Remembering Rodborough - Muriel Cook - Remembering Rodborough - Muriel Cook
Summary of Muriel Cook interview
· Muriel Cook aged 96
· First memory of RB– came to live at Mrs Wyman’s shop – 1914-20 - sweet shop next to Albert – 2 cottages then – they had the lower one – another Cook took over from Mrs Wyman eventually
· Lived in Leeds before coming to Stroud – dad a foremen in a mill – volunteered for Great War – badly wounded – lost an arm – came to Stroud to live with Aunt and Uncle while dad in hospital in Cainscross. Dad then got a job taking orders for the coal merchant, Mr. Ward, of London Road. Walk for miles – “shilling a week” to pay for the coal. Muriel worked at Holloways.
· Memories of the poverty in the 20’s and 30’s – Fred and Sidney Dainty – Rag and Bone men
· But differences then and now? “More of a community then” “Everyone knew one another” “More friendly and neighbourly” when you went into a shop “you talked” “It was more personal then.” “You got to know each other.” The Co-op – v impt shop – do grocery shopping daily as no ‘fridges etc then – coop “ a great institution” mum’s divi number 3740 – Muriel eldest of 7 – divi money spent on shoes for the kids from shop in Chapel St. Into Stroud for clothes, shoes, butchers. Sellwoods the dirty shop in Bath Road – rubbing potato-earthed hands on grubby overalls and then cutting the butter and cheese – not a popular shop.
· The drayhorses pulling the Stroud Brewery wagons; horses struggling with loads of tree-trunks at the bottom of the hill – Workman’s of Woodchester Baker had a horse n cart too; greengrocer too; and a Mr Smith and daughter from Dudbridge Hill brought fresh fish – in a basket on their heads; Mr James the farmer with the milk – he had tea at Muriel’s and next door on alternate days.
· Remembers not just the Gardiners Bakery but also a bakery in Spillmans – go up there to the big oven – he also came round with a big basket of bread – people baked their own too of course. Remembers houses being built on Walkley Hill early 20’s and the Little Chapel being built.
· RB Tabernacle – Sunday School morning and afternoon – “it was the thing to do” children split 50:50 “church and chap” – learnt scriptures and hymns off by heart – first went to Sschool at Baptist Chapel in John St (parents married there) but too slow for mother – keeping Sunday lunch hot so went instead to the Tab when aged about 10. Parents BAPTISTS.
· favourite walk – RB Common – Sunday evening with parents – community thing to do – what made RB RB? “ EVERYONE KNEW EVERYONE” Playing in RB field – swinging on the willow trees across the stream – hide n seek in Farmer James’ hay – stream now culverted beneath the school? Runs through Mrs Carter’s garden – Muriel has a well in her garden
· Had evacuees in WW2 – others in Spillmans too – dad a firewatcher “down in Stroud” Rationing and under the counter stuff for favoured customers- everyone knew it went on
· Had an Austin 7 when married but “we all walked into town and back again” – picture house next to Wworths. Dancing? A Mrs Sealey – infant school teacher and sister in Bath Rd – cadets hut behind then used for dances – practice on Mondays – formal dance on Sats – she played piano and man on drum – met husband there.
· Quite a few Stroud shopkeepers lived in RB – Mr Hoarden the haberdaher for example – shop where Millitts is – Kendrick St – S School teacher – a room is still called Mr Horden’s room at the tab even today.
· Trips to Weston on the DB Donkey from MR STROUD STATION TO db/shOUSE END THEN SOUTH – Railcars – driver picking them up at Downfield Halt for free and dropping them down in Stroud!