Ref NoWIN/012
CollectionWinstanley Oral History Collection
TitleMrs. Kathleen. A. Baker interviewed by Michael Winstanley
Name of creatorWinstanley, Michael
Date07/10/1974
Duration3 hr. 10 min. 56 sec.
Extent2 sound tape reels
2 audio file Waveform Audio
DescriptionMrs. Kathleen. A. Baker, maiden name Rennells, born 1904, interviewed in Canterbury by Michael Winstanley. Mrs. Baker's father was a coalman (and other jobs), and Baker belonged to a family of 13 (of which she was the youngest).
Track 1 [1:35:11] [First interview: 23rd September 1974] [0:00:00] Introduction: interview of Mrs Kathleen Baker [Mrs B] at her home 73 Broad Street, Canterbury, Kent by Michael Winstanley of the University of Kent at Canterbury on 23rd September 1974. [0:00:28] Mrs B born in St Radigunds [Canterbury] 1904, youngest of 13 children. Father a coalman with Pilch Collard, now Corralls, North Lane. [0:01:30] Mention of Burniston’s coal firm in North Lane. [0:02:08] Mention of Mrs B’s brother, Albert working for Horton’s hardware shop, the Little Dustpan, opposite Kings School gates. [0:03:48] Mention of buying fish from Whitstable from barrow and meat from Young’s in Palace Street. [0:04:43] Comments on workmen’s pilfering, that police aware but accepting as ‘perks’. [0:05:47] Comments on father’s background, printer’s apprentice from Somerset, joined 14th Kings Hussars as bare-back rough rider breaking horses, dying at 88 in 1940. [0:07:19] Mention that eldest brother Bill captured at Mons, died Wurttemburg prison camp. [0:08:56] Comment that Mrs B’s mother had life insurance on all her children. [0:09:58] Description of mother’s background, born in Canterbury, working as charwoman and at Green’s rag mill before marriage. [0:11:47] Comments on siblings; only sister, Liz born 1894, died 1973; Bill living in Frimley near Aldershot; Frank working for Holman’s, commissioned in World War I; Bob private 2nd South Lancs in India 1906-1918, corporal machine gun corps France 1918; Charlie working in tan yard, living Abbots Place; Tom born 1902; Albert born c 1891. [0:15:47] Description of accommodation in Mrs B’s childhood home, 23 St Radigund’s Street. [0:17:00] Mention of Mazawattee tea giving away photos of Queen Victoria. [0:18:42] Description of clothes washing, using kitchen copper, Carbosil soda, red Lifebuoy and yellow Sunlight soap. Comments on using calico for sheets, tablecloths, curtains. [0:22:12] Remarks on gas lighting throughout house and in street. [0:24:14] Comments on sanitary arrangements, chamber pots in bedrooms, outside non-flush toilet, water in kitchen only, baths in kitchen (boys), front room (Mrs B), soap used as shampoo. [0:28:45] Description of buying food, potherbs (onion, carrot, turnip), potatoes sold by the ‘gallon’, loaf ‘overweights’, golden syrup and jam sold loose, skimmed milk bought at door, Nestle tinned milk. [0:33:56] Mention of Mrs B’s aunt, married to manager of Pilch Collard, living in Grayling House, Stour Street. [0:34:22] Mention of Edney’s, Palace Street, selling sasparilla. [0:35:23] Stories about father pilfering from Ash’s brewery, visiting Millers Arms, playing darts and cribbage. [0:38:32] Mention of Mrs B’s Huguenot paternal grandparents, grandfather’s surname Rennell, grandmother’s Manough. [0:40:41] Comments on entertainment, mention of Theatre Royal on site of LeFevre’s, annual Sunday School outing to Whitstable. [0:43:43] Comment that women frowned on in pubs but drinking indoors acceptable. [0:47:27] Comments on debt, family having ‘book’ at shops, using pawnbrokers, visiting pawnbrokers shameful. Mention of pawnbrokers Vandersteen in St Radigunds, Hart in Best Lane and Woods in Northgate. [0:51:05] Mention of landlord’s agents Amos and Dawton. [0:51:20] Mention of neighbours Mrs Wetherall, Mr Burton. [0:52:35] Remarks on milk and grocery tickets from St Gregory’s church. Mention of Mrs Price distributing church magazine. [0:54:00] Mention that baker in Knotts Lane cooked Sunday roasts too large for home ovens. [0:55:48] Comments on food sold at door, vegetables, muffin man. Mention of men collecting shellfish at Whitstable on Saturday evenings, oysters being too expensive. [0:57:51] Comments on hawkers in Knotts Lane, roughness of area, children’s wariness of tramps in lodgings houses in Knotts Lane and King Street. [1:04:18] Mention of St Radigunds neighbours Mrs Petts, Mrs Sutton, Mr Harlow, Mrs White, Post the pork butcher’s slaughterhouse, Mrs Dunk, Taylor’s fishmongers in Knotts Lane. [1:07:45] Remark that a lack of a front door indicated non-payment of rent. [1:08:14] Comments on rough areas of Canterbury, Golden Square and richer areas Old and New Dover Roads. [1:10:23] Mention of hop picking in London Road. [1:11:21] Anecdote about electoral ditty for Bennett-Goldney [Francis Bennett-Goldney, mayor 1906-11 and Independent unionist MP for Canterbury 1910-17]. [1:11:21] Mention of owner of rag mill as Labour candidate. [1:13:33] Comments on politics, excitement of elections, mother in favour of suffragettes, suffragette visit to Westgate Towers. [1:15:56] Remarks on roughness of Northgate and fights outside Jolly Sailor. [1:18:39] Mention of Tommy Young, butcher. [1:19:09] Comments on clothing, women’s hats in church, church rummage sales, calico used for underwear, importance of Sunday best. [1:20:15] Mention of aunt, Mrs Christie [of Grayling House]. [1:24:47] Mention of Mrs B’s mother’s step sister, Sally Smith, whose son lived near Rising Sun in Sturry Road. [1:25:56] Mention of cows being driven down street from market to train. [1:26:26] Mention of slaughterhouses, Mill Lane for cows, Youngs in Turnagain Lane. [1:27:36] Mention of Jack Taylor, totter, and his wife. [1:31:17] Mention of carnivals, regattas at Herne Bay, Whitstable. [1:32:30] Mention of Mrs Kit Harvey and husband driving mail daily by horse and cart from Northgate post office to Folkestone.
