Joyce Lamb (1921-2014)
Joyce Lamb (born 1921), Billy Green’s sister, took part in the Walkern Memories: 935 Years project and exhibition, having her memories of Walkern recorded by Janet Woodall and her photo taken by local photographer Rod Shone, on 9 November 2006.
I was born in Ardeley at the Jolly Waggoners, and my mother before me. And five girls (my mother was one of six) who were nearly all schoolteachers. Four of them were school teachers at Ardeley.
My husband was a Yorshireman, from Selby. He worked for the Prudential – he was the first agent for Stevenage Old Town. He sold the first policy ? as the New Town expanded, he expanded. He loved Walkern.
Pubs and shops
The Jolly Waggoners was Simpsons of Baldock at that time. They had the Red Lion and also the White Lion in Walkern. They may also have had the Three Horseshoes. I don?t remember the Three Horseshoes as a pub ? it was a sweetshop when I was a child. In 1931, Mr Muskett [?] ran it. I think the last person to have the sweetshop was Jan Philips. There was a small hairdressers shop there at one stage ? the piece of building that juts out ? that was the hairdressing part of it.
Butchers and Bakers
This building [Posy Palace] has always been a butchers. It was Grays, then Shepherds. There was a baker across the road, and almost next door to that Mrs Saunders used to do fish and chips ? Mrs Withers house. Then there was Spearman?s the bakers. As you come down the right hand side of the High street from the Dove cote, that was a bakers – though I can?t remember the name ? in my father?s time. Of course a lot of people made their own bread then. Then there was Spearmans, then Hanscombes [opposite Posy Palace]. Then in Froghall Lane there was Stockbridge the baker ? not that I can remember that ? then you went down the High Street to Kitcheners the baker.
Kitcheners and Greens
In between you?d got Kitcheners the grocers shop, and my parents had a greengrocers ? they did poultry and all that sort of thing ? where Billy lives now, called ?Lavender House?. My grandparents lived there. Grandfather Green. Grandma came from Luffenhall. We moved down from Ardeley to look after my elderly grandparents. That?s how we came to Walkern. And stayed ever since. When Billy dies there won?t be any more Greens in Walkern.
I worked at Kitcheners grocers shop next to Mum and Dad?s, when war came the man who ran the shop in Benington went to war and I went to that shop. It was a reserved occupation. There was a lot of staff there, they sold everything: working men?s overalls, boots, lamp glasses, all kinds of? paraffin things? On Mondays they killed pigs for pork and made the sausages. I got married in 1942 and worked at Kitcheners until then, and still worked backwards and forwards for them for a while ? until Catherine was born in 1946.
Kitcheners went downhill. Money was short so you weren?t selling the stuff, and of course the men had gone to the war. One old Mr Adams had been there all his life, since a boy, with Bernard and Jack?s father ? Bernard and Jack Kitchener. They were distant relations of ours you know ? my grandmother was a Kitchener.
Where the surgery is now, that was Jennens who apparently came over to Walkern just before the First World War from Stevenage ? Pin Green, when the farm was there. They started up a poultry-house business where they specialised in the ?ark? for poultry. The ark was like a glorified henhouse, you lifted them with two handles so that you could have your chickens on a bit of spare ground when it was available. They employed a lot of young carpenters.
So you either worked at Wrights, on a farm, or at Jennens, unless you got on your bicycle and went to Stevenage. Pearmans Mill they were prior to this. The Mill more or less ended with the war I think, something like that. When I was at school they used to take corn down in a horse and cart, get it ground down and sent back, or Garretts would have it.
Philip Pearman became an actor; Jack Pearman became a Rector ? went to the Isle of Wight. Both are buried at the churchyard ? two wooden crosses near the tomb for Miss Cotton-Brown, even though they were staunch chapel people. Jack wasn?t interested in being a miller ? there was some sort of trouble with the milling ? he just wasn?t suited. The daughter, Joan, went to Letchworth, her and her mother, and as far as I know their ashes were never brought back to the top chapel, as we called it ? the Free Church. Mr Pearman, Albert Pearman, is buried there.
Garratts took the mill over, I think they did a bit of milling, but then it was used more for storage. Fred Savage has it during the war time. That?s right! I think the coal was down there. Yes, I?m sure he lived down the mill. Is there still a pond there? It was a big one. Dad used to go skating down there.
Dealing with the dead
Roger Green, the undertaker, was my father?s cousin, so my second cousin. They were undertakers and builders. Mrs Parker used to lay the bodies out ? I think Roger used to pay 30 shillings for that. She carried an attach