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Disclaimer: This interview was conducted in 1995 and concerns memories of 1930s life; as such there may be opinions expressed or words used that do not meet today's norms and expectations.


* Transcript ID: PK-95-215AT002

* CCINTB Transcript ID: 95-215-19a-q, 95-215-20a-o

* Tapes: PK-95-215OT003, PK-95-215OT004

* CCINTB Tapes ID: T95-136, T95-137

* Length: 1:14:25

* Lowestoft, Suffolk, 13 November 1995: Valentina Bold interviews Peggy Kent, Hilda Catchpole, Barbara Harvey, Gladys Kent

* Transcribed by Valentina Bold/ Standardised by Annette Kuhn and Julia McDowell

* PK=Peggy Kent/ HC=Hilda Catchpole/ BH=Barbara Harvey/ GK=Gladys Kent/ VB=Valentina Bold

* Notes: Second interview of two with Peggy Kent, Hilda Catchpole, Barbara Harvey and Gladys Kent; Sound Quality: Fair; this interview was originally transcribed in a phonetic manner; the original phonetic version can be accessed through our physical collection - please contact Lancaster University Library for details.


[Start of Tape One]

[Start of Side A]

[VB tape introduction]

PK: My brother, we could never get him out of the pictures!

[all laugh]

PK: Mother used to have to go down and ask the, eh, usherettes down at the [pass?] to go find him?

VB: And you were saying he got up to quite a bit of mischief, as well, when he was--

PK: Oh! He used to take a bottle into the pictures so we didn't have to bother going up to have a wee! [laughs uproariously]

HC: Was that, what was his name, Jack?

PK: John, yeah, yeah.


HC: There's no men like this, nowadays, is there?

VB: Do y--

PK: No there isn't, Hilda, when you look at them there isn't, Hilda.

HC: No! I'm looking for another Albert but there aren't any.

PK: Oh you won't find any, we were lucky Hilda, you and me, you wouldn't find 00:01:00men like that, so being so kind. [PK has three friends and was amazed at how they talked about their husbands; laughed at PK's talk of her husband]

PK: We often used to have a cuddle down at the shed.

HC: What was the harm in it?

PK: Well I suppose, they don't communicate with each other. They don't communicate.

[inaudible; overtalking]

HC: Oh no.

PK: Have you got your list of questions?

VB: Eh, well there were one or two things I did want to check actually.

PK: Yeah.

VB: That had, erm, that I had right. One of them was, was everyone actually born 00:02:00in Lowestoft?

[All were, except PK, born in Broule?, 7 miles outside of Lowestoft but lived in Lowestoft all her adult life, her brother and sister, John and Lily, were born in Lowestoft then mother moved back to Broule? PK had forgotten she was born there and was married there too, her grandmother and grandfather had a farm there, and still has farming relatives there, was married there as it was wartime.]


HC: Where do you pick these up from then?

[inaudible overtalking]

VB: These, erm, came from a bookshop in Glasgow. So we're very pleased to find them.

HC: How much did you have to pay for them?

VB: I think one was about ten pounds and the other was about--

[inaudible; coughing]

VB: About eight pounds.

PK: Oh, I've definitely got to look for them.

[coughing obscures voices]

PK: Oh, I've definitely got to look for those now.

HC: I've never been to Glasgow.

[general discussion until 0:07:20; PK bought a little ring dish at a [car boot?] 00:04:00sale, and six serviettes, shows VB the silver ring dish; discussion of HC's sore throat and cough, she's always had it even though "I've taken tons of cod liver oil in my life. My mother used to hold my nose and pour it down my throat!"; PK 00:05:00shows VB more of her recent bargains including china figurines, PK says "you 00:06:00have to poke around and I'm a real poker!"; picked up Indian tree, you can pick 00:07:00up things for 10p, Albert and Hilda bought something similar years before and has used it every day. PK says now she'll "definitely look for books"]

PK: Yes, fire away, what's the next thing, dear?

VB: Erm, the other thing I wanted to check was how many brothers and sisters everyone had.

[PK two brothers and one sister, BC had one sister, brother died and mother brought up her cousin so she's her sister, BC's sister was two years old when her brother died, "My mother put him in his coffin on his pram and took him out into the country where the [?] were born"; HG had seven or eight in her family.]


VB: And the other thing I wanted to check was, erm--

[PK says GK had three sisters and one brother, BH was an only child; PK runs through GK's relatives, PK laughs as one of GK's relatives is sixty-five and 00:09:00calls her auntie! BC hates being called auntie and says "cut that out", for instance to her sixty-year-old nephew!

VB: The other thing was, erm, can I ask what sort of work your husbands did?

[PK's husband was a fitter, HC's husband owned a metal working firm, HK's husband was a coachbuilder, others are spinsters]


VB: Erm, and the other thing was, can I ask what your parents, what your fathers worked as?

[HC's dad was a boilermaker, PK's was a painter and decorator, GK's father was a painter and decorator]

VB: And the only other thing was, well actually two things, was everyone brought up in the Church of England, or---?

PK: Yes, well we were chapel more than Church of England.

VB: Ah, I see.

PK: Really.

HC: [coughs]

PK: I think it started in the country because most country people are chapel, aren't they?

HC: We were all, all considered to be Kirkley Old Church.

PK: Yeah. It was, we were considered St John's Church when we came here. Though of course they were all chapel.

HC: Yeah, but Sunday afternoons we had to go to the Wesleyan Sunday School.

PK: Yeah that is right, there you see you was like us.


HC: Yeah.

PK: You were chapel and church, weren't you?

HC: Well you had to go to Sunday School, didn't you?

PK: You had to go to Sunday School, 'course you did.

HC: But when I got old enough I cut that, I didn't like it.

PK: Oh I loved Sunday School.

HC: I didn't like chapel.

PK: Oh I loved Sunday School, then of 'course there were the Sunday School treats.

HC: [pause 1 second] Oh god!

[both laugh]

VB: That reminds me actually, you were going to tell me about the confetti fetes and you never did!

PK: Oh! Do you know, it's the funniest thing. No I kept--

HC: [coughs]

PK: I kept meaning to ring up this fella and I know he was [connected?] from years ago, I nearly rang up. [inaudible]

VB: [to HC] I just remembered that!

PK: He wrote a piece in the journal when I looked at it and I thought there used to be this chappie come on the pier when we used to go dancing, years ago.

VB: Mhm.

PK: And he was, he was engaged to this girl but he always used to come after us laundry girls, didn't he?

HC: To dance.

PK: Yeah. Now this was 1992. And he put, he put the photograph in and he said something about the old, the old, [reading from clipping] "What have we done with the old South Pier, the twenties and the thirties," he said, "When I was 00:12:00much younger. A lovely old pier you-- the Upper and Lower Promenay-, Promenade Balconies, with commanding view of the harbour and the beach, and there was a bandstand and, eh, London [player?] Harry Davidson and the Commodore Grand was the last I can remember, there was an Open Air Dance enclosure--" Erm.

HC: Remember that. Lovely, weren't it?

PK: Yeah, "It was well sheltered from the wind. The pier was unique with harbour defences, during [inaudible]. In the quieter, there was the people back for the summer--" And I want to get round [voice trails off]. "Then there was the more hectic mode and believe me they were hectic: regatta fetes, Bank Holiday fetes and hospital fetes. The fun was fast and furious, so much at times it seemed to reach the Mardi Gras proportions". It was right, weren't it?

VB: Yeah.

HC: Yeah.

