An Interview with Mrs M (Rosie) Marshall

Notes of an interview with Mrs M Marshall made by Nicholas Butler in the mid 1980s

These are the notes made by Nicholas Butler who interviewed Mrs Rosie Marshall in the mid 1980s as part of the 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.

About Mrs Marshall

Mrs Marshall was born at the Shipwrights Arms in 1904. She now lives at 1 William Sparrow Court, Rectory Road, Wivenhoe.

What Mrs Marshall told Nick Butler

When the lightning struck the chimney in the shipyard, a blacksmith’s chimney which smoked a good deal, Mr King a butcher, was in the Bar (his shop was opposite the Old Congregational Church in West Street)   Mr Cracknell the baker, was also in the bar.   The lightning struck a knife out of Mr King’s hand, it was never seen again.   My father, who was at the beer pumps, was knocked right over to the tills.   Mr Cracknell lost half his moustache.   The chimney stack crashed through the roof.   Slates flew off the roof as far afield as Station Road. My aunt, Mrs Gertie Short, was in the attic mangling, she jumped down two flights of stairs in two jumps.   It was June, it was the chimney stack that was struck.

Remember yachts on the sea wall, the Rosabelle, Varuna, Valfreyia.

Mr father was Mr George Hillyard.

The Council Offices were at Dr Dean’s.   There used to be a rocket there which was fired when there was a fire. There was a barrow with hoses and buckets on, we kids used to run after it when it was at Coppins ?? Road, the children always used to chase after the barrow.

If they cycled workmen used to call in early at the Shipwrights Arms early in the morning for tea and coffee, no alcohol, a lot came from Alresford and Elmstead.

My piano is from Alfred Paget’s yacht.

Wyvenaires. ECS 13:ii:87.   About 6 or 7 people, members of the over 60s club, entertainers, no charge if transport provided, have been going for about 10 years.

Dad owned 2 or 3 fishing smacks, had the Xanthe which won a cup and the Maria, then got rid of the Maria and had the Daisy.   When they came up with sprats they used to put them on the Quay in front of the Storehouse. People used to go and help themselves with buckets and pick the biggest out.   Mr Pilkington would come with his horse and cart and take them for manure.   Boats then were not powered they went down on one tide and up on the other.

Dad used to sell fish in our backyard.   A ‘bend’ of plaice, etc which was a string laced through the fish’s eyes, customers would buy mixed fish.   They used to supply Jim Edgar and he had them up at the Hythe, where they used to can them.   The fish was collected regularly, there were about 20 smacks not thirty.

There was a blacksmith’s shop joined on to our house (the chimney fell down)   The shipyard was noisy.

Bayard Brown’s yacht and his ladies used to go and see him, all dressed up, we used to see them.

I was put in as Manageress of The Falcon when a tenant fled – Mr Russell.

In the thirties I had the former Chemist’s shop as a sweet shop, it had been run by “Sloddy” Walker, who had a daughter Muriel.

Mrs Wade who had Carrington’s in old school photographs. She may be at Clacton.

First of all I was at the local school then at the County High at Colchester.   Mary Harvey was a prefect on the train.

The first bus was a Silver Queen bus, it used to stand outside the church, it was 3d return and had to back down Falcon Yard when it wanted to turn.

It was 2/6d excursion fare from Wivenhoe to Liverpool Street on Saturdays.   It started at something like 5pm, you saw a show and then returned on a train that started after midnight from London.

We had 8 soldiers billeted on us during WW1 at any one time some from the Staffordshires.

Bailey Bridge.

We were not allowed to cross the ferry over to Rowhedge in WW2 (but we did)   We went to dances at the White Lion which had a hall.   Soldiers came from the Cherry Tree Barracks.   If they knew the authorities were coming, we were warned and we left the dance hall (in Regent Street I think)   The ferryman was Ernie Wilkinson.

I was at the Shipwrights Arms until I reached the age of 23.   My father ran that pub on and off for about 40 years, he was there when it closed down.

WW2 canteen in the shipyard

I lived in Paget Road.   My husband was  out of work for a little while.   (First husband was Mr Lilley who died of a germ suddenly while playing billiards at the British Legion Hall.   The doctor who treated him was Dr Kevern’s successor Dr Radcliffe.)

Mrs Mitchell worked the telephone

Mrs Ravens, Dr Ravens wife, used to go round the street bowling a hoop (Dr Ravens was not a proper doctor)

Dr Squire went round in a coach and horses (photograph shows pony and trap)   House nearly opposite the Shipwrights Arms, used to go out and back by Station Road, he saved my hand once.

(Photograph) Wyvern Players: not long lived.

(Photograph) Joan Pascoe: (not her married name) lives near The Beehive.

(Photograph) The Vandykes.   The Orange Poms.

(Photograph) My child in a pram on the bridge that goes over the railway.   In WW2 I grabbed him and lay on top of him while a doodlebug went over.

Mr Marshall worked on a farm in Alresford. Mr Campbell-Penney’s. Husband never out of work.

(Photograph) Miss Kent for the infants.   Mrs Wright.  Miss Western – started the first Wivenhoe Girl Guides.

Youth Club at Margery Dean Antiques. When I was about 16 (born 1904)

Fish shop in Hamilton Road, wooden buildings at the top of Hamilton Road.   Green’s had one on the corner of Cracknell’s the bakers on Anchor Hill, we called it The Cage.

When the Foresters Hall was closed down my father and Mr Scofield bought a piece of ground from The Cage to Bath Street.  It turned into a dance hall, then it was sold to Robert Skilton, it became a workshop.

Dick Ham had an auctioneers place at the bottom of Hamilton Road

The present butchers was a grocers called Jimmy Moores.   Staceys was where Bartons is.   Milk place opposite the fish shop.


This page was added on 05/11/2016.

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