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In Our Age Issue 53
In Our Age Issue 53

Herefordshire Lore has been collecting, publishing and archiving people’s recollections since 1989. Herefordshire Lore works to remember, celebrate and record Herefordshire’s past history before it is lost with passing generations. It is run by a group of volunteers who design, plan and gain funding for projects.A diverse range of resources have been published including the quarterly ‘In Our Age’ which can be read on this website. To get a the latest print version please subscribe.

We have published books (River Voices, 2018, Women at War – In The Munitions, 2003; A Slap of the Hand – The History of Hereford Market 2007), booklets (Amazing How Times Change, 1992; The Shopkeeper’s Tale, 1996; The Schoolchildren’s Tale, 1997; Milk, Herefordshire; 2012), and magazines from Age To Age to a decade of In Our Age.

We have talked to people from all walks of life from munitioneers, housewives, farmers, railwaymen, domestics and butchers to shop keepers, cattle dealers, publicans and priests. Herefordshire Lore owes its existence to their memories.

Our thanks go to our many contributors and funders especially the Heritage Lottery Fund.


launch-invite

Herefordshire’s Home Front in the Second World War Book

This new book, published by Logaston Press and written by Bill Laws was launched at the Hereford Light Infantry Museum in May 2019.

With  176 pages this book offers a rich insight into all aspects of life in Herefordshire in wartime, through memories and photographs gathered by Herefordshire Lore, and with important new research into the county’s conscientious objectors by Dr Elinor Kelly.

Bill Laws is the author of twenty titles on subjects ranging from rural architecture and a social history of walking, to gardens and local history. He helped found Herefordshire Lore in 1989.

To order a copy of River Voices please send your name and address together with a cheque for £12.50 per book made out to Herefordshire Lore to :

Herefordshire Lore c/o Castle Pavilion, Castle Green, Hereford HR1 2NH

Or contact us for more information.


Listen to the ‘Weeping Poppies‘ audio stories

Herefordshire men and women relate their experiences of the First World War. The stories are based on original recordings made by the county reminiscence group, Herefordshire Lore and Herefordshire’s Home Front in the First World War by Bill Laws.

Weeping Poppies


Read past issues of ‘Age to Age’ – Hereford Lore Reminiscence Newsletter on our new ‘Age to Age’ page.

‘Age to Age’ was published bi-monthly by Hereford Lore, before we became Herefordshire Lore, from 1993 to 2003 and was the fore runner of our quarterly magazine ‘In Our Age’.

There are all sorts of fascinating snippets of history and heritage including:

Alf Evans’s recollection from 1942, ‘Tragedy Strikes R.O.F.’ from 1942 published in Volume 1 Issue 6 in May 1994.

Why in 1957, when the Queen visited Herefordshire, a pig took centre stage in ‘Pig meets Queen’ by Betty Moore published in Volume 4 Issue 4 in July 1996.

Gladys Sweeney recalls memories of cleaning railway carriages in Barton Yard (now Sainsbury’s) during the war published in Volume 10 Issue 6 in December 2002.

Herefordshire’s Home Front in the Second World War

This new book, published by Logaston Press and written by Bill Laws was launched at the Hereford Light Infantry Museum in May 2019.

With 176 pages this book offers a rich insight into all aspects of life in Herefordshire in wartime, through memories and photographs gathered by Herefordshire Lore, and with important new research into the county’s conscientious objectors by Dr Elinor Kelly.

Bill Laws is the author of twenty titles on subjects ranging from rural architecture and a social history of walking, to gardens and local history. He helped found Herefordshire Lore in 1989.

To order a copy of River Voices please send your name and address together with a cheque for £12.50 per book made out to Herefordshire Lore to :

Herefordshire Lore c/o Castle Pavilion, Castle Green, Hereford HR1 2NH

Margery Dale is second from left
When the bombs fell on the city where nurse Margery Dale (second from left) from Preston-on-Wye was working she stayed in bed: “We were too tired to go to the shelters.”

What do you want to be when you grow up? Asks a German POW.

“A POW like you,” replies the Herefordshire schoolboy – new book is a record of county life during the last war.

Following the fateful announcement of war 80 years ago in September 1939 schoolboy Henry Moss was dispatched to hide Aconbury’s church silver from the Third Reich; a hastily formed Home Guard prepared to make a final stand against the expected invasion of Herefordshire; and clandestine local Covert Auxiliary Units were instructed, as one county landowner put it, “to lay low then kill off important Germans.”

