Tales of growing up in 1920s Orford captured in recording for museum trust

Margaret Taylor, 96, was interviewed by BBC broadcaster Paul Heiney for the DVD,

Mrs Taylor was brought up in Orford from the age of one and wanted to use her memories to help raise funds for the Orford Town Trust and Museum Trust.

Mrs Taylor lived in Orford with her mother and father, who ran a string of retail stores in the village with her uncle and her brother, Geoffery Pike, now 90.

Speaking about why she loved Orford, Mrs Taylor said: “I was free. I had a free childhood and I did what I liked. I can remember summer and lovely weather. In the winter if snow came, we used to go on Castle Green on our sledges or whatever we could find and slide down the hill. I like to remember people.”

Several characters from the town are mentioned, from town cryer Sam Smy and Steve Harper, proprietor of the Jolly Sailors, to Dr Baron and tailor Lou Anderson.

Mr Heiney agreed to interview Mrs Taylor following a request from her son, Peter. He said: “It’s important that peoples’ stories are preserved, they are incredibly valuable.

“What Mrs Taylor has said to me today in 15 years’ time is going to be like gold to researchers. She has memories of Orford that no-one else will have.”

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Mr Taylor’s friend and former colleague, Michael Brookes, recorded the interview.

Mr Taylor, said: “She has some very clear and interesting accounts of what life was like then, in what was the run up to the big depression and life in general in what was a very isolated coastal village in east Suffolk.

“It struck me it would be an excellent opportunity for Michael to use his film making skills to get down an extraordinary string of memories from the 1920s. There can be few people who are of my mum’s age who have such clear memories of what it was like back then.

“We are doing this to get the stories down, to record what it was like, to give people a window into 1920s Orford.”

The DVD is due to be available to purchase by the end of September. It will cost £9.50 and will be on sale at Browsers, Woodbridge, and the Orford Town Trust and Museum.

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