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Transcript TitleBeaton, Maggie (O 2001.2)
IntervieweeMaggie Beaton (MB)
InterviewerJean Riddell (JR)
Date09/05/2001
Transcriber byMarilyn Taylor

Transcript

Hertford Oral History Group

Recording no. O 2001.2

Interviewee Maggie Beaton (MB)

Date 9th May 2001

Venue 9 Holden Close, Hertford

Interviewer Jean Riddell (JR)

Transcriber Marilyn Taylor

************** = unclear recording

[discussion] = untranscribed material

JR Just a little introduction bit, this is necessary just so that we can keep a log of the date and where we are and so on. It’s Wednesday the 9th of May in the year 2001. Jean Riddell speaking and I am at the home of Maggie Beaton which is 9 Holden Close. Which is at the end of Railway Place and this small development of newish houses has been built on the site of the original East Station, I think that is correct isn’t it? They are quite near the Great Eastern Pub which is just across the road, MB has just been saying that um it’s a shame they have taken down the original sign board,

MB (in the back ground) a very old one

JR well not the original one but a very pleasing sign board with an engine on it. Now I have come really principally to ask MB about life in lower Bengeo because for many years MB and her husband ran a shop at the bottom of Wellington Street is that right? ***

MB No it’s the corner of Balfour and Byde Street

JR Byde Street not Wellington Street. Wellington Street is there somewhere.

MB Wellington Street is the one. Byde Street comes down, Balfour Street is here and Wellington Street is the one that goes that along and Nelson is the one that goes down.

JR Yes Yes. We are somewhere near Wellington Street but not where **** OK that’s fine I just want to check that we are recording. So can you start by telling us what made you come to Hertford? Was it, did you see this property and…?

MB No it was that we decided to buy a property outside London

JR Yes

MB And to start a shop which we had never done before and it just happened that the one at Hertford seem to be the one that fulfilled most of the requirements that we needed.

JR Um so what part of London do you actually come from? Had you come from North London or .

MB Well no I don’t really see what that has got to do with it Jean

JR Oh OK right then, it doesn’t really matter

MB If you are just interested in Hertford

JR Yes I just wondered whether the great. Because you did say to me, well not today but earlier on that you didn’t settle here very well did you?

MB No because Hertford is completely different to London and if you have been living in central London

JR Yes

MB With all the facilities you are going to find Hertford a big shock.

JR Yes Yes that why I just wondered to compare the two places about how different it actually was. So when you got started and you bought the place and got started how long was it before you realised you didn’t really like it here. Was it straight away or.

MB I don’t really know I suppose it’s a grad….it isn’t a gradual thing because you are plummeted in to a completely different environment and when you are trying to learn a new business from scratch you are so busy you don’t really have time to think whether you like the town or not.

JR No no

MB You just get on with it

JR Yes

MB But you do just miss all the variety of London

JR Yes Yes do you think if you had been right in, had a shop in the town centre you would have settled more quickly or? Is it being slightly out of town?

MB No I don’t think so in actual fact that part is like a little village, or was at that time on its own because so many of the people round about had lived there all their lives.

JR Um Yes so were you accepted as newcomers quite readily by the local people or….

MB I think so yes

JR Yes, so what did you actually sell in the shop? Was it a grocers.

MB There was a Post Office which did most things that small post offices did in those days. We sold all groceries we did our own bacon and cheese cold meats and things like that.

JR Yes

MB And a small amount of vegetables mainly potatoes and tomatoes and things, not a full range of greengrocery by any means.

JR No No

MB And partly what was in season because life was a lot more seasonal then than it is now.

JR Yes, and the customers were local, very local customers were they?

MB Well no because we took over a business and it extends fairly far round the outskirts, we would go out as far as Stoneyhills and places like that.

JR Right so you actually

MB Because we had a delivery, there was a lot of deliveries.

JR OH yes right I hadn’t realised there was a big delivery side to it did you husband do the deliveries.

