An Interview with Mr John (Jack) Revell and Mrs Ryder

Notes of an interview with Mr John (jack) Revell and Mrs Ryder made by Nicholas Butler in the mid 1980s

These are the notes made by Nicholas Butler who interviewed Mr John Revell of 17 Colchester Road and Mrs RYDER of William Sparrow Court in the mid 1980s as part of his research for his book “The Story of Wivenhoe”. These notes have been re-typed by Ann Jones from Nicholas Butler’s original notes and posted here by Frances Belsham.

Looking at photographs:

The house is the Workhouse Master’s House.   Used to bake bread for the Workhouse here.   Bought this property in 1952.   Been in Wivenhoe since 1930.

Beyond The Flag on the back road there are three cottages which are called Three Chimneys now.   An old man called Howlett lived there.   He used to keep pigs in one of the rooms.   Across the road, a three-arched brick cut lodge, a pretty building.

At the right hand side of Vine Farm was the dairy.   Right opposite (No 17 Colchester Road) was a pond fenced round to keep the cattle out.

The boarded house at the top of Rectory Road was The Beehive.

Mrs R: I used to live with my grandfather Wyatt the carrier.

Mr R: He used to pick up the linen from Wivenhoe Park and take it down to Mrs Green in Falcon Yard.

Kemble’s home was a timber yard.   Barrell’s timber yard.   Gooch once locked the gate on one of the Barrells who was ready to leave Wivenhoe Park with timber when he didn’t pay.

Mrs R: My grandfather refused to be buried by Lewis Barrell.

Robert Barrell started a galvanising plant at the timber yard.   Robert was the surveyor.   Father of Lewis, a staunch Congregational Church man.

Martin and Ben? Ran the yard.

Mrs R: Mill House.   The Mill was taken down.   The ground up to the cemetery was the Mill ground.   The Mill was still up in 1927.   Part of the ground was sold to Mason.   Dora Mortlock built the Bungalow next door to the Mill House.

Mrs R: Michael Heard’s house built by Mr Cater, head schoolmaster here.

Cedric’s Garage: Cedric Peck the father lived in the gardener’s cottage of the Hall.   Garage presumably named after the father.   He used to collect antiques, his house was a mass of antiques.

Mrs R: My husband worked for Cedric Peck.

Mrs R: My great-grandfather had Spring Lane Farm.

Photograph of funeral wagon: Mr R: I painted the wagon.   Mr Gooch was taken to the cemetery on the same wagon.

Mrs R: A Fair went on in Spion Cop in October for 2 or 3 weeks.  Land bought by Colonel James.

Charles Taylor:  Worked for Cracknell the Baker, lives in Ernest/Stanley Road.

Mr R: Nissen huts in the Park.   Two opposite the Brightlingsea Road.  They held the tanks of the Royal Tank Regiment.  Redcaps and Paratroopers there.

Iron verandah taken down from Wivenhoe Park House.

Mrs R: Left school at 14, got a job in the tailoring factory at the bottom of Alma Street.   There were about 15 of us.  I worked about 18 months there.   Qualified as a machinist.   My grandfather said “You are going into service”, I went to Wivenhoe Park, reluctantly, as a kitchenmaid, up to the war there was no electricity (fitted in 1952) oil lamps which I had to clean, fill and put round the house again, there were 52 of them.  There was a game larder, laundry yard with mangle and huge tray of stones.   I had to clean the birds for dinner.   There were 3 slate tanks in the roof they held 250 gallons each.   

Mr R: Cook had her own private flat over the stables

Old Mr Warren the shutter ?? lived in the cottage at the end of the drive.

The first Mrs Gooch lives in Cross Farm House.

Mr R: Wivenhoe Park sold for £167,000

Mrs R: My grandfather used to do their shopping. (Wyatt)

Tom Mayland the blacksmith.

Mrs R: I took my horse up to the shop (ie my grandfather’s) every fortnight

The road down past the present University was a cart track.

In the First World War all surplus milk had to be thrown away and horses were commandeered.

Payne the milkman and Gladwyn the coalman.   His son lives in Rosabelle Avenue.   Franks the baker.   All in East Street.   Coalyard below Garrison House.   Hector Barr ran the Nottage Institute.

Mr R: One of the cleverest sailmakers.  Mrs R: Vonk.   Holy Joe, he came here and took over the shop.   Wife and two little girls, they vanished.  He’d be praying in the shop.  The Lord’ll bless you he’d bawl at us in the factory.  “Then, I’ll shake your hand Mr Johnstone because we’ll meet up there”. Her reply. Holy Joe was a Jehovah’s Witness.   McLeod used to give Mr Johnstone his wage packet.   2 or 3 years after his death the wife turned up but the religious sect stuck by him.   It went through the Courts.   McLeod may have worked at Paxman’s.

Never seen to pay his way to Walton and Clacton.   He came in about 1934.   Mrs Flux owned the shop before him.

Before Mr Worsp made the canning factory, the fishing boats would come in.   The fish would go to the shop. Surplus on the Quay.   Lots of sprats.

Ropery House: Miss Stark lives there.

Nellie Ware’s sweets.   Ran the Post Office at The Cross.   Many coins went into the sweet bags.

Mr R: The last I heard of Bayard Brown’s yacht, it finished up in Africa.   He was a man daren’t go too far.   

Mr Barr used to own 6 cottages in Blood Alley.  Mrs Bell used to live in one of them.   Boomer Bell.   Used to wear huge earrings in one ear.

Violet Bell (Mrs Page) Lives in Britannia Crescent.

Rosie Marshall of William Sparrow Court, Rectory Road.  The Wyvenaires – Ivy Barton was one of them.  Winnie Went.   Violet Tyrrell.

William Loveless used to drop bucket-loads of sand on the mud in front of The Storehouse to make it like a beach for the children.

Blanche Fury filmed in Wivenhoe.

Kemble buying up people’s houses.   Lewis Barrell was the undertaker and Leslie Kemble worked for him.   Got the house and the job.

Miss Head and Mrs Forsgate. Music Teachers.


This page was added on 07/11/2016.

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