PK: Erm, and he went on to say about the, the [timber?] and he says, "Thank goodness for Jack Rose bringing all the old pictures back," and it just goes on 00:13:00about that, eh, but his name was Cliff [surname redacted] and he lives just across the road. And I cut this out and I even looked up in the telephone book for his telephone number. [chuckles] But, eh, my heart failed at the last minute!

HC: [laughs] That's a change for you!

PK: Well it is, really, I'll tell you why Hilda, the first, when I first had that first date with George--

HC: Yeah.

PK: You know, when you went and saw him--

HC: I can't remember. Oh did I, shut up! [laughs loudly]

PK: And told him I was really ill, I wasn't going out with another boy--

HC: Oh yes, yeah.

PK: He believed you.

HC: Well yes he used, he was, George thought a lot of me on the quiet.

PK: He did, yes, he liked you.

HC: I [inaudible] to Peggy, he always told me.

PK: Yeah. And then I know, our first date, when I'd liked him for ages, I used to work with Hilda, and I really liked him and he would never ask me out because he thought I was too gay, you see.

HC: Yeah.

PK: [hastily] Well not gay in--

HC: No.

PK: The way it means now!

[all laugh]

PK: And, eh, the first time he asked for a date well I didn't go 'cause I had tonsillitis, so I never turned up. So I [with emphasis] said to my friends, 00:14:00Hilda and all the others, "Well you go and meet George and tell him that I'm ill". And of 'course they met him and he wouldn't believe them.

VB: Aye.

PK: And he said, "Oh no, I expect she's gone out with somebody else". But then he met you.

HC: He got hold of me, yeah.

PK: That's right. Well the next week the girls went and told this Cliff that I was queer [ill], and he arrives at my door with six peaches!

HC: Oh nice!

PK: Yeah! You see! So I was a bit dubious about what to do with them! [laughs uproariously]

HC: You could make-- [drowned out by laughter]

VB: That's interesting!

[HC is reminded of an incident during the war, she had a fella, and he told him that he loved apples and he found russets on the tree and brought her some every day, brief burst of song about 'russets'.]


PK: It reminds me of fetes when he said hospital fetes and that sort of thing and that pier as you see there, you'd pay to go on it, and that [inaudible].

HC: That's right.

PK: And the band used to be playing and outside there used to be stalls all full of streamers and everything you could buy and, eh, it was just fun and then, about nine o'clock when, eh, the whistle used to blow and there used to be this big confet-, a confetti barrel so everybody, there'd be confetti up in the air!

HC: Absolutely.

PK: The boys used to get you.

HC: And streamers!

PK: Yeah! [laughing] The streamers. The boys used to get you, put more down your neck! [laughs] Mother used to meet me at the gate when you come home, "Oh, don't you come in!" [dissolves in laughter] I always had to undress outside!

HC: I saw my Dad walk up the pier after me one night and when I went home, I got all my [inaudible?], and he told me off, oh he would've gone barmy [if I wasn't his daughter?]!

PK: [laughing] But it was lovely, though, weren't it?


HC: Yeah. It was.

PK: Jack [surname redacted] who used to keep the fruit shop, he pinned me on one of the seats, and was trying to stuff my neck.

HC: Yeah.

PK: And I remember getting this pin and pricking on the back of his hand 'cause he wouldn't let me go! [uproarious laughter] But they were marvellous, these confetti fete days, they were really.

HC: They used to spill over onto the sea front too, didn't they.[dog barking]

PK: Quiet!

HC: Further on there used to be a paddling pool with a band in there.

PK: The Jubilee Parade, they had a little band, didn't they.

HC: Yeah. You could dance on the sea front.

PK: Front.

HC: Life was a [lot of fun?], then.

PK: It wasn't a case of "What shall we do tonight?" There was so many things to do, you couldn't make up your mind which one to go to.

HC: Yeah.

PK: That was the thing, you see, so we used to try to go to the pictures first and then come out and go to the dance.

HC: Yeah.

PK: That's--

HC: Plus, 'course, we had to work some nights, didn't we.

PK: Yes, yes, in the summer we had to, didn't we? The boys used to be all waiting outside.

HC: Well we were a damn sight happier then than they are now. I know we were.


PK: Absolutely, absolutely. [saying to someone the other day that she always carries an alarm with her while walking the dogs; walks them at 7 o'clock in the morning]

PK: And, erm, carry on then!

VB: Right, well, I mean the other thing I wanted to ask was, erm, we didn't actually get round to talking much about the stars. Erm.

PK: The film stars?

VB: The film stars, and I was wondering, you know--

PK: Which ones we liked.

HC: Oh, my god there was a string of them!

PK: Go for the men, though! So we would! [laugh] Clark Gable.


HC: My men was Robert Montgomery--

PK: Yeah.

HC: Robert Taylor.

PK: That's why you liked my George 'cause that's what he was like Robert Montgomery, weren't he! [laughs]

HC: Yes. George and I had a nice little feeling between us.

PK: Yeah, that's right.

HC: We really liked one another.

PK: Yeah. Bless his heart.

HC: Now he's gone, and Albert's gone.

PK: Aw yes well, that's right, and I liked Albert as well. That was nice. Yeah, well don't you think it's 'cause you were all nice to one another?

HC: Perhaps it was, I don't know.

PK: There was never that horrible cattiness.

HC: No-hh.

PK: Was there?

HC: We didn't have that.

PK: We were never jealous of, of anything.

HC: No.

PK: I mean Hilda had a lot more than what I ever had--

HC: [coughs]

PK: But I never thought Hilda was much better off. But I never felt Hilda and Albert were better off. I never felt like.

HC: Albert had it and I didn't have it.

PK: That's right. And my, my girl and Hilda's girl were friends.

HC: Yeah.

PK: And my girl still says she remembers when she used to come to yours and Hilda's got a very long pantry, and she'd say.

HC: [chuckles]

PK: She said, erm, "When we used to go up to [Jannie's?]--" Jannie your nickname was--


HC: Yeah.

PK: "When we used to go up Jannie's," she said, and erm, "Susie used to say, "Let's have a drink"," she said, "We could either have, at home," she said, "We could either have lemonade or--"

HC: I had a, I had a box.

PK: That's right.

HC: At the bottom of the pantry and I had, you know how they section the bottles off, well I had all different, lots of drinks--

PK: That's right. And I think they used to go in there and [mix?] something.

HC: The kids used to go in there and, yeah--

PK: And that's the thing that stays in my Wendy's mind: "When we went to Jannie's we could have one each, two to mix! But when I was at home I could only have one!"

[uproarious laughter and HC's coughing]

[general discussion until 1:21:02; PK's daughter also remembers big boxes of homemade chocolate, Nestles cardboard boxes, "But there was never any feeling"; HC says Albert was always very "open", "generous"; PK remembers Albert and 00:20:00Hilda's lovely Christmas dos, Gladys used to go too, as did Lena, HC points out they don't meet 'every five minutes' but just like yesterday when they do meet; they used to have "great times"]


PK: We've got to go back to the film stars, Hilda!


HC: Oh sorry have we wandered?

VB: Yeah!


HC: Oh I'm going to have to look. [looking at book] Oh, they've got Ray Milland.

PK: OH yeah, Ray Milland.

HC: And erm. What's is name?

PK: John Boles. Cesar Romero I loved.

HC: Yeah.

PK: I thought he was lovely.

HC: And he's lovely nowadays as well.

PK: Yes. Well he is, because he's all grey.