MB No we had a employed a sometimes a girl sometimes a man to do the deliveries

JR Was that done by van or?

MB Yes

JR Oh right, did you have any boys on bike with big baskets.

MB No No it was past that

JR Oh right past that time was it yes, so what about the difference from say if you can think of a today’s one stop supermarket little supermarket *** shop corner and your shop what would the difference be? Now I mean you now walk in a get a basket

MB. Yes well with prejudice I say that you could walk into that shop and ask for what you had come out to buy and the person behind the counter exactly where it was get it for you and you would be served and off.

JR Yes

MB You weren’t plying round yards and yards of things you weren’t interested in.

JR Yes that’s right but you had to, in the shop you had to weigh some things didn’t you? They weren’t all pre packed.

MB They weren’t all pre packed when we first went there pre, most of that came in in the years that we were there but that was great fun because the shop had a very big old fashioned counter which went sort of… the Post Office along that side and the main…...so that you were all behind the counter which you aren’t now, the customers couldn’t get behind the counter.

JR No No

MB And it had big drawers underneath, big wooden drawers and we used to weigh out things like currents and raisins and you know…not white sugar, white sugar was then packed but certainly the fancy sugars the browns and the Demerara and things like that especially at Christmas time and that was great fun, they used to go into ** blue, do you remember the blue sugar bags

JR Yes I do

MB And that was all hand weighed but the gradually it got that everything came in pre washed, shopped and packed in cardboard boxes. But we used to buy most of the stuff in huge wooden boxes nuts and whichever country

JR Like tea chests were they

MB Yes

JR Yes Yes

MB But teas were already packages by then so you didn’t have the……but certainly the things like cheese and bacon were never pre packed they were always freshly cut

JR I don’t think we have actually said the date on tape it was about 1959 you said that we are talking about now primarily now

MB Yes to the turn of the 6o’s

JR Yes that right were there still biscuits sold loose then or were they in packets?

MB No there were some biscuit’s sold loose but that rapidly went.

JR Yes because I remember in my childhood these big jar of biscuits but on their side with the ********

MB You used to get tins too big tins with glass tops

JR That’s right

MB But they were quite a temptation for little fingers****glad when those went.

JR Did you sell did you sell sweets at all.

MB Yes we did sell sweet but not loose sweets only in packets

JR Who looked after the post office side did you or..

MB Well I was the post mistress yes, we more or less shared what jobs there were as it suited us. Because we were both able to do all the jobs in the shop

JR Yes, whatever needed doing (discussion)

MB Well if it was your turn to sit down you went into the Post Office Its very much when you are a family business its what need to be doing you don’t have specific tasks.

JR So who did you particularly remember in those days as your very regular customers or particular friendly ones (discussion) are there any names I remember from other tapes or?

MB I don’t know as I haven’t heard all your other tapes! But certainly a large proportion of people who lived in Bengeo and most of the local people in the street around, don’t forget there were quite a few small few small shops in that area.

JR Yes I hadn’t

MB In those days there were, there would be shops in almost every street corner.

JR Yes whereabouts I mean I know there were some along Port Vale weren’t’ there.

MB There was one in Port Vale, there was one in Nelson Street, there was one in Elton Road and there was another one at the top of Byde Street and then there were the ones up in further up the top in Bengeo Street there were two shops there. So small shops were much more common then,.

JR Yes Nelson Street.

MB people didn’t have to go far

JR I hadn’t realise there was one in Nelson Street there was

MB Half way down on the left

JR What did that sell?

MB That was partly an off licence I think.

JR Yes I remember I think I can just about remember the one in Elton Road, I think that did photocopying, maybe you wouldn’t know that but I think it did up until about 8 years ago.

MB I think it was closed before then they closed before we sold the shop.

JR OH well it wasn’t there then.

MB That one closed

JR I went to see somebody in I think it was Fanshawe Street one day to do with the Civic Society and I was giving her some leaflets and there weren’t quite enough and her husband said he would go down the road to this shop that did photocopying, but it may have been your………premises

MB Yes it was because shortly after we had it it was sold to someone one who did office furnishings so it would have been that.

