Alice Maunders, Full Transcript

Catalogue ID: 



Alice Maunders (AM) was interviewed by W.R. Mitchell (WRM) many times. In her interview in 1988, Alice discusses a number of photos of the Proctor family taken in the early 20th century. She then describes starting work as an Inbetween Maid at the McEvoys' house in Stackhouse and explains working conditions in large houses between the Wars. Alice also describes her husband John Maunders's role as an apprentice hairdresser and her own role as a hairdresser.


[Start of interview - 00:00:01]

WRM: Now what we’ve got here is a photograph of the Procter family...

AM: The Procter family.

WRM: ... which is a very old family. 

AM: A very old one, as you can see.  There it is again.

WRM: Now, there is Mr Procter...

AM: Mr Procter was James Procter.

WRM: James Procter, and he was a...?

AM: A tailor, a master tailor.

WRM: A tailor.  And his wife, what was she called?

AM: I don’t know what they called her, put down ‘Doris’; I don’t think anyone knew what her name was.

WRM: And they had three daughters and two sons. 

AM: Three daughters and two sons, there they are.

WRM: Now of the three daughters, the eldest daughter was...?

AM: A teacher.

WRM: And her first name was?

AM: Was Maud.

WRM: Yes, and then the second one was...?

AM: Doris.

WRM:  And she became a nurse in the First World War?

AM: That’s right.

WRM:  And the third sister was called?

AM: Was Florence, a confectioner.

WRM: A confectioner; and she had the confectioner’s shop on Station Road.  And the two sons...?

AM: That’s Sidney.

WRM: Sidney is the child there, and...?

AM: And Bert, Herbert, he became a saddler.

WRM: Ah, that’s right.  Yes, lovely.  Now, actually looking at this particular photograph from left to right we’ve got... what’s her name?

AM: Maud.

WRM:  Maud, and then Mrs, and then Sidney, and who’s that?

AM: That’s Doris.

WRM: Doris and Herbert...

AM: ...and Herbert and Florence.

WRM: And Florence, and Father standing behind. 

AM: And James, yes.

WRM: That’s right, yes.  Now, Herbert was...

AM: I just trying to see who... I think Hunt’s took these. 

WRM: Now Herbert served his time to a saddler...?

AM: A saddler called Mr Gilchrist.

WRM: And what was Mr Gilchrist’s first name?

AM: I couldn’t tell you that.

WRM: And he was at the little house?

AM: At the little house.  It was called Crag Dale Lodge in those days, because it was the lodge for the Crag Dale estate.

WRM: Was it?  I never knew that.

AM: Yes!  I lived there.  I was there seven years.  I started my married life there before we went to the shop, yes.

WRM: Oh, wonderful.   And so that was the saddler’s shop.  Are you quite alright standing up?

AM: I’m fine, yes.

WRM: So in 1914...?

AM: He was called up.

WRM: He was called up...

AM: That’s right.

WRM: ...and in fact he continued as a saddler?

AM: He continued all through the war with his trade.

WRM: With the horses?

AM: And with the horses, and with the guns, you know, they used to walk with them, the horses.

WRM: Did he in fact go abroad?  Did he go to France?

AM: Oh, yes. 

WRM: He did?

AM: He went to France and Italy and all over.

WRM: Then he came back from the war?

AM: He came back, and then started his own business.

WRM: At the same place?

AM: At the same place where he’d trained with Mr Gilchrist.

WRM: Did he get married?

AM: No, he didn’t get married, no, he was a bachelor.

WRM: Now what do we know about the daughters now, this is...?

AM: Well, Maud was an apprentice teacher.  She went as an apprentice.  There were no college fees and what not in those days, and she went to Barnoldswick.  She taught at Langcliffe School as a pupil teacher to start with, and then she got a post.  I think she said that she started at 14 or 15, pupil teaching and running about, and then she went to Barnoldswick as a teacher and then she had to do all her studying at Barnoldswick with a Miss Brennan that lived in Settle down Kirkgate.

WRM: Oh, yes?

AM: And then she came back to Settle after the war years because her Mother died during the war, and Sidney was killed in the war years and Doris died too, the nurse.

WRM: Was Sidney in the Army?

AM: Yes, they were all in the Army, as you can see there, and Doris was serving out in France as a nurse and she contracted septicaemia from one of the soldiers and she died at Birmingham.  They brought her home, she died.

WRM: And what about the other daughter?

AM: The confectioner?

WRM: Yes.

AM: Well, she was a confectioner all her life until she retired and she never married. 

WRM: No, no.

AM: Because she took over as housekeeper when Maud went away and her Mother and Sidney died, and she had to look after Bert and her Father.

WRM: This little confectioner’s shop, what is it now?  Is it Speight & Watson’s?

AM: It is Speight & Watson’s that added onto that now.

WRM: But it was Procter’s Confectioners?

AM: It was Procter’s Confectioners.  It was Armistead’s before that, you’ll have heard of Mr Armistead.

WRM: The sweet shop, yes?

AM: No, they were a confectioners and the sweets together.

WRM: I’ve got a photograph of them.

AM: That’s right, when it was them, and then they bought it from Mrs Armistead and they turned it into a Temperance Hotel for these travellers.

WRM: Oh yes, that’s right.

AM: And all those little rooms above, there, above Speight & Watson’s, didn’t go with their house, with Speight & Watson’s, it was all one building at one time.  I think it must have been all split up at some time and they had all these bedrooms for these travellers.

WRM: So the travellers, they used to use the train extensively to go to places like Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancaster and Settle...

AM: That’s right.

WRM: And so they’d get off at the station at Settle and stay at the Temperance Hotel...

AM: ...for a few days and do their rounds as much as they could on foot, wouldn’t it be?

WRM: What sort of travellers would they be?

AM: Oh, there were all sorts, travellers for all the businesses in Settle.  Because when we went to the shop, even as far back as when we went down... we were nearly thirty years there, everything came by rail.  There was no road transport.  And they used to come out with a truck, so we could see our cigarettes and our umbrellas and all that coming down the street.  They had quite a few porters.  They were coming out all day.

WRM: Do you remember that particular Temperance Hotel?

AM: No, it was before I came.  It’s just that with living with them and working with them they told me all this, you see?

WRM: Yes, of course.

AM: I remember she still had the cold taffy when I came to selling, but she didn’t take in the [travellers] because the building must have been split up then and she just did the confectioning. 

WRM: Now this photograph shows on the left Sidney, in the middle Bert...

AM: Sidney and Bert and Doris.  Now in Settle Church, I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, there’s a stained glass window to these two and it’s Mary of Hungary, and it was put in with their names who died in action in the First World War.  Now you’ve never looked round Settle Church, have you?

WRM: I haven’t, no.  I’ll go and have a look at that.  Now this particular photograph...?

AM: Well, that’s just the family again, but they’re not all there.

WRM: Oh well, now that’s great...

