Somerset Voices: Joyce Harris (b.1919)

Joyce Harris was born in 1919 in Congresbury, North Somerset. She spent her childhood years, until her marriage living with her parents, two sisters, and two brothers. Like many children in Somerset during the 1920s and 30s they were expected to do regular jobs in the house. Joyce cleaned and lit the range every day, cleaned bedrooms, fetched wood and scrubbed the outside toilet. On Monday – washing day – the women soaked, boiled, rubbed and rinsed the clothes with water from the well before putting it all through a wooden mangle. Tuesday was ironing day and they used flat and goffering irons. The sisters went to Congresbury fair once a year in return for all their hard work on the farm.

Listen to Joyce and read the transcript

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