History of the 2006 Oral History Project & the book Sea-Change: Wivenhoe Remembered

The Project really began in 2004 with a grant of £43,000; 190 people were then interviewed, leading to a book and a DVD.

Page created by Peter Hill

Paul Thompson, architect of the Oral History Project and Director of it.
Peter Hill
The book Sea-change: Wivenhoe Remembered, published in 2006
Brenda Corti who has done much of the administrative work in the project at the March event
Peter Hill
Crowd in the William Loveless Hall at an Update Event in March 2006
Peter Hill
Denis Sparling, a former Wivenhoe landlord, at the March event
Peter Hill
John Wolton who played the piano for the soundtrack on the DVD
Peter Hill
Archie Whaley, who attended the March event, showing a prize he won when at school in Wivenhoe
Peter Hill
Rev David Thomas who chaired meetings of the Project, introducing Prof Paul Thompson
Photograph by Peter Hill
The crowd upstairs in the Sailing Club in October 2006 waiting to see the DVD
Peter Hill
Steve Humphries, Andy Attenburrow (above left) and Mike Pharey of Testimony Films who have been working on the DVD. Marcel Glover (standing right in the photo above) has been the member on the Project team providing technical assistance.
Peter Hill
Brenda Corti from the Oral History team with Annie Bielecka and Ken Plummer at the Remembering Wivenhoe stand in 2006

This tells the story of the Wivenhoe Oral History Project, the architect of which was Prof. Paul Thompson who, with Brenda Corti, obtained a grant of £43,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to pay the cost of professional help in transcribing oral recordings, some 190 in all by the end of the project two and a half years after it began in earnest, and made by a team of around 15 people who worked with Paul to make these recordings.

The people who were most involved throughout this project  were:  Brenda Corti, Janet Turner, Don Smith and Teresa Crompton, although many more people were involved in one way or other. Their contribution has been acknowledged by Paul Thompson in the front of the book See-change: Wivenhoe Remembered as well as below.  

A Public Launch on 2nd June 2004

The public launch of the Wivenhoe Oral Community History Project took place in the British Legion Hall on Wednesday, 2nd June, 2004 at 7.30pm. Many people came to hear what the project was about.  This group, chaired by Rev David Thomas, with Brenda Corti and Paul Thompson as the key people behind the project, has been more than two years in the creation.

A grant of £43,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund was awarded to the group to allow work to commence in recording the experiences of Wivenhoe as a community from the 1940’s onwards. (Note: In fact the group collected memories from much earlier in the 20th century).

The group aimed to cover the working lives of of such local people as fishermen, yachtsmen, shipbuilders, railway workers, shopkeepers, builders etc to create an oral picture of life in Wivenhoe.

The meeting in the British Legion Hall was an open meeting and was very well attended too. The Project had created a lot of excitement in Wivenhoe.

Following the Launch, Paul Thompson gave this update in August 2004

The ‘Remembering Wivenhoe’ Oral History Project is off to a good start.

We are aiming to record eighty interviews with local people, which will be the basis of a local oral history book and a video, and also archived for others to use in the future.

The project started with three events, all drawing good numbers: a tent with a specially made banner at the May Fair on 31 May; a part in the anniversary D-Day meeting on 4 June organised by Jacqueline Thomas in the Wivenhoe library, at which Bill Ellis told the story of the construction of the Mulberry Harbours, and the Project’s launch meeting at the British Legion on 2 June, 2004.

At the launch, which was chaired by the Rev David Thomas and addressed by the Mayor Councillor Peter Hill, the veteran Suffolk oral historian Ronald Blythe spoke poetically about the value of recorded memories; Joan Gifford sang folksongs, and we listened to a recording made thirty years ago with Etta Dan, who was a Wivenhoe school teacher in the early 20th century.

As a result of this publicity, and also the `Wivenhoe Memories’ exhibition of photographs and documents organised by John Stewart which also drew in many long-standing Wivenhovians, we have received an encouraging number of offers from people willing to be recorded for the project, and also of volunteers to help with the interviewing, historical research and organising events. Our team of fifteen interviewers has already begun recording, beginning with the older generations – and some brilliant stories.

Brenda Corti and Paul Thompson

An update in December 2004

Paul said: Thanks to the enthusiasm of our group of volunteers, the Wivenhoe oral history project has been making excellent progress. One group of volunteers has collected information on previous historical work on Wivenhoe, and worked out the pattern of shops and societies in the village since the 1930s. This group has also unearthed and summarised ten older interviews with Wivenhovians, which can be linked to our new material.

We have a team of fifteen interviewers and to date they have recorded fifty interviews. We have given priority for these first months to the older generation, although we are also recording people in their middle years so as to get a better record of how life in Wivenhoe has been changing. We are also intending to cover different aspects of life: the riverside, the farms, the factories, the pubs and shops, professionals, family life, moving to Wivenhoe, and so on.

