Nottingham Oral History Project: interview. Sample containing about 3054 words speech recorded in leisure context

4 speakers recorded by respondent number C145

FXWPS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FXWPS001 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FXWPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
FXWPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 094401 recorded on unknown date. LocationNottinghamshire: Nottingham () Activity: Oral history project interview

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (FXWPSUNK) [1] Erm can you tell me where you were born and when please.
(FXWPS000) [2] Street, off Road in nineteen erm let's see.
(FXWPS001) [3] You're eighty nine so ... eighteen ninety six would it be?
(FXWPS000) [4] Four.
(FXWPS001) [5] Eighteen ninety four.
(FXWPS000) [6] That's it eighteen ninety four was when I was born.
(FXWPS001) [7] Can you remember anything about the house you were born in?
(FXWPS000) [8] Oh it was an ordinary er street row of houses.
(FXWPS001) [9] Terraced houses?
(FXWPS000) [10] [...] , they're all attached you know.
[11] Just all two up and two down was where I was born and er I was er christened at Church by Canon . [...]
(FXWPS001) [12] Did you have any brothers and sisters?
(FXWPS000) [13] I had two brothers.
(FXWPS001) [14] Were they older or younger than you?
(FXWPS000) [15] One was two years older than me and the other was five years younger than me.
[16] And they've er they've both died and one was killed in the First World War.
[17] And the other one er died at home.
[18] After the Second World War.
[19] But they both were in the services.
(FXWPS001) [20] In the First World War?
(FXWPS000) [21] Yes, and er my younger brother was in the Second World War.
(FXWPS001) [22] Can you remember much about the house, how, how long did you live there for?
(FXWPS000) [23] Oh I should say we'd lived there ten years.
[24] And it was there that my father started his er lace factory.
[25] He er he used to work from four in the morning till ten o'clock at night and he used to doss in the factory, didn't come home,
(FXWPS001) [26] Where was the factory?
(FXWPS000) [27] The factory was in er Str , Street, Factory in Street, up off Road.
[28] And he'd er worked himself up from one lace machine until he'd got twelve.
[29] And then er the the the lace trade he he worked on, when women wore high collars, boned high collars and he made the little narrow edging lace about like that and it was goffered so it made a frill round the face.
[30] And he er he'd made all that lace, well then instead of him going in the First World War and making the net which was used you see his lace trade all went.
[31] Well then he started at , in a factory there at with er more modern machines, but the factory was too cold, a factory has to be a certain heat to work the lace machines properly.
[32] And he came back to er and started again and er he'd just er er the big manufacturer engineering er people made us lace machines then and they started him off with three, and he'd paid off one and part of the other when he died.
[33] And it was the First World War that killed him, he had a brain damage, you know a stroke.
[34] And died.
(FXWPS001) [35] Was he actually fighting in the First World War or?
(FXWPS000) [36] My father, no, no he was too old then, no my brothers both were but er.
[37] No me elder brother was, not me second brother, that was the Second World War he was in.
[38] Me elder brother was in the First World War and he er he got married and er she was a flighty sort of girl and she wasn't attending to er Mabel properly, the little girl, she had a girl and a boy.
[39] And er she asked us to have her.
[40] He did before he went away, asked her if we'd look after her and we had her until she was seven years old.
[41] We brought her up practically.
[42] I made all her clothes.
[43] I remember making her a little black satin coat and Dutch bonnet with things sticking out and all edged with lace and it was all er black satin and underneath the bonnet was er pleated er blue chiffon.
(FXWPS001) [44] Did your mother make your clothes when you were a child?
(FXWPS000) [45] My clothes?
[46] ... Yes she did.
[47] Yes she made my clothes.
[48] Until I was old enough to make my own.
[49] And er I started er with a doll, my father bought me a doll and it taught me how to er dress me.
[50] And they used to buy me new material to encourage me and I learnt how to sew from that.
(FXWPS001) [51] Was this something you did after school in the evenings?
(FXWPS000) [52] Well then I went to a private school on Road, two maiden ladies kept that, and we were taught to er walk properly, sit properly, dance, music, learnt the piano there, and embroider, and erm chiefly the educational side of schooling was almost non-existent.