HC: I don't know, is he still with us? [laughs]

PK: Yes, he's all grey, with a grey moustache.

HC: John Boles was in The Desert Song.

PK: Song.

HC: That was lovely. I must've saw that a hundred and one times.

PK: And erm. Who else?

HC: Don Ameche.

PK: Don Ameche, now he's still here, he was in a film the other week.

HC: Yeah.

VB: That's right.

HC: He's aged very well, hasn't he.PK: And he used to sing, didn't he.

HC: Dick Powell.

PK: Dick Powell. George used to like him, Dick Powell.

HC: Yes, but I liked all men with stature.

PK: That's right, erm.

HC: 'Cause I was big, I suppose. But that is Ray Milland, isn't it.

PK: That's right. And I've already seen one or two more in here. I, I didn't used to mind Spencer Tracy but not in--

HC: Eh, he was a bit [rugged?], wasn't he?

PK: Yeah, he, no I didn't care much for him. I didn't care much for Jack Buchanan, and he was all right for a little laugh.


HC: Yeah, well he was different, weren't he?

PK: That's right. [pause 1 second] I didn't like Leslie Howard when he was in The Scarlet Pimpernel.

HC: [coughs]

PK: That's right, he used to grate me.

HC: He was an English gentleman, weren't he?

PK: Well I know but I didn't like him in Gone with the Wind. [laughs]

HC: Charles Boyer?

VB: What was it about Leslie Howard that put you off?

PK: I don't know. I don't know. He was there. I don't know what it was about him.

HC: He was a bit eh--

PK: Wimpy I should think.

HC: Wishy.

PK: Yeah, wishy, wimpy like. We used to call them limp, limp-wristed then.

HC: Yeah.

PK: There weren't such words as they got now, as gay and queer was there?

HC: [inaudible]

PK: We used to call, we only knew two or three fellas, they were waiters, we used to call them fairy feet! [laughs]

HC: Fairies and all that, yeah.

PK: But it was under the table thing, we didn't--

HC: We knew what we were talking about.

PK: You didn't talk about things like that then.

HC: Yeah. You didn't talk, you didn't talk about half the things they talk about on television now, would we.

PK: What about Ramon Novarro.

HC: [laughs] Oh he was lovely, weren't he.

PK: Ronald Colman.

HC: Yes.


PK: I loved Ronald Colman when he was in that, erm, the Lost Horizon.

HC: Yeah.

PK: There's still old pictures about.

HC: They called it 'Shangri La'.

PK: 'Shangri La', that's right.

[pause 1 second]

PK: Some of these in here, Hilda, I can't even remember.

[pause 1 second]

HC: [inaudible; overtalking]

HC: Fred MacMurray.

PK: Yes.

HC: Bob Hope and Bing [Crosby].

PK: Oh I loved them, I loved all about them. The Road to Rio, all the Roads.

HC: Have you seen any of their pictures?

VB: Yeah, they're great, yeah.

PK: They were great, weren't they?

HC: Gary Cooper. [pause 2 seconds]

PK: Robert Taylor, I think he was lovely, weren't he.

HC: Errol Flynn. [inaudible].

PK: Oh Errol Flynn! Oh yes! When he was a pirate!

VB: Yeah.

PK: Cor strewth! [pause 2 seconds]

VB: What was it about Errol Flynn do you think, that made him?

PK: Well I think that was because he was--

HC: He was dashing.

PK: He was dashing, masculine, weren't he?

HC: Yes, he was very--


PK: He got the sword and-- [imitates swashbuckling gesture; laughs]

HC: Yeah.

PK: We like it, I think it was romance in it, and like also, at the beginning of the war we saw Casablanca. Do you remember you see.HC: [inaudible overtalking]

PK: He always lit two cigarettes, didn't he?

HC: Who?

PK: Paul Henreid lit the two cigarettes, didn't he?

HC: Who?

PK: Paul Henreid lit the two cigarettes, to give one to Bette Davis on board the ship [referring to Now, Voyager].

HC: He was Polish, weren't he?

PK: Well, I [can't remember that?].

HC: I went out with a Polish airman during the war.

PK: They were lovely, weren't they! [laughs]

HC: He, he was a dreamer.

PK: I know.

HC: [voice quietens during this section] I was in the NAAFI and I, eh, I had one counter in the NAAFI while we were [on board?] and, eh, I didn't want to be there, the law put me there!

PK: [laughs]

HC: But this Pole come up and he--

PK: They were really lovely, weren't they?

HC: Oh he was gorgeous, he was a lovely fella, I had a lovely photograph of him but another fella made me tear it up, might've [inaudible].

PK: Did he?

[all laugh]

PK: What did he do that? What did he do that for?

HC: Yeah!

PK: Well 'cause he was a damn sight better [looking?].

PK: But it's a funny thing, I saw it in the paper the other day.

HC: [coughs]


PK: There was a little piece somebody had written and my friend who was here the other day, we were laughing about these two cigarettes--

HC: Yeah.

PK: When Paul Henreid put them in his mouth and light them both and give one to the wo-, well that was all the go all the boys used to light two cigarettes and give you a cigarette.

HC: Yeah.

PK: Well there was a little piece in the paper that said that, that was again writing about old films and what you saw. And he, she, this eh, girl said, "I always remember during the war I went out with a soldier and he, we went to see Casablanca so he lit two cigarettes and he took one out of his mouth and put one in mine." And she said, [laughing] "But he tore all the skin off his lip and we couldn't kiss each other all night!"

[inaudible due to gales of laughter]

PK: It was the, it was the in thing, the smoking, you see.

VB: I mean did you ever do that yourself? You know, copy things that you saw in the films?

PK: All the time, all the time because you had nothing else to go by, you see? Did you? You did your hair like--

HC: We used to dream that we were in the, in our minds we would build up stories about how they went to, especially the South Sea Islands. We always--


PK: That's right. We were always doing that, weren't we?

HC: [inaudible] South Sea Islands.

PK: Do you know, I always used to [inaudible] Hawaiian princess, when I got into trouble, I'd say, I was a Hawaiian princess! [laughs]

HC: Yeah. We were always going to Hawaii.

PK: We always go to Hawaii. We worked together, didn't we?

HC: Yeah.

PK: And we had to sit (we didn't have to sit, we did used to), erm, we had--

HC: [coughs]

PK: We were in the laundry and we had this, there was the drying room and that was about the, that was about half the size of this room, very low with a sliding door there was just a little table inside, and before we started work in the morning and if we looked out of this door we could see the boss's office further along and we used to sit on this little table and talk about what we'd done the night before. Didn't we!

HC: Yeah!

PK: [laughs] Every day. I bet that's why we got arthritis through! [laughs] This room was all damp! [laughs]

HC: Good times though, weren't they.

PK: And also this dancing, you thought you could dance like them, didn't you Hilda.

HC: We thought life was grand.

PK: Yeah. And the dresses. And the hairstyles!

HC: And it was, you know.

[pause 1 second]


VB: Did you talk about the pictures much at work or did you?

PK: All the time, all the time. Didn't, the first thing, when a boy asked you out you, you met a lad, the first thing you said was, "Would you come to the pictures with me?" weren't it, Hilda.

HC: Yes.

PK: It was always, "Will you come to the pictures with me?"

HC: If I remember right, Yeah.

PK: It was always, "Will you come to the pictures?" Weren't it? Then the Sunday pictures started coming out. They started organising--

HC: That was Sunday entertainment more than--

PK: Yeah.

HC: Like Billy Cotton and Max W--.

PK: Yeah, with the big bands.

