Sound Recording – Ronald Barker & Dorothy nee Picken

PH Fanfields1978 smlA truly wonderful sound recording which blossoms and is soon packed with detail. So many references to the local area.  Bird nesting in the meadows  and the making of a kite that could fly higher than the chimney on the Pye Hill bind hill.  This fascinating account, is the story of a man who left Jacksdale School, aged 14,  started at Evan’s Concrete, Riddings on a wage of  23 shillings a week (£1.25p nearly)  who then moved onto the building industry, maintained farm cottages & pig sties, living in a tithe cottage with 5 sacks of potatoes delivered free from the management, farm eggs and logs charged at 2 shillings a week. His love for his mother is paramount, “How did she cope?” And how he now wishes he could go back and ask her that question. In a little two up to down at Pye Hill, there was Ron, his parents, his sister, an uncle, his two brothers and they still had room for two evacuees in WW2. When anyone passed away, says Ron, they were laid out on tressles in the front room. “It didn’t bother you. You got used to it.”