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  • Bampton and District Local History Society

    Burnbanks project

    Interview with Raymond Holliday

    26 July 2004
    Two interviews were conducted because of difficulties with the recording.
    Additional material in italics by Raymond Holliday, 1st February, 2005

    Interview One
    SH:I'd like to start by asking you, Raymond, where you were born.
    RH:I was born at Burnbanks in number 66 in 1935.
    SH:And how old were you when you came to Burnbanks?
    RH:Well I was born at Burnbanks.
    SH:Sorry, yes. What brought you and your family to Burnbanks?
    RH:My dad came to work for Manchester Corporation Water Works.
    SH:And when would that be?
    SH:What number did they come to?
    RH:It was?my dad got some lodgings at Denny Hill first and then when they got married they had some rooms up at Mr and Mrs Thompson's up at? Eastward, is it?
    SH:So where did your mum and dad meet?
    RH:My dad was working for Manchester Corporation at Thirlmere and he was lodging at Bridge End at Thirlmere and my mam was born at Threlkeld and they would meet I expect in the Threlkeld dances etc.
    SH:What was your father's job?
    RH:When he first came up he was maintaining the farms which the Corporation had taken over.
    SH:And then what after that?
    RH:Then when the actual dam project began he was a ganger on the road from Burnbanks up to Haweswater, up to the end of the lake.
    SH:And what would your mother's job be?
    RH:She was just a general house worker I do believe, at that time, and then she got the job at the Bampton school canteen.
    SH:And how long was she there?
    RH:I do believe it was about 24 years.
    SH:How did she get there?
    RH:Push bike.
    SH:Can you tell me a bit more about both jobs and the kind of things they did?
    RH:Well, late on in maybe about the '50s my dad got a job in charge of the stores then they moved down to the Oaks.
    SH:That would be nearer his job of course, the Oaks.
    SH:So you weren't always living in the same house then?
    SH:Why did you want to move?
    RH:Well it was my dad's job wasn't it really. I don't think I had any say in it.
    SH:What was the first thing you can remember about Burnbanks?
    RH:Not a great lot actually because most of it had closed down by the time I was a teenager. I can remember Haweswater United playing at Naddle Gate and I think they used to have the Sports there and all, on the sports field there, but that's very very faint.
    SH:They were very good, the Haweswater United, weren't they.
    RH:I believe so, yes.
    SH:Won quite a few cups.
    RH:Yes, in the Westmorland League.
    SH:What about the house that you lived in, did you find it comfortable and warm?
    RH:Not warm - actually very cold. They were a prefabricated bungalow. They were only supposed to be up for 21 years, I do believe, and then they were up for, well, they've just started to dismantle them now and what's that: it'll be 70 some'at years.
    SH:What about eating and what have you - did you all eat together?
    RH:Yes, as far as I can recall I think we would eat in the kitchen because the kitchen was quite large. We had electric, we had hot and cold water and bathroom and flush toilet and the cooking as I can recall was done on a primus stove, most of the cooking in the early days. For the washing they used to light a fire in the back kitchen on the boiler for hot water then they would wash in the wash tub with the dolly and then the mangle.
    SH:About going to school, Raymond, you went to school where?
    RH:At Bampton. The school was the actual wooden school built for the Burnbanks people I do believe, because there were that many children.
    SH:And what did they teach you?
    RH:It would just be the general subjects.
    SH:So what games did you play in the playground?
    RH:Mostly football. In the season we would play conkers and just general games really in the playground.
    SH:What about friends?
    RH:Friends? Yes, I had a lot of friends from Burnbanks and from Bampton area, Knipe, quite a lot of good friends. After school it was mostly football, every night. We actually played at Bampton. We used to push bike down to Bampton and we'd play till maybe dark and then push bike back. Then in the summer it might be a little bit of cricket but not as popular as the football.

    Burnbanks was a super playground for children where there were few restrictions. Obviously the dam and areas around it were out of bounds and all the works areas. The MCWW security man was Mr Ostle who lived at number 66 before moving to Naddlegate. He was greatly feared by all the children, reporting us to our parents for climbing trees, jumping over walls, etc - all quite harmless fun!

    At Bampton School the boys received a card to enable them to help with the haytiming. I worked one summer at Mr David Dargue's farm at Thornthwaite Hall.

