, was it?

Q:    I remember you telling me about getting the water from the spa. Was that, did it just come up in the middle of the field in those days?

tape 007, pic 5, map of lane to moors
Picture 5. The way to The Moors. This is part of a map of Witham published in 1845 but based on the tithe map of 1839. Powershall End goes along near the bottom of the map, and the track which still goes to Faulkbourne goes off it northwards, immediately west of the words ‘Witham Place’. On the tithe award, field 644 is Moors, with a stream in it, probably the one Mrs Ireland ‘followed’. This field is still there, between Honeysuckle Way and Faulkbourne, with a footpath through it. The 1953 Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map has two springs in Moors, and ‘issues’ elsewhere. In 1953 there were orchards in fields 640 and 642, partly in the parish of Faulkbourne, probably the ones referred to by Mrs Ireland as Ledger’s orchards. On older Ordnance maps the original (18th century) spa is shown on the southern edge of the long field with the line of trees (649). The trees were often known as the Monks’ walk. This is a printed map; there are copies in Colchester Library and the Essex Record Office.

Mrs I:    Yes, yes, and so it does into the Moors [see picture 5, map].

Q:    Into the Moors?

Mrs I:    Moors, when you, have you never been down to the tiny lane that leads you right to Faulkbourne Hall?

Q:    Oh, I think I know, yes.

Mrs I:    Well, we call it the Moors, you see, that would be all the ploughed fields, and then there’d be this one very nice meadow, before you got to the orchards, which are Ledgers’ orchards. Well, that’s where we used to go to pick the watercress and the mushrooms, and we used to put our little hands under, or take a little, that was supposed to be special for some reason. And when people were ill we used to take a bottle and get the spring water.

Q:    Oh? And they’d drink it?

Mrs I:    Yes.

Q:    Is that the path that goes up, opposite Highfields Road?

Mrs I:    No.

Q:    Or a different one up by the river?

Mrs I:    No, right, where the wall is, you know the ‘Roman’ wall, the back of the wall [probably where I suggested first, misheard by Mrs I then, off Powershall End, going north, nearly opposite Highfields Road, see map].

Q:    Oh I see.

Mrs I:    You see, that’s where the stream, then we used to go down the lane to follow the stream. But I don’t know, they don’t take their walks, I suppose there isn’t anything interesting, is there?

Q:    No, I like to go there, really. ‘Cos we went up once to Faulkbourne by that, well you go up by the big long wall ….

Mrs I:    Oh yes.

Q:    And then there’s a, there’s a track.

Mrs I:    Oh, have you been down the beautiful ….?

Q:    As I say, opposite the end of Highfields Road, isn’t it, more or less, up there?

Mrs I:    Yes, yes.

Q:    That’s not the one you were speaking of?

Mrs I:    Yes.

Q:    That is the one you were speaking of?

Mrs I:    Yes, oh, yes. But I used to ask Mr Bradley, I used to say, now course they’ve done the ploughing. You made your own pathway, you see, ‘cos they’d plough it all up. He said ‘Yes, you can still get through’.

Q:    Really ? And this spring was in the Moors.

Mrs I:    Yes, in the Moors, yes.

Q:    I think if it’s a public footpath they have to leave something, don’t they, for you to get through?

Mrs I:    Yes, but of course they naturally plough through, and you have to tread it down.

Q:    Yes, quite.

Mrs I:    But still, you enjoyed it, you liked walking through the corn, you didn’t keep to the pathway, you went in the corn. You see, you never see a poppy now, do you, or the flowers all in the corn. Oh that’s a lovely one. And she had that all altered.

Q:    ‘Cos I remember, talking of that part of the place, I remember someone telling me, someone showed me a picture of the old mill down there [1 Powershall End], and there was a picture, in front of it there was a Mr Springett, who was the father. Did you know them at all?

Mrs I:    Yes.

Q:    Did you know them at all?

Mrs I:    Yes. She’s still living. [Q: Is she still there, Miss Springett?] Miss Springett. Yes, she’s, see, she’d be, think, I think she’d be nearly ninety.

Q:    Really?

Mrs I:    Yes, she’s still living there [6 Powershall End].

Q:    Yes.

