Conversation with Peter Spall and his wife Betty, May 2004
Also see interview tape 196.
Copies of some of his photos etc. are M2036-M2049
Fred Spall was Peter’s father.
Cutting from EADT Aug 18 1935[?], ‘Mr Fredk Spall, proprietor of a small garage beside the main London Road at Rivenhall near Witham has completed the construction of a cycle combination which he believes will, if taken up, form a valuable contribution to air raid precautions. The entire cost of construction was less than £7’
This was his motorcycle ambulance, which he patented. Did take it to a Heinkel crash at Langford and took the bodies to Maldon. Had various mementoes from there including pilot’s goggles, boot, etc.
He was a Special Constable in 1939 and in Observer Corps. Was injured in the bomb explosion in Cressing Road in October 1940 which killed Mr Burmby, and spent some time in Black Notley hospital. He had been phoned to go and stand there and keep the crowd away. Mr Bull was up a pole. When the bomb exploded Mr Bull’s hat blew off and Mr Spall was injured and taken to Black Notley Hospital. So out of action for a while and didn’t pursue the motorcycle ambulance idea as much as might.
Fred was from Colchester and his wife Olive came from Brightlingsea.
Peter’s mother Olive was a Primitive Methodist and they married in the P.M. church at Brightlingsea in 1928. It closed soon after. When they came to Witham they joined the ordinary Methodists.
At first Fred was chauffeur at Langham Hall and lived at Cosgrove House there. Then went to Wickham Bishops.
Their sons: Stanley born 1919, John born 1930 (both at Langham) Peter born 1932 (at Wickham Bishops).
While at WB he founded the Corner garage at Rivenhall, kept it till after World War 2. Next to the Prince of Wales.
Came to Witham in 1935 and called their house at 59 Rickstones Road Cosgrove, after the Langham House.
Then moved further down Rickstones Road in 1948, to 24, the bungalow next to the evangelical church. Afterwards sold it to the church for the minister.
Peter went to the Church School as infant, 1953-1957, Miss Welland was head.
Betty went to teach there later, 1953-1957/8, and Miss Welland still there at first, then left and Maurice Smith came. Miss W very fierce.