Ivy Gunter: Domestic Service, Farming, Housekeeping.

Deeks, Roger and Gunter, Ivy (2018) Ivy Gunter: Domestic Service, Farming, Housekeeping. [Audio] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Ivy was born in St Briavels in 1922, and was one of a large family, with an older sister and two (possibly three) brothers, one of whom had Down Syndrome. Leaving school at 14, Ivy did casual work for a year, due to being small for her age. She subsequently went into domestic service, with families based in London (who also had a more local property in South Wales) and Cheltenham. During the war Ivy worked for the Timber Corps, alongside the men, felling timber for pit props. Her social life involved going to dances and the cinema. In 1944 Ivy married Dennis Biddle, the son of a local farming family. They later moved to the farm, which was primarily a dairy herd. The couple had three children. Dennis later suffered ill health, the couple selling the farm and moving into St Briavels village. At some time, subsequent to his death, Ivy remarried, now having the surname of Gunter. Ivy talks of life in the village and further afield, and of changes that have taken place there through her lifetime. Overview: The ‘Voices from the Forest’ collection represents a series of oral history recordings made between 2016 and 2019 (continuing) and funded as part of the Foresters’ Forest project, a National Lottery Heritage Fund landscape partnership programme. The recordings take a biographical, life story approach to discover the occupational histories of men and women in the Forest of Dean in the last half of the twentieth century. It compliments a series of recordings, made in the 1980s by Elsie O’Livey in the Forest of Dean, that feature the life stories of people in the first half of the century. The recordings are a rich source of material for social geographers, social and cultural historians and those interested in the history of the Forest of Dean and the broad occupational history of the area. The recordings feature recollections of men who worked thorough the last days of large-scale coal mining in the area, forestry related work and their adaptation to new modes of employment in fabrication and manufacturing industries. The collection has made a special emphasis on recording the experiences of women in the domestic setting, their experiences in the factories that grew throughout the period and the diaspora providing domestic services in London, Cheltenham and elsewhere. The improvements in domestic utilities, education and opportunity are reflected across the recordings. The recordings also reflect the economic uncertainty that existed throughout the twentieth century and the persistence of traditional activities such as sheep commoning, freemining and small holding that provided alternative forms of sustainable family living. The experience of major events such as the Second World War, post war rationing, and the Foot and Mouth epidemics are covered. The recordings were made in the homes of the interviewees and consents and permissions were in accordance with GDPR (2019).

Item Type: Audio
Uncontrolled Keywords: Forest of Dean domestic service Timber Corps World War Two St Briavels
Related URLs:
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human geography. Human ecology. Anthropogeography
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Media
Research Priority Areas: Being Human - Past, Present & Future
Depositing User: Jason Griffiths
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2019 15:06
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 15:06
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/7018

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