Oral History Interviews

FreeTime first oral history interview

Our first oral history interview by one of the FreeTime volunteers has been handed in and we have edited a short segment from near the start of the interview.

The lady being interviewed was brought up on a farm in Dorset. During the war they had five evacuees – all boys – and her dad allowed the boys to play in the barn, in which they made a swing that went from wall-to-wall. The interviewee was too young to swing on this and the boys fixed basket on which she could climb in and swing. They all played on this for hours.

When she got a little bit older she earnt money by potting milk up into bottles and helping her dad with his milk round. She earnt two shillings for morning’s work for this.

She’d spend hours with a tennis racket banging the ball against a wall and she used to play five stones, what’s called Jack’s, she also played this during school breaks.

She used to go scrumping, which I could never understand as my dad had Apple trees on the farm, and bird nesting. Taking birds eggs was totally acceptable in those days, you could even buy books telling you about the different bird egg types. I shall never forget one of my friends being chased down a tree with an egg in his mouth by an owl. Unfortunately he bit the egg and it broke.

Asked if she had to look after her younger brother, she says she never had to look after. We, her older brother and herself, would have killed him if we had to look after him, as he was a right pain in the arse. The only time we had to look after him, my brother and myself shoved him into a chicken house, fitted the chicken house to the back of the tractor and then dragged him round the field on the back of a tractor. We than told him we’d kill him if he told our parents. Unfortunately he talked in his sleep and they found out and we got into an awful lot of truck trouble.

She played an awful lot of hide and seek, a wonderful game.

Her dad also let them have use of a spare shed, every now and again. They made this into a home and mum would allow us to take things from the house. We’d take food there.

There was no telly in these days. We’d listen to the radio quite a lot, the Goon show I loved. And we played a lot of cards, also as a family.


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