Extract from an interview with Ronald Ernest Poole, born in Great Baddow in 1921. The speaker describes the shops and businesses that he recalls passing on his journeys along Baddow Road to school. The tannery, or, as he called it, the ‘smelly’, created a particularly long-lasting impression. He also describes what it was like to ride an open-top bus, often in the rain. Poole’s references to current landmarks make it easier for the listener to picture what the road looked like a hundred years ago.
The interview was conducted by Chelmsford Museum in 1990. While it does not capture any sounds of Chelmsford in the 1920s, we are grateful to have this example of a typical Chelmsford accent. The full recording can be heard in the Playback Room at the Essex Record Office (follow link to the catalogue record below for more information).