AM: Now you can take that.  That’s the first ambulance.

WRM: Was this the famous tandem thing?

AM: Yes, there it is, a bicycle, and they used to take them down to Giggleswick Station, before the station at Settle they used to take them to Giggleswick Station and then they took them through to Leeds.

WRM: Good heavens.

AM: And there would be a lot of Settle people on there.  Mrs Batty, that’s connected with the Lamberts, you know?  The Battys and the Lamberts.  They’re all serving them there, and then Mrs Batty took over as Superintendent after Mrs Procter died.

WRM: So this particular photograph has got Mrs Procter...?

AM: That’s her.

WRM: And it was taken during the First World War when she was...?

AM: That’s right, or just before the war.

WRM:  And she was Superintendent?

AM: Superintendent, and she had to recruit nurses for the war.  So she sent her own daughter.  She thought, ‘Well, I couldn’t get other girls to go’, because Doris was in the Ambulance.  Now that’s been taken from the big one that’s in the Ambulance Station.

WRM: And where was the photograph taken?

AM: I think it’s taken at Crag Dale, you know, which is the Police Station now?

WRM: Oh, yes.

AM: But if you go to the Ambulance Station they’ve a picture about this size and that’s been taken from it.

WRM: Oh, I could copy from that, that’s lovely.  Are you sure you don’t mind standing up?

AM: No, not at all.

WRM: Come and see here.

AM: No, I sit a lot.  And that’s Bert again, Herbert.  This is when they must have had a football teAM: in the First World War.  There’ll probably be some of the local lads in there that I don’t know.

WRM: Yes, and Bert is on the right hand side in the back.

AM: That’s him, yes, you can tell him by his photographs.  And that was him as a young man.  That was just before he went.  He had taken before he joined up.  He was seventeen when he went.

WRM: Oh, gosh.

AM: It’s sad, isn’t it?

WRM: It is sad, yes.

AM: And he’s there again, can you recognise him?

WRM: Yes, I can, yes.

AM: Now I don’t know what regiment but...

WRM: Possibly I won’t take these two.

AM: You won’t take these?

WRM: No, but these are marvellous.

AM: That, yes.

WRM: Yes, they’re lovely.

AM: That was taken when they were all on leave from France.

WRM: Oh, yes?

AM: You can see it’s been in a photo frame, I took it off.

WRM: And what is this?

AM: That’s the three girls, with their mother.

WRM: Ah, yes.

AM: They were a nice looking family, weren’t they?

WRM: They were, yes.

AM: Now that’s Mrs Procter, and that’s Maud the teacher.  This is Doris, the one that died in the First World War.

WRM: She’s on the left, yes.

AM: That’s right.  And that’s Florence, the confectioner.

WRM: Oh, yes.  What do you remember about Florence’s shop?  I mean...

AM: Well, the home-made bread and they used to sell dripping, as well.

WRM: Was it on the sweet shop side?

AM: Well, they started their confectioning in their little shop where Ernie Cokell lives now, on that corner. 

WRM: Oh, yes.

AM: That was their shop, and all the baking was done down in the cellar.

WRM: Where [unclear 00:08:59 – Heather’s?] used to be?

AM: That’s right, that’s their property.  It was Procter’s property and they sold it to [unclear 00:09:03 – Heather’s?].  And the next door, which is the...

WRM: So [unclear 00:09:07 – Heather] moved across to Armisteads, did they?

AM: They still live on Station Road where that little house is, next to... what do they call her?  She had a little what-not shop.

WRM: Oh, yes, that’s right.

AM: They lived there, and still carried on the confectioning across the road, and the commercial travellers but they all lived at this side... and the tailoring.  And that little shop where all those little what-not things were, was Mr Procter’s tailor’s shop in those days.  And it was there when I came to Settle sixty-three years ago.  He still did tailoring then, but he got very, very feeble.

WRM: He didn’t used to sit cross-legged or anything did he?

AM: They all sat cross-legged on the floor.

WRM: Did they?

AM: Yes, tailors do that.

WRM: I mean, you remember going in and seeing him?

AM: Yes, yes, with all the work around them.

WRM: And that was this chap here?

AM: That was it, and they did it up in the attic; they went up a ladder attic because there wasn’t the fancy shops in those days as there is today.  Yes, and he trained Mr Fletcher.  You’ll have heard of Fletchers Tailors; well, he worked for Mr [Procter].  He had ever so many... And then during the First World War there were a lot of Belgian refugees came to Settle and he employed him as well, during the First World War.  And he married a local girl and then he went back to Belgium.

WRM: Who was this?  What was the name of the Belgian?

AM: I couldn’t tell you that.  And that was Maud in the old opera days.

WRM: This was Maud Procter?

AM: Just a minute... [reads] ‘N. Batty, Norcroft.’  That was Maud the teacher, yes.

WRM: Oh yes.

AM: And this was Florence in, I think it was Iolanthe.

WRM: Ah, yes; yes, may I borrow those?  And I’ll let you have them back.

AM: Yes, you’ll want them because... I think that’s... oh, and that’s Florence when she was in Iolanthe.

WRM: Yes, I’d better not take that one.  I’ll try and keep down the number I take.  [Laughs]

AM: Well, this is it.  That was them in the cricket team; and a lot of the Battys would be in that, you know?  And the Lamberts.

WRM: Oh, yes.  I was just thinking, you know, when you talk about Procter, I wonder if Procter’s Row came from there, from that family?  I mean, we’re not to know now but...

AM: I don’t think so, because I think Procter’s Row was built by the Inghams, wasn’t it, of the mill?

WRM: Oh, that’s right. 

AM: They were mill houses and they imported them up from the south of England and built these cottages for them.  A lot of the little cottages in Langcliffe were built by Hector Christie.

[Interruption in tape]

WRM: You don’t remember the First World War here at all, do you?

AM: Not here, I was at home in Newcastle, you see?  I come from Newcastle.  I just remember my Mother, she had what they call a fender, you know?  I don’t know what you call them in Yorkshire but we call them fenders, they’re steel you know?

WRM: That’s right, yes. 

AM: And the bread rising and this telegrAM: came to the door, the knock, and I’m fourteen months older than my sister.  She can’t remember it, but I can.  And I remember me Mother just crying, and she put her arms around both of us and said, ‘Oh, whatever will I do?’  I remember that, and she seemed to be crying all day.  That’s my Father.

WRM: Oh, you say your Father was dead, was he?

AM: Yes, from the war. 

WRM: Oh, dear.

AM: Yes, she got the telegrAM: in the First World War.  And she’d twenty six shilling in those days to bring three of us up.  She had ten shilling for herself and sixteen shilling for me sister and me which was eight shillings each.  Twenty six shilling was a war widow’s pension in those days with children.  How she did it, I don’t know.

WRM: No, they were incredible, weren’t they?

AM: That was my Father.

WRM: Oh, yes. 

AM: He was killed in the First World War.  And that’s Alice, that’s me.

