Ref NoWIN/020
CollectionWinstanley Oral History Collection
TitleMrs. P. R. Bonwick and Mrs. W. Timothy interviewed by Michael Winstanley
Name of creatorWinstanley, Michael
Date08/01/1975
Duration2 hr. 58 min. 21 sec.
Extent1 sound tape reel
2 audio file Waveform Audio
DescriptionMrs Bonwick, born 1900, and Mrs Timothy, born 1897, maiden name Horton (sisters), interviewed in Rochester. Their father was a chalk quarry worker, and their mother did various jobs including: washing and stone picking. Both Bonwick and Timothy first worked as domestic servants.

Track 1 [1:24:13] [Interview: 8th January 1975] [0:00:00] Introduction: interview of Mrs Pretoria Bonwick [PB] and her sister Mrs Winifred Timothy [WT] at their home the Dog and Partridge Wouldham, Rochester by Michael Winstanley of the University of Kent at Canterbury on 8th January 1975. PB born 1900 and WT 1897 in Wouldham. [0:00:37] Father working in Wouldham chalkpits, mother stone picking in fields. [0:01:57] Comments on children, picking stones in fields for roads, attending bible class, Band of Hope, Sunday School. Mention of Band of Hope outings to Sheerness from Strood Pier on Queen of the Medway, using Mr Norris’ horse and traps to get to Strood Pier. [0:05:12] Remarks on family life, mother taking in washing, father’s allotment. Mention of rent increase when water laid on. [0:06:22] Comments on local travel, monthly walks to Chatham or Maidstone, Mr Norris’ carrier runs, row boat ferry [across Medway] run by Mr and Mrs Stevens. Mention that Maidstone open top bus service stopped because of danger from trees. Mention of doctor from Halling using ferry. [0:08:22] Comments on local shops, Wouldham almost self-sufficient, bread and milk delivered. [0:09:17] Remark on PB’s and WT’s work at Wouldham Court Farm, stone picking, vegetable picking. Mention of foraging for coal on river [Medway], village coalmen Mr Norris and Mr Berger. [0:11:18] Description of manure barges from Chatham using wharf near Watermans Arms. Mention of children attending sports days at Brompton Barracks. [0:14:21] Description of village entertainment, puppet show, flower show, Penfold’s Fair. [0:15:51] Comments on sanitation, outside toilet, cesspits emptied onto fields. [0:17:59] Description of hop picking holidays at Mr Finn’s farm Boughton, Faversham, 6 weeks each summer, mainly women and children, Mr Finn hiring from Grays Essex and East Ham each year, shopping in Boughton, bread delivered to fields, Londoners popular locally, marrying locals, Salvation Army and Church Army visiting fields. Mention of Mr Sheppard, rector of Wouldham. [0:23:51] Comments on hardships, 1912 coal strike, schools providing breakfasts, soup kitchens. Mention of PB’s and WT’s family name Horton. Mention of maternity parish bag lending clothes. [0:26:45] Mention that mother from Burham [Kent]. [0:29:45] Description of Sunday School outing to Lord Barney’s estate in Cobham Woods in Trice of Rochester’s four in hand.[0:30:21] Remarks on medals for school attendance. Anecdote about WT attending school with mumps to get medal. [0:35:02] Comments on cement factory, only local industry, set up by Henry Peters, Peters providing Christmas magic lantern show. Mention of PB in service at Aylesford Farm Preston 1915 paying insurance stamp. Mention of rector providing concerts, Watermans and Foresters Arms providing outings. [0:38:20] Mention of electricity coming to Wouldham 1931. [0:38:48] Comments on local traders, many customers using slates, dying in debt. Mention of 2 butchers and 5 pubs in Wouldham, Medway Inn, Watermans and Foresters Arms, Rose and Crown, Dog and Partridge beer house closing in 1913. [0:40:37] Comments on ‘old’ and ‘new’ Wouldhamers, new rougher incomers from Rochester and Chatham c 1912, many navy and army wives. [0:42:03] Comments on acceptance of unmarried couples and illegitimate children in Wouldham. [0:43:53] Comments on women’s employment, only service or Sharp’s toffee factory, rector’s wife arranging service work for girls, PB in service London 1916, WT at West Malling 1914. Mention of Frank Sheppard, becoming rector 1904, his wife Lord Rothschild’s niece. Mention of St Andrew’s Folkestone providing health care. Mention of Kingsalters of Greylands owning first local car. [0:47:01] Comments on coronation 1911, Mrs Scannell shopkeeper giving children badges and mugs. [0:49:12] Comments on pauper’s funerals, parish coffins, funeral costs, insurance, stigma. Mention of Jesse Fairmain, Mr Brown, Mr Naylor, coffin makers in Halling. [0:51:05] Remarks on typhoid in village, isolating cases at Workmens Club, blaming river for death of rector’s children. Mention that rubbish and sewage from runaway [flush] toilets emptied into river. [0:52:47] Mention of wealthy villagers, rector, people at Greylands, Red House, Aveling and Porters, Henry Peters of Wouldham Hall. Remark on Burham Brickfield clerk at White House Perry Lane as having ‘airs’, self-made people being snobs. Mention of PB being in service with manager of Burham Brickfield in Eccles Road Aylesford. [0:58:23] Remarks on politics, importance of party colours, Liberal blue, Conservative pink/orange/purple at elections. Mention of Scannells as Liberals. [0:59:26] Comments on school holidays, polling days, Trafalgar day, Empire day, posh weddings. Story about annual ceremonies on Trafalgar Day at Wouldham Church grave of Purser Burke, in whose arms Nelson died. [1:06:18] Comments on managing food on a limited budget, importance of puddings. Mention of Mr Fever, Wouldham [1:11:46] Mention of father making mushroom ketchup, ointment from jack in the hedge [garlic mustard]. [1:15:53] Description of Royal Engineers bridging camp near Wouldham, beagling, building bridge to Halling, popularity of soldiers, providing employment, local girls marrying soldiers. Mention of Mrs Levitt and Alice, later mayoress of Chatham.

The audio for Track 2 is not available although a written transcriptis available.
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 PlaceWouldham, Kent
Access filenameWIN-020-001A-A.mp3
WIN-020-001B-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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