JR. Because Bedwell Garden Machinery came there didn’t it was that after the office side.

MB No that was before

JR Yes Yes now you actually lives, you were just telling me before the tape started in the property which adjoined the shop was part of…

MB Yes

JR There was a little back yard, can you perhaps say that again for the tape, you had to come across a little back yard from

MB To get on the ground to get from house to the shop on the ground level you went from the back door of the shop across a little yard and then into the back door of the house but upstairs there was a through way.

JR Yes it was like joined on upstairs and that the front of that house faced into Ba.Ba .

MB Balfour Street

JR Balfour Street, Yes that’s right at right angles to the shop yes yes and you have given us some photographs to look at, well to keep actually, one of them was an old photograph of when it was Cox’s did you ever get any stories about Cox’s told to you by customers or did any of them remember it when it was Cox’s and come in and ….

MB Oh yes I think a lot of the older people who were there when we first went had always been customers of that particular shop no matter who was there and had stories of old Mr Cox and his turkeys and Christmas and (discussion)

JR Who was the previous shopkeeper to you

MB. There were some people called Blackburn who were only there a very short time I think they were Australian.

JR It was Cox’s before that sometime, maybe not directly

MB I don’t know, I don’t know anything about what happened before that

JR So all these counters and drawers and things that you are describing…

MB They were the original ones that had been nothing had been done much to it structurally until we got there and then of course once we had been there a couple of years we got so many new regulations in up till then all the floors were wooden they weren’t covered and then of course you needed (cough) covered surfaces you couldn’t trade on trestles and floors

JR Really I hadn’t realised that came in

MB It gradually happened during the 60’s there were different regulations so you had to modernise and then of course freezers came in and deep freezes and cool cabinets

JR Before that it was just sweeping the floor with a broom and I suppose on the walls

MB When I had it it was scrubbed

JR Oh you it scrubbed, you did it did you?

MB A scrubbing machine did it but (discussion) it was scrubbed regularly

JR It must have been spotless was it?

MB. It would develop a few spots during the course of the day wouldn’t it. (laugh)

JR Yes (discussion) was it hard work doing that or did the machine really take care of it?

MB Well there was several of us there, it’s not hard work with the machine and it was a matter of everything else, it was a fair amount of physical hard work

JR Did it take a long time to dry though because the boards would soak up the water wouldn’t they or were they varnished? Or

MB No No you just scrubbed them and then just rinse off but you did it of course last thing after the shop was closed so it had till morning to dry

JR Oh so you did it overnight so that was a daily chore then? Every day

MB No possibly just a couple of times a week depending on the weather

JR Well yes yes, so right so was life quite interesting in that.

MB Yes it was interesting, well it was such a completely new thing to do that it was interesting

JR And how long did it take…

MB And there were the interesting food as well because we had our own cheeses, in those days you bought a cheese, you know the huge round cheeses with the rind on and they were kept in the cellar and they would be bought months in advance so that they had to be turned.

JR OH

MB On a weekly basis

JR So they were still maturing when you had them .. right

MB Yes. well cheese continues to mature as long as you keep it but we didn’t ever buy any that was going to be sold that week ‘cause that wasn’t the way things were done and people like cheese with a flavour.

JR Yes

MB And a texture in the same way that the bacon was all fresh it wasn’t……I was talking to a girl in Tesco this morning and she said all our bacon comes in already cut up and she thought that was hard.

Not struggling with half a pig.

JR No did she mean already sliced or…..just in pieces

MB No she meant it was already sliced

JR But you at that time did you not have a bacon slicing machine

MB Yes

JR Yes that right so yours would be left in a lump until somebody wanted some of it would they and then you

MB Yes and then you could have which sort of thickness of slice you wanted

JR Yes Yes

MB Some people liked very thin bacon and some liked thicker bacon.