HC: Yeah Max Whateverhisname was [probably referring to Max Wall].

PK: I can remember my mother telling the neighbours, she said, "Now, my Peggy's going out with a nice young man. I've only got two things against him, he took her to the pictures on a Sunday, and he took her into a pub!"

HC: Ooh!

PK: And the pub was the Corner Hat, where you went--

HC: Oh my god!

PK: And sat on a settee!

HC: Yeah.

PK: I said, "Mother, that's not like the pub what's at the corner of the road, this is a hotel!" "It's not right!" she said. [laughs]

[all laugh]

PK: "It's not right!" And another thing, was--

HC: [blows nose]


PK: You shouldn't accept money off a young man, should you, or clothes.

HC: Oh, clothes, oh no, you didn't [inaudible].

PK: No.

HC: Well I let them pay for me.

PK: Well yes you, you wouldn't ever dream of ever going anywhere and you paid for yourself, would you?

HC: No, I never did do that.

PK: I never had to pay for myself.

[inaudible; laughter drowns out]

PK: I don't think it was the thing though, was it?

HC: I don't know, I never done it.

[inaudible; overtalking]

HC: I never thought about it.

PK: Neither did I. If they wanted to take you out--

HC: That's it. We weren't stupid!

[all laugh]

PK: Fredric March, he was quite nice.

HC: Yes, yes. [pause 1 second] I wasn't over keen on him.

PK: Well, it's funny how you--

HC: I liked Robert Montgomery, I liked Robert Montgomery a lot.

VB: What was it about him? That?

HC: Oh he was tall and he was huge, and he was very fresh looking.

PK: Fresh looking, that's right, nice big shoulders--

HC: Yeah.

PK: Didn't he have.

HC: Like Ray Milland and all that.


PK: If you saw a group of lads and we used to go out in a group, you see, I used to like the big fellas and I used to say, "Here's mine" and if there a little one, and poor little Lena was there, we'd say, "You can have him!"

[raucous laughter]

HC: Poor little Lena.

PK: Yes, yes!

HC: Now isn't he [nice?] How many of these do you see nowadays.

PK: Look, I've got Clark Gable, I'm looking at. Look! [dissolves into laughter]

VB: Oh, what, what do you think made that sort of star so good? Was there--?

PK: I think there's, charisma? Eh, personality really, personality.

HC: Th-, that was everything, weren't it. I mean they just had something that the men haven't got today.

PK: That's right.

HC: Eh, they're thugs, the lot of them today.

PK: Yeah, or they're wimpy.

HC: Yeah.

PK: I don't like effeminate men.

HC: Naw, I don't like them.

PK: I like a man to be a man. And, I don't know, I suppose it's the way you were brought up.

HC: William Powell.

[End of Side A]

[Start of Side B]


[PK: discusses approach to problems then: in those days you should be able to solve them yourself; mention of David Niven; PK asks HC why she's looking out of the window]

HC: I'm not, I'm not looking out there, I'm thinking!

PK: Well think, th-, sorry about that, Gary Grant [sic].

HC: Cary Grant, yes.

PK: He was a rather nice one, weren't he!

HC: Yes, yes, Cary Grant, I've got him on the tape too, on video.

PK: Have you?

HC: Yeah.

PK: I used to love the big pictures.

HC: [inaudible; Castle?]

PK: With all the stars, all the, the dancing and singing stars.

HC: Broadway Melody.

PK: Broadway Melody.

HC: Yeah.

PK: Where they used to come the, the whole stage used to be full of them lovely girls.

HC: Yeah. didn't they, super they were.

PK: Yeah. And they used to come.

HC: They can't make pictures like that now.

PK: They can't.

HC: I say to Susan, when we see them now and then on television and I always, I say to Susan, you know, "They can't make them," and she say, "They cost too much money Hilda, they can't".

PK: No that is right, they can't make them.

HC: Yeah.

PK: Can they. You wonder how they did do it with the little resources that they did have.


HC: Well I was listening to, what was I listening to? Debbie Reynolds, lunchtime. Did you see that?

PK: No, no, I weren't home. [inaudible] till late.

HC: Erm, erm. Well, it was on BBC One, what's on BBC somewhere. Pebble Mill?

VB: Must have been.

HC: She was on Pebble Mill and she was saying what fun she had making Singin' in the Rain.

PK: Yes. She was in 'This is your life', weren't she?

HC: Yeah, yeah.

PK: A little while ago. [inaudible]

HC: You know the scene where they, you know Singin' in the Rain where they dance, the three of them--

PK: Yes

HC: Whatever it was. [inaudible]. That young boy.

PK: Yes, yes.

HC: They were dancing and they had to go backwards and forwards on the settee. It [falls?].

She said that took two months to do that scene! Well, they wouldn't stand that rate of pay.

PK: No, no.

HC: I don't think so.

PK: I mean they were marvellous dancers, weren't they.

HC: Oh they were lovely, yeah.


[general discussion until 0:33:07; HC asks if 'Singin' in the Rain'[stage musical] is coming to Norwich with Paul Nicholas? PK thinks probably at the Theatre Royal, HC has tickets to see Paul Nicholas in something at Norwich, she thinks it is 'Singin' in the Rain', PK didn't see it advertised, HC can't 00:33:00remember, VB posits that Paul Nicholas has recently been doing 'Singin in the Rain'; HC saw Paul Nicholas in 'The Pirates of Penzance' at the Palladium, "Ooh and he was lovely"; HC likes Paul Nicholas too.

[HC and PK spot the others coming, laughter and dog stars barking very loudly; HC coughs very loudly; PK goes off to answer door]

HC: I can't make out what you're going to do with all this.

VB: Well, it's interesting [for me?].

HC: Is it?

VB: Yeah, very much so.


[giggling and laughter as the others come in; all greet each other; BH and GK were dropped off by their neighbour]

PK: Look, look at all these old books. Now take off your coats, girls, and I'll put the kettle on.

[general discussion until 0:40:48; PK goes off to put the kettle on; more 00:35:00greetings, especially attention to the dog; talk about the health of mutual 00:36:00friend; BH's eyesight is bad as the 'encyclopaedia' of films is indicated; discussion of HC's daughter Susan; seating arrangement finalised; GK re the lift they just had; both the ladies who've just come in 'want to be independent as 00:37:00long as we can'; PK isn't offended if offered help and all agree; discussion of recent crime, a torch had been found and the criminal found through this; phone rings; window was smashed during crime on car, tore out radio from the BMW, 00:38:00criminals like BMWs according to the police; discussion of modern criminal 00:39:00psychology, 'cuckoo'; BH heard a lady on the bus discussing vandalism today; discussion of [very small] dog, GK was once bitten by a Great Dane. GK asks re 00:40:00Susan, who's gone away by car; discussion of weather: rain is threatening; Susan's overpacking for trip: several pairs of court shoes and she's going for less than a week; GK loves shoes; PK returns: it was her daughter on the phone, she always calls to see if PK's alright; conversation on shoes continues, PK's are 'lovely little shoes', very soft]

PK: We were talking about what men we liked, girls!

HC: Yeah, all the film stars. Don't we wander! That's our age, you see!

PK: Do you reckon that's what it is?

HC: Yeah, I like that, dangling!

[general laughter]

HC: Doing a dangle on you?