(FXWPS001) [53] What age were you when you went there?
(FXWPS000) [54] Well I was there pretty well until I, fourteen, until I left school.
(FXWPS001) [55] Did you go there from five?
(FXWPS000) [56] I went, no, no, I went there from er I think I should be somewhere about ten. [...]
(FXWPS001) [57] Where did you go before then?
(FXWPS000) [58] Well er School, but I never went to school not un , at five.
[59] As far as I can remember that.
[60] I've never seen, I I only remember schooling from this school.
[61] And I remember going to er Road School for a month and we caught ringworms there.
[62] And er we left and we never went back there, that's when I went to the private school.
[63] And my brothers both went to er, a headmaster from the high school set up on his own and they both went there, and that was at the corner of Avenue on Road.
[64] Cos we lived at the top of the second hill, opposite erm Doctor s er house, the famous eye surgeon.
[65] That photograph that I've got where it's all snowy's his house and we lived just opposite.
(FXWPS001) [66] When did you move up there?
(FXWPS000) [67] Ooh I don't know what age I'd be when we went up there.
(FXWPS001) [68] You say you were about ten.
(FXWPS000) [69] I should say about ten.
(FXWPS001) [70] And was that a much bigger house than the one in, on Street
(FXWPS000) [71] Oh yes that was ordinary er row of houses, [...] the one at was a detached house, stood in it's own grounds.
[72] And I remember four stone steps led up to the front door, and we'd what they called a parlour then.
[73] And then my parents had a big er lean- to built at the side of the house and we had a full size billiard table in there.
[74] And it, they used to entertain ever such a lot my parents did.
(FXWPS001) [75] What did they do?
[76] Have parties and
(FXWPS000) [77] Enter Ooh and we had some marvellous parties.
[78] And there was a, two friends of theirs who were courting and he'd got a pimple on the end of his nose.
[79] And from that he was king of the pimps.
[80] And then we had this man that used to come from India and he was called the Viceroy of India.
[81] And they'd all got er status symbols you see and it was quite a ceremonial thing that they used to have.
[82] And we had marvellous Christmas parties too.
[83] And we had a house full of people at Christmas time.
(FXWPS001) [84] Were these people who were staying at the house?
(FXWPS000) [85] We had er they were sleeping all over everywhere at Christmas time, on the floor, [...] seem to remember dozens of people then and we kept two maids then and a gardener.
[86] At that time.
(FXWPS001) [87] And did they all live in the house as well.
(FXWPS000) [88] [...] Yes.
(FXWPS001) [89] Where wold the maids sleep?
[90] Did they they had sep
(FXWPS000) [91] They slept in the same bedroom as me because we were er limited to bedroom space but we had girls because we were doing such a lot of entertaining, there was a lot of work.
(FXWPS001) [92] What were they like the two the maids, were they young girls?
(FXWPS000) [93] [...] we never thought anything about it you know.
[94] They were not er they were old enough to to work, they were much older than me.
[95] In fact when I er er periods started it was them that told me all about it not me mother and didn't never think then about st er sex or anything, not a thing, I was as innocent as day was born when I was eighteen.
[96] [...] the difference of children of today.
(FXWPS001) [97] Were you quite, you were friendly with the maids then, was it like [...]
(FXWPS000) [98] Oh very friendly with them, yes.
[99] I tell you they did more for me than my own mother did.
[100] Yes they were very friendly.
(FXWPS001) [101] What sort of work did the maids do in the house?
[102] Did they do everything?
(FXWPS000) [103] They did everything, yes, cooking and all the lot.
[104] One cooked and the other one house worked.
[105] Mother didn't do any.
(FXWPS001) [106] What did your mother do then?
(FXWPS000) [107] Just a [...] lady of leisure.
[108] Er
(FXWPS001) [109] What would she go shopping and things like that?
(FXWPS000) [110] Er every night they used to play cards and when I was eighteen my father made me learn cards.
[111] He made me play cards, I'd played ordinary auction bridge at that time.
[112] But he made me do it, I didn't want to do it, but he he he made me do it.
[113] So we used to play auction bridge every night.
[114] Not as it's played today though.
[115] It's played totally different today, ours was quite mediocre to how it's played today.
