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    Burnbanks project

    Interview with Angus and Margaret Edkins

    12th December 2004

    Change by Angus Edkins, May 2005, shown in italics

    PG:You have told me already quite a bit about when you were at Burnbanks, and where you lived and so on, but is it possible to be quite precise about when you went to Burnbanks? What would the date be, did you both go together, or one after the other -how did you organise that?
    AE:Well we went to Burnbanks in March 1956. I was an engineering assistant with Manchester waterworks at the time. Or that's the post that I went to take up. There was my wife and myself and we had one baby girl at that time. I worked in one of the houses up in the village next to the estate office. There was Sid Weir in the estate office and I was at the other end of that building.
    PG:So that was your office?
    AE:That was my office. I was employed on the new works that were being worked in Swindale. I got there towards the end of the driving of the tunnel from Swindale to Haweswater.
    PG:What was the name of that tunnel?
    AE:Mardale tunnel I think. I think that was it. No sorry Naddle tunnel.
    PG:We are trying to get our bearings about this tunnel.
    AE:That tunnel went from Swindale valley to Naddle valley and then Naddle valley to the outfall just upstream of the dam.
    PG:So which way was the water going?
    AE:From Swindale.
    PG:Into the dam?
    AE:Into the dam - bringing water into the reservoir.
    PG:And do you know why they wanted to do that at that point?
    AE:Well getting more water to go down to Manchester. To go down the scheme.
    PG:So was that something that resulted from post war development? Or ?
    AE:It was planned under the Haweswater Act which was sometime - now I haven't got the full dates for it - in the late twenties or early thirties and then the reservoir was built just around the end of the thirties.
    PG:That's right
    AE:And this was the next phase bringing more water into it from the Swindale valley. Then I went on, once that scheme was done, on bringing water from Heltondale into Haweswater - on the tunnels and cutting and covering aqueducts and that type of thing.
    PG:So what sort of job was that for you? Was it a bigger job than you'd done before?
    AE:Yes. My training up to then was I used to work for Durham County Water Board.
    PG:Oh did you?
    AE:As an engineering assistant doing some small reinforced concrete reservoirs, pipework, this kind of thing. So it was a different experience - which as a civil engineer you are looking for different types of experience to build up your knowledge. And there was this office which was a kind of sub-office of the Kendal office - the main office for that area was in Longpool, Kendal.
    PG:So the people who worked around you in Burnbanks and Naddle - they were all involved still were they with the dam and ?..
    AE:The others who lived there - there was one person in Naddlegate who was an inspector of the new works - like a foreman on the new works - and the other people up there were all on the estate work.
    PG:What does that mean exactly?
    AE:Well they weren't on the new works. They were on maintenance. Oh I stand corrected there was one of the contractor's men, Johnny O'Connell, lived in one of the houses up beyond the office - he was a contractor's man - but basically the rest of them were part of the maintenance. Except for number seven, where the occupier there was Sir William Walker who used to be - I think was he the Chairman of the Waterworks Committee in Manchester?
    PG:Did I hear you correctly? Sir William Walker?
    AE:Correct.
    PG:That's amazing.
    AE:And his housekeeper Penny. He had an elderly lady who kept house for him called - but she was officially known as Penny.
    PG:And do you know how long he had been there? Was he a new resident?
    AE:Well he was well and truly ensconced when we went there. Were they still there when we left? I can't remember.
    ME:I can't remember.
    AE:I know?..
    ME:I have a feeling they were still there.
    AE:I feel he was.
    ME:But I can't remember when. He died of course. I can't remember whether he died just before we left or?..
    AE:?after we left.
    PG:You said, I think, it was number seven?
    AE:Yes.
    PG:And that's seven Burnbanks?
    AE:Naddlegate.
    ME:Seven Naddlegate.
    PG:Well that's amazing.
    ME:He chose to retire there with Penny.
    PG:That's amazing. OK we'll have to look for him. We've several reports of him in his Manchester role making speeches about the wonders of the dam.
    AE:Yes. Well he used to live there.
    PG:To find him living there - that's wonderful.
    ME:Did you not know that?
    PG:No. Definitely not. No.
    AE:And once a year, instead of sweeping the chimney of the house, Penny used to set fire to the chimney.
    ME:We always knew she was spring cleaning. We were petri?I was, I was petrified because they were wooden.
    AE:What, wooden sheds?
    PG:The cast iron ones would be alright, although we have got a picture from the thirties of one of them after a fire and it was uninhabitable. So you said that you were at County Durham before?
    AE:Yes.
    PG:And working on reinforced concrete?
    AE:Yes this kind of thing.
    PG:Were the techniques very different when you got to?.?
    AE:Yes. I'd never done tunnelling. I'd never done tunnelling or the big concrete cut- and-cover aqueducts - down Swindale valley and the Heltondale scheme. I hadn't done that type of thing.
    PG:So was it a case of learning as you went along or??
    AE:Yes and I had colleagues who worked with me.
    PG:And who was the engineer at that point?
    AE:The engineer for the Northern section was a Mr Ferguson down at Kendal.
    PG:So there wasn't anybody on site at that stage?
    AE:Well, there were agents, contractors' agents, on each site and there would be inspectors like I said. There was - oh what do you call him - Whitworth, Abe Whitworth, he was one of the inspectors. And I was at the office there and we did tunnel, lines for the tunnel, measurements for certification of payment, that kind of thing.
    PG:How much had to be made on site and how much was brought in from outside at this point, say the concrete, or the?
    AE:The concrete - some was made on site - when they were doing the tunnelling a lot of it - oh no it wasn't the concrete that came - the cement came in the lorry loads along the concrete road, but the mixing was done on site. Power for it came over Shap summit and the reliability of the power in that area wasn't very great. We had screws in our ceilings to put Tilley lamps on. But it always went off on Christmas day.
    PG:I know. There's no change. I've just been bought one of those headlamps by my son as his Christmas box because last year he was with us at Christmas and we lost it - 48 hours we were without. No not much has changed.

