John Taylor was interviewed for the project in 2014. John’s father was the Maintenance Engineer for the Abberley Preparatory School although he went to Great Witley Village School from 1938. As a young boy he lived in the former Toll House at the bottom of the Bromyard Road. The Old Toll House (of which many photographs remain) was demolished to widen the road. Abberley School built a new house in its grounds for John’s family.
John tells many stories of life as a young boy playing in the village and on his bike in the tunnels leading from the Fountain at Witley Court to Martley. He also recalls the snow in the vicious winter of 1947 and the resulting landslide on Abberley Hill which was reported nationally.
John passed the 11 plus examination and went on to Hartlebury Grammar School. He now lives in Kidderminster and keeps in touch with close friends from the village school to this day.
Filename: Taylor_John_20140923_1_2_A.mp3 (11 mins 48 secs)
|00:00||Living at The Old Toll House, Bromyard Road, Great Witley||1930s/40s|
|00:54||Moving from The Old Toll House when it was demolished||1940s|
|01:30||Playing with friends in the village area||1940s|
|02:02||Falling into the old slurry pit||1940s|
|02:15||Playing and cycling in the ruins of Witley Court||1940s|
|03:37||Taking bricks from the ruined Witley Court to build father’s greenhouse||1940s|
|03:55||Father growing tobacco for cigarettes in wartime||1940s|
|04:32||Fighting with schoolboys from Abberley Hall School||1940s|
|05:44||Lecture from the Rector on “birds and bees”||1940s|
|06:05||Suicide of Rector||1940s|
|06:30||Winter of 1947||1940s|
|07:20||Landslide on Abberley Hill caused by melting snow in the winter of 1947||1940s|
|08:30||Children playing with guns and knives||1950s|
|09:33||Breaking windows at The Hundred House with catapults||1940s|
|10:05||Being attacked by dog belonging to the then ,licensee of The Hundred House||1950s|
|10:52||Travelling workers from the Black Country coming to pick hops in the area||1950s|