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    Burnbanks project

    Interview with Sylvia Hindmarch

    5th May 2004
    (amendments by SH, 16th November 2004, shown in italics)

    CW:When was it that you came to Burnbanks?
    SH:We came in February 1960.
    CW:And where did you come from?
    SH:We came from Kirkby Thore which was in the Eden Valley. My husband he was on farm work and we needed to find another house because we were in a tied house so he had a chance of a job up here so we came up here to live. He came onto the building side for the Manchester Corporation. I think it was his parents really that thought he would like to come up here to work so there was a job going so we came. And as I say we had two boys, David was only 6 months old and George was just over a year old when we came up - well, not a year old, 18 months old, and anyway this house, 1 Burnbanks, was vacant so we came here and we've been here ever since.
    When we moved to Burnbanks 16 houses were occupied, all by Manchester Corporation Water Works employees. Where the houses had been removed there was just a concrete foundation, just bare: the children of the village used to play football and also rode their bikes on them. Also over the cattle grid up the village where the tennis courts and bowling green were it was bare. Now trees have been planted on that site. In the village itself the trees were not very tall and there weren't as many as there are today - a lot of the trees have grown from seedlings. There were no garages as there weren't many cars - George's Dad built those. The road was kept in quite good repair. In winter when we had snow all the workmen turned out with shovels to clear the village so that the retailers got through with milk, bread etc and also the workmen. We were well looked after by M.C.W.W. We were even delivered with free loads of logs for our fires. Also dustbins were emptied every week. There was a village rubbish dump below the dam. The road up the back went right round the village, past the stores, so didn't go onto the fell like today. The site where the stores were can still be seen today. Also quite a lot of the steps leading up to the house foundations can still be seen, as can the concrete bases for the stoves in the woods beyond the cattle grid up the village.
    CW:And where did George's parents live?
    SH:George's parents lived right opposite here at No 1, The Oaks. They came and lived there in 1946. They've always lived in the village of course, since the village was built. George was born in number 42 and from number 42 they moved to 63 and then from 63 they moved to No 1, The Oaks, Burnbanks.
    CW:What made them move?
    SH:Well, they came into a one bedroomed house to start with in 1931 which was first built. This was No 42, Burnbanks. It had one bedroom and a living room with an iron stove for heating. The flue pipe went up through the roof. The kitchen had a cast iron bath covered with a wooden top which was used as a table for meals. There were electric lights and also outside a flush toilet with running water. They were called "honeymoon houses", for young married couples. [memoirs of George Hindmarch] From there they built the other ones which were three bedrooms so they were moved with having the two boys, the two boys was born here in the village, and then No 1, The Oaks, came vacant and it had plenty of ground and George's dad wanted to keep hens and he kept bees so the Manchester Corporation let them move across to The Oaks. They were there until, well, they passed away really so they've been in the village for 65 years. Dad died in 1973 aged 67 years. Mam died 1996 aged 86 years.
    CW:What were their names?
    SH:George and Olive Hindmarch, yes? George's mum used to teach in the Mission, Sunday School, up till 1940. After that, I think it was Bampton Methodist Chapel. Everybody seemed to go to the chapel from up here. It was quite a busy place in those days. And George's dad he worked on the water intake which was up Swindale. He used to bike up there every day to keep that clean and what have you.
    CW:You had a third child?
    SH:Yes yes, Christine was born in 1962. She was born at home here and in those days, well, you got a home help who was Mrs Rose Satterthwaite from down the road at Walmgate Head. She was a kind friendly lady. My mother in law lived across the road and she came along and helped in between, which was grand really. Our doctor used to come round quite often, once a week visiting.
    CW:Where was the doctor from?
    SH:Shap, yes, it was Doctor Judson from Shap used to come, yes. And also we had a district nurse who used to come visiting quite often. When Christine was born the district nurse lived at Askham. When the kids got a bit older they went to playschool at Bampton and then from there they went on to the village school. They got transport - John Bowness used to come with his minibus. I think the Manchester Corporation would give him subsidy for running the minibus, yes, so we didn't have to pay anything for the children going to school, which was good really.
    CW:They went to playschool to start with?
    SH:They went to playschool to start with; playschool used to be in the village hall in those days and it was quite a big playschool.
