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Transcript TitleAbel Smith, Dorothy - Memories of (O1996.2)
IntervieweeDorothy Abel Smith
Transcriber byEve Sangster


Hertford Oral History Group

Recording no: O 1996.2

Interviewee: Dorothy Abel Smith

Date: Spring, 1996

Transcriber: Eve Sangster

Typed by: Eve Sangster

************** unclear recording

[discussion] untranscribed material

italics editor’s notes

Talk to Hertford Oral History Group

Memories of Dorothy Abel Smith of Greenhill, Bramfield, Hertford

I'm Dorothy Abel Smith. I'm not as old as some people in Hertford but I do have some 50 years of memories which might be of interest in the Museum to future generations. I was born during World War Two in South Wales because my father was stationed in Swansea in the anti-aircraft but after a few months we came home to Hertfordshire because he was invalided out. He came home to farm, which had been his great ambition. We came to live in The Cottage, which is a house near Home Farm, by the river. We lived there because my parents' own house next door had been requisitioned. So, we lived at The Cottage for some months and I was christened from there and then, later, in 1942, my sister was born and we moved a few yards, back to our old house, now known as The River House. There we spent many happy years until 1958, when we moved into the stables. I'll come back to that later in my talk.

I don't have very much to memorize of the war itself because I didn't really understand it but I do remember the tanks coming through the park - I think there was a camp there - and aircraft coming over the top. We had a few German prisoners-of-war working on the farm and I remember them hoeing the potato fields and around the grounds and thinking how very young they were. Obviously they were the lucky ones who went back to Germany in one piece after the war. They were looked after by the farm manager's wife, Mrs Soden, who lived in one of the lodges, and the prisoners-of-war lived in what was the old dairy and I think she looked after them jolly well. They were very fortunate young men. And she had their ration books and did their shopping and I think there was a police guard on them but otherwise they were fairly free because they knew they couldn't leave the country and they were in good hands.

When I was four years old I went to school for the first time. We went to Miss Button, in Hertford. Miss Button was a very splendid governess and we went to The Wall House, in North Road. This belonged to the Redmayne family. There were two Redmayne girls my age. There was also Diana Hargreaves, who lived at Port Hill House, and Thomasin Savory from Bengeo Hall. Miss Button was very keen on the three Rs and think she gave us a very good start in life. I was there until I was nine years old and then I went away to boarding school, where I remained 'til I was seventeen and a half, at three or four different schools.

Back to The Wall House. It was situated behind a high wall between the Sele Mills and The Sele Arms. Sadly, some years later it was demolished and the modern houses built and the wall went. But it was a very nice house with good trees and the garden going right down to the river, so it must have been a delightful place for the Redmaynes to live.

After a few years Miss Button took in too many children and I think it was rather too much for her but when I was there we were very, very lucky indeed and, as I said, I went there when I was four years old and I do remember how proud I was that I was able to do up my shoe laces and I was the only girl in the school who could do that.

We were very lucky going to school because we had, living next door to us at Woodhall, Major Daltrey. He was a relation of the McMullen family and was a director of the brewery. He had been very seriously wounded in the Far East during the war and so he had a special extra petrol allowance. Of course, petrol was very scarce then and he very kindly used to take us to school, my sister by then, 1946, 1947, I think, and he was very generous indeed. And my mother often used to come and collect us or we came home by bus. Sometimes Mrs Daltrey drove us. She was half French and half Russian. She was very erratic. We were very fond of her but we did wonder which side of the road you were supposed to drive on but luckily there was so little traffic then perhaps it didn't really matter but we were rather worried sometimes.

Her mother was Russian. She'd been brought up in great splendour before the Revolution and I remember her telling us how she used to throw gold coins out to the poor people from her carriage. She didn't have a great idea of modern life and it was remarkable how she adapted at all. But she lived with her daughter and son-in-law at The Cottage for some years. In, I think it was, 1947 my parents went to Europe for the first time after the war. It was very exciting to go on a driving holiday and Madame, who she was named to all, suggested to my father he should practise driving on the right of the road but I'm glad to say he was too sensible to do this.

My mother had an old car. It must have been in the late 40s, I think. It was a Morris 8 or Morris 10, and we used to go to Hertford shopping and, of course, without fail we always parked in Market Square. There were so few cars then and there was always somewhere to park and you never thought of locking the car or taking out the key. It just didn't occur.