JR Yes Yes what is the difference between I can hear myself saying this and thinking why am I asking, but there is a difference isn’t there between smoked bacon and green bacon. Because they are both cured aren’t they

MB They are both cured but then one is smoked, well basically both are kind of raw pig both are preserved in salt

JR I see right

MB Either dry salt or brine as it was then now of course most of it is injected with a salt solution and then after that process you smoke it as you would smoke kippers or.

JR Right so it is an additional preserving

MB It is an additional preserving which gives it a different flavour.

JR: Right

MB And makes it dryer

JR Yes yes

MB The reason now that when you buy bacon and you fry it it’s wet its because the salt hasn’t dried out in it, salt solution hasn’t dried out.

JR OH and is that because it is not hung for long enough

MB It’s not kept in the same way that cheese is not kept any more except by specialist cheese.

JR Did you ever have any problems with the cheese though, perhaps it went over ripe, over its time I mean or what

MB Cheddar cheese can’t go over ripe

JR It can’t I don’t know this so

MB. It can’t as long as the skin is in tact, it can’t it can only mature

JR Right did you learn all about this while you were doing the job or did you learn about it before hand.

MB No

JR Was it a gradual process or did you.

MB Well we boned up on it fairly sharpish you know

JR Learned it all oh right, what did what side of the business did you like best. The serving of the customers or the packing up the orders or Post Office work or

MB I think probably it was the contact with the customers.

JR Yes

MB But I did enjoy all of it

JR. At Christmas I mean must have been

MB Oh Christmas was wonderful

JR Really busy

MB Really but it was a really happy time although it was busy it was it was fun great fun.

JR Did you do any Christmas clubs or anything like that for people to save up their money for their groceries.

MB Yes yes we did have a Christmas club most because of our customers did have accounts.

JR Oh Did they.

MB They paid weekly they didn’t .quite a lot of it.it wasn’t just cash on transaction.

JR Yes, so did you deliver out to quite a big, big houses in the area

MB Oh yes yes most of the big ones in Hertford.

JR So how would they they telephone the order to you or was book or

MB Sometimes they were collected and sometimes they had books, sometimes it was collected sometimes they would drop it in which ever suited them best.

JR Yes right so when you retired so was it when you retired you moved to Villers Street

MB Yes

JR Right so how long were you actually at the shop? How many years were you actually in business

MB I should think about 13 or 14 years

JR 13 or 14 right so that brings us up to the mid 70’s more or less I suppose yes yes did you not feel you wanted to stay in that area then or

MB It was a question of where in Hertford could you find a suitable house to live in isn’t it.

JR Yes yes one you liked. So was it quite different moving down to Villers Street then or

MB Yes I suppose it was very pleasant

JR Because most of your friends presumably were up in the other in Lower Bengeo by that time were they?

MB No

JR No you had got to know quite a few

MB We had always had some friends that weren’t living on the doorstep

JR Right. were you a member of any association like the Chamber of Commerce or anything like that.

MB Not the local Chamber of Commerce no obviously there was the connection to the Post Office and there was a ………I don’t know what you would call it …. a group we belonged to of small traders by which you got advantageous buying terms. There was a certain amount of social activity concerned with that.

JR Were there other members in the town who you met through this means.

MB No I don’t think there was another shop that belonged to the same group in the town.

JR Oh Right so how did you, you were busy working all day how did you actually become, make other contacts in the town, going into the town and meeting people.

MB Well you meet people through other interests.

JR Yes yes so the shop wasn’t your total life then …..um…..so you came into Villiers Street, was your husband still alive then?

MB Yes

JR How long did he enjoy living in Villiers Street then? Was it quite a long time?

MB. About um 12 years

JR Oh quite a reasonable time then. Yes, because when I first met you in the Oxfam book shop I remember coming round to Villiers Street for some reason, I can’t think why now, before you moved here and err I think you said you were looking at these properties then. I don’t’ know whether your husband had just died then or not?