    CW:Did you have to stay?
    SH:No not really, no you just dropped them off because there were people to help. I started work at Bampton school cooking in 1969. Of course the children were at school by this time. So I was there for, what, 22 years. When I first started there there were about 58 kids. Of course there were quite a lot living up here then. All the houses was full of children, so it was quite a busy little community up here.
    CW:What else was here at that time? Because at the beginning there had been shops and all sorts of things here.
    SH:There was nothing, just houses, except we had a post office next door but only a post office, nothing else, no sweeties or anything. She probably sold a few cigarettes maybe but that was all. But the works yard was across the road there in the corner, by the garages, and that's where all the men used to start work, because there was a joiner's shop, there was a blacksmith's shop, there was a painter's shop, there was everybody, you know, and my husband well he used to go out to the outlying farms, do repairs and that, alterations and building work. There was also a time keeper over there where they had to clock in and clock out of a night. And then there was the man that lived next door, Tim Scott, he used to go up to the dam and look after that and see everything was alright in there because there used to be a lot of things in the dam in them days. I think it's all gone now because there's the pumping station across the way.
    CW:Were there any mobile shops or anything else that visited?
    SH:Yes yes, we were well looked after with mobile shops, butchers,?
    CW:Who were they?
    SH:There was Norman Douglas from Penrith and there was Bill Hudson used to come from Helton. He had a mobile shop.
    CW:Were these just groceries?
    SH:Groceries, and he used to carry bread as well. We used to get the Coop milk van coming from Shap and in those days we used to buy little plastic discs and we bought them on a Saturday and we used to put them out every day for our milk and that was like our payment rather than putting out cash every day. We bought these little packets of discs, plastic discs, so that was for our milk every day. We had quite a good service really with vans and that. We had a butcher, yes, that was Jackson's from Penrith, Jackson's butchers. We also had a man came round selling shoes, that was from Penrith, Pearson's, Pearson's shoe shop - it isn't there any more now - they used to come round with a vanload of shoes and you could buy shoes and slippers.
    CW:If you wanted anything else you'd have to go to Shap or Penrith?
    SH:Yes yes, to do the shopping at Shap. And then quite a few years ago when the vans were ? well, I think it was getting a bit expensive for the vans coming up here. Birketts always came up, they came up for years and of course it still comes but it's been taken over by another lad now, Philip Brown. Saying that, I used to ring up Shap and they used to deliver the groceries which I think they still do to some places, the Coop at Shap, yes. Oh there was the clothier used to come round, they called them Fairer's, Henry Fairer from Shap. He used to come round with clothes, cases with clothes in them for kids and grown ups and that, and he had quite a good little shop up at Shap. See I wasn't really here when there was the village store and the paper shop up here. They'd all gone when we came up here to live. We were one of the first really to get a car among the young ones up here because we used to have to transport the kids to discos when they got a bit older and take them and then bring them back, go and collect them.
    CW:What was the car?
    SH:A Morris Eight, it was a Morris Eight we had. What else did we do? Well, we used to go and help on the discos down at Bampton in the village hall, yes. Yes we used to go and help on the discos, going back when our lads were teenagers.
    CW:Did people do anything round here for entertainment?
    SH:Not really, it was just more or less chapel and they had functions at the chapel which we used to go to, such as they used to get singers and make suppers and that and other than that there used to be maybe just concerts at village hall down at Bampton.
    CW:There used to be pantomimes, did there?
    SH:There would be. They used to have pantomimes up here - they used to have pantomimes at the village hall at Bampton but maybe not as many when our kids were smaller. I think it used to be more, er, there was the Bampton Players and they were for grown ups of course.
    CW:Tell me about the neighbours and community feeling. Did people used to go round to each other's houses?