[general laughter]

PK: Ruddy women! I'd wear those shoes! George sitting in his chair! [laughter] And all of a sudden he sat there and the stick broke and it was so graceful! It came down down like that! [inaudible; laughter] and he looked, and he looked at me and he said [inaudible]. [gales of laughter; inaudible] And you know what [inaudible], she said, "Cut it down!", she'd got these secateurs and she said, "Cut it down!", like that. [inaudible; overtalking]

HC: "That's done that to me the last time! Where's the saw!"

[gales of laughter]

HC: [inaudible; overtalking] tree.

PK: We've gone off again. Film stars, who did you like!

GK: Eh, who did we like, Hilda? I, I don't know.

HC: Joel McCrea, I just thought of another one.

BH: Oh he, he was nice.

PK: He was nice.

BH: And the British, Nigel Patrick. He was nice.

GK: Yes, he was nice.


PK: What about Errol Flynn! Did you like? What sort did you like, the dashing ones?BH: Nee-o.

HC: And Ray Milland?

PK: She didn't like the dashing ones.

BH: I liked him, I liked Ray Milland.

PK: See, you had different types!

GK: I liked Errol Flynn.

VB: Yeah.

HC: And Don Ameche. He was nice.

[general assent; inaudible; overtalking]

BH: He was, I can't remember the names now.

GK: He was in a little thing the other night wasn't he.

PK: Yeah.

GK: He had a small part in that thing.

PK: Did you see him in that one where he was in an old folk's home?

GK: Never heard of it.

BH: Oh yes. [looking at photo in book]

GK: What? [inaudible; overtalking] He was in his heyday they was.

BH: Who, who wouldn't go for him! Loved him.

PK: When, when George first grew a little moustache, my mother said to him, "George, if you don't shave that off, I'm going to make you [the end of one of these?] puddings!"

[general laughter]

GK: [laughing] You don't sort of connect that with meat puddings, do you?

PK: Well, just mother didn't like his moustache and George liked meat puddings, you see!

BH: Richard Todd, Todd. He was good.

PK: Yes, yes.

BH: Very British.

GK: Todd, that's true.

BH: Very long time ago, wasn't it.

GK: John Mills, now he's a very small man.

PK: Barbara?

BH: Thank you, dear.


[inaudible; overtalking]

BH: Oh yeah, Greta Garbo was rather nice.

GK: She was lovely, a very, very nice girl.

PK: There's Norma Shearer.

BH: This, this has been going round a long time, hasn't it!

VB: It has.

GK: I mean a lot of people liked Clark Gable.

HC: She said she paid ten pound for one of them! Which one was it!

VB: Erm, it must've been that one.

BH: Did you?

VB: Yeah, I think that one was about eight.

HC: They were half a crown each, weren't they?

VB: Yeah.

PK: Yeah, I expect you see that that's--

[inaudible, overtalking]

HC: It says eight pounds inside.

PK: It just depends. I don't think you'd get them at the big commercial car boot sales, but if you went to a little one like across the road here, you see?

HC: Yeah.

PK: Where the older people go they might perhaps chuck things out, you see?

[inaudible; overtalking]


PK: Oh I know who's that lovely fella who was all in Hawaiian films?

[pause 1 second]

GK: I should like Tarzan! [possibly referring to Johnny Weissmuller]

BH: Well of course.

PK: Oh yeah, phwaww!!

[inaudible; overtalking]

BH: Bing Crosby and Bob Hope were they were more sort of musical comedy, weren't they.

PK: Yes.

BH: I liked musical comedy.

PK: Jon Hall.

BH: Jon Hall?

PK: He'd been in The Hurricane.

[inaudible; overtalking]

PK: Look in here, weren't he lovely?

BH: Oh yes, David Niven and--

PK: Ooh David Niven.

GK: Dorothy Lamour. What you got?

HC: David Niven was super, that's Ronald Colman isn't it.

PK: That was Ronald Colman, yeah.

VB: Aah. Did you like Ronald Colman?

PK: Yeah.

BH: Jeanette MacDonald.

GK: Yeah, he was lovely, he was British.

PK: He was British.

GK: They had a lovely talking voice in those days.

BH: I had a picture, I used to have a picture of my brother, [inaudible] over my bed-- [inaudible; talking quietly] And an officer came in one day and she said to me, "Excuse me" she said, "Sergeant, are you related by any chance to David Niven?"

[general laughter]

BH: I said, "No, that's my brother." "Oh" she said, "What a handsome brother!"

PK: Well yes.

HC: He was.

PK: [inaudible]


GK: But you all thought that you looked like, or you got yourself up like, some film star.

PK: Yeah.

HC: Each sort of two or three years somebody came along and sort of stood out.

PK: That's right. And you used to get your hair all done up.

HC: That's right.

PK: Like Ava Gardner and, and, do your hair like Ava Gardner, then you'd do your hair like Rita Hayworth.

GK: Dorothy Lamour. [noise on tape]

PK: Dorothy Lamour, that's right. I never did have a bob, you used to have a lovely bob, didn't you.

HC: Yeah.

PK: You used to have lovely page.

HC: A pageboy.

PK: Your hair was thick, weren't it? You had a lovely pageboy bob, didn't you?

BH: Yes, you've still got good hair, Hilda.

PK: She has, she's got a lot of hair.

HC: Don't tell me about my hair. That costs me a fortune. I gotta have another haircut and perm, end of November. Every three months I have to have my hair cut and permed.

PK: Do you?

HC: Yeah.

PK: It's not cheap now, ain't it.[inaudible; overtalking]


[PK offers tea or coffee around. discussion of haircuts--expensive--BH thinks Mrs Thatcher's hair is terrible and all agree]

BH: Oh Charlie Ruggles, Charlie Ruggles--

HC: I used to like him.

GK: Yeah.

HC: He was a father type, weren't he?

BH: Well, one of the three or four best comedians.

[inaudible; overtalking]

HC: I liked him. [inaudible; overtalking] Well he were the British type again, weren't he.

BH: Yeah.

GK: I went for all the British ones really. I liked Ralph Richardson and people like that.

BH: Well, you see, I didn't like him a lot 'cause he had a sort of long nose and--

GK: Well, there's not everyone can do that, can they! [laughs] I can't!


HC: There's Robert Taylor. I liked Robert Taylor and Robert Montgomery.

BH: I liked Robert Donat.

[inaudible; overtalking]

HC: Herbert Marshall, Herbert Marshall.

GK: Oooooh! Lovely.

PK: The British.

VB: Robert Donat. Mhm.

HC: We haven't thought about any of the women!

VB: I know! [laughs] We've not mentioned any of them!

[all laugh]

HC: I liked Greta Garbo, Norma Shearer.

[general assent]

HC: Greta Garbo was--

[inaudible; overtalking]

GK: I remember going to see Smilin' Through and I didn't dare not come out in the daylight. We cried some at that, didn't we?

BH: I cried.

HC: That and Journey's End. I remember we went to see Journey's End and Lizzie come with us, plus my mother, and we came home on the top of the bus and my 00:48:00sister and mother were still howling! Lizzie said, "I'm not going to the pictures with you any more!" [And I'm like?].

BH: [laughs] That's right!

HC: Anyone would think I'd knocked their heads together! [laughs]

GK: You can't help it, can you?

BH: No!

GK: You can't keep it back with something as, sort of upsetting, that makes you feel like that.

HC: Do you know my worst time too? Late Sunday and Saturday night, memorial time [referring to Remembrance Day, 11 November 1995].

BH: Ooh.

HC: I wouldn't be the Queen for all the money in the world. I wouldn't, I'd go mad with it.

PK: You don't have milk, do you?

GK: No.

PK: I just remembered, dear.