Teenagers started working on farms after school while their mums shouldered the men’s jobs, made munitions, or joined the Land Army, the Timber Corps or the Auxiliary Training Service.

The older generation dreaded another war: “It was only 21 years since the last one which killed two of my uncles and my mother’s fiancé,” recalled RAF recruit Jim Thomas, who, personally, found the prospect of war exciting.

Children, however, were frightened and confused: “A bomb fell near Canon Pyon: I thought Hitler had followed me,” reported little London evacuee Bruce Leonard. “We were put on the trains without our mothers,” wrote another evacuee, Mavis Matthews: “I cried bitter tears.”

The county received a flood of new faces – Canadians, Indians, black and white Americans, Italian and German prisoners of war, displaced Polish families. Yet even in the midst of war, there were lighter moments: one farm lad, asked by a German prisoner of war what he planned to be when he grew up, instantly replied: “Pow! Like you!” There was the Tupsley Home Guardsman who hit his own house with a mortar during training; and friends Barbara and Gwen learning to jitterbug in Hoarwithy Road with wounded GIs awaiting transport. “My experience taught me to smile even in the face of tragic times,” recalled Barbara.

Herefordshire’s Home Front in World War Two, is based on people’s pictures and memories, collected by the county reminiscence group Herefordshire Lore.

The author, Hereford-based journalist and historian Bill Laws interviewed many of the book’s contributors. “This is the story of one of the most traumatic events of the twentieth century, told by the people who were there,” says Bill.

Colonel Andy Taylor is curator of the Herefordshire Light Infantry Museum, which is hosting the book launch: “The war touched everyone, but there was a determination and camaraderie born from shared hardships and a common purposed. Bill Laws shows these highs and lows of life in Herefordshire: it is a valuable record based on individual experience.”

Marjorie Rosser
As a WAAF at RAF Rednall in Shropshire Marjorie Rosser prepared the base’s Spitfires. She was startled to discover, one morning, an escaped German POW hiding in one of the cockpit.

Weeping Poppies

Herefordshire men and women relate their experiences of the First World War. The stories are based on original recordings made by the county reminiscence group, Herefordshire Lore and Herefordshire’s Home Front in the First World War by Bill Laws.

Click on the links below to open the audio page for each title:

The Conscientious Objector – read by Marsha O’Mahony  – 6.14 mins

The Soldier – read by Colin Crawford – 4.56 mins

The Munitioneer – read by Shona Warnes – 5.05 mins

The Farmer – read by David Warnes, – 5.05 mins

The Little Refugee – read by Bill Laws – 3.54

Twenty-Nine Days – read by Clive Emerson – 4.38 mins

 

Subscribe

It costs only £15 a year to receive In Our Age (four issues a year). Group subscriptions (10 copies a time) are still only £30 a year.

Please make cheques payable to Herefordshire Lore and send to: Herefordshire Lore, Castle Green Pavilion, Castle Green, HR1 2NW

Ensure that you include your address including postcode.

(Please note that this is for the UK only, please contact us and ask for pricing for other countries.)

 

River Voices

River Voices: Extraordinary Stories from the Wye - Book

Extraordinary Stories from the Wye

In the summer of 2017 a team of Herefordshire Lore interviewers travelled up and down the river, speaking to swimmers, walkers, anglers, ferry women and men, canoeists, bailiffs, ghillies, poachers, bridge keepers and more, recording their stories from this lovely river of ours.

From landing a 40-lb salmon at Ballingham, shopping for Devon Minnows at Hatton’s, using the Hunderton ferry river crossing, chasing poachers at Symonds Yat, walking on a frozen river at Whitney-on-Wye, rescuing stranded villagers in flooded Letton, to home-made canoes in Hereford, these are just a few of the tales gathered, illustrated alongside hitherto unseen photos, an excellent record of life on the Wye in a book published by Herefordshire’s Logaston Press.

We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for making this project possible.

Thanks also to our match funders: Hereford City Council, Monmouth Building Society, New Grove Trust, William A Cadbury Trust, the Wye Valley ANOB, Terry, Carol and Wesley Mason.

You can purchase River Voices for £10 plus £2.50 UK postage and packing per book.

To order a copy of River Voices please send your name and address together with a cheque for £12.50 per book made out to Herefordshire Lore to :

Herefordshire Lore c/o Castle Pavilion, Castle Green, Hereford HR1 2NH

Heritage Lottery Fund