(FXWPS001) [116] Were you always included in your parents parties even from when you were younger ?
(FXWPS000) [117] Oh yes, yes, yes.
[118] We [...] and we had some marvellous Christmas parties because we used to play all sorts of games.
[119] And I remember one game in particular it always stuck in me mind.
[120] Somebody used to sit on the carpet at one end of the room with a walking stick and a chalk mark in front of him and the contestants used to have to come up to him and try to rub the marking out and he used to rap the hands with his walking stick.
[121] I can remember that game ever so well.
(FXWPS001) [122] [laugh] It must have been a bit painful.
(FXWPS000) [123] Well you used to be as cute as they were, you used to watch fingers, you didn't get them rattled.
[124] Yes you were just as cute as they were.
(FXWPS001) [125] Did it have a name, that game?
(FXWPS000) [126] If it did I don't remember it. [laugh] [...]
(FXWPS001) [127] What about any other games?
(FXWPS000) [128] yes, we used to play consequences.
(FXWPS001) [129] What, with a bit of paper?
(FXWPS000) [130] Yes you know.
[131] And pass them round and everybody used to write differently.
[132] Y that still is a good game to play today.
[133] You can have a real old giggle at that.
[134] Real fun.
[135] But er I don't remember any other games.
[136] We used to paly croquet on the lawn.
[137] We'd a full size lawn with a croquet and badminton.
[138] We used to paly badminton on the lawn.
[139] It was a full size lawn.
(FXWPS001) [140] Where exactly was the house?
[141] It was on Road?
(FXWPS000) [142] On Road between Grove and Park entrance.
[143] Just there.
(FXWPS001) [144] Can you tell me a little bit more about this school that you went to?
[145] You said it was run by two maiden ladies
(FXWPS000) [146] Maiden ladies
(FXWPS001) [147] What was there name?
(FXWPS000) [148] I couldn't even tell you that now.
[149] I can [...] remember the butcher that was a butcher on Road.
[150] His sons went there.
[151] It was
(FXWPS001) [152] So
(FXWPS000) [153] a mixed school boy and girl .
(FXWPS001) [154] Oh it was mixed
(FXWPS000) [155] Yes mixed school.
[156] And we used to do these er pictures that u used to be on er grey and blue paper and we used to, with white [...] paint we used to make a sort of anything there and then with erm charcoal sticks we used to draw on it.
[157] Houses and animals and all sorts of things.
[158] We did that we used to make some lovely pictures, and I never saved any.
[159] I've not the foggiest idea where they were now.
[160] But er I'd two that I used to have on the wall at home I can remember.
[161] But they've gone with time.
[162] No interest in them.
(FXWPS001) [163] What other things did you do at this school?
(FXWPS000) [164] Embroidery ... embroidery and then they taught us French.
[165] We learnt French there.
[166] ... And English and simple arithmetic.
(FXWPS001) [167] Was it a big school then?
[168] How many people would you say
(FXWPS000) [169] I remember that I had piano lessons there you see and dancing lessons there.
[170] Deportment ... there.
(FXWPS001) [171] How many people went to the school roughly would you say ?
(FXWPS000) [172] Oh I should say there'd be about thirty pupils there, mixed boys and girls.
(FXWPS001) [173] So were the classes mixed?
[174] Did you have subjects together?
(FXWPS000) [175] Oh yes we the boys were taught along with the girls, yes we were, we were all on, just in the one room.
[176] Yes just in the one room.
(FXWPS001) [177] Was it near where you lived?
(FXWPS000) [178] Yes well it was er we lived at the top of the second hill and this school was at the bottom.
[179] Between Street and er Street.
[180] Which the council school was on Road.
[181] Big council school.
(FXWPS001) [182] And did you say your brothers didn't go there though, they went to a different school?
(FXWPS000) [183] Well they went to a boys school you see afterwards.
[184] Th this headmaster from the er ... from the er ... posh school erm I forget it's name.
(FXWPS001) [185] The high school?
(FXWPS000) [186] High school.
[187] he set up on his own you see and my brothers went there.
(FXWPS001) [188] And you you were at this school till you were fourteen?
(FXWPS000) [189] Yes until I left.
(FXWPS001) [190] And what, did you have nay thoughts of what you would do when you left school?
