Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
Level: Series
Interviews by Polly Clark for the Coggeshall Memories Project
Scope and Content:
Interview with sisters Pearl Scopes and Daphne Carter (nee Piller) and Daphne's husband Bill Carter about growing up on the Marks Hall Estate after the Second World War.

Side A
[Track 1:] Their early lives and how Daphne and Pearl moved out of a tied cottage to squat in a disused Nissen hut on the Marks Hall Estate; the remains of the Royal Air Force on the Estate when they moved (6 minutes 39 seconds).
[Track 2:] How Bill Carter's family came to live on the Estate; similar story of having to leave a tied cottage; his father working for Chris Blackwell ploughing Second World War runways; Daphne's father working as a painter-decorator in Feering (1 minute 48 seconds).
[Track 3:] Pulling mortar off bricks from disused cookhouse for pocket money; mother did farm work such as pea and potato picking, hoeing sugar beet (1 minute 35 seconds).
[Track 4:] Attending old St Peter's School in Church Street, Coggeshall, then Panfield Lane School (Margaret Tabor School) for secondary school. Bill attended Woodlands School in Church Street for his last two years; did gardening for the headmaster. Pearl and Daphne had dinners at Woodlands School; memories of knocking on door at Coggeshall House; modelling clothes for Hollington's (2 minutes 36 seconds).
[Track 5:] The facilities on the Estate: cold running water but no electricity; used candles and oil lamps, tortoise stoves; milkman and another woman lived in houses behind the mansion; Bill eventually got electricity (3 minutes 37 seconds).
[Track 6:] Reflections on happy childhood of freedom to play on the Estate. Catching rabbits; kept chickens; Dr Fletcher Morris from Coggeshall shooting rooks to eat; mother brought home vegetables from farm work; rarely went to doctor (3 minutes 49 seconds).
[Track 7:] Daphne and Pearl's mother had last baby in hospital in Colchester. Enjoyed being part of a large family. Received child allowance; free school dinners and milk; ridiculed at school for being poor (3 minutes 38 seconds).
[Track 8:] Sense of solidarity among families at Marks Hall estate. Children played together; swam in old gravel pit, with other children from Coggeshall. Old oak trees, walnut trees, and chestnut trees felled; some air raid shelters still in the deer park (3 minutes 6 seconds).
[Track 9:] Other features of the Estate, including the gardener's cottage; recollections of Mr Richardson the gardener and Mr Ridgewell the gamekeeper; excursions onto an island on a lake; foraging for food; selling mistletoe and holly (4 minutes 42 seconds).
[Track 10:] Lead from mansion roof stolen; mansion gradually dismantled, children blamed for it; owner Lady Price then living in Marigolds House [the Estate dower house] with chauffeur; Forestry Commission felled trees (3 minutes 26 seconds).
[Track 11:] Lived on Estate for six years, then got council houses in Coggeshall; different reactions of families after moving; Piller's Road named after Piller family; father never recovered from bovine tuberculosis; missed Estate and still visit frequently (3 minutes 14 seconds).
[Track 12:] Developments on the Estate; rebuilding gamekeeper's cottage; blocking off paths through the woodlands; management of deer in deer park (2 minutes 54 seconds).
[Track 13:] Used to pick tomatoes and blackberries by sewer beds, Baldy Newman looked after the fruit and vegetables, lived in hut nearby; pill-box for sentry guards used to be on corner where road forks; cookhouse and boiler house for the Forces near their huts (3 minutes 33 seconds).
[Track 14:] Did not think about the Second World War much as children; played in bomb dumps; used to fish by firing range (2 minutes 48 seconds).
[Track 15:] Pearl tells story of being frightened of their cockerel [interrupted by end of recording] (1 minute 59 seconds).