WRM: He was a piper in the...?

AM: Yes, in the Northumberland Fusiliers.  He was in the DurhAM: Light Infantry to start with, then of course they moved them about to different regiments.  And you see my sister’s like him, isn’t she?

WRM: Yes.  When you came to Settle...?

AM: I came...

WRM: You don’t mind me just taping this, do you?  What I’m thinking of particularly is just asking you a little about the McEvoys of Stackhouse and their way of life?

AM: That’s right.  When I came, when the 1926 strike was on...  it would be 1927 when I came, because the strike went on.  It was a miners’ strike to start with and then the railway men came out and it became a general strike.  Well, no way could a girl get a job up there, because there were no such things as mills, there are no mills up in the north of England it was the shipyards, Vickers-Armstrongs, but they employed all men.  An odd time a girl would get a job as a secretary but as soon as that girl was sacked, all girls were sacked, the men took over.  What lads there were left they gave the jobs them.  So there was nothing for us girls to do except to come down into domestic service, and I was just fifteen and a half when I came.

WRM: And how did you get down here, by train?

AM: I came by train, I’ll never forget it. 

WRM: Come and sit here.

AM: No.

WRM: No, Alice, please.  You sit there.  That’s right, I’m quite happy here.

AM: I came down here by train.  Apparently the McEvoys and the Amblers at Lawkland Hall were brother and sister.  Brother and sister married brother and sister.  The McEvoys married into the Amblers, and the Amblers married into the McEvoys, and my friend was a bit older than me and she heard that Mrs McEvoy was wanting a little between maid so she wrote to me and asked me if I would like to come.  And my Mother said, ‘Oh, I don’t know, she’s only a bairn’, you know, they were called bairns in those days?   ‘She’s only a bairn.’  But anyway, I was [unclear 00:15:04], I wanted to own ‘the world’ you know, so I did come and I came by train and it was arranged that Mrs McEvoy would meet me at Settle station.  She hadn’t a car in those days, it was horse and trap like you showed on the film.  Well, I cried all the way from Newcastle to Leeds and then I had to change at Leeds and I had to ask the guard, the guard had to tell me what train to get on to come to Hellifield.  And I didn’t know they called it Hellifield, I called it Highfield but it wasn’t, apparently it was Hellifield.  It was the way they pronounced it, or the way we pronounced them in the north.  And I changed at Hellifield for Settle, and there was a couple on there, I remember very, very well, and they were going on...  They were probably going up to Appleby that way because they were on the train with me.  And she saw me looking out of the window crying, you know just thinking about home and what I was going for.  It dawned on me when I got away that life was going to start all over again.  And they gave me a bar of chocolate and they told me when to get off at Settle, which was very kind.  And when I got off at Settle there was this lady standing on the platform all by herself, the snow on the ground, the 14th January, I can remember it as plain as the day.  And I had my clothes down to my ankles to make me look a little bit older, and I had a huge trunk with, you know, those roll tops?  You’d have thought I was emigrating to America. 

WRM: [Laughs]

AM: Probably Mother had aprons, all my uniform, black stockings, mending tape and everything that a girl could want... writing paper and envelopes so that I would write back, and stamps so that I could write home and tell them how I was going on or if I wanted to go back.  But this lady was standing on the platform at Settle station and she came up to me and she says, ‘Are you Alice?’  I said, ‘Yes, I am.’  She said, ‘Oh, aren’t you tiny?’  Which I would look tiny, in those days, wouldn’t I, and I was young and slim.  And they got me box out of the guard’s van and they carried it to this trap.  Well, it nearly filled the trap!  There was only room for Mrs McEvoy and me to squeeze in, and I remember going up Stackhouse Lane with this horse clopping all the way and I thought, ‘Oh, what a long way from Settle.’  And I didn’t even see Settle ‘til me first day off an’ I remember... do you remember Billy Armistead?

WRM: Yes.

AM: He married the younger nurse there, which was Betsy, and she was the children’s under nurse and she brought me into Settle.

WRM: Who was living actually at the McEvoy’s at that time of the family?

AM: Well, there was Mr and Mrs McEvoy and Patrick who lives Austwick way, he farms.  Then there was John McEvoy, there was Mary Rose McEvoy, there was Jennifer and Anne.  They had five girls and two sons. 

WRM: Who was the other son?

AM: Peter.  What became of him I don’t know... because they all went away.  And the staff, they had a huge staff.

WRM: What did Mr McEvoy do?  He was just a landowner was he?

AM: Well, no, he was in a way, he was connected with an Irish firm called McEvoy and Pennington’s and they imported pork, bacon, on the boat in a big way; and it came over to England.  And he was in that line of business, in importing.  Because he was a Catholic, you see, Irish Catholic, and he helped to build the Catholic Church up there, and I remember when I was a young girl (well, I would be going up to sixteen then) I used to take a big basket up to the Catholic Church for Father Tillman and his old housekeeper; and there was peaches and all the vegetables.  They did a lot of work for the Roman Catholic Church.  And although I wasn’t a Roman Catholic, Mrs McEvoy always insisted that I went to Church because I was being prepared for confirmation by the Revd. Hamilton at St. Ives, my own Church, because Mother said, ‘Well, what about your confirmation?’  However, our Vicar wrote to Mr Tremeloe saying that I was being prepared for confirmation and I was coming to these McEvoys at Settle and could he look me up, which he did do.  And Mrs McEvoy insisted that I went on with me confirmation classes and I was confirmed at Settle.  In those days we were in the Ripon diocese.

WRM: What was the size of the staff at the McEvoy’s?

AM: Well, the staff... we’ll start from the two gardeners.  They had a head gardener and an under gardener. 

WRM: Do you happen to know their names?

AM: Oh, Charlie Moore and... oh, now, what did they call the old man?  They had a daughter that went to college, she was a bit strict...

WRM: Not to worry.

AM: I don’t know what they called the old man, because he was quite an old man, but Charlie Moore, he lives at Richmond.  Well, he did live at Richmond but he’s gone down to Nuneaton now.  He married a Settle girl.  So there was the two gardeners, there was the cook-housekeeper...

WRM: What was her name?

AM: Mrs Mills.  They always called her ‘Mrs’, but whether she was a ‘Miss’ or a ‘Mrs, I wouldn’t know.  But they always called cook-housekeepers ‘Mrs’ whether they were married or not.  And Mr Johnson was the butler, and he actually served with Mr McEvoy, he was his batman in the First World War and he brought him with him.  And there was the Norland nanny for the children, the head nanny.

WRM: What was her name?

AM: Oh, I don’t know.

WRM: It doesn’t matter.

AM: But the under nurse was Elizabeth, Betsy we called her, and she married Billy Armistead in the end.  She was under her.  Then there was... of course they kept changing the girls, you know.  Then there was the head housemaid and the under housemaid, and the little ‘between’ maid which was me.

WRM: What did a ‘between’ maid do?

