<F He1> 

<S Harley Griffiths> 

<G M> 

<A 85> 




<D 08-12-55> 

<I SE> 

<L CN S83> 

<T 8:49> 


<SE Were the pubs open all day then? SE> 

<HG Oh yes. 

They +… 

In [/] in [\] my young [/] in my young days [\] uh, 

they used to be open +… 

They was # never shut for the matter of that. 

They was open day and night. 

For the # simple reason was as uh [/] as [\] +… 

[!= coughs] 

when uh [/] when [\] after the harvests and that come [: came] on, 

and the +… 

They used to dry the hops with uh # charcoal. 

And uh [/] and [\] they used to start +… 

The [/] the [\] hop growers used to start their teams of horses and men off, 

the day previous to # [/] to [\] get unloaded, 

to go down the [/] go down the [\] bad country. 

I ‘ve seen as many as [/] I ‘ve seen as many as [\] # s- +… 

eight and nine # big charcoal wagons, 

as they called it, 

big [/] big [\] wagons with their # big high sides, 

up +… 

ten foot up, 

and a- all going for charcoal. HG> 

<SE Hmm. SE> 

<HG For [/] for [\] a-drying of the hops. 

And uh they used to [/] they used to [\] come from some distance either side +… 

Leominster and # [/] and [\] towards Hereford there and uh +… 

They [/] they [\] start these here horse +… 

these teams off, 

(a)bout three to three and four horses to a [/] to a [\] wagon, 

and then they used to get as far as uh # [/] as [\] the hotel up uh # in Brimfield, 

and then they used to stop and bed the horses there. 

Pull the # [/] pull the [\] uh uh [/] the [\] uh bails of hay out of the [/] out of the [\] wagons, 

and put (th)em down. 

te- tether the horses down to the wheels and [/] and [\] some line. 

Put this here feed down with them. 

Then +… 

And they ‘d go inside, 

into the [/] into the [\] xxx xxx and # refresh theirselves with a drop of beer or cider. 

As a rule. 

And uh have a feed there. 

And then [/] then [\] carry on. 

Then they ‘d start off at +… 

off on their +… 

out on their journey again perhaps, 

towards two or three o’clock in a morning. 

# And then they ‘d [/] they ‘d they ‘d they ‘d [\] load down there, 

they ‘d get back the next day, 

[!= coughs] 

# The following day they ‘d get back and uh # they ‘d call again and [/] and [\] put the horses +… 

feed the horses and uh rest # a while, 

(a) couple or three hours and # on back +… 

on to the [/] to the [\] growers. HG> 

<SE Hmm. SE> 

<HG Aye. HG> 

<SE You didn’t grow hops then? SE> 

<HG Oh no. 

I didn’t grow hops. HG> 

<SE No. SE> 

<HG No. 



There was very [/] there was very [\] few hops # grown uh just in this district. 

The +… 

# In the Leominster district where the hops # were grown and down uh [/] down [\] in the Worcestershire. HG> 

<SE Hmm. SE> 

<HG Aye. HG> 

<OS You haven’t told us what you used to call this village in the old days. OS> 

<HG [*Brimfield*]? 

[!= laughs] 

Oh aye. 

they [/] they [\] used to +… 

that ‘s the [/] that ‘s the [\] short name for it. 

[!= laughs] 

+” Where bist thou going? “+ 

[!= laughs] 

+” Uh to [*Brimfield*]. “+ 

[!= laughs] HG> 

<SE Aye. 

Hmm. SE> 

<HG Too # [/] too [\] used to talking about the May Fairs, 

they used to go to the May Fairs, 

you see, 

the first and second of May. 

And uh # too u- [/] too [\] used to talking about going to this here May Fair. 

So the one [/] the one [\] said to the others, 

+” Uh where bist thou going? “+ 

But it was this time as he ‘d went to xxx xxx, 

he said, 

+” Right. 

Oho, “+ 

he said, 

+” xxx xxx not going to another one of them. “+ 

And he says, 

+” Oh, 

why ‘s +… 

how ‘s that? “+ 

Well he says, 

+” Oh. 

I ‘m going to wait for [*Brimfield*] xxx. “+ 

[!= laughs] HG> 

<SE Aye. SE> 

<HG That was old fellows’ speech, 

see? HG> 

<SE Oh yeah. SE> 

<HG He said, 

+” Well +… 

What [/] what [\] ‘s that uh got to do with it? “+ 

He said, 

+” that ‘s in the +… 

not [/] not [\] +… 

that ‘s the next month, 

that is. 

in # June. “+ 

+” Aye. 

don’t matter. “+ 

he says, 

+” I ‘m going to wait for it. “+ 

[!= laughs] HG> 

<SE Aye. SE> 

<HG So he says +… HG> 


<HG [!= laughs] 

So he says, 

+” Well what ‘s [/] what ‘s [\] your idea for changing? “+ 

+” Oh, “+ 

he said, 

+” I +… “+ 

he says, 

+” You go +… “+ 

They used to have stand ins +… 

stands you know, 

in the +… 

at the side of the [/] the [\] roads # there and uh [/] and [\] uh, 

# he used to # sell sweets and uh biscuits and xxx oranges and anything like that and, 

he says, 

+” Why, 

I want to go to that xxx, “+ 

he says, 

+” It +… “+ 

He said, 

+” And you ought to come, “+ 

he said, 

+” that ‘s a lot better than going to Ludlow or Leominster. “+ 

He says, 

+” xxx cakes oranges and wedges in some form there. “+ 

[!= laughs] HG> 

<SE [!= laughs] SE> 

<HG +” At [*Brimfield*]. “+ 

he says. 