But there was Bates', the splendid, rather old-fashioned, grocers in Fore Street, and Gravesons, of course, and Claydon's, the fish shop. I don't remember much about buying clothes except, I suppose, we bought socks, and so on, at Gravesons, but I don't remember much about that. Sometimes my mother went to London and, again without fail, she was always able to park in the station forecourt. There were so few cars. There was no car park on the other side of the road, as there is now. It didn't matter. There was always a place for her and she'd have been extremely put out if she'd arrived and found no space but that, again, I don't think ever occurred.

We had Watton, our village, and the baker was there and Mr Stewart, the butcher, who was a marvellous, old-fashioned, country butcher. There was also a blacksmith's shop and a saddlery. I do just remember all these. And Mr Milton, who mended our shoes. There were two Milton brothers and they kept the shop there and they always came to church and I think one of them I forget which one it was, but he always stoked the coal in church.

The church was extremely cold, with one old coke boiler, but he did that and he pumped the organ. The organ was in the back of the church then and we heard it wheezing away ready for the next hymn and he had to get up half-way through the sermon in order to pump the organ so that we could get on to the last hymn. The church was extremely cold, I do remember that.

At the end of 1946 my brother was born. He was born in the house where we were living, the farm. He and my mother were one end of the house and my sister and I were the other. We both had whooping-cough and I'm sure it was very difficult keeping us all apart. We all survived and I remember just a few days after he was born, of course it was Christmas, and we were allowed to go and see the baby with socks over our mouths to keep away the germs. He never got whooping-cough, so I'm sure it was alright. And there was a wonderful nurse looking after the baby, Nurse McDonald, who I'm sure was very strict but very kindly indeed.

And it was that winter, it was very cold, the terrible winter of 1946-1947 and I do remember wonderful tobogganing all over the place and deep snow and icicles growing and coming down from every part of the house and all the buildings around.

The new baby was supposed to be christened in January or February but it was much too cold and it was thought it would be dangerous to make use of the church at that time. So he waited until March to be christened and, of course, he was a large baby and had grown a great deal by then but he was duly christened by the Bishop of St Albans, Bishop Lloyd. I remember that day very vividly because we were all given a wonderful tea after the christening and it was the first real tea we had had after the War (?), because rationing was still on. And mother was marvellous how she collected up the food. And we children, and several friends and relations, we really tucked in and what fun it all was!

And we'd had wonderful Christmas presents that year and, again, our first dolls and teddy bears, which was all a great excitement, and Father Christmas came, so we really did do rather well. It was very exciting having our first real Christmas plus a baby brother.

I'll go back to our house, now. We lived in this house, which is now called The River House, until 1958 when my parents converted the old stables into a house and we moved up there. It had been my father's great, long, ambition to convert the house. It had been rather badly damaged because a bomb had fallen near there during the war and all four clock faces had been blown out but it ???? And there'd been a fire some years before and it had not been rebuilt, so it was getting rather derelict and, of course, the surroundings, which were just rubbish heaps and so on, were in a very bad state but there were some lovely trees.

The architect was very delighted to find that Ginns, the builders in Hertford, were up to the high standard of work that he expected. And so Ginns, and I think Norris did some of the work as well, and the plasterwork and woodwork was mainly done by Kerridges, a family company in Cambridge.

We moved in in the spring of 1958. It was an exciting day although we were very sad to leave The River House where we had spent so many happy years. My mother created a wonderful garden at The Stables, with the good trees as a surround and she expanded it and had a wonderful gardener to help her in the early days. It's gone from strength to strength ever since and for many years she opened the garden for the National Gardens Scheme, and so many people came and enjoyed it and appreciated it and they were able to come from year to year to see how it had progressed. She was very proud of it indeed.

We had great fun, when we were children, in the farm because we were able to go out and play in the farmyard. We spent many, many happy hours down in the farmyard and the estate yard. Of course, there were a lot of men working on the place, then. We must have been an awful nuisance but they were very, very kind to us, indeed. And, through that, we learned a lot about farming and people and places and we were gone for hours playing and, as I say, getting in the way. I remember the new corn-drier being built and my father was so proud of it and he did dried grass and he had the farm stacked with dry grass.

And there was a terrible fire one day when some burner over-heated and the whole farm went up in flames. This must have been about 1950. It was a terrible, terrible night and the fire went on for three or four days before it was really out and I remember some of the cattle being burnt. It really was frightful and the smell and the smoke was just appalling.

