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Transcript TitleYandall, Doris (O2003.23)
IntervieweeDoris Yandall (DY)
InterviewerJean Riddell (JR) Eddie Roche (ER)
Date14/11/2002
Transcriber byJean Riddell (Purkis)

Transcript

Hertford Oral History Group

Recording no: O2003.23

Interviewee: Doris Yandall (DY)

Date: 14th November 2002

Venue: 13 Spinney Street

Interviewers: Jean Riddell (JR) Eddie Roche (ER)

Transcriber: Jean Riddell (Purkis)

Typed by: Jean Riddell (Purkis)

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

[discussion] untranscribed material

italics editor’s notes

JR: We’ve just started recording. We’re at n. 3 Spinney St talking to Mrs. Yandall who started off her married life at Parkhurst Road.

DY: They used to hang them at the top of the hill [Gallows Hill] for sheep stealing.

JR: That was a long time ago.

DY: A lot of years ago, that’s why it’s called Gallows Hill

JR: Are there any stories about the gallows, you said sheep stealers……

DY: The trees up there, I’m not going to tell you that they were the exact trees that men were hung on but there are some big old trees up there right opposite what used to be the fever hospital – well, of course that’s all built on now.

JR: Well, I’ve got a map that shows the actual gallows and they are opposite where the Isolation Hospital used to be, this side of the road.

ER: They were at the top of the hill, Jean? I’d always assumed they were at the bottom?

DY: No, right up the top there.

JR: I’ll show you the map.

DY: There’s only one sign, right up the top on the roundabout which refers to this hill now as Gallows Hill instead of Stanstead Road.

ER: Was it Stanstead Road when you came to live here?

DY: No, dear, people always knew it then as Gallows Hill. Then they put all these houses up and they re-named it Stanstead Road.

ER: So, were you a local girl?

DY: Hertford born and bred. I was born in the folly in the actual Folly itself because one is Thornton St and one is…….

ER: What number, do you remember?

DY: No, 1, I think.

ER: No, 1 The Folly?

DY: Yes, first house on the right hand side as you go into the Folly. You come round by the public house, bear round and I was born in that first house and my husband lived in the second house. They moved to the Folly from Port Hill.

ER: My grandad used to live at 22.

DY: Well, I’m blessed! My husband was born at no, 10 the Folly,

ER: In later years my uncle lived down in the bottom street, Frampton St by the allotments.

DY: Oh, yes, my husband, … often used to go and stand down there, watch the men on their allotments, They moved back to the Folly because my father-in-law was near to his work place, which was Morrises, [Beadle House, Bull Plain]. Next to where the Museum is now.

ER: That’s right, they had a place where they used to park their lorries on the opposite side.

DY: And Stan used to park his car.

ER: Where the dentist is, Hudsons, now, that was Morrises depot and they did their upholstery.

DY: My husband was an upholsterer, mattress maker, carpet fitter, the lot and that’s where he worked down there. After he’d done his apprenticeship he went to London as an improver but he only stayed up there a couple of years, he passed his improving stage and came back to work at Morrises where he had his apprenticeship and he was happy because he didn’t care for London at all.

ER: The travelling as well….

DY: Yes, although in the end he lived up there and came home every weekend to his mother and father who lived in Balfour St then., they moved from the Folly to Balfour St and we moved from the Folly to Fanshawe St – very strange, it seemed to tie up!

JR: So you moved in here….

DY: It will be 64 years on 8th January.

JR: People always remember these exact dates, I’m very impressed by that!

DY: I don’t remember other things, dear! Yes, I do remember that so well because my daughter was a baby in a pram. Here [ in the living room] was a big tank for hot water and we had a pole across and curtains to shut it in.

JR: It’s strange having a tank in the main sitting room.

DY: The toilet and bathroom were in the kitchen and there was a walk-in pantry and now I’ve got a lovely big kitchen because they did away with the walk-in pantry because fridges by this time were the done thing and you’d got to have 2doors between a living room and the bathroom and so they had to put the bathroom upstairs, they took 3 feet from the front bedroom to make the bathroom big enough. It’s only a small bathroom but it’s adequate..

JR: So when you moved in you had a gas copper and the bathroom was part of the kitchen, so did it lead off the kitchen or was it where you had a bath and a board over it?

DY: No, in it’s own room, and a washbasin, Stan would never wash and shave in there because he said he couldn’t see to shave even with the light on because it was this end near the wall and he was in the darkest spot.

