Kevin Adams’ warmly nostalgic song uses the wealth of memories from Dick Webb and his sister Bet Jones about their life and work on the Calverton Manor Farm estate near Stony Stratford during the mid-20th century. They and others were interviewed by LAMK in 2010.
Dick Webb: There was only the one room downstairs that we used to go in, and that room had the stairs going up the side, so that part was took out of it and we only had one big room that was round the back. The water was outside – there was no water in the house. You had to walk across the back yard and there was a sink and a tap out there and a copper in the corner. Mum had to do all the washing out there. We had the lamps on the table. And if you went to the toilet and it was windy, you’d got no chance. You’d go across and try and stop the light… but the wind was blowing - the times you’d go outside the door and it’s gone out and you’d go back in, light it and try and go again! (Laughs)
Bet Jones: It was a hard life for all of us, you know. We just had to work. When we were kids we had to get up early in the morning and collect the eggs, let the chickens out and all that kind of thing. We had to do it. I had to go round and round the field with the horse, or sit on its back for four hours while they did the harvesting.
The interviews with Dick and Bet, as well as with farmer Richard Fountaine and farm worker Eric West, inspired the LAMK radio ballad CD, The Horse and the Tractor, which includes their voices as well as nine new songs. The Living Archive Band album Calverton The Songs has the full studio performance of the songs written by various composers as well as four pieces of seasonal incidental music by Kevin Adams – who also recorded and produced the CD.
Images and interview transcripts from LAMK archive.
The CDs The Horse and the Tractor (2014) and Calverton, the Songs (2015) are available from LAMK