    So it was tough was it, the work?

    AE:There was a lot of hard work.
    PG:And what were the hazards and difficulties, particularly, weather?.?
    AE:Well the weather wasn't - normally you could get about. There was the one time when I mentioned to you. The snow was very heavy when the work had stopped and the bulldozer driver, who lived in the village, he was on a bulldozer on Shap summit, and I went to pick him up to bring him home at night and the police said, "he's going to work overnight." I said, "no", basically, but they let us stop - I think it was about seven or eight o'clock at night - me providing headlights for the bulldozer working on Shap fell.
    PG:When you came how long did you expect to stay? Did you have any idea?
    AE:I seem to recall promising to stay two years, and stayed four in fact, before I got the opportunity to go down to Manchester, working on the distribution side down in Manchester. I worked down there for another four years.
    PG:I'm just wondering whether? if you can remember what your first impressions were? When you went to Naddle and saw Burnbanks and so on? You'd come from a town - or was it a village in County Durham?
    AE:A town, Bishop Auckland, County Durham. Very much rural wasn't it? And we were told we wouldn't be accepted for twenty years.
    PG:I think inflation has taken care of that - it would be fifty now. And how did you in fact find it as a place to live?
    AE:We had trouble with the house from time to time. There was no insulation on the walls. It was just the weatherboarding on the outside, and Essex boarding on the inside, and nothing between them.
    PG:Tell me about Essex boarding.
    AE:Essex boarding is just like an insu?.a kind of paperboard. It's about that thick?
    PG:About an inch.
    AE:Just like compressed paper more or less. The walls had all been more or less whitewashed, and if you wanted to clean them you had to be very careful because the surface used to come off it.
    ME:It used to go quite spongy in the winter when I was drying nappies inside.
    PG:So they were absorbent?
    AE:Oh they were. But they were nice little bungalows.
    ME:They were nicely laid out. They were as good as they could be. I enjoyed?well we enjoyed it.
    AE:There wasn't a lot for the children to do at weekends.
    ME:They were too small to worry.
    AE:They were too small to worry at that time. We did start while we were there - caravanning. We did go away at weekends - say once a month or something like that - where they would mix with other children.
    ME:Then I said I can't deal with that anymore. It used to take every Monday emptying the 'van and getting everything sorted and every Friday I was packing it up again. The weeks aren't long enough.
    AE:We used to keep the caravan underneath the coach house up at the Haweswater Hotel.
    PG:Did you visit there - the Haweswater Hotel?
    AE:Infrequently.
    PG:It's a very inconvenient place I think isn't it - never going anywhere?
    AE:Oh yes. If we went up there to work on the 'van or anything like that we were generally the only ones in the hotel.
    PG:And what about the?. You were the assistant engineer and could you put yourself in the pecking order - the social pecking order of Burnbanks? Was there such a thing?
    AE:I was beyond the pale.
    PG:Really?
    AE:I wasn't on the establishment.
    PG:Which establishment?
    AE:Well the Manches?the?.everybody else was part of the Estates. I wasn't. I was on the new works.
    PG:So that was a distinct position for you?
    ME:They thought so.
    PG:What was their?what would they be reasoning - what would they be thinking - by putting you beyond the pale, or thinking of you beyond the pale? Were you a new boy?
    AE:Oh God, very much so.
    ME:I think it was just as much the fact that they'd never had an engineer there before?.
    AE:Not in recent years.
    ME:?and I always got the impression that the men thought he'd been sent there. Now I may have been completely wrong but that was the attitude that came over from the women.
    PG:That's interesting.
    ME:"What's he doing there? We don't need an engineer." That type. Not nasty but a barrier nevertheless. And as I say I was shown the parlour the first time. Never again after that. They began to realize that we were human beings and I?..
    AE:Madge Scott.
    ME:Madge Scott?.
    AE+ME:?was the postmistress.
    ME:A strange lady.
    PG:And she was the one with the parlour?
    ME:She was the one with the parlour that she never opened except on?..
    AE:And her husband was Tim wasn't it? I think.
    ME:I've forgotten.
    PG:And you've said the post office at that point was at Naddle?
    AE+ME:Yes it was.
    PG:And was that number 7?
    AE:No.
    ME:It must have been.
    AE:No. Number 3...4...5 I think. No just a minute.
    ME:Well, you've got William?
    AE:No, it'll be number 6.
    AE+ME:It'll be number 6 I think.
    AE:Yes, because the Whitworths were at number 5.
    ME:That's who. I'd only got seven houses, you see, because I couldn't remember the Whitworths.
    AE:The tenant at number 8 was a Mrs Clark who was the widowed sister of Dr Judson.