Mrs I:    Eva Springett. Yes. They used to work, you see, for the fruit farm, Ledgers.

Q:    Oh, I see.

Mrs I:    Yes. Oh, fancy springing that name, yes, Eva’s still there.

Q:    Because I think Springetts must have been there a long time at that place, haven’t they?

Mrs I:    Oh, all their lives, yes.

Q:    And their father and his father as well, I think.

Mrs I:    The father before, yes.

Q:    I’ve read the name a long time back

Mrs I:    Yes, Springett, yes. That’s Douglas and Eva there now.

Q:    Yes. Now these are probably of the High Street now.

Mrs I:    Oh aren’t they nice.

Q:    Most of these are at the top end, look [showing E.R.O. T/P 339, II 3(a) and (b), not reproduced in ‘tape 7 – pictures for.doc’].

Mrs I:    But Witham, but Witham is not so interesting, is it, as Chipping Hill?

Q:    Perhaps not quite the same, no.

Mrs I:    Oh no, because, you’re more in the town, ‘cos we used to say ‘We’re going to the town’.

Q:    Did you?

Mrs I:    That’s not, see there’s no, shops. See, there’s still the lamps. They do fascinate me, the lamps. To think those poor men used to go round and just, pull them down, with a stick. And there’s the horses and carts, aren’t they?

Q:    This, wait a minute, it was the Whitehall, was it Whitehall Mr Blood lived at, in that [18 Newland Street]?

Mrs I:    Oh no, oh no.

Q:    No, that must be ….

Mrs I:    No, that’s Clarke, isn’t it, it used to be Derek Bright [16 Newland Street].

Q:    It was Bright, was it, yes.

Q:    Yes. Derek’s father, the old Brights, they were there. And then of course that’s the farmhouse, isn’t it [Freebornes, 3 Newland Street]?

Q:    The Wakelins were there, weren’t they?

Mrs I:    Wakelins, yes. That’s Witham. And all the trees, you see.

Q:    That was the bottom of the Avenue, I suppose?

Mrs I:    Yes, that’s right. That would be very nice, the farm. That’s a nice one.

Q:    Now, then, I’ve worked out where that used to be [showing photograph: see picture 6, Newland Street near Red Lion].

MW II 04 newland street red lion etc. for pic 6
Picture 6. Buildings near Red Lion, 7 Newland Street (white, left of centre). “A Rowe” is now 9 Newland Street, and J G Green is now 13 Newland Street.

Mrs I:    Green, yes, Green [13 Newland Street].

Q:    And that’s Rowe there, A. Rowe [9 Newland Street].

Mrs I:    Oh yes, and this is Green.

Q:    This is next to the Red Lion, I think?

Mrs I:    That’s right, yes, it would be, you see.

Q:    Do you remember them at all?

Mrs I:    No. I remember Green.

Q:    Greens?

Mrs I:    Yes. Oh, yes, ‘cos that’s the entrance, you see. Course the Red Lion’s all so different [7 Newland Street].

Q:    Yes.

Mrs I:    Everything’s different in the High Street.

Q:    And of course the Post Office wouldn’t be there then, would it?

Mrs I:    Oh no, no, no, that’s this way down. Oh, I never, they’re all down. Well, of course, I suppose, they get in such a ‘dilaperated’ state. Oh yes, this is nice, oh it’s the horses.

Q:    That’s a nice one, isn’t it.

Mrs I:    Oh, that’s nice. Oh yes, these are nice. This is just before you get to the Avenue, isn’t it, these [showing E.R.O. T/P 339, II 5(a), not reproduced in ‘tape 7 – pictures for.doc’].

Q:    Yes, ‘cos that’s a big house there, isn’t it, Avenue House [4 Newland Street].
9    Mrs I:    Well, you can see these are ancient, because they’ve still with the lamps. Course it was Mawdsley that lighted our place up so well, didn’t he, you could see a, well we said, when that first was lighted up, I always think of Teddy Mawdsley, because he was the one that was on the Council then that did it. You could see a mouse run across, oh, they were lighted. Oh, he did do that great, he did.

Q:    What, that was electricity?

