An interview with Beryl House at her home in East End on 16th May 2016
by Jo Ivey
Images: BerylHouse, copyright reserved. For any rights requests, please contact the New Forest Heritage Centre in the first instance.
Beryl House Part 1 Duration 6:52
JI: I start off by saying “This is Jo Ivey and I’m talking to Mrs Beryl House at her home Ravensbeck Farm and it’s the 16th May, 2016”.
JI: Could you just tell me a bit about yourself? You are a commoner, a family of commoners but you are also farmers aren’t you?
Beryl: Yes. Yes. My whole family are interested in the, you know, in the Forest. Umm, [name withheld], she has got her own little side line that she does, of course, she had ponies but unfortunately she’s never had much luck with any of her ponies, something dreadful will always happen to them but never the less she still loves the Forest and the ponies and she still likes to walk the forest and my grandchildren, they’re also very interested in the forest.
JI: And of course [name withheld], is quite into her horses.
Beryl: Oh, absolutely; and of course [name withheld], her daughter, is as well. Umm. Yes it’s been a wonderful sort of life really. We look back now and say, did I used to do that? You know, you run the home and you also was active out on the farm; I mean if you saw a load of bales coming up you knew you had to put down whatever you were doing and go out and help unload the bales. Mind you it was good fun; there were so many of us, that you had a good old natter and it was lovely. Whereas now I mean, people want paying for everything they do; but in those days people were paid by coming to help, most of them had sort of umm, well little small holdings and what have you and they all wanted their hay cut and everything, and so Bill would do that and then they’d come down and help. It was a good way of life really.
JI: And [name withheld], runs the farm now, doesn’t he?
Beryl: Yes, yes.
JI: With [name withheld], and [name withheld], or is it just?
Beryl: No [name withheld], he’s, umm, he works for [name withheld], down at Keyhaven, yes he’s, umm….. and [name withheld], he is jack of all trades. He’s here there and everywhere. He’s milking for Mr [name withheld], down the farm here every other week, then he’s got different little jobs that he goes; different places that he’s going to, and what have you. No, he’s very, very busy and he’s, I think he’s more like Bill is, was, you know. No, he’s a good lad.
JI: We are going to look at your photographs and scan them. Could you tell me about this one, this first photograph? (BH001 and photo 2, A4BH002)
Beryl: Well this was down at Warren Farm. [name withheld],
JI: Which one is he?
Beryl: That’s [name withheld].
JI: With the flat hat in the back?
Beryl: Yes, and that’s Bill.
JI: Oh! At the right hand end; my goodness.
Beryl: And these are all the young [name withheld], umm: I think that’s [name withheld].
JI: Next to Bill
Beryl: Yes, and then there’s [name withheld].
JI: Oh. Little boy, yes.
Beryl: [name withheld].
JI: Next to him.
Beryl: [name withheld].
JI: Oh right.
Beryl: And in the back ground there’s another little one peeping through the hay rack… let’s see that’s one, two, three, four. No that’s [name withheld].
JI: [name withheld]’s the larger of the two in the middle?
Beryl: Yes that’s [name withheld] and that’s [name withheld].
JI: Right, the smaller one of the two in the middle?
Beryl: Is [name withheld]. That is [name withheld]; and that is [name withheld].
JI: Right, on the left hand end?
Beryl: Yes, and looking through the hayrack is [name withheld]; and this man is [name withheld].
JI: Oh, right.
Beryl: Unfortunately, they are all gone now. That was Bill’s mate.
JI: Where are they? Where is the place?
Beryl: Warren, Warren Farm.
JI: Oh, it’s at Warren Farm.
JI: So what are they doing with the ponies?
Beryl: Well they’re – I think this was some of the first ones that were exported abroad and I think I’m right in saying, it was Belgium they were going… I could be wrong, but I’ve got a feeling it was.
JI: So they’re preparing them to load them for export?
Beryl: Yes I take it someone come and took the picture of them all before they went. As I say, there’s nobody about now that can, sort of, tell you.
JI: Well maybe some of the [name withheld], lads might remember?
Beryl: They might do, yes. I’m not sure, about – I mean [name withheld] might, Bill’s sister – you know [name withheld], don’t you?
Beryl: Umm, she would probably know. I don’t, but that’s as much as I know about that picture.
JI: Except the dog in the front.
Beryl: Oh yes, the little dog! That was one of [name withheld], your –
Beryl: Mother-in-law, and that little dog – actually she was only four and a half when she died and she used to go everywhere with Bill, on the tractor, and when he was out riding she’d come and she’d get tired and then he’d bring her back on the saddle. Oh, she was a lovely little dog, lovely little dog.
JI: What was she called?
Beryl: Lassie. Yes. And she died of a liver problem. She was only four and a half and she was a lovely little dog, lovely little dog. As I said, I remember [name withheld] had them for sale for five pound each, and I had five pound from my eggs and I said to my father, who was Bob Gulliver, I said to him, “Will you go down and get me a puppy?”, I said; and he took a shopping bag down and my five pound and he come back with Lassie. (Laughs) She was a lovely little dog.