GK: Will that be all right on there, will it?

PK: That'll balance, I think. That'll balance.

GK: Is that Gracie Fields?

HC: I saw Gracie Fields, during the war.

PK: No I didn't like her, I could not stick her!

HC: You would like her if you saw her, she's very human.

PK: Yes, I know but I couldn't bear whenever she was on any pictures, I couldn't see her at the pictures.

HC: She was very sharp, weren't she?

PK: I never, I just didn't like her. I [inaudible].

GK: She was very nice when she came in, she was good, she was. Merle Oberon, now I liked her.


BH: She was there in the war.

PK: She were lovely.

HC: [coughs] You liked Robert Donat, didn't you.

PK: Oh I did, yeah.

BH: Yes.

GK: Oh yes, he was.

VB: What, what was it about Robert Donat?

PK: I don't know, he was--

GK: He was very--

BH: He always seemed as though he had a lovely--

HC: Well he was a man of passion, weren't he?

BH: Sort of man.

HC: Another British one.

PK: What was the film he [was in?]

GK: Mister Chips, he was in [referring to Goodbye, Mr Chips].

HC: Yeah, as a schoolmaster. [quietly]

[inaudible; overtalking]

GK: Leslie Banks, he was a nice man.

BH: Clive Brook.

HC: Who're you talking to yourself?

[PK explains taking cheesecake out of the fridge, she isn't talking to herself, GK was lured to the house by the prospect of cheesecake]


GK: Loretta Young.

BH: Yes.

GK: She was good.

HC: I liked her, yes.

GK: Eh, what about that other little one, erm, Jan, Janet.

HC: Janet Gaynor?

PK: Janet Gaynor?

GK: Yes, Charles Farrell.

PK: Charles Farrell, yes.

GK: [Roger?]. 7th Heaven.

HC: 7th Heaven.

PK: 7th Heaven, yeah.

BH: That's when my brother used to take me to the pictures. That's when I didn't like it! [inaudible; laughter] "Can't take you tonight; I'm going out."

GK: [inaudible; talking quietly] Talking about [inaudible] Peggy!

PK: [laughing] She was, weren't she Barbara?

BH: Yes!

PK: Weren't she talking about me?

BH: Oh well.

VB; I think she's figured it out now! [laughs]

BH: There, there. [pause 1 second] Ronald [Parr?].

GK: He was nice, yes.

HC: Well he was the Errol Flynn type, wasn't he? All dashing, weren't he.

BH: Oooh Bette Davis. My, she was good.


GK: Well she was more a character actress, weren't she. She was a swine at times.

BH: Oooh!

[PK passes round sausage rolls, Barbara takes them; GK says she always speaks 00:52:00well of PK to family; HC hints GK was talking badly of PK; PK says GK's sister liked her and her sisters liked her (GK hints her mum didn't like PK); noise on tape]

GK: I says to her [mother] "I want to go to the pictures", you see.

HC: [coughs]

BH: And [she?] wouldn't let you go!

[inaudible; overtalking re. coffee; coughing]

GK: And my ma used to say, "Who're you going with, where're you going?" my mother used to say.

[fades out; talking very quietly]

GK: And my father used to say, "What, are they not good enough?"

BH: [laughs]

[PK's brother used to follow her everywhere unless she was going out with George Kent, then he wouldn't follow her]

BH: Ooh Virginia Grey?

PK: Did she used to be in cowboy pictures?

BH: Your Kent [PK's husband] I remember, but I don't remember Virginia Grey?

PK: She was in cowboy pictures?

BH: Joan Bennett was lovely too.

GK: Her sister.

HC: How do you remember her if I don't?

PK: Well I remember cowboy pictures.


BH: Constance Bennett was lovely.

GK: Constance Bennett, yes.

VB: Did you like cowboy pictures much?

PK: Yes, yes. Used to love them. [tape noise increasing]

BH: John Wayne.

PK: He was lovely in cowboy pictures, yes, cowboys.

[inaudible; overtalking]

BH: Clint Eastwood!

PK: [laughs]

GK: Oh I don't like.

BH: Now.

HC: I didn't like him in Paint Your Wagon, though.

BH: Oh I did.

[inaudible; overtalking]

BH: She was lovely.

HC: Who?

GK: Carole Lombard.

PK: Oh yes.

GK: She died young.

PK: She died, didn't she, yeah.VB: She, she was married to Clark Gable, wasn't she.

BH: Yes, that's right.

GK: Yes.

PK: Yes.

VB: Yeah.

PK: Yes, she was, yes.

HC: You were very doubtful about that!

PK: I was, I am.

VB: [laughs]

PK: Whether she was or not. Because there was Grace.

HC: Was she [inaudible]?

PK: Grace who married, erm, Grace Kelly who married the king, I mean she had a lot of affairs, she had an affair with Cary Grant, didn't she.

HC: She weren't at all as she seemed.

PK: That's right. [tape noise]

BH: William Holden, she had an affair with William Holden.

PK: William Holden.


GK: Now he was a funny man. Did you like him? I never liked him.

BH: Not particularly. 'Cause he lived with--

HC: Peggy, what's the matter with Barbara?

GK: You not drinking it?

PK: [laughs] I'm drinking her tea!


[General hilarity re PK drinking GK's tea, general teasing of her for doing this. BH says it's alright, PK goes to get some more tea for BH, GK says PK is poorly today; BH was ringing PK at the college, wondered if she still instructed in knitting; poor audio quality]

HC: Have you got all you want now Val?

[PK brings in her silver wedding china with the tea in it for BH; others admire]

VB: I was wondering, we have talked a bit about the main stars but were there other stars that you liked? [inaudible; poor audio quality] We talked a bit, we talked about Ginger Rogers.

PK: Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, I loved them in all their musicals.

GK: Yeah.

PK: I think it was the dancing and, and I can't say that I was ever a, over-enthusiastic about him.

HC: Not with Fred Astaire, no.

PK: Astaire but the dancing was perfect.

GK: It was marvellous, yeah.

BH: Gene Kelly.

PK: Gene Kelly danced beautifully, didn't he?

BH: And Sammy Davis Junior.

PK: Yes.

GK: He was a clever dancer, wasn't he?

VB: But Fred Astaire himself didn't appeal to you as much?

PK: No, no, not at all. But his dancing with Ginger Rogers.

GK: Yeah.


PK: Was just [superb?]

HC: His feet were wonderful but that was where it ended! [laughs]

BH: I think he had, sort of, a very awkward mannerisms and he had a sort of--

PK: He weren't the sort of fella that appealed to me at all, 'cause--

[inaudible; drowned by laughter]

GK: No, no.

HC: But I think, eh, the dresses what Ginger Rogers used to have on.

BH: Oh, ab-sol-utely.

HC: I used to think ooh, aren't they remarkable, great on the eyes.

GK: They were feminine, weren't they?

PK: They were lovely.

HC: They had lovely little waists like mine used to be!

GK: Yeah.

PK: Well we know you were slim! Do you remember that dress shop that used to be just by the bridge, years ago?

BH: Mann and Son, probably.

PK: And that had a red dress in there, and I did craze my mother for this red dress, well she used to make all my clothes, didn't she, and I said, "Can I just have this one bought?" "A red dress!" she said, "Never!" She wouldn't let me have it! I fancied, you know, going to a dance with it, and 'Dance With the Lady in Red', you know?

[general laughter]

GK: I don't think I ever had anything red.

HC: I wear a lot of red, I love red.

GK: 'Cause I was very dark.