    SH:Oh yes, yes, people were very friendly up here. I mean in those days you could leave your door open and wander up the village and have a chat to your neighbours and of course mother in law across the road every afternoon she just used to lock her back door and wander across and sit out here with Mrs Scott next door and have a couple of hours of chinwag and any passing people, you know, they used to stop and say hello and probably have a cup of tea. Then I often used to wander up the village to Mrs Dawson, who was Louie Eastham then before she married Joe Dawson and I used to go and crack to her because she was rather blind. I used to go and spend a little bit of time with her because she lived on her own. And then there was the Buckles that lived up the village. I used to go and see the Buckles, Mr and Mrs Buckle. They were elderly people, of course they moved from Swindale, they retired from farming and they came up here to live in the '60s, they came up here. And of course there was Mrs Holliday across the road there, No 2 The Oaks, she was cook at Bampton school. She would start in 1957 and she cooked at school for 24 years and biked every day to school. I did for a little while go and work at Hungerhill. Christine I think was only about 3 or 4 years old and George's mum used to look after Christine and I just went one day a week, just to make a little bit of cash, you know. I used to go on my push bike all weathers and I used to leave my bike at Mrs Bowman's at Gatefoot and used to walk up to Hungerhill and as I say George's mum used to look after Christine. Of course by that time you see the boys were at school.
    CW:When you moved here everyone who lived at Burnbanks would have had some connection with the dam or the water board.
    SH:Yes, yes because the plumber and the painters and everybody lived in the village you see. There were the builders as well, the people that were builders that went out onto the farms - they didn't all work just here, they used to travel out you see and do the farms and that up. But they all lived in the village: the painters? the blacksmith of course was Audrey Parkin's dad, Alec Little, he did bike up from Bampton. He didn't live in the village but the painters and the decorators and the joiners they all lived in the village, but they went out onto the farms and various places and anything that belonged to the Manchester Corporation they used to go and maintain it in those days. And you see my husband he used to, well, from the building side he went over onto the water side for a little while and he used to get transport down to Bampton and then he used to go through? there's a footpath goes through by Rheda Brennand's just at Conn Cottage there, and it used to go up the Howes to Cawdale because there's a little water house up there, he used to look after that and then he used to go through the water line right through to Heltondale and keep all the gutters clean so that it kept the water to run into the lake, but today they don't bother you see, no.
    CW:So when you moved here all the people in all the different trades you've described where do you think they came from? Had they come from all over the country to do these jobs or were they local?
    SH:Some of them did come from a little bit away. One of the joiners came from out of Lancashire and one of the plumbers came from out of Lancashire so probably it would be through such as the United Utilities being connected to Preston and Warrington and they were offered jobs up here, you see, and there would be a house with a job so they would take it and of course they had families that went to school as well. But you see when the jobs and that finished up here it all went to contractors you know so of course they moved away to other jobs. One lad that came from Lancashire he went to Carlisle and he's still on for the water board, well it's United Utilities now. So he went to Carlisle and the other lad went back to Preston.
    CW:So was there just a slow decline in the number of people after you moved here?
    SH:Yes, yes there were fewer and fewer people and you see such as the Haweswater Hotel, well they had a man up here that used to transport all the staff from Shap by landrover and take the maids and the daily workers and transport them from Shap up to the Haweswater Hotel and that was his job. He used to just transport people about. And he died and his wife were able to stay in the village. Anybody that passed away the wives or the husbands weren't pushed out of their houses, they were able to stay in but once the widows or the widowers died they didn't relet the houses and just let them go down which was a shame really, but of course there was no work then you see, all the work had gone. But George's mum, when she lived across the road there, she still has her old fashioned fire grate you know with the oven on the side which she baked in up till the last and it used to be gingerbread and sponge cake, baking day on a Wednesday and it was always a sponge cake and a gingerbread and rock buns and scones, once a week! Of course she still has in that house across there the old set pot boiler which she used to boil the clothes in, well you fill it full of water and boil the clothes in and keep stoking the fire up underneath with sticks and that.
    CW:Would there have been a mangle?
    SH:She had an old mangle that she had outside that she used to take the clothes out, you see, to mangle them. Yes it was hard work, yes. George's mum and Mrs Scott next door they used to go sticking into the wood there behind to get the sticks for stoking up the boilers. She did finally get an electric washer in the end but as I say they got by. Of course George's mother was one of these that she wouldn't spend a penny if a happenny would do! But of course it was how? the wages weren't very big in them days and it was how they were brought up. George's dad, you see, he lived up Mardale before he came down here but he lived with his sister and husband because they farmed up at Grove Brae up Mardale and George's dad used to work the horses for his brother in law when they were building the road and he was a rock driller as well, so of course you see George's mum she worked at the Carlton Hotel in Penrith so they must have got together when there was a dance up here at Burnbanks.
