Burnbanks Project

  • News and Events
  • Oral history
  • Equipment list


  • Photos
  • Testimony

  • Bampton and District Local History Society

    Burnbanks project

    Interview with Audrey Parkin

    4th December 2004

    MC:If you would like to say your name and your date of birth.
    AP:I'm Audrey Parkin, I was born in 1935 at Butterwick, moved when I was three years old to Bomby Cottage and I lived at Bomby Cottage with my parents and my brother until I was married. And then I moved to Burnbanks and we lived at No.1 Burnbanks and we had a little girl. My husband got another job in Yorkshire so of course we moved. So we had lived on Burnbanks for about three and a half years.
    MC:Right, and you said that your father worked there?
    AP:My father was a blacksmith.
    MC:So what are your memories of your father being involved with Burnbanks in the early years?
    AP:Well, he just accepted it, it was a steady job and that was OK you see.
    MC:Were there a lot of horses used then up at Burnbanks?
    AP:Were there what?
    MC:Were there a lot of horses used at Burnbanks?
    AP:Oh no, it wasn't so much shoeing horses as seeing to the tools they were working with and also the bits and bobs sometimes from the Haweswater Hotel - hinges on gates, I suppose, latches and things like that. He was employed there until he retired.
    MC:Right, so where was he actually employed.
    AP:Down in the yard, you know Burnbanks Village, the first big turning in, where the garages are, you turn down there. There was a gate, always on and it would be closed when the works were closed and that's where he would go every day. He has shoed horses before he came for this job but I don't know whether he was very keen on it or not really!
    MC:So when you moved to Burnbanks, how was it then?
    AP:Burnbanks? It was a busy little village and I don't remember any of the houses being empty.
    MC:Right and what was there for you?
    AP:Well there had been a shop and a post office but when we moved there was only the Post Office, which was very good. Now, we had a big travelling shop every week, a milkman of course, the coalman and the doctor from Shap practice used to come down two afternoons a week to see patients.
    MC:So there were a lot of people there?
    AP:Oh yes there were a lot of people there, the works were quite busy. Then there was the buses, I mean you could get in and out of Penrith twice on a Saturday and back at half past ten at night. It just dwindled when people got motorcars, I think.
    MC:Can you tell me something about your house when you moved into it?
    AP:The house.. oh well they were all bungalows. It had a nice living room, three bedrooms, a pantry, a bathroom and a kitchen. But the only thing about it was, it was very cold in winter, really cold because it's not built like these are, it was very cold in winter.
    MC:So what was the kitchen like? What did you cook on?
    AP:Oh yes it was electric. And then you had your sink fitted in with the window and the cooker. Oh yes it was quite a big kitchen but a narrow passage out of the bigger part. Oh and then there was a hatch, and we had the doors and if anyone was through in the kitchen and you wanted to give them, food I suppose, we never used it, you could pop it through, through the hatch and they got it at that end in the kitchen.
    MC:There wasn't a range was there?
    AP:No no, there was no central heating
    MC:Had there ever been a range?
    AP:I do believe, but I'd never seen it, that there was a lady in the village who would take in a lot of lodgers and she had, maybe what you would call a range, an old black stove you see them in schools.. something like that ?but I never saw it. Because those people would have been and gone before we went up there, you know, the main workforce were stopping and sleeping, you know accommodation and that sort of thing. No they were all a standard size those bungalows, they were all three bedroomed. But as I say they were cold in winter, warm in summer because they'd keep their heat in summer but they lost it, all of it when it was cold.
    MC:What about the roads, were they similar to how they were now?
    AP:What about the?
    MC:The roads... were they similar??
    AP:Ahh yes, yes. A road right up to the dam there and a road round the back of the houses, up there for walkers to the end bungalow and that sort of thing. Oh I don't think the roads have altered at all. They will possibly do that before they start with the building of the houses... I don't know.
    MC:What about any social life? Were there any social events?
