TitleCecil Mussett - Mersea seed grower and postman. Part 1.
AbstractCecil Edward Mussett talking to Brian Jay and Tony Millatt. Also present was Cecil's wife Jane née Cudmore. Recorded at Jane and Cecil's home at Alpine Cottage, East Road.
Cecil was born 1930 in Mycote [?], Barfield Road. His father worked at the brick kiln. 1939 they moved to the Council Houses in Barfield Road. When he was 12 he started working evenings etc for Vic Sams at Doctor Neils place (the Gables) in Melrose Avenue - it was war time and they were growing vegetables for the war effort. Towards the end of the war, they started to grow seeds. Doctor Neils then moved back to Scotland and Vic Sams moved to growing in Chapmans Lane. Growing runner beans, peas etc., but moved on to growing seeds for Suttons of Reading.
[Vic Sams was originally from Tillingham - he had married a local girl and lived at 'Royston' the only house on Chapmans Lane.]
[05m] It was a 2 year cycle to grow seeds. Everything done by hand and the house and shed had no electricity in the early days. To turn over the land they had a farmer come and turn over the land - but they then had to do a day's work for the farmer to pay for it. They moved on to an Anzani 'tractor' and later a Ferguson tractor. Separating the seed was all done by hand with a variety of tools and later a manual threshing machine. There was no irrigation - it just relied on the weather. They also grew tomatoes - had casual labour to help with this and it was often on other fields hired from a farmer.
Vic owned all the west side of Chapman's Lane. Jan 1974 Vic Sams retired and Cecil gave up - he had been keen to pack up because his back was getting worse. Cecil became a postman - until he retired in 1995. He was 5 years in Colchester and then the rest of the time on Mersea Island.
[31m] Some conversation added - about soil etc. Ends with Cecil singing.

Go to Part 2 AA010920

SourceRecording by Brian Jay and Tony Millatt
Duration35 minutes
Recorded2 February 2010

  Play this Audio