    CW:Where was she from?
    SH:She was from Newbiggin, Stainton. Probably dances up here where they got together.
    CW:People used to come from that far did they?
    SH:Yes, yes they did, people from Penrith came to the dances, yes, oh yes. Because now you hear of people, golden weddings or they're passing away and they met at the dance hall at Burnbanks. I mean it was a really really popular place for people. So of course when George's mam and dad first got married they lived on Chapel Hill up Mardale and then they started building these houses and this is why they got the one bedroomed house which was up in the woods which has gone but they started to take those down you see when they moved in to here behind us, into number 63, because as I said the two boys had been born up there, there wasn't room for them
    CW:The boys were George and??
    SH:George and his brother Jeff. See there was only a year between the two boys so there wasn't very much between those two. So Jeff went off to be a mechanic after he left school and George's mum wanted George to be a joiner and he didn't want to so he went to farm work which was in the Eden Valley and of course that's where I met up with George because I came from over Bolton near Appleby. So we met in 1951, got married in '55, George was born in 1958, David in 1959 and we came up here in 1960 and Christine was born in 1962.
    CW:What was your first impression when you came? Had you been to Burnbanks before?
    SH:I'd known George since 1951 so I was coming back and forth then you see.
    CW:Had it changed much in the 10 years?
    SH:Not really, no not really, it was just that there was quite a lot of people when we came up here but saying that people gradually moved away, see, when the work finished. Course it was all let out to contractors. See George worked with Manchester Corporation then it was North West Water, now you see it's United Utilities.
    CW:Let's talk about the house. What was the house like when you first came, because you've done a lot to it haven't you?
    SH:Yes, well, we've just really kept it nicely decorated. We haven't done really a lot of alterations to it at all because it was in fairly good condition when we came in. We did stay with George's mum for 3 weeks. Everything was piled in there when we came up here because Hughie Parkin and Audrey just moved out of here the day we moved in across the road you see, so we needed to get floor coverings and there wasn't a cooker or anything and we needed to decorate so we did that before we moved into here, but saying that everything wasn't in bad nick, you know. We had no television, we just had a radio. One socket?
    CW:One socket per room?
    SH:One socket just in here and just a square plug with a 13 amp for the cooker in the back kitchen. We hadn't a proper cooker box.
    CW:What sort of cooker was that?
    SH:We had a little Belling, a little Belling cooker. It was one of those on a stand, you know the little oven at the top and then there was the stand underneath. So that was our first cooker and I think it was maybe 25 or something like that.
    CW:And before that, I presume people would have cooked on a range?
    SH:Yes, yes.
    CW:What sort of fuel would that have been?
    SH:Coal, yes.
    CW:So there would have been coal deliveries?
    SH:Yes, oh the coalman came?. It was Taylor's from Penrith and he came on the 15th of every month and never missed. Our coalman still now comes and he's not far away from the 15th and he still comes every month which is good really.
    CW:Where was the coal kept?
    SH:The coal used to be kept in the coal house at the back here and then we finally got a coal bunker on the back which was a lot better really. We needed somewhere to put shoes and boots and Wellingtons and things like that, but everybody used to use their coal house inside the house when we first came up here, and as I say we got coal bunkers so we put the coal outside.
    CW:There was electricity then?
    SH:There was electricity; even in 1929, 1930 when they built the houses there was electricity and running water and flush toilets and everything, so we were quite lucky really. As I say when we came up here we had a choice of two houses: we had the choice of this one and we also had the choice of number 61 up the back here and we chose this one here.
    CW:What made you choose this one?
    SH:Well, we thought it was in a nicer position than being stuck up there, but saying that er? um? we didn't know how it was going to work out living right across from your in-laws, but everything was fine really - we did have our ups and downs but we got on fairly well really.
    CW:Were they useful for child minding?
    SH:Yes, well George used to pop off to Helton in them days on a Saturday night with his dad for a drink.
    CW:How did they get there?