    AP:There was, but I didn't live there then - it was? when I would be a lot younger and lived at Bomby. They had a - what did they call it - where they could go and gather and dances, well it would be, maybe not a pub, but they could buy a drink and that sort of thing and Colin Cannon used to have that. Do you remember Margaret Cannon from Shap, Margaret's dad had that. It would be before he was married, he looked after that, it was a big - what would they call it- a club I suppose.
    MC:A social club?
    AP:Yes, so that was somewhere for them to go but I suppose in lots of ways, the lodgers and that, they probably worked longer hours, they may have been tired out and not gone out. Maybe just at weekends - oh they used to come to the Jerry - St Patrick's - they'd never get in now would they!!
    MC:That's true - yes.
    AP:Yes and the doctor came twice a week every week, I think it was either Tuesday and Friday afternoons or Monday and Friday afternoons and you never had any bother phoning for a doctor to call, and if I remember rightly he was the only doctor in the practice then so it must have been a lot smaller.
    MC:What about the children from the village. Did they come down to the school here?
    AP:Yes oh yes, long after the dam was finished and that sort of thing I'm sure John Bowness used to go for them. Because there still were bits of busy traffic on that road up there so they must have agreed that the children had to be taken to school and taken back home for safety's sake. I had an Auntie and two cousins and an Uncle, they lived at Measand and my Auntie was my Mum's twin sister and they lived up there for years and when it was going to be flooded they had to get out - they had to move. So they moved to Leicestershire, that's where they went; they are dead now. It was quite an upheaval, I do believe really quite sad. Have you read that book, its very sad, I mean they loved the area, the people who lived there? Hard times.
    MC:What about the sort of environment, you know the sort of woods and things, do you remember it being a nice place to move to from here, because you were at Bomby you say?
    AP:Yes. Do you mean the woods at Burnbanks? We used to walk up with mates and walk up the river from the chapel beck and walk up there to Thornthwaite and it was a lovely walk but you never saw many people, there would be visitors maybe would come and walk more than we did but it was a nice area really, yes it was lovely.
    MC:So you did some of your shopping in the village and then some of your shopping in Penrith, would you go into Penrith on the bus?
    AP:Well I used to get quite a lot of shopping from the van. Then it was bought you see, when I was working, Mrs Hindmarch, Sylvia's mother in law used to get it for me because I was working until 6 and the shops were shut. So there were no problems that way. We were very lucky really when you look back, you know it was always brought to your door if you needed it.
    MC:What about the other women who lived up there? Did you have quite a lot to do with them? I mean, were you in and out of each others' houses?
    AP:Well no not really, everyone seemed to get on with their jobs. When there was a clinic day, you would walk down to the clinic together and things like that. No we just seemed to get on with our work and did a bit of gardening and that sort of thing - your days just went.
    MC:So your Dad, you say they lived at Bomby, when he worked at Burnbanks.
    AP:Yeah but he lived at Butterwick before that. But he lived at Sockbridge before that but they moved to get nearer to his work, if you see what I mean.
    MC:Which was Burnbanks?
    AP:Burnbanks yes.
    MC:So how long altogether did he work up there, do you know?
    AP:Well he worked up there until he was 65 and he was working up there when I was a little lass of three so he must have worked there a long time, most of his working life I should imagine.
    MC:And when he finished presumably there were a lot less houses up there were there? - by the time he'd finished work?
    AP:Well I don't know somehow, whether the houses had got rotten and they took some of them down or what I don't really know. There was blocks of two, blocks of two, blocks of two, you know and it seemed to be like that behind where we lived... that was Gina and Keith and Susan and Norman Buckle and then next door the birdwatchers and then maybe there wasn't anybody after that until you got up to where Barbara Harrison lived. There maybe wasn't so many of them. But I think from where we were going up towards the dam there were some of those houses that may have been taken away, they might have had a use for them, I don't know.
    MC:Yes perhaps setting up another village?
    AP:Well, they could have done as temporary accommodation, yes, I think that could have been the case. But they were good little houses, as I say they were cold but they were good little compact houses, yes they were. Oh I quite enjoyed living up there. I must go and get that photograph, hadn't I?... Oh go on then.
    MC:You don't know how much you paid for your rent or anything do you?
