Nancy Waters

Nancy Waters was born at Mill Green, Turvey in 1931.  Her hard working parents ensured that Nancy, her brother and two sisters enjoyed a healthy upbringing. Nancy recalls her childhood in Turvey, helping her mother and father, her schooldays and her Saturday jobs for local shops. After leaving school Nancy went to work in Bedford, firstly for Clayton’s and soon after for Igranic. Once her own children were all at school, Nancy found local part time work. Initially, this involved packing herbs and spices for a company based in the Old Chapel in Carlton Road and then at Bon Appetit in Bamfords Lane, Turvey.

Memories of mother’s thrifty ways


“She had a treadle Singer sewing machine and she would always use old sheets to make pillowcases. She used everything she possibly could. Never wasted a thing. And food wise, we were ever so lucky because she kept chickens and pigs and Dad had two plots in the allotments so Mum never bought any fresh vegetables. There were all the year round. We had a carrot pit along the garden path and a potato pit. When they were picked they were stored in straw with soil on top.”

Memories of toys.


“I didn’t have a lot of toys really. Dad used to make us our cricket bats. Outside here, where you came across, there was a five bar gate and a kissing gate and that was our entrance straight across to Nell’s Well. That was the style, not open like it is now. And, we used to use that path as our cricket pitch. And Mrs. Collins, who owned The Fyshes, let us have an old beer crate, that was our wicket. And there were two big elm trees and in the winter they were our goalposts.”

Memories of Norburn’s Drapery shop


“Opposite Norburn’s, where the garages are for the Grange, that was a draper’s shop and Aunty Maud used to work there and they sold all sorts of things, underclothes, stockings, candles and paraffin. All kitchen equipment and all things like that. And it was quite good really, and that was Norburn’s Draper’s shop.”

Memories of working at the herb and spice company


“I got a part-time job three hours (9 till 12) when my daughter started school but I didn’t work at all when I had the children, not for 11 or 12 years, but I got this little job so that my daughter could go to school and I could meet her at lunchtime. It was all weighing up all sorts of dried herbs and spices and everything you could think of. All sorts and it smelt lovely.”

A transcript of the full interview with Nancy Waters may be found in the Voices Collection of the Archive. 

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