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  • Bampton and District Local History Society

    Burnbanks project

    Interview with Bill Rawlings

    3rd December 2004

    Additions from Bill Rawlings, 4th February 2005, shown in italics

    CW: Can you tell me your name please.
    BR: William Rawlings.
    CW: And where were you born and when.
    BR: Inverkeithing, Rosyth, in 1928. Better say Scotland as well just to make sure.
    CW: And when did you move to Burnbanks?
    BR: When I was 18 month old so that must have been, say 1930.
    CW: And why did you come to Burnbanks?
    BR: Because my father died, I just don't know how long before, but he'd died and my mother was left widowed and her family were coming down to work on the dam so she threw her lot in with them and we all came down together.
    CW: Did you have brothers and sisters?
    BR: No I was the only one although later I had five step brothers: Frank, John, Brian, Tommy and Walter, (Brian and John are now dead), but on my mother's mother's side there was Harry Toone, Bill Toone and Ivy (my uncles and aunt), three of those, and they would all be just coming up - Ivy was 11 year older than me so she was still school age. She went to Bampton school. Harry would be just a couple of years older so I don't know whether he actually went to Bampton school or started but Bill he started working on the tunnel. Now then, the depression came just about that time and Bill lost his job on the tunnel and I don't think Harry had started working then so there was something about the means test that Bill had to leave home, something like that, so where he went and how he - whether they slept in tents? But certain ones had to leave the houses.
    CW: This was sometime in the mid 30s.
    BR: For the means test in the 30s, yes. I think it would be about between 1930 and 1932. The country was in the grip of whatever it was -
    CW: Recession.
    BR: Yes.
    CW: Can you remember the first house you were in?
    BR: Oh yes, it would be about number 60, it was on the top road. They were semis, semi bungalows. I remember that one.
    CW: Can you remember what it was like?
    BR: Oh yes.
    CW: How many bedrooms?
    BR: I think that one had three, I think, so how we all slept I don't know, but then see I was only 18 month. And then my next recollection was mother getting married again to Bill Twigg and they moved down into number 5, and they stayed at number 5 right through to when they moved up to Drybarrows and we then moved into a big hut, that's what they called them - big huts. And I think they had the dormitories. There was the house part - a big big kitchen, no a big big living room with a solid fuel range where she used to do all the cooking and that for the lodgers and then behind that there was a sitting room and two bedrooms for granny and granddad and Ivy. Bill and Harry slept down on the lodgers' side, you know where there was - they were wide and then they went narrow and there were dormitories all the way down, just single rooms, and at the end of that there was a little wash place with a little solid fuel fire in again for the navvies, or whatever they were, just to sit at the evening and have a warm and play cards. And then there was also where they washed up a little kitchen and a pantry.
    CW: So you were there with your grandparents and were they running it?
    BR: Yes, my grandmother run it.
    CW: What was her name?
    BR: Toone, T-o-o-n-e, not as in this book here. Yes she run it.
    CW: What was her first name?
    BR: Mary, Mary Jane. And granddad always called her Polly, I don't know why.
    CW: And what was your grandfather's name?
    BR: Tommy, Tommy Toone. He was a blacksmith's striker. Built like a brick - I won't say the other word. And he worked all the way through from when it started up again, as I say as a blacksmith's striker, right through to definitely 1939-40. The dam was about finished then and they started then, I'm digressing, making perch traps for putting in the lake to catch perch for the war effort to send through to a factory in Leeds. The end of that tale was the lake came up that fast it flooded them all and they lost them all in the lake. Eventually they did get some back.
    CW: That's when it was filling up.
    BR: When it was filling up they were putting these perch traps in with a rope on and a glass ball - I've still got a glass ball. And then when it rained it came up that fast that it left quite a lot of them down below. There'll be some in the bottom there now. I can say as well years and years later when the level dropped we did get one perch trap out still, no perch in but there was trout in so the trout must have been living on other things coming in, and there was just this one trout in. That's just one recollection I've got of that episode.
    CW: What's a blacksmith's striker?
    BR: Well, in those days they were nearly all navvies, no JCBs, picks and shovels. They had to make their own picks and sharpen the picks, sharpen the shovels, do all this. Well the blacksmith, he would get his tongs, put his red hot iron on the - the blacksmith's striker fired it up, the blacksmith got his tongs, held it there and told the striker where to hit, you know he put his thing there and the striker hit it, to sharpen them up. So the blacksmith actually was doing the job but he was the man with a hammer hitting it.
    CW: Whereabouts was this big house you've described?
    BR: Well the top road is still there, you've lost the bottom road, so you went up the top road and there was a row of semis, semi-bungalows, and then you come to the big shop, the store - I can't remember the name of the chap that run it - then you went down the other side and there was a substation and that's still there because I've seen it when I came on my walk last time. The substation - because those days they made their own electricity, they had electricity there before anybody else round the community. They had bathrooms, all these bungalows had bathrooms in and all modern, if you like. Also the power from that power station and if you ever walk along the east side of the lake you'll see a wire now and again going along it well they used to take the electricity right up the east side and it went across just by the narrows and up into the Haweswater Hotel, so the Haweswater hotel had electricity right from the word go.
    CW: Very modern. How did they make it - was it hydroelectricity or did they have a generator?
    BR: No it was a generator. I can't say whether it was oil or solid fuel - I can't remember that. But Harry Toone he worked there as a boiler man and they used to charge all the village batteries, the accumulators, anybody that could afford a wireless had them but they were run off wet batteries, the accumulators, and they used to charge them there, oh, maybe for a penny or tuppence or something like that.
    CW: You'd just take them along.
    BR: You took them along and they took them and charged them up and then you brought them back again. They were actually doing that in most of the garages in those days.
    CW: So this big house with the dormitories, that was beyond there.
    BR: No that was the top road. Well just off the top road, just below number 60 it was, was number 30 and that was ours. The one going towards the dam I'm nearly sure was Mrs - that was another big hut - was Mrs Sullivan's and I think the one below going down was Mrs Jewell's. Across from them there was - we had a little bit of a front garden, a bit of grass, and then there was another big house, Mrs Eastham's, that was on the left and I cannot for the life of me think of the name of the other one on the right, but I think there was about five or six big houses.
    CW: These were for unmarried men.
    BR: These were for the navvies if you like, yes.
    CW: They were single men.
    BR: They were all single men, yes. They'd just come pick and shovelling and that was it. And all the others were single semis for joiners and electricians.
    CW: Did your grandmother have to do cooking and cleaning?
    BR: She cooked for them.
    CW: Washing?
    BR: No not the washing for the men - just bedding.
    CW: They'd wash their own clothes would they?