    AP:Well now then, the house was empty for a little while and Hughie said well we'll try for that house shall we. Now he knew William Walker, Sir William Walker, you see he lived up there and he said he'd go and ask him if I can.
    MC:So who was Sir William Walker?
    AP:William Walker - well he was from Manchester, he was Lord Mayor of Manchester at one time I think. So whether he had something to do with the lake I don't know.
    MC:So where did he live?
    AP:In the staff huts, in the wooden huts... yes he did, him and his housekeeper. That would be, maybe... it would be war years wouldn't it?
    MC:You moved there in??
    AP:We moved there in 1954 did I say?
    MC:That's right.
    AP:Yeah, yeah and he was there then.
    MC:Oh well probably he did then because, of course, work on the dam stopped didn't it during the war?
    AP:Yes, so Hugh went to ask him about it and he said yes and Hughie had said he'd give him rent, you know, what they were charging now and I think he said well, you'll have to pay, was it ten shillings a week. 'Cause I think they were about seven shillings a week, of course all the same size, they'd all be the same price in the village wouldn't they and so he said ten shillings a week (more?.) Well that's the way they did it in those days I suppose and it was a lot of money in those, days maybe ten bob.
    MC:You don't remember how much your husband earned?
    AP:How much he earned? I don't think it would have been more than about seven or eight pound a week and he was a fully qualified joiner. So I know things were - well, I suppose in ratio it was the same as it is today. I mean the electricity was cheaper, calls were cheaper, food was cheaper, bus fares were cheaper. Well I think when I worked at Carleton Hall, I think I had, well possibly, maybe not quite as much as Hughie but I considered it for me quite a good wage, you know.
    MC:How did you get to Carleton Hall then?
    AP:Oh by bus.
    MC:So there was a bus every day?
    AP:Oh yes there was a bus every day and there was one on a Sunday that left Penrith at one o'clock and I think it would come back up again at six and maybe go back up again at seven. Yes every day there were buses, there was the first bus because Hugh used to get it from Penrith to start work at eight and then there would be one on Tuesday, one left Penrith on a Tuesday to be up here at about ten o'clock another left to be up here about eleven o'clock and then you could come back at one o'clock then half past four and six o'clock and then that would be the end of the days apart from Sunday, Saturday rather.. when it would be half past ten for the pictures. So it wasn't a bad bus service, and it was a one-man band, actually, it was Mr Hartness. He owned it and I mean he must have been a good business man as he never got into any problems and there were always plenty of staff to work for him and he made it pay or he wouldn't have carried it on would he.
    MC:No that's true.
    AP:No he wouldn't. No it was a good bus service, really good. Yeah, oh those were the days.
    MC:So how did you do your washing did you have a boiler or??
    AP:Well no no, when I got married there was a girl I knew well, Chris Holmes's sister Sheila, and she worked in Althams in Penrith and they had these little stock washing machines with a little roller fixed on the top. And it did work by switching it on, it washed, and then I just put them through the little wringer thing and that was my first washing machine. So I suppose I was lucky to have one.
    MC:So did you have that when you were up at Burnbanks?
    AP:Yes, that's where I got it for, up there.
    MC:So you had just one daughter when you were up there?
    AP:Just Shirley yes. 'Cause Ruth is nine years younger than Shirley.
    MC:Yes I see. And you said you moved from Burnbanks because of work was it really?
    AP:Well Hugh got another job, and it was a better job and we had friends near Grassington in Yorkshire but we moved to a place called Lynton, which wasn't very far away actually. And then when Mum and Dad bought these two houses and they couldn't live in two of them could they - so we got the other one and so we moved back.
    MC:Did you miss Burnbanks when you moved?
    AP:Well, I suppose in a way I did because as your first home it means quite a lot doesn't it? Yeah, I thought it was horrible in Yorkshire when I went. I could have sat and cried, but I didn't but I could have done. Because I didn't know anybody, you see, apart from George and Betty, our friends. So there you go.
    MC:So did you have, it was just electricity up at Burnbanks, was it?
    AP:Oh yes.
    MC:And how many sockets would you have had in the house, can you remember?
