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Interview Archives

Interview with Doris James

The interview with Doris James was recorded on 31 October 2012 at Fairby Grange OPH, Hartley, Kent. The interviewer was Jill Drinkwater.

Personal details and schooling

Mrs Doris James, nee Long, was born December 1912 at Mote Farm, St Mary's Hoo. Her parents moved to Meopham in 1916 where her father farmed at Leylands - pigs, cattle, potatoes, corn.

At age 4 she went to a boarding school in Strood, Rochester, then on to Gads Hill also as a boarder. She then went to University Boarding School, Rochester, as did her 3 brothers and 2 sisters.

After school

Doris left school when she was nearly 17 and soon married a farmer. She lived at Woodlands Farm, Downs Road, and had her first 2 children there. A third child followed when she moved to Gravesend. She then moved to Broadditch Pond, Southfleet. Much later she moved to Melliker Farm.

Hobbies and activities

She played hockey, tennis and cricket at school. She liked to knit.




Doris remembers butchers and post offices.


Her children used buses to get to school in Gravesend.

War memories

Mr and Mrs James and the three children tried to evacuate to Gloucester at the recommendation of a neighbour but on reaching the area were unsuccessful in finding a place. They therefore returned to Kent where they spent the whole war. Doris related many experiences including "screaming bombs" and a doodlebug. Her husband carried on farming during the war with the help of some German prisoners of war who lived in Gravesend. They made friends with three of these Germans in particular.

Other activities

Doris undertook some canvassing for the Conservatives. Her colleague Nancy Taylor had been canvassing for some time and gave her some tips on how to "avoid people closing the door on you".

Life at Melliker Farm

Doris describes keeping chickens, pigs and bees in particular.

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