Anyway, he rebuilt it all and got going again but it was a bad set-back really and it was very distressing to him but luckily he was at home at the time. Incidentally, much later on when I did my driving-test in Hertford, which I'm happy to say I passed first time, the examiner recognized me because he said he remembered me as a little girl because he was a fireman and he'd been at that fire and he remembered us coming out to watch. I can't say that that made me pass the test but it was nice to have a link like that.

Transcribers note: Poss Mr Bob Harding

My grandmother (Mrs deFalbe) lived in Hertford during the war. She lived in the timbered house which is now Beckwith's Antiques shop. Her own house in Thundridge, The Old Vicarage, was requisitioned, so she moved into Hertford. We went to tea with her quite often during the war and I went in and out by bus, mainly when I was four or five years old. I think this sort of thing is quite unknown nowadays, with awful troubles with vandals and bad people around and all the security. We travelled all over the place by ourselves.

At the back of her house was St Nicholas Hall, where we used to go for dancing classes. I can't say we enjoyed them very much but it was meant to give us a few graces for life and we met a lot of other children there.

Back to my grandmother: I don't remember a lot about her because she died in January 1947 but it was lovely going to see her and playing games. I remember dominoes and some lovely toys that she had and games for children. And I often went in and out by bus all by myself. I was put on the bus at our lodge at Woodhall and then she took me off in Hertford and then after tea she put me back on the bus to Woodhall and there I was met again and taken down the drive.

And we had a beloved friend, Rosa Hall. She lived in the lodge, the Hertford lodge, at Woodhall, and she, for several years, she helped my mother. She was a very devoted friend and she used to meet me off the bus and take me down. Incidentally, then there were gates across the lodge and her father, old Mr Hall, he kept the lodge gates and when cars came in and out he came out to open the gate. After a few years, with larger machinery, the gates had to be widened and the gates were taken away but this kind of thing happened in all lodges, all over the place. And before the war, and up to the war, there were deer in the park and so there had to be a gate at each lodge. But Rose Hall was a very dear friend of ours indeed.

My grandmother was brought up at Poles, near Ware. She was one of the Hanbury family and her father had built the new Poles about 1895 and she was born there then and, sadly, her father died in 1912 and Poles was sold, to their great sadness. And then it was sold to a South African millionaire who then, in turn, in 1921 sold it to Poles Convent, a nunnery, and it became a school for many years and recently it has become country house hotel. She was very fond of it, my grandmother, indeed and she talked a great deal about it. And we have photographs of it. And it must have been a lovely place in its heyday. But I'm sure others will remember it much more because I was only taken there once or twice as a small child to see this, through the nuns.

Our great friend in Hertford was Miss Turnbull, who lived at 64, Hertingfordbury Road, she and her sister Norah lived there. They lived there for many, many years and she was quite an old lady. They were both old ladies, by then. Miss Turnbull, the elder one, Gertrude, we always used to know as Grannan. She'd been my father's nanny when he was a baby. He was born in 1913 and she went to him as a baby and remained with him until he was seven years old and went away to school. When she retired she came back to live in Hertford and by that time her sister Norah, who'd been a schoolmistress, she retired a few years later but they lived together at 64 Hertingfordbury Road and, indeed, next door neighbours to the Ruffles family who we knew very well when we were all young together. The Miss Turnbulls were a most remarkable couple and we used to spend many, many happy hours in their house. They had an attic which was always full of exciting boxes and we used to be allowed to go up and open the boxes and see all her treasures and her old clothes. She was a great squirrel and everything she was ever given by people she kept up in the attics and we were often given cast-off clothes by other families she'd been nanny to and it was great fun going through all these wonderful treasures. I'll never forget it. And we often stayed with her there when my parents were away. They were wonderful, wonderful people. I believe her grandfather had been a tailor in Hertingfordbury and he'd been a tenant of the Cowper and Desborough family at Panshanger. She talked very fondly of Panshanger which she knew so well in her young days, before she became a nurse, a nursery maid and then a nanny to our families. She often talked of the great house at Panshanger, which was demolished in 1953. I do just remember because my mother took us to the sale, to the viewing of the sale, and I remember this great house piled up ready for the sale. It was a very tragic day.