    BR: I suppose so. As far as I know she only did the - Monday was wash day. She might have done some of the washing for them, I don't know, but they washed their own socks and things like that because down in the bottom, where I said, was this little stove and there was drying and they were always drying because they were always wet, well not always wet, but they used to come in wet so they had to dry their own stuff off down there.
    CW: And what about cooking?
    BR: Cooking, she had this big range with a - she baked her own bread, made her own cakes and she'd have made quite a bit of bread because they all took, um - she made them breakfast and they took this snack which was cheese, nearly always cheese and corned beef, how they never got fed up of it I don't know, big thick slices, and then they came home to a cooked meal every night. I could even tell you the menu at one time. I know it was pork on Tuesday, beef on Monday, but she varied it - and fish.
    CW: So did they all sit round and eat together?
    BR: A great big table down and benches where you sat on a bench and they used to sit in there and just eat and all the men were down that side and we had the family table on this side. And a great big pot of tea always on top of this, always hot.
    CW: Sitting on the range.
    BR: On the range, yes, on top.
    CW: What about washing up after? Did anyone help out?
    BR: Oh no just my granny, she did the washing and Ivy helped her out of course and I used to do some drying now and again. On wash days I know I can also remember she had one of these things where you went like this, a washing machine - Acdo they called it and you just put your washing in it - mind, she had a big boiler as well but this was the modern thing of the time. It had a handle on with a metal paddle, you closed the lid down, put your washing in, put your hot water in, closed the lid down and just swished it about.
    CW: Probably harder than it sounds I should imagine.
    BR: No it wasn't if you didn't put too much in it, you just had to, ay - she used to get me doing it sometimes, fed up just doing.
    CW: What about washing, if you needed a bath.
    BR: There was a bath down on the men's side. They could have their bath any time they liked. There was hot water from, I would imagine, an immersion heater, I don't think it was fired from the range - it was electric.
    CW: What about for you and your grandparents? Did you have separate - ?
    BR: No that was the only bath. We would bath when they were all at work. Well every Friday night was my bath night anyway. Once a week - now it's every night.
    CW: Did you have a coal house?
    BR: Yes we had a coal house. There was as I explained the dining room if you like or whatever it was, you went into the living quarters for granny, a little door on the outside went to the coal house, then next to the coal house inside was the pantry, then there was the washing-up place then you went out another door and there was two outside toilets, outside but inside - you went out of the house and there was two toilets there.
    CW: So very well catered for really.
    BR: Oh they were really set up, yes.
    CW: Compared to where some people had come from, the facilities people had been used to.
    BR: Oh yes, ay. Oh some of them were maybe on the road, they'd been just tramping down, a job here and a job there, things like that some of the navvies.
    CW: Times were hard weren't they.
    BR: Oh times were hard, yes. There was a chap lived with us all the way through, Charlie Squires. He actually when they went to Shap went and lived at Shap as well but he didn't live with us, he lived in another spot and I think he died in Shap.
    CW: Where had he come from originally?
    BR: I would think he came from down about Ashby de la Zouch, it was round that area because granddad he came from round that area so like they were pals as well and he was a - when he was dressed up in moleskins all sort of best, Charlie, yes. Never got married.
    CW: What job did he do?
    BR: He was just a labourer. Well what do labourers do?How can I put it?I can't remember them digging it, I can some of it, digging it out where the big spaces were and as I say this very blue clay and then they got down on to rock.
    CW: What did they do with the stuff they dug out? Did they just take it away?
    BR: The bowling green was built, it was built up out of the soil and that and it was a lovely bowling green and a bowling hut and trees. And then down below that there was the tennis courts, that was to the side, that's right, that was to the side going towards the estate office and then as I say next to that was all this timber they'd put and then the estate office. Now the other side was all allotments going right down to the edge of where the works was, you know like one, two three, four, there must have been about thirty allotments there.
    CW: People used to grow their own -
    BR: Grow their own veg, yes. Granddad's plot was just beside the bowling green - he was the bottom one. Yes, he used to grow his own onions, his own potatoes and things like that. We had a big deer fence up to stop the deer coming in. Oh and the quoits. Now I think that was made from the blue clay that came out of the dam and it was a big clay patch and a stake in the middle, a big iron stake, and you used to have a thing like a horseshoe, if you like, and you used to throw it and the one that got nearest to it won. But if some was too near you'd just try and knock it away and they would play for pennies and happennies. Also there was a pitch and toss - there was a little skill like that as well.
    CW: You described the piles of timber. Can you say where that came from?
    BR: Oh yes, that came out of the valley. When they started knocking the farm houses down, well right from the word go it started - I'm just going on reminiscing now because I can't remember this but they did start taking the timber down before the 30s. So it was always put out there to weather and season and it was actually a big field and it was full during the war. We used to play on it, had little camps in it.
    CW: This was whole trunks was it?
    BR: Oh yes, the whole trunk, the whole trunk come down. Well when I say the whole trunk they would be cut into maybe lengths of eight foot or something like that but whatever sizes they wanted they were.
    CW: And then what happened? They were sold or -
    BR: Well next to that was the estate, which is still there, and a saw mill and it was sawed up into fencing, larch bars, gates to serve all the farms because the Corporation bought most of the farms around the area so they had to do all the fencing, all the fencing round the lakes. That was all cut from there - beams for the farm houses and I suppose they did sell quite a bit off.
    CW: So did you have to pay if you wanted to play bowls or tennis, or was it just free?
    BR: No that was free. There was a hut there, yes. Bear in mind when I'm talking about this I'm only a kid so I never played bowls on it, and it was a flat green, same as Penrith. We're crown green round here. As kids there was always plenty of snow in the winter so we sledged, skated and snow balled. In the spring and summer we played hopscotch, football, cricket and looked for birds' nests. In the autumn we picked hazelnuts and knocked chestnuts down from the trees for conker fighting. And the football pitch, while we're on activities, was Naddlegate, the field just as you're coming into Naddlegate on the right hand side and that was where we played. When the village was first built the football pitch was in the field across the bottom road with the children's play area, swings and see saw. When the timber started coming down from Mardale the football pitch was moved to Naddlegate. That year we won the Westmorland Cup.
    CW: Which year was that?
    BR: I think it was about 1938.
    CW: Did you go and watch?
    BR: Oh yes yes, I was a mascot, I was dressed up in red and white. There's a little bit about me in there [shows magazine]. Oh, although my name is Rawlings when my mother moved down there, got married, between them I was left with my grandma Toone, so my name after that was Billy Toone, or Macky Toone as I got nicknamed because Bill was Mac so I did most of my life up there being called Macky Toone. So anybody that does know anything about them all they'll know me.
    CW: So you've got two names really. What was the football team called?