    AP:Well you wouldn't have two in a room that would be for sure, just one in a bedroom and just a light in the pantry and in the bathroom. Yes, just one in a room.
    MC:So did you rely on electric fires in the bedrooms?
    AP:No, we never had fires in the bedrooms, no.
    MC:Just relied on hot water bottles!
    AP:Aye you are right!
    MC:And where did you dry your clothes?
    AP:We had a washing line outside.
    MC:Oh right.
    AP:So it wasn't bad, I mean summer it was easy as pie when it was nice and sunny- yes dried in no time.
    MC:And do you remember lots of birds and do you remember the red squirrels and things?
    AP:I never remember seeing a red squirrel, I do remember birds - definitely remember birds but not squirrels. So there possibly wasn't any, well with the job do you think it might have ?
    MC:I don't know.
    AP:No I never saw a red squirrel, no I didn't.
    It was surprising how many people, you know that would come walking would go up the back road on to the fell or be on the fell and come down the back road. It was quite a popular place.
    MC:While you were there did a lot of people move in and out of the village, I mean was it a population that shifted a lot or was it static?
    AP:No I don't think they really moved. Well one couple, he was retirement age, they moved to Penrith. Ummmm... there was one or two moves, Mrs Holliday, next to Mrs Hindmarch opposite where I lived, she moved back to Penruddock way and Mr Hindmarch died but Mrs Hindmarch stayed on and she lived a full life there as far as I can remember. And there was an Irish couple with a little boy and they lived further up nearer the dam to where we were at No.1. And then they went back to Ireland, possibly, they were just there to do a certain job of work and then go back, you see. No there wasn't a lot. Birdwatchers weren't heard of when I lived there?.
    MC:Oh weren't there.
    AP:No?birdwatchers weren't, no? or holiday homes - 'cause there is one - the last one out of the wooden bungalows, isn't there, that's a holiday home - that will possibly be the only one there I think - the staff hut.
    MC:Was it seen as quite a difference between the staff and the workers?
    AP:Well there might have been a bit of class distinction there - I'm not sure. But those - they call them staff huts - but one of the workers there and his wife and daughter - he was a joiner by trade but a foreman type and I can't remember about the others - well, a policeman lived in there at one time - those staff huts.
    MC:Was the policeman still there when you went there?
    AP:No no - they finished it as a police station and then there was a PC Barber moved into - you know where the post office was in Bampton Grange - where Maureen and Colin are - that was a police house - well theirs wasn't a police house because that was a converted barn wasn't it - they lived there - Mr Barber and Sid Weir of course lived a long time up there didn't he?
    MC:Hmmm he did. And what about your father, because you say he worked there for most of his working life... So did he and your mum used to go up for dances and things?
    AP:They might have done but I can't really remember?
    MC:You would be little ?
    AP:They may not have done because I would be just little and they couldn't leave me, could they or maybe they found someone else (laughs). It was a good community up there with that hall and that Colin Cannon looked after. It would keep them together in their recreation time wouldn't it really - yeah?
    MC:And were you at school in Bampton? Because you lived at Butterwick you say?
    AP:Yes I was born at Wendy Martin's house, that's where I was born.
    MC:And did you go to school in Bampton?
    AP:Oh yes.
    MC:So do you remember?..
    AP:I came to Bomby when I was three.
    MC:Right so you would have gone to school?
    AP:Yes and I had an older brother and I'd heard mum say that sometimes Chris would have to walk or sometimes there was - oh what did they call him- from Setterah Park - not these people, the people before this... he used to stop and give Chris a lift up - it was a long way for a little five year old to walk there and back. They don't know they are born today do they? With lifts?
    MC:It's very different.
    AP:Oh definitely.
    MC:Because there would have been children from Burnbanks at the school when you were there?
    AP:Oh yes, yes it was in the war years there were all the evacuees. There were three teachers - It was quite busy mostly from Tyneside way, I think, the evacuees were?
    MC:And did some of them come from Burnbanks, the evacuees, or would they have been?
    AP:If they were school age they would have to come to Bampton School, yes.
