Interview with Mr and Mrs Royden Moore, 10 June 2009
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
Level: Sub-Fonds
Oral History Recordings
Level: Sub-Series
Memories Exchange interviews
Scope and Content:
Interview with Royden Moore about life in Harwich. His wife is also present for much of the interview and contributes, particularly during the second track.

Part 1
[Track 1:] Playing in King’s Head Street as a child; going with father to Harwich Quay; visiting fairs where Trinity House is now [on the Quay] (2 minutes 17 seconds).
[Track 2:] Remembers R101 airship flying over; fire in shop on corner of King’s Head Street and St Austin’s Lane; shops in the town (2 minutes 30 seconds).
[Track 3:] Living in rooms at 5 King’s Head Street, near shoe shop, hairdresser’s, sweet shop (1 minute 2 seconds).
[Track 4:] Started at Esplanade Infants School at age four, then moved up to Junior School, headteacher Ms Chapman, teacher Ms Ward; had play time on a field across the road, where sailing club is now (2 minutes 40 seconds).
[Track 5:] Few cars, most things delivered by horse and cart, fire brigade used horses; only one fire station for Harwich and Dovercourt; development of land between Harwich and Dovercourt (1 minute 50 seconds).
[Track 6:] Discipline at school including punishment with cane; separation of boys and girls during Junior School; layout of building; teachers; period of long absence from school because of illness; use of Harwich Green for playing fields (3 minutes 25 seconds).
[Track 7:] Went to Central Secondary School in Waddesdon Road; father tried to educate them at home as well as at school, given books for Christmas; flood while he was at Central School; pigs drowned because people had allotments at Bathside (1 minute 55 seconds).
[Track 8:] Chance of taking exams to go to high school, otherwise went to Colchester Tech [Technical College]; evacuated during the summer when he should have taken exams [September 1940] (1 minute 9 seconds).
[Track 9:] Siblings in the family; death of two sisters (1 minute 59 seconds).
[Track 10:] Evacuated to Kingsland, Herefordshire (near Leominster), stayed with wheelwright and his family, with another evacuee; took entrance exam for Colchester Tech while there (4 minutes 39 seconds).
[Track 11:] About 14 years old when he returned to Harwich; went to Colchester Tech (1 minute 22 seconds).
[Track 12:] Then started apprenticeship at McBride’s (marine engineering); then volunteered for military service; sent into Remy [France] after training in Lanark [Scotland], then travelled to different places (1 minute 40 seconds).
[Track 13:] In Glasgow when Second World War finished; posted to Woolwich; sent on course to Shropshire; later posted to Landguard Fort [Felixstowe, Suffolk] and Angel Gate; anti-arcraft and barrage balloons in Harwich (13 minutes 1 second).
[Track 14:] Around 1946: sent overseas while in the armed forces, including Egypt; training Egyptian army on hand-over of guns (4 minutes 57 seconds).
[Track 15:] Unit in Egypt closed; posted to Haifa, Palestine for about six months; then sent to Tel Aviv, workshop on former world fair site (5 minutes 21 seconds).
[Track 16:] 1948: Returned to Harwich, went to work at Brantham [Xylonite factory] in the maintenance department; then moved to work on building [United Yeast Company] yeast factory in 1952, same year he got married; made redundant; then went to Priory Hall mine depot; spent one summer working at caravan park; started work at Vacuumatic but developed boils from working with aluminium powder (5 minutes 25 seconds).
[Track 17:] Returned to yeast factory; also worked on troopship (1 minute 13 seconds).
[Track 18:] Married in Parkeston Church; first lived in rooms in Ferndale Road; housing shortage (1 minute 6 seconds).
[Track 19:] [Both Mr and Mrs Moore speaking] 1953 Flood: Mr Moore had bath at mother’s on Saturday night as usual, didn’t have own bathroom; table laid for breakfast; wedding cake and other food ruined by the flood; trapped in house by water (3 minutes 6 seconds).
[Track 20:] Rescued the next morning by fire service, climbed out through bedroom window; went to drill hall, then sent up to transit camp; stayed with aunt in Grange Road until given caravan on Harwich Green (1 minute 55 seconds).
[Track 21:] Returned to flat the following weekend, table still laid but most of possessions ruined; never moved back into flat, long-term damage; [Mr Moore:] mother also flooded; then living in Harbour Crescent, not affected as badly (3 minutes 59 seconds).
[Track 22:] Stayed in caravan on Harwich Green with adjoining hut, no electricity, used gas, used standpipe but had chemical toilet, also had coal fire with tank for heating water; huts later sold to be used as beach huts (3 minutes 37 seconds).
[Track 23:] Allocated caravan in June 1953; first daughter born there; moved into current house November 1954, donated by Norwegian government; later had smoke damage from fire next door (2 minutes 54 seconds).
[Track 24:] Happy memories of going to Mr Pitt’s fish and chip shop; then moved to work at David Budworth’s gas turbine factory (4 minutes 54 seconds).
[Track 25:] Other local characters; own family (2 minutes 45 seconds).

Part 2
[Track 26:] Local market; soup kitchen in the market during the Depression for unemployed people; British Restaurants offered subsidised food during Second World War at Bathside [starts mid-conversation] (2 minutes 26 seconds).
[Track 27:] Mrs Moore also evacuated during Second World War to near Ludlow; mother came to stay with them (56 seconds).
[Track 28:] Mrs Moore grew up in Parkeston; rarely left it, couldn’t afford to buy fare both to Harwich and back, had to walk one way; Londoners used to come to Parkeston for days out (1 minute 9 seconds).
[Track 29:] Mrs Moore recalls Parkeston during the Second World War: large military presence; went to Parkeston School; lived in Tyler Street; air raids; crash of American airplane Liberator; return of liberated prisoners of war to Harwich (5 minutes 13 seconds).
[Track 30:] Took wood-working classes at Hill School (workshop); nearby shops (5 minutes 51 seconds).
[Track 31:] Local bus routes; trouble of getting back to Parkeston on busy buses; train services; working in Parkeston; other local facilities (3 minutes 34 seconds).
Dates of Creation:
10 June 2009
89 minutes 58 seconds
Creator Name:
David Whittle
Admin History:
Royden Moore was born in Eastgate Street in Harwich in 1927. Mrs Moore was born in Parkeston. Both were evacuated to Herefordshire in the Second World War. Mr Moore later served in the military, during the War and period afterwards, and then returned to Harwich. Mr and Mrs Moore married in 1953 and had at least two children.
Custodial History:
The recordings were originally deposited as two files; it is assumed they were recorded at the same time.
Copyright of Mr Moore transferred to Harwich Society; copyright of recording transferred to ESVA but contact Harwich Society prior to use for broadcasting on radio, television, or non-ERO website.
Physical Characteristics:
Digital MP3 files converted from original two wma recordings.
Originals Location:
Harwich Society
Related Unit of Description:
A photograph of Mr Moore is catalogued as SA 49/1/1/14/4.
Not Available:
Essex Sound and Video Archive: use digital copy available on Soundcloud

Key terms

TypeKey termsDescription
Subjects Floods Interview with Mr and Mrs Royden Moore
Subjects Schools Interview with Mr and Mrs Royden Moore
Subjects Second World War Interview with Mr and Mrs Royden Moore
Personal Names Royden
Interview with Mr and Mrs Royden Moore
Place Names Parkeston Interview with Mr and Mrs Royden Moore
Document Types Sound recording Interview with Mr and Mrs Royden Moore