Eyam Oral Histories
A number of long term Eyam residents were interviewed by George May in the 1990s about life in Eyam from the early 20th century onwards. Click on their names and press the "play" arrow in the top left hand corner of the screen to hear their fascinating stories.
Alan and Barbara Ashton recorded in 1997. Barbara talks about growing up in the village in the 1930s, and they both remember war time in Eyam. They remember there being over 40 shops in the village.
Madelaine Olga Cocker recorded in 1997. Madelaine remembers her Eyam school days and working in one of the shoe factories in the village from the age of 14.
Nick and Ruth Cook recorded in 2015. Nick was a chef in London and moved to Eyam to take over the Miners Arms in the early 1990s. AT that time there were still 4 pubs in the village. They also talk about the origins of the Eyam Half Marathon.
Cecilia Daniel recorded 1997. Cecilia moved to Eyam in 1938 when she married Clarry Daniel whose personal collection formed the foundation of what is now Eyam Museum.
Graham and Muriel Eliott recorded in 1997. Graham was born in the village in 1930, attending the village school until he was 14 when we went to work on a dairy farm before moving to Glebe Mine. At the mine he was one of 40 miners. Muriel moved to the village in 1951 when she and Graham and Muriel married. Graham talks about farming before mechanisation and about the work underground at the mine.
Dorothy Fox recorded 2015. Dorothy moved to the village as a young girl and grew up living at Ladywash Farm where her father managed the sheep. She went to Eyam School after which she worked in one of the Shoe Factorys before marrying and bringing up her family in the village. She details all the different shops which were in the village at the time and what they sold.
Lynn Jackson recorded in 2015. Lynn moved to the village in 1979 when she married the village doctor. She talks about the early days of the Mechanics Institute, the luncheon club and the foundation of Eyam and Bakewell Community Transport. She feels that the re-telling of the Plague Story has helped the sense of community in the village.
Derek Knowles recorded in 1997. Derek remembers working on a farm before mechanisation in the 1940s. After the war he and his father were involved in the recovery of flourspar from the waste at the old Lead Mines. He was also very knowledgable about the shoe factories in Eyam as well as other local industries. A key date in the 1960's was the coming of mains sewerage in 1963.
David Lewis recorded in 2015. David and his wife moved their family and his architectural practice to Eyam in 1982. He founded the village society and then went on to be one of the founding members of Eyam Museum with Geoff Ward, Charles Maltby and John Clifford. The museum was based on the personal collection of Clarence Daniel. He also put on major jazz concerts in the village featuring internationally renowned artists.
Barry and Margaret Lomas recorded in 2015. Includes a description of Water Lane and its residents from the 1950's. Both businesses and private residents including farmers, cobblers, a doctor, the fire then the ambulance station and the great excitement caused by one family who emigrated to Australia
Marie Lowe recorded in 1997. Mary moved to Eyam in 1945 from Grindlow and lived on New Road. She was a member of the Wesleyan Reform Chapel which was known as the "bottom chapel". She reminisces about outings, events and the Womens Auxiliary Wesleyian Society.
Charles Maltby recorded in 1997. Charles grew up on a farm in Eyam and went to Lady Manners School in Bakewell. He worked for the Sheffield Steel Company Edgar Allen who moved their offices to Eyam during WWII. He remembers war time farming and the bombs which fell nearby.
Betty Marples recorded in 1997. Betty was born at the Miners Arms where her father was the Landlord, in 1907.
Doug Nash recorded in 1997. Doug talks about the local Lead Mining industry which was a life long interest of his.
Lily Nettleship recorded in 1997. Born in the village in 1919, Lily remembers growing up at a time before running water and mains sewerage came to the village. She originally worked in one of the shoe factories and then as a housemaid in Tideswell
Mary O'Connell recorded in 1997. Mary was born in the village in 1913 and went to school here before starting work at the shoe factory at the age of 14.
Tony and Mary Oddy recorded in 2015. They talk about managing the Youth Hostel from the 1980s onwards. In a normal year, they provided 23,000 meals to visitors. They had first visited the area as volunteer Youth Hostel managers in the 1960s and remembered the Plague Tercentenary in 1965.
John and Joan Plant recorded in 2015. Joan has lived inthe village all her life and still lives in the house she moved into when she was 12. John moved from Grindleford when they got married. They talk about the different pattern of life in the 40s and 50s when most people in the village worked locally or commuted to Sheffield and Manchester via the 3 morning and afternoon busses which connected with the trains at Grindleford.
Eugenia Ridgeway recorded in 1997. Eugenia was born in the village and having moved away, return when she married Peter in 1950. Peter ran one of the shoe factories in the village.
Roger Ridgeway recorded in 1997. Roger talks about the history of Lead Mining, and the extraction of fluorspar and barytes.
Clarice White recorded in 1997. Clarice was the 12th of 13 children living in a little cottage at Townhead. Her father worked in Eyam Quarry
Norma Wood recorded in 1997. Norma relates a detailed history of the Eyam Burial Society from 1852 - its rules, payments and benefits and how it changed until it was dissolved in1996. She also recounts a history of the Oddfellows Society in Eyam - its payments and benefits - the reason Club Row is so called
Robert and Nicola Wright recorded in 2015. Robert and Nicola talk about inheriting Eyam Hall in 1990 and moving in with their young family. They set on an extensive process of renovation and opened their home to the public in 1992.