For example, those already recorded include Ken Green on fishing, Ernie Vince on the big yachts, Don Smith and Frank Hodgson on the shipyards, Annie Skilton on fish processing, Marjorie Goldstraw on the clothing factory, Jack Mallett on his shop and Charles Tayler on his bakery, the artist Bill Heslop, and Olive Whaley – the novelist of the village, Elizabeth Jeffrey.

In addition, thanks to some extra support given by the University we are also recording a group of early University staff.

We are also experimenting with some group interviews, which will begin with memories of Valley Road wives in the 1960s.

An update by Brenda Corti in February 2005

Brenda said: The Wivenhoe Community Oral History project, Remembering Wivenhoe, held a very successful meeting at the William Loveless Hall on Tuesday 15 February, 2005.

An audience of a hundred people came to an evening of `Pictures and Voices’, combining extracts from new recordings of Wivenhoe memories from the project with slides presented by Don Smith (with support from Janet Turner, Brian Sinclair, and Mike Downs of the Nottage Institute).

The meeting was opened by Rev David Thomas, chairman of the oral history committee, and Paul Thompson, director of the project, who explained that because of the enthusiasm of the volunteers supporting the project over sixty people have now been recorded, and the evening gave just a taste of them: many others were to be included in the future book from the project.  Opening with the era of the big yachts, including the voice of skipper Ernie Vince and a photograph of King George V at the wheel next to Wivenhoe’s Captain Turner, Don Smith then presented a sequence of linked photographs and voices on the fishing, the shipyard, schools, shops and pubs.

Halfway there was a break for refreshments, with much exchange of other memories within the audience.

An update from Paul Thompson in April 2006

Paul said: Wivenhoe’s Community Oral History project, `Remembering Wivenhoe’, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has made excellent progress over the last few months.

With the memories of over 150 people from all the main aspects of Wivenhoe life recorded, we have almost completed interviewing. In May we are hoping to add some children’s impressions of living in Wivenhoe today.

The two main outcomes of the project will be a film/DVD, for which we started filming in February, and a book of Wivenhoe memories, to be published by Tempus, which is already in first draft. Editing these testimonies has brought home how fascinating they are, and powerful in conveying our own community’s special history. We shall be launching the book and DVD together at our autumn meetings.

In the meantime, on 28 March 2006, an enthusiastic audience of some seventy Wivenhoe people enjoyed a foretaste of some parts of the book in a presentation of photographs and voices from the interviews. This was presented by Don Smith, Janet Turner and Marcel Glover, with a commentary by Paul Thompson. The overall theme was Wivenhoe’s changing social life.

The first half began with the pubs, the different kinds of customers from trade unionists and commuters to artists, and pub culture including jokes and games but also taking care of those who had drunk too much. Like the pubs the churches have been central to village life for centuries, and one memory took us back to a time when the Sunday School outing to Walton was the one time in the year that poorer children could leave the village. But as we heard, the churches were also changing, the Congregationalists very early to have a woman minister, and the Anglicans developing music and, more controversially recounted, installing toilets – to the horror of Miss Marple.

The performing arts societies, by contrast, are much newer: probably the earliest the Wivenhoe Players, founded in 1968, with the Pantomine, Gilbert and Sullivan and Folk Club following in the 1980s. There was a nice link, however, in that the G & S first performed in the church with then rector, Stephen Hardie, as leading baritone.

After an interval in which the buzz of reminiscence could be heard flowing freely, the second part focussed on some of the leading village clubs. Of the three sports clubs, the Cricket Club goes back to the mid-19th century, and there were notable memories of its fetes; for both cricket and football there were struggles to secure their grounds; while the Bowls Club had interesting debates on the merits of admitting ladies to membership.

Memories of the Sailing Club went back to its foundation in 1925, and the skills of traditional sailing – including Wivenhoe One-Designs. A particularly notable point was how working together as volunteers was central to the Club’s spirit, `the heart of the Club’. This thought was echoed in the memories of the Allotment and Garden Society, with which the evening concluded. Here again there had been a fight to keep the ground, and there had been notable fetes, but the strongest appeal of all for the allotment holders was their mutuality, exchanging plants, advising on how to grow them, as Phil Faucheux put it, `fellowship’.

Paul Thompson

Two and half years after the launch of the Project

Two and a half years later after its launch in 2006, the team of about 15 people had interviewed 190 people. The book was published, in October 2006, followed shortly after by the DVD.  They were both launched at an event at the Sailing Club on 5th October 2006.

Peter Kennedy afterwards wrote in Wivenhoe News:

“Packed out” is all one can say about the attendance at the Sailing Club on 5th October 2006 for the double launch of Wivenhoe’s community oral history project’s book and DVD.  The Rev David Thomas, Chairman of the project, introduced the launch, saying “We thought there’d be a few of you, we didn’t realise there would be so many, but it’s a pleasure to see all of you here!”

This has been very much a community project, David said, and a tremendous number of people have been involved. He particularly wished to thank Brenda Corti who has done all the administration, and Paul Thompson who has directed the project; “but the spirit of Ernie Vince pervades this room and pervades Wivenhoe – so I should like to dedicate this evening to his memory.”

