Oral History Interviews

 

 

Lord, ‘Max’ Egremont, Earl of Leconfield

Lord Egremont discusses the running of a great country estate, which he inherited at the early age of 24. He also talks about the history of his family and Petworth House and those who he has worked with in a career of 50 years.

00:00 Intro
00:08 Early Life
01:53 Schooling and University
03:36 Petworth House and Estate
08:00 Ebernoe Horn Fair
08:23 Family History
11:08, Hunting
13:28 Class Distinctions/ local dialect
15:58 Authorship
18:49 By-Pass Controversy
21:10 Looking to the Future

 

 

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

 

John and Bernie Hills

Brothers, John and Bernie Hills have live all their lives in Stedham. Here, with insight and humour they discuss the changes they have seen in the village from the Second Worls War to the present day.

00:00 Intro
00:05 Schooling
04:59 John’s Working Life
09:00 Bernie’s Working Life
11:17 Wartime Memories
21:10 Changing Leisure Activities
27:47 Shops and Businesses
33:00 Change in the Village and Countryside
37:10 Ghosts and Legends
38:45 The Angers and the Royal Oak
41:39 The Importance of Friendship

 

 

 

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

Christopher Passmore: Applesham Farm

Now aged 90, Christopher Passmore has seen many changes in South Downs farming and community over the decades. He still lives on the farm worked by his father and grandfather before him.

Interview 1: Christopher talks about the history of Applesham Farm before he was born.

 

 

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

Christopher Passmore Memories

Interview 2: Christopher talks about his own memories of the farm and neighbourhood from the 1930s to the present day.

00:00 Intro
00:13 Memories of the 1930s
05:13 South Downs Shepherds and sheep farming
16:36 Country Singers and Harvest Homes
18:52 Wartime Memories
30:50 Attack on Steyning Grammar School
35:27 Soldiers on the Downs
38:10 Changes in Farming
47:35 Christopher becomes Farm Foreman
50:45 First Combine Harvester/ Mechanisation
53:03 South Country Accents

 

 

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

Bob Philips

Bob Philips came to live in Shipley as a very young child – an evacuee from wartime London. In this interview he charts an eventful life in the village, including memories of writer and poet, Hilaire Belloc.

00:00 Intro
00:07 Moving to Shipley
03:26 School Days
06:45 Childhood Illness
08:00 Wartime Memories
15:58 Memories of Hilaire Belloc, Kingsland, and the Windmill
20:58 Changes in Farming
25:20 Royal Visit 1952
27:10 Scouting

 

 

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

Andrew Shaxson

Andrew has now retired from farming and has had a ‘second career’ in local government. In this interview he looks back on a varied life, that at has taken him from the South Downs to Australia. He has many anecdotes that highlight the changes to South Downs farming and living since the 1950s.

00:00 Intro
00:12 My Early Life
02:31 On the Cusp of Change
06:57 Alf and Carrie Anger & the Royal Oak at Hooksway
12:06 Working Life on the Farm
17:01 Modern Farming
22:27 Schooling
28:00 My life in Australia
30:11 Changes to the Downs and woodlands
36:50 Council & Community work

 

 

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

Christabel Barran

Wood House Farm near Stedham dates back to medieval times. Christabel tells us something of its recent history, including the fascinating relationship between her adpoted Great Aunt and the local gypsies. She also recalls her childhood days growing up in Madehurst.

00:00 Intro
00:11 Woodhouse Farm and Ruth Scrimgeour
01:26 Ruth Scrimgeour and Selsey
04:05 The Duchess of Bedford
04:45 Childhood at Madehurst
08:00 Madehurst in the War Years
11:19 Changes to village life and farming after 1945
20:30 The Silver Queen Buses
22:02 Folk dancing and singing
24:19 Remembering George Belton
27:28 Water Supply at Madehurst
30:26 Superstitions
33:08 Adult Life: Return to Woodhouse Farm
42:27 The Gypsies
47:47 The Old School and Common Rights

 

 

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

David Johnston

David Johnston is a Sussex author and painter, whose early life was very unsettled and blighted by poverty. Yet, he rose above childhood adversity, and now can look back on a life, growing up in rural Sussex after the Second World War, with insight and humour. David has much to teach us about the impact of modern farming on the South Downs landscape and its people.

0:00 Introduction
0:14 Early Life, Homelessness and the Workhouse
15:02 Rural Life and schooling
29:30 Life with Harry
35:54 Making a raft and bird-nesting
38:35 Country People and Country Ways
44:45 The Dawn Chorus in remote Sussex
48:44 Changes in farming and wildlife
53:50 David’s book – an excerpt

 

 

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

Richard and David Hedgecock

Richard and David Hedgecock were born in the remote South Downs hamlet of Upwaltham. Their memories are of a rural way of life, hardly altered from previous generations, although tractors and modern farming methods were beginning to be introduced. The brothers recall old country skills and harsh winters. They no longer live in Upwaltham, but they are still well acquainted with it, and have not lost their love for ‘country pursuits.’

