ID: LN001301_001

TitleDennis Chatters and Bernard Cudmore talking about the carrier business
AbstractDennis Chatters talks about the carrier business and interviews Bernard Cudmore.

Bernard Cudmore grew up in The Lane.

His father [Alfred Cudmore], in the early 1920s, did the mail and carrier carts. In order to deliver the mail, every morning he would arrive in Colchester and deliver to Old Heath, Abberton and East Mersea (going via the post office in Melrose) and would get home around 4.30am. He would then get a few hours sleep before setting off for Colchester again transporting goods such as winkles and oysters on the carrier cart giving lifts to anyone who could fit on the cart.
The carrier would start outside the old Victory - the land opposite was common ground in those days. Oysters teas etc at the Victory. Mrs Sidney Stoker was a barmaid there.
Alfred Cudmore had 4 brothers and 2 sisters, all living in the cottage. Only Alfred had a cheque book and he was the governor. The others kept their money under the bed.

Bert recalls Fred Banks (a well-known Island character) who would never pick greengages or plums off the tree and always took them off the ground instead as he claimed they tasted better. Indeed Fred, and his brother Harry, would set aside one day a week to take oysters to Southend.

Bernard learnt to drive in a T-Ford when he was about 16/17 years old.

He remembers his father saying about business that if you've got £100 to spend on something, you must have £200 because if you spend £100 on a horse, it can always drop dead - if haven't got another £100 for another one, then you haven't got a business.

Bernard also recalls that among the first buses were the Primrose charabancs which used to go to Clacton and Walton as well as helping with Sunday School trips.

Recording from Lions Talking Magazine No. 13.

In 1935, Alfred Cudmore sold the carrier business to George Rudlin in April 1935. Bernard Cudmore was probably not directly involved in the business. For many years he worked as a Site Manager for Colchester Borough Council.

Duration15 minutes
RecordedAugust 1979

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