Then Paul Thompson said “This is the culmination of two and a half year’s work … we’ve had high quality professional help, and an outstanding transcriber in Marion Haberhauer.   A selection of interviews has been used for the book but more will appear month by month with Peter Hill’s help on the Wivenhoe website … Wivenhoe is full of historians: personal historians, boat historians, club historians … what you see tonight is the fruit of a collective endeavour.”

Everyone trooped upstairs to watch the DVD. I counted one hundred people and more in the audience.   Andy Attenburrow, one of the makers of the DVD, introduced the film and he praised John Wolton who had composed and recorded the musical score.  The film is a beauty, lovely to watch, full of incident, personal testimony, and arresting scenes of both historic and present day Wivenhoe. It was received with delight, everybody enjoyed it, and it was rewarded with enthusiastic applause.

The book Sea-change: Wivenhoe Remembered, published by Tempus, is an absolute corker. It has been beautifully produced, replete with sparky anecdotes, and it gives a portrait of the changing scene: the farms, fishing and sailing, the shipyards, the shops and pubs, the coming of the artists and the university – and much else besides. All the interviews are marvellously evocative – all those stories and memories – and the photographic record of Wivenhoe is just fantastic.

A roaring trade was done that evening, I understand 105 copies of the Sea-change book were sold.

Peter Kennedy


  1. All of the above was first published on the Wivenhoe Encyclopedia between 2004 and 2006
  2.  A list of all the people can be found by clicking here
  3. An Introduction to the Project written by Prof Paul Thompson can be found here 

People involved in the Community Oral History Project:

The project has been directed by Paul Thompson and administered by Brenda Corti, and the project committee have also included Annie Bielecka, Ken Plummer, Don Smith, Janet Turner, and (chair) Rev David Thomas.  Jacqueline Thomas as library representative was succeeded by Jane Stanway.

At the core of the project was an enthusiastic and talented interviewing team, some experienced, some new to recording life stories: Lisa Baxter, Libby Bishop, Annie Bielecka, Ann Clarke, Brenda Corti, Ellie Crichton Stuart, Ann Dale, Shirley Dow, Bruce Gant, Diana Gittins, Marcel Glover, Alison Kent, Caroline Munn-Giddings, Carol Mitchell, Helen Polom, Kate Powis, Lin Roberts, Brian Sinclair, Tony Swift, Paul Thompson and Jan Thurlow.

In the early months of the project there was also a parallel research group, which provided valuable historical background information, consisting of Elizabeth Baines, Ann Clarke, Pat Marsden and Janet Turner. We also were also very much helped with maritime historical information by Bill Ellis.

Our earlier presentations of material from the project were particularly helped by the technical and audio skills of Marcel Glover and Janet Turner, and by Don Smith’s collection of photographs. For illustrations we were also generously helped by Colin Andrews, John Bines, Joyce Blackwood, the Congregational Church, Tim Denham, James Dodds, Peter and Diane Duffield, Phil Faucheux, Tony Forsgate, Jan Frostick, Marcel Glover, Marjorie Goldstraw, Annabel Gooch, Betty Govan, Ken Green, Pat Green, Peter Green, Jean Harding, Frank Hodgson, Glendower Jackson, Kitty Funnel, Dennis Marsden, Ralph Moss, Sue Murray, the Nottage Institute, Ellen Primm, John Stewart, Don Smith, Janet Turner, Ernie Vince, Graham Wadley, and Dave and Sylvia Weatherall.

In launching the project we were especially helped by support from Andrew Philips and Colchester Recalled, the Wivenhoe Town Council, the Sociology Department at the University of Essex, the Friends of St Mary’s, the Sailing Club, Millfields School and Broomgrove School.

Finally, for their crucial financial support we thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their grant of £43,000 which has made the project possible. We also received a grant of £2,750 from Professor Ivor Crewe, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, which enabled us to include some interviews with early university staff members.

The Heritage Lottery Fund grant has in particular enabled the skilled transcription of the interviews by Marion Haberhauer, the production of a DVD by Steve Humphries, Andy Attenburrow and Mike Pharey of Testimony Films, and the appointment of Teresa Crompton to assist in writing the book and in the creation of this extended website selection.

The interviews were archived as be part of the `Colchester Recalled’ collection and can be consulted at either Colchester Museum or the University of Essex Library, and also at the Essex Sound Archive.