    BR: Haweswater United.
    CW: And that was mainly people from Burnbanks?
    BR: All Burnbanks, yes.
    CW: And they were quite successful then?
    BR: Well we won the Westmorland Cup, yes. I can remember vividly the lord mayor of Manchester coming and presenting the medals in the recreation room and I got half a crown. Unfortunately I don't know where the half crown is now. Shook hands with me and gave me half a crown, Alderman somebody, can't remember his name. John Farell who also played for Haweswater United came from Frizington, West Cumberland, to work on the dam. He met and married Ivy Toone and they had two sons, Eddie and Laurie. Mr and Mrs Dodd who also lived in the village had two daughters, Joan and Margaret. Harry Toone and Margaret got married in the Methodist chapel at Bomby in 1939. They had no children.
    CW: What can you remember about the early days of the dam and the different jobs people did.
    BR: Always fascinated me the wagons coming down the concrete road with the cement and whatever it was and bringing it down, and there was a very big mixer. They used to put it in that, mix it all up and then with the blondin that went right across the valley it was a two wire blondin, one bucket would go across and back again like this, take it to the - the joiners would all shutter up, get all the wooden shuttering up, and then they'd pour the concrete that had been mixed at the other end and then the navvies would get in where the shuttering was, tip the concrete and pull it out with their shovels and they had big thigh boots on up to here, hobnails on the bottom, and they would paddle among it and they had a compressor, a big compressor with vibrators on and they just would be going round with these vibrators, paddling all the time in it. Then of course the blondin worked the whole time of the dam.
    CW: Just getting higher and higher I suppose.

    BR No, it was right up there all the time. The blondin was always up there.

    CW: So how did you pull the stuff out if it was high up?
    BR: Well it used to travel about that far across then it had a big rope, big wires, that let it right down so it didn't matter -
    CW: So it would go up and down as well as across.
    BR: Oh yes, up and down and across. And when it got to where you wanted to tip it it'd come right down and they'd tip it as I say and paddle it in and use the vibrators. It would go back up again and back to be loaded up. This was going on all the time.
    CW: How did it move across - were there people...?
    BR: well there was a man, like the ski lift now, he was on the controls. He used to send them across and they would go round and come back again.
    CW: Done with a motor and there was someone controlling it.
    BR: Oh, big motor on one side.
    CW: Was it quite noisy?
    BR: No, it was electric that they used to do themselves, made as I say their own power station. And then, I can't remember the time, they went over onto the grid. Now whether they put their own - but it went from DC to AC. We were DC when it first started.
    CW: So you would have gradually seen the dam getting higher.
    BR: I've seen the dam right from its rock right till it finished.
    CW: When did they plant? they planted a lot of trees.
    BR: The tree planting went on nearly the whole of the time. Those round Colby now and Measand they weren't there when I left, they've been planted since. There's some further up the lake and all they've been planted since I left, but tree planting was going on all the time. When people were going away from the allotments then we commandeered about the first, from the works side, about four allotments and we grew our own spruce - Norwegian spruce, Sitka spruce, Japanese larch, I don't think we planted any larch, it was always Japanese larch because it's a very fast grower. The forester then was Jim Jeffries and he lived at Helton and he used to come up. He also had two works wagons, Jim was one and Arthur Robinson was the driver of the other one. Now Arthur, he used to take the men over to Garnet Bridge every day, that's the straining wells, every morning he took a load over in his wagon then brought them back and that was about the last project to go ahead. Now the other wagon was as I say I worked with Jim and we used to - we were on the forestry but we also did going round the farms if they wanted timber, things like that, we would take that up and drop that and come back. Then he'd leave me planting trees and he would go down to Penrith during the war and pick up the lobster and stuff for the hotel, for the councillors and the big boys coming up.
    CW: People from Manchester?
    BR: People from Manchester, yes, Manchester Corporation, town councillors whatever they call themselves. Oh they lived - there was good meals up there.
    CW: How old were you at this stage?
    BR: I'd be fifteen then. I left school at fifteen and a half, yes. On many occasions while working planting trees up the valley during the war, Wellington bombers flew right down the lake nearly touching the water before lifting up just before the dam face. Later on in the war we heard on the news of a dam in Germany being breached with a bouncing bomb.
    CW: So that was your first job.
    BR: My first job, yes.
    CW: Doing forestry work for the Corporation.
    BR: Well, with Jim. Whatever was going, like we were with the wagon that run round to the farms and because the other one was tied up with the Garnet Bridge men.
    CW: You described going up to Mardale, planting trees.
    BR: Chapel Hill, looking across down to the old Dun Bull, I planted 75 percent of those.
    CW: The spruce trees.
    BR: I planted Norwegian spruce, larch, a few Sitka, not many, a few Sitka, and - which you won't see now, because they'd miscalculated, all the hard woods were all washed out, all beech, sycamore, oak.
    CW: They were lower down.
    BR: They were lower down and the lake come up unfortunately too high and took them all away.
    CW: Was the intention that those would be harvested?
    BR: No they were to shield, if you like, the - in fact I think the Friends of the Lake District said they had to have hard woods as well. So we had four - one, two, three, four rows of hard woods and then the soft woods behind that.
    CW: Was the idea though at some point the soft woods would be used.
    BR: Oh, the soft woods would go as pit props because I only planted them five foot apart.
    CW: To make them grow straight - is that the idea?
    BR: Well it makes them grow faster, they're all going up so you get your pit props and you get your Christmas trees and all this sort of thing.
    CW: Well they're still there now aren't they.
    BR: I think they've thinned them out a bit, they must have done.
    CW: But they're not planning to fell them?
    BR: I don't know, it's the water board now. I did know then. All we used to do was had a spade and I had to make a cut like the shape of a T and you made it that way and across, lifted it up and pushed your tree in and your trees were only that size.
    CW: About six - nine inches.
    BR: I would say about, ay, nine inches to a foot.
    CW: Then just stamp it down.
    BR: Then just put your heel in and that was it then got the next one.
    CW: You said some of those trees were already there.
    BR: None, none on that side. On the other side, looking down into the Rigg they were there before I started, yes.
    CW: And the trees in front of the dam now.
    BR: There was a few there.
    CW: There's quite a big plantation there now isn't there.
    BR: Oh yes, well you see it was all offices and workshops and that down there then so they've all been planted since 1945, I would think, '46. They'll be planted there after - I left there in about '44-ish.
    CW: You described going up on the fells a lot.
    BR: As a boy. Well nearly as soon as I could walk I was a loner and I got a fishing rod and I fished Cawdale, Heltondale, Riggindale, Fordingdale, Mardale, Blea Water, Small Water.
    CW: Did you catch much?
