Clips from an oral history interview recording with Doris Summers, who moved to Harlow in 1952. The New Town was then being developed, meeting the high demand for housing following the destruction of so many London homes in the Blitz in the Second World War. Aside from the social and cultural aspects of life in the 1950s that this interview reveals, it is also a lovely example of the London accent that must have been so prevalent in Harlow from the 1950s onwards.
In the first clip, Mrs Summers describes how significant it was to own a house, compared to her mother who just rented rooms for most of her life. She then gives her impression of how fortunate she is to live in such a nice town. Would the average resident say the same today?
In the second clip, Mrs Summers gives more information about how she got allocated a house in the new town, through her work.
These recordings were made by Dr Judy Attfield for her project, “Harlow Housing and Design”. The full interview will be available through Essex Archives Online shortly (SA 22/1364/1).