[!= laughs] HG> 

<SE Aye. SE> 

<HG [!= laughs] 

They used to sell these here pennies +… 

# penny uh +… 

[!= laughs] 

watches in # [/] in [\] +… 

made in cakes, 

uh little biscuits like you see. 

And uh # [/] and [\] the clock hands on. HG> 

<SE Hmm. SE> 

<HG On the front. HG> 

<SE And what was the old May Fair like then? SE> 

<HG Oh, 

the May Fair, 

there was a r- roundabout, 

horses and swing boats and # all like that then. HG> 

<SE Did they have hirings then? SE> 

<HG Eh? HG> 

<SE Did they have any sort of hirings or uh # finding jobs at the May Fair? 

Farm men? SE> 

<HG Oh yes. 

Aye. HG> 

<SE Did they? 

How did they go about that? SE> 

<HG Oh aye. 

They used to [/] they used to [\] get uh +… 

that ‘s where they used to get and # sign on onto the farms for [/] for [\] the twelve months. 

# Oh aye. 

They used farm hands then. 

uh and go +… 

and they used to live in the house, 

you know. 

And uh they ‘d [/] they ‘d [\] go on and uh [/] and [\] these farmers used to # interview (th)em. 

In the streets and uh [/] and [\] they ‘d +… 

# If they ‘d got a suitable one as they thought +… 

one as ‘d suit (th)em, 

# they ‘d give him half a crown or something and sign him on for # [/] for [\] the twelve months, 

you see? 

# And uh # he ‘d live in the house for +… 

# They ‘ve had to find [/] find [\] him everything and [/] and [\] live in and # in some instances, 

xxx xxx there ‘s many a +… 

there ‘d only be about # five to seven pound a # [/] a [\] year. HG> 

<SE Hmm. SE> 

<HG And then live in, 

uh xxx five or se- [/] five or [\] seven pound a year, 

and [/] and [\] live in, 

find all his food and all that. HG> 

<SE Aye. 

And when would he get his money? SE> 

<HG Oh, 

it uh +… 

the [/] the [\] end of the following may. HG> 

<SE So he ‘d no spending money? SE> 

<HG [!= laughs] 



He didn’t [/] he didn’t [\] have none of that. 

Unless he ‘d saved some from the last job. 

[!= laughs] HG> 

<SE Hmm. 

# Did you ever go hiring like that? SE> 

<HG No. 



# No. 

I never did. 

# I ‘ve had the chance to, 

I ‘ve # been at the fairs one xxx +… 

+” Looking for a job mate? “+ 

[!= laughs] HG> 

<SE Aye. SE> 

<HG they ‘d say. 

+” No. “+ 

Tell (th)em. 

+” No, 

thank you. 

Only just for pleasure. “+ 

xxx xxx. 

+” Oh well, 

I should like to +… 

I ‘d like to sign a +… 

[!= laughs] 

bloke like you on. “+ 

he [/] he [\] ‘d say. 

+” What does [/] what does [\] thou do? “+ 

+” Oh, 

I don’t know. “+ 

[!= laughs] 

Oh I # [/] I [\] used to say, 

+” I ‘ve go- [/] I ‘ve [\] got a job. 

there ‘s no need to worry about me. “+ 

[!= laughs] HG> 

<SE Hmm. SE> 

<HG No. 


All they used to ask (th)em was +… 

that ‘s the questions they used to ask (th)em. 

+” What can you do? 

Can you plough? 

Can you br- +… 

Can you milk? 

Can you # sow and can you reap? “+ 

and [/] and [\] all this and +… 

xxx xxx get to know what they could do afore they signed (th)em on. 


+” # Canst thou mow? “+ 

[!= laughs] 

they used to say. 

[!= laughs] 

That was with a scythe, 

you know. 

+” Can you m- [/] can you [\] mow? “+ 

Aye. HG> 

<SE And did they do it all by hand? 

In those days? SE> 

<HG Well no, 

There were +… 

There was some +… 

There were # [/] there were [\] some machines about then. 

There were what uh +… 

They were # reaping machines, 

for reaping as was +… 

and uh [/] and [\] mowing. 

That [/] that [\] was the [/] that was the [\] most thing that # the +… 

and hay b- +… 

hay making, 

like for +… 

As +… 

There was no swath xxx then, 

not in them days, 

they were # [/] were [\] tethers as they used to call (th)em, 

revolving and [/] and [\] chucking the # [/] the [\] grass about. HG> 


Transcription by Juhani Klemola and Mark Jones, 1999 See http://digital.library.leeds.ac.uk/381/1/LSE_1999_pp17-30_Klemola_Jones_article.pdf and http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/ach-allc.99/proceedings/scott.html