AM: Went from the kitchen to the pantry.  They worked from there, took the food and prepared all the vegetables.  Because I wanted to be a cook, I was under the cook.  They took all the dishes from the kitchen to the butler’s pantry to be served for the family when they were having dinner; and they called them the ‘between’ maid.  They worked from the kitchen to the pantry. 

WRM: I see, yes.

AM: And then you moved from that into the dining room.  So I went into the dining room afterward.

WRM: Was there anyone below you now in the house?

AM: Well, when I went into the pantry they got another ‘between’ maid; I had to help the butler, and then I gradually worked my way upstairs, up to the upstairs maid.  And of course the strike was finished a long time before then.

WRM: So just to recap, in the house you had the cook-housekeeper...?

AM: The cook-housekeeper, the butler, the pantry maid, the under butler, and upstairs they had the nanny, the children’s nanny and the under nanny, and they had the head housemaid and the between maid and the kitchen maid.

WRM: Good heavens.

AM: Yes, and apart from that they had those two washerwomen that I was telling you about, they came every day from Settle, they walked up from Settle.

WRM: Can you remember their names?

AM: Well, Mrs Humphreys was one.  You know, one of the Humphreys... do you remember one living with Ernie Gilchrist?

WRM: Yes.

AM: His wife was one.

WRM: And these washerwomen walked up from Settle and they never went into the house did they?

AM: No, never.  No, because they were down where the dog kennels were, next to the kennels what I was telling you where the beagles were, and they came every day and when it was very bad... oh, and they had Johnson.  They made their own electricity and he was the sort of handyman, and he used to light the boiler, the fire, and look after that, so that was another one.  They had a staff of eleven or twelve staff all told.

WRM: And how did they make their electricity?

AM: Well, he made it.  They had a motor down where the kennels were in the stables, where the stables were.

WRM: Good heavens.

AM: They made their own electricity.  Before that we had what they called the lamp room, and there were all these beautiful lamps, and that was one of Johnson’s, the butler’s job to see to these lamps, polish them... but then they started making electricity while I was there.  Of course there were all these rows and rows... a lamp for every room.  And a great big kitchen range.  And I had a chain, at fifteen and a half you can imagine, getting up at five o’clock in the morning to clean these flues with this huge chain.

WRM: How did you do that?  A chain, was it?

AM: A chain that went down the back of the flue.

WRM: Oh, I see.

AM: And it was on a like a poker, a huge stick chain, to get rid of all the soot.  And then I had to light the fire, and I had a cup of tea to take up to the cook-housekeeper before, and I had the front steps and the back steps to do, before seven o’clock in the morning.

WRM: Heavens, yes.  These washerwomen did they have old-fashioned irons and things?

AM: Oh, yes.  They had wooden tubs.  There were wooden tubs, the tap was there and the tubs would be about, oh, as big as that; they weren’t metal they were wood.  Wood tubs.  And everything was done with a posser and the two of them would wash one day, and then they’d iron the next day.  Then they’d come back the following day and wash again and then iron, with this big stove and there must have been about twenty flat irons all around.  Well, that was that handyman’s job, to get that boiler going for them with the hot water so they could wash.  Because when you come to think, there was all the staff aprons, all the uniform, and everything to wash for.

WRM: These were highly starched, were they?

AM: Highly starched, yes, great big baskets [full], because I was the one that used to help to... with one of the other men.

WRM: Then of course all the family; I mean, they’d got clothes galore, hadn’t they?

AM: Oh yes, but there was a lot of...  theirs were kept separate to ours.  The staff basket...

WRM: Did they do a lot of socialising, the McEvoys?  Or was it more or less a family that kept very much to itself?

AM: Well, they did socialise a bit.  They socialised with the Amblers from Lawkland Hall, which they were related to, and the Holdsworths at Catteral Hall.  And Mrs McEvoy used to go hunting, and of course she used to have friends from the hunting.  Was it Bolton-by-Bowland where they went?

WRM: Yes, that’s right.

AM: That’s where they used to meet.  But the dogs, the beagles, there was a pack of about twenty, were kept at McEvoy’s in their kennels; and I don’t know whether the kennels are still there but I know, I have heard from Mrs Armistead... of course she kept friendly with me all these years, she’s dead now... she went away to be a nurse, but she came back and married Billy and she was nursing all through the war years, you know, with Dr Hogg?  And some of the stables were made into flats, into cottages.  Now I rather fancy that those kennels might have been converted because they were beautifully built, all dressed stone.  They were just like little bungalows and they had this run out for the dogs and the railings all around, and as soon as they saw us coming down... they used to let them run about, you know?  And of course the handyman, Johnson, was the one who looked after the dogs and fed them and cleaned them out and swilled all out.

WRM: What was the house like inside?

AM: It was lovely.

WRM: Beautifully furnished?

AM: Yes, it was.  It was mixed, you know?  It was part antique and part, you know, modern?  But part of it has been pulled down now.  All the nurseries have come down.  And he had an armour room, Mr McEvoy, and it was full of armour, gorgeous, with a great big billiard table in the middle and all these statues.  Because he was a military man, you see, so all around... and I remember one Christmas when we were there we all had to traipse into the billiard room for our presents.  The housekeeper first, then the butler, and then as you came down the line, little Alice on behind, and we got our present and they were all round the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.  And they used to always let us have a party, the staff always had a party on their own and they provided everything, after Christmas, and we could invite our friends.  Because I invited John, you see, because I was knocking around... and all the other maids they had their boyfriends.  And they kept out of sight, they provided everything; they were wonderful people to work for, real gentry, real gentry.

WRM: Where did the people sleep?  Was it literally at the top of the house?

AM: The attics, yes; right in the attics, yes.

WRM: And I mean the Upstairs, Downstairs series on television is very true to life then?

AM: Very true to life, yes.  And always with morning uniform on, which was the blue dress or striped dress.  I think mine was blue and white stripe.  And big aprons which crossed at the back, and starched collars and cuffs.  Cellarer law - you took them off when you were washing up, of course.  And these little caps.  And in the afternoon we all had to change into afternoon uniform, which was black dresses and little tiny aprons, and little frilly things for serving the afternoon tea.

WRM: Did they have people coming in for elevenses, that sort of thing?

AM: No, they didn’t entertain that way.  But they were very, very good religious people.  Well, Mrs McEvoy was a convert, she was a Catholic convert.  She was Church of England.  The Amblers were Church of England and the McEvoys came over from Ireland, were Irish, and she was converted to the Roman Catholic religion.

WRM: Did they entertain people to dinner?

AM: Oh, yes.  They had the beagle parties and... yes, they did quite a lot of that.

WRM: Was there a big dining room and a big table?

AM: A very, big dining room, yes, and the billiard room was the ballroom, you see, they used that as well.  They had tennis parties as well, for when the Holdsworths used to come, and the staff were lent to each other’s houses to help out.  We went to Catteral Hall or we went to Lawkland Hall, and their staff came and helped us when there was big parties.