ER: We’ve just had our bathroom refurbished and I find it now, very different to get good light to have a shave. He was shaving in his own shadow, wasn’t he.

DY: That’s right, then that was backing onto this wall, the hand basin and the toilet was under the window, what’s why we’ve got 3 windows in that kitchen.

ER: Was this a 2 bedroom or a 3 bedroom house?

DY: 3 bedroom.

ER: So, that was quite something, with all the amenities.

DY: It wasn’t awfully long before they took the tank down and we had a Welsh dresser they put in over that side and I said to my husband it looks very, very nice but I don’t particularly want it in my living room, it’s a kitchen thing.

JR: So you had hot water, a big asset.

DY: Oh, yes, hot and cold water.

JR: And you kept your food, whereas nowadays you have a fridge, did you have a pantry?

DY: Let me show you dear [pause]. My daughter has bought it, she’s retired from Harrogate College, she was in charge of the hairdressing dept and part of the catering dept and when she retired she used the money to buy this house. She lives in Derbyshire. I don’t see her very often, once every 3 months. She rings me for the least little thing.

JR: So it she the only one you have?

DY: Yes, I should have had twins, luckily she wasn’t affected, except for her mouth, part of her jaw was missing, just here, and she was having a dental plate at the top, she still has to wear one. The teeth, when they did come through they didn’t come down this way, along the gum, that way. They promised her they would make her a top plate for the day she was married and they made her one just before she was married. Hertford …down what used to be the old clinic in Bull Plain. He used to call it the Eternity Home, couldn’t think of Maternity, he lived in one of those 3 cottages just before Stan’s workshop and he worked for Mr. Morris, delivering goods.

ER: They did furniture removals?

DY: Everything, funerals, the lot and Stan, being a 6ft. 2 ins. man if they ever had anyone die who was round about that they used to get Stan to go down the cellars and lay in the coffin to see what it was like for size.

ER: That’s a bit morbid!

DY: His father was 6ft 2ins. as well.

ER: And as you say, you were both local people.

JR: When you moved in here what was it like outside?

DY: I don’t think it’s altered a scrap except there’s all garages at the bottom of people’s gardens. Up until about 10 years ago a lot of them had gardens right down to the road and my Uncle Fred who lived in no, 84 over there, with my aunt and 3 boys, he was a very keen gardener, he used to dig all his potatoes up and make a big clamp, an old fashioned clamp with straw, put all his potatoes in there, cover it all up and go down and dig so many, every other week.

ER: People did that, because they’d grow enough to last the winter. People always had these privet hedges, didn’t they, that’s all what council homes had, privet hedges. As you say, it hasn’t changed visually, has it.

DY: I’m right on the end, you see, mind you, they come up this road as though they are on a race course.

JR: What about Stanstead Road itself, was that a lot narrower and darker?

DY: Oh, yes, it was a good bit darker because there used to be a laundry at the bottom on the corner as you turn up into Foxholes Avenue and my Aunt Alice, she lived in, there’s about 4 cottages I think built onto the laundry.

ER: What was the name of the laundry?

DY: Reliance. And the last of it we had when it was a laundry, they used to hang the blankets on the top floor and we could see the blankets hanging like on lines and one evening it caught fire.

JR: So they hung the washing inside?

DY: The top floor was always used as a drying room.

ER: They had all these wires running along and they were screwed into the rafters, we had a workshop down St. Andrew St and that had been a laundry and the wires were still there, about that far apart and they ran the whole length of the building. You imagine the steam and the dampness.

DY: It caught fire and that went up one evening. We were still here and we went and had a look

JR: When you moved in it must have been 1940, did you know anything about target practice on top of Gallows Hill?

DY: Not during the war. There were just fields from the farm – Billy Cooper and then his son moved to the one up by the side of the cemetery.

ER: Windy Ridge, where old Wynter farmed.

JR: He came after Wynter?. Tell us a bit about Billy Cooper.

DY: Billy Cooper was a farmer that lived across here. He used to ride in a horse and trap and go down to the town in Hertford and he’d get as drunk as old Coe and that little horse of his brought him up the hill and along to his farm, although he was so drunk he wasn’t driving but the horse knew his way and you could hear him going up, he’d be singing at the top of his voice.

JR: And that was Foxholes Farm, was it?

DY: I don’t know what it was called. The entrance to it, the back entrance, where you put the horse and cart in was in one place, but the front entrance was along London road.

ER: Where you go down the hill into the dip and there’s Jenningsbury on the right.

