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Interview with Patricia Ann Woodhead (Part 2)

 

Introduction

This is the second interview with Mrs. Patricia Ann Woodhead on Friday 13th July 2012.

Personal family details

Patricia was born in Meopham on Boxing Day, 1929. Her parents were farmers; Fruit trees and poultry. She had two sisters. Patricia attended the old Culverstone Primary School, followed by Gravesend Grammar School. She belonged to the local Brownies, Girl Guides and Young Farmers Club.

Evacuation

At the beginning of the war her family were all set to evacuate to cousins, in New Zealand, but parents learned of an evacuation ship bombed and sunk, and all passengers lost, so they stayed in Meopham.

Memories of life during the War

Her Father, Harold, was in the ARP as a fire watcher and she remembers the bombs dropping, in Meopham, especially the one in Steeles Lane. Every Christmas her parents invited 2 soldiers, from Vigo Army Camp, to join them for Christmas Day dinner. Eldest sister married a soldier.

Education

Patricia went, in 1948, to Bradbrooke College, in Shropshire, to study Domestic Science. When she finished College she returned home to work on parent's farm, as there were still war rations in force, and her help was needed in looking after her Mother and on the farm.

Shops and St John the Baptist Church

Talking about Meopham Shops and their owners and walking to and from Church for Evening song.

Life on the family farm

Reminiscing about farm work and workers, with the produce being collected and driven to Covent Garden, London, to be sold. Farm was 25 acres, mainly Cherry and cobnut trees.

Vigo Army Camp

Vigo Army Camp and the soldiers holding dances, but her parents consider her too young to attend. Family watching and hearing the flying bombs exploding, and then later going in search of shrapnel.

Life, Then and Now

Enjoying the annual Meopham Village Fete then held at Lomer Farm. The library and Doctor's surgery in Meopham, today.

How Patricia met her husband

Patricia met her husband, Dudley, at The Star Hotel, Maidstone, at a Young Farmer's Dance. Tells us what Dudley did for a living when they met and how they progressed in their relationship by eventually marrying and building their own home. A relative gave them an old Humber touring car, with gate leg change.

Building up their Farm Business, sad memories

Her husband worked hard and their Bank Manager sold them Wrotham Nurserieswhere they built up the business selling flowers. Eventually, they changed it into a pig farm and expanded by buying more land including, with a friend, an old airfield in Buckingshire to raise pigs. Dudley learned to fly and lease an airplane, making a landing strip in one of his fields. In 1969 Dudley's airplane crashed in to the River Thames and was not found until 7 years later. All that was recovered was the door of the airplane, with the aircrafts metal name plates, including the one with the farm name on it. Patricia carried on for another 5 years before starting to sell off their farm. She now has only 20 acres left, which the local farmers farm.

Remembering neighbours

Remembers lots of local people including Mr. Short and his wife, who lived at Leyland's House. (Mr. Short being one of the famous Short brothers.)

 

Patricia is a volunteer in the local hospice

Interview ends with interviewer Ruth asking about her volunteer work at our local hospice hospital where she has, so far, given 12 years volunteering service. Patricia's son died in the hospice of a brain tumour. Patricia cannot praise them enough for their kindness and dedicated care.

END OF SECOND INTERVIEW

First interview was held on Friday 6th July 2012.

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Interview 1 

Interview 2 

Meopham Historical Society