    SH:Well he had his car then, because we got our first car?we bought it off his brother when George was just a baby so that would be in 1959, early '59 maybe, before David was born. So they used to pop off to Helton pub for a pint on a Saturday night and then George's mum used to come across here and sit with me till they came back, just for company. And that went on for quite a number of years. We didn't go out very much. We maybe used to go to the farmers' ball at Bampton and they would come and babysit for us, but we didn't really go out such a big lot. George used to go to my aunt and uncle's who farmed at Knipe Hall to do a bit of hay timing after he'd finished work here. Their hours up here were from eight o'clock till half past four, so after he'd had his meal he used to pop over at hay time and maybe other busy times and help my uncle over at Knipe Hall on the farm and that was just to make a bit of extra cash because he always used to like to take us out of a weekend and the kids for a ride around which we always used to. As I say, the wage was only about eleven pound a week when we first came up here.
    CW:And what was the rent?
    SH:The rent was about 11 shillings, something like that.
    CW:A week?
    SH:Yes, yes, so it really wasn't a big lot.
    CW:And Manchester Corporation was supposed to look after the house?
    SH:Yes, yes do all the repairs and that. We did actually get better service from Manchester Corporation than we have done since North West Water and United Utilities took over.
    CW:Are they very good about doing repairs or is there a long wait?
    SH:No, we didn't get much?well there was a long wait, yes, from the United Utilities and North West Water. We were better looked after under Manchester Corporation.
    CW:I suppose they had the people to do the job.
    SH:Yes, here, that's right, whereas after the United Utilities took over they got contractors in so therefore it wasn't as easy getting jobs done. I mean this house here hasn't been painted for goodness knows how many years, they just weren't interested so my son-in-law painted and tidied this up and we keep it fairly tidy ourselves.
    CW:What about the garden? Who did the garden?
    SH:My husband did the garden - well we worked together as well, you know, the flower garden and my husband always did the vegetable garden.
    CW:Did you grow enough to keep you in vegetables?
    SH:Yes, yes we did, we used to always have cabbage and cauliflowers and peas and we used to have carrots, and potatoes of course was our main item. Oh the garden was always done every year, and Brussels sprouts?because we hadn't a freezer then you see, we just had a little fridge with a little ice box at the top, so we couldn't freeze vegetables like you do today.
    CW:And did you do any preserving?
    SH:Yes, I used to make chutney and make my own jam and I used to bottle tomatoes of all things. Yes, I used to do a lot of things and always did my own baking, never bought any cakes or anything like that in those days. It was all homemade - my husband wouldn't eat bought stuff anyway.
    CW:Did you used to keep a supply of food and ingredients in the larder?
    SH:Yes, yes, because as I say we had to rely on the vans and just once a week so we had to have plenty of food in to last us. Of course there was the village shop down at Bampton which Mrs Preston had, going back a few years ago.
    CW:When was that?
    SH:Well Mrs Preston, I can't remember which year she came out of the post office, I don't know whether it was '87 or before that maybe, I can't remember really. But anyway Mrs Preston she had a wonderful shop because she used to cook her own ham and you could buy it by half pounds or quarters or what ever. She really put herself out to make the shop what local people wanted. Yes she had a wonderful shop down there and then of course it went down hill after that.
    [Editorial comment: at this time rural shops everywhere were finding it hard to stay in business due to many factors outside their control, such as greater competition, changes in shopping habits and increased car use.]
    I mean the Friths, they took over, you know that's at the mill now, and then Joan Bruin she had the shop after that but they couldn't really?after Joan tried to sell it she couldn't, not as a going concern so that was the shop finished.
    CW:Let's go back to the house. What sort of heating was there?
    SH:The only heating we had was the open fire. We had nothing else except the little fire grates in the two bedrooms there, just very small fire grates in the bedrooms there, nothing in this bedroom here. We just used to have electric fire in the back kitchen which we sort of put on of a morning or when we were having a meal because we always sat at the table for a meal in the kitchen. We didn't come through here and there was none of this plates on your knees and of course we hadn't a television in those days so of course we always ate in the back kitchen at the table for our meals.
    CW:Did you pull the table out?
    SH:Yes, the table?.it was a drop-leaf table that we used to have, you see, because we needed to close it up for the room to move about.
    Sometimes we used to put the little fire on in that bedroom on the left there, if anybody was poorly just to heat it up and that, and of course often I used to put the fire on in the back bedroom as well and that was just to keep the house warm, but just every now and again I used to do it not every day, just maybe at winter if it was hard frost. But after we came up here we did have a bad winter where Manchester Corporation were very good again, went to Askham and brought milk and bread for the village and dished it out. They always looked after the villagers.