Side B
[Track 1:] [Starts mid-conversation] Looking after younger siblings, especially when mother was in hospital giving birth (2 minutes 12 seconds).
[Track 2:] Walking through snowdrifts, hard winters; getting a lift with milkman or other estate workers or on postman Vic Shepherd's bicycle; gathering wood for the stove; rats getting into the walls (3 minutes 13 seconds).
[Track 3:] Story of picking rhododendrons that grew around lake to take to mothers; reported to police; mother defended children; temper of Pearl and Daphne's mother (2 minutes 34 seconds).
[Track 4:] Story of boys playing in the mansion, Pearl and Daphne's brother fell through fanlight; story of another boy Teddy Turner climbing onto the roof and getting stuck; boys taking girls to dungeons in the mansion to scare them (3 minutes 17 seconds).
[Track 5:] Different parts of the mansion including ballroom, paintings; Forces took over the house during the Second World War; Honywood family who owned the mansion; painting of hunt, discussion of different types of hunting; information on Estate in Coggeshall Museum (4 minutes 12 seconds).
[Track 6:] Removed Nissen huts from Estate after families moved to Coggeshall; some retained for pigs; house gradually dismantled around the same time; story about tunnel running under Estate from dungeons of the mansion to the hay meadow, now used for cattle; supposed to run all the way to Colchester Castle (2 minutes 16 seconds).
[Track 7:] Children on Estate blamed in recent newspaper article for destruction of mansion; actually adults removing bricks for sale; Lady Price gave up on mansion (2 minutes 55 seconds).
[Track 8:] Gamekeeper continued to work on Estate for farmer Bell, continued to rent land for hunting; gardener continued to work on Estate, produce sent down to Lady Price; abandoned by the 1970s; other former features of the Estate including stream and orchard (3 minutes 21 seconds).
[Track 9:] Church on the Estate already overgrown by the time they lived on Estate; graves and footings of church still there, have occasional services there; attending Sunday School at Pattiswick; decline of Pattiswick (1 minute 55 seconds).
[Track 10:] Working farm horses, especially Shire horses; time of change, from horses to tractors and in living conditions; especially noticeable once they moved to Coggeshall, improved facilities (1 minute 40 seconds).
[Track 11:] Bill and Daphne's marriage in Braintree; different places they have lived, living in a tied cottage while Bill worked as a dairyman; Bill's work, including exercising prize bulls (3 minutes 39 seconds).
[Track 12:] Their feelings about the different places they lived; Daphne particularly liked living in Spout Hill, Bures; shared a bungalow with another farm worker; Daphne worked in farmhouse, helped keep chickens and turkeys (2 minutes 13 seconds).
[Track 13:] Daphne and Bill returned to Coggeshall; Daphne worked as playground supervisor and dinner lady; then worked at Black Notley Hospital preparing meals; history of hospital; discussion of tortoise stoves (3 minutes 14 seconds).
[Track 14:] Hard work of mothers; methods of bathing, using tin baths; living in tied cottages, generally well maintained; as children drank fresh milk from the cow and ate cow's cake of linseed and pods (4 minutes 8 seconds).
[Track 15:] Layout of the Nissen huts; story of Bill's dad poaching and being chased by the gamekeeper; black elder grown on Estate (3 minutes 42 seconds).
[Track 16:] Sold pheasants to Mr Dixie, butcher in Coggeshall; breeding, shooting, and eating pheasants and partridges [recording ends abruptly] (4 minutes 47 seconds).
Dates of Creation:
29 November 2007
1 hour 39 minutes
Admin History:
Bill Carter was born on 4 July 1934 in Royston, Hertfordshire. Daphne (nee Piller) Carter was born on 11 February 1938 in Cockfield, Suffolk. Her sister, Pearl (nee Piller) Scopes was born on 9 October 1939 in Glemsford, Suffolk.

Both families spent about six years squatting in disused Nissen huts on the Marks Hall Estate before moving to council houses in Coggeshall. Bill later married Daphne.
Creator assigned copyright to ESVA.
Pearl Scopes assigned her copyright to ESVA.
Physical Characteristics:
Copied from original TDK FE90 Type 1 cassette.
Existence of Copies:
The interview can be heard through The Coggeshall Heritage Society's website:

Key terms

TypeKey termsDescription
Subjects Agriculture Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Subjects Education Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Subjects Housing Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Subjects Housing Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Subjects Second World War Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Personal Names Bill
Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Personal Names Mrs
Daphne Piller
Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Personal Names Mrs
Pearl Piller
Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Place Names Pattiswick Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Place Names Marks Hall
Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter
Document Types Sound recording Interview with Pearl Scopes and Bill and Daphne Carter