    BR: No, one or two but - oh, Littlewater. Used to get a few perch in Littlewater.
    CW: You'd just be out for the whole day.
    BR: I'd just get a few sandwiches and a bottle of cold tea and that would be me off. When it was school holidays of course because I never missed a day off school, never ever.
    CW: Did you ever get ill?
    BR: The only time I can remember getting ill - no I got ill twice - I had pneumonia once, I was pretty laid low with that, and I got sunstroke once and I was laid low with that for about a week and I always remember I had to go with a flat cap on for a long time after that, a little boy with a big hat. By that time of course I was sleeping down in the dormitory, if you like, or the cubicles.
    CW: So it wasn't actually separate rooms, it was cubicles.
    BR: All cubicles - all separate. You had a little single bed, a little cupboard beside it just to put your clothes in and nothing else - that was just about it, and an electric light. Yes you had your own electric light up top to bottom. Couldn't climb over or anything like that, no they were separate little rooms.
    CW: Were there many people that went out walking? Were a lot of people interested in getting out on the hills?
    BR: Well I don't really know because as I say, at that time I - they'd so many sporting activities to go on and of course a lot of the younger men married the younger women. There would be courting going on and all that which to me was out - I was fishing, you know.
    CW: So the others maybe had better things to do than going up on the hills.
    BR: Oh yes. Harry, he used to like fishing, Harry Toone. He did quite a bit of fishing. Bill didn't bother much.
    CW: Did people go hunting or anything like that?
    BR: Oh ay, we were always out rabbiting.
    CW: With a gun?
    BR: I did in later life get a gun when I've come onto Walney, I had a gun on here. I got rid of it quite a few year ago when regulations had come in and they were coming in too fast. You'd have to have them locked in you know so I just said I would give up shooting.
    CW: What can you remember about going to school? Can you remember when you started?
    BR: Oh, I remember the first day I went down there. I must have been about four years old and Ivy had gone to school and I thought 'It's about time I was going' so I went down myself and of course she had to bring me home. So I remember going down, starting school.
    CW: This was at Bampton?
    BR: At Bampton, yes. We started as infants in the wooden building.
    CW: Do you remember your teacher?
    BR: Ay, Dougie Thornton, I'll always remember him. And Miss Gornall, she came with the evacuees so it was just about the end of my schooling. That would be 1940, wouldn't it, when the evacuees came from - they came from Barrow and they came from Newcastle. Cormacks had, can't remember their names, the vicar he had two girls, they came from Newcastle, but most of them were from Barrow and she came with them.
    CW: So it must have been quite packed in the school.
    BR: I wouldn't say packed, it was comfortable.
    CW: Did you have a uniform?
    BR: No no no, no uniforms. Lads would come in clogs, ay.
    CW: Did you enjoy it?
    BR: I don't think I ever missed a day - I was never a truant. So I never missed a day going there, but I think it was just a thing you had to do. We were pretty well disciplined in those days. I can remember when we first started we'd go down on the bus - there was a bus took us down and we came back on a bus and then as we got older of course I got a bike and I used to bike down to school every day. I also biked down to Charlie Noble's at Walmgate for a pitcher of milk, take that back up to granny to the big hut.
    CW: How d'you carry that on your bike?
    BR: Oh on the handle bars.
    CW: Did you make friends amongst the kids from Bampton?
    BR: Oh yes, we were all -
    CW: Everyone was in together.
    BR: Oh yes. Cyril Brennand, think he's gone now has Cyril, Harvey Kitching, they were all my age group, John - he's still there - John Thompson, he's at Eastward still. And there was Brunskills, they came from Naddle to where they are now on Hungerhill. Are they still there, Brunskills, or not? No they won't be.
    CW: Well there's Les Brunskill in Shap.
    BR: Ah well they've gone because I don't think anybody's farming Hungerhill now are they. The house is just - I think somebody comes from Naddle to do it. But when I was at - when we lived there in the early years, Naddle was the Kitchings, Park Kitching, and they always had a big white bull in the field that just goes off the main road, up to the lake, and the bull was always with him. And for some reason it went daft one Saturday afternoon and it gored poor old man Kitching. That would be about 1935 I think. Ay it killed him, yes. And I can also remember a bull getting Charlie down in Walmgate. I was there when it did it and the dog run at the bull straight up onto its ring and dragged it away, the dog did.
    CW: It saved his life maybe.
    BR: Yes, most likely, because what he did he got up and got away. It didn't do him any harm but it got him down and the dog went in and grabbed him. It was such a little bull and all.
    CW: Anything else about school? Did you have to take your own lunch?
    BR: Yes, we took our own lunch, always our pack up. There was no kitchen at the time when we started so we took our own lunch. It's patchy is the school because I wasn't all that academic. I can remember one lad that was. Dougie used to tutor him as well, a boy called Ion and I think he ended up in grammar school and went on to higher things, I think. But no, I was just there to do my little bit, do as little as possible and go home.
    CW: What about school trips. People have described going to Morecambe.
    BR: Now then, I think we had a school trip - oh yes, we went to Morecambe a couple of times, but we also I think went once to Whitley Bay. And it was a big Leyland Tiger I think the bus was, oh it was great that. I don't know whether it was a school trip or a village trip, you see, I'm not quite sure about that - who organised it. I thought the village organised it, through the recreation, you know.
    CW: Did the chapel used to organise -
    BR: No, the part of the chapel I know was that the Methodists would be in there sometimes and also Cormack he come up, the Reverend Cormack, and he did services so it was -
    CW: This was in the mission or the chapel?
    BR: Oh the mission, the little mission, we're not talking about Bomby chapel are we.
    CW: No, we're talking about the mission at Burnbanks.
    BR: Well we called it the chapel, we didn't call it the mission, so it was Mr, - Wilfrid was it? - the Right Reverend Wilfrid Cormack, he had to have his right name, the Reverend Willy Cormack, he used to do services there and also somebody from the chapel they were lay preachers - Dougie Thornton was one, he was a lay preacher.
    CW: Was he the head teacher at the school?
    BR: Oh ay, he was there all the time - he lived in the school house.
    CW: And there would have been several other teachers.
    BR: Yes, well there would only be about another two. He was stretched at times. Oh he was bad tempered. At one particular instance I got a real hammering - he went over the hill actually on that one. We'd gone out at playtime and gone up to where the chapel is, there was a chap had ducks or something there and he had one of these tin baths - he used to keep it with water. Well of course we decided we'd launch it. Well he could see it out of his windows and Cyril Brennand and I were the last to go back in and I got what he called 'Little Jenny', it was one of these things out of the back of a chair and he really lambasted into me and of course as I'm going in, he's hitting, I was bruised from here to there. The old lady went down and she made merry hell.