People who were interviewed:

Here are the names of all the people who were interviewed and contributed to the book:

  • Tony Allcock, born Colchester 1938, came to Wivenhoe in 1959 and runs the Allcock and Stevens electrical and television shop.
  • Pat Alston, born Colchester 1949; secretary at Wivenhoe Port.
  • Colin Andrews, born Reepham, Norfolk 1940, came to Wivenhoe in 1967. Worked as a railwayman before running the Station Hotel in Wivenhoe. Today a housepainter and builder.
  • Freda Annis, born 1917 into an old Wivenhoe family. Shop assistant in Wivenhoe.
  • John Ashworth, born Luton 1938, came to Wivenhoe 1973 as Professor of Biology at Essex University, Chief Scientist to the Cabinet Office and Chairman of the British Library.
  • Roger Bacon, born Colchester, 1930, moved to Wivenhoe in 1936. Teacher and cricketer.
  • Austin Baines, born Kenilworth 1936. Librarian at Essex University, Secretary of Wivenhoe Society and Town Councillor.
  • Eunice Baker, born Colchester 1923, came to Wivenhoe in 1935. Farm worker, steward at Arts Club.
  • Richard Barnard, born c.1953. Moved to Wivenhoe in 1974 after finishing degree at Essex University. Teacher and then filming work on boats. Very active in sailing club. [Also interviewed re Ernie Turner].
  • Hilda Barrell, born Fingringhoe c1895, arrived Wivenhoe aged 18 months. Member of a farming and maritime family, spending childhood on Wivenhoe Quay. [interviewed by Diana Gittins c1975].
  • John Barton, born Colchester 1946, came to Wivenhoe 1951. Coach driver for Cedrics from 1977.
  • Penny Bell, born Kirby Cross, 1940. Co-founder of Wivenhoe Bookshop in 1976.
  • Leila Berg, born Salford 1917, came to Wivenhoe 1985.       Writer and political activist.
  • Annie Bielecka, born Criccieth, N. Wales 1945, daughter of a seaman. Came to Wivenhoe 1975.       Social worker, now artist.
  • Phil Bingham, born Norfolk, 1946, came to Wivenhoe 1972. Worked in computing, became a Methodist lay preacher.
  • John Bines, born Colchester 1934.       Worked at Cook’s shipyard 1950-1986.
  • Joyce Blackwood, born Wivenhoe 1928. Daughter of a yachtsman, became a teacher and a pioneer woman sailor.
  • John Bowes, born at Ballast Quay Farm, Wivenhoe, 1936. Took over farm from father in the 1960s.
  • Shirley Bowes, born Colchester 1938. Farmer’s wife at Ballast Quay Farm.
  • Rodney Bowes, born Colchester, 1960, son of John Bowes and grandson of Ernie Vince. Fisherman.
  • Brian Buckle, born Suffolk 1933, came to Wivenhoe 1935; father head horseman on Wivenhoe Park Estate. Worked on the Estate from 1947, rising to be foreman.
  • David Burrows, born 1940 and Jean Burrows came to Wivenhoe 1986 and ran the Post Office at the Cross for 20 years.
  • Nicholas Butler, born London and came to Wivenhoe 1936. Son of Joan Hickson. Local journalist and historian, first secretary of Wivenhoe Society from 1966. Moved to Oxfordshire 1997.
  • Lyn Button, born Glasgow 1947, came to Wivenhoe 1974. Teacher at Broomgrove School since 1979.
  • Richard Chopping, born Colchester 1917, moved to Wivenhoe 1945 with Dennis Wirth-Miller.       Pioneer of artists’ community in Wivenhoe.
  • Andrew Cocks, born West Mersea 1952, Colchester publisher. Yachtsman, active member of Wivenhoe and Rowhedge Yacht Owners’ Association.
  • Patricia Coventry, born Essex 1937, came to Wivenhoe in 1972. Active Congregationalist
  • David Craze, born London, 1947, teacher. Former Mayor of Wivenhoe, keen collector especially of Wivenhoe postcards.
  • Pam Dan, born 1939, came to Wivenhoe 1954. Artist; wife of potter John Dan; involved with Arts Club.
  • Tim Denham, born Wivenhoe 1935.  Teacher, sailor and ornithologist.
  • James Dodds, born Brightlingsea, 1957, moved to Wivenhoe 1995. Son of an artist, trained as shipwright before going to Art School.
  • Barbara Donohue, born Wivenhoe 1924.  Active Congregationalist.
  • Mike Downes, born 1940, has lived Wivenhoe since 1980. Photography and printer. Since 1992 Warden of Nottage
  • Helen Douzier, born 1947, ran a hairdressing business in Wivenhoe High Street. Treasurer of Wivenhoe Congregational Church.
  • Leonard Drinkell, born Wivenhoe 1927. Colchester auctioneer, keen cricketer, Mason.