(FXWPS000) [191] No didn't go any where at all just stayed at home.
[192] And then after about two years when Father le realized that the lace trade was going he said, must to put to a trade.
[193] Because er we don't know what's going to happen and she must be able to earn her own living.
[194] So they put me to millinery.
[195] Well we used to start to make hats form a coil of wire.
[196] We built the shapes up, and it was the the high class shop in , was two sisters on Gate, that er we went to sh er sch er shop and er we used to make these shapes from the coil of wire, these'll be very nippers that I used, there and still use them today ever so useful.
[197] But those are what I used to make the wire shapes.
[198] And erm then we used to have straw and inch wide by the yard.
[199] And we used to stitch round and round and round making the shape on this wire.
[200] And then we used to trim it and er a hat there made of just the straw with a band and bow was over three pound which was a lot of money in those days.
[201] You used to er , the Goose Fair people, always came and bought half a dozen hats.
[202] And er they were always er it was never an open shop, they were always sold by appointment.
[203] And er they used to trade up and down this room, Miss I'll be wearing such and such a dress and it'll be such and such a colour and er then we used to make the hat for it.
[204] And they al always used to order half a dozen hats.
[205] And as an apprentice you, I was a year there for nothing, a ye , half a year for half a crown, half a year for five shillings, and at the end of five years I was earning fourteen shillings.
[206] ... And er in the apprentice we used to have to go round the shops on the town matching their er material in velvets and ribbons and satin for making their hats of, as well as the straw we made them from material as well.
[207] And I used to trail round all these shops.
(FXWPS001) [208] What exactly did you do when you went round the shops?
[209] You had to collect?
(FXWPS000) [210] Collect patterns, take them back and the head used to pick and then we used to have to go and buy what they wanted you see, the amount of material they wanted.
(FXWPS001) [211] Can you remember any of the customers who came to the shop?
[212] What sort of people apart from the
(FXWPS000) [213] Only the fair people.
[214] And used to have a er shop in erm Street selling sheet music.
[215] They used to er trade.
[216] And then this butcher on Road, I remember they used to trade.
(FXWPS001) [217] So what what hours did you work at this this hat shop?
(FXWPS000) [218] Nothing only making hats.
(FXWPS001) [219] Yeah, but how how long was you working day?
[220] When did you start and when did you finish?
(FXWPS000) [221] Eight in the morning till eight at night.
(FXWPS001) [222] Five days a week?
(FXWPS000) [223] Yes.
(FXWPS001) [224] And did you have any breaks for for lunch or anything?
(FXWPS000) [225] We used to have an hour and a quarter fro lunch, half an hour for tea, and we used to er have to get the principal's tea ready and in the midmorning they always had tea made of milk.
[226] I remember boiling the milk and pouring it on the tea leaves.
[227] They always had it.
[228] ... And er the bread and butter for their tea had to be cut wafer thin.
[229] I was clever at that.
[230] They always had me cutting this er bread and butter.
(FXWPS001) [231] What would you actually do then, you said you sat round a table, you told me about that, the table with the white cloth.
(FXWPS000) [232] Yes.
[233] There used to be a long table and the head used to sit at the end of this table and so to see that you didn't leave off working she used to get the table cloth and ... always be pulling this table straight.
(FXWPS001) [234] And be looking round.
(FXWPS000) [235] This and and looking round to see that you were working.
(FXWPS001) [236] Were you allowed to talk to the other girls or anything?
(FXWPS000) [237] You didn't have time to do much talking you were so busy sewing.
[238] It was real graft. [laugh]
(FXWPS001) [239] How many other girls worked there, round the table ?
(FXWPS000) [240] Oh I should er I should think there'd be about ten.
[241] Ten of us.
[242] Cos it was a long table with a white cloth on.
[243] I remember this white cloth.
(FXWPS001) [244] How did you get the the apprenticeship in the first place?
[245] Did your father arrange it for you?
(FXWPS000) [246] [...] I don't know how they came to to send me there.
[247] Whether it was advertised or what but how I came to be there I wouldn't know.
[248] Don't remember that.
[249] ... How do you like that?
(FXWPS001) [250] Oh it's beautiful. [recording ends]