But Miss Turnbull talked a great deal about Panshanger and the times that she'd had there and I think Lady Desborough gave children's parties there for the tenants and the Turnbulls had been. They'd been quite a large family, and she talked also of the great, old Panshanger Oak which, I think, at least seven or eight adults with their arms outstretched were needed to go right round the tree, round its enormous girth. It was well-known and famous 200 years ago and it's still growing and still needed a great number of people with their arms outstretched to get right round its girth.

The Turnbull sisters used to come and see us quite often at Woodhall. We were so fond of them and she, Miss Turnbull, she always used to bring a bag and go 'chipping'. She used to take wood home for her fire and used to scour the estate yard for little bits of wood which she packed into her bag and took home every time. We always talked about Nanny going 'chipping'. She was a fount of knowledge and good sense and we were very, very devoted to her indeed.

There's so much I could say about my early days here but it's not particularly relevant to Hertford but if the Museum would like some more I'm very happy to do it at a future date.

To fill the tape I thought I'd go right back into the last century and quote a little from my great, great, grandmother's memoir. She was the wife of Robert Smith and they lived at Goldings, Waterford, near Hertford, and in her old age she wrote this fascinating memoir, which was discovered a few years ago. And I've taken some very small pieces from it but it's really about the building of Waterford Church and the new house at Goldings and a little bit about the area.

She was born in 1839 and she was called Isabella Adeane and they lived at Babraham, near Cambridge. And she married Robert Smith, who was the second son of Abel Smith, MP, of Woodhall, in 1857 and they had twelve children. And her memoir is a fascinating insight into a bygone age, one of elegance but marred by terrible family illnesses and sudden deaths but her love of family, together with her deep sense of Christian service all through her long life, comes through very clearly. He died in 1894 but she lived until 1913.

[here follow the attached extracts from the memoir]

I just want to make one correction to my piece on the other side of this tape. I was talking about Miss Turnbull, Miss Gertrude Turnbull, in Hertingfordbury. I said her father was a tailor. This was an error. Her father worked for Stephen Austin but they did live in Hertingfordbury. Their great friend, Mr. Spragg (Sprigg), was the tailor in Hertingfordbury and he made suits for all the local people.

I was interested to read the transcription of the interview with Mollie Warner, which was done in 1992 by Simon Townsend. She was talking about her time in Panshanger and she said the housekeeper there was Mrs. Bruce. Well, I remember Mrs. Bruce very well indeed. She was a great friend of Miss Turnbull, Miss Gertrude Turnbull, whom I've been talking about, from Hertingfordbury, and I presume they knew each other because of Panshanger in the old days. Nanny Turnbull was a very great friend of Mrs. Bruce1 and she used frequently to go to Windsor to see her and came back with all sorts of little cakes for us and special biscuits and I believe she gave us some of our present Queen's wedding cake, that she'd somehow got hold of. She was a

real squirrel, as I said on the last side of this tape.

In 1952 Nanny arranged for us all to go and have tea with Mrs Bruce at Windsor Castle. This was a great excitement and we all went off by car and I remember being saluted as we went through the great gates of Windsor. And Mrs Bruce met us on the doorstep. And we had tea in the Housekeeper's Room, a delectable tea with beautiful biscuits which she said were Prince Charles's favourites. She took us round the Castle and showed us many of the State Rooms, the Waterloo Chamber and the enormous corridors and works of art and beautiful things. It was just the time after the King had died but before the Queen was crowned and the young Queen hadn't really moved in, so the whole place was covered in dust sheets. It was rather eerie but she showed us round and we went into some of the Queen's private rooms, too. It was a very memorable day indeed.

I want to describe a few events that took place when I was quite young which I have pretty vivid memories of. The first one was the Victory Parade in June 1946. My parents took me to London and I remember we were in Park Lane, because the procession came right through Hyde Park. We stood in the ruins of a great house in Park Lane, which is on the site where the Hilton Hotel is now and we stood up on, I suppose, the second floor and looked out over Park Lane and Hyde Park and we saw all the soldiers marching passed, which was a very impressive sight indeed. An impressive sight. And the King and Queen and Royal Family came past in a carriage and I have a very vivid memory of the Royal Family coming ????. It looked so beautiful with the carriage and the wonderfully groomed horses. And I had a little Union Jack and it was a great day for all of us.