BH: Yeah.


PK: This was an off-the-shoulder dress.

BH: Ooh yes, oh.

PK: No, she did make me a dress with no back to it. But she put hooks and eyes on the back.

BH: Oh I see.

PK: With a bow to tie, she said, "I know those boys," she says, "As you walk away dancing they'll get a hold of your--"

VB: Mhm.


PK: Which they did! [laughs]

[general discussion of local shops until 0:59:50 ; HC re Lerners 'a good shop'; there was a photographers next to it; Lerner's was a 'lovely' ladies' dress shop, the local equivalent to Harrods and HC's husband bought her a 'jacquard 00:59:00scarf' from Lerners first; the owners of Lerners were 'lovely folk'; PK still has scarf she bought from Lerners and a necklace from there which she gave to her mother; PK's jacquard scarf was not going into the cub sale! PK wears it 'with the name outside'; Lerners was 'very poshe'; tape noise increasing; HC always bought 'good clothes'; HC still has a suit from Lerners; PK says the others should go to HC's house and 'see what she's got']

[End of Side B]

[End of Tape One]

[Start of Tape Two]


[Start of Side A]

HC: Who else did we go and see? Let's get back to what she's wanting!

VB: [laughs]

HC: Can't think!

VB: What, what was it about Alice Faye that you liked?

GK: She was glamorous.

HC: And she could sing and dance.

PK: I think it was the glamour.

HC: Well with Alice Faye that was glamour, she took us into a different world.

PK: I don't think, I don't think I ever--

HC: That's what they all did.

PK: Yeah.

HC: Put us into another world, didn't they?

GK: Yeah.

PK: I don't think we went for the intellect of the person, did we?

BH: No, well I think you'd go more for the--

PK: It was the glamour.

BH: Don't you.

VB: Mhm.

PK: 'Cause we lived, you, years ago we dressed, young teenagers dressed like your mother. [pause 1 second] You, you had clothes that your mother said you had to wear, and so you, life was, we enjoyed it but it was only, sort of, in our time that you started to rebel a bit, weren't it.

HC: In the old days we had to have what we could have.


PK: That's right. I mean like, for instance, my sister was older than I. Well my mother got to make her wear corsets. Well no way was I going into a corset, no way! And, erm, you know but, my sister did it because she was that little bit older.

VB: Mhm.

PK: And she had--

HC: That's right.

PK: To do it.

HC: Now let's just speak the truth and say Lily's a different temperament to what you are.

PK: Absolutely.

VB: Ah.

HC: So that's why Lily did it.

BH: But usually in those days what your parents said went, didn't it.

PK: Oh yes.

BH: You either obeyed or--

PK: I know I did rebel a bit.

HC: So did I but--

PK: I rebelled.

HC: My sister, I also got away with murder compared to what she did.

PK: Don't you think when you look back and when I used to hear my mother talk, and she used to go and tell Mrs [Windsor?] and she always used to say, "And my Peggy did this," and I think really they enjoyed it!

VB: Mhm.

PK: They really enjoyed it.

HC: They used to laugh at us?

PK: They had a good laugh, that's what it was. [pause 1 second] And my sister, she still is like that, Lily do laugh a lot.

BH: That was all fun, weren't it?

PK: That's right, lots of fun.

BH: It is fun.

[pause 1 second]

HC: Lily also had [Albert?] too, didn't she?

PK: Yes. Yes! [pause 1 second]

PK: We were talking about the confetti fetes you know, years ago, we were talking about.


BH: Oh yeah.

GK: Yeah. Mhm. Thursday nights.

PK: And then, when they used to let off the fireworks, we all used to be in the Royal Hotel, they used to let them off from the yacht club, didn't they.

GK: That's right.

PK: There used to be all little, hundreds of people and as the fireworks went out you all went, "Aaaaah!"

HC: Oooooh!!!!

GK: [laughs]

BH: At the Royal Hotel I remember-- On a Saturday night sometimes they had--

HC: That's right.

BH: That was a nice, a nice evening, my mum used to say, "Come on, let's go and watch, watch through the windows and watch the dancers in the Royal Hotel."

PK: You got to see through the windows at the Hotel.

BH: And, and everybody had to wear evening dress.

GK: That's right.

HC: And now the Royal's all pulled down.

PK: Pulled down.

GK: Mhm, yeah.

PK: It was lovely to go to a dance in an evening dress. [pause 1 second] And you were all in evening dresses and it was lovely 'cause you really got yourself all up to go out dancing, it was.

HC: I went to, they used to have a county do and I had a turquoise evening dress. A great big square collar and turquoise roses on here. [pause 1 second] From Eve Brown's, was that dress.


PK: Eve Brown's, yes.

HC: That's where I got it, Eve Brown's. Went, went to [Gall Cross?] with Lorna, went down on my heels, right across on my train on the floor!


BH: Oh dear!

GK: Don't it let you down!

PK: Isn't it a thing when, me and my sister we always have a talk once a fortnight on the phone and she was saying something and I told her you were coming, so she was saying, I, talking about your train on the dresses she say, " I can remember mum and I," she said, "Sitting up past midnight," she said, "Making you red roses to go round that white dress that, erm, Jo, Jubilee that you wore the satin [headdress?] with." I said, Hilda, "I don't remember that." I can remember my white dress but I can't remember them sitting up until twelve o' clock sewing those roses on!

HC: 'Cause you wouldn't be interested I suppose!

PK: No!!! [dissolves into laughter]

[general laughter]

PK: So I said, "What I can remember Lil, you bought me a pair of dance shoes because you, you used to go in and say, "Well I got nothing to wear" and [Gordon?] said, "I got nothing to wear?"

BH: What do you mean you got nothing to wear?

GK: Shut up!

[general laughter]


HC: You got nothing to wear!

PK: Oh, you'd fill a whole truck!

BH: Ooh dear. Well Fredric March and Myrna Loy were nice.

PK: They were nice.

BH: Myrna Loy with William Powell.

PK: William Powell, well that Thin Man's still on, isn't it, they still come on at times.

BH: Oh yes, yes.

GK: Vivien Leigh of course.

HC: Mhm.

BH: Virginia Bruce, she was good.

PK: Yes, she was nice.

[pause 2 seconds]

PK: I'm definitely going to look for them books now.

HC: What're you going to do with them?


PK: Well hold them up for Val, I don't want them.

[general discussion until 1:05:38; GK asks PK if she saw the 'Treasure Hunt' at the Antique event; all saw and it was 'lovely'; TV programme recently on; they put the most expensive one down (Chelsea pottery); PK says you could pick up this sort of thing at a car boot sale; BH has a lovely little tea pot with gold round the top and it's a hundred years old; PK looks under all her china when she cleans them even though she's seen them a hundred times before!]

GK: [looking at book] Do you remember this Annabella--

PK: No.

GK: Who was in Wings of the Morning with Charles Farrell?

BH: Charles.

HC: Carmen Miranda's just come into my mind, now that was a character. Carmen Miranda.

PK: Oh, I loved her.

HC: Mhm.

PK: Cor, with all that fruit on her hat. Have you seen her Val?


VB: [nods]

PK: Oh she was smashing, weren't she?

HC: Yeah. She was like that woman who comes, who the devil's programme was that in, Clive James, do you look at Clive James Saturday evening [referring to a television programme]?

PK: No, no.

HC: She played her piano, that eh [Grand?]

GK: I don't think we saw that one, did we?

BH: No. Was it that one, or, Mrs Mills?