Mrs I:    Yes, oh yes. Oh yes, we always think of Teddy Mawdsley when we think of the bright lights. Because it is a well-lighted town, isn’t it.

Q:    It is really, yes.

Mrs I:    Oh, it is, it’s great. I’m sure when we come from Ipswich and we come in at night, oh, it’s beautiful, oh it is. And I love my lights at the back.

Q:    Oh, that’s down more recently, isn’t it, Redman’s [37 Newland Street] [showing E.R.O. T/P 339, II 6(a), not reproduced in ‘tape 7 – pictures for.doc’]. I’ll put the ones you’ve looked at over here so they don’t get mixed up.

Mrs I:    Oh yes, that comes again. Oh, yes, that’s a double-fronted one. Course that was Beckwith and Brown in our time [37 Newland Street].

Q:    Was it? What did they do?

Mrs I:    You know, not basketmakers. Joiners.

Q:    I know, yes.

Mrs I:    Yes, you know, furniture, all good furniture. More second-hand, this side used to be, and the other. Oh, they’re good. Cabinet-makers, that’s the style of thing.

Q:    Yes, so he was actually making it, yes?

Mrs I:    Yes. There’s the White Hart. That hasn’t altered at all, has it?

Q:    It hasn’t really, has it, no.

Mrs I:    No, good. That’s lovely to see these beautiful ones. See, ‘cos that was a nice place, wasn’t it? It really was. You can see the cellars underneath, you can still see the grating.

Q:    That’s further down, isn’t it, the sort of middle bit of the High Street. It’s difficult, you can’t see many of the actual places [showing E.R.O. T/P 339, II 3(c) and (d), not reproduced in ‘tape 7 – pictures for.doc’].

Mrs I:    No. No, because I think if you go for the corner ….

Q:    You can’t see many names. This is a corner place there, isn’t it?

Mrs I:    Oh yes. Oh yes, but this would be where the Trustee Savings Bank [55 Newland Street] and Halifax, they would be there, wouldn’t they, and the Spread Eagle entrance there. Oh, they’re great, really. You haven’t got Green’s in, the chemist? No, he would come just there, on that corner, with the steps up [64 Newland Street]. That would be a good old-fashioned one.

Q:    Now this has got the name Norris here [60 Newland Street]?

Mrs I:    Oh yes, ah, that’s the baker.

Q:    There?

Mrs I:    Yes. Norris. That’s where he comes, yes. Now, who is there now. Oh, they’ve just moved out, the bread people, haven’t they, into the precinct [Tooks]. Yes, that’s Norris.

Q:    Next that looks like a butcher there, with, next to it [58 Newland Street]?

Mrs I:    That is, that would be Bardwell [Barwell]. Oh, and Dowsett, the shoe shop [56 Newland Street].

Q:    That’s Dowsett there, is it? Yes. I’ve heard his name.

Mrs I:    And Spurge’s, you see, would be there, where it’s out [42 Newland Street]. And then here would be private houses. Doctor Maisey lived, there, I remember [52 Newland Street to 54 Newland Street, The Wilderness].

Q:    What, in the big one?

Mrs I:    Yes, in the big one, that’s Doctor Maisey. They were Scotch people, they were very nice people. I remembered when we were in the Tuppenny in a play, we used to go there to, ‘cos we were birds, I was an owl, and I remember we always used to go there to rehearse and do the ….

Q:    Really? Was that when you were still at school?

Mrs I:    Doctor Maisey. Yes. Well, I should be fourteen or fifteen because that’s why I was chosen for the owl, ‘cos I was taller, you see. I said ‘The owl with my spade and showl[?]’. I think that’s why the girls and why Clive went to operatics, because I think I was that way, and they all did it. But now it’s so different.

Q:    Was there much, was there a lot of that sort of thing then?

Mrs I:    Yes. See, Clive never goes anywhere now. I said to him ‘When you think of the dramatics and the operatic.’ He said ‘Well, it was the study that did it. You can’t think of your career and do everything’. You do it when you’re younger, but when you get older you can’t do it. I think he’s too conscientious with his work. He’s always helping others.