In about 1950 Miss Tumbull, of whom I have spoken previously, she was friendly with someone in St James's Palace and she arranged that we should go and watch the Changing of the Guard there. We went up one Sunday morning and it was in the winter. It was very cold. We went up by train because the Guard changed there, I believe, when the King was not at Buckingham Palace and it was at St James. And we stood upon the balcony of one of these houses and watched and we were all very amused and laughed, which was very naughty of us, when one of the soldiers fell over on the ice. I'm sure he was very severely reprimanded but we'd never seen the Guards before and it really was a very special ceremony.

And then in 1951 there was the South Bank Exhibition. My father at that time was Chairman of the Hertford R.D.C, the old Rural District Council, and because of that he and my mother had had an invitation to go to the service at St Paul's Cathedral at the beginning of this great exhibition. And I know they were very, very impressed by this service. And then they had a special invitation to go to the South Bank Exhibition and they came back with all sorts of catalogues and programmes and then later in the season I was taken. I can remember being taken, by an elderly relation. She took me on the river from ????. She lived in Putney and there were special boats all the way along to the South Bank and this was hugely exciting, to go on the River Thames and to go round this enormous exhibition.

In 1953 my father was fortunate to be the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire. Of course, it was a very special year, with the Coronation, but he wasn't to know this when he had been originally chosen as High Sheriff, and so he was very lucky. They had many exciting occasions that year. They had a ???? My father held a Garden Party at Woodhall, at what is now Heath Mount School, on a wonderful summer's day in July, and the Court, the Court of course at that time was in the Shire Hall in Hertford and the Judge came several times in the year and the barristers and my father had

to give several lunches for them and we were allowed to go to one of them. It must have been during the holidays because my sister and I were allowed to go. We weren't allowed into the Court but we could go in at the beginning of the Session one day to hear the Prayers and then we were ushered out. It was all very impressive: the Judge with his wig and his gown. We'd never seen such a thing before and then he had a Crown Court Service. I'm sorry, it's not a Crown Court Service in those days, was it? It was a High Sheriff's Service in All Saints Church, Hertford, and the Judge and the barristers and all the solicitors, they processed from the Shire Hall up to the church. And, of course, this was before the new road was built. And we all went up to the church and had a very impressive service; wonderful singing. It was a very good choir. And then they came back again and sat in court. We were allowed to go to that, as well. It must have been at the same time as the lunch we were able to go to.

During that year there was a major service at St Albans Abbey, which as High Sheriff he went to. And he was in the procession and, of course, he was dressed up in his Court dress and black stockings. And somebody teased him saying, "Oh, you've got a ladder in your stocking." And he was very, very worried indeed but luckily it was just a joke. But it was a wonderful service and afterwards we went and stood on the balcony of the old town hall in the centre of St Albans and there was a march past of the local militia.

Now the Coronation itself was a wonderful day. My parents were very fortunate because, because he was High Sheriff, they were given two seats in the Abbey for the Coronation. This was a very great privilege and they appreciated it so much but for some months there'd been uncertainty whether there was going to be enough space in the Abbey for High Sheriffs. So they were given two seats outside on a stand opposite the west door of Westminster Abbey, roughly where the Queen Elizabeth Centre, the conference centre, is now. But at the eleventh hour they were given these seats in the Abbey but they were able to retain the seats outside.

And so I was taken and with a very old friend of ours and off we went and it was a wonderful place to be. I'm sure we had the very best seats of anybody at the whole of the Coronation because we were outside the west door. And we had to be there very early in the morning, of course, about six o'clock and we took up our places and we watched the entire procession arriving and all the carriages and all the people arriving to go in to the Abbey. We watched them all arriving in their carriages, their taxis, their cars, alighting and going into the Abbey, the peers with their coronets under their arms. Somebody left his coronet in a taxi and had to race back after it. There was so much to look at and men came along and swept up the dung from the horses and kept sweeping the red carpet so the ladies dresses didn't get dirty because, of course, it was a very, rather a wet day, rather miserable. But the entire procession came passed. We will never forget the Queen of Tonga waving away, quite oblivious of the wet weather. And finally the Royal Family arrived in their carriages. I won't describe them all now but I will describe the arrival of the Queen in her marvellous golden carriage and she and the Duke of Edinburgh alighted and went in. And we saw everything, every scrap of this great procession we saw. And the cheers were thunderous and the music and the bands. And in they went to the Abbey. And luckily we heard the entire service being relayed outside, so we heard it all going on and it was so impressive. My parents had very good seats in the aisle. They were up against a pillar and luckily they had quite a lot of leg room, for my father was a very tall man and I think he'd have been miserable sitting for hours in a very cramped position. And they sat on very elegant blue velvet-covered stools which afterwards they were allowed to buy and so we still have these two stools. They saw all the processions going up and down the Abbey. They couldn't see, of course, the actual service because that was up behind the screen but they heard the music and it was all relayed and it was a marvellous and privileged occasion for them.