JR: It is Foxholes now.

DY: Could be, but we used to let Anne and some children go with her because there was nothing up there. They weren’t allowed to go near the main road so ewe told them they could go picking blackberries providing they stayed in the fields where the blackberries were and the bag was made of very fine oil cloth and put her in a bottle of water, and something to put the blackberries in, or a jam jar and she’d be gone for the day. She’d be very hungry, and the one or two sandwiches I made for her had gone.

ER: That was during war time?

DY: Well, she wasn’t allowed to go too far in wartime because once, many years ago when I lived in Fanshawe St., they, what did they call them then? They got into a house at the top of Port Hill right on the corner, the home was…..Sinn Fein…..yes, they were there and my aunt that lived up here she used to – because my brother who was a naughty little baby, he cried all night and slept all day – I used to walk up here and from Bengeo come through Hartham and up here to take him walks in his pram. And then I’d start to come home about half pas 8 but my father always used to come and meet me, he used to come in that entrance on Port Hill, walk through Hartham and up to where the old fire station was and he had to give a password to get by because they wouldn’t let me go through on my own and he’d give the password and he’d come through, fetch me from here and go back, give the password again and when he got back, because of Sinn Fein up at Bengeo Port Hill.

ER: Never heard of that before. What year would that have been, roughly?

DY: My brother was born when I was 11.

JR: Early ‘twenties.

DY: After World War One because my father was in the Boer War and the first war and he went into the Territorials because he should never have been a married man, my father, he liked soldiering far better. He was Sir Charles Longmore’s batman.

ER: Was he? Goodness gracious!

JR: What was your maiden name?

DY: Thrussell

JR: Right, if we see that name, then…..

ER: There are quite a few Thussells about even now.

DY: Yes, because my brother was born 11 years after me and he married and lived at Horns Mill, his wife and he had 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls and one of them did live at Sele Farm, he wouldn’t remember, my grandfather was a Thussell and lived in no, 13 Fanshawe St and we lived at no, 7 and as a girl if 12 years of age used to take him every Sunday afternoon – he was a deaf as a post – to his sister in Cole Green.

So what we used to do, go down Nelson St, get on the railway, we had to get the other side of the river because there was no Beane Rd then, just fields, and take him as far as Hertingfordbury along the railway [no trains on Sundays] embankment and then get down onto the road and walk from there to Cole Green, and I had to keep pulling him out of the road, he wouldn’t hear a cart coming, because there weren’t many cars in those days.

ER: That was quite a walk from Hertingfordbury Station up to the Cole Green road.

DY: Yes, and don’t forget, from Bengeo and I was only 12 years old and I used to lead him there every Sunday afternoon because Mrs. Adams who lived down Cole Green was his sister. It was very beautiful at night because the railway track was absolutely alive with glow-worms and I’d never seen anything so pretty and beautiful, all lit up with tiny wee lights.

ER: That would be in the ’twenties. You can remember them building Beane road then?

DY: Oh, yes, it was the only way we could get to North road unless we went right down the town.

ER: I suppose people had been trying to get a road across there.

DY: they’d been trying for years because they came down from Christ Church, along {ort Vale, before Christ Church was pulled down, and along by the Millstream – that was the furthest it went – Mole wood Road went straight to Molewood Mill, that was the only way you could get out of Port Vale, go right along and come out opposite Goldings.

ER: Do you think it was because they were going to build the railway station?

JR: I think it was all planned a long time before the first world war then the was put an end to their plans. They couldn’t get it opened until afterwards.

DY: Yes, that’s what it seems like to me. Talking about the first world war, I remember standing on my mother’s back door step in Fanshawe St looking up and watching the Zeppelin on fire.

JR: That was the Cuffley one, was it?

DY: Yes.

JR: You don’t have any recollection of the one at Bull Plain, you would only have been about 4, I think – the Conservative Club in Bull Plain?

DY: There was one in the last war dropped on Bull Plain, at the back of Creaseys’ warehouses and maltings – now there’s another entrance to it along Maidenhead St.

ER: Down Dolphin Yard?

DY: Right next to the “Eternity” Home

JR: To get back to this area, did you ever go for walks across to the farm – where was the back entrance where Mr. Cooper…

DY: It was somewhere up the very top there. I think the people who bought that beautiful big house at the top had that all filled so that after Billy Cooper’s days you had to go up London road to get to the main entrance.

JR: So where that house is, is approximately where he used to go in?