Q:    Now, what have we got here. There’s again the Spread Eagle and the tea place, isn’t it [showing photograph: see picture 7, of Newland street near Spread Eagle].

m0416 newland street middle for pic 7
Picture 8. Newland Street, part of the south side. International Tea is now 43 Newland Street. Only half of Haslers is shown, on the extreme right, next to the Spread Eagle.

Mrs I:    Oh, this is nice. Oh, look at the cart where they take the things out.

Q:    That was a bit older, I should think, because the road was all muddy there, isn’t it?

Mrs I:    Oh yes, oh this is a nice one. International [43 Newland Street].

Q:    Yes, I hadn’t realised that was there so long ago, that.

Mrs I:    No. It’s still there. And that’s Hasler’s, that’s another Hasler, brother to the Chipping Hill Hasler, he was there, next to the Spread Eagle, yes [see the drawing, probably 51 Newland Street]. They were nice old buildings, weren’t they? And that seems so funny to see the horses and traps, and the carts.

Q:    And the nice long dress.

Mrs I:    Yes. Oh, by the way, speaking of the horses and the carts, is Mr Godfrey ill with his foot [Bert Godfrey, 2 St.Nicholas Road]?

Q:    Well, he’s got a verruca on his foot.

Mrs I:    Only I don’t, I don’t like to ask him. Because I know, I remember his father.

Q:    Really?

Mrs I:    You see. Mrs Godfrey was ever so good, she looked after him, and his father had gangrene.

Q:    Did he?

Mrs I:    And they came, but you wouldn’t have the leg off. And I said to Clive ‘I’m worried about Mr Godfrey’. He said ‘Well now you speak about it, I’ve noticed it’. Oh and he looks so old, ‘cos he’s not old.

Q:    No, seventy something. It’s his birthday tomorrow.

Mrs I:    Yes. But he’s only just over the seventy.

Q:    Only just over seventy, probably.

Mrs I:    Yes, would he be about seventy-one? Wouldn’t be more.

Q:    Seventy-one or two perhaps, yes. No, I think he’s got a bit of rheumatism and he’s got a verruca on his foot.

Mrs I:    Oh, has he?

Q:    Well he thought it was a corn or something, I think, something like that, but he’s been to the doctor now.

Mrs I:    Oh I wondered if that was the other.

Q:    But he’s having it seen to, so ….

Q:    I wondered if it was the other. I said to Clive ‘Now, whoever’s going to look after him’. I said ‘His wife looked after his father and did it wonderfully for him’. But I said ‘Oh Clive’, I said ‘I hope not’. And I don’t like to ask him.

Q:    No, I think he’s being seen to all right.

Mrs I:    Because you don’t like to let him think that you’ve noticed it, you see. But oh it’s sometimes. And I’ve noticed from my back way, you see, and I think ‘Oh Mr Godfrey, I’m sorry’.

Q:    Because they lived down in Bridge Street, didn’t they?

Mrs I:    Yes, I wondered if you’d got one of those houses.

Q:    I’m not sure, I’ll see. Where are we? Let’s keep going down in the right order, shall we? [showing E.R.O. T/P 339, II 2(a), not reproduced in ‘tape 7 – pictures for.doc’] Oh, there’s one with a name on, that’s Frederick Pluck on the corner [68 Newland Street]. Did you know them?

Mrs I:    Oh of course, oh yes. That was a lovely shop. Oh that was. That was nice. He used to have the, you know, really nice, classy things, gent’s. Oh he did, that was a nice …. Oh Pluck. And then would come Afford’s, where Mr Godfrey was working, printer, that would be Afford’s next [70 Newland Street] and then Bradshaw’s, they’d be clothing [72 Newland Street]. Well now you’ve, Green should be here with his steps up [64 Newland Street].

Q:    Yes, that’s right, it’s a bit distant, but I think that’s it, yes.

Mrs I:    That’s right. Oh, aren’t they lovely.

Q:    Did they, I’ve read about a house in Guithavon Street called the Clock House, you don’t happen to have heard of one, I think it was probably the one at the back, the big tall one at the back of Pluck’s, but that wouldn’t …. [4 Guithavon Street]?

Mrs I:    Yes, that would be the one.

Q:    I think in fact the clock was there before, before it went to the Constitutional or something?

