Mrs Joan Banks

Banks_Joan Mrs_2015Joan moved to the Bank House at Stanford in the Teme Valley before her teens, coming from a small village between Ludlow & Leintwardine. As the second world war started, Joan was a young teenager and she went to work at Hill House Farm in Great Witley. Whilst there she met and married her husband Tony Banks during the war and they moved to a smallholding in Dunley.

Joan has spent the great majority of her long life in this area, and has recorded her early memories in the Teme Valley, as well as her life on the farm during the war years. There are two recordings, covering a wide range of topics, as listed below.

Other memories recalled by Joan after the recording, include: The cottagers made cowslip wine and dandelion wine, and young children made cowslip balls. Farm labourers had for lunch a ”thumbpiece’. A piece of bread with cheese and an onion on it which they held with their thumbs. When children were given bread and scrap, it was called a piece.  A putchin is an eel trap; conical shape, woven by hand with withy nut sticks. Bait in bottom, then catch. There was a good watercress bed near buildings (at Hill House). The headmaster at Abberley Hall School originated from Blackheath Boys prep school in London brought the school over to  Abberley because he was afraid of the Zepplins. Gilbert Ashton and Leonard Greenwood went to Winchester and Oxford together and they started the Boys Prep School. When Gilbert Ashton died Leonard Greenwood took his place for a short time. He was Joans cousin.

Joans recording (part 1): Banks_Joan_Mrs_20150915_1_3_A part 1 (53 mins 54 secs)

Start Topic Period
0:00 Introduction
0:50 Move to the Teme Valley Worcestershire, from Leintwardine/Ludlow
1:00 Jack Lane – Blacksmith and testing of bridge at Stanford
2:00 Stanford Bridge memories – fishing – eel traps 1920’s/1940’s
5:00 Hop picking at Stanford Bridge Late 1920’s
8:30 Wheelwrights, blacksmith, groom
12:20 Introduction to Hill House, Great Witley – working on the farm – war effort 1939 onwards
24:00 Sheep – dipping, shearing, foot rot, maggots & castration
25:00 Pigs – killing and pork curing (some 1939, some 1950’s)
29.10 Cider making 1939
32:20 Farm produce, damson picking 1940’s
33:50 Pea picking and Romany gypsies, and cooking hedgehog.
37.10 Donkey Lane and Snuffy Row at Structons Heath, Mrs Preece (known as Preecy)
39:30 The Rock at Structons Heath, Aunt Daisy and Garner. Aunt Blanche and Fothergill, Crummy (Waggoner and cherry minder) 1940’s
43:20 Potato picking
45:30 Lanterns in winter
46:30 Abberley Hall, Weather forecasting with fingers & flowers.
48:38 Clover bloating cattle.
50:15 Expressions – mawkin (scarecrow) and other bird scarers. Devil bird (swift). Glat (hole in hedge), mummy ruffer (Long Tailed Tits nest), Anty Tump (ant hill), tongue pie (telling off), choc (brake on cart).

Joans recording (part 2): Banks_Joan_Mrs_20150915_1_3_A part 2 (45 mins 37 secs)

Start Topic Period
00:00 Shoe protection when spade digging
02:00 Rose nails – Fiddler Foley and ‘Piggy Smith” both of Witley Court.
05:00 Sale at Witley Court and other memories
07:30 How Banks family ended up at Hill House Farm
09:40 Our ponies
11:30 How Joan met Tony Banks, married 1941 and life after at Dunley.
17:30 South Rock Caves, Shelsley and Herb Paris
19:00 Polling horns (drinking horns), water divining, rain water at Hillhouse, Sock pit, Hedge brushing (laying), horse commands, and gleaning corn, stone crushing for road maintenance. The ‘ram’ pump at Hill House
25:30 Thumb sticks, rabbits, the start of myxomatosis and a poachers trick.
26:30 Mead or Bee Wine
29:15 Workers expressions and community spirit.
32:10 Home Guard at Great Witley, flying in a bi-plane, and zeppelins.
36:17 Families first car 1920
37:00 Witley Church renovation
38:30 Gardeners Cottages at Witley Court
40:00 Farm workers clothes and haircutting
43:00 Mary Cartwright
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