    [Brief undecipherable section]

    PG:So most of your working day, was that spent in the office or out?
    AE:Out around the sites. Supervising what was going on.
    PG:And the people that worked with you, and on those sites, would they be from Burnbanks, or would you be drawing them from somewhere else by then?
    AE:The work was carried out by contractors - Edmund Nuttall Sons & Company, London, Ltd. And there would be an agent for the contractors over all the sites and then a site engineer for Nuttalls on the site. And then I used to go round sometimes with people from Kendal office or on my own doing monthly measurements for payments, checking the line of the tunnel, checking levels on the work that was being carried out there.
    PG:Were you sort of Manchester's man making sure the contractor was being paid for what he had done and not for anything else?
    AE:And keeping things going properly. With supervision of myself from Kendal.
    PG:But that then makes sense doesn't it? That you would have lived in Burnbanks because you were associated with Manchester City rather than with the contractor?
    AE:Yes.
    PG:That makes a lot of sense. And you said you came for two but stayed for four. Was that from choice or necessity?
    AE:I stayed there until the work that was going on up there was coming to an end and I made it known that I wanted some different experience - and I went down to Manchester.
    PG:And do you know what happened to your house then?
    AE+ME:No.
    ME:We don't know what happened immediately after us.
    AE:No, I don't know who went in there.
    ME:I don't know that Manchester ever used it again - directly anyway.
    AE:Just couldn't say - don't honestly know.
    PG:So you came in '56 and you - was that '56?
    AE+ME:Yes.
    PG:And you would have left in sometime during 1960?
    AE:August '60. Somewhere around Anne's birthday wasn't it?
    PG:So can I ask you how old you were in '56? You can write it down if you like.
    AE:Born in '28?38,48,58... would have been 30 ?
    ME:Yes - You'd be 28 and I'd be 26 - that year anyway.
    PG:And you had one baby when you arrived?
    AE+ME:Yes.
    ME:She was born in August '55 so she was still very much a smallish baby when we got there.
    AE:And then we had two daughters while we were there - born in the bungalows.
    PG:They were born in the bungalow?
    ME:They were born in that front bedroom, in dreadful conditions one of them, poor child.
    PG:And you were attended by the nurse?
    ME:The district nurses in both cases yes.
    AE:Joan Till and someone Smith wasn't it, the other one?
    ME:Joan Till was the first one wasn't she?
    AE:Yes, she lived at Helton.
    ME:Yes she did.
    AE:She lived at the bee man's place - the person in charge - she was there for bed and breakfast - something like that - he kept bees. Known as the bee man.
    PG:Yes, I know the one. It backed onto the road.
    AE+ME:Yes.
    PG:Most recently been changed from an inn to a house.
    AE:I don't think it was an inn.
    PG:Well - it was a pub?
    AE:No. It wasn't the Helton Inn. She lived?..whether she had accommodation with the family?
    PG:Oh I see?
    AE:?in a house.
    ME:I can't remember the other one, but she had a house at ?.er ?oh!
    AE:Now??
    ME:Starts with an A.
    AE:Askham!
    ME:Askham.
    PG:Oh really, they came?.. It wasn't a Shap??
    ME:It wasn't a Shap?..
    AE:No, the doctor was Shap - Doctor Judson.
    PG:That's right you mentioned Doctor Judson. Because I think in the thirties the people of Burnbanks actually had two district nurses.
    ME:Had they?
    AE:There was quite a ?..
    PG:They had a district nurse, and a nurse, and the nurse was provided by Manchester specially for Burnbanks.
    AE:Well, there would be quite a lot of people there.
    PG:Yes indeed. The school records show that in the first half of the 1930's 134 children came into the school.
    AE:At Bampton?
    PG:Yes.
    AE:That's where the wooden extension to the school?.
    PG:That's right. Manchester provided that extension. But that's a huge number of children isn't it? Some people came to Burnbanks and didn't stay, or their children didn't like it and they went to a different school. They went to Shap or ??????? or somewhere. But 134 children in 5 years and we've got 17 now.
    ME:Ah, it's still there though?
    PG:Oh it is still there.
    ME:There were more than 17 when we were there.
    PG:How many of your children went to Bampton school?
    ME:Just one, the eldest one, because she was quite a clever little lass and she wanted to go, and they wouldn't let her because she wasn't five and they - I can't remember the name of the older teacher - the old teacher said, "I can't have them unless they can do up their shoes and fasten their own buttons." I just looked at her and said, "She's been able to do that for six months." "How old is she?" So they let her go in the January after she was four didn't they?
    AE:Something like that.
    ME:So she had two terms there and distinguished herself mightily by sitting there when the older ones - because there were two classes of course in those days - I don't know whether they still have - and Mrs Bing had given them something to do, and then gone and done something on the board with the others, and my one came home with this drawing and she said: "That's the whales but they haven't any eyes." They'd been doing a geography lesson on Wales. So she'd got this vague outline that I could see was Wales. So I thought, "oh dear." She was supposed to be reading. Taking it all in.
    PG:I think it would be interesting for you to go back to the school now because they do seem to have a very rich time there and geography and the world are very important.
    AE:The head when we started there was Dougie Thornton wasn't it?
    ME:Was he there then? The one who couldn't park a car.
    AE:He parked his car like a horse, you know, just pointing to the hedge.
    PG:Some people still do that I think. What was the name?
    AE:Dougie Thornton. He was there before the Aynsleys.
    PG:You talked about the roads and how difficult they could be if the weather was bad, but were they well surfaced at this point? Were the Burnbanks ones distinctly different?
    AE:They were kept to a reasonable standard and when the work was going on we did have to take them over. Manchester took over some of the maintenance of them, and somewhere I've got photographs that I've taken underneath the culverts and things like that to prove whether or not they'd been damaged. Going from Bampton toward Helton, about a quarter of a mile past Bampton, on the right we had to build a retaining wall there, and there was a hawthorn quick-set at the side - opposite Jeannie Noble's farm.
    ME:Oh that's where you are.
    AE:You know - we did certain improvement works to the roads, strengthen them, did up the walls. To Heltondale - just after you come down from the main road on the Haweswater side of Helton village itself - we had to put some reinforced concrete road down from the main road. And the roads up Swindale, we updated the cattle grids, because there was the old fashioned cattle grids on those. Because of the heavy trucks and stuff that would be using it we more or less did take over - whether full responsibility or not I can't remember - but I know we certainly had to do repair works on them.
    PG:That's interesting. We are now being invaded by United Utilities to lay the new water pipeline from Watchgate up to Haweswater and making the most appalling mess of the roads, and the verges, and the walls, and there's no sign that anyone's taking any responsibility.