Mrs I:    Yes, well, the clock. It was taken from the Constitutional Club [between 88 and 90 Newland Street] after the burning down, and put to the Bank [61 Newland Street].

Q:    Yes. Yes. But there’s this place down there called the Clock House, and I’ve never quite worked out which one it was.

Mrs I:    Well, you go down that little entrance, and then the baker, and the shops there, that’s their back entrance [now Coach House Way].

Q:    Oh I see.

Mrs I:    You can come right out into Collingwood Road.

Q:    Yes, I see, yes.

Mrs I:    But I suppose it’s not used now because they built.

Q:    I don’t think you can get through now actually because of the shops.

Mrs I:    No, but that’s what you did. That was the entrance, you see. And Drake. I wonder Drake’s not there. Oh, he’d be round there [perhaps 66 Newland Street].

Q:    Which one?

Mrs I:    The wine merchant. Oh, he used to drink, oh he was terrible.

Q:    That was up past, through the little alley way?

Mrs I:    Yes, down that entrance, yes, that was the wine, Drake. Poor old Drake. Oh dear. Isn’t they lovely though, to see them.

Q:    Yes. What’s that. Where are we?

Mrs I:    You have got a lovely collection.

Q:    There’s masses, aren’t there. They’re lovely. There we are, perhaps you’re on that one [showing photograph: see picture 8, of Newland Street near Constitutional Club].

MW II 02 b newland street for pic 8
Picture 8. The north side of Newland Street in about 1900. The Constitutional Club is on the left with the Clock (between what are now numbers 88 and 90), with Coker and Rice on the lower floor(s). Archer was at what is now 88 Newland Street.

Mrs I:    Oh, my patience. Oh, yes, you’ve got it.

Q:    Yes. Oh, there’s the Constitutional Club, yes [between 88 and 90 Newland Street].

Mrs I:    Oh. Oh you’ve got it. Oh, fancy. Oh, I didn’t think I should ever see this one. Oh, the Constitutional Club. Oh, they used to say ‘Serve them right, the drunken lot’ [laugh] [i.e. the fire in 1910]

Q:    Did they?

Mrs I:    ‘Serve them right, that should have happened long ago’.

Q:    Did they ever know how it, the fire started?

Mrs I:    Yes, course. Cigarettes, different smoking, of course, they’d have their evenings. Oh, they said, we can always remember them saying ‘Thank God nobody’s killed’.

Q:    Yes, quite.

Mrs I:    Oh yes, I remember that, all the boozers were there [laugh]. That was their meeting place.

Q:    Was anybody in there when the fire started?

Mrs I:    No, no. Course they’d left it overnight, hadn’t they, and that happened early morning.

Q:    I see.

Mrs I:    Yes. Oh and the old clock is there. And the barrows, isn’t it strange?

Q:    ‘Cos, this says ‘Coker and Rice’ here [same building as Constitutional Club]. Was that at the bottom there or something? And there’s a little notice on the lamp saying ‘Public Hall’, I think. Presumably that’s the entrance there?

Mrs I:    Yes, that would be the end of it, you see. Yes, that’s right.

Q:    But was Coker and Rice ….?

Mrs I:    Oh, Coker and Rice were again cabinet makers.

Q:    At the bottom there, were they?

Mrs I:    Yes.

Q:    So they had the bottom and the club at the top?

Mrs I:    Cabinet makers, yes. And then this big place.

Q:    What does that say? Archer on this one [88 Newland Street].

Mrs I:    Oh yes, that’s right, the glassware, yes.

Q:    Oh yes, I think you mentioned that, too. That just looks like a house next to there then [86 Newland Street]?

Mrs I:    Yes, well it would be, Bradshaw’s private and then Bradshaw again [though Bradshaw probably further up].

Q:    I see.

Mrs I:    People and the different things. Gracious. Isn’t it wonderful. To see, how it stands out.

Q:    Yes. Let’s think. That’s rather similar, only just a bit further down really, isn’t it [showing photograph: see picture 9, of middle of Newland Street]?

m0247 newland st wide part for pic 9
Picture 9. Newland Street looking west, in about 1900. The Constitutional Club with the clock, as before. Olley’s on the right is now 95 Newland Street.The entrance in front of the latter, labelled Orth, probably led to a vehicle repair place, belonging to Wenden(?) at the time discussed.