    CW: Good for her.
    BR: Whether he ever used it again after that I don't know but he went over the hill that time. But I suppose he was frustrated and we'd done wrong. I didn't shout about it, just that they'd seen the bruising.
    CW: You described that you used to sing in the choir.
    BR: Yes, I wasn't a very good singer but we used to go down.
    CW: What was the attraction then of being in the choir?
    BR: Eh, most likely the girls.
    CW: Ah, this was later on then was it?
    BR: Yes, ay.
    CW: So you started off in Bampton at the church.
    BR: Yes, I used to go down to - and of course my grandmother I suppose she got me to go to church, I don't know. I used to go down to morning service and evening service every Sunday. Funerals we would walk in front of the - I can remember two or three times we'd have our surplices and cassocks on and I think there was one particular instance where we walked down when some of the graves from Mardale come down and were buried in Bampton as well as Shap.
    CW: And did they have a little service then?
    BR: Oh yes, we'd have a service and there would be a service at the grave side. I think I was just cajoled into it, you know, he'd come round and said he wanted somebody for the choir -"You, you and you".
    CW: But then you defected. You went to the chapel.
    BR: I went to the chapel because of Harry Toone - he?I think they took me to go there because they were struggling and then he came and got me back again and I finished up down there.
    CW: The Reverend Cormack came and fetched you back.
    BR: Yes, come to see my granny and read the riot act so then I had to go back again.
    CW: Do you remember going to dances or anything like that?
    BR: I was a bit young but I do remember just towards leaving for Shap I used to go to the hops, but I couldn't dance in those days, I didn't really dance until I'd moved to Shap.
    CW: This was after you'd moved to Shap?
    BR: No before I moved to Shap. Yes, before I moved to Shap it was pulled down.
    CW: In the early '40s?
    BR: Yes. Half of the rec, recreation, came to Barrow and it was on the prom just where you turned at the lights - it was there for years and years and years. It was a library there before it was knocked down and the library's on Central Drive now, a brick building - like, a new library now but that one came -
    CW: It was used as a library?
    BR: It was used as a library, yes, all through the war.
    CW: Pretty tough building really.
    BR: Oh yes. I remember them pulling that down actually and they took it down bit by bit. I can actually remember a man falling off the roof and he came down but it wasn't too bad - maybe broke a leg or something, you know.
    CW: So that was the recreation hall.
    BR: Now the canteen, that was pulled down - they were all going on about the same time. I was going round all the houses getting the waste paper and I was storing it in a big hut and then the wagon would come and take it all away. I just used to pick it up - I had a key to go in the hut and I used to -
    CW: This was newspapers.
    BR: Newspapers and things like that for the war effort.
    CW: So there was recycling back then because of the war.
    BR: Yes, during the war.
    CW: You described the canteen - that's where -
    BR: I can't describe the canteen because I was too young to go in but I used to go in - it was Hazelhurst, he had it, Mr Hazelhurst, and the only thing I can remember - because I was never old enough, of course, well it was pulled down before I was drinkable age, I don't say I wasn't drinking before drinkable age, mind. But I used to go and give him a hand. He had chickens - you pass Naddlegate and you come up and just before you go up a little bit of a hill into Burnbanks, that little field there, he had that as a chicken run on the right hand side, yes. And I think there's cages in there now. Do they rear pheasants or something in there? Well that's where he had his hens and I used to go and give him a hand and he used to get bread and stuff and put it in buckets and feed them, and I can remember going in and seeing all the stills with the barrels on. It was a long building just along there. But the canteen I can't tell you anything about.
    CW: He used to do his own brewing?
    BR: No no, that came in from Glassons.
    CW: You said about stills and barrels - I thought?
    BR: When I said stills it means where you put them (the barrels) on.
    CW: It wasn't some illegal -
    BR: I don't mean - we're not talking about the brewing or distilling.
    CW: So you used to get beer deliveries coming in.
    BR: Oh beer, yes, and spirits, oh ay they drank quite a bit of beer. It was a hotch potch in the weekend. Granddad Toone, how the heck he lived as long as he did I don't know, every night he went into his bedroom about 7 or 8 o'clock, into bed, and a pipe and he used to be smoking that pipe until he went to sleep, every night - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or maybe Thursday, and then it was Friday, Saturday, over to the canteen, coming in rolling and then same ritual, didn't go out again for another drink until the weekend again and I think there was a lot like that. The younger set, they did, they used the canteen.
    CW: Did you actually eat there as well?
    BR: No, just drink, just a bar, a working man's bar.
    CW: And a few fights broke out?
    BR: Oh yes, the weekends, it would get a bit too much and playing cards and maybe lost money and gambling and you'd have one or two fights.
    CW: What about PC Ostle - did he have something to say about it?
    BR: PC Ostle, oh yes he was a right character. I think we were all absolutely frightened to death of him. He had his old bike there and he had his Alsatian. My first memory of him, we had a spaniel and it was running among the sheep. I don't think it was worrying them, it was just running among them. Anyway we had it put down, and that's when Dargues had Thornthwaite Hall - or should I say "Thornthet".
    CW: So PC Ostle paid you a visit about the dog.
    BR: Oh yes and he virtually forced them to have it put down. So we never had another one after that up there. I've had terriers ever since I've been here.
    CW: So was he around on the Friday and Saturday nights keeping order?
    BR: Oh no I don't think so. I think he'd keep out of the way on that one. He was very good at taking licences out, going round the farms and seeing if the sheep were dipped. There was no -
    CW: A bit officious maybe.
    BR: Ay, in one way, and all the illegal slaughtering of pigs which went on during the war - everybody knows that. He'd always get his share in of course, like all of us.
    CW: Other people have described going round the water board farms and doing jobs and maybe getting paid in kind, some eggs, or some sausages.
    BR: Nearly always in kind. If you went haymaking you never got paid cash, no, just in kind - a bag of potatoes or something like that. In fact I used to do that down here when I first came here, went down to Biggar, helped Jim Haydon out there, just in kind. It was OK.
    CW: You talked earlier about the store. What can you remember about that?
    BR: Oh the store, it was a well stocked store as well. I can remember as a kid - and I can't remember the peoples' name - but I used to go in the back and play with his son and he'd great big cheeses like that, you know, we used to roll them. They were all in hessian.
    CW: What's that - about three feet across? Two?
    BR: Ay, they were like blooming wagon wheels they were. And he used to have his piano string, you know, and he used to bring it out there and cut it in chunks. Of course as I say it must have all been the same.
    CW: And then what - just say how much you wanted and he'd weigh it out?