    And was that the result of pressure or a report that you might have made? How would Manchester have known that that was happening? Did you know what the process was that was involved?

    AE:Mainly, if you put some of those big excavators and things along the roads they just didn't stand up to it.
    PG:So somebody would have made a report that this was happening? Or Manchester had done it on its own?..?
    AE:This was ongoing before I got there.
    ME:I think it was expected.
    PG:I would be surprised if many people remember that that is what happened. People think of Manchester's involvement, and they think of the dam, they think of the village, and they think of the school extension. There's a lych gate at the church at Bampton which is also provided by Manchester Corporation. There are various striking things but these more everyday, but deeply important things, I don't think people do remember.
    AE:There was quite a bit of work done on it.

    (Mrs E leaves the interview at this point to get refreshments)

    PG:You talked about the vehicles you used for work but did you have a car of your own at this point?
    AE:I did have a car of my own but I also had use of a landrover. I had in my office a driver-cum-chainman and he would help out on the different sites with inspections and things. Or it would be for my use if I wanted it. But at times I used my own car at work - it just depended what the situation was.
    PG:What about your wife would she have had the car for her own use?
    AE:Yes.
    PG:She didn't rely on buses?
    AE:If necessary the car was there and she could use it, and if I wasn't using it she could use it, and she used to go into Penrith to Ladies Circle and - oh this is lovely - also to the WI down in Bampton. And from time to time some of the ladies in the village would say are you going down to the WI and we would say yes. So she would give them a lift and there was one particular night - nothing had been said - and we'd left the car just, if I remember correctly, there was a shelter on the verge near where the tree is, and I used to park the car somewhere there. And one night, WI night, they hadn't asked or anything but some of the ladies just got in the car. So my wife got a pushbike out and went on the pushbike.
    PG:That suggests that maybe other women wouldn't have had access to cars, either because the family didn't have one, or?.
    AE:No, there weren't many cars up there. Down our corner?.I'm not sure whether I wasn't the only one on our corner with a car - whether Sid Weir had one or not I can't remember. Sir Willy didn't, Mrs Clark didn't. I think I was probably the only one on that corner. I think there were one or two up the village. We used to call Naddlegate or the village - the village being Burnbanks.
    PG:So does that mean that Burnbanks was fairly isolated from the rest of Bampton because of the lack of transport?
    AE:Apart from the bus and shanks' pony. You know - legs were meant to be used in those days.
    PG:It's a fairly dark walk isn't it?
    AE:It is a narrow road. This was one of the problems with the schoolchildren, because they'd go in the morning on the bus but I think from memory they used to walk home. When things were fairly busy on the Heltondale aqueduct at that time Sid Weir's people used to bring the children back from the school - the few that were in the village. They used to bring them back in the landrover for safety's sake.
    PG:That's a kind of self-help really?
    AE:Yes, because of the dangerous road.
    PG:And it's the time of year when it's dark.
    AE:Yes and the heavy lorries. It wasn't safe.

    We used to go to Bampton Grange there was a little old Methodist church just by the bridge. We used to go there. If it was a local preacher and he didn't have transport he used to come up on the bus and you had to finish the service before the bus came back down again.