WRM: What was a dinner like actually at Stackhouse?  I mean, you’d spend a lot of time preparing the table would you, and setting it?

AM: Yes, they had a lot of snipe, you know?  We used to serve snipes whole, with the beak through, you know?  And they had... they’d start off with a starter, what we call starters today, first course.  And then there’d be perhaps artichoke soup, or any kind of soup, and then there’d be a bird, a little bird which would be just one little tiny bird with its beak through, and that was another course with a bit of something to go with it.  And then there was hors d’oeuvres and then there was either a roast beef about so big – ooh, when I think about it now, cutting down a lump of sirloin – and the horseradish sauce, and then the sweet.  The cook would make different sweets, you see, and then there’d be the cheese and biscuits.  And of course all the different wines were served.  A white wine with the fish, a red wine with meat, etcetera, etcetera; and I learnt all that, you see?  And I was there three years.

WRM: How many people would there be for dinner on an occasion like this?

AM: I should think about twenty, average about twenty.

WRM: About twenty.  And in the room there would be twenty people sitting down and virtually the whole staff were working towards supplying the meal, were they?

AM: Supplying that meal, yes.

WRM: Because I mean there weren’t any facilities for keeping things warm were there?

AM: No, there was no fridges, there was nothing; not even a hot plate.  That was why they had the between maid, so that she could run like the devil to the pantry with the hot...   The soup went in a big tureen and the butler served that himself.  And of course the parlour maid just stood by the side of him, he handed it to the parlour maid and she took it to the table.  And you served from the right and you took from the left, and you had to be careful to do that as well.  Because if you didn’t you got... [it].

WRM: How much were people paid at that time?

AM: I was paid five shilling a week.

WRM: In the 1920s, what would the butler get at that time roughly?

AM: He’d probably get a pound a week, and the cook-housekeeper would get the same.  They were practically on a level.

WRM: So it ranged from a pound for the top servants to five shillings for the new starters.  And five shillings was a lot of money then, was it?

AM: Well, it was.  It was a pound a month.  We were paid monthly.  Well, you see we got our keep.  It was five shillings for us, wasn’t it, to spend, and it was quite a lot of money.

WRM: Did you have your uniform provided?

AM: No, we’d to supply our own uniform.

WRM: Had you?

AM: Yes, but as time went on and they found out that girls were looking a bit, you know, short of aprons and such like, the McEvoys provided the afternoon aprons and the little things.

WRM: And there was a servants’ hall, was there?

AM: The servants’ hall?  Oh, glorious was the servants’ hall, it was huge. 

WRM: Was it?

AM: It would be about as big as these two rooms put together, and a big table in the middle, and there was a chest of drawers along one side and every one was marked for the staff.   You see, I had a drawer and the housekeeper had... we all had own drawers to put our aprons and our uniform and whatever things we were working with there.  I remember this big, open fireplace and just this one big table in the centre and a big, bay window about (that’s gone by the way because the nurseries have all gone) as big as this room.  And there was a table in with a lot of ferns on.  And I remember the cook-housekeeper, oh, she took a delight in looking after that.  That was her garden.  She ruled us with a rod of iron.  If I wasn’t in... with being the youngest I had to be in at half past nine at night, I didn’t get an extension ‘til ten o’clock; but as I got older I did.   Half past nine I had to be in, and she was there waiting for me.  Because I was under her charge, you see, she had to look after me.

WRM: There would be quite a lot of tradesmen coming to the house from Settle, were there?

AM: Well, Hargers... Parkers the Joiners used to come and beat all the carpets in the spring cleaning.  The McEvoys went to the Canary Islands for their holidays for about a month, and the house was left to the staff to spring clean, and Parkers and Hargers were employed to come up and lift the carpets, take them out onto the lawn and they used to beat them with sticks, etcetera.  And we used to wash the floors and wash the paint.  Oh, we had a wonderful time when they were away.  We could have our lads about!  [Laughs] And all these joiners were all lads in my day serving their apprenticeships with the Parker brothers.

WRM: And the coal, that would arrive at the back door presumably did it?

AM: Oh, it came in carts, you know, there was no wagons it was horse and cart.

WRM: But I mean there was a definite segregation?  I mean you wouldn’t allow a tradesman to come in through the main gate would you?

AM: Oh no, they had a way round the back and they had a coal place and they knew just where they were going and they used to tip it in.  That was away from the house altogether.

WRM: It was?

AM: Yes.

WRM: And how was it brought up to the house, in smaller barrows and things?

AM: Well, it was just opposite the house.  It was brought in... well, the handyman used to look after all the coal scuttles and all the coal bunkers and everything.  That was his job, to bring in the coal for the fires, and the kindling.  We called it kindling, I suppose you called it kindling.  He brought everything in.  So they had a staff of twelve when I was there.

WRM: And did they have gamekeepers?

AM: No, they didn’t have a gamekeeper.

WRM: They didn’t rear pheasants or anything?

AM: No, it was Birbecks that had game, you see?  They didn’t have any shooting.  Mr McEvoy would go to Birbeck’s to do the shooting.  It was the Birbecks that had the tops, but the McEvoys had part of the scars behind, what they call ‘the scars’ behind their house.  That was part of his land and the woodland on there was his.  And then there was the Old Hall, which was Mr Ratcliffe.  Where Pauline Harrison lives now was the Old Hall, Stackhouse Hall.

WRM: Did the McEvoys pretty much own Stackhouse?

AM: Well, more or less.  Yes, I think they did.  They had all the kitchen gardens.  They had all right round... oh yes, they would do.  And all that woodland behind those cottages, you know where Pauline lives?

WRM: Yes.

AM: All there belonged to McEvoys, because I used to go and pick snowdrops in that wood.  Ooh, they were beautiful snowdrops as well.  And they had the raspberry canes and the gooseberries and all that.  And the gardeners lived there.  There was two cottages behind there, the gardeners lived there.  But I don’t think that the Old Hall where Pauline lives belonged to them.

WRM: Actually just briefly, an ordinary day at McEvoys, who would be the first up in the morning?

AM: Me.

WRM: You were?

AM: Yes.

WRM: At what time?

AM: Five o’clock.

WRM: Five o’clock.  And so you would get up.  In winter it would be jolly cold, would it?

AM: Oh...

WRM: Yes.  You were up in the top of the house, frost overnight...

AM: That’s right; from five to half past I had to get up to get the fire going for the cook for the breakfast, you see, because the staff had their breakfast first before the family.

WRM: Oh, I see.

AM: So we were having our breakfast at about a quarter to seven in the morning, and before that I had taken the housekeeper her early morning cup of tea, and the butler one as well, and knocked them up, you see.  And they would be getting dressed while I came down and cut the bacon and put it in the pans and all that, ready for the staff.

WRM: And what time did the family get up?

AM: Round about eight o’clock.