  • Peter and Diane Duffield, Peter, born Messing 1936, Diane, born Tollesbury 1941. Came to Wivenhoe 1963; involved with Allotments Association and Wivenhoe Show.
  • Clare Durance, born 1947, came to Wivenhoe 1972. Co-founder of Gilbert and Sullivan Society in 1980. Teacher
  • Jim Dutton, born at Sunnymede Farm, Wivenhoe 1934. Took over from father who farmed there from 1931.
  • Linda Edwardson, born in Southend 1949, came to Wivenhoe in 1988. Runs Londis shop in Vine Parade, active role in annual pantomime.
  • Bill Ellis, born Ilford 1925. City banker, retired to Wivenhoe 1975. Secretary and Treasurer of
    Nottage Institute 1977 – 95.
  • Patrick Ellis, born Wivenhoe 1924, father ran a chandler’s shop. Pat became ship’s engineer.
  • Phil Faucheux, born Kent 1923, son of a master canner, moved to Wivenhoe 1924. Railway fitter. Secretary of Allotments Association and Wivenhoe Show 1959-76, secretary and groundsman of Cricket Club.
  • Stan Fenton, born Wivenhoe 1957.       Electrician.       Active in Wivenhoe Sailing Club [Recorded with Regatta Day interviews]
  • Lewis Footring came to Wivenhoe 1961. Radio officer on cross-channel ferries. Involved with Arts Club.
  • Tony Forsgate, born Wivenhoe 1929. Teacher. Cricket Club Secretary 1952 – 69
  • Jan Frostick, born Chester 1940, came to Wivenhoe. Hairdressing business in Wivenhoe in 1960s.
  • Tony Frostick, born Wivenhoe 1938.       Ship’s draughtsman at Rowhedge. Later worked for Marconi and BT; active member of Wivenhoe Sailing Club
  • Sheila Foster, born Kent 1950, came to Wivenhoe 1974. Theatre background, involved with various Wivenhoe drama groups including Players and Youth Theatre.
  • Joan Gifford, born in South Africa 1927, came to Wivenhoe 1991, Folk Club activist, teaches guitar.
  • Mary Girling, born Brightlingsea 1943. Farmer’s daughter, dog breeder and Departmental Secretary of Sociology at University 1971-2001. Secretary of Colchester Talking Newspaper for the blind, and international deerhound specialist.
  • Marjorie Goldstraw, born Wivenhoe 1921. Family ran dairy and manned tollgate. Clothing factory worker.
  • Annabel Gooch, born Oxford 1939, married Charles Gooch 1961. Continues to live at Tye Farm on Wivenhoe Park Estate.
  • Betty Govan, born Wivenhoe 1928.       Grew up at Ballast Quay Farm; later shop worker and British Legion activist.
  • Alan Green, born Wivenhoe 1930.       Railway mechanic. Involved with Scouting movement for 40 years.
  • Barry Green, born Wivenhoe 1942. Worked for Cook’s Shipyard as welder. Part-time fishing skipper.
  • Brian Green, born 1932 Wivenhoe, started fishing at 15. From 1965 fish and chip shopkeeper, ran business 36 years.
  • Carol Green, born London 1936, came to Wivenhoe 1978. Worked in family shop. Involved in Crabbing Competition and charity fund raising.
  • Ken Green, born Wivenhoe 1934. Fisherman and fish salesman.
  • Pat Green, born Wivenhoe 1938. Kept greengrocers shop in High Street.
  • Peter Green, born Wivenhoe 1932. Fisherman and fish retailer.
  • Ray Hall, born Wivenhoe 1937. Shipyard apprentice, heating engineer. Involved in air-sea rescue and Sailing Club.
  • Canon Stephen Hardie, born Bedford 1941.  Rector of Wivenhoe 1976-92. Involved in Gilbert and Sullivan productions and sailing.
  • Jean Harding, born Manchester 1923.  Co-founder of Wivenhoe Bookshop in 1976.
  • Hilary Harvey, born Rowhedge 1950, but family worked in Wivenhoe shipyard. Has memories of sport in Wivenhoe
  • Brian Heasman, born 1935, came from Suffolk to Wivenhoe 1972, working for British Telecom. Active Mason.
  • Bill and Enid Heslop, born 1936 and 1938, both from County Durham, moved to Wivenhoe 1963. Bill is an artist and retired former art teacher.
  • Peter Hill, born Southend-on-Sea 1950.  Works in City business, came to Wivenhoe in 1972. Active participant in Town Council, Scout and Guide Association, Engine Shed Project and many Wivenhoe organisations.
  • Celia Hirst, born Redditch 1953, came to Wivenhoe 1975. Blues and jazz singer, founder-organiser of May Fair.
  • Frank Hodgson, born West Hartlepool 1923. Manager at Cook’s Shipyard. Active with Wivenhoe Bowls Club.  [Also recorded with Bowls Club group]
  • Glendower Jackson, born Swindon 1931, came same year to Wivenhoe. Worked as electrician and for Foreign Office. Collector of Wivenhoe postcards.