    PG:It sounds very good discipline. And how popular was that Methodist chapel?
    AE:There were quite a few there. I can't remember how many because it's a long time ago.
    PG:Because Durham's a centre of Methodism isn't it?
    AE:Yes.
    PG:We've got friends there.
    AE:Have you? My wife was at university at Durham. It's where I met her.
    PG:Were you civil engineering at Durham?
    AE:No. I did my civil engineering at Loughborough but I was working at Durham - at Neville's Cross in Durham.
    PG:We lived in Sedgefield for - not many years - about the same length of time as you were at Burnbanks actually. Our son was born there. I found Durham a fascinating place. I couldn't work out why everybody knew my name when I first got there and it took me a while to work out that they called everybody "pet" and it didn't mean Pat.

    Are you from Durham?

    AE:Bishop Aukland. That's my home town. That's where our first house was.
    PG:This friend of ours his father was the head teacher at?. Sunniside?..perhaps it was at Bishop ?.he was called Wardle.
    AE:No. The only Wardle I knew was a doctor. One of our doctors was doctor Wardle.
    PG:He's never really left Durham, it's in his bones. He's at Lanchester which is a very pretty place.

    I suppose one thing that surprised me about what you've told me is how young you were when you went to what was really quite a crucial job.

    AE:Yes, but I was part of a team. I had done different types of work at Durham and grew into it. In civil engineering you've got basic skills and you get experience in different parts. I went from there down to Manchester and from there down to Suffolk. We had ten years in Suffolk and then came back up to Warrington in '74. And we've stuck.
    PG:How did you spend your leisure time - such as you might have had with three children?

    (Mrs E returns to the interview)

    AE:We liked walking and the caravan. At that time my parents lived at Grange over Sands so it wasn't too far away.
    PG:Was there anything going on in Burnbanks itself? I can't remember whether the social hall was still there when you were.
    ME:No social hall at all in Burnbanks.
    AE+ME:There was a WI down in Bampton.
    ME:And the Church. That's all I can remember. Of course I was a bit busy!
    AE:There was the round table and ladies' circle in Penrith.
    PG:Were you conscious of wildlife in the area?
    AE:I hit a stag with my car once.
    ME:We didn't believe him.
    AE:I was going with my father in law to the hotel one night and this stag jumped over the wall just in front of the car.
    PG:Gosh! They're so big aren't they?
    AE:They are - especially ?..
    PG:In full flight as it were?
    AE:?the rutting season. Next day the foresters went out to see if they could find it but I obviously hadn't hurt it.
    ME:Well, there was no body was there?
    AE:No.
    PG:And no dent in your landrover either?
    AE:Well, it was my car at that time - just before I sold my car for a landrover. People wouldn't believe it was on the way to the hotel and not on the way back.
    PG:Your husband said you studied at Durham.
    ME:Yes. I had a wonderful time.
    PG:What did you?you weren't an engineer, or were you?
    ME:No. I studied French and English. I was a linguist at the time. My mother was a teacher. I wanted to teach. Those were the subjects I taught - for a little while.
    PG:But you weren't pursuing any of that in Bampton?
    ME:No. Because we lived in County Durham to start with I couldn't get a job because I was married. You won't remember that far back but County Durham -
    PG:Nothing surprises me about County Durham!
    ME:- had an embargo but they let us all - well they let me certainly - go for an interview because Angus worked in Durham City and I could have gone in with him every day and come back with him every day no problem. I went for an interview there and I was?well I think - the best qualified person for one of the jobs - there were two going - and it was obvious that this first class person from Oxford was going to get the top job but the other one I thought, "I can do this. I know the school, I know the book they use - because we'd done it at school prac" - and I didn't get it. I was absolutely devastated because they didn't say it was because?.
    PG:You were married?
    ME:I wasn't married at the time.
    PG:You were going to be?
    ME:"Why are you moving?" And I told the truth. I signed my own death warrant because I had no idea.
    PG:I was reading a book - my son gave it to me actually - it was a history of the co-ops, the local co-ops in County Durham, but also coming across to Nenthead and Alston. And it was the seventies before those local co-ops permitted a woman who married to keep her job, but then it was only allowed provided that she gave up her superannuation, her place in the superannuation scheme. Can you ?.in the seventies!
    AE:And the co-op!
    PG:Yes - the co-op. So it's definitely not the height of enlightenment. I think County Durham - with all due respect - is on a time line of its own.
    ME:That's dreadful. But that's why I wasn't teaching when we were first married and then of course we started having children. I did go back part-time but I never ever had a full-time job afterward. I taught here. Where else did I teach?.perhaps just here?
    AE:No. You taught at Bury St Edmunds.
    ME:I taught at Bury yes.
    PG:So among the women in Burnbanks was there any kind of work that they were able to do? You talked about this person who was a home help.
    ME:She wasn't actually in Burnbanks but as far as I can remember none of them had a job at the time. I can't think?..
    AE:Madge was the postmistress.
    ME:Yes she had that job but I don't think any of the others left the village on the bus or anything.
    PG:To go to work?
    ME:To go to work. I can't remember. That's why.?
    AE:Some of the children might have done but I don't think the parents.
    ME:I don't remember any of the older children.

    I just picked this up because it was sitting on the fridge because I suddenly remembered I got recipes from Mrs Holiday?.