WRM: Yeah.

AM: Yes.

WRM: And what was the typical breakfast?

AM: Oh, a good breakfast.  Bacon, because he was in the bacon trade, you see? 

WRM: It wouldn’t be that stuff that sizzles, you know?

AM: Oh-h, the smell it was gorgeous.  It used to hang in the game room, this bacon, until it was as hard as... you know?  The hams were as hard as a brick!  You nearly had have to have a saw to cut it, but ooh, the flavour.  And in the game room there was the pheasants and the snipe, and the maggots all dropping down on yer!

WRM: Gosh!  [Laughs]

AM: As yer went through... because they used to come through the nets, there used to be that many; and I used to pluck these pheasants for the oven and push all these maggots back into... oh...I used to... oh.

WRM: What, they ate the maggots as well, did they?

AM: They did, yeah, we pushed them back in yer see as part of the... oh yes, because the game was full of ‘em.

WRM: Was that part of the attraction?

AM: Part of the attraction, that’s what gave the flavour.

WRM: Good heavens.

AM: They were in the breast, you know, and that bit that’s open?

WRM: Oh, gosh.

AM: Yes, they kept them; they didn’t use them until they were high, and that’s why they had so many sauces and condiments, you know, to flavour them.  Oh, but I used to hate to go in there.

WRM: And what did the family do during the morning usually?

AM: Well, Mrs McEvoy would come into the kitchen and she’d give her orders for the meal for the staff, for the luncheon, and what they wanted for dinner at night.  She’d do that, and Mr McEvoy more or less just went around the grounds, you know?  He didn’t seem to do any work at all, and he kept coming around and telling us how to use the fire extinguishers.  Everyone, once a month, we’d all be lined up and he’d show us how to do it.  They were all over, on the stairs and all over, these fire extinguishers; and we had to bang them down, you know?  [Laughs]  Don’t tell them all that!

WRM: Did they have games like croquet on the lawn and what not, outside on the lawn?

AM: They had the tennis court.  They had their own tennis court.  I don’t remember them playing croquet.  No, they had a tennis court, and the children were always there.  Of course, the children played games, you know?  They had their games, but they had the nursery.

WRM: What time was lunch usually?

AM: Lunch was around about one o’clock, because by the time all the breakfasts were over time was going on.  The vegetables and everything had to be prepared.  Mostly I prepared them, or whoever helped cook would prepare them the night before for the next day.  And dinner was always at seven o’clock at night.

WRM: And everybody was expected to attend, were they, of the members of the family?

AM: Oh yes, the children were brought down from the nursery.  No, they only came down on a Sunday, the children.  They didn’t come down to dinner in the evening.  They didn’t come down at all really.  As they were getting older they were brought down for their Sunday lunch, but the younger ones didn’t come out of the nursery at all.

WRM: Didn’t they?

AM: No, all the washing was done up there, and it was like a little self-contained flat.  There were the two night nurseries and the day nursery, and the children were taken for walks every day by these two nurses who took the children for walks.

WRM: And who would be there then for dinner on an ordinary day, just the mother and father?

AM: Just the family, just the mother and father.

WRM: And the older children, perhaps?

AM: Yes, at odd times, but just the two of them at night.  Sometimes Mrs McEvoy, if Mr McEvoy was away she’d just have two poached eggs.  [Laughs]  Oh, I used to love it when there wasn’t any dinner!  And when she’d been hunting, if she’d been to Bolton-by-Bowland at the hunting and she came home tired... and she was beautifully dressed with a top hat and skirt.  Oh, I thought she was...  and she always changed for dinner at night.  And she’d black hair, rather Spanish looking; she always wore a red rose in her hair and this shawl with all these roses up over her shoulder.  And of course me, young, you know, I couldn’t get over it.

WRM: What was the last thing that happened at night?  I mean, at what time did the family go to bed?

AM: Well, I really couldn’t tell you that because I was ready for bed.  I used to be off.  Of course, cook used to say to me, ‘Now Alice, it’s time you were ...’ you know?

WRM: So you were first up...?

AM: I was first up, and first up to bed.  Yes, that’s right.

WRM: I see, so that worked out.

AM: Yes, it worked out; it evened itself up, yes.  But then when I got older and I started going out with John, of course I wanted to...  I wasn’t in the kitchen then, I was in the pantry so I was later up.  It was seven o’clock when I got up then.  Oh, I was having a lady’s life then!

WRM: Well, thanks very much for all this.  The thing is this is a marvellous description of life in the big house in the 1920s.  I mean, you tend to think of this as Victorian days but it carried on, didn’t it?

AM: Oh, it carried on, yes.

WRM: You don’t mind me using it, do you?  Because there is nothing you’ve said that’s embarrassing at all.  It’s a rather Upstairs, Downstairs Mrs Bridges situation, isn’t it?

AM: That’s right, and the fact is they carried on until this last war. 

WRM: Did it?

AM: Well, you see, girls were called up weren’t they for factories and the mills round here.  They couldn’t get girls to work in the big houses from Settle because they were working at Hector Christie’s in the mills.  They used to import them from away and that’s why they always said that they imported them because they were inter-marrying one another, families were getting inter-married you see, in a little small community, and they wanted some...  We’ve always said we brought new blood into the village!  [Laughs]

WRM: Yes, so you left when you got married did you?

AM: I left before I got married.  I went to... from five shillings a week I went to Dick Turner’s, the auctioneers, at BenthAM: where I got a pound a week.  Because I wanted to get married, and I wanted more money otherwise I wouldn’t have left.  And I was there nearly a year and then I got married, because John was fed up, he was fed from cycling from Settle to Bentham.

WRM: Did you actually go back from time to time to Stackhouse to meet the staff?

AM: Oh yes, I was right friendly with them, yes.

WRM: And did it change slowly?

AM: It changed.  You see, they got new staff and I gradually broke with it because I didn’t know any of them.

WRM: And the war effectively cut off that whole life did it?

AM: Oh yes it did, you see I think the McEvoys sort of lost money.  You know, big business people gradually started to go down didn’t they, and there was a depression in the 1930s wasn’t there?

WRM: Yes, of course, yes.

AM: And I think that hit the McEvoys very, very bad, because they started reducing the staff ‘til there was practically no-one, they just had an odd day girl.

WRM: But anyway it’s a lovely account of the twenties, isn’t it?  It was beautiful period, wasn’t it?

AM: A beautiful period, and coming along Stackhouse Lane was lovely with all these trees.

WRM: I know, there used to be, and then they started felling them to get those big lorries past.

AM: It was gorgeous, and I walked through those fields from McEvoys, through the fields with the snow on the ground and late at night and never thought of anyone mugging me.  There wasn’t such a thing as mugging in those days.  I wouldn’t dare go along Stackhouse Lane now if it was all lit up. 

WRM: Was there anything special at the house at Easter, or not particularly?