  • Sue Kerr, born Colchester 1934, soon moved to Wivenhoe. Physiotherapist. Father ran butchers’ shops in Colchester and Wivenhoe.
  • Ivy Knappett, born Wivenhoe 1908, daughter of shipyard riveter. First job picking out sprats on Quay.  Farm worker.
  • Jimmy Lawrence, born Colchester 1933.   Worked on barges. Sailmaker, teacher at Nottage.
  • Janita Lefevre, born 1950, moved Wivenhoe 1974. Humanities teacher. Works for education in Ethiopia.
  • Pat Moss, born Stratford 1932, evacuated to Wivenhoe in war. Active Congregationalist.
  • Martin Newell, born Hertfordshire 1953, moved to Wivenhoe in 1975. Poet and performer. Author of The Wild Man of Wivenhoe.
  • Halcyon Palmer, born Shropshire 1934, daughter of Dr William Dean who practised in Wivenhoe from 1935. Mother, Margery Dean was local councillor and antique dealer.
  • Dr Ted Palmer, born Chichester 1931, came to Wivenhoe in 1963 as GP, married Halcyon. Founder member of Wivenhoe Society; enjoys collecting antiques.
  • Ken Plummer, born London 1946, came to Wivenhoe 1975, Sociology Professor at Essex University.
  • Ellen Primm, born Wivenhoe 1920, daughter of shipyard worker. Worked as tailoress and in wartime as shipyard carpenter.
  • Ann Quarrie, born Grimsby 1950s, set up an estate agency in Wivenhoe in 1988. Town Councillor.
  • Charles and June Sansom, born in 1919 and 1923, came to Wivenhoe in 1948. Charles a shipyard plater, June worked in electrical assembly and later at Essex University.
  • Peter Sainty, born Wivenhoe 1930, from local maritime family. Architect.
  • Charles Scofield, born Wivenhoe 1930. Family in painting and decorating trade. Worked in housing.  Active with Masons, Bowls and Cricket Clubs. [Also recorded with Bowls Club group and Masons group]
  • Annie Skilton, born Wivenhoe 1918. One of thirteen children; worked for North Sea Canners from age 14; later with husband for Skilton and West’s transformer business.
  • Don Smith, born Wivenhoe 1923. Shipyard engineer 1940s-50s; water engineer 1960s. Active in Wivenhoe Sailing Club.
  • Pat Smith, born Colchester 1933, came to Wivenhoe in 1979. Ran Greyhound pub 1980s, active on Wivenhoe Society Committee.
  • Dennis Sparling, born Wivenhoe 1931. Childhood at Station Hotel. Later Colchester engineer.
  • William Sparrow, born Wivenhoe 1962, grandson of landlord of Rose and Crown, runs family building business.
  • Max Tanahill, born in County Down, Ireland 1959. Artist, moved to Wivenhoe in 1989.
  • Guy Taplin, born London 1939, came to Wivenhoe in 1976. Artist.
  • Charles Tayler, born Alresford 1922. Moved to Wivenhoe in 1929. Baker and lorry driver.
  • Hilda Taylor, born in Lancashire 1926, came to Wivenhoe in 1970. Headteacher Broomgrove School.  Quaker, active in peace movement and overseas charities.
  • Rev David Thomas, born Warrington 1950. Rector of Wivenhoe since 1992.
  • Janet Turner, born in Persian Gulf 1945, came to Wivenhoe 1975. Co-founder of Gilbert and Sullivan Society; keen sailor.
  • Alan Tyne, born East London 1945, came to Wivenhoe 1973. Sociologist, active in Sailing Club, also runs charities for disabled.
  • Ernie Vince, born Elmstead Market 1911, moved to Wivenhoe 1917. Fisherman, barge and yacht skipper.
  • Graham Wadley, born Hertfordshire 1946, came to Wivenhoe 1954. Musical director of St Mary’s church. Chartered mechanical engineer.
  • Dave Weatherall, born Pembrokeshire 1937, came to Wivenhoe in 1957. Worked as baker then electrician.
  • Sylvia Weatherall, born East London 1936. Worked at North Sea Canners and later as library assistant at Essex University.
  • Bill Webb, born Suffolk 1922, shipyard draughtsman in Rowhedge and Wivenhoe in 1940s.
  • Gilbert Whaley, born Lancashire 1920. His father, plumber, moved to Wivenhoe 1930 to find work. Carpenter.
  • Olive Whaley, born Wivenhoe 1931. Writes historical novels under pen-name Elizabeth Jeffrey.
  • Tom Wiseman, born Essex 1916. Primary teacher in Wivenhoe 1938 and 1946.
  • Walter Wix, born Wivenhoe 1921. Manager/foreman at Loveless sandpits.
  • Sir Peregrine Worsthorne, born 1923. Journalist. Involved with Wivenhoe Arts Club.
  • Crispin Yarker, born London 1954. Professional musician, owner and skipper of ‘Saxonia’ fishing smack.