    PG:Oh you haven't!
    ME:?who was in the first house on the left as you go into Burnbanks. She gave me her two best recipes. And Ada Preston?..
    PG:Oh I know - I've got a picture of Ada Preston.
    ME:Yes - Ada Preston gave me her Cumberland pastie.
    PG:I'll send you that picture of Ada Preston?.
    ME:That would be lovely.
    PG:?because it's a picture of the Bampton WI standing on one of those little concrete bridges across the beck and we've got two people named. One Martin - somebody Martin and Ada Preston is next to her. It would be interesting to know if you were there.
    ME:I don't remember standing there. But I've left the markers in there. You'll see it's very well used but those were her two recipes. She could cook! She was a wonderful cook. Most of them were.
    PG:Is this a book you made up from the WI?
    ME:No. It was just a recipe book that somebody gave me and I've got recipes from wherever we've lived.
    PG:And those are the two from Mrs Preston?
    ME:Those are the two and is that the shortbread I use now or not? Yes it is. I've had various shortbreads since then but?
    PG:That's a really lovely book. Maybe one day you could photocopy that page for me?
    ME:Mm. Do you think it would?
    PG:I'm sure it would do it well enough for me to make out what it is. You can't read that too well but it's obvious it's flour.
    ME:It's flour, it's flour. Honestly. I can put it in.
    PG:Makes two cakes! One of the things we're trying to do is make a Burnbanks cook book.
    ME:Well certainly. Where did Ada Preston live Angus? She wasn't in Burnbanks she was in Bampton wasn't she?
    AE:I think she would be.
    ME:She must have been in Bampton. I think she was. To remind you of your stay in the north she's written - A I Preston.
    PG:Is that another one?
    ME:It's Cumberland currant pastry. I once had a go at that and I couldn't make it like she did. It all went wrong and so I've never done it since. It's a lot of bother. I can't remember any more in there but I can look.
    PG:If you've got any more. If you could without damage to the book I would be really pleased.
    ME:Yes. Alright. Fine. I could do that. That's easy.
    AE:Was Sid Weir's daughter Mavis?
    ME:It doesn't sound right. I can't remember whether it was Mavis or not. I couldn't even remember Mrs Holiday until I suddenly saw the?..
    AE:Her husband used to cut peoples hair - the estate people's hair.
    PG:Can I ask you some things about the social life? You said there wasn't any social hall in Burnbanks any more. Were there any social activities connected with the Methodist church?
    AE:Not that I know of.
    ME:We weren't involved if there were because my memory of the Methodist church is that it just had its service at half past two in the afternoon. If the Minister had come on the bus the steward had to wait at the bus for the bus??oh you knew that. My memory is that we just went and came away but then I would. It's not fair to say there was none but I was not involved because I had small children. I was involved in the clinic.

    [Mrs E leaves the interview to deal with a visitor to their house]

    PG:If you had a problem with your car or with any of the vehicles who looked after those?
    AE:My own car when I started there - in fact most of the time I was there - there was a chappie at Helton, Arthur Abbot. He was a mechanic.

    [Mrs E returns to the interview]