    SH:Did you go to church or chapel?
    RH:I went to chapel. That would be at Bampton. Yes, I went to Sunday school - I didn't get a great love for it.
    SH:Any special festivals?
    RH:Well there used to be something on different times of year in the festivals and that.
    SH:What sort of social activities were there in Burnbanks?
    RH:The only thing I can really remember is sort of Christmas where we used to get an apple and an orange in our sock, that's about the only thing I can remember.
    SH:And what about pantomimes and dances?
    RH:We used to go to the pictures but it was either Penrith or Shap and I think I can remember going to one dance in the village. Push bike mostly to Shap pictures, on the bus by Hartness's bus to Penrith pictures etc.
    SH:How often did the bus run?
    RH:Quite a few times a day.
    SH:Were the people from Burnbanks involved in things further afield?
    RH:Well yes, there was the WI.

    I joined the ROC (Royal Observer Corps) in my teens in about 1954 which was held at Bampton I believe. So when my National Service call up papers came I was able to join the RAF, finishing in 1958. In 1957 I was on the escort Shackleton aircraft for the late Queen Mother's goodwill tour to Salisbury, Rhodesia, South Africa (now Zimbabwe). We stopped en route at Kano, West Africa, Entebbe (on the equator) and flying over Lake Victoria to Salisbury - a ten day trip in all.

    I used to play a bit of football for Shap. I used to push bike up to Shap to play - that was quite a pull up!

    SH:Did you have any equipment to play these games?
    RH:No just general football kit really. I'm just trying to think what we used to use in the cricket when we played at the school - whether we had all the gear or not, I can't just recall that.
    SH:When did you leave Burnbanks?
    RH:I left Burnbanks in 1964 to get married.
    SH:Did you have a job before you married?
    RH:I worked at Askham Garage serving my apprenticeship
    SH:For how long?
    RH:I was there for 9 years - 19 years, sorry.
    SH:And who did you work for?
    RH:Well it was Askham Garage actually then. It was the Hodgson brothers when I first went in 1950.
    SH:And how did you get there?
    RH:Push bike for the first 2 years and then motorcycle after that.
    SH:So you got married in?
    RH:Got married in '64.
    SH:And you moved away from Burnbanks.
    RH:To Hutton John which is in the Hutton district.
    SH:And your wife came from?
    RH:She was in the village of Penruddock.
    SH:So what do you think of Burnbanks now?
    RH:Very very disheartened.
    SH:With all this building work and that?
    RH:Well let's hope they make a good job of it.
    SH:What about shopping, Raymond, at Burnbanks.
    RH:I think most of the shopping was done by the vans, the travelling vans, and then mam would go into Penrith once a week and mostly shop in the Cooperative.
    SH:I think they got quite good service didn't they, with the vans?
    RH:I believe there was quite a lot of vans - there would be the fish and there would be everything, fish and the baker?
    SH:And what about neighbours?
    RH:We had some good neighbours. I think everybody was friendly.
    SH:Friendly neighbours.
    RH:Oh yes.
    Interview Two
    SH:Right, I would like to ask you, Raymond, where you were born.
    RH:I was born at Burnbanks.
    SH:When was that and what was your date of birth?
    RH:1935, February 1935.
    SH:And whereabouts at Burnbanks?
    RH:I was born in number 66.
    SH:What brought your family to Burnbanks?
    RH:My father worked for the Manchester Corporation works at Thirlmere and when the Haweswater job came up he actually moved up there.
    SH:What was your father's job at Burnbanks?
    RH:When he first came up he was employed going round farms on the maintainence side which had been taken over by the corporation.
    SH:What did your mother do?
    RH:At first she was doing a little bit of home help and then she got a job at Bampton school in the canteen. She worked there for 24 years.
    SH:What about your job?
    RH:When I was old enough I started to go to serve my apprenticeship at Askham Garage under Mr Dennis Hodgson.
    SH:And can you tell me a bit more about those jobs?
    RH:Well father, just like I said, he was on the maintainence side and when they started on the dam, on the project, he was a ganger on the new road up to the end of Mardale.
    SH:And did he have to go into the forces?
    RH:First he was in the Home Guard and then he was called up in 1941 and he was in the Second World War till the end of the war.
    SH:Then I presume he came back to Burnbanks.
    RH:And then he came back, but during this time at Haweswater when the job closed down for 2 years he went to work at the Honister slate quarry. He would go up for the full week, take all his ???????????? up for the week.
    SH:And he would stop there?
    RH:And they would be living at Threlkeld at that time - my mam was born at Threlkeld.
    SH:You said you lived at 66 Burnbanks.
    SH:Were you born in 66?
    RH:I was born in number 66.
    SH:And actually where did they first live when they came to live at Burnbanks?
    RH:I believe it was in the 30s, I don't know whether it was in 32 or 36 or 38, numbers.
    SH:Then they moved to 66.
    RH:Yes, and then when my dad got a job in charge of the stores we moved down to the Oaks.
    SH:And why was that?
    RH:The job.
    SH:What was there in your family?
    RH:There was four altogether.
    SH:Your mum and dad?
    RH:?and June and myself, my sister June and myself.
    SH:What was the first thing you can remember about Burnbanks?
    RH:Well not a great lot really, with us being born just about as the job was closing down.
    SH:What about your house - what kind of a house did you live in?
    RH:It was a prefabricated bungalow, three bedrooms. It had hot and cold water, bathroom and a flush toilet. The heating was just off the solid fuel which was - they were very cold. Cooking as I can recall was mostly done on a primus stove. Washing - they used to?mam used to light a fire in the back kitchen for the hot water boiler and then it was done in the washing tub and then there would be the mangle to wring the clothes.
    SH:Was the mangle outside the back door?
    RH:Yes, yes.
    SH:So where did you go to school then?
    RH:I went to Bampton school.
    SH:And how did you get there?
    RH:In the early days we would walk to school and then later on push bike.
    SH:And what sort of games did you play?
    RH:Well, the general games really in the playground - football etc, and then I can remember playing conkers, but they would be mostly the average games we used to play, the normal games. I had quite a few friends around the Bampton area - some from Knipe and also some from Burnbanks. We used to meet up at Bampton most nights and play football in the school field to maybe dusk - that was after school and during holidays - and then push bike back home again.
    SH:Did you have any particular friends that you used to meet up with?
    RH:Yes, at Burnbanks it would be Brian Twigg - sadly Brian died quite a few years ago - and also Ken Thompson who came from Knipe, which was my best friends really.
    SH:What about going to Sunday school or chapel or church?
    RH:Yes I went to Sunday school at the chapel at Bampton - just do all the usual things etc.
    SH:What about the attendance?
    RH:Fairly good I think - it was more sort of forced work than anything else.
    SH:What did you do there?
    RH:Well I can't really remember much about it.
    SH:What about special celebrations - Easter, Whitsun, Christmas? Was there a Christmas party?
    RH:Well I can remember Christmas at home but not much more really.
    SH:Did you used to go on Sunday school trips? They usually used to be at Morecambe.
    RH:I used to go to Morecambe on my holidays with my grandfather but I can't remember going on trips.