The Project Team wish to thank the following for also giving interviews for the Project:

  • Amy Barrell, born Wivenhoe 1910. Waitress in Clacton; after 1945 ran Wivenhoe newsagents for 27 years.
  • Jack Barrell: recorded with Amy Barrell. Born Wivenhoe 1911. Accountant.
  • Marjorie Barton, born Amersham 1928. Moved to Colchester in Second World War, then Wivenhoe until 1965, then to Walton. School cook. Re-trained as a potter, creating the Wivenhoe Collection.
  • Emma Baxter, born London 1975. To South Africa, then 1980 to Wivenhoe. Father taught at Colchester Institute. Performing arts teacher in Hackney.
  • Jean Blackwell, born 1934 Oxford. Early 1970s husband took job in Colchester, and then tenancy of Black Buoy in Wivenhoe.
  • Richard and Joanna Bornat, Richard born Preston 1944 and Joanna Crick 1944. Lived in Wivenhoe 1972-8 when Richard Lecture in Computing at University. Founded Wivenhoe Woodcraft Folk.
  • Agnes Buckle, recorded with Brian Buckle
  • Joan Busfield, born Moreton-in-Marsh 1940, grew up in Oxford. Came as research assistant to University in 1965, now Professor of Sociology.
  • Peggy Carrington, born Wivenhoe 1925. Father was ferryman. Ran local chemist’s with husband for 40 years until 1985.
  • Dr Peter Chapman, born S. Africa 1927. Directed medical institute in Kuala Lumpur. Moved to Colchester 1965, doctor at Essex University 1965-90. Moved to Wivenhoe 1992.
  • Dot Chaney, born Rowhedge 1917. Landlady of Black Buoy 1951-7 and Station 1958-79.
  • Jacqueline Claiborne, born Derbyshire 1932. Sister of Pat Gale. To America 1948. Second husband Louis Claiborne, Supreme Court lawyer. Came to Wivenhoe c 1960, Arts Club social secretary.
  • Annabel Cole, born Paris 1924. Came to Wivenhoe 1981, when husband retired. Teacher. Active in CND campaign against cruise missiles.
  • Sid Cox, born 1940s  Became policeman 1967, working in Wivenhoe from 1972 until retired 1997. Then became postman.
  • Ann Dale, born London 1957. Came to London with family in 1970. Landlady of Greyhound pub 1990-94.
  • Leonore Davidoff and David Lockwood. Leonore born New York 1932, studied at LSE, where met David, born Yorkshire 1929. Came to Wivenhoe 1968, David as Professor of Sociology at University, where Leonore also later became Research Professor.
  • John Dowden, Came to Wivenhoe as the first student at Essex University, arriving from Cambridge with his supervisor. Lecturer in Mathematics Department from 1965, becoming professor. Organist at St Mary’s.
  • Peggy Elliott, Born Wivenhoe 1929. Worked as machinist at Skiltons and in electrical goods factory.
  • Peter Frank, born Whitby 1934. Learnt Russian in National Service, became secondary school teacher in Whitby, then took degree at Leeds. Joined Government Department 1968 as Russian specialist, lived in Colchester, where wife Mary became mayor. From 1980s much media work.
  • Pam Glover, born Reigate 1952. Office and bank worker. Has cerebral palsy and discovered Wivenhoe through Jubilee Sailing Trust. Moved to Wivenhoe to study for degree in 1980. Active Congregationalist.
  • John Greenman, check when and where born. Lecturer at University in Mathematics from 1967, moved to Valley Road Wivenhoe 1970. Active in local Labour Party.
  • John Harris, born Wivenhoe c 1945 . Childhood in cottages behind Falcon.
  • Harry Hatch, born Wivenhoe 1917. Worked on poultry farm, and as baker. Called up 1940, prison-of-war for three years. Returned to farm work.
  • Leslie Kemble, born Wivenhoe 1914. Builder and fiuneral director since 1928, at first for Barrell firm, which he took on from 1962. Built many Wivenhoe houses and buried many Wivenhoe people.
  • Maurice Kimmit, born near Bournemouth 1932. Father in army, moved a lot. Read Physics in Dublin. Scientific civil service from 1954, until 1964 came to Essex University Physics Department as Senior Research Office, ending as Research Professor.
  • Penny Kraft (Lear), born Colchester 1944. Parents hairdressers. Came to open own hairdressing salon at Wivenhoe Cross 1969, later in High Street, until retired 2003. Recently town councillor, Conservative.
  • David Lee, check when and where born. Lecturer in Mathematics at University from 1966, moved to Valley Road Wivenhoe in 1973/4. Active in local Labour Party.
  • David Lockwood, recorded with Leonore Davidoff.
  • Philip Long, born Oxford 1918. Librarian at Bodleian. University Librarian at Essex 1963-78. Moved to Wivenhoe 1978.
  • Canon Bill Loveless, born Colchester 1921. Father director of Wivenhoe gravel pit company, moved tio Wivenhoe 1925. Sent to school in Colchester and then boarding at Framlingham. Lived in Colchester. After his own marriage returned 1946 to run the pit, until decided to sell business and become Anglican clergyman in 1970.
  • Alistair McAuley, born Maidstone 1938. Lecturer later Reader in Economics Department at University, specialising in Soviet economy.
  • Val Mainwood, CND activist.
  • Jack Mallett, born Wivenhoe 1921. Grandfather kept Wivenhoe waterworks, mother’s father Cracknell’s bakery. Drawing office at Paxmans 1939-64; then hardware store in Wivenhoe until 1986.
  • Ralph Moss, born Colne Engaine 1913. Seaman, trained on Cutty Sark, then on oil tankers until 1931.Moved to Wivenhoe 1936, started grocery round from own smallholding. 1942-49 in India, various other military jobs. Driver for Cedrics 1960s.
  • Janet Noyes, born Brentwood 1945. Moved to Frinton 1949. Secretary at University 1964-2005, from 1966 in Electrical Engineering.
  • Mark Paterson, born Blackheath 1927. Came to Wivenhoe 1979, buying Dr Dean’s house. Book dealer and literary agent.
  • Rod Pawsey, born Wivenhoe 1930. Childhood at Ten Acres. Colchester Grammar School. Joined family business at Hythe, agricultural merchants and Colchester wharfingers.
  • Pat and Geoff Pearce, Pat born London 1940, Geoff born London 1937. Geoff self-employed management firm. Came to Wivenhoe 1971. Pat secretary and teacher at Millfields until 2000.
  • Gabriel Pearson, born London 1933. From 1965 Lecturer, then Professor of Literature at University.
  • Elsie Pleasance, born Wivenhoe 1938. Maritime family. Hospital secretary in Colchester. Returned to Wivenhoe 1974, five children.
  • Gilly Poole, born 1957. Army childhood. Student at University 1978-81, now Casting Director at Covent Garden.
  • Sandra Putt, born 1945, moved to Wivenhoe 1956 when parents bought Wivenhoe Cross village shop. School in Colchester. Worked at University 1964-66 as secrretary to site architect.
  • Sheila Quinney, recorded with Harry Hatch.
  • Minnie Scott, born Wivenhoe 1909. Childhood in Park Hotel. School in Colchester. Worked as secretary at Wivenhoe Labour Exchange, then at Paxmans. Ran Park Hotel in Second World War.
  • Brian Sinclair, born Bexhill-on-Sea 1943. Dental technician, moved to Wivenhoe 1979 and worked for BT until 1993. Active in Sailing Club, and ferry, and drives community bus.
  • John and Winnie Street, John born Govan 1923, Winnie born 1922 Wivenhoe. John seaman, met Winnie when ship came to dry dock for repairs 1944, married and stayed. John worked on barges, then at Paxmans, Winnie at bakery.
  • Paul Ridley-Thomas, born London 1958. Came to Wivenhoe 1982. Actor and hairdresser.
  • Jan Tyne, [Recorded with Alan Tyne].
  • Edna Wadley, born Wivenhoe 1921. Local childhood. Worked in Colchester with accounts and munitions in wartime.
  • Paul Walker, born Glasgow 1941. In university administration since 1962, including Kampala. Came to work at Essex University 1971, mainly in Admissions, living in Thorrington.
  • Tom Webb, born Wivenhoe 1933, Peggy Elliot’s brother. Bricklayer
  • Roland Wheeler, born 1918, fostered by Barnardos in Cambridgeshire. Came to Wivenhoe as soldier 1940, met Peggy, married 1945 and stayed. Worked at gravel pit, and then own concrete block company in Clifton Terrace; from 1980s builder.
  • Jennifer White, born Wivenhoe 1947. Childhood in cottages behind Falcon. Work

