ORAL HISTORY

Recordings have been made of conversations from a number of our well known history group members:

Bob Willis

Bob Willis was born on May 20th 1934 in Hanham where his parents ran a newsagents and stationers. When he left Colston School, Bob quickly decided against office work, and joined the RAF. He later joined the family business, but moved to Somerset to advise farmers on animal husbandry. By this time he and Ann were married, and had two children, David and Jane.
In 1972, the family moved back to Hanham and Bob spent the rest of his career at BAE Filton. In retirement he was verger at St Mary’s church, Bitton, and a volunteer at Bath Abbey.

Eddie Hawking

Eddie was born in Bitton in 1926. He started school at Upton Cheyney due to his mothers illness but his schooling started properly in 1931 with Miss Sparks at Bitton Council School. He lived in what is now Court Farm Road until the start of World War II and then in Willsbridge Hill and later in North Street, Oldland Common, where he lives now. He gained a scholarship to Kingswood Grammar. At 17 he joined the RAF. He married Audrey and in 1952 they moved to Middlesborough and he became a lecturer at Middlesborough College of Art, where they brought up their family before returning many years later to North Street.

 

Janet Ivens

Janet Ivens was born on the 10th of March 1933 in Mariposa, the bungalow in Longwell Green that she shared with her parents and 3 siblings. She had a long and successful career as a nursery nurse following a training period and 5 years at Redland High School. When her parents died she moved to Bitton, where she has taken an active part in the local church and community, especially in catering. A highlight was an invitation to tea at Buckingham Palace.

 

John Rivers

John Rivers has lived in Upton Cheyney all his life. He was born in Springfield Villa on the 10th February 1929, and lived there until his family moved to Clearview, the bungalow they had built. A lifelong fascination with tractors led to work during the war at Hollisters Farm and then as a motor mechanic. John and Mary married in 1957 and brought up their 2 children in Clearview.