Mrs I:    Oh yes, that’s a plainer one, I think, ‘cos you get the opposite.

Q:    Oh, so opposite there was, is it Orth [east side of 95 Newland Street]?

Mrs I:    All houses there.

Q:    Does that say somebody Orth, that’s a funny, no, can’t be.

Mrs I:    Yes, but they were all private houses that side, weren’t they. There’s the lamp post again. Oh, that would be Olley’s [95 Newland Street]

Q:    Olley’s?

Mrs I:    Yes, that’s right, the wool shop. That’s right. And then came the cars, where they used to take the cars in and repair [probably entrance east of Newland Street, labelled Orth in photo].

Q:    Oh the garage, Central?

Mrs I:    Yes, only it wouldn’t be garages in those times. No, I forget what we used to say. Because I know Tol[?] Wenden[?] was there. I remember going into there.

Q:    I wonder what they used to call them before they thought of a name?

Mrs I:    Thought, yes, of course. No, they’d just say ‘Take them into the works’ or ‘Take them into Warren’s’, you know, whatever was the name of the people that owned the place, ‘into Warren’s’. Oh, wonderful, isn’t it. But fancy this old clock [???] on the Bank [61 Newland Street].

Q:    I’m surprised they managed to rescue it, really. It must have fallen down with quite a bump when the place was on fire. Well that’s your place, isn’t it [showing photograph: see picture 10, of Newland Street near old Post Office]?

tape 007, pic 10, newland street near old post office
Picture 10. London House was one of Spurge’s shops and is now 76 Newland Street. Discussion about whether the Post Office not is visible. It was probably near or in the low building with the pointed roof (from 1887). That’s now number 82 or 84. Mrs Ireland expected to see a pillar box there but perhaps the pic preceded the pillar box. The big telegraph pole was in front of the Post Office.

Mrs I:    Yes, but then, this is the strange part, just recently the Chapel.

Q:    Oh yes.

Mrs I:    Yes, that’s the news, twice, that’s coming down. Yes. I thought how strange, I thought of it then. Oh yes, but that’s not a very plain one, is it.

Q:    It isn’t terribly, is it?

Mrs I:    You don’t get the houses at all, do you? No. Oh no, that’s not a good one. London House, that was another one of Spurge’s [74-76 Newland Street].

Q:    Oh, that was Spurge’s too, was it?

Mrs I:    Yes, that was Spurge’s, you see, they called it London House. You got things a little different there. He had household things, carpets, and different things in the one at the corner, and wines and spirits, and tobacco, and that sort of thing [i.e. at 42 Newland Street?]. But here was more for drapery, this London House. We used to like London House better. We used to shop there, a lot. There’s a horse and cart again.

Q:    I suppose the Post Office was this bit with the little roof on there, was it [84 Newland Street]?

Mrs I:    No, no. ‘Cos you see we’ve got your tower[?] on there.

Q:    Pity that’s not clear, isn’t it?

Mrs I:    It’s not clear. It’s here. ‘Cos Sammy Page’s would come there [86 Newland Street]. Yes, ‘cos look, right down there, there you get the big houses, don’t you, where Balch and the different ….

Q:    Byford’s, yes.

Mrs I:    Yes, all those. Yes, that’s just popped in there, that’s not a good one. Because even the pillar box is not there, is it. Pillar box is not there. That’s not a good one, is it? ‘Cos this is where Corley’s got his part. You’ve just got the vacant piece for the houses from there to there. But you haven’t got the good Post Office, have you, nor the pillar box. I wonder why? That must be an ancient one, or they didn’t just get it right.

Q:    No. They’re very closed up, aren’t they.

Mrs I:    Yes, very. It wasn’t focused well, was it?

Q:    ‘Cos this bit with the roof on was what, then? That’s another shop there, isn’t it?

Mrs I:    Yes. That’s old Sammy Page’s part.

Q:    Oh that was Sammy Page’s, was it? And the Post Office was ….

Mrs I:    Yes, that part, but, it’s out, isn’t it, you can’t see it at all. And it should be the pillar box, shouldn’t it. So that’s an ancient one, don’t you think?