DY: Somewhere there, because you can go down a little wee lane, as you’re going into Hertford Heath and you come to another house down there and the man used to be a Co-op milkman who lived down, there, can’t remember his name.

ER: Does he still live there?

DY: No, I don’t know where he lives now, but wait a minutes, the last time I went to a rotary…..

ER: Chappell, Frank Chappell!

DY: Frank Chappell!

ER: Saw him yesterday.

DY: Did you really….

ER: He still drives his car and I was at a lunch and he was there with Albert Mead, and they’re both,, Albert Mead is 93/4 and Frank Chappell must be 90.

DY: At one time he moved right at the top of Fanshawe Street and then they moved to this house up here when they bought the shop.

ER: He bought Webbs’ toyshop.

DY: Down on Bull Plain.

JR: I had no idea he lived n that foxholes bit though.

ER: He lives up the top where the roundabout is.

JR: He does now, are we talking about Foxholes now? (no) he lives at Rush Green now.

DY: That little lane that goes off the road where you’re going up to Hertford Heath, only a couple of houses down there. There’s a beautiful house at the top there, on of the McMullens had it built as a ….. what did they call those houses that the widow moved into?

JR: Dower house.

DY: Dower house. Because my husband went up there to hang some curtains for her in this house and she said ‘oh, hello, Yandall’, he said, ‘yes madam’. She said ‘I want some curtains hung and I want them done well or you will not get a bottle of beer’, and it was such a big thing to offer him a bottle of beer instead of a tip. And she came in to view the curtains after he’d done them and ‘yes, Yandall you’ve done a very nice job of them, I’m pleased with them, 2 bottles of beer!’

JR: If you wanted to get to that house now, how would you get to it?

DY: Well, I think the last people that had it had the old dower house pulled down and built a new house on it. You’d go straight up this hill and follow it through to a bit roundabout. There’s a house on the corner and there’s a little lane at the side of it, that’s where the dower house was.

JR: Is it quite near to where Frank Chappell lives?

ER: Frank Chappell’s house is thataway and the dower house lane went thataway. That roundabout has confused a lot of people like me.

JR: Yes, that dual carriageway that leads from Balls Park to the A10 wasn’t there and everyone gets confused.

ER: When we go home I’ll take you home that way.

JR: Yes, thank you, that would be useful. What about pits., there were plenty of pits here?

DY: These houses were built on gravel pits and when they ran out of sand and gravel they filled them in with rubbish. They used to have to wait so many years to let that rubbish sink before they could build on it.

ER: Did the Corporation dump rubbish?

DY: I think they must have done.

ER: I think they used to at Foxholes Farm, going in from that road to Hertford Heath (yes).

DY: We used to go up there of an evening, Stan and I, and when it was ready for potatoes to come through the ground, the rubbish, we used to take a paper bag and pull up the roots and we’d get a couple of days of new potatoes.

JR: And they were just growing in the rubbish? (Yes). Do you remember anything about Kingsmead School?

DY: Yes, that was over there where the Police Station is now and that was the old Workhouse and then they turned it into a school ad finally pulled quite a bit of it down. The original clock that was in that place is now in All Saints Church.

JR: Yes, Victoria Tower, they call it. But when you looked at the school, was one part of it, that was either separated from the rest, right on the corner, or was it all one building?

DY: One very big building, but there was a little.., you might say it was built on as a gardeners bothy and they pulled that down many years ago.

JR: How big was that?

DY: Perhaps as big as this one room.

ER: That was right down at the bottom.

DY: At the bottom, because it came to a point where the fork roads [converge] one to Ware and one to Gallows Hill.

ER: Then they had this big garden.

DY: Six weeks ago I had a lovely bag of apples given to me and I said to the person what lovely cooking apples. She said, yes, what are you going to do? I said put them in a pie. And she said., you know that tree over in the police grounds, I said you never went in there scrumping? She said yes! I dressed in all dark clothes and went over there at night. I said you’ve got more nerve than I have!

ER: They’ve got electric gates there.

JR: How did she get in?

DY: Hole in the hedge down there.

JR: So would that [tree] have been a remnant of the school?

DY: Of the workhouse.

ER: Were they a little bit backward in their learning?

DY: Possibly.

ER: I think some of the ladies, girls, who worked in the needlework and the laundry there I think they were a little bit backward as well. Mrs. Tookey was the matron there, Mr. Tookey was the headmaster.

DY: Could be, I’m not actually sure on that.