HC: Oh I mean now. Not last winter time, what did we have last winter, last year.PK: I do like Clive James but no I didn't see it.

HC: He's very sarcastic, isn't he.VB: Yeah.

PK: I love his wit, but he's got a lovely wit, haven't he. Lovely wit.

BH: Ooh, he's very witty.

HC: She's sort of Argentinian or something like that, she is.

PK: Is she?

HC: Yes, something like Carol Channing and, eh, that one we were talking about, see my mind's gone, again.

BH: I can't remember people.

PK: I think probably what we liked was, that was an escape for us, wasn't it?

GK: Yeah, 'cause--

BH: [inaudible]

PK: We liked the fun, the fun. Because when you think of the houses you lived in, everything was brown, weren't it.

PK: A lot of brown and green, weren't it.

HC: Varnished.

PK: And varnish.

BH: Ooh yes, varnish.


PK: But you took it all, I mean you, you, very seldom, only in the front room did you have carpet on the floor, did you?

HC: Mhm.

PK: It was only in the front room you had a carpet.

GK: Well we had, sort of in the middle, you know.

PK: That's right.

GK: A piece of lino at, at the sides.

PK: And the bedrooms, I used to get up in the mornings.

HC: Oh god!

PK: And pull up the--! [dissolves in laughter]

GK: Oooh! We never used to do anything like that in the bedrooms

PK: And it used to be so hot you could scrape the ice off the windows! [gales of laughter]

BH: It used to strike ever so cold, didn't it?

GK: Belgian carpet 'cause they were cheaper than the others.

BH: That's right.

PK: But if you, I mean I suppose, going to the pictures, and you saw all that glamour.

GK: Mhm.

PK: All the, these--

GK: That's right.

PK: The beautiful houses.

GK: That's right.

PK: The [inaudible] they lived in--

GK: Mhm.

PK: You sort of really wanted to be like them.

GK: That's right.

VB: Mhm.

BH: Mhm.

HC: Well that was the glamour we went for.

PK: That was the glamour. I really.

GK: I should think all my dream used to be, erm, up the top of that lovely staircase.

PK: Oh, when you come down.

GK: And come down in one of them beautiful ball gowns, you know.

PK: Oh they were lovely.

GK: And fall over at the end.

BH: I was going to say that!

[general laughter]


HC: And flat over on your face, [laughs] when you got to the bottom! [inaudible; overtalking; laughter]

PK: You, you do think of all those things when, what you should've done, what you could've done, it would've been lovely, wouldn't it.

HC: Yeah.

VB: I see what you mean, as you say it was the, that aspect of the films, the glamour and the--

GK: The glamour. And what you went for and that's how you dressed like it, I think, or you tried to dress like it.

BH: While, while you were sitting there, you were there.

PK: You were there.

BH: You were, that you were.

HC: You were that, you were really into that.

PK: When you come out of the pictures and you--

GK: In the light you thought, "Ooh dear."

PK: You took on, you really took on the character of the person you'd just seen.

BH: That's right.

VB: Mhm.

PK: And you remember when they were funny, like the Marx Brothers, I mean, I thought they were hilarious, the Marx Brothers.

BH: Ooh, so did I.

GK: Yeah.

HC: And they were hilarious.

BH: Yes.

PK: I, I'd love to see, I, I've asked Paul for the video of the wedding, eh, after the wedding where Luke, my youngest grandson, be- because he can't dance, and he'd gone home and changed and he'd got these long khaki shorts down to here with the dropped crotch sort of thing?

BH: Ooh!


PK: And he'd got this brilliant red hair and he was doing a dance in the middle of all the dancing and he was dancing like Harpo Marx!

HC: Ooh.

PK: And when I saw the video I sat there and I cried!

BH: Oh dear, dear.

PK: Ooh I love, I should do give me a copy, oh give me a copy, Paul!

[general laughter]

PK: It was so funny! He didn't know he was doing it!

BH: Nee-oh!

GK: He was just dancing, she said.

BH: He was just enjoying himself.

PK: He was supposed to be dancing with me, that's what he was doing! I was trying to teach him to dance, and he was just--

BH: And he went solo. Oh dear!

PK: So very funny, but they were funny, weren't they.

BH: Yes.

VB: Mhm.

PK: And then they went to a restaurant, George and I, my son used to play this, they used to put, a French restaurant and they had a big vase of flowers in the middle--it won't sound so funny now--but they'd sit there and every time--they didn't move the flowers--and every time they wanted to say something from one to the other, they looked round the flowers.

[general laughter]

BH: Looked round the flowers!

BH: One, one of them always had a cigar, didn't he?

PK: That's right, that was the one. We used to play with that on the table! We put flowers, and John, we'd 01:10:00sit like a couple of fools, and George would, well [Sarah?] and I used to go like this!


PK: It was so funny! I mean, that is what you did, didn't you, you did. And then, I was telling Val there about my brother, my mother used to have to go down and get him out of the Palace because he'd been there since the dinner time and hadn't had anything to eat.

GK: That's right.

PK: And he'd seen all the shows.

BH: Yes.

PK: Umpteen times.

BH: Mhm.

PK: But I tried hard to get him down here but he wouldn't come down.

BH: No.

PK: I said, John, you were the film buff.

BH: Yeah.

PK: He used to say, when I went to tea to Alan, he say to me [being an accountant?] he said to me, "The cups," so I said, "What about cups?" he said, "Your brother." My brother had then started then, he said, "He sell his cups at threepence a go!"

BH: [laughs]

PK: He go, he'd go up and tell my mother, he'd broken them, so he could get to the pictures!

[general laughter]

PK: He still is.

BH: Ooh.


PK: He still is a devil.

[PK offers pieces of tart around' HC asks for a cup of tea; BH thinks PK has many 'customers' around]

GK: My mum used to say, "We're going to the pictures tonight."

[overtalking re pieces of tart]

GK: She'd say, "Well I'll take you to the pictures, social like." 'Course she'd want to see it as well and my dad would be coming perhaps working late, coming home and he wouldn't want to go. All he'd want to do is just wash and sit and read his newspaper.

BH: Oh yeah.

GK: And he used to say "Ooh! What you going to see?" And my mother would say, whatever it was, "Ohh! Take plenty of my handkerchiefs," he said!


GK: And, and then, there, was a chap who lived not far from us and he, he didn't really want to go but his wife wanted to go so we took them, well, he, he told my dad, he said--

HC: Not John [inaudible].

GK: "I never seen a family use so many handkerchiefs," he said, "I weren't watching the film," he said, "I was watching your missus and the children!"

VB: [laughs]

BH: The children.

GK: And every time after that when, when he saw my mum, he used to take a big pocket handkerchief out of his, and go like this! He did that for ages afterwards.


GK: Oh that was a good film, made you cry!

HC: I used to love Greta Garbo when she was in older films.

PK: Hilda, aren't you going to have a piece of cheesecake dear?


HC: Oh, no, not after all that lot.


GK: Thank you Peg.

[general discussion until 1:14:25; PK was given a present of an ice-cream maker; PK is asked about her bread machine; PK offers round food; PK was given ice-cream maker last Friday; dog barks; VB asked if she has children; VB didn't realise what time it was, it's twenty to four; VB has to dash off to catch a train into Norwich as is staying in Norwich; offered another cup of tea (it's quarter to four); doorbell rings, dog barks loudly; VB tells staying in Earlham Road in a guesthouse; HC used to go to Norwich a lot; GK and BH used to go to Norwich a lot]

[End of Interview]