    BR: He'd just weigh it out and you'd buy your flour and stuff like that but we also had the Coop wagon came once a week. The Coop traveller, salesman, he would come up round the big huts and granny used to buy a bag of flour, a hundredweight of flour, and stuff like this, you got it in bulk and she always bought that through the Coop every week. Went in the larder - quite a big larder.
    CW: So you were well stocked really.
    BR: Well stocked, oh ay. When nothing could get up there for a fortnight we could have still lived.
    CW: So in the winter sometimes you'd have been cut off for a bit sometimes.
    BR: In the really bad winter, '40-'41, nothing come through for a week. They started digging out from Burnbanks and they started digging out from Penrith and I think it took them about four days and we were going to school and I can remember just past - there was a barn (Hogust), it's gone now, you couldn't see above the snow where they'd dug out, it was that deep - it must have been twelve foot high right through where it had drifted.
    CW: Good fun if you're a kid I suppose.
    BR: Yes, yes. Also in those early days we used to get a heck of a lot of flooding as well. I think it's still there - there was a little low wall going to the school where when it flooded we'd to get up on that and we'd to walk along the wall from Bampton Grange to Bampton.
    CW: Yes, people still do that.
    BR: Do they still do it, ay.
    CW: You said earlier that you could remember Haweswater freezing.
    BR: Oh it was completely frozen over - we were all skating on it.
    CW: Was that at the same time?
    BR: Oh no, that was earlier. That was about '34-'35. It was a big freeze up.
    CW: A bit dodgy maybe, because sometimes you can fall through the ice.
    BR: No no, it was thick, yes you could have taken a horse on, it was that thick. But also I can remember as the dam was being built there was a nice grassy path right up onto the fellside from the village and we could walk along - because they'd fenced it all off then because of the blondins and everything - and Lord Lonsdale's boathouse, oh and it was a beautiful place, a lovely green and a jetty round where he had his boat in, it was a lovely place that. And I can always remember standing there and seeing a big perch sailing past and ooh -
    CW: - thinking I'd like to have that. So what happened to the boathouse?
    BR: It was rebuilt on the other side to the Friends of the Lake District's specification. It's still there.
    CW: Is it? On the hotel side?
    BR: On the hotel side, yes.
    CW: I've never seen that.
    BR: Ay, it's there.
    CW: I'll have to have a look. Can you remember swimming in the lake at all?
    BR: Yes we swam there. And I can remember the Narrows, just below Measand Hall. The lake used to be like that and it come right into the - very narrow. You couldn't jump across it but it looked as though you could and then it widened out again. Yes I can remember that - the old Mardale, the old road going up.
    CW: And then gradually disappearing under the water.
    BR: Yes. When you say gradually, I think we had a really heavy snow fall and it didn't gradually, it flew up, right over the spillway. You get more water from snow when it's thawing out.
    CW: When did they block off the river then to fill the dam up?
    BR: They never blocked the river off. That was the last bit to be done, the river. It comes through big pipes now, doesn't it, and they allow - I think it's?.3 million sits in my mind. But I don't know whether it's 3 million gallon an hour or what but it's this 3 million. The absolute minimum to come out - they couldn't go below that figure. And you've been in the dam have you?
    CW: Not in the dam, no.
    BR: I've been in. Well I worked there.
    CW: Well tell me about that.
    BR: Well all it is it's just a - you can just walk through it and you can see up the sides of it. There was one or two seeps where they had to - what they called boojee in it, where it was seeping through, they had to fill that up. Then in the middle of the dam there's these big big big valves and big pipes and they can just allow how much water they want to come out or how much?if it's getting too much above they can let a bit more away. They won't now of course because they'll send it through the pipeline won't they to another?although you did get flooded last year I believe.
    CW: It happens every now and again.
    BR: That should never happen, never happen.
    CW: Well people do complain quite a lot about United Utilities now.
    BR: I do as well.
    CW: But in the early days when you were there various people I've talked to they spoke very highly of Manchester Corporation and how well people were looked after.
    BR: Oh yes, they looked after you very well. But Utilities, they've ruined it. I can walk on spots and you can see where they've diverted, they're pinching every little bit of water out the hillside, they're shoving it in, little rivulets that used to be there have gone because they're draining it away.
    CW: And that wasn't done originally, that was done later was it?
    BR: Oh that's been done since I've been away from there. It breaks my heart to see Cawdale and Heltondale as low as they are. There's no fish there now. Mind there's two big herons there - they might be some of the problem. I don't know whether you've seen them. I see them regularly, the herons.
    CW: Originally there was some plan to put some machinery inside the dam.
    BR: There is machinery now.
    CW: Was that maybe anything to do with hydro-electricity?
    BR: No, no.
    CW: What's the machinery for?
    BR: Just to let the water through.
    CW: Just controlling the gates and so on.
    BR: Controlling the amount of water that goes into the beck, that's all that's for.
    CW: And there's still people now who go in -
    BR: Oh I don't know whether they'll let you do it now. I suppose if you ask for permission they would.
    CW: But there're people going in to work in there, going to look after the machinery.
    BR: Oh yes, it's always locked. You had to go in -
    CW: There is a fish farm now I believe. Just below the dam.
    BR: Is there? I didn't know that. That must have been just below - we had a big water treatment place because they were water toilets up there in the village and there was this big place and this thing used to go round just swinging water round and then of course they'd have to empty the cess pit tanks.
    CW: That was the sewage from the village.
    BR: Yes, yes. And I don't know whether that's there now it's gone into a main sewer. I think it'll have gone into the mains now.
    CW: I don't know if there are mains.
    BR: Oh no, the village is hardly there so it'll still be -
    CW: It'll still be a big septic tank or a big treatment place.
    BR: I think where Mrs Hindmarch lives now I think that's where "Gobby" Wilson lived. I remember her moving. She moved down to Helton when they left - they didn't go very far - and I think it was her that, I think it was on a Friday during the recession, she used to make meat and potato pies and people used to go and buy them.
    CW: What else can you remember about the shop?
    BR: Oh the shop, it was well stocked.
    CW: Virtually everything you would need?
    BR: It was just this great big wooden counter and everything was behind, you just had to ask for everything. You never -
    CW: No self service.
    BR: No self service, no.
    CW: Did they sell non-food things? Did they sell hardware or - ?
    BR: No, it was just food, a food store.
    CW: Sweets?
    BR: No. Going on the top road past the substation there was another four semis, drop down the hill, the Corporation garages, the wooden garages - one point about that garage I can remember, I used to work in those garages - that's where we had our wagon - but one year there was a man drowned in Haweswater and he was in that garage. They brought him and left in there all one night. And they had two big Morris Cowley cars - Morris Isis, sorry, Morris Isis. Oh, big cars they were that they used to go down to Penrith and pick the wages up every Friday. And there was also - they used to be armed, whoever went down. They also picked people up coming from Manchester to Penrith railway station - officials.