    MC:From Burnbanks - yes, so do you remember any of your friends at school coming from Burnbanks?
    AP:Oh yes there was the Thompson girls - Elsie and Ginnie and Winnie and Rita - you know there was quite a big family - I do remember them at school, yes definitely and the Twigg family they lived up at Drybarrows, they were all boys and they came to Bampton School. The Crabtrees - they came. Now then, how about anybody else - oh the Satterthwaite girls, well Kathleen, who used to be in the Crown and Mitre she had three sisters but she lived above Woodfoot - but they used to come - but they'd have to walk, it was a pretty long way on a wet day - isn't it there and back?
    MC:Yes yes. And did you have a uniform?
    AP:No no, not at Bampton School, no no?
    MC:And what about the sort of games you used to play? Can you remember anything about them?
    AP:I remember playing rounders, I don't think we played much else but rounders. 'Cause it was a good schoolyard for playing rounders - apart from being hilly - you know it was quite a good schoolyard. The boys would play football and cricket, I think. Well we maybe had a go at that, I don't know.
    MC:What about trips? Do you remember any school trips?
    AP:Not school trips; the only trips that there were in the valley were when you went to Sunday school and there was a Sunday school trip. But usually to Morecambe and then on the way back the bus would break down and we were hours late (laughter).
    MC:Do you remember any of the children from Burnbanks going to the Sunday school?
    AP:Well I don't know, really? they would be there, definitely... Elsie Thompson and her sisters would go I'm sure - I don't know whether the Crabtrees would go to Sunday school or not?
    MC:Did the Thompsons leave - do you remember them leaving?
    AP:I don't - they actually - I don't think they were living there when we lived there but they had lived there so they must have been gone quite a while. Mrs Thompson maybe got a house in Penrith with her girls somewhere. No they weren't, no they weren't there when we moved to Burnbanks because there were a couple there called Dinsdale and they had a boy, so the Thompsons had moved to Penrith... yes.
    MC:Can you remember much about your schooldays? Were the desks - how were the desks laid out? Were they rows or??
    AP:Oh yes, well you usually shared a desk. I shared mine with Frank Twigg and I think it was usually boy- girl, you know, sort of thing in the stone-built building and I know the classrooms were full. And I remember one day, Dougie Thornton - did you ever know him?
    MC:I've heard of him.
    AP:Well, for some reason unknown to me, he just whacked his ruler across my hand and I said 'what did you do that for?' and he said nothing. He would have been reported today wouldn't he? He was a nasty piece of work. Mr Ainsley was a nice teacher but he never taught me but he was a quiet chap. Ahh, but I do remember, things stick in your mind, it was years ago, but that really got to me like, whacking me with the ruler, he was a nasty devil with that ruler - it hurt and all!
    MC:Do you remember what subjects you were taught?
    AP:Well everything really - yeah history, geography, not science - history and geography, maths, scripture, English - oh it was quite interesting what we did, I think. You know nobody seemed to complain about our lessons. And then he, Dougie Thornton, used to take us out for a nature walk; we'd probably go to Chapel Bridge and then you'd took your drawing paper and your pencil and you'd have to draw it - now I liked that sort of thing, you know. That was really the highlight of the summer when you got a nature walk out. 'Cause you had to take your own sandwiches for school, there wasn't a canteen. But the canteen opened just before I left Bampton School when I was eleven to go to grammar school and the canteen opened maybe a couple of months before I left. Mrs Holliday and Ada Preston did that canteen - they were very good.
    MC:I was going to ask you about the school you went on to and whether there were any children still from Burnbanks at the Penrith School?
    AP:At the Grammar School - yes I went to the Grammar School? I got four O levels and then I went to work in a solicitor's office which was as dry as sticks there (laughter).
    MC:Do you remember any children from Burnbanks still at school then, going to the Grammar School with you?
    AP:May be one of the Light? but no they lived at Rosgill - yes there were a few of us went to grammar school but maybe not from Burnbanks.
    MC:You spoke about the Thompson girls?
    AP:No I don't recollect any of the Thompson girls going to grammar school. Maybe Margaret - I don't know about Margaret Irving either, she lived next door to them - she maybe just went to Bampton School.
