Interview with Reg and Gloria Kinch
The interview with Reg and Gloria Kinch was recorded on 11th November 2013 at 10 Strand Close, Meopham. The interviewer was Ann Kneif.
Reg was born in New Road, Meopham on 22nd September 1938. His father was an electrician.
Gloria was born at Batts, near Cobham on 29th June 1938. Her father was a farm labourer. He worked at Jacksons and then for Major Edmeades at Nurstead.
Reg attended a school at Hartley until he was 10 and then went to St George’s in Gravesend.
Gloria went to various schools in the Cobham area and then to Collier Secondary in Gravesend.
Typical day as a child
As children they were both living through the war years. Reg had one brother and their main occupation was riding bikes and then when about 12 years old motorbikes.
Gloria had no siblings and spent any free time helping her mother or playing in the woods.
Reg first wanted to work as an electrician but when that did not work out he found work as a builder for the rest of his working life.
Gloria worked for Major Edmeades at Nurstead. The mornings she helped her mother in the house and in the afternoon she looked after the sheep on the farm together with her father, work which she enjoyed.
Shops in the village
Both named a number of shops in the village when they were younger.
Both remembered searchlights, doodlebugs and gunfire at Tollgate. Gloria told of a bomb on the road to Cuxton and a wall of the house where she was living was cracked. She is still petrified of bangs.
Gloria lived at the Vigo camp in a hut for a short while when she was 12. There was a club for children, slide shows, guides and once a week a dance.
Reg remembered the Queen visiting Meopham and dances at Luddesdown hall.
They both belong to Istead Rise Garden Club but cannot always attend. They had belonged to the Meopham club and had always won many prizes. Gardening is Gloria’s main hobby. Gloria had to go to church and choir practice when young.
Neighbours were always friendly and knew everyone but not now.
Changes to pubs.
Monarchs Cycle Speedway
Started in the 1950s with a track at end of New Road but land sold so moved to Whitepost Lane, Culverstone. Reg describes in detail what was involved in cycle speedway, the technical details and some of the other people involved as well as the social side.
Moved to Gravesend in 1980 and returned to Meopham in 1992.
Mentions some of the police officers by name.
Reg spoke again about schooling during war.