Ref NoWIN/004
CollectionWinstanley Oral History Collection
TitleMr W. Arter interviewed by Michael Winstanley
Name of creatorWinstanley, Michael
Date29/11/1974
Duration1 hr. 40 min. 30 sec.
Extent1 sound tape reel
2 audio file Waveform Audio
DescriptionMr. W. Arter, born 1898, interviewed in Chilham in Canterbury, Mr. Arter's father was a farm bailiff, went to Simon Langton school, Mr. Arter was in the civil service and later a free lance journalist
Track 1 [0:52:20] [0:00:00] Introduction: interview of Mr Wallace Arter [Mr A] of Gorwell, Old Wives Lees by Michael Winstanley of the University of Kent at Canterbury on 29th November 1974. Mr A was born in Bishopsbourne [Kent] in 1898. [0:00:29] Mr A’s family background, farming in Bishopsbourne. [0:00:50] Comments on ‘feudalism’ in Elham Valley; local squire owns the houses and most villagers work for him. [0:01:18] Remarks on the arrival of ‘professional’ classes; army and teachers. [0:02:46] Anecdote about Lancer riding off to Edward VII’s funeral parade at Canterbury Cathedral in May 1910. [0:03:38] Comments on professional incomers being linked to squire, but a different social class. [0:05:00] Story about retired labourer being evicted and going to workhouse in Bridge. [0:06:30] Detailed description of church going; rented pews, seating arrangements, labourers’ behaviour, women at home rather than in church. [0:08:48] Comment that labourers only paid for public holidays if they attended church. Mr A’s father as farm bailiff took register at church. [0:09:23] Remarks on church choir; no girls, mainly servants from two big houses in Bishopsbourne. [0:10:00] Comment that farm labourers worked 6 day week so staff of big houses and schoolboys made up cricket team on Saturdays. [0:10:35] Mention that almost no new houses built in Bishopsbourne since 1900. [0:11:00] Detailed description of village buildings; Sir John Prestige’s ‘Bruge’ house; school and Hooker’s rectory, both gone by 1974; railway station on Canterbury/Folkestone line; Joseph Conrad’s home, Oswoods; village hall, smithy and carpenter/wheelwright. [0:13:50] Comments that only church social activities were Sunday School and a choir supper; no trips away from village and no women’s activities. Anecdote about men’s sing songs in pub. [0:17:00] Comments on lack of travel outside village although railway and a weekly horse bus to Canterbury. Anecdote about boys roaming to next villages on Saturday and fighting. [0:18:20] Anecdote about rivalry between villages; waggoner races in liveried carts between Bourne and Byford estates. [0:19:45] Anecdote about fighting between Brookes brothers, sons of Jimmy Brookes the pigman. [0:21:00] Comments on gypsies; kept away from villages except for selling pegs, telling fortunes; not liked; horse dealing. [0:22:00] Remarks on poaching; poaching farm workers lost jobs, but popular to add meat for family. [0:22:35] Description of system of keeping domestic pigs. [0:24:20] Detailed description of the village shop. [0:26:41] Mention of local bakers visiting from Bridge and Canterbury; Castle, Moss, Bailis of Broad Street, Canterbury. [0:27:08] Mention of Harry Bailis, prebendary Lichfield Cathedral. [0:27:50] Mention of visiting grocers from Canterbury; Theobalds of Mercery Lane, the German Schlanker. [0:28:45] Comments on anti-German feeling in Canterbury during World War I; renaming Hanover Place Roper Road. [0:29:46] Description of local traders from Canterbury and Bridge visiting Bishopsbourne; types of bread and bakehouses; Goodman of Wincheap selling paraffin, turpentine and hardware; old lady in Bishopsbourne making butter and selling milk and paraffin; [Mrs]Olive selling smoked fish; Clements selling fresh fish. [0:31:05] Comments on local lighting: gas in Bridge, paraffin in Bishopsbourne, electricity at Oswoods. [0:31:38] Mention of old lady in Bishopsbourne making butter and selling milk and paraffin. [0:35:55] Comments on smell of Canterbury c 1910; tannery, jam factories, sweet factory. [0:37:59] Mention of Nelson Kent, stables foreman for Canterbury Corporation. [0:39:41] Description of Bourne House home farm and Mr A’s father work as farm bailiff; Mr A’s father’s love of steam power and dislike of motors; early motors at Jotton Place and used by doctor in Bridge pre 1910. [0:48:12] Remarks on reliance on horses in farming, use of artificial fertilisers. [0:50:00] Comments on the steward’s behaviour and social status.
Track 2 [0:48:10] [0:00:00] Introduction: second interview of Mr Arter by Michael Winstanley at Old Wives Lees on 21st February 1975. [0:00:14] Description of role of women in farming; their work and pay; tied cottages and fear of eviction to workhouse; comparative wages; Sunday work taboo; harvest money. [0:07:50] Comments on hop picking; women’s work, no Londoners in Bishopsbourne. [0:08:40] Remarks on fruit picking; paid by piece work, breeding smaller fruit trees. [0:10:45] Remarks on farm workers’ children; expected to help, rarely paid, flint picking. [0:12:49] Anecdote about taboo work for women - riding horses to the forge. [0:13:50] Remarks on trade unions in agricultural work. [0:14:24] Story about defeat of first agricultural strike in Kent. [0:15:30] Mention of Freddie Burns attending strike meeting. [0:16:36] Comments on the mobility of farm labourers; annual contracts ending Michaelmas Day; hiring fairs; catchphrase ‘pork again or how’. [0:21:20] Remark on low unemployment on farms but long cycles to work. [0:22:59] Story on coping with low wages; self-sufficiency, wives’ thriftiness. [0:25:13] Anecdote about super dish ‘single sue’. [0:26:48] Comments on drinking; pubs open 24 hours, farmers providing beer, lack of tea/coffee in 1840s, use of Camp coffee. [0:28:36] Detailed description of harvest suppers on larger farms. [0:30:50] Remarks on gifts from farmers to workers. [0:31:36] Anecdotes about church; parsons’ raised social status, public rebukes in church. [0:34:45] Brief descriptions of professional incomers. [0:36:40] Mention of Jocelyn Brook, orchid expert. [0:37:00] Remarks on farm cottages; owned by estate, rented by professional incomers, dereliction. [0:39:40] Comments on social status groups in village. [0:43:29] Comments on railway use; bad behaviour of school children, details of freight. [0:46:04] Detailed description of carrier’s van service to Canterbury; carrier Willis getting individual’s shopping, passenger service.
NotesTranscript exists for this interview.
PhysicalDescription1 sound tape reel : analogue, 5 inch reel, 9,5 cm/sec, 2 track, mono
Waveform Audio
Related OrganisationUniversity of Kent
Related PlaceBishopsbourne, Kent
Canterbury, Kent
Access filenameWIN-004-001A-A.mp3
WIN-004-001B-A.mp3
CategoryAudio recordings
Access conditionsAvailable for consultation at the University of Kent's Special Collections & Archives reading room, Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NU. Access is available via digital listening copies. The University of Kent acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors in this recording and the rights of those not identified.
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