    CW:How did they get through?
    SH:Well Landrovers, they had Landrovers. After 1960s we didn't really have any bad winters up here. I did for one fortnight, I think it was in '70s, walk to school for a fortnight because - it wasn't really the quantity of snow that was on the roads (I was driving by that time - I passed my test in 1969 so I was able to drive) it was because it was so slippery and with it being such a narrow road down to Bampton if you met anything you hadn't much chance of stopping. I used to take the kids with us and we used to walk down to the school and then walk back in the afternoon. Well we always got by, you know, and the kids they played football in the village and entertained themselves. They always found something to do.
    CW:Were there a lot of other children here?
    SH:Yes there were, there were quite a few and they used to play football and they used to have these tree swings. Up till just last year there was one up in the woods there and I used to take my grandchildren up and they used to love to swing on it - just put a bit of wood through the rope that hung down off a branch - and they used to have a tree house as well up in the trees up there up the road. Of course there wasn't the traffic up here then like there is today flying up and down. Of course people I think since 1984 when the lake was low they've found this village and they know that they leave their cars at the bottom and walk up this side here whereas at one time there was nobody you saw coming to the village.
    CW:After you'd done your washing, you described the boiler for the clothes that your mother in law had and presumably there was the same thing here when you moved in.
    SH:No, it had gone, there was nothing here. When I came up here?well I used to hand wash before I came up here -
    CW:Everything?
    SH:Yes, hand wash, and then I had a little washer which had like an agitator in the middle and a mangle on the back. That was my first washer, after we came up here. Then after that I got a twintub washing machine and I had that until last year believe it or not - well not the same one, a different one and then they don't make them anymore so I had to get myself an automatic.
    CW:You were describing earlier the hatch and the airing cupboard.
    SH:The airing cupboard is quite high up so I had to stand on the armchair, put a leg on the hatch and then reach up into the airing cupboard which is quite high - in fact it goes up to the ceiling! I had to keep nappies and all the clothes in there and the sheets and everything. The little cupboard in the back kitchen there well it did used to get warm because there's the pipes going up through from the fire here. It did get warm so I could put a few clothes in there as well but this was best up here. We didn't have an immersion heater so of course the fire used to have to heat the water.
    CW:A back boiler?
    SH:Yes, so it used to have to heat the water, but we put our own immersion heater in as well.
    CW:When did you do that?
    SH:Well, 1980s when we put the immersion heater in.
    CW:And you had to pay for that?
    SH:We paid for that ourselves as well. In fact Ray Bruin came and did it for us and that was when Joan had the post office and Ray was working in Saudi Arabia and he would come back over here and he came and did this job for us.
    CW:And the hatch below the airing cupboard, what was that for?
    SH:Well I think it was just for passing cups of tea or whatever through from the top of the set pot boiler, because there was a cover over the set pot boiler, and it was probably just for passing things through, just a little door that opened and shut. As I say, across the road in Number 1, The Oaks, it's still there is the little cupboard and also the set pot boiler so that's quite original across there.
    CW:And you got a new fire surround and hearth?
    SH:Yes, actually it was in when we came, this tiled fireplace. Hughie Parkin and Audrey would have it put in; they would have the old fire range pulled out and Manchester Corporation would put them in. They had to pay about sixpence a week I think on the rent and that was ongoing for years - it really never stopped because by the time they bought the fire grate and paid for the labour, see, it would probably cost a bit in those days so I mean you were paying and paying and paying on your rent so it really didn't often come to an end.
    CW:Any other improvements that you paid for?
    SH:We got our own central heating in - that's been in about eleven years, has the central heating, because we just felt that we needed extra warmth and we decided that we needed central heating, so we got in touch with the water board so see if they would come to some terms with us - we paid half and they paid half, or whatever. They said see Mr whoever the maintenance man was, see him when he comes round and have a word with him. So this man came round and we had a word with him, and he said "Oh it has nothing to do with me, get back in touch with the office", so of course my husband said, "I can't be bothered with this. We'll just put our own in", and that was how we got central heating in. So we've got it in all the rooms really now, we've got this one in the sitting room and one in each bedroom, also in the back bedroom and the back kitchen so it keeps us nice and warm now.
