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Recording Radwinter’s Memories
Following grants of £325 from the Rural Community Council of Essex and £300 from Uttlesford District Council, a major Oral History Project will shortly be under way in Radwinter.
The grants, which were awarded under the Essex Rural Renaissance Fund Community Hub and the Uttlesford Leisure and Cultural Grant Scheme, have been used to purchase two sets of mini-disc recorders and a CD recorder to record and transcribe memories of Radwinter current and former inhabitants so as to build up a permanent and developing oral archive of Radwinter life and times. The recordings and transcriptions will be made using Essex Record Office (ERO) guidelines and will be deposited in the ERO Essex Sound Archive and the Radwinter archives so that future historians and all interested in local history can obtain a permanent and growing account of life in Radwinter as it has developed.
Ten people have initially indicated their willingness to make the recordings and it is hoped that around 50 people will initially be recorded.
Essex Record Office was approached for information. Guidance notes and forms for the project were then prepared. On the recommendation of the ERO, a range of equipment was specified to enable recordings to be made in people’s own homes, should they wish it, and enabling subsequent indexing, copying onto compact disks and duplication. This would enable copies to be lodged with ERO as well as the Radwinter Archive Centre and, eventually CDs on edited topics could be prepared and sold.
In producing our Millennium publication Radwinter 1900 we made use of written memories collected from former Radwinter inhabitants. When we considered a sequel on Radwinter during World War II, we realised that there were only scant recordings of that and later periods. If we begin a recording project now, index it and continue it over the years, we will build a permanent record of developing village life that will be of inestimable value for future generations.
As events, even in the recent past will one day comprise history, the recording project will be extended beyond the oldest inhabitants and it would be advantageous to capture the memories of younger people and those about to depart the village to live elsewhere.
Anybody who is willing to be recorded or can help with recordings or transcriptions, please contact me on 01799 599478 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Radwinter at War
In the last issue of Ambo I reported on correspondence from Mr B G Slater who had written to say that he was a wartime visitor to Radwinter and had sent us his reminiscences. He mentioned that he had stayed in a camp site in a field abutting onto the eastern side of Water Lane and that his group provided pickers for a fruit farm which he thought might have been called Nine Acres. David Richardson, who lives at Hazelbury House in Water Lane has told me that his house, originally called Apple Pie Mead, was originally the site of an orchard.
Now there were several farms in Water Lane, more so than today and several orchards in Radwinter. I have not been able to pin down an absolute identification but, while searching the Essex Record Office archives, I did come across an interesting reference to Cutbush Farm in a covenant of 17 April 1833 in the Deeds of Faulkbourne Estate. In it Jonathan Bullock of Faulkbourne Hall, esq and John Josiah Bullock (eldest son and heir apparent of Jonathan) are conveying various properties and it includes the following reference:
“The Cut Bush Farm, in occupation of William Davies and lately purchased by said Jonathan Bullock. of said William Davies; two messuages, barn and land , in occupation of E Mascall and heretofore purchased of Robert Horner by Jonathan Josiah Christopher. Bullock, late father of said Jonathan Bullock; all in Radwinter.”
Now a Mr Horner is referred to in William Eden Nesfield’s letters to the Revd. Fred Bullock when they were planning the restoration of Radwinter Church. In moving the altar, they had had to move the grave of a Mr Horner and an illustration by Mr Nesfield, used as the cover illustration to the Radwinter Friends book A Deuce of an Uproar, shows the coffin being removed and a descendent emitting the expletive, “Oh Scissors!” The significance of the drawing below was only discovered last year when the altar was moved again to allow access to the Reredos. Now we know that the Horners came from Cutbush.
An Internet-ready Village Computer for Radwinter
An application is being prepared to acquire an up-to-date internet-connected computer for Radwinter. This will allow the Radwinter Records to be indexed locally and for people without a computer to access the internet for information or possibly to shop on-line More news hopefully in the next issue of Ambo
Contact: Michael Southgate, Village History Recorder
Telephone 01799 599478
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