0:00 Introduction
0:18 David’s Memories of School
7:53 Richard’s Earliest Memories
9:07 Wartime Memories…Plane crashes on the Downs
13:47 Sheep and Cattle Farming
23:23 Winter of 1947 and 1952
27:32 Winter of 1962/63
33:08 Mother a ‘Jolly Good Cook’
33:45 Rabbit catching with Dad
38:35 “We inherited the old skills”

 

 

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

Audrey and Nick Goulden

Audrey Goulden was born in Ebernoe, and although she now lives in Pulborough, she still considers Ebernoe to be ‘home’. Nick, her husband, was born in Wales, but moved to Kent when very young. When still in his teens, work brought Nick to Ebernoe, where he meet Audrey. They have now been married for 58 years (at the time of this recording, October 2021). There is so much of interest in this interview, as the two of them vividly bring to life Ebernoe from the 1940s onwards, including Harvest Suppers and the celebrated Ebernoe Horn Fair.

0:00 Introduction
0:17 Audrey’s School Days at Ebernoe
4:47 Changes in Ebernoe Village
8:13 Audrey’s childhood home
13:51 Nick’s young days and moving to Ebernoe
16:04 Ebernoe Horn Fair
22:41 Pimps and Faggots
23:38 Changes in Farming
27:47 Harvest Supper
29:25 Ebernoe Common
31:30 Long Cold Winters
32:33 Changes to the Natural World

 

 

 

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

Eric Leppard

Eric Leppard has lived most of his life in Haywards Heath, but he spent most of his working life on the Heaseland Estate, so he is a ‘country boy’ at heart. He tells us of a rather physical altercation with one of his school teachers, and the experience of finding a cache of unexploded wartime bombs. He remembers an old fashioned Christmas given to all the workers and their families at Heaseland.

0:00 Introduction
0:14 Staplefield to Haywards Heath
1:38 School Memories
5:15 Second World War Memories
9:53 Working Life: Heaselands Estate

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

Ann & Roy Beynon

Ann and Roy Beynon have spent most of their lives in Worthing. Roy was born here, but spent much time living with relatives in Pulborough during the war years. Ann came to the town as a young girl, when her parents moved to Worthing to look after Ann’s ailing grandmother. They both recall Homefield and Beach House Parks, and the actress and writer, Nancy Price, who was ‘a character’ in the town.

0:00 Introduction
0:17 Early memories of Pulborough
2:42 Wartime memories of Pulborough
4:41 The South Downs and the Arun
8:30 Worthing in wartime
13:57 Mother ‘in service’ at Charmandean
14:48 Remembering Homefield Park and the Corporation Nursery
17:37 Marching band gets lost in the park and Bonfire Night
19:01 Musical Auditions at The Sidney Walter Centre
22:41 National Service in Northern Ireland
24:33 Why I (Ann) moved to Worthing
27:34 Remembering Homefield Park
28:31 Remembering Beach House Park and Nancy Price
30:23 The 11+ and how we met at school
31:29 Playing music together and getting married in 1960
34:10 Married life and first home.
34:53 Learning to knit
35:40 The Pier

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

Findon Classroom Meeting

On Wednesday 20th October 2021, four former pupils visited their old school at Findon. They met and talked with today’s Year 5 and Year 6 pupils. It was a great day, where those born in the 2010s chatted about their school and its history with those born in the 1940s. A great piece of intergenerational engagement!

0:00 Introduction
0:22 Sports Day and conkers
3:35 What school was like including discipline
8:44 School trips, holidays and school dinners
14:20 How big was the school?
15:10 Memories from World War Two
18:07 School Uniforms
20:16 The Old Milk bottle and it’s history
24:30 How Findon village has changed since the 1940s
28:55 Memories of Findon Sheep Fair
31:30 Old Sussex accents and Old Findon families
34:07 Itchingfield Summer Camp School
35:32 School doctors and dentists
36:32 School pens and ink wells
37:46 Girls and boys at school
39:30 What they did when they left school
40:18 Maypole dancing
41:06 Outside toilets and inside fires

Film and sound, Chris Evans, Redwood TV

In a hurry? View short extracts from the main interview here

Highdown Memories

In 2016, Chris Hare interviewed people who had worked at Highdown Towers and Highdown Gardens from the 1930s till the 1970s. This was during the time when the gardens and the house were owned by Sir Frederick and Lady Sybil Stern. Others who didn’t work for the Sterns, still remembered them and the role they played in the local community. The house is now a hotel and the gardens are owned and managed by Worthing Borough Council. Click here to view the interviews which were filmed and edited by Rob Gomez Martin and Chris Evans.

Do you remember Highdown during the time of the Sterns? If so please contact Chris at sussexhistory.hare@gmail.com

Highdown viewed from the south in the 1925. Photograph courtesy of Ed Miller, Ferring Conservation Group.

 

Interviews made by Children

 

Buddy Liszka interviewing Rosie Slough

Ten-year-old Buddy Liszka from Chesswood Primary School  produced a highly engaging interview with his former neighbour Rosie Slough. Buddy was able, in a few, well directed questions, to elicit a host of wonderful memories from Rosie. Buddy told us, “I have known Rosie all my life and it was nice to hear about her stories of her childhood in the Downs.”

 

 

Jasper Harrison interviewing Elizabeth Greenfield

Jasper Harrison from Chesswood School in Worthing has sent us an interview he recorded with his nan, Elizabeth Greenfield, over Christmas. Jasper is an excellent interviewer and is both insightful and reflective in his questions. We learn a great deal about Worthing in the 1960s and 70s, and also Jasper’s thoughts about the changes that have taken place locally in the last 50/ 60 years. Nan has some particularly vivid memories about the changes to Homefield Park in her lifetime and the horses that used to be kept in the stables that stood on the site where Chesswood School now stands.