Don Bowen

Bowen_DonDonald (Don) Bowen was born in Great Witley in 1931, and educated at Great Witley School.  He spent all his working life in Great Witley first in horticulture and then agriculture.

A member of Great Witley Bowling Club and Great Witley Mens Club, Don also shot for many years for Great Witley in the Lord Ednam Air Rifle League.


Don has been interviewed twice. His recordings includes his childhood, school day and work memories together with stories and anecdotes about village life and characters of the village over the last 75 years.  Full details of topics covered are shown in the breakdown below each recording.

Dons first recording: Bowen_Don_20140605_1_2_A (46 mins 46 secs)

Start Topic Period
00.23 Tradesmens Deliveries to home at 53 the Hill at Great Witley
01.40 Mr Pea the Butcher from Pensax
01.54 Quarterman the Grocer from Abberley
02.40 Memories of GW School 1930/40s
04.05 First job at Dr Johnsons GW 1940s
04.30 The old surgeries at Dr Johnsons property at Great Witley 1940-70
05.00 The Village Institute (old Great Witley Village Hall)
05.31 Shooting in Lord Ednam Air Rifle League
07.10 The Air Gun Team move to the Hundred House at Great Witley
07.25 Vic Fryer the Village Blacksmith at Great Witley
07.40 The Butchers shop and slaughter house at the Dairy Worcester Rd at Great Witley
07.56 Rutter Farmers at Walsgrove Farm at Great Witley
08.11 Ploughing Woodbury Hill and Mr Lees Home Farm at Great Witley 1950s
09.53 Ploughing with Fordson Major tractor at Great Witley 1950s
10.25 Working with Mr Billy Austins shire horses and Stalls Orchard, Redmarley 1940/50s
13.30 Haymaking with shire horses in the Glebe Field at Great Witley 1940/50s
14,21 The building of the Glebe at Great Witley 1950s
14.30 Sale by the Church of the field now known as Quartemans Field at Great Witley 1950s
15.00 Mr Les Colebatch threshing contractor from Little Witley.
16.20 Dons accident when ploughing a field with his Fordson Tractor on Abberley Hill at Great Witley 1950s
18.40 Memories of Great Witley during WW2
22.20 Demolition of Witley Court at Great Witley 1940s/50s
22.50 Removal of water pipes for fountains in Witley Park GW 1940s
23.44 Impact of Worcestershire War Ag Committee on Farmers in Great Witley 1940s
25.20 War time evacuees in Great Witley 1940s
26,25 Home Guard at Great Witley 1940s
27.20 End of the war 1954
28.24 Hop growing in at Great Witley
28.40 The Public Weigh bridge at Hundred House at Great Witley
29.30 Cattle Auction at Hundred House at Great Witley 1950s
30.00 Shop and Tea room opposite the Hundred House. Christmas Party at tea rooms at Great Witley
32.00 Agricultural Haulage with Brother Doug and mushroom farm in Witley Court stable yard at Great Witley
36.10 Clearing church yard at parish church leather coffins found under parish church at Great Witley 1960s
38.00 Prototype Lan drover trials at Redmarley & Willys Jeep at Great Witley
39.00 Binders and first combine harvester in the area 1950s
40.00 Corn harvesting with bagger combine. Wire tying balers at Great Witley 1940/50s
41.46 Demolition of the Round House by WCC steam roller at Great Witley
42.40 Arthur Moors Garage at Great Witley
43.30 Harvesting a bumper crop of Cappell Wheat in the Ivy Field – 2.5 tons to the acre at Great Witley 1950s
42.13 The Hundred House Thrift Club and Mr Fields accident in Stourport Road at Great Witley 1960s


Dons second recording: Bowen_Don_20150223_1_2_A (20 mins 33 secs)

Start Topic Period
00.15 The Hilarys Tearooms and Cyclists Touring Club. 1940/50s
01.00 Putting green at the Hilarys 1940/50s
02.20 Sand quarry opposite the Hilarys. 1940s
03.12 Beestons Sawmills Walsgrove Lane 1946
07.40 Hop yards at Walsgrove Farm. 1940s
08.05 Deaf School founded at Walsgrove Cottages 1950s
09.40 Chester Wilmott War Correspondent – Comet Airliner crash 1950s
12.08 Hundred House Meadow and original access road to Walsgrove Farm 1930/40s
13.30 Hay making and constructing hay ricks in Hundred House meadow. 1930/40s
15.04 Cleveland Petrol pump outside the Hundred House. 1930s
15.45 Ted Childs hair cutting at the Hundred House. The back bar at the Hundred House. 1940/50s
16.05 Changes at the Hundred House 1940/70s
17.33 School Days and the flag pole 1930s
18.05 Apple Scrumping 1930s
19.12 Bill Lewis Turnpike Cottage, rick builder and cider maker 1940/50s
20.12 Reflecting on changes in Great Witley


  1. says

    These interviews with Don Bowen are brilliant, he is of course “Uncle Don” to Jenny, Jo and Chris Hope we love him to bits! Keep these coming its lovely to hear his voice and his chuckle and so interesting hearing all his memories of Great Witley, where we all grew up, what a fantastic memory he has. I am sure he has a lot of stories to tell you about him being Post Master for so many years…

    Joanne Hope (currently living in Australia, however, Great Witley will always be home)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *