Interview with Geoff Everett
The interview with Geoffrey Frederick Everett was recorded on 17 October 2012 in Sole Street. A second interview starting at 51:00 was recorded on Monday 26 November 2012. The interviewer was Roy Cook.
Geoffrey Frederick Everett born in 1949 in Arnold Avenue, Meopham, son of Dorothy and Gilbert Everett. Youngest of three children, sister, Susan, born in 1940, brother in 1943.
Nurse Jean Collie, local nurse responsible for reconstructing body parts in the King's Arms after the Meopham air crash in Leyland's Orchard.
Anecdote regarding discovery of a bomb. Mentions mother working apple picking at Foxendown Farm and Farm Manager Mr Sims.
Explains his mother was born in the area, her grandfather, Demetrius Semark and father owned Cook's Farm, which became Owl's Castle. Prior to the farm Demetrius had a Public House in Longfield. After his wife, Harriet, had died of food poisoning had remarried and purchased . He died in 1920. Demetrius's father, John Semark, had owned Home Farm in Hodsoll Street, growing hops and general farming. Geoffrey's grandfather, , married . Her father, , was a shepherd in the area. He was a carrier who delivered peoples' goods. He could not read or write, signing his marriage certificate with an X. He married into the Everetts, who owned a 20 roomed house called , which used to stand on the A227 on the Meopham side of Vigo. Geoffrey's mother was a Semark born in Culverstone, his father was an Everett born at Lindon Wood.
A story of a hoop made by Mr Fisher, a blacksmith who had a forge at Chapman's Hill.
Prior to his parents move to Arnold Avenue, they had lived in a cold at the Pre OCTU camp at Wrotham Hill. They were allocated a house in Arnold Avenue when the War ended and his father left the RAF. He describes the mix of people who lived there, and his memory of how dark the nights were.
He was sent to school in Borough Green at the age of five and describes in some detail a return journey in the dark on the .
His father had been a Research Engineer in Greenhithe. Prior to that he had been employed by the War Agricultural Committee testing farm machinery with a colleague named Jack Russell.
His parents were home loving, hardly ever going out, and so life became very boring for the children. So they found adventure outside. Anecdote regarding a barrow, made by his father, and of his speeding down Whitehill.
He mentions the unsubstantiated story of a murder in Meopham in 1960 between workers on the main drainage system.
He talks of Miss Griffith, daughter of Dr Griffith, who was the doctor before Dr Hassler.
More woodland escapades.
He tells of the 'Orange Lady' of Steeles Lane and her sighting by his Great Grandfather.
Domestic wine making
A story of his and her wine making and an accident she endured after a visit to the King's Arms.
His Great Grandfather on his father's side was friendly with , who owned Trosley Towers and he talked of stories that he had been told of the family's wealth and property they owned in Meopham.
He records that the first property he move into after his marriage was a cottage by Lomer Farm and only after looking at the land register for 1900 did he discover that his Great-grandparents had lived there when Issac Whitmore had been working at the farm.
More stories of childhood. He speaks of playing in huge puddles in Foxendown and flying balsa aeroplanes in a field behind the Church.
He used the Maidstone & District bus to visit Gravesend, adding that the 122 route also went as far as Brighton. He never walked to Gravesend but walked or cycled all around the area, sometimes pretending his bike was a bus!
His children and job
He has two children, Emma who is a chemist and Christian who is the Senior Electoral Officer for Sevenoaks. When asked what he did for a living he replied that he was a musician, guitarist/vocalist with his own band. He also teaches guitar and music.
He lists several well-known people with connections to the village and where they lived. He named , a Game Show host, , a Motor Sport writer and commentator and , a film star and comedian, with a special mention for , who had written a dedication for his book of poems.
He said that there had been an incident of a No122 bus sinking into a hole outside The George Public House and it had been thought that there was a tunnel connecting the Church and the Pub used by smugglers. The bus was moved and the hole filled in and nobody investigated any further.
Meeting Keith Richards
He recounted that his sister had invited a COOP milk or bread delivery boy in to their house and he played their guitar very well. Long after they discovered that the boy was now a guitarist called , who played in a group called 'The Rolling Stones'.
His only memory of the Coronation was being taken to Judson's Field at the age of three and receiving a book written by Ralph Arnold, a well-known author who lived in Cobham.
Mother's childhood 2
He recounts a story he had been told of her being sent to collect milk and being frightened by a stranger on a bicycle and how she got away.
The interview ended with Mr Everett submitting a collection photographs and manuscripts to be scanned and the information added to the Archives of the Meopham Historical Society. He has also offered to provide more memorabilia on his family history, including a number of books on Meopham which may be new to the Society.
Mobile shops (Starting second interview)
Mr Everett remembers the regular visits of two mobile shops to the village. One was a grocery van owned by Mr Mepham and the other a fish & chip van.
He recounts a near fatal accident at the Ridley turning whilst he was travelling home on the No 122 bus.
He recalls an incident that happened in St John's Church one night while they were retrieving a school cap.