People / Tales of the Vale

Listen: Eric Garrett

Eric Garrett records his memories with Julia Letts

Eric Garrett was born in 1929 and has lived in the parish of Olveston all his life. He grew up at Church Farm in Olveston and one of his earliest memories is delivering milk to neighbours before school. Eric was 9 when his father died. His uncle took over the farm and his mother moved to a rented cottage next to the White Hart.

In this interview, Eric explains how his family came to be in this area and gives a brief history of the Lower Severn Vale.

His personal recollections include vivid memories of WW2: a daylight raid on the Bristol Aeroplane factory, Italian POWs clearing land drains, American GIs in the White Hart and an unexploded mine on Olveston Common. Eric describes Olveston village and its businesses in detail. He describes the changes in farming from the 1930s onwards, visits to Aust, Severn Beach and Weston-Super-Mare (by charabanc) in the 1940s, moving to and growing up in the White Hart, school days and joining the scouts in the village. In 1945 Eric started an apprenticeship at a garage in Bristol. In 1953 he moved to the Bristol Aeroplane Company where he remained as an engineer for the next 30 years.

Eric also talks about how the Parish and landscape has changed, the arrival of services (water, sewage), housing developments and the effect of the motorways and Severn Crossings.

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© 2023 A Forgotten Landscape: A Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership Scheme.


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