Ref NoWIN/006
CollectionWinstanley Oral History Collection
TitleMr. F. J. Atkins interviewed by Michael Winstanley
Name of creatorWinstanley, Michael
Date29/01/1976
Duration1 hr. 17 min. 23 sec.
Extent1 sound tape reel
1 audio file Waveform Audio
DescriptionMr. F. J. Atkins, born 1883, interviewed in Ramsgate, Mr. Atkins' father was a thatcher and died in 1901, his mother was an ex-maid. Atkins engaged in farm work of various sorts, and married in 1912.
Track 1 [1:17:23] [0:00:00] Introduction: interview of Mr F.J.Atkins [Mr A] of 172 Grange Road Ramsgate by Michael Winstanley of the University of Kent at Canterbury on 29th January 1976. Mr Frederick James Atkins born 1883 in Fords [Forge?] Lane, Sutton [near Dover]. Mr A’s father a thatcher. [0:00:46] Detailed description of cutting corn and building stacks, fire prevention. [0:08:03] Remarks on fodder stacks. [0:08:58] Remarks on observing Sunday as day of rest, including gardening, shunning transgressors. [0:10:10] Description of cooperation in rural communities; helping sick, exchanging vegetables, coordinating pig killing, paying doctor in kind. [0:13:47] Description of pig keeping. [0:15:38] Remarks on Mr A’s family; younger brothers Walt and Harry, death of father 26th July 1901, care of widowed mother, older brothers in army and navy 1901. [0:17:26] Mention that Mr A failed to enter police service due to competition from ex-soldiers after Boer War. [0:18:04] Mention of Mr A’s work at horse stud, Chequers, at Swingfield near Denton [c1901-1903]. [0:19:15] Mention of Mr A’s move to Abbots Land Farm, between Dover and Folkestone, owned by Constable. [0:20:30] Description of work and life with mother and younger brothers at Swingfield. [0:21:03] Mention of brother Harry joining 21st Lancers and dying in India. [0:21:11] Detailed description of foodstuffs and prices. [0:22:25] Detailed description of clothing prices. [0:23:10] Description of beer and tobacco prices. [0:24:23] Mention of the Swingfield District and Benefit Society. [0:27:17] Story of Philpott’s offer of farm bailiff post at St Bartholomew’s Farm in Sandwich to Mr A [c1906]. Mention of Philpott owning several farms near Manston. [0:29:45] Comments on World War I in Sandwich; horses taken off fields for army, camps near Sandwich. [0:32:45] Mention of Mr A’s marriage and move to Sharp the Dairymen in Folkestone. [0:34:10] Story about bad working practices at Sharps. [0:36:45] Mention of Sharp’s death and take over by Snape, Lesley and Cooper, cake merchants, of Walton Farm; Mr A manager of mill and cattle farm. [0:37:25] Comments on World War II; shelling, boss and workers all leaving, help from Mr A’s son Harry. [0:38:47] Mention that Mr A left school at 12. Anecdotes about first job, milk run to Deal. [0:40:17] Mention of Squire Poster of Ripple Vale and Tommy Wood. [0:41:12] Mention that Mr A joined his father as thatcher. [0:42:05] Detailed description of thatching work and wages. [0:43:55] Comments on Mr A’s father’s other work and income; sheep shearing, preparing thatch in winter, hedging. [0:46:53] Description of farming life; Kent ploughs, horse breeding. [0:47:00] Description of corrupt practices in horse selling. [0:52:00] Comments on ways to find work. [0:52:59] Detailed description of home beer making. [0:54:35] Mention of George Mence Smith, greengrocers of Folkestone. [0:55:35] Description of making whisky wine. [0:57:15] Comments on Langdon Abbey, owned by Squire Hampton, and farm near Sutton; livestock, staffing, sending livestock to Dover Harbour and Tuesday market at Ashford. [0:59:00] Remarks on unemployment and unions. [1:00:10] Description of school. [1:01:47] Story about farmers and gentry forcing school children to work for shoots, to go ‘rooking’, kowtowing to gentry. [1:03:50] Remarks on children learning farm work by example, formal education little use. [1:06:10] Remarks on women’s work; Mr A’s sisters, mother and wife all in service. [1:07:18] Comments on family budget, no credit, no debt. [1:08:53] Anecdote about farm accounts for Finn. [1:09:45] Mention of ‘4d for Lloyd George’ for the ‘National Health’. [1:10:50] Remarks on the effects of World War I in Sandwich; loss of able bodied men, land girls, introduction of tractor.
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 PlaceSutton, Kent
Sandwich, Kent
Access filenameWIN-006-001A-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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