Interview with Norman White
The interview with Norman White was recorded on 27th November 2013 at his home in Longfield Road, Meopham. The interviewer was Ann Kneif.
Norman White was born in Gravesend, 4th June 1943. Father was a merchant seaman who died when Norman was 4. His mother died when he was 8 and he went to live with his grandmother in Meopham.
Early schooling in Gravesend and then, when moved, to the junior school in Meopham. Gives details of the school and especially mentions the headmaster, Mr Strand.
Hobbies and Activities
Playing out in the woods and fields. Model making.
Occupation after School
Became carpenter and joiner. Cycled to work at Higham.
Went with an aunt, who was a teacher. Morning South Street Baptist Church, afternoon Mount Zion Baptist Church.
Goes into a lot of detail about the various shops in the village.
Travel from Village
Cycled a lot but were busses every hour.
Jobs as a Child
Mowed lawn at home. Bob-a-job with cubs. Finding wasps nests at Tobbutt Farm.
Met at scout hut, where played games and worked for badges. Wanted to continue as scout but no-one to lead pack.
Mentions farmers and farms in village in detail.
Employment in Village
Mentions several companies employing local people.
Major Events in the Village
Queen's coronation celebrated on Village Green with country dancing organised by headmaster, pillow fights etc. Day off school when the Queen visited Meopham.
Changes in Village
More housing. Mentions roads and buildings that did not exist when he was young. Doctors and surgery quite different in past. Could buy almost everything you needed in the village and used to know most of people but not now. Traffic is very bad now and not as easy or safe to cycle as it used to be.
Annoyed by people who complain about new building when they have a new house themselves. Knocking down old houses to build new. Talks about the first house he bought.
Pastor at Baptist Church
Took on the job temporarily but stayed for 10 years until the Church found someone else. Supposed to be only part time. Mentions age groups and attendances.
Started as carpenter and joiner, then worked on antique reproduction and repairs. Then worked for a local small joinery company until they went broke. Worked for local council.