The Project team are also grateful to the following recorded in groups or in brief recordings at special Wivenhoe events:

  • Bowls Club group:  Frank Hodgson, Charles Scofield
  • Cricket Club group:  Roger Bacon, Mark Britten, Len Drinkell, Paul Evans, Tony Forsgate, Nigel Philp, Terri Philp
  • Colne Lodge Freemasons group:  Len Drinkell, Brian Heasman, Alex Paterson, Charles Scofield.
  • Congregationalist Church group: Patricia Coventry, Barbara Donohue, Pat Moss
  • Valley Road group:  Maggie Bernstein, Joyce Grey, Gisela Langsdorff-Barnard, Christine Lee, Pat Marsden, Janet Turner
  • Art on the Railings and June Market brief interviews:  Meriel Empson, Steve Ford, Connie Haken, Bonnie Hill, Julie Howe, Pauline McColl, Graeme Martin, June Mayhew, Joe Rampling, Kathy Warr, Ginny Waters, Anthony Wells, John Williams
  • Open Gardens brief interviews:  Michael Anderson, Angela Charnock, Clare Durance, Connie Riley, Sandra Smith, Richard Sykes, Jan Thurlow, Wayne Ward, Alison Webster, Ray Woodcock
  • Crabbing Competition brief interviews:  Chris Barnham, Camille Corti-Georgiou, Sarah Elmstead, Barry Green, Nina O’Shea, Louise Richards, Frances Richards
  • Wivenhoe Town Regatta brief interviews:  Libby Armstrong, Nick Baker, Fabian Bush, Andrew Cocks, Jane Cole, Mike Downes, Shelley Fauchaux, Stan Fenton, Howard Field, Jean Gale, Bonnie Hill, Jane Nicholas

To see the Main Page about the Book – Click here

This page was added on 12/01/2021.

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