A Living History of Troutbeck

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Jackie and Muriel Bland

Jackie and Muriel Bland: A Lifetime in Troutbeck

Jackie and Muriel Bland recently celebrated their 72nd Wedding Anniversary, and they lived in the same house in Troutbeck all their married life. In this recorded interview with Katharine Brown, Jackie and Muriel share their many happy memories of childhood and their lives together in Troutbeck.

Sadly, Jackie died on Thursday April 4th, 2013, after a short illness. He was 95 years old and had lived in Troutbeck for his whole life. He and Muriel were married for 72 years and she still lives in the house they made their home in 1940. He will be very sadly missed by everyone in Troutbeck.

The interview was recorded on Friday June 4th, 2010, in Jackie and Muriel's front parlour at their cottage in Troutbeck. Most of Katharine's questions are addressed to Jackie, but from time to time Muriel adds her memories too. Occasionally Brian Liddell's voice can also be heard from the sidelines, when Katharine asks him to join in.

Jackie Bland

Part 1: I'm not getting paid for this, am I?

In this introduction to our interview, Jackie remembers the previous occasions when he has been featured in the media. (2 minutes approx.)

Muriel and Jackie Bland

Part 2: She doesn't look it does she?

Jackie was born in Troutbeck, but Muriel is an off-comer! Jackie talks about where they were born, and his parent's smallholding and shop at Great House. (7 minutes approx.)

Part 3: Troutbeck schooldays

Memories of Troutbeck Primary School, Windermere Grammar School, and Troutbeck's own Junior Football team (not a bad team, and not a good one either.) (5 minutes approx.)

Part 4: Shops and workshops in Troutbeck village

There were several joiners' workshops, a blacksmith's, a shoemaker, and the Post Office at Browhead. (2 minutes approx.)

Part 5: More about schooldays at Troutbeck Primary

Jackie and Muriel tell us about their school lessons, and the secret of how the choir won the Mary Wakefield festival prize. Muriel mentions the big house at at Ibbotsholme where she was in service during the War. (5 minutes approx.)

Jackie Bland

Part 6: We only came temporary

Jackie and Muriel's early married life at Syke Villa. Muriel also describes her happy times at Ibbotsholme before she married. Jackie remembers that were a lot of big houses and one of the main employments was for gardeners. Memories of making cart wheels and hay rakes in Troutbeck, and catching the water supply from the waterfall in drips. And of hay making. There was no silage in them days, it all had to be shook out, turned and turned again. (10 minutes approx.)

Part 7: Jackie's father used to go to Kendal by horse and dray every Saturday

He used to buy a bag of cockles, and sell them at the Eagle and Child, the Queens and the Mortal Man on the way back home. Jackie also remembers attending Sunday services at Jesus Church. Morning, afternoon and night, with thirty in the choir. And also dances, concerts, and ham and tongue suppers at the Institute, until three in the morning. (4 minutes approx.)

Part 8: The Picture Bus and playing hopscotch in the road

It was much more quiet then. You never saw many people about, and the hotels used to close in winter. (3 minutes approx.)

Part 9: The tough old lad who came every day to read the paper

About the Mayor Making, Christmas competitions and the free daily newspaper in the Institute's reading room. (3 minutes approx.)

Part 10: There were a lot of children about

There were much bigger families then, and cousins were taken in after their mothers died. Muriel's grandmother and aunty used to have a laundry for the big houses. They carried all the water from the waterfall. There were two banks in the village. (9 minutes approx.)

Part 11: Jackie worked in Derbyshire but he came back for Muriel

Jackie said to Muriel: Stop there, I want a photo! (4 minutes approx.)

Part 12: Jackie's brother dragged the salmon up the field on a long string

About the weather and the tragic flash flood in 1952. People used to come and fish a lot in the beck. Swimming in a deep dub at Troutbeck Park, and how Jackie lost his hearing. The village nurse, and why Jackie likes Muriel at that side. (8 minutes approx.)

Part 13: Troutbeck's Women's Institute

Muriel has been a member of the Women's Institute for over 60 years. She first went to the WI when she was five years old with a picture book. (4 minutes approx.)

Part 14: The best part of Jackie's life

But it's getting harder! (30 seconds approx.)

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