    MC:Because there was another school - there was the Ullswater Community College.
    AP:Oh no there wasn't such a place?
    MC:Was there not?
    AP:No there wasn't such a place. I mean you had to stay on at Bampton until, you know, they finished schooling full stop, you know till they were what fifteen it would have been then.
    MC:Oh really.
    AP:Oh yes.
    MC:If you didn't go to grammar school?..
    AP:Yes, if you didn't pass an exam and go to Penrith you were just at Bampton until your school days were over.
    MC:Oh really.
    AP:And all the little villages would be like that - yes. Dougie Thornton was stuck with us, hitting folk with rulers, till he snuffed it, I should think (laughter).
    MC:What did the... I mean your little one was only tiny when you were up there, so were there, I mean, other small children for her to play with?
    AP:For her?
    MC:When you lived at Burnbanks?
    MC:The little one that you had then, were there quite a few for her to play with?
    AP:No I think they must have been at school. You never used to see any - yes there was some little 'uns because we used to come down to the clinic together pushing our prams. But maybe they were not quite toddling some of them - you know what I mean - so you didn't, so you couldn't let them out and that house had steps up to the door you see, number one. Gina, if Gina had had a family, what a lot of steps she had to her house didn't she. So it wasn't easy. There wasn't a community centre, sort of where mothers and toddlers could go, that might have been a good idea then, when there was more, you know, mothers and children than there is now. But we used to enjoy the walk down to the village hall for the clinic as they called it, you know, and the doctor used to come as well - not our own doctor. I don't know where he was from.
    MC:That village hall would have been in Bampton would it?
    AP:It was here, the same place.
    MC:Oh right.
    AP:It was the same place, it was built in 19 - was the queen crowned in 1952 - it was open for that, the first occasion, if I'm right, I think, I might not be sure on that. 'Cause they were always raising money for it, they had dances in the school, in the wooden part, because they had to raise money for the village hall. And it did get done, and a nice village hall really, you know so?
    MC:That's good?
    AP:Yes, oh aye.
    MC:So you said your husband actually worked on the Burnbanks site.
    AP:Yes as a joiner yes. He didn't actually work on it when they were doing the lake, no that was done and everything, the dam ?
    MC:So he moved to work there after the dam was finished?
    AP:Oh yes, there was a joiners' shop in the yard and things like that you see, yes. No, he didn't actually work on the dam.
    MC:No, but he would maintain the houses in Burnbanks would he?
    AP:Oh yes, yes. Say if, well what can I say, say if curtain rails dropped off or doors wouldn't fit and things like that, I would say. Not that I can remember anybody really much wanting anything done in their house. But they used to do jobs, they had a lot of, the waterworks had a lot of farmhouses you see, which every house needs a bit of attention some time doesn't it so he'd probably go up to Margaret Coward's up there, you see and spend a week there doing what jobs she had and different other farmhouses. Oh there was always work?
    MC:Did he think they were a good employer?
    AP:Oh yes, he never complained, never complained no?
    MC:Did they have unions and things do you know?
    AP:Yes they did have a union, yes they did up at Burnbanks but I can't tell you who was... Raymond Crabtree was in the union once, but Raymond is - I don't know how old Raymond is - he'll be over sixty won't he? Raymond, do you know Raymond?
    MC:I know of him, yes.
    AP:He'll be over sixty and I think he used to collect the union money off them, because they were all in it, sort of thing, then. And then what happened after that, I don't know. Unless when a lot moved away, and it wasn't worthwhile bothering I couldn't say. It was in that place in Penrith, same place as the Margaret Coward, isn't it?
    MC:That's right, yes.
    AP:I hope I never have to go into a place like that, you know, you never know like do you. I tell you what; I shall go and get that photograph, unless you want to ask me anything else?
    MC:Well, do you think, is there anything else that you want to talk about with Burnbanks? I mean, is there anything else that you can remember about it. I know you weren't there for very long or anything that your father talked about when he worked
    AP:Oh I know what he used to say sometimes? having to "mend those damn things at the Haweswater Hotel, those kitchen utensils, why they can't buy new ones; I don't know, they are absolutely shattered" (laughter). That's one complaint he did have, I can't think of any others. And we thought it was funny but I suppose it was quite mean, when they couldn't buy new utensils.
