People / Tales of the Vale

Listen: Deryck Huby

Deryck Huby records his memories with Felicity Pine

Deryck Huby moved to the north end of the AFL project area in 1937 when he was 11 years old. His father had got a job as a gamekeeper on the Berkeley estate and the family moved to an isolated cottage by the duck decoy pool on the estate. Deryck explains that wild ducks were caught by luring them into a decoy net which funnelled them into tunnels; they could then be retrieved by the gamekeeper. It was Deryck’s job to keep the decoy tidy and clean and feed the ducks. On two occasions they caught more than 50 wild ducks in one go. It became illegal to catch wildfowl in this way in 1952.

During the war, Deryck went to Sharpness Primary and later Dursley grammar school. As a teenager he helped a local butcher on Friday nights and at the weekend with the difficult job of allocating the meat ration. He also helped out on the estate which had to plough up four large fields during the war. After school Deryck became a farmer and went to Hartpury College to study agriculture. In the early 1960s he joined the Milk Marketing board as part of their insemination team and spent the rest of his working life in this role, which he describes in fascinating detail. He also talks about his hobby as a salmon fisherman, spending 32 years with his colleague Don Riddle, also one of our interviewees, working various salmon pools on the Severn.

 

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