AM: Well, not particularly; only we all got a day off at Easter.  Good Friday, of course, because they were Roman Catholic, you see?

WRM: And then in summer they went off on holiday?

AM: They went off and left the staff to spring clean the house.

WRM: And Christmas of course would be a great event?

AM: Oh, great, all the family and all the relatives.  The Amblers came from away, they had relatives away, and you know, one of them married an Ogilvy, was it the Ogilvy family that married into the Royal family?

WRM: That’s right, yes.

AM: He was a cousin of Mrs McEvoy, and he used to come to the house.

WRM: Did he?

AM: Yes, and Captain Ambler used to come to the house.

[Interruption in tape]

AM: We were there all Maureen’s young life.  We went down there...  You see I lived at what we called the little house, the Saddler’s, and I was there seven years before Maureen was born and John was working down at the hairdresser’s shop.  He was out of his time then.  But he served his time with a man called Billy Broadley, but he went to Canada to live.  And he had a five year contract, a written contract, he couldn’t leave for five years; he had five shillings a week to start with and he’d a shilling a year rise.  And he had ten bob when he was twenty one.

WRM: Gosh.

AM: Just before we were married and his mother had all that family, five lads, and they were all put to a trade.  They were plumbers, and Jim went into the outfitting business.  How she did it I don’t know.  But there was always a box put up in the barber’s shop for the lather boy, which was John.  And his mother used to clothe him out of that and buy his new suit at Christmas, and they used to tip the lather boy.  Well, John learnt, he was five years, he learnt to lather and he learnt to shave and he learnt to do the razors up, and he started work at eight o’clock in the morning until ten o’clock at night.  Because in those days, every man used a cut throat razor, there were no Gillette’s or electric razors or anything like that, and they used to bring the razors into the shop.  Because even in my day we had thirty razors on the bench for John to sharpen at night, for the men to call for the following morning, and that’s why the hours were so late.  And they were done on a soap stone, a long one, and he used to lather it with a lather brush and he used to go like this... and he knew in a minute when it was right.  And if he’d overdone it he’d to start all over again.  And he used to try it on his legs, you know, to see if they were right.  And he shaved, he learnt to shave on a bowler hat; they lathered this bowler hat and they learnt the strokes up.  John taught me, because I used to shave during the war years. 

WRM: What was the lather boy then?  What did he do, he made the lather did he?

AM: No, they just lathered the customers.  John started as a lather boy and they lathered the customers, ready for, and rubbed it in.  You had to rub it in and soften the beard, and then the barber came to shave it and then the lather boy cleaned it all off and put the talc, I don’t know whether... well, I don’t know anything about shaving these days, they used to squirt some sort of talc on, you know, to dry the face.

WRM: That was the time when they also had individual mugs and that, is it?

AM: Well, I’m coming to that.  We had a rack; there was a rack just by the basins.  So there were three basins and three chairs, and they had three going at the same time.  We had a rack and they were numbered from 1 to 50, and they paid a ha’penny extra for a shave with their own pot and their own brush.  We supplied the brush, and they used to be those string band badger brushes in those days, beautiful brushes.  So such as Dickie Moore and the doctors and all them they all had their own, but the men from the quarry used to have it in the basin, you see.  But they paid a ha’penny extra.  Well, they gradually went because they started buying safety razors so they didn’t come in every day for a shave, and they gradually went down and down.  If one got broke we had to replace it, until I think we only had about ten regular customers.

WRM: Why did people have to be shaved?  They couldn’t easily do it at home, could they?

AM: Well, lots couldn’t use a cut-throat, they didn’t know how.

WRM: Oh, I see.  And how much was it, as far back as you can remember?

AM: Well, in my day it was tuppence a shave and four pence a haircut, and when it went up to a shilling just before the war, John Hunt came down and they had this committee meeting.  Oh, there was a hue and cry and they weren’t going to come in anymore and there was this, that and the other.  But what do you pay now?

WRM: I know, it’s incredible.

AM: And it was haircutting in those days.  It was hand clippers to start with and you had to go up so far with the hand clippers, just so far, and then the scissors and comb had to work out that line.  They had to work it out so that you couldn’t see where the clippers had finished.  Then when the electric clippers came in it was a lot easier, and we then used to do the sideburns as well.  And I used to cut hairs off their noses and out of their ears, and their eyebrows.  We used to trim that.

WRM: Did you singe them?

AM: [Sotto voce]  Oh, I once cut a chap’s ear.  A top off his ear.

WRM: Oh dear!

AM: And I didn’t do it with the scissors, this was during the war years when John was away.  And I did it with the handles, you know, where they nip? 

WRM: Yeah.

AM: I nipped it off, and oh, he nearly jumped out of his chair.  And I remember in those days the shop was full of RAF men and he carried on, and I remember one of these said, ‘You’re so-and-so lucky to be at home to have your hair cut, and t’lass was doing best she could.’  But I could always tell my hair cuts when I started, because I always used to have that line.  It was just as if I’d put a basin on top of their head.  But I graduated.  For four and a half years.  And after the war years when John was demobbed they used to shout, ‘Alice, come and cut my hair!’  Because John was down to the wood again, because it had to be what they called ‘down to the wood’, right short, in the forces.  And he got his trade in the forces, as it happened.  But to work out that... there was none of this just cutting a bit off like they do today.  Because half of these girls don’t know how, they couldn’t do a short back and sides if they tried.  It’s a work of art.  That took five years to learn that, it took me four and a half year.  Well, John taught me before he went, I was the ‘lather lad’ until he went.  Of course Billy Broadley left and they wanted John to take over, and he was only eighteen and his mother couldn’t afford to buy the business because she had four other lads, so Foxcroft came from John Hunt.  He was serving his time with John Hunt, and he came down and bought it and John went on working with him.  And he came to be a full blown man, at two pound a week, and then when we got two pound ten, which is two pounds fifty pence now, oh, he was a master hairdresser.  Because he learnt hot towelling, which they don’t do now, do they?

WRM: What was this ‘singeing’ business for?

AM: Oh that was to stop them from getting a cold, but I think it was just a myth.  Oh yes, we used to singe the ends...

WRM: Seal the ends, was it?

AM: Seal the ends, but it was just a myth, I don’t think that there was anything in it at all.  Well, it’s proved it, hasn’t it?  But they were taught that, of course; they had to do that.

WRM: And of course the other thing was that they attended to umbrellas, didn’t they?

AM: Well, John had to learn umbrella repairing.  He didn’t learn it with Foxcroft because he didn’t know how to do it.  He learnt it when he was serving his time with Mr Broadley, and why they did that was when they were waiting for men... you see, men worked until about five o’clock and it was a bit quiet during the day and they had to do that while they were waiting for men, and they all used to come in at night for their shaves.  And that was to keep them occupied.  Oh, John was marvellous... he could turn an umbrella out, he used to order the covers and he could make umbrellas up.  In fact, I have some now that he’s made.  [Coughs]  So re-cover them and repair them.