Now, back to outside. Finally, the service ended and the procession turned round and went back again and the entire procession, which I think must have been at least two miles long, began again from Westminster, and wound its way round London on a much longer route than they'd come in the morning. And finally the Queen came out, back into her golden carriage, and she had her sceptre and her orb and the Imperial State Crown on her head and she looked wonderful and so young and so radiant. And off they went in the carriage to great cheers and thundering applause from the crowds and they disappeared and off the procession went and, I think, finally they went off and arrived back at Buckingham Palace quite a lot, perhaps an hour and a half or two hours later. It was a very long procession.

But, meanwhile, once all the processions had passed the Abbey the congregation were allowed out and they went and had lunch, a very belated lunch, in, maybe, Westminster Hall, I think it was. And during the afternoon their cars, which had been parked on Horse Guards Parade, were called up, by which time our friend who'd taken me and we had walked up to Horse Guards Parade and found our car and were glad. Then we met our parents later.

My father had as his chauffeur that year, for the High Sheriff events, Mr Peachey. He was the estate lorry driver. He was such a charming, dear man and he was dressed in a grey suit and peaked cap and he looked just the part as a chauffeur and I'm sure and hope he enjoyed it all because I know all the Coronation Service was relayed to the various car parks and he was in Horse Guards Parade. And we finally got home about four o'clock or half-past four in the afternoon and there was a great party going on in Watton and we went down. My mother went back to the house and quickly changed. I think she was very cold in her long silk dress but she had taken a fur cloak around her and she took off her beautiful tiara and put her warm clothes on and we went down to Watton and joined in the sports. The children had a great day and my sister was there, too. I forget what we did in the evening. I'm sure we all went to bed rather early because it had been such an exciting and very long day.

In the summer holidays of 1954 we had another exciting adventure. The Royal Yacht Britannia had been commissioned and early in 1954 had met the Queen in Malta and finished her on her triumphal tour of the Commonwealth and she'd come back to Portsmouth harbour. The Flag Officer, Royal Yachts, was a relation of ours and my brother's god-father, Admiral Connolly Abel Smith, and he invited us all to go to Portsmouth to have lunch with him on the Britannia. So we all set off and drove down. I suppose we must have arrived at Portsmouth at about twelve o'clock and there we found the Britannia berthed. Such a very elegant and beautiful ship. And we were taken aboard and our cousin showed us all round and it was so brand new. It was spanking shipshape. And I always remember the very lovely fittings in very pale wood; and the cabins were very fine and well-scrubbed decks and it was all not so very large but very compact and well-planned and he was very proud of it, to be the Flag-Officer. And we went into the wardroom for lunch and I'm sure we had a delicious lunch. And then he showed us more of the yacht and then he said to us three children, "Would you like to see the H.M.S. Victory?" So, of course, we said, "Yes, please," because we'd never seen it. So he got the Royal Barge, which was a motor boat, and a sailor and he put us three in the back and he said, "Don't stand up. You must sit down or you'll fal lout." And we were taken for a spin round Portsmouth harbour at great speed. And I know my sister, who was always rather a tomboy, tried to stand up and I, being the big sister, had to hang on to her to make her sit down. We'd have been swept away overboard. But we arrived at the Victory. Meanwhile our parents had come round by car and we went all over the Victory and this was very exciting, a wonderful ship. I didn't go there again for another forty years, I don't think, until two or three years ago, and it was extraordinary to go and see it again but I had remembered it very well from all those years ago.

I want to transcribe a little of this tape which is coming along. It was made in the spring of 1975.

There was a programme on the BBC, a series, I think, of six, of typical villages in this country, and Bramfield was chosen for this part of the Home Counties. A young reporter came and wanted to see my father, whom he spoke to, and he also spoke to me. It's not very good but it's quite an interesting observation of Bramfield in those days and various people have spoken. There was quite a lot of controversy going on and I want to see how well it would transcribe on to the Museum tape.

[attached is a transcript of the television programme]

1 Mrs Bruce was housekeeper at Windsor Castle until 1958