    MC:So he used to go up and mend them?
    AP:Yes or they'd probably send them down to the blacksmiths shop for them to be prepared.
    MC:So your father was a blacksmith and your husband was a joiner?
    AP:Yes and I was the housewife and mother (laughter).
    MC:And working as well.
    AP:Yes yes.
    MC:So how did your father get about?
    AP:He had a bike.
    MC:He had a bike?
    AP:Oh yes yes, up and down to Bomby... up to Burnbanks and down to Bomby? there was nobody to give you lifts those days. There would have been a lot of them who'd go on bikes I should think... well those who lived there would be all right, they'd just walk to work wouldn't they. He used to go on his bike.
    MC:But not many people had cars anyway did they?
    AP:Oh no no, the roads were never blocked with cars. The first car I think I remember, like as a taxi was John Bowness, really. Not many people had cars at all. I mean they built the motorway then, and they didn't did they (laughter).
    MC:Do you remember about the winters, I mean, were they bad?
    AP:I do remember, was it 1947, Dad and my brother walked to Helton in thick, well in deep drifts of snow to get bread because the bread vans had never been able to get through and it was left at the pub at Helton, the same pub that was there and they just went to pick it up and then came all the way back. In desperation people had to do it you see, didn't they. Oh and I remember my dad digging snow out with other corporation workers up to Swindale where Buckles lived - oh I don't know how high it was up there, and then possibly they'd dig it out and then it would be windy and then they'd have to go back the next day and it would've blown it all in, so it must have been a bit hard up there.
    MC:But while you were living at Burnbanks did you have a hard winter at all?
    AP:I can't remember every being blocked in or not being able to get the bus to work. So it would be before that wouldn't it, about 1947, when that really bad winter was. So, well they've got different machinery today haven't they to clear roads and things like that.
    MC:Certainly. Did you have street lighting up there?
    AP:No, none at all, just your torch. No, no street lighting, no street lighting anywhere, until recently with these lights and past the St Patrick's Well, which they want to close, oh dear it's a shame isn't it - a good pub gone to waste.
    MC:What do you think about Burnbanks now?
    AP:I think it will be really nice when it gets finished. But saying that, I don't think I would want to live at it again, for the simple reason that I haven't got transport. I mean they only have buses two days a week don't they - Saturdays and Tuesdays. Whereas they were every day and you were never isolated. I wonder if they'll do anything with the outsides of the bungalows, will they pebbledash them or roughcast.
    MC:Oh I think they are going to look very different, because I mean they are all coming down.
    AP:They are all coming down?
    MC:Not the ones on the road, but the ones in Burnbanks itself are all coming down.
    AP:Oh right.
    MC:Not the top bungalows, not the first, I think the first bungalow maybe coming down actually.
    AP:Gina's maybe isn't and next door.
    MC:I think it might be, I'm not sure.
    AP:Oh right.
    MC:The ones at the very end aren't but all of the other ones are.
    AP:Oh right.
    MC:So they'll all be proper houses.
    AP:Oh well they will look better won't they, they'll look nice.
    MC:They will look very different, yes.
    AP:Because they've knocked those down opposite Sylvia haven't they, where Olive and George Hindmarch lived and Mrs Holliday. They were rather a nice site there because they had quite a bit of room at the back. So they will be another two good houses there won't they. It's a good project, I hope it goes ok.
    AP:Well I'm going to put kettle on; I bet you could do with a cup of tea, could you?
    MC:I'll turn it off now.
    AP:Oh don't turn the kettle off; I haven't put it on yet! (Laughter)
    MC:Well thank you very much indeed.
    MC:Well thank you very very much.
    AP:I'm going upstairs for that photograph, but I'll let kettle boil first.
    MC:Right I'll just turn this off.

    Interviewer: Maureen Cummings

    All site Copyright © 2004,2005 Bampton and District Local History Society