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Oral History Project

Creating a picture of life in Marston Vale since the beginning of the brickmaking industry, through the memories and recollections of men and women who have lived and worked in the Vale, including those now living outside the area.
Carmela Semeraro MA, Oral History Project Manager

Our “Get together” on 27th February 2004 celebrated the completion of the Oral History Project, “CHANGING LANDSCAPES, CHANGING LIVES” & Re-launch of the Exhibition, “Earth, Fire & Water” on the history of Bedfordshire brickworking, at the Forest Centre, Marston Moretaine.

Extract of an Interview with Mr Denton – Brick worker, born in Marston, who worked all his life for the brickworks, as did his father before him.
Extract of an Interview with Ethel Knight – Ethel lived all her life in the Marston Vale and was the first to be interviewed for “Changing Landscapes: Changing Lives”.
Extract of an Interview with Mr Holmes - Learning to drive in the Army in 1944, after the war he worked at the Marston Valley Brick Company.
Extract of an Interview with Mrs Lowe – From a Lower Shelton family of 11 children, her father also worked as brickworker and her grandmother made lace.
Extract of an Interview with Mr Gadsen – A former brick worker, Mr Gadsen talks about childhood in Stewartby, before it became a village.
Extract of an Interview with Mr Killeen – Mr Killeen, originally from Ireland and a retired brick worker, describes life in hostel in the 1950s.
Extract of an Interview with Mr Shayler - Mr Shayler talks about how the countryside was and how it has changed.
Extract of an Interview with Mrs Barrett – Mrs Barrett, a lady farmer in Marston Vale, talks with her husband about her experience in coming to live in Brogborough
Extract of an Interview with Mrs Clack – Mrs Clack came to Cranfield University from Ireland in the 1950′s, here talks about her experience as a waitress at the college.
Extract of an Interview with Mr Strazdins – Mr Strazdins, from Latvia, talks about going to work at London Brick Stewartby.
Extract of an Interview with Mr Walsh – Mr Walsh, foreman at Brickworks, talks about arriving in Bedfordshire from Ireland.
Extract of an Interview with Mr Testa – Mr Testa, former brick-worker, talks about his first impression in coming to Bedfordshire from Italy.
Extract of an Interview with Mr Parker – Mr Parker, a former brickworker who was born and lived all his life in Cranfield, talks about his childhood going to lay hedges with his father.
Extract of an Interview with Mrs Fitton – Mrs Fitton came from a family of brick workers from Peterborough and moved to Marston Moretaine when she was 8 years old.
Extract of an Interview with Mrs See – Mrs See, a lady driver at Stewartby for London Brick Company during World War 2, talks about her experiences and about War in general.


The Forest of Marston Vale Trust. Registered in England No 3462405, Registered Charity No 1069229. Marston Vale Services Ltd. trading as The Forest Centre Registered in England No 3538255.
Marston Vale Farms Ltd. Registered in England No 6537891. Registered Office for all: The Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, MK43 0PR
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