    In the '50s in my spare time I organised trips to Morecambe (for the Miss Lunesdale final) and to Blackpool (for the lights). We hired Hartness's buses from Penrith.

    SH:So what other sorts of activities were there at Burnbanks?
    RH:Well I believe in its heyday there was all sorts going on - there were dances. I can remember the sports field at Naddlegate, the football field, and they used to have the sports there. They used to push bike up to Shap to the pitches and also bus into Penrith to the pitches etc.
    SH:When did you leave Burnbanks?
    RH:1964 for to get married.
    SH:Where did you go?
    RH:We went to Hutton John mansion first for four years.
    SH:So then what do you think of Burnbanks now?
    RH:Very disheartened with it as it's actually been left to deteriorate.
    SH:And what about shopping?
    RH:I think the shopping was mostly done by the travelling shops - vans, etc. And then mam used to go into Penrith every Saturday to do most of her shopping in the Cooperative Society on Hartness's buses.
    SH:And what about your neighbours?
    RH:Very good neighbours - excellent.
    SH:What about your dad ? Did he have any hobbies?
    RH:Dad?did I say about the Home Guard or not?
    SH:What about being in the choir?
    RH:Oh, I believe dad was in the Bampton choir for a while but I don't know anything about it. Just what mam once said. There'll be nothing else is there? Unless I can think back. I'll try and find some dates.
    SH:Well thank you very much for what you've told me. Before we finish is there anything else you want to tell me about Burnbanks that we haven't talked about?
    RH:I was actually christened in Mardale church, Easter 1935.
    SH:Can you remember the vicar? Was it the old Reverend Barham?
    RH:I'm not quite sure but I think it might have been.
    SH:Because he christened quite a few people didn't he.
    RH:I believe Ernest Crabtree was the last one to be christened in the church.
    SH:Right, well thank you very much Raymond.
    RH:You're welcome.

    Interviewer: Sylvia Hindmarch

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