    CW: It would have been a substantial amount of money.
    BR: Oh quite a bit of money. Well, past the garages opposite the road there was a big turn round where - you couldn't get a bus on the top road. They just come up the village and they'd turn round there, garages down there.
    CW: On the lower road?
    BR: On the lower road, yes. You come right on the lower road to the turn round place and then there was a little - not where it is now, another entrance, that was an entrance into the dam - to the works, ay the works. It's in a different place now. And then just across from that was a little tobacconist and sweet shop and I think a little post office. I think she sold stamps and stuff. But that's where we used to get our chocolates, sweets. And you came down the road again and then there was a big hut again and I can't remember who was in that and then further down another big hut. Across from that was the bowling green and as I said the allotments.
    CW: Newspapers as well?
    BR: Top shop sold the newspapers - newsagent, tobacconist. I just can't - no, I don't think it was a post office there. The post office was - you know the Jerry, the Jerry where it is now, towards the school, the top house - that was the post office. There was a post box there as well. I don't know whether that's still there.
    CW: There's a little post box just near the bridge.
    BR: This post box it was where the post office was and then they moved from there down to where they are now. But that was a sweet shop, that, where the post office is now - just sweets because as kids we used to go down and buy our sweets there, and newsagent.
    CW: In Bampton?
    BR: In Bampton, yes.
    CW: And there would have been a shop in Bampton. Do you remember your grandparents or anyone else going out of Burnbanks for shopping?
    BR: Just to Penrith. She used to go every weekend to Penrith on the bus.
    CW: That's for more specialised shopping is it?
    BR: Yes for your clothes - the Coop and -
    CW: For furniture or I don't know what.
    BR: Yes. I don't know whether she'd go down there and pay the bill or what - how she paid for her groceries I don't know.
    CW: And then bring it all back on the bus. Did people deliver?
    BR: Yes, the Coop. There was a big wagon come up once a week and it had sacks of flour on and big cardboard boxes with -
    CW: So if you ordered they'd -
    BR: Yes, the traveller would come round at the beginning of the week, take your order then they'd deliver it later on in the week. And the coal wagon used to come up. There was a chap used to come up selling fresh herrings and I never had herrings for years after that the smell that used to come off that thing - fresh, huh.
    CW: Not so fresh.
    BR: And then we had a tailor came up from Penrith. Can't remember his name - and a greengrocer came up from Shap - Mr McGuinness.
    CW: So he'd measure you up if you wanted things.
    BR: Yes, but he was mostly for the - not for meself or us, we'd go down to Penrith - and shirts and things like that. And I'm not quite sure but I think he used to take weekly payments or something like that.
    CW: Could you pay in instalments?
    BR: Instalments and things like that, yes. I think we paid the doctor.
    CW: This would have been before the NHS.
    BR: Before the NHS we had to pay so much for him as well.
    CW: Can you remember who the doctor was? There was a surgery wasn't there, a clinic.
    BR: Yes. Now you know I can't remember that clinic. I can only remember going into his -
    CW: Because Joyce Martin describes -
    BR: Was it Doctor Judson?
    CW: Joyce Martin described living next door to the surgery.
    BR: Ah well that was just above the mission then. I think that's where Joyce Martin lived. And was it McCall that lived next door to them, Myra McCall I think.
    CW: So you think it was maybe Doctor Judson.
    BR: I'm not quite sure of the Judson part, I think it maybe wasn't Doctor Judson. I don't know. It was Dr Prentice from Shap.
    CW: Was that later do you think.
    BR: Ay.
    CW: Was there a nurse as well.
    BR: Oh yes. Now she might have come to the clinic. Yes, there was a nurse and she used to visit young kiddies and I can remember Walter and family went down with scarlet fever, Walter Twigg. There was five of them, all under five at one time, so mother wasted no time. I was going to say something else and all but it's slipped my mind. I think it was Doctor Judson.
    CW: What about dentists?
    BR: Dentists - we used to have to go to - they used to come round school and look at your teeth and if anything was wrong you had to go to Penrith to Mr Baron's, I think that's what he was. I know what his shop - ooh, I used to hate it. None of us liked the dentist coming to the school. And then of course we had our inoculations. As it got nearer into the war we had to have free milk and free horlicks and they did that at the school. I don't know whether that carries on now, but by law they had to do that.
    CW: Yes, keep people healthy.
    BR: Ay, supposed to be, yes.
    CW: What do remember about the war then? What went on?
    BR: Very little up there because at that time people were leaving and I was coming of that age where as I say I was more interested in my fishing and stuff like that when I was off school. The evacuees come, I can remember them coming.
    CW: Coming to the school?
    BR: They come to the school, yes.
    CW: Were any of them billeted at Burnbanks?
    BR: No, you see everybody was starting leaving then.
    CW: Burnbanks was closing down.
    BR: Yes, it was closing down rapidly after the beginning of the war. No it was only the people in Bampton that were taking evacuees. There is one thing I'd like to know. Sarge Noble, his field just across from where the quarry was - you know where the quarry was? They have bees in there now.
    CW: Oh yes, at Bampton.
    BR: That had a big mill in there for quarrying and a crusher. Well across the road from that down at Sarge's there was a big crab apple tree, a very big one - it's gone. I just wondered when that had gone so somebody might be able to tell you that one. He had a big bull in there and we used to look at these crab apples and - ooh. We didn't dare go down though.
    CW: You wouldn't want to eat them would you?
    BR: Oh but it just - the adventure of pinching two or three crab apples.
    CW: The bull was guarding it then.
    BR: Oh ay. But it was a lovely big tree and they looked really red. We never knew whether they were sweet or not though.
    CW: No they wouldn't be. They look better than they taste.
    BR: As kids you could see these big red apples and you couldn't get near them.
    CW: Anywhere else where you did any pinching of apples?
    BR: Oh ay, I was up at John Thompson's and I was just taking myself - you know, you only took one or two. And a big hand grabbed me by the nape of the neck. Locked me in a hull for about an hour. Just adventure. You weren't stealing for - it was just I suppose village life.
    CW: There probably would have been a lot more apple trees in those days.
    BR: Oh yes, everybody had apple trees. There was Mr Jameson, he was the works engineer.
    CW: He was at Naddlegate?
    BR: No he was in - you know Walmgate? That's where Charlie Noble was. What's the big house on the right just before you get to it, the big one down in the hill? You go right down to it.
    CW: Just before Chapel Bridge you mean?
    BR: No, come past Chapel Bridge into Gatefoot, Gatefoot come up the hill and on the left there's a barn and going down into the big house there. That's where Mr Jameson lived. Oh there's a massive big orchard in there.
