Mabel Gillard

Mabel was born in 1910 in London but spent most of her life in Thame.  She worked as a cook for many years at Thame Park and describes conditions living and working in a large country house.  There was little time for relaxation. Mable has vivid recollections of life in Thame during the 1920s and 1930s.

The recordings were made on 19th September 2007 when Mabel was 97 years old.

From Dulwich to Thame – born in Dulwich in 1910 Mabel then lived in West Ealing for a short while, before moving to Towersey and then to Thame at the age of eight and a half. She attends the John Hampden school until the age of fourteen, and then starts work at Thame Park a couple of years later.

A life of service – Mabel starts work at Thame Park in the early morning and helps to prepare breakfast, followed by lunch and the evening meal, with very little time off.

Recollections of Thame – Memories of the October Fair, horses for sale, men in smocks looking for work for the following year, and the market in the centre of the town.  Mabel appears in a pageant at the age of 10.

A changing high street – Recollections of local shops in the town, plus Percy Blunt the ‘midnight milkman’ whose horse and cart knows where to stop for deliveries.

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