ER: You said you knew some of the people who worked in Kingsmead.

DY: Never talked to them, except one family who went away to a seaside resort, a man and his wife.

ER: There was quite a number of staff in the workhouse and the school.

JR: Did they live on the premises, the teachers?

DY: I don’t know whether they used to come in the morning and go home at night.

ER: It was a very foreboding building.

DY: Terrible, but it was the workhouse.

JR: Did your parents talk about it as the workhouse, ever?

DY: Oh, my parents did, yes.

JR: What did they say?

DY: Not an awful lot. Anybody who hadn’t got anywhere to live, they’d put them in the workhouse.

JR: I’ve been looking at the Census Returns for the workhouse, I’ve only got up to 1871 at the moment but everybody in there seems to be either an orphan or an unmarried mother or elderly.

DY: That’s right, that does go back quite a lot of years.

JR: And it was something your parents’ generation feared?

DY: I think a lot of people feared they might be taken to the workhouse.

ER: Like people who ended up in Western House, years ago.

JR: That took over as the district workhouse.

ER: It was a fear that you’d come down in life. I think Western House is now a retirement home.

DY: Yes, that’s for anyone who can’t look after themselves and they’re too much for their children to look after.

ER: You’re 93 and you’re independent!

DY: We’ve been so well looked after in comparison to those people. They didn’t have a doctor to call, you had to pay for the doctor in those days. They never even sent a bill if they came to see you, they’d hold out their hand for the money.

ER: Half a crown. But you must have looked after yourself, as well.

DY: Oh, yes, you have to live a fairly decent life.

ER: Your husband went to the McMullen house, had to cycle all the way from Morrises and they’d give him a bottle of been in gratitude – things were a lot different, and he was a skilled tradesman, they weren’t paid a lot of money and they had to be more careful with it.

[Conversation about today’s winter fuel allowance for the elderly].

DY: I’ve been out wooding many a time with a friend and my brother might have come. We used to get 2 logs and tie them and pull them along like a toboggan, put an old rug on it.

JR: Where did you go for the wood? Molewood?

DY: We used to go to Molewood.

JR: Just pick up bit of wood from the ground?

DY: Oh, yes, because those houses weren‘t there then and I, being a girl amongst a load of boys, they used to leave me getting the bonfire going, they used to go across the fields and Mr. Clark of Bengeo had got a field across there back of the allotments at Bengeo before all the houses….

ER: Where I live!

DY: They used to go there and pull up potatoes and bring them back and I was left baking the potatoes.

JR: So your early memories are all of that area?

[The talk returns to the trip on Sundays to Cole Green – there is much confused overtalking but it seems that Mrs. Adams lived in an estate house, she had a cesspit which Doris thought at first was a pond, and which was dug out every 2/3/ weeks and she had a pump in the kitchen by the sink, not a tap.]

JR: She had a well there, did she?

DY: Must have. I didn’t ask where the well was I was too afraid of falling in the cesspit. And then she’d got a toilet at the side outside of the house and there were 2 big ones and 2 little ones. I’d never seen a row of four toilets before. Very, very old.

JR: Was it one of those houses with very prominent gables, pointed roofs?

ER: Some were houses for the old Panshanger Estate with yellow brick.

DY: That’s right, yes

ER: And the red brick, they were the Salisbury houses.

DY: I’m trying to think back who lived in Panshanger House in those days.

ER: In the 1920s it must have been the Desboroughs.

DY: The Desboroughs! There’s 2 houses this side of the green [Cole Green] and another 2 the other side of the green and down in that corner were the 2 big iron gates with the balls on top.

JR: They’re still there.

ER: We were at a meeting last night and the lady was talking all about the gardens.

DY: Yes, did you see that one about Lady Anne Grimshawe -she always said if there was a God, 7 trees would grow out of her tomb’

ER: Oh, at Tewin.

DY: She did, and of course they did grow.

JR: I wonder whether someone said she said it, afterwards!

ER: That was always a well-known thing.

JR: I’ve seen the tomb. They are growing out of the tomb. I think we are getting somewhere now, a feeling for the area.

ER: It’s trying to find people who can recollect the area. When you came here, this part was all built.

DY: That row of houses down there on Stanstead road were built by Botsfords and these were built by a north country firm who came down, that’s why we’ve got a lot of north country people living in Hertford.

ER: Botsford, Vale & Wightman.

JR: Before we finish, did you remember anything about the Isolation Hospital?

