Oral history: interview with Doris Watts and Hilda Jopson
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
Scope and Content:
Memories of two friends, Doris Watts (born 1910) and Hilda Jopson (born 1909), both of Danbury. Interviewed by Sue Cubbin, 26/2/1997.
DISC 1 OF 2 track 1) Mrs Watts - details of family, description of house, food - bread and milk delivered, father grew vegetables; Mrs Jopson - details of family, description of cottage; 2) fetching water and fire wood, lighting - oil lamps, one bus a week, knew everybody in the village, number of pupils at the school, school - headmaster; 3) misbehaviour of pupils, getting the cane, farms in Danbury, pea picking and blackberry picking; 4) Sunday School treat, visits to Southend, composer Armstrong-Gibbs living in Danbury, Hopping Jack Road so-called because of hares; 5) Christmas, Ascension Day, Empire Day, First World War - Zeppelins, birthdays; 6) Christmas, other family members in the village, The Common, milk deliveries, the 'camp ground'; 7) water works, quality of water; 8) went by horse and cart to East Hanningfield for cookery classes - collecting apples on the way, domestic service, household finances; 9) wealthy families, deference, Girls Friendly Society, concerts; 10) portable cinema - mother played the piano, Mrs Watts - how she met her husband, courtship and wedding, Mrs Jopson - how she met her husband; 11) husband and father-in-law built bungalow, wedding, description of home in 1930s, husband did not help with housework; 12) birth of children, being separated from husband during Second World War; 13) effect of Second World War on Danbury, evacuees, soldiers billeted in Danbury during First World War, Danbury Park became maternity home during Second World War; 14) air raids.
DISC 2 OF 2 track 1) rationing during Second World War - food and clothes; 2) tradesmen and shops, windmill, pubs; 3) fathers going to pub, person who was often drunk, home-made wine, names of houses, Gay Bowers Chapel, remedy for pleurisy; 4) doctors, including doctor's bills, childhood illnesses; 5) health insurance and pension, brother and cousin who were disabled - brother played cricket; 6) introduction of National Health Service, illness - talk about recent stay in hospital, changes to village - houses built on meadows; 7) neighbours; 8) church fellowship meetings, childhood freedom, washing machines, view that housework was harder for their mothers' generation; 9) fruit picking, in particular apple picking; 10) changes to village, difficulty of getting to Maldon by bus.

Dates of Creation:
26 February 1997
111 minutes
Creator Name:
Essex Sound Archive
Admin History:
One of a series of interviews conducted by volunteers on behalf of the Essex Sound Archive for an oral history project Continuity and Change in the Essex Countryside 1918-1950.

Key terms

TypeKey termsDescription
Document Types Sound recording Memories of Doris Watts and Hilda Jopson of Danbury, 1997