Track 2 [1:35:45] [Continuation of first interview 23rd September 1974] [0:00:45] Mention of cavalry and infantry churches in Canterbury. [0:02:19] Mention of Mrs Cooper running orphanage, playing harmonium in street. [0:03:32] Description of charity, getting doctor’s tickets for Dr Wacher Burgate Street from clergyman, free treatment in infirmary in Nunnery Fields, unwed mothers having babies in infirmary, orphans brought up under poor law, wearing uniforms. [0:05:33] Mention of Councillor Stone, tailor in Palace Street, offering free legal advice to poor. [0:06:57] Mention of Deakins, tailors with shops in Guildhall and Sun Streets, Gaywoods, Gouldens in High Street. [0:15:02] Remarks on coal and grocery tickets via subscription to parish magazine. [0:15:37] Description of remedies for common complaints, reliance on chemist, horse oils for rheumatism, Owbridges for chest. Mention of Mr Lester, chemist. [0:19:98] Comments on annual school medical, prevalence of malnutrition, starvation during war due to rationing, apples and oranges as luxury for illness, lack of dentists, tooth loss. [0:25:12] Remarks on criminality, fiddling by Knotts Lane tinkers, drunks. [0:27:28] Comments that gypsies did not cause problems. [0:29:25] Remarks on police, wariness of local people. Mention of policeman Petts of St Radigunds Street. [0:31:23] Remarks on local pubs, saloon and public bars not mixing. Mention of Millers Arms, Dolphin in St Radigunds, Little Rose in the Borough, the Victoria. [0:34:46] Comments on soldiers, Canterbury as Buffs depot, Lancers, Dragoon guards passing through, soldiers considered rough. [0:36:41] Mention of the ‘Liverpool boys’, cyclists billeted with Mrs B Christmas 1914. [0:37:42] Detailed description of hop picking, the season, all women and children involved, special school holidays, tally system, ‘skirmishing’, beer prohibited in hop garden, Londoners only at Hubbles, fights between locals and Londoners. [0:50:43] Mention of Jesuits in St Stephens near Beverlie pub. [0:52:30] Description of Londoners’ living conditions. [0:53:35] Mention of Colthups at Lower Harbledown, Hubbles at Upper Harbledown. [0:54:06] Comments on Canterbury tradesmen selling tea, buns, sweets in hop gardens, shops open until 10 pm during hop picking. [0:58:17] Mention that Knotts Lane totters only men at hop picking. [0:59:21] Mention that policeman present at hop picking wage collection. [1:01:58] Comments on transport, bicycles rare except for trade bikes, first car driven by Count Zabrosky of Bridge. Mention that St Radigunds Street major route through Canterbury. [1:05:27] Mention of neighbour, Mr Austin, working for Pickfords removals. [1:05:52] Mention of Jim Baker, Mrs B’s father’s grandfather, scissor grinder of Northgate. [1:07:21] Remark on importance of umbrellas for hop picking. [1:09:06] Comments on Mrs B’s schooling at Broad Street girls school; infants mixed sex but boys then went to St Johns or St Pauls; Broad Street school selling pupils’ needlework. Mention of Miss Chinnery, teacher. Mention of Mrs B’s mother attending Sweeps Lane ragged school. Remarks on Mrs B’s mother keeping her sister out of school. Anecdotes about Mr Knight, school board man. [1:19:45] Comments on Canterbury public schools, pupils not allowed to mix, King’s School playing fields in St Stephens, pupils cycling to them via St Radigund’s. [1:21:49] Repeat of the end of track 1.
PhysicalDescription2 sound tape reels : analogue, 5 inch reel, 9,5 cm/sec, 2 track, mono
Waveform Audio
Related OrganisationUniversity of Kent
Related PlaceCanterbury, Kent
Access filenameWIN-012-001A-A.mp3
WIN-012-002A-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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