Ethel Knight has lived all her life in the Marston Vale and was the first person to be interviewed by Carmela Semeraro for the Oral History Project “Changing Landscapes: Changing Lives”.
“I was born in 1901. I was born in the house across the road. It had five rooms ( three bedrooms), well one was on top of the landing but we called it a bedroom cause my two brothers had to sleep there… my father’s job was a coalman… hawker. He took coal round… For Mr Franklin. He was frightened to death of his boss… everybody was. He owned Moat Farm. He used to go to Cranfield with the horse and to Crawley. I once spent my holiday going round with him. I used to go across the fields to meet him and we always used to know he was coming cause he was always singing. ( He always got the coal from) Millbrook Station and before he went to work in the morning he’d got four allotments. He used to go to the allotments before he went to work. Never bought any thing. Potatoes and even grew wheat and used took it to Cranfield to the mill and my mother used to make bread with the flour. And she always made me a little cottage loaf.
Were you the little one?
I’m the tenth of eleven and they all did well in life. We were brought up very well with the help of a good mother, yeh. She was good, yeh. One of the best. Everybody used to come to her for advice, even Dr. Street, he’d used to say, if they needed anybody, go to ask Mrs……… ”