WRM: I’m wearing you out.  [Laughs gently]

AM: [Coughs]  No, I can cope.

WRM: Well, thank you very, very much.

AM: So when Mr Foxcroft finished we took over the business then; we were a bit better off, you see, and we took over in 1939.

WRM: One of the later classes is going to be on life in the 1930s.  Well, you know, one can make it late ‘20s and ‘30s.  Now you’ve given me some lovely stuff about how another class household did...

AM: Right up into the 1930s that was, you know?

WRM: But what was the ordinary house like at that time?

AM: Well, I wouldn’t know.  In Settle? 

WRM: Yeah.

AM: Well, I never went into any.  Well, I went into John’s parents.  It was just the front room, you know?  They were mill houses.  They were live-in kitchens weren’t they, and back sculleries I should imagine.  I remember when I was going with John he lived in that end house in Chapel Street which is next to Jordan’s office.  It’s a shop now, isn’t it?  And a family of eight was brought up in there.

WRM: And how much accommodation was there in that house?

AM: Well, there was the living room.  You went straight in off the street into the room and at the back there was a little back scullery and then you went down and there was a little cellar, and there were three bedrooms upstairs and an attic.  No bathroom.  And there was a family of eight.  They had eight children, the mother and father and the grandmother living with them.  They had four beds.  Three beds up in the attic for the lads, and two for the girls, and there was the parents and the Gran.

WRM: If they use this information about that particular house I won’t mention a name at all,

AM: No, it doesn’t matter.

WRM: But it does give a contrast, doesn’t it, between the two houses?  I mean, there’s the big house, a pleasant, nice home...

AM: Well, they were all like Upper Settle houses, you know all those little houses that were pulled down, they were all built the same way; and then the Co-op houses came, which is over East Parade, isn’t it?  I told you last night.

WRM: That’s right.

AM: Well, John and the parents went to live over there.  The family was growing up you see and their Uncle Herbert lived with them and it was broken into was their house, because the Co-op manager lived there.  The first Co-op manager lived next door to Maunders and they broke into John’s and they took his Grandad’s gold watch and one or two bits of things, and they think at that time they’d got into the wrong house, they’d wanted the Co-op manager’s for the money.  Whether they were called Co-op houses because the Co-operative manager lived in one of those houses, but it is really East Parade, isn’t it?

WRM: It is, yes.  The other thing about the ordinary working class house was that there was a certain routine during the week, wasn’t there?  I mean, Monday was always wash day.

AM: Monday was wash day, and Tuesday was shopping day, or mending.  Wednesday was baking day or bedroom day, and Thursday was either baking day or bedroom day.  Of course Mrs Maunders used to bake every day; she had to do when there was a family of ten of them, she was up to her elbows.  And Mrs Sutcliffe used to bring 7 lb of butter from Rathmell every week, because butter was cheap you know in those days?  They were well fed, and their father had an allotment, you know?  And they managed.  Mr Maunders was on the railway.  His father was one that came to build the viaduct, this railway.  They came from down South, they imported them up.  And all the Maunders family have worked on the railroad, except... it’s been handed down from generation to generation.  There’s only one now, well, he’s retired now, that’s John’s youngest brother and he started as a fireman and he ended up as an engine driver at Royton.  But always one of the lads went in.  So Mr Maunders lived where Pattons live now, that was the first man that came to build it.  They slept in tents and huts and whatever they could make, and then they brought the families up.  And their sons, all their sons worked building the railway, and John’s father, he was one of them and he was a ganger on the railway.  Are they plate layers or something?

WRM: That’s right.

AM: He was one of those, and then one of their lads was a driver.  And the Bentham... they all worked on the railway, there were five of the Maunders at BenthAM: they all worked on the railway.  They’ve all been connected with the railway.

WRM: Now this other point, I mean, when the railway was built it brought a lot of people into the area and some of them stayed.  Meanwhile John Delaney was opening up his quarries connected with the railway...

AM: That’s right, and coal.

WRM: And they brought in quarrymen from Derbyshire, Norfolk was it?  And Cornwall?

AM: That’s right, yes, and Cornwall. 

WRM: But meanwhile from your part of the world, from the North East, came girls.

AM: Girls came down into domestic service.

WRM: Now were there a lot at Giggleswick School?

AM: Oh, yes, they called it ‘the drip’ over there.  I don’t know why they called it ‘the drip’, I think they used to have a lot of bread and dripping or something.  Quite a lot of them are all married round here now.  But I didn’t come to the school; I came to McEvoy’s.

WRM: But a lot of them did come to the school though, they say.

AM: Oh yes.

WRM: And they were North Eastern lasses who just couldn’t get work, could they?

AM: They couldn’t get work, same as me, no.

WRM: And this continued for quite a long time, did it?

AM: It continued right up into the 1930s, because there was the depression, you know, after.  You see, the miners weren’t... from being... they were always... how can I put it?  They had landlords, what should I say, it wasn’t nationalised if you understand, and wages were very low.  Men were only getting eighteen shillings a week in the mines, because I remember my sister marrying a colliery man, and he was an electrician, mind you, and he had eighteen shillings a week and a load of coal a month and a free house.  They lived in these rows and rows of miners’ cottages.  Eighteen shillings a week!

WRM: What was the next invasion of people into Settle?  You’d got the girls from the North East, was it the Italians next?

AM: The Italians came, because the lasses were called up, you see?  Girls were called up and of course they had to take their places on the farm.

WRM: So they brought Italians in?

AM: They brought the Italians in.

WRM: And did they have a hostel for them?

AM: Yes, I think they did.  I just don’t know where it was.  Yes, they did.  And some of the Italian girls went onto the farms as well, you see, they got scattered about.

WRM: This was after the war, was it?

AM: After the war, yes.  Well, the invasion during the war was the Irish girls from Southern Ireland, because you see Northern Ireland girls were called up.  They went to the ATS or the RAF or the Navy.  Well, Southern Ireland is neutral, isn’t it?  Well they came over, and a lot of these Irish girls that are here now came over.  Susie Cokell that lives down there... and the hairdresser’s mother, Millington, Mrs Millington, they came over; and Imelda Ecclestone’s mother they came over.  They came over to do nursing.

WRM: And where did they nurse?

AM: Well, they went to Castleberg, was it the institution then?

WRM: But there were a lot of Irish girls come?

AM: Oh, yes, they’d come all over England, and some would train properly as nurses.  They got the jobs to replace our girls because they weren’t called up, you see?  And some of the Irishmen stayed, after the hay time and the potato famine came on didn’t it in Ireland?  And they were all important people in Settle.

WRM: I know, there are hardly any old Yorkshire folk at all, are there?

AM: No, the Ralphs I think would be an old family.  You know, Cecily Ralph?  And there were a lot of them, there was fourteen of them.  You haven’t got this on have you?

WRM: Oh, well we can turn it off.

[End of interview - 01:02:30]