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Extract of an Interview with Mrs Fitton

Mrs B.Fitton came from a family of brick workers from Peterborough and moved to Marston Moretaine when she was 8 years old.

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Betty Hurst (later Fitton) aged 8″We came to Marston when I was about 8. Because of my father coming to the brickworks there.

What did your father do before?

He worked at the brickworks in Peterborough.

What do you remember of that time in Peterborough?

It was sad coming here because I left my grandmother and my uncles and aunties and we came to an unknown little village with no facilities and we had to walk probably a mile into the village. It was very lonely and noisy with the brickworks. The machines clanged and we were quite near to the fitting shop, opposite in 19 Marston Road. I left all my friends and came to a different school. We were treated as outcast really, by the village children. We had come from a town. We weren’t very well received.

Did you suffer because of that?

Not particularly, but it did feel strange coming to a different part of the company and no friends with you.

What about visiting your grandparents.Did they come to see you… did you go to them?

My (mother’s) grandmother and father lived in Peterborough but my father’s parents lived in Lidlington, right next to the railway station in a big white house there, because Grandad came when my father did to the brickworks.

Was there a family tradition in the ‘Brick’?

Well, I suppose there was nothing else to do. They worked for London Brick Co. in Peterborough.

What did your grandfather do?

He was Manager… and my father became Works Manager in the end.

How long did your grandfather work for the brick industry?

All his life… he retired from Marston Valley about 1939.

What do you remember of your life in Peterborough?

We had to walk to school. It was quite a long way. It was a very happy life there because I had my grandparents there and aunties and uncles.

What did your maternal grandfather do?

He worked in the brickworks. (Laughter) We’re a brickworks family, aren’t we! I ended up working in the brickworks actually, for a while, during the (Second World) War. My brother worked there as well. My sister was the only one that didn’t…

Did your dad have a car?

No. When he came to Marston, he only had to walk across the road to work. He had a bike. When he first moved to Marston from Peterborough, he used to bike home to us every weekend (50miles). He used to come home every Friday night and set off on a Sunday night… with an acetylene lamp on the front of his bike… for about two years until they had the houses built in Marston.

He got £25 a week at Marston and only £5 a week in Peterborough. It was a big step.

Then we got a car when we got to Marston because there were no buses into Bedford.

Can you remember when he used to arrive on a Friday night at Peterborough?

Yes. We all used to line up to wait for him. He was a lovely Dad. And on Sunday we all used to cry when he went. If we’d been naughty, we used to hide.”

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