    CW:Do you find it gets quite cold in the winter?
    SH:We find it does, yes. Even though the radiator is turned right up we still had to put the open fire on maybe late morning or early afternoon because we find your legs get cold sitting. Your body's warmer up above but you see with the heat rising and the height of the ceilings and that you see. But my husband always thought that they'd saved a row of timber by making them so high, but I don't know why he thought that. I can feel my legs now sitting here getting cold and yet that radiator's on full, so I wouldn't like to do away with my open fire to be quite honest. But as I say if the ceilings were lowered it would make a big difference.
    CW:What about the windows?
    SH:Original windows, yes.
    CW:Wooden frames?
    SH:Yes, yes.
    CW:They've lasted well.
    SH:Yes they have. Actually, the timber on these windows are far better than what they put on the houses today, because the houses that's been modernised, the two up here and the two up there, absolutely rotten the woodwork where ours you know it's far far better timber, so they've stood a good test of time. The only thing is they hadn't proper foundations, these houses, because they were only built for so many years and they were going to dismantle them, and they were built on common land. This side was common land and that side belonged to the United Utilities.
    CW:That side being the other side of the road?
    SH:Yes, that belonged to North West Water and still does and this was common land which was the lord of the manor's, Lord Lonsdale's you see. But you can see just above the doorway they've put little bits of wood in because the door's dropped a little bit where the foundations have moved. That one's the same but you can't maybe tell that one quite as much, the bedroom doors, they've just sort of dropped a little with the foundations maybe sinking.
    CW:So what's the floor?
    SH:The floors are wood here but that bedroom there on the right at the front and the one at the back they were rotting, so of course they came and put that, um - it's like a dark, hot asphalt or something down so it's like stonework if you understand, I don't know what quite to call it but it's like a maroony coloured thing and it was hot when they laid it. But the boards were absolutely rotten in the back bedroom there and they were starting to rot in there as well. But as I say if they hadn't a proper foundation they were bound to deteriorate in time
    CW:And what are the internal walls - are they plasterboard?
    SH:Well we call them tentex panels which is maybe compressed wood, sawdust, and they're in panels. There's wooden frame in between but not very thick because I was a bit frightened next door with it being empty all these years that I might get damp through here but saying that, when I stop to think, air can get through between, so there's like a cavity with framework but of course the outer walls here on the front of the house there's no cavity there because there's these tentex panels then we have the metal panels outside so there isn't any cavity and I think this is why they're cold.
    CW:There wouldn't be a lot of sound proofing inside.
    SH:No there wouldn't. Yes you could hear such as if we were in this front bedroom here and the people were in the next bedroom there you could hear each other talking or you could talk through the walls. As I say George's mum and the next door neighbour, they used to sit on the toilet and talk to each other through the wall. Or you could hear people coughing or if anybody lived next door and they had loud music or whatever you could hear right through. As I say they were only built temporary and they've stood a good test of time. George has done a lot to our house to keep it in good order really because outside the foundations were moving a little bit so he went round with a sealer and sealed it all. But saying that they're quite good really, well this is anyway but once they're not lived in they soon deteriorate which you can see by the other empty houses here in the village.
    CW:I don't suppose you can imagine living anywhere else.
    SH:No I can't really. I like living here and I really don't want to move. The thing is I can drive so I can get out and we do have one bus a week - well no we have a bus on a Tuesday which goes shopping into Penrith and there's also a bus on a Saturday which comes up I think three times in the day. It comes from Penrith up here, goes up to Shap, back here and then back into Penrith and it does that three times a day.
    CW:Is it very well used?
    SH:No not really, not on a Saturday. On a Tuesday it is well used but of course there's only five of us in the village now. Gina uses it, Gina Harrison there at Number 66, she uses it every Tuesday, she goes shopping to Penrith but I'm afraid I just pop off when I want to when I can drive.
    CW:Presumably in the summer people get the bus to go walking.