    CW: I wonder if that's still there.
    BR: I don't know. But the big barn's still there. I should imagine that house is worth a lot of money.
    CW: So that's where Mr Jameson lived.
    BR: That's where Mr Jameson lived. He was a big man - must have been six foot two. And he never used the corporation transport - he had a bike, a great big old bike nearly like a - it wasn't a penny farthing but it looked a bit like it and he used to bike up to the offices every day. Very aloof man but he was an engineer. We never spoke to him, we never spoke or anything like that.
    CW: Was he in charge?
    BR: Oh he was the head engineer, he was the top man of the village, yes.
    CW: Where did the other engineers live?
    BR: In the staff huts, what we called the staff huts is Naddlegate, ay all those wooden buildings.
    CW: So there was a bit of separation between them and the people who did the hard work.
    BR: Ah yes, him and us.
    CW: Did they mix socially? Did they come to the dances?
    BR: See I would be too young to know.
    CW: You described seeing some films sometimes.
    BR: Ah yes, once a week we used to get a - they were silent as well, silent films. Now whether we got talkies in there later I don't know but I do remember we used to have the silent films and they used to come once a week, to the recreation, yes. It was quite full. Took us about threepence to go in.
    CW: Did you have anyone doing accompaniment, you know piano or anything like that?
    BR: Yes we had concert parties up there. There was a piano in there. I don't know whether the dances were?the hops, they'd have a drummer there and somebody on the fiddle, a piano.
    CW: What about making your own entertainment at home.
    BR: Oh yes, you had ludos and all your card games and your snaps. Mostly card games. I can remember what we called the steam radio coming with your batteries that was charged down in the village where the power station was.
    CW: When would you have got your radio first?
    BR: Must have been about 1934, '35, somewhere like that.
    CW: Must have been quite exciting.
    BR: Oh yes, every Saturday night we used to listen to the scores coming through and we'd a thing pinned up on the board and putting who was on the top of the league and who wasn't - you know, that you got free with the newspaper. In Town Tonight - they used to let me stop a little bit later to listen to that.
    CW: What was that?
    BR: In Town Tonight - oh it was music, it was the celebrities who were in town and you'd have somebody singing and songs and things like that. A variety show, yes.
    CW: Do you remember any other programmes?
    BR: In Town Tonight, it sticks in my mind more than anything and the soccer programmes.
    CW: And then there's war time stuff - you said about Churchill.
    BR: That was in the school. We'd a radio in the school then and he had us sitting there all in the big hall all sombre and Churchill speaking: "I want to tell you..." and that was it - that was the war.
    CW: A momentous occasion.
    BR: Oh yes, ay, Dougie had us all there regimented up.
    CW: What happened when you left Burnbanks? What brought that on?
    BR: Well I left school and I started there working.
    CW: You said at fifteen and a half.
    BR: Yes, I think it was about fifteen and a half. Fourteen and a half, fifteen and a half, I just can't remember that, and I started with as I said Jim Jeffries as his mate on a wagon. I went to Penrith and had an interview to be a motor mechanic at Tinkler's and the wage was going to be 12/6 a week and me bus fare was going to be - no, me wage was going to be 7/6 a week and me bus fare was going to be 12/6. I was going to lose money going and I couldn't pay that, I wanted some pocket money so I went to the - had an interview and started in the works at a pound a week and that was Monday till Saturday afternoon.
    CW: A long week.
    BR: Mm, worked right up to Saturday morning, finished Saturday afternoon - we finished Saturday morning, twelve o'clock. Eight till five I think, or half past seven. I'm not sure whether it was half past seven till five or eight till five.
    CW: Did you have to buy your own working gear?
    BR: Oh yes, ay, you got nothing. You used to go through some boots with that spade, but what we did we made a metal bit that went just on your insole and tied it on here so you had a bit of metal. Then when I moved to Shap I carried on working there for about another six months or so.
    CW: Did you move with your grandparents?
    BR: Yes.
    CW: What made them move - was it just that the dam was done?
    BR: Job was finished, dam was done. There was no work for them so she moved into Shap, Winfield House, and started a transport, a bed and breakfast for transport.
    CW: For wagon drivers?
    BR: Wagon drivers, yes, because that was the main A6 then. And as I say I went and got a job in Penrith with Swainson on a little wagon, a little two-tonner, two fifty wagon.
    CW: Like a driver's mate.
    BR: No, driving then. Oh sorry, when I first went I was not old enough to drive - I was sixteen and a half.
    CW: When you first went you were still biking back to Burnbanks.
    BR: Yes, when I first went I biked every day back to Burnbanks to work. Then when I left there I went to Penrith - we're talking about me now not Burnbanks though.
    CW: That's all right. I'm just asking you how you came to leave.
    BR: Oh because the job - me grandparents, there was no work for them and of course they were having to pay rent so she'd seen this ideal opportunity to get this big house and used it as a transport stop over, bed and breakfast. I left because I got a better - a chance of a job at Penrith and I wanted to be a wagon driver I suppose at that time. Daft like but?
    CW: What was it like leaving? Were you sad to leave Burnbanks?
    BR: At that age you're not bothered are you and I was starting doing a bit of dancing and there was more activity going on round Shap. The wide world opens up, yes. But there's one thing I can say that we talk about this life, this day and age, it is far better than it was then, because at seventeen when I did start driving I was lumping two hundredweight bags of barley and stuff like that for West Cumberland Farmers. Well what is it now - it's about twenty five kilos there're only allowed to lift now but we were getting two hundredweight bags to lift and carry on your back, stuff like this. I wouldn't like any kid to do that again. Are we nearly finished now?
    CW: Anything else do you think we've missed?
    BR: I don't think we've missed anything, no.
    CW: I bet you know a lot more actually. I just haven't asked you the right questions. What do you think about Burnbanks now? It's being redeveloped isn't it.
    BR: I'd like to see it. Who's going to live there? What are they going to do? Are they going to be employed or is it going to be holiday homes or what?
    CW: No it's not going to be holiday homes. I think there might be a few for rent. I know Sylvia's staying.
    BR: Ah but is she going to get one of the new ones?
    CW: Yes, in a new house. Her old one's going to go. I think there's some for sale but not for holiday homes so that's good.
    BR: Are they going to try and give them a bus service or something like that?
    CW: I don't know about that.
    BR: Because I think Sylvia she'll be out on a limb. Does she drive?
    CW: She does.
    BR: Oh well she's all right then.
    CW: She's all right at the moment.
    BR: As long as they've got cars.
    CW: I think she's quite keen to stay. She said she can't imagine living in a town now. OK, thanks very much Bill.
    BR: Lovely. End.

    Interviewer: Caz Walker

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