Title:
Oral history interview with Maureen Chalk, 26 April 2004
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
EPPING FOREST DISTRICT COUNCIL
Level: Sub-Fonds
Epping Forest District Museum
Level: Series
Changing Perceptions oral history project
Scope and Content:
Interview with Maureen Chalk about her life on the Debden and Hillyfields Estates, Loughton.

[00:00:] Her early life and family history: birth in Dagenham in 1935; move to Bethnal Green in c. 1939; brief periods of evacuation during the Second World War; father's work for Oxford House, Bethnal Green; mother's efforts to move to Debden Estate for her father's health; move to Debden Estate in 1950; contrast with living in London; previous experiences of the countryside hop-picking in Kent.
[04:00:] Description of Debden Estate as it was in the 1950s; modern facilities in new house in Debden; father's death; attending Aldersbrook School at Wanstead for final few weeks of schooling before leaving at 16.
[07:30:] Accommodation in rooms in Bethnal Green; facilities in the rooms; move to modern ground floor flat in Bethnal Green; period of evacuation near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk; father's tie to London; leaving school friends when the family moved to Debden.
[12:30:] Family's poverty; missing parts of life in London, including city parks; lack of facilities in Debden when they first moved there.
[17:20:] Discussion about where on Debden Estate they lived; boundaries between Loughton and Debden; development of estate; shops in Debden when they arrived; bus service to Loughton; buying goods with rations [loud noise of rustling papers].
[22:25:] Attitudes of residents in Loughton against newcomers to Debden; gradual blurring of boundaries; marrying Henry Chalk from Loughton and move there; incomers from London moving together; memories of seeing bomb sites in Bethnal Green.
[27:05:] Father keeping chickens; open space near their house; playing in field near their house; payment of rent; maintenance of property by council; helping with decorating.
[31:00:] Leaving school; move to flat on Hillyfields Estate after her marriage; problems in finding housing for her generation, especially for families with children; looking after her niece; working in the Co-op after leaving school; disappointment at not being able to get office work.
[34:35:] Distinction between Hillyfields and Debden; lack of social activities and opportunities in the 1950s; getting to know neighbours; community spirit; contrast with modern day.
[38:25:] Description of accommodation in flat at Hillyfields; modern facilities; small garden patch; use of hire purchase to furnish flat.
[43:25:] Rent for Hillyfields flat; her children and looking after her niece; improved standard of living in modern day; improved facilities in the area.
[47:55:] Story of meeting her future husband; courting; attending annual fair by Loughton station; discussion about modern-day fairs.
[51:10:] Mother attending Mothers' Union; visiting mother with her children as an adult; pubs on Debden Estate; men gardening instead of going to pubs.
[55:00:] Beneficial impact of Bank of England printing works at Debden; her work there as bank note examiner; her husband's work in printing section; facilities at the plant including free mid-day meals, social facilities, medical facilities; final memories of Debden.
Dates of Creation:
26 April 2004
Extent:
63 minutes
Creator Name:
Jenny Coumbe
Admin History:
Maureen Chalk was born in Dagenham in January 1935. Her parents were from Bethnal Green but moved to Dagenham shortly before her birth. The family moved back to Bethnal Green in c. 1939. She had one older sister, one younger brother, and two younger sisters. The family moved to Debden Estate, Loughton in 1950. Her father died of cancer shortly afterwards. She left school at 16 and worked at the Co-op before her marriage.

Maureen married Henry Chalk from Loughton and moved there, then to Hillyfields Estate. They had two children. When her children grew older, she worked at the Bank of England printing works in Debden, from c. 1960 to c. 1985.
Archivist Note:
SJM 06/10/2017
Custodial History:
Original reference number CP/EFDM/2004/046
Acquisition Source:
Received from Epping Forest District Museum
Copyright:
Interviewee transferred her copyright to Epping Forest District Museum. Contact the Museum prior to use for public performance by the public, for non-Essex Record Office publications, for broadcasting on the radio or television, or for broadcasting on non-Essex Record Office website.
Physical Characteristics:
MP3 file created from CD
Originals Location:
Epping Forest District Museum
Not Available:
Essex Sound and Video Archive: use digital copy available on Soundcloud

Key terms

TypeKey termsDescription
Subjects Council housing Oral history interview with Maureen Chalk, 26 April 2004
Subjects Housing Oral history interview with Maureen Chalk, 26 April 2004
Subjects Housing Oral history interview with Maureen Chalk, 26 April 2004
Personal Names Mrs
Maureen
Chalk
Oral history interview with Maureen Chalk, 26 April 2004
Place Names London, Bethnal Green Oral history interview with Maureen Chalk, 26 April 2004 Former resident
Place Names Loughton, Debden Oral history interview with Maureen Chalk, 26 April 2004 Early resident on Debden Estate
Place Names Hillyfields
Loughton
Oral history interview with Maureen Chalk, 26 April 2004
Document Types Sound recording Oral history interview with Maureen Chalk, 26 April 2004
Institutions Bank of England Oral history interview with Maureen Chalk, 26 April 2004 Former employee