Q:    Yes, I think so, yes.

Mrs I:    Very ancient.

Q:    You reckon this is before they had the Post Office even, yes?

Mrs I:    Oh. No, I don’t think so.

Q:    No, I wonder, it’s hard to tell, isn’t it?

Mrs I:    That’s a very ancient one, it really is.

Q:    These are on the other side, really [showing E.R.O. T/P 339, II 2(e), not reproduced in ‘tape 7 – pictures for.doc’].

Mrs I:    Very plain, aren’t they. Oh yes, that’s where the clock was taken over [61 Newland Street]. And there’s Green’s the chemist, comes there [64 Newland Street]. And of course this is Mondy’s, isn’t it [63 Newland Street], and that’s the bank [61 Newland Street]. Well and Bawt-, nice people lived there, somewhere there, Bawtrees [65 Newland Street].

Q:    At the Bank, you mean, yes?

Mrs I:    Yes, of course [actually not]. Oh yes, Barker [actually Peecock], he was a nice man, the bank manager, lived in Collingwood Road. They were nice people. They had one daughter, Ruth.

Q:    Oh, is that the Peecocks?

Mrs I:    They were nice people. Peecock, yes. Oh they were nice people.

Q:    ‘Cos she collected, Mrs. Peecock was interested in history and she collected some papers and things.

Mrs I:    Oh, yes, and Ruth, the daughter?

Q:    And Ruth sent them to Chelmsford to the archives [E.R. T/P 133, and also a volume recently transferred from Chelmsford Library to E.R.O., Accession 10510].

Mrs I:    Oh, that’s nice to hear of Ruth.

Q:    So there were some pictures and things.

Mrs I:    Oh they were nice, oh, they were nice people, they really were. They helped. ‘Cos with the nursing home, when that was first built, they were very good to collect the names and get the people in that couldn’t afford to go in [nurses’ bungalow, 46 Collingwood Road]. I went in there each time, but I paid the seven guineas a week, I remember. You went in for fourteen days. But when there were people that couldn’t go, oh she was good, she paid.

Q:    Really?

Mrs I:    Yes, because I was next, there was only two, they could only have two, and I was by Mrs Hawkes, they lived in Shooting Lane by the Catholic [probably Chess Lane, houses belonging to Freeborne’s farm, since demolished], and it was her twelfth baby, and mine was the first, and she said to me ‘Mrs. Peecock is paying for me’. And I remember when she went out, she said ‘Oh, I can’t have a taxi to take me home’, I said ‘Oh yes you can’, I said, ‘I, when I go’, I said ‘that’ll be quite all right, you go’. And I’ll always remember, you know you remember when they’re poor, she used to take her stockings off and she used to shake them [laugh], but she was helpful to me, oh she was helpful, with the first baby.

Q:    She must have known what it was about, mustn’t she?

Mrs I:    Oh, she was good, and I didn’t know, you didn’t.

Q:    I was going to say, did you know, know much what to expect or anything?

Mrs I:    Well this is the strange part about, I’m glad you asked me that, and I don’t mind answering. Well of course I didn’t know. My husband, where did he, oh, he went to Yarmouth. He said ‘Got a big job on this morning ‘, and I said ‘Oh it’s quite all right, the people’, you know, Mrs. Hayes next door [11 Chalks Road]. ‘Oh’, I said, ‘it’ll be quite all right’. But course I was very independent, I went marching down, ten o’clock at night [laugh], and I, the baby was born at twenty minutes to twelve.

Q:    Really. Yes?

Mrs I:    Oh, but so, course I didn’t know, so the next morning I thought ‘Oh, I shall have to write a letter’. Well I didn’t know you mustn’t get out of bed, so of course I got out of bed and went over to me case. Course, when the nurse came in she [Mrs Hawkes] said ‘Do you know what Mrs. Ireland’s done this morning, she’s got out of bed’. She said ‘You’ve never been out of bed’. I said ‘Oh yes I have, and I’ve been to the toilet’, just round the corner. D’you know what she did? She safety-pinned me to the mattress.

Q:    She didn’t, did she?