DY: Yes, they used to take cases of diphtheria, scarlet fever and all that straight up the hill and all their bedding was strapped on the back outside, regardless of the weather and they’d take them up there and wash them and bake them to kill the germs. And then after so many weeks they’d let the people out of the hospital.

ER: They would have died, wouldn’t they?

DY: Oh, yes, there wasn’t the medical science about in those days, was there.

JR: Antibiotics were the things that cured. I think you had to take your chance and a natural form of recovery, there were no real cures, if you could sustain yourself through it, I don’t think there was any particular medication.

DY: I don’t think there was. It was a last resort for some of them. Scarlet fever and diphtheria were the dreaded things in those days. They hadn’t got the means of water going underground as it does now, it was all running down the sides of the houses.

JR: When you say the bedding was strapped on the back, that means that the patient came in with all the contaminated bedding and then they cleaned it for them.

DY: Well, they called it baking.

JR: Did they take smallpox up there, there was still a bit of that around.

DY: I don’t remember.

JR: And then eventually, did it become an ordinary hospital?

DY: It was used as an ordinary hospital. They used to put elderly and young that needed convalescence. There were nurses up there because I used to go up there with my cousin from Bengeo, his wife, and we used to go in and see her Auntie Mabel up there.

ER: Some people did call it the Isolation Hospital.

DY: Yes and others the fever hospital.

JR: Yes, that was an old-fashioned term. Good place to have it, on a hill top.

DY: I used to know the man who came from the first house in Wellington St- the alleyway by the railway – my father had an allotment down there and Mr. Ray driver of the carriage that went to the houses and picked the children up.

ER: Bit like an ambulance.

JR: What about the stream that came down Foxholes Avenue?

DY: That was all filled in and it runs underground under the road and down by the side where the Police Station is now and across the main road and comes out by the allotments gate in Cromwell road.

JR: Yes, it’s all rainwater.

DY: Yes, because that row of houses that’s built now where the ditch was, it was talked about at the time that Mr. Lee from Ware had them built, he charged quite a lot for his property once he sold it, they were always called Lee’s houses until they filled the ditch in then they were called the houses over the ditch.

JR: We have learned a lot today.

DY: Have you?

JR: We have. There are quite e few things we hadn’t heard of before.

DY: That’s good, I didn’t think I was going to be much good to you.

ER: You’ve come out with little gems like taking them up to the Isolation Hospital.

JR: Yes, you could see that happening and people coming out to look.

ER: And going in and shutting the door quickly. That was a stigma, if it was known that a kid along the road had got the fever you all shut the doors.

JR: These carriages, were they horse-drawn?

DY: Yes, one horse, a very old carriage like you see going to Ascot; but more crude fashion.

ER: Enclosed.

DY: Yes, and always black.

JR: It sounds awful. Did they have a klaxon horn to tell people to get out of the way?

DY: No, I never heard it at all, it used to go straight up the hill and in the gates and the gates were closed and that was it.

JR: But people tended to get not too close to it I suppose. Drama, isn’t it.

ER: Oh, yes, like the old lepers.

JR: Did you know anyone who got infected?

DY: I never did. Nobody was allowed to visit.

JR: They had the right idea, it sounds harsh now.

DY: It was pathetic with the bedding, covered by tarpaulin.

JR: The people who worked there, whether they were immune, they were putting themselves at risk.

DY: They lived in.

JR: This is why you got this terrible smell of carbolic and disinfectant, they were trying to…

ER: Keep the place as clean as they could..

[The tape finishes with conversation about Ann-Marie Parker and father, Edward – see their interviews].

In addition this extract from the Herts. Mercury was discovered, [edited]:

June 1961.

Mr. S. Yandall, 13 Spinney St. Upholsterer for 30 years and with father and grandfather before him, the family connection with beds and bedding totals over 100 years. Mr. Yandall started with WJ Morris & Son and his father and grandfather remembered straw palliasses used in Victorian days. In fact men from the Beds Regt. Serving in Egypt slept on them. On top of the palliasses were put feather mattresses, and the “well to do” had hair mattresses, and the most expensive hair and white wool. 500 mattresses a year were supplied to Haileybury and Imperial Services College. The best hair from the tail or the mane of a horse was curled into rope and steamed, then teased out again. Wool mattresses: old clothing teased out, and white wool mattresses made of pure lambs’ wool. Mr. Yandall now works for Enfield Highway Co-op. He still gets requests for older type bedding and hair mattresses are often preferred to springs.