MB Yes

JR He had right, I think your son was living ****** yes yes, quite well, Ok I will just put the pause on for a minute;.

JR So in the time you have been in this town what are the greatest changes you have experienced

MB I think the fact there is so much more going on in Hertford which is obviously partly because of the development of people in from outside after all when we first came there were very very few commuters living in Hertford but the development of all these small blocks of houses, and that I think is probably pandered to and to mean that we have got though we have lost our cinema’s unfortunately we have got a lot more social activities going on in Hertford. After all look at the number of restaurants we have now. when I remember when I first came to Hertford there were only 2 places to go and have a meal, one was The Salisbury and the other was that funny little café called Maison Carton.

JR OH Christine’s wasn’t there then.

MB Christine’s was there but they didn’t do evening meals. I was talking about restaurants.

JR Yes That’s true I mean the people round.

MB Castle Hall wasn’t there you see

JR No

MB That was built after that and that’s been a tremendous.

JR Yes because I suppose the Corn Exchange was functioning somewhat

MB The Corn Exchange was functioning I remember going to a show at the Corn Exchange but that was pretty deadly

JR Um right nowadays I suppose the people that live in the street where you were, Wellington, Byde and Balfour are probably the commuters for Hertford North.

MB They are yes because they weren’t they were all people who lived locally.

JR Yes

MB But most of those, the younger members of the people that are living now there then went up to places like Sele farm because they had got small children and they wanted to be out of the small town house and get out a little bit and then all those little cottages got snapped up by people who want to be in easy reach of the station.

JR Yes little bijou homes now worth a fortune

MB Prices are tremendous

JR Yes if I had lived here then I would probably have thought that the Gascoyne Way was a huge innovation.

MB Oh well that’s the that was the ruination of Hertford wasn’t it, the cutting through there because I remember being able to drive straight along Ware Road to Ware. Which was very easy but once they cut off all the part of All Saints and the Grammar School up there with the underpass I think that was the worst thing that could have happened.

JR Yes

MB It’s really chopped that part of the town off completely.

JR Can you remember the feeling in the town at the time, were people for it, I mean was there any protest against it or any marching for instance or

MB Oh I don’t think so I don’t think Hertford was a place where people would march.

JR No I just wondered because I remember going on a march after I came to save I think it was to save Sele School.

MB Yes I remember that

JR But it was nothing very much

MB Nothing, not compared to…...but that’s a lot after then anyway

JR Yes Yes .well I mean I heard I think it was talking to Len Green, I think it was Len Green I was talking to and he said that there wasn’t a lot said against it, in fact the shopkeepers were for it because they, that is the town shopkeepers, they didn’t want a ring road that wouldn’t come anywhere near the town centre because they felt their businesses would suffer. But in fact people still go past the town don’t they.

MB Yes it hasn’t had the effect that I don’t think most people realised what the effect would be until the place it was done.

Then of course it was too late.

JR Yes, more and more traffic would demand to come from ****** that way

MB On the other had it is difficult to know what you could do about it now.

JR Yes I know well I suppose more advance technology something could have been done on the periphery but that meant going through other peoples properties with other concerns and they wouldn’t have liked that either. But to me to just cut through those beautiful streets like West Street, Castle Street and St Andrew Street just cut through a swathe of concrete and so on was not good.

MB No it wasn’t a good idea but there you are it’s done.

JR Yes what about the demise of the small shop keeper in town, what do you think.

MB *******must have noticed ********

JR Are you for out of town supermarkets for instance or

MB No I don’t I don’t like out of town, I don’t like supermarkets particularly as a way of shopping I don’t enjoy shopping. I like shopping in a little town where you can pop in and out of shops and you actually know the people in the shop. It’s gone as away of life, I don’t think it’s ever going to come back and it isn’t economically viable. I know often people do say to me it’s a pity you know we did like it when you had the shop and we could do this or we could do that but on the other hand people do want cheap food so

JR Yes I mean if you have a corner shop now, if you are lucky enough to have one people only go in there for things they have forgotten.

