Memories of Burton Bradstock in the 1950s

Interviews:

Conducted in May 2012 by Susan Moores to mark Quean Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. It is hoped that photos mentioned in the text [...] will be included at some stage in the future.

Sue Moores

Interview with Greta Heal & Basil Dent:
Greta belongs to one of the oldest Village families, the Hawkins, who owned two of the three (and a half) working farms left in Burton Bradstock in the 1950s.  She has lived in BB all her life.  Basil moved to the Village in the 50s to work in his cousin’s garage – still there and now with a ‘Spar’ shop.  Greta and Basil remember clearly the farms, shops, pubs and building development in the 1950s.

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Interview with Janet Guppy:
Janet was 2weeks old when she came to live in BB with her Auntie Gladys and Uncle Rob Gale and she stayed until her marriage in 1953.  Rob Gale was the Village Butcher in Grove Road where he also had Livery Stables and dairy cows in what is now Grove Orchard.  Janet remembers home deliveries of all essentials, the Bakery at Grove Mill and the Post Office when it was part of The Three Horseshoes.

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Interview with Pete Toms and Pete Pattinson:
Fascinating memories of a BB childhood in the 1950s, talking about the sweet shops, the School, rationing and the Village Shows, including what is now ‘The Flower and Produce Show’.  All the Village children had jobs to do at home and in the Village, including helping to pull in the Seine Nets and working in the fields.  As both men say “A lot of what we did then is illegal now”.

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Interview with Peter Parsons:
Peter’s family have always lived in BB.  It wasn’t an easy life and Peter’s father, Stan, worked hard as the cowman for Rob Gale bringing extra money from hedge laying, tractor driving and other farm jobs.  Peter helped his father from an early and reading this interview about childhood games, part-time jobs and life at the Village School you can really relate to the Village in the 1950s.

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Interview with Betty Starkey and Mary Ibbotson:
Betty was an ‘incomer’, the wife of the Village School Headmaster, Len Starkey, and Mary is her eldest daughter. They came to the Village in June 1952 and remember in detail the School and the Village then.  They remember the Village was “like a big family but very class conscious”. They both remember the Coronation of Elizabeth II and describe the way that BB celebrated this event. Mary died in 2015 aged 102.

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