We have an extensive number of oral histories recorded by our secretary, Sue Chaplin, and edited by Diz Minnit. To listen to extracts, click on the files below.
Seething Mass of Rats, Chris Holden; Stone Hill bomber crash, Cliff Cheshire; Willow Branch Fences, David Midwinter;
Bombs Under Sheaves, Cliff Cheshire; Last Man out of the Wheatsheaf, Chris Holden; WW2 Tank in a Pond, David Midwinter;
Relaxed Village Life, David Midwinter; Spider Tattam & the Tattams, Chris Holden; Ted Anstiss and his bowler
hat, Cliff Cheshire; The Village Constable, David Midwinter; Land Girls, David Midwinter; Village Shops, Chris
Holden; School Multiplication Tables, Chris Holden; Charringtons Beer, Cliff Cheshire; School Dentist, Cliff
Cheshire; Lessons and toilets in the 1930s, Chris Holden; Italian Prisoners and Chips, David Midwinter; Steam
We also have a 1950s recording of a couple of folk songs; the first is “The Blackberry Grove”, sung by local man Eddie Lambourne. To hear the song click here. The second song is “The Prickelly Bush” sung by another Marston man, Ted Keen. To hear Ted’s song click here.
Recorded in the 1950s by folk-song collector Seamus Ennis, these songs are part of a CD that provides us with a glimpse into the rural tradition of folk songs filtering down through the generations. As mentioned above, two of the singers, Eddie Lambourne and Ted Keen, were North Marston men; Amos Beckett was from Winslow and Mary Bennell was from Hyde Heath. None was a performing artist: collectively they were a window-cleaner, a roadman, an agricultural labourer and a housewife. To see the playlist from this CD click here.
WARNING! Some of the lyrics may not sit easily to the modern listener but they reflect a language and a culture that would not have raised an eyebrow sixty years ago. It is precious to have the voices of ordinary folk from decades ago captured like this, many thanks to Sally Burton for the loan of the CD.