Oral history interview with Eileen Summers, 4 November 2009
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
Level: Series
Oral History Project
Scope and Content:
Interview with Eileen Summers about her time spent in Clavering and Rickling Green during the Second World War.

[00:00:] Her birth; her parents; her mother's move to England from Holland in the First World War; how her parents met in Ponders End and their courtship; her father's family in Arkesden; evacuation with her mother to Clavering in 1939, during the Second World War.
[05:05:] Move to stay with elderly couple; return to Ponders End; then return to Clavering with her extended family after her house was bombed; her father's work in munitions factory; her father's assistance with evacuating Winston Churchill's lion from London Zoo; visits from her father.
[09:15:] Staying with family at The Courts, Rickling Green from 1941; mother's refusal to translate for German prisoners of war; her experiences at The Courts.
[13:10:] Suffering from chillblains during cold winter; clothes made by her mother; arrival of American servicemen to the area; trips to Langley Lake and Saffron Walden; entertainment put on for American servicemen at Clavering village hall; story about driving Jeep into pond.
[17:50:] German prisoners of war working on farm; Italian prisoners of war; walking and cycling during the Second World War; appreciating seasons in countryside; their accommodation at The Courts; loss of possessions left in London when houses bombed.
[21:45:] Landmine that hit their house at Ponders End; early years of school; school at Pelham Road, Clavering; making cushions at school; story about hurting leg; story about Scripture lesson.
[26:40:] Childhood games with other evacuated and local children; positive reception from local people; teachers at her school; watching farmwork; story about putting on concert in village hall.
[32:10:] Return to London near the end of the War; subjects taught at school; play times; summer holidays; pea-picking.
[37:45:] Mother's friends in Clavering; socialising in public spaces; contrast with visiting each other's homes in London.
[41:15:] More memories of visiting Saffron Walden and Bishop's Stortford; going to Saffron Walden for medical treatment; story about father almost buying Swan pub; move to another area of Enfield on return to London; visiting Clavering at weekends in her childhood and adulthood.
[46:15:] Plumbing facilities at Court Cottage; keeping in touch with friends; return to London; her uncle and aunt who stayed in Clavering; differing experiences of her other cousins.
Dates of Creation:
4 November 2009
52 minutes 17 seconds
Creator Name:
Jane Laing
Admin History:
Eileen Margaret Summers was born Eileen Clark in 1932 in Ponders End, Enfield, Middlesex. Her mother was Dutch and moved to Ponders End during the First World War, where she met Eileen's father. Her father worked in a munitions factory. During the Second World War, Eileen and her mother went to Clavering to escape the bombing.

Eileen married and had two sons. She continued to visit Clavering throughout her adulthood.
Archivist Note:
SJM 28 September 2017
Custodial History:
Numbered CLHG No. 34 by creator
Contact prior to use by profit-making companies for research; for publications other than by ERO; and for broadcasting. Interviewee assigned copyright to CLHG.
Physical Characteristics:
MP3 files created from digital audio CD
Existence of Copies:
Clavering Landscape History Group
Not Available:
Essex Sound and Video Archive: use digital copy available on Soundcloud

Key terms

TypeKey termsDescription
Subjects Evacuation Oral history interview with Eileen Summers, 4 November 2009
Personal Names Mrs
Eileen Margaret Clark
Oral history interview with Eileen Summers, 4 November 2009
Place Names Clavering Oral history interview with Eileen Summers, 4 November 2009
Place Names Rickling Green Oral history interview with Eileen Summers, 4 November 2009
Document Types Sound recording Oral history interview with Eileen Summers, 4 November 2009