JR Oh yes but don’t forget the way of life has changed because going back to the early 60’s many women were at home, now almost every woman, even with small children is at work obviously it suits them to do all their shopping under one roof possibly once a week, they haven’t got time to pop in first to the butchers, then to the bakers and people now have all got fridges and freezers can buy in bulk. Whereas I remember when I was first married you went shopping every day because you had to buy the food on a daily basis.

JR I know it is different and also……………………………

End of side one

Start side 2

JR Byde Street now is quite a narrow street, and its quite steep going up there isn’t it as is

MB All of them

JR Balfour Street that’s the bottom one isn’t it, now when you were there presumably very few people had cars and the certainly wouldn’t have parked them on the pavement would they like they do now.

MB Oh no no they weren’t parked .very few people in those houses had cars, possibly a lot of people in the bigger houses in Bengeo who were better off had cars

JR But they had somewhere to put them,

MB Somewhere to put them consequently if they wanted to come out in their cars they could park there never seem to be a problem for people parking outside the shop if they wanted to come in whereas now I think you would have a problem even to stop a car

JR Yes you would

MB on those corners they are always fully occupied, I know if I am ever visiting people in that area that I still know and I send for a taxi to come home they have an awful job to get on to the pavement to pick you up its quite difficult. I think it got grossly overcrowded

JR Yes because when you are trying to go up the road from Molewood Road or whatever that bit is called there from Beane Road across that bit that is Port Vale and Molewood you have a job to walk on the pavement don’t you because the cars are so close to the houses, if you walk in the road you are at risk

MB Yes well you dare not walk in the road and it is terribly unfair on people with children with prams or anyone that is disabled and needs a little space to be able to walk

JR Because that’s still a kind of rat run isn’t it that ******

MB **** from Bengeo coming down you know the double corner is very dangerous.

I don’t see how you are going to solve the problem of cars in Hertford.

JR No it is a puzzle. You almost want to feel want to say well if you are going to live there you can’t have a car.

MB Well it is just as bad in this once you get you know along Railway Street, it is just as bad on most streets . because they are all parked on both sides of the street.

JR The row of cars next to the railway line are they commuters cars normally or householders cars across the road from the house.

MB. No they are mainly from the houses because none of those houses in those roads have got garages.

JR. No but you have got cars on the house houses side as well haven’t you.

MB. Yes

JR In a lot of cases

MB but most people have two or three cars so

JR Well yes so they are occupying both sides of the road are they.

MB I know several people who live in Railway Place but they come and park their cars round here and quite a few of them have 2 or 3 cars.

JR Oh so you here in this development have 1 space each or?

MB We have 1 space each and these spaces along here are supposed to be for our visitors.

JR. Oh I see and they are occupied by……

MB Now since they have altered the road system we have complained about this, these are so full of people commuting that anybody visiting can’t get in.

JR So they are stuck there all day those cars are they.

MB They are stuck there all day.

JR In London

MB No there not all in London no they are quite a lot of them are local people who because they can’t park in their own space or outside their own house they park their 2nd and 3rd cars over there.

JR So they have bought a house with no parking provision at all and they have bought 2 or 3 cars with them. It’s quite amazing really.

MB Well one man has got used to have a big truck he’s got a pick up truck a big sort of Range Rover and a large saloon car all of which are parked here.

JR He has got no place to put them

MB He lives in Railway Street. I personally get very cross about it because they just dump the cars and they quite forget they leave their rubbish and they don’t ever bother to sweep up their bit and we are responsible for our own car park which we have to maintain the council doesn’t do it and it you can imagine how annoying it is when other people just come and empty their bins all over it

JR Cigarette ends or

MB or sweetie packets all the litter that accumulates in cars

JR Similarly though in Villiers Street you have got this constant line of cars.

MB Yes

JR and skips and things where people are having alterations done and that was once I imagine quite an elegant type of street. An elegant town house. But now it looks .