    SH:Yes they'll come up from maybe Penrith and then they'll get off the bus here and walk maybe round the lake and then get on the bus back here at afternoon but in summer the bus goes to the top of the lake, top of Mardale, so people get off up there, walk down here, catch the bus here maybe and go back into Penrith or wherever. We used to walk to chapel as well with all our kids and the mothers and that. Everybody used to be going to chapel rather than church in those days. As I say it was a thriving community and we always used to go to Morecambe once a year on the school trips and when we set off from here it used to be pouring down and we got over Shap Fell and it was lovely and sunny and take our picnics with us and it was always Morecambe, once a year. Mr Longmire and Mrs Longmire that lived in the bungalow up at Lake View, they used to go to the chapel and they were - well, if it hadn't been for them I think it would've gone down a long time since. Yes we used to go and help with the suppers when it was? anniversary used to be on the Sunday and on a Saturday night they always used to have singers and have a supper and it always used to be full house and we used to go and help and we used to bake and make things and take them down. It was all given voluntary, all the food and that, and quite a lot of people from up here - and of course there was the WI as well which started in 1932 and a lot of people from up here, the women, they went to the WI as well.
    CW:Was there a separate Burnbanks branch?
    SH:No, just everybody went to Bampton because we have a tablecloth which was embroidered by all the members going back years ago and there's quite a lot of ladies' names on that used to live up here. We still have the tablecloth and it's wonderful to think going back how old the tablecloth is and we don't really know and we haven't quite found out yet. But saying that it must have been from the forties when people lived up here
    CW:What happened to the chapel?
    SH:The mission?
    CW:Well there was a mission here and a chapel at Bampton. When you described people going to chapel you meant the one at near Bomby?
    SH:Yes at Bampton.
    CW:When did that close?
    SH:Oh I can't tell you that now, I can't really tell you when chapel closed. I'll have it in my scrapbook. The mission in the wood just as you come into the village on your left, through the little wicket, I think it would be 1940 when that would close because George's mother was presented with a clock and she was also presented with a bible and also a little hymn book which we still have, with her name in and who presented it to her. It was the Advisory Committee and it was from the Sunday school, was the bible, as she used to go and teach the children, Sunday school teach the children, and she also used to play the organ in the mission. So it was a little thriving place as well because it was for all religions was the mission, but that was taken down before we came up here and it is now the dance hall at Thirlmere, is the mission.
    CW:Did they have different visiting ministers?
    SH:They had, yes, because you see in those days with it being all sorts of religions there would be different people from the Methodists and there would be the Church of England and I don't know who else really. But George and Jeff would go to the Sunday school there you see because Jeff was born in 1933 and George in 1934 so you see they would go with mum to Sunday school here and all the other kids. They used to have other things going on in there as well, it wasn't just Sunday school. There would be services and there would probably be, um, singers would come. The pantomimes and that would be more in the recreation hall up the village, over the cattle grid, and the dances and that.
    CW:When did that come down?
    SH:I'm not quite sure, I can't be sure on that. I think maybe somebody else might be able to tell you that more, it was before I came here. But the canteen is the dance hall at Eamont Bridge and the dance hall went to Cliburn and only just last couple of years the dance hall was taken down at Cliburn and they got the lottery money, you know, and they've rebuilt a new one. So that came from up here as well, so they made use of the buildings. I'm not sure what happened about the houses, where the houses went I don't know, whether they were just dismantled and went for scrap or - I can't really tell you.
    CW:They'd not been up very long, had they?
    SH:No, 1929 they started building the houses up here and then you see it was 1942 when George's mum moved out of the woods up there down into No 63 then in 1946 to No 1, The Oaks. I still have rent books when they moved. I've got the year on the rent books and they're in the drawer there so I could tell by that really. So they would start taking those down when they moved out, and the village shop. And of course there was the doctor's surgery up here and there was the clinic up here as well. The doctor used to come from Shap once a week when there was clinic day and that and then the district nurse, Nurse Southwaite, she came from Bampton. She used to live in the council houses at Bampton where Knipe View is there.
    CW:Did she have a car or bike?
    SH:I can't tell you that because it would be before I came up here and also the clinic wasn't there then either. Also, you see, there wasn't the clinic days and that. Everything was at Bampton when we came up here?.right, well?
    CW:I think we've covered everything.
    SH:Most of the things, ay. Have you turned it off?
    CW:Thank you very much.

    Interviewer: Caz Walker


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