Interview Archives

Interview with Peter Hasler (Part 2)
Introduction

A second interview with Peter Hasler was recorded in Meopham on Monday 22 April 2013. The interviewer was Roy Cook.

Personal details 1

He stated that his name was Peter Donald Hasler, aged 73, born in 1939 at Hook Green.Index

Father's Profession

His father's name was William Donald Hasler and he had been the Village Doctor.Index

Personal details 2

Peter said that he had two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary Jean. His Mother's name was Winifred and they had lived in a house on Hook Green named 'Cleaverly', renamed 'Nysols' [the interviewee later corrected to 'Millais'], between The White House and Mulberry Cottage.Index

Memories of World War 2

He recalled a 'dog fight' between German and British aeroplanes, the situation of the Village air defences and bomb damage. He also remembers Italian Prisoners of War resurfacing the A227, and cars with blacked out headlights.Index

School

He detailed his schooling in Meopham from a very early age and his daily journey to a private school in Rochester when he was six. When he was nine he became a Boarder in Westgate on Sea. He studied here until he was thirteen and then he attended Tonbridge School. He left when he was seventeen, he did not go to University but continued with his A Levels.Index

Temporary employment

Peter spoke of the hard manual labour when working on a farm, owned by John French, during his school holidays.Index

Sports and Hobbies

Although he was no involved with organised sport when he was a child, he said that he played Conkers and Marbles and sometimes played football with his friends in Camer Park and once made up the number for a cricket match. [The interviewee later added that he had also played football for the Meopham Second XI].Index

Employment

He gained employment with a paint company in North Woolwich called Pinchin, Johnson & Associates and completed 40 years' service until he retired in 1999. Although he began as a chemist, he was appointed a Technical Sales Representative in 1964. He recalls meeting Mr Ted Heath, then Secretary of State for Industry and Paddy Hopkirk, a Rally Driver. He progressed to become the company's Technical Sales Manager for the South East of England.Index

Meeting his wife and marriage

He met his wife Dean, in 1962, whilst they were both rehearsing for a Meopham Players pantomime and they were married in 1965 in Meopham Parish Church. They had moved to Orpington and lived there until 2001. They have two sons, Christopher born in 1967 and Andrew born in 1969.Index

Involvement in Meopham 1

He had paid regular visits to the Village between 1965 and 2001 to see his mother, sisters and friends, his father having died in 1966, twelve days after retirement.Index

The Dr Hasler Bursary

He explained in some detail how the on-going Bursary had evolved from a collection that had been made to make a presentation to his father on his father's retirement. The Bursary was still being used for supporting deserving school leavers in the area who were going on to further education.Index

Well-known local people

He spoke at length of several people including Vernon Nicholls, a local vicar in the 1950s, Nurse Collie, John Bolster, Michael Gambon, John Lane, a local butcher. He mentioned that one of the Short Brothers had lived locally. He remembered Mrs Smith-Masters of Camer, Ivy and Reg Cross and Les Norton who was the miller at the Meopham Windmill.Index

Transport

When asked about his mode of transport, he stated it was either on his bike or his father's car. He occasionally used the local bus and stated that it was acceptably reliable.Index

Memories of Meopham

Peter said that his memories of the Village as he was growing up were that it was a nice place to live with friendly people and only 1500-2000 inhabitants.Index

Involvement in Meopham 2

He returned to live in the Village in 2001 and in 2003 he was invited to join the Parish Council. He was elected a member, was Chairman for three years, and to date has served 10 years. He belongs to PROBUS, plays occasional golf and is involved in the Church.Index

Theatrical involvement

He had only been involved with two pantomimes and one straight play in Meopham and in Orpington he had taken part in several pantomimes for the Church the family was attending.Index

Meopham Parish Council

When asked if there had been any problems during his time on the PC, he said that there had been no major problems but there was an on-going threat of Green Belt building. He had witnessed the development of housing estates in the area over the years and was convinced the infrastructure was fairly full. He mentioned that 20 years ago there had been some speculation of a by-pass being built but thought this was unlikely in the current economic climate.Index

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