    AE:I used to have it serviced by him. If I wanted tyres I used to go to Eddie Chambers at Tirril. Later on I got a landrover and I used to have that?I only had that for about six months before I left. I had an Austin for a time and I used to get that serviced in Penrith. Petrol I used to get at John Bowness's at Bampton?.
    PG:They're still there.
    AE:?by the bridge.
    ME:Well John himself won't be all that old - he was a lot younger than us.
    AE:No, I don't think so.
    PG:We call him Stead. I can't remember his real name. He married Marilyn - he married the daughter and they run it together. It must be Steadman. I always think of Steadman as a surname. I didn't realize when I first came that it was a first name. He and his wife Marilyn came from Shap. They're still running it. They still sell petrol - just - because the quantities are so small that they can handle, and in the general run are so big, that very few people will supply them. But they'll mend anything. He really is a joy.
    AE:It wasn't a garage then. It was just petrol.
    PG:And taxi?
    AE:Yes.
    PG:So it must be that Stead added that.
    AE:Arthur Abbot at Helton - he was a joy. He had a garage at his house - a separate garage - and he was a proper fitter. So much so that one night I got a 'phone call and he said: "Are you all right." I said: "Yes." He said, "I've forgotten to put a cotter pin in the starter motor. Don't use it and I'll come first thing tomorrow morning and put it right."
    PG:Good heavens. Service.
    ME:As it should be. Unless when he was putting his cotter pins in he'd had one too many.
    PG:The other interesting thing you told me before we started recording was about Asian 'flu and the doctor coming with his sweet jar and pills. Take as many as - what was the word you said he said?
    ME:Take as many as you need and don't come back.
    PG:Apart from the 'flu what other ailments do you recall people going down with at that point?
    AE:Not a lot. If you needed any medicines it came out of the co-op milkman.
    ME:Yes, he brought the medicines.
    AE:Whether you got your milk from him or not. From Shap. Doctor would dispense it - he did his own dispensing - and the co-op milkman used to bring it round.
    PG:That's a real service. Were there also other mobile shops at the time?
    AE:Yes.
    ME:Groceries came on a Friday.
    AE:Geoff Radcliffe had a big van which used to come on a Friday.
    PG:With orders or a stocked van?
    AE:No. A fairly big van with groceries and greengroceries. There was a little butcher came round in a Morris Minor van, which in the middle of summer?
    PG:Don't!
    ME:We knew what to do with meat that smelled then.
    PG:Yes. Throw it away.
    ME:Vinegar and cold water if I remember rightly. The bread came round. Didn't the bread man come?
    AE:We used to get it from Geoff Radcliffe mainly, although there was a chappie who used to come round with a landrover, who maybe had some bread. There was a little shop at Bampton just opposite Bowness's - somewhere there. A little village shop.
    PG:That would be the post office would it?
    AE+ME:It could have been.
    PG:But no shops on Burnbanks itself?
    ME:No. There was nothing there when we were there. It had all gone if it was ever there before.
    PG:It seems to have been.
    AE:Milk, the co-op delivered. Then there was a chappie down Helton started delivering milk.
    PG:So as far as the business of keeping the show on the road domestically?.
    ME:It was fine.
    PG:You felt the services were there when you needed them?
    ME:As far as I was concerned it was a godsend. I was quite upset to have to go out to a shop and not have a shop brought to me. You know, eventually, because I got so used to it. The only thing was if you wanted clothes or shoes, of course we had to go into Penrith, and that seemed to be a major operation to me with two children.
    PG:But what about prices? Did you think they were reasonable?
    ME:Yes. I think so at the time.
    AE:It wasn't the day of the supermarkets
    ME:We were quite happy.
    AE:Geoff Radcliffe had this big van and he did start a shop in the Narrows in Penrith and it went down. He lost trade and he started working for somebody else after that.
    PG:And paying? That was a weekly thing was it?
    ME:Paying was interesting. It came in registered post - cash.
    AE:We kept our bank account on at Bishop Aukland and every month we'd get a registered envelope with 30 in it.
    ME:People don't believe this nowadays.
    AE:The bank never used to make us any bank charges. I had a cheque book as well.
    PG:So when you needed to pay the milk that came out of the registered envelope did it?
    AE:Yes.
    PG:And when it was gone it was gone?
    ME:There wasn't a lot of temptation to spend it on. If you had your wellies and your macs and the ability to walk about you were fine.
    PG:One of the things that has surprised me is how little changes really because it's still very much the same. A fashion victim is nowhere in that sort of climate. People know how to dress up when the moment arrives but otherwise it's just functional, serviceable, comfortable.
    AE:Corduroys.
    PG:Making a comeback - if they ever went away in Bampton - which I doubt.
    AE:Thirty bob a pair.
    PG:Did you know Arnisons?
    AE:Yes. Now what was the chappie - he was in round table?
    PG:What - Mr Arnison?
    AE:It wasn't Arnison that ran it. I forget the name of the chappie who it was that ran it.
    Now chemists we used to go to Priestman and Humbles.
    PG:Is that the one in Middlegate by the cinema?
    AE:It's got the supermarket behind it. Going from the south up Middlegate it was on the left.
    PG:It's got steps and two windows.
    AE:Yes - like old - fashioned windows. We were very friendly with the Humbles and then it became Priestman and Humbles and they retired. They're both dead now.
    ME:The Humbles are.
    AE:There was Jim Corrie, who was a chemist as well, nearly opposite the George Hotel. Is it the George Hotel in the middle?
    PG:Yes. That one isn't there any more. There's one at the bottom end of the main street past the clock and behind Grahams the grocers. There's a little one there and the guy there has just retired and he's been the assistant in the shop for 38 years. There's no point in moving on if you're happy is there?
    ME:No. If it suits you that's fine.
    PG:Well, I'm very, very grateful for everything you've told me today. It's been really fascinating and I've learned an awful lot.
    ME:I've been remembering all sorts of things.
    PG:If, after I leave, you have anything else you'd like to tell me write it down or phone me up. I don't mind at all.
    AE:Are you interested in some of the 'photos I have here of the works that were going on? Some of these aren't mine. Some as you will see are the Westmorland Gazette or the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. One interesting thing - there was a reporter for the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald who used to come round the works taking 'photos from time to time and he had an old Ford car - and have you ever seen the Tilley radiators? They're like a Tilley lamp with a reflector on and he used to have that going on the back seat of his car.

    [The following section of the interview took place while the photographs were being inspected]

