Interview with Patricia Ann Woodhead (Part 1)
This is the first interview with Mrs. Patricia Ann Woodhead on Friday 6th July 2012.
Introduction by the interviewer
The interviewer was Ruth Blake.
Personal family details
Patricia Ann Woodhead was born in Leyland's Orchard House, Meopham. Her Parents came from outside Meopham, mother from Gillingham, Kent and father, born to the sound of Bow Bells, was a cockney, whose family originated from Hoxton. She had 2 elder sisters (only one now alive).
Attended Culverstone Primary School, followed by Gravesend Grammar School, then on to college at Bradbrooke, Shropshire. Patricia took a course in domestic science and dairy farming. Returned home to help run the farm and look after her mother.
Growing up on the Farm
Cutting grass, picking the cherries and cobnuts, very much enjoyed the work and driving an old touring car. A lorry used to come from London and take the fruit to Covent Garden.
Brownies and Guides, listening to the radio.
Shops and Trades
Patricia remembers the Russells Haberdashery and all the groceries shops, who all delivered to your door.
Remembers walking to Evensong at St John the Baptist Church, Meopham. Carol singing at Christmas using hand bells. Belonged to the young farmers, which was fun, and attending the many social balls with them. Returning home at Christmas they were stopped by the Police, who were looking for Turkey rustlers.
Meeting her husband
Patricia met Dudley Graham Woodhead at the young farmers County Ball held at The Royal Star, Maidstone. His family then lived at Tunbridge Wells, but his mother had left them.
Patricia and Dudley married in 1950; she was 21 and he 22 years old. First lived with older sister and her husband, who ran the local taxi, at Norway House, Meopham. When her Mother died she left her sisters stocks and shares, and Patricia 25 acres of land, which she and Dudley slowly built a house on (which she still lives in today). Started as Pig farmers, then enlarged the farm by buying Wrotham Nurseries, followed by buying a 70 acre dairy farm from the Bolster family. John Bolster was a racing driver. Eventually, with a friend, bought a farm in Buckinghamshire. Dudley then leased an airplane and used to fly between farms. Someone tried to steal the plane.
Address of home
Oxonshaw Farm, named after local woods.
Patricia was Dr. Hasler's first baby he delivered. The Doctor was due to spend Christmas with his fiancé, but had to wait until Patricia arrived on Boxing Day. Dr. Hasler never let Patricia forget this.
Dudley went missing
Dudley, while flying between farms, went missing on Patricia's birthday, Boxing Day 1969. Dudley was flying home from their Buckinghamshire farm, but because of fog in Meopham, radioed Patricia to say he was diverting to Southend airport. He never arrived. His airplane was seen to come down in the River Thames by someone on a barge. Dudley's plane was not found until 7 years later.
END OF FIRST INTERVIEW
Second interview was held on Friday 13th July 2012.