MB Well no street looks very nice with so many cars

JR

No but there seems to be so many alterations, not just in Villers Street but in that those 3 or 4 parallel streets off the Ware Road they seem to be constantly being altered don’t they and refurbished and that with skips and rubbish everywhere

MB Well because every all those houses can be made into most of them have got as our has although it was done when I bought it a huge floor down below because they were built with such good foundations and cellars they were all opened up so you got a proper set of stairs going down and proper living space.

JR Basement good basement dwelling.

MB Good basement dwelling and that obviously adds you know a whole floor of available space to a householder which is not go8ng to be sneezed at.

JR So were some of them in fact digging those out do you think in more recent times.

MB Yes they almost invariable now when they change hands they are dug out.

JR Oh you said when you got yours it had the basement in days gone by were these basements there then?

MB Well they were there but they were only accessible from the inside

JR I see

MB They just had a small window that would let a certain amount of air in but they were virtually used as store rooms I imagine but I think I may be wrong but I think the one we bought was probably one of the first in Villiers Street to be done because we bought it from an architect who had dome all the work himself who had dug it out and made a sort of tiny patio bit with a flight of stairs that went down stairs down from the street and a separate entrance.

JR Yes so that was all altered before you

MB That was all altered before we bought it.

JR Other people probably saw that and thought.

MB And then I think it was when it spread and someone thought you know there are sort of 3 or 4 large rooms there that could be used

JR Perhaps as a separate flat or

MB Well you could have made a separate flat

JR Which you did for your son

MB well it wasn’t to the extent that there were no bathrooms or kitchens or

JR No but you could have done

MB You could have done

JR Oh right yes

MB But it does make living with another generation much easier

JR Yes when you have your own bit of space

MB when you have got your own layer your **********Mr Harding(?)*** when he had it used the bottom for an office

JR Was that the one before you?

MB UMM I think he did it so that he could have it as an office and he ran his business from there and his family lived on the other bit but he was able to completely locked off but when we had it we opened it up that bit

JR It must be one of the most spacious houses in the street

MB They are spacious [discussion] compared with the sort of houses you get nowadays I do sometimes when I visit my old neighbour get quite er … no not really homesick because this suits very well but it was nice to have a big sitting room not that when you are on your own you need one but it was nice at times Christmas ********* or people entertaining

JR ** this is a nice size room isn’t this one I think

MB I have seen smaller

JR Yes I mean its

MB Not a lot but

JR Quite a decent size considering it’s a small house development they have used the space

MB They have used, they haven’t wasted any space I must say this its incredible, you have still got 2 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs which is incredible when you think you have only got that much space, well you haven’t got much room to dance

JR No but is the kitchen separate one storey. The bathrooms over there is it.

MB No the bathroom’s over here in the middle and one bedrooms over there, every bit is used, I must say one can complain about some of it but I will say whoever designed them……there is no space ….I went into a modern house up in North Road to a friend the other day and I realised how much space is wasted in halls, little turning bits and little sort of lobbies here and there and I thought no this whoever did this has not wasted a square inch.

JR No well I mean they couldn’t have a hall or a corridor here it would be too the room would be too small wouldn’t it you walk straight into it.

MB Yes you haven’t got room for a staircase you see, even that house there which is a different design the stair still come up or they go across that way they still come up……..of course the porch I had put on.

JR Oh

MB In fact I think most of us have had them put on.

JR Yes because I looked at the one at the end that’s the same in fact the one …it’s not been put on though it was the standard design

MB No they have been put on

JR OH because you have a kind of box affair under your window too haven’t you too is that for sort of storage

MB Yes that’s storage, I think it what some of them keep their lawnmowers in

JR Yes garden tools

MB But um

JR You have a little garden at the back, I will have a look in a minute yes Ok right fine than you.


 Hertford Museum   18 Bull Plain   Hertford   SG14 1DT   01992 582686  
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