    AE:That is up the lakeside road where the Swindale intake comes in and that's looking down the concrete road to the dam.
    PG:You know that's closed now?
    AE+ME:What the concrete road?
    ME:We heard it was but the last time we came we went down it.
    AE:It was supposed to be a private road then.
    PG:What's this building?
    AE:That's the overflow on the dam.
    PG:So this is Burnbanks? These are Burnbanks houses here?
    AE+ME:Yes.
    PG:Now that's very interesting. I've not seen that picture before or anything similar to that.
    AE:That's up Naddle valley - Naddle Farm. That's just the intake up there.
    PG:You don't remember do you something called the eel coop?
    AE+ME:No.
    AE:There was something called an old water supply. Naddlegate and the village used to get the water supply just above Naddle Farm but while we were there it was put onto the mains from West Ward.
    PG:All these little mysteries that come and ?
    AE:That's cut and cover where they hack out the rock.
    PG:That's the brazier keeping you warm is it?
    AE:Getting ready to pour the concrete round. I don't know whether any of these will show it better.
    PG:That's marvelous. You couldn't pose something like that could you?
    AE:And that's just an intake being constructed.
    PG:And you think some of these you certainly took?
    AE:Yes. That's more the shape of my father's that one. That would be at the Swindale outfall just above the dam.
    PG:And this is shuttering presumably?
    AE:Shuttering ready for the concrete. And this must be part of the opening ceremony - one of them.
    PG:The battle of the trilbies.
    ME:Is Sir William there?
    AE:I doubt it.
    PG:But he would have a bowler.
    AE:When I said that we made the concrete pipes - that's the shuttering we would use.
    PG:Nowadays you'd see all these on the back of a lorry wouldn't you?
    AE:Not that size.
    PG:Too big? Too small?
    AE:Yes. They would be about seven or eight foot diameter. Maybe even more.
    PG:I suppose you can tell by the height of the ladder here. Were these ceremonies common?
    AE:No. Once every other year or something when a particular phase had been completed. That's at the outfall from the Swindale aqueduct.
    PG:What would I see nowadays if I went up? Would I just see the tops of the wall?
    AE:The water would flow from that side coming in this direction and I think that honeycomb wall was taken out later actually. Now that is Scroggs Hall. Do you know Scroggs Hall? Up from Bampton heading up the hill.
    PG:On the Helton side?
    AE:Just on the Helton side - but a zigzag hill goes up - and that's it, passing the buildings there.
    PG:Nuttall. That was the contractor?
    AE:Yes.
    PG:He's still going isn't he?
    AE:Oh they are. You were asking about concrete making - there's a concrete batching plant. A typical plant. They had one of those at each tunnel portal.
    PG:I think people at the moment would have a great feeling for these because of the piping that they're laying - taking the aqueducts from Thirlmere to Watchgate and back again.
    AE:And that's probably at Naddle where it comes out from the tunnel across Naddle Beck and back into the tunnel again. I think that's where that is.
    PG:Is this some kind of crusher?
    AE:It would be a concrete batching plant. That again is at Scroggs Hall.
    PG:I must look that up - it's not familiar. I know where it must be.
    ME:Or where it was then.
    PG:This building now is the current post office and Bowness's garage is just here.
    AE:On the corner.
    PG:This is the mill. Oh no - the mill's here I think. Oh that's amazing. The two guys at the front here look slightly alarmed.
    ME:I wonder why?

    [Three people speaking together - unclear what is said]

    AE:With the digger on it.
    All:Going over the bridge.
    ME:Not nice, not nice. You know they used to complain about things like that.
    PG:Yes. They still do actually.
    AE:That's an intake up Naddle Wood.
    ME:Is Naddle Wood still there?
    PG:Yes. Its nowhere as near as extensive as it probably was when you were there. It is very beautiful. It's a lovely old mixed wood.
    AE:That's the weir up Swindale valley.
    PG:I've got a friend who lives at Swindale Head. That was supposed to go wasn't it? Swindale was supposed to become another ?
    AE:At one time, yes. Swindale Head was right at the top of the valley wasn't it? They kept having fires up there, and the fire brigade eventually stopped taking fire engines up, because they were getting damaged, and they used to 'phone the estate office who used to tow a trailer pump up.
    PG:Dare we think what they were up to? Why on earth would they keep having fires?
    AE:I don't know but the fire brigade had had enough and they used to take a Coventry Climax trail pump up.
    PG:They are jolly good 'photos aren't they?
    AE:That's the Westmorland Gazette. And that's the Westmorland Gazette - that's the outfall.
    PG:That's the outfall with the honeycomb wall. It's certainly a watery old spot isn't it?
    AE:And that's showing the dam overflowing.
    ME:That I do remember - the first time that overflowed after we moved in.
    AE:In the middle of the night.
    ME:In the middle of the night. "What's that noise!?"- And I then said, "I'm glad we're at Naddlegate and not in the village" - because I think it would have been quite frightening. Mind you, of course, they would have been expecting it.
    PG:I suppose - but there's a first time for everybody.
    ME:There's a first time for everybody, and I didn't like it, but after that I got quite happy to have it. It was a nice background noise.
    PG:That's interesting because I've often wondered about that - the surge.
    ME:That first time - "what on earth's that?"
    PG:What's that called?
    AE:That's the valve house??oh!...probably the recorder house?.I'm not sure. There'll be a weir downstream of the dam, which will record the flow of water that's coming over a measuring weir, and that's probably part of that.
    PG:Just the waves can get quite big on the dam can't they? - Not the dam - the reservoir.
    AE:That's a photograph of where the Heltondale tunnel comes out into Haweswater.
    PG:You see most of these things are now hidden and people don't understand how they connect and what they are doing. At the end of a chute there's a broom and a spade. And this would have been there for bringing materials down would it - this chute? It's not for water?
    AE:It would have been for chuting materials down.
    PG:Well those are absolutely fascinating.

    Interviewer: Pat Garside


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