Mr Ted Mott was born in 1913, and Mr Albert Poulter in 1907 respectively. They were interviewed on 17 March 1986, when Ted lived at 22 Bramston Green, and Albert at 19 Cressing Road.
For more information about Albert and the Poulter family, see the notes in the People category headed Poulter family
For more information about Ted Mott, see Mott, Ted in the People category.
The original recording of this interview is held at the Essex Sound and Video Archive. To listen to the recording, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.]
Continued from tape 105
This interview is a commentary on the photos belonging to Ted Mott, copied as JG’s photos M140 to M205. They are catalogued in the database of M series photos, and the information that is in the catalogue is not repeated here, e.g. re names. But quite a lot of other assorted information appears in this interview so has been extracted below. Where speech has been omitted I have inserted […]
Mr P: What relation is Moggie Dripping to you ? [Annie Clarke, nee Oakley] (Mr M: Oh I don’t know.) All I can remember is some of your family living in Lockram Lane. (Mr M: That was when she was married she lived in Lockram Lane. Who. Moggie? (Mr M Yes, married Nobby Clarke. He come from Braintree). There were lots of Nobby Clarkes.
Mr M: Me granny brought her up, so evidently it was, it must have been my granny’s, could have been my granny’s sister or my granny’s …
Mr P: They had a lot of nicknames. Podger Pease. How they got these names I don’t know, do you. Something attached to them.
Mr M: The first bloke that ever called me Toty was Winston Alderton, and that name has stuck.
Mr P: Well our name dropped out, you see, Shaker Poulters, right, and my brother, or half-brother or step-brother or any other brother, call him what you like, but [???] his name was Cottee, my mother’s name, and he was very good at poetry at school, so they called him Shakespeare, but Shakespeare was too long so they shortened it to Shaker. So that’s how that come about, there’s a reason for calling these you see. And nicknames, I mean there’s Botcher Claydon. And the Woods there was Dirty Wood or Clean Wood, one was a dirty woman[?] and the other one was a clean woman. [???] There was Tinker Rice, in Mill Lane, why Tinker I don’t know cause he worked at Blyth’s mill, so he had nothing to do with tinkers, but they were all short, not like me short of cash, but they were short in stature. Both the father and the mother of the family and all the children were short weren’t they. They called him Tinker Rice. There was Okey Claydon, Ootsy Goodey, (Mr M: Now he was a character.) Ootsy. (Mr M: Ootsy, now he was a real …) Character, he used to stand on the corner and blaspheme. Words I can’t repeat. (Mr M: Why, nobody ever knew, did they. ) I think myself that it was a nervous, he had St Vitus dance and it was brought about, the story goes, [???] that he liked two things, one was climbing and the other one was diving and swimming. He used to go down the Pea hole and he used to dive, and I’ve seen him dive [???] whether he hit his head on the running water or not I don’t know but he used to enjoy it. The other story was that was brought about was that he climbed up that old wooden bridge, the railway bridge, and the train come along and nipped a couple of his fingers off and that’s possibly how he got St Vitus dance. But he used to stand on the corner and swear.
Mr M: [re Ootsy] He used to stoke, he was a stoker down the gas works. (Mr P: He was a hard worker) Oh yes he was a hard worker, used to sing (Mr P: Sing, yes yes) And you know he’d come out as black as your hat and go across to the Swan and have a drink and come back, and get on with his, cause they used to have to draw the coal out you see.
Mr P: [re charabancs in photos M202 and M203] They pulled this thing over, didn’t they. It didn’t matter about if the wind and rain was hitting in the side, you got it. (Mr M: It still rained you see, it was only just the top.) So it might have been a scramble for the middle seat so they didn’t get it.
Q: You were going to say something interesting then, weren’t you. [re Ted’s Granny Wager, mother of Nell Wood].
Mr M: Yes about Mrs Wager, come on, you can tell me. Dr Ted [Gimson]’s, well I suppose you’d call her a nurse.
Mr P: You said she was a wonderful woman and my brother Charlie seconded that or agreed with that remark. Because she not only a useful woman, and they did do everything, look after the sick, brought children into the world, saw them when the people went out of the world, etc etc. And not only that, she, Charlie said, that she used to make home-made sweets and sell them at a halfpenny a pound for the children. Nice home-made sweets. She was that kind of woman, and they were that kind of people. (Mr M: That’s right.) They were poor but they had big hearts. (Mr M: That was the Square you see [Trafalgar Square].) That was the Square.
Mr P: [people in group on photo M204] Now these people, they were, they lived in a more residential area than the Square, I mean, they lived in the Valley. [Guithavon Valley] (Mr M: They lived in the Valley.) [laugh] Now the Valley, was at that time, those cottages weren’t all that good looked after, like. (Mr M: They belonged to Dowsetts.) And Dowsett he liked to take the money in one hand, he put it in his pocket but didn’t like to take it out of that pocket, did he, see he wasn’t mean but he was very very careful. And now, that was, the Valley at that time you could say was as pretty as Constable country if you know Constable country, wasn’t it?
Mr M: Well I said to you, didn’t I that there were all little houses there. (Mr P: Little cottages.} But I should imagine, I’m guessing now, there was twenty little cottages about there. No more than that, there was one, two, three, and I was born in that one there, I was born in the Valley, and behind it was Capon, Burmby, Emmens, Butchers, Raizeys, there was a lot there. (Mr P: Sheldrake?) Yes, Mrs Sheldrake.
Mr P: Down Church Street [Mrs Sheldrake] she always stood at the door, you know what was the workhouse, she used to stand there, poor old girl (Mr M: Watching the world go by.) Watching the world go by, and just living on her memories. Now, she was a hero (Mr M: She must have been a hundred or more when she died.) in so far that she pulled a girl out of the water, but I don’t know whether any mention was made of it but people knew all about it. But you see, being a humble person, maybe if it had been Prince Charles been pulled out of the river they’d have made a hullabaloo out of it.
Mr P: That’s Taylor. (Mr M: Yes, that’s probably Lena.) Now was George, (Mr M: George was her son.) Was he the eldest one, that’s Lena, Lena what, (Mr M: Lena Turner) What the sister of George? (Mr M: Yes.) He was in is way a sort of Lord Mayor of Witham. (Mr M: Oh yes.) He was (Mr M: He got into the upper crust, that’s all.) Well I suppose, he was sort of what they call a cup of tea and bun wallah who goes to the City, in his way, [???]. I call them cup of tea and brolly and bun wallahs you know. But he was a snooty, a bit standoffish, wouldn’t talk to us common fry or something like that, you know. You had the Bradshaws, you had the Dudleys and the Taylors and all that group you see, who imagined that they were the upper crust.