Mrs I:    She did, both sides [laugh], she was scared I’d get out again. I’ve always been active.

Q:    [Laugh] Yes And actually having the baby, did you know what to expect?

Mrs I:    No, no.

Q:    No? Still I suppose if it was quick you wouldn’t ….?

Mrs I:    Oh, that was good, that was. I had no doctor. Oh, they praised it. Doctor Ted came in to see. He marched in, he said ‘I want to see Dolly’s baby’.

Q:    Yes. ‘Cos you’d think with your grandma, if she’d done lots of babies you would know all about it?

Mrs I:    No, no.

Q:    But you wouldn’t go, in, no?

Mrs I:    No, I used to sit on the doorstep.

Q:    They kept the children away did they?

Mrs I:    Yes. ‘Oh’, he said, ‘Oh I can see whose baby it is’. I thought ‘Well that was a nice thing to say before Mrs. Hawkes’. Oh and he said I picked a baby, but it was, she’d got all lovely hair, plenty of hair. But I’ll always remember that, but she was good to me, she, you know, she told me the wrinkles, you know, you don’t always want all this. She used to tell me all the different things, ‘Oh, don’t take no notice of what they say’. And she said ‘I’m going to have my baby in the bed with me tonight’, nearly the last night she was going home. And the nurse said ‘Yes’, she said, ‘we’ve got two cases, we’ve got to go out’. So I said ‘Do you think I can have my baby in with me?’. She [Mrs Hawkes] said, ‘Yes, but don’t tell her’. Oh she was, you know, all the little wrinkles that she told me what to do.

Q:    So Mrs. Hawkes told you have the baby in but the nurse didn’t know about it?

Mrs I:    No. She allowed her, because she was going out, almost the day, so I said ‘D’you think I ….?’ She said ‘Yes and I won’t tell her’.

Q:    Yes. And I suppose in those days you fed them yourself always, did you, without any question?

Mrs I:    Oh, I did, always, and I think that was why, and I had first prize, for the baby.

Q:    Did you?

Mrs I:    You see that was why, because it was breast-fed, see. I wondered why, but of course that is why. Oh yes, I, I fed the babies the old-fashioned way, and all the different little things, and she said ‘They get hungry or anything’, she said, ‘you get a little tin of milk and the dummy’, but I never had a dummy.

Q:    No. This was Mrs. Hawkes, was it ? Still if she’d got twelve, I should think she ….?

Mrs I:    Her twelve. We often think about Donald, ‘cos I know when their birthdays are and I speak to the Hawkes family. I think there’s one or two in Church Street, yes. But you know it was nice to have someone in there, wasn’t it, you know with the twelfth baby, oh it was nice. And she had all the gentry in to see her so I had all beautiful things, when they used to pass them to me. And then the second time I went in, oh have you heard about, oh dear, big man, Conservative agent [probably Frank Moore]. His secretary was in there, and he used to come in, course whatever he brought the secretary I had. Oh whatever did we call him? Huge man, lived round Avenue Road. And then he went to Notley. Oh, I’ve forgotten his name. So I’ve been fortunate. What happened with Clive? Oh, I don’t think I had …. No, nobody came in with Clive, I think I was on my own all the time, and Miss Smith, in this road [2 Chalks Road], was helping, so I used to get her company each morning. But I remember it snowed. But I’ve really been very fortunate you know, with the people coming in.

Q:    When you say the gentry came to see Mrs. Hawkes, why was that?

Mrs I:    Oh Mrs. Hawkes. Well, because she was poor, wasn’t it, you see, and her husband worked for Wakelin, old Bertie Wakelin. Oh, they were good to her, she had every comfort, everything beautiful See, so that’s where Mrs. Peecock was kind.

[After end of tape she said that while she was walking down to the nurses’ bungalow to have the first baby, she had to stop by a tree near the Cabin [top of Collingwood Road, west side, nearly on the railway bridge, now demolished]. It was her waters breaking but she didn’t know, good job it was 10 o’clock at night. They paid weekly to the Nursing Association for treatment, having babies etc.

Mr Bawtree would read in Church, and ‘we used to say “you drunken old man”’. The Peecocks were different, were ‘nice’, and ‘old-fashioned’]


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