Listen in here to a selection of the oral histories collated as part of this project.
We are also grateful to Carol and Margaret Freeman, Bill Sabin, Martin Taylor, John and Caroline Wilber, Simon Barrett, Mike Carr, Christine Wright, Sue Dennis, Joan Murray White, Sarah Hobson, Richard Shurey and Paula Dixon for sharing their memories of life in the 1950s.
DAVID WILKINS AND ARTHUR CLIFFORD are lifelong friends who were both born and raised in Ilmington. They have lived around the corner from one another all their lives. In 1950 they were young schoolboys who always sat beside one another at the village school.
IRENE SABIN is one of four sisters born and brought up in Ilmington as a member of two of the village’s oldest families- the Sabins and the Fosters. In 1950 she was a schoolgirl.
ALICE TERRY is one of a family of seven children; despite going away to work and to teach she would come home most weekends before settling back in the village for good in 1952.
TONY WILKINS has lived in Ilmington all his life. Born in 1932, he was the only child of parents who met when his mother came to work in service at Ilmington Manor. He has been Chairman of the Parish Council for over 20 years. In 1950 he was in his late teens.
BETTY BRYAN came to Ilmington as a young evacuee from the Coventry bombings and never went home. In 1951 she celebrated both her 21st birthday and her marriage to a young village man.
JACK AND JUNE HANDS were both born in the village. June (nee Sabin) has lived in Ilmington all her life; Jack returned from a brief spell in Bedfordshire because he missed the place so much. In 1950 Jack was a teenage farm worker and June a schoolgirl.
CHRISTINE WARMINGTON came to Ilmington aged four. Her parents worked at Crabb Mill and she has lived in the same lane for 75 years. In 1950 she was 18 and met her late husband at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Shipston on Stour.
TERRY HALL came to the Ilmington area in the war as a Land Girl and never returned to her native Birmingham. In 1950 she was a newlywed living with her in laws.
KEN AND JEANNIE HALL met when Ilmingtonian Ken joined the Fleet Air Arm and Jeannie was a Wren. They married in the parish church in 1951 and raised six children in the village.
ANNE BRAIN was born in Ilmington, one of two daughters of a strict household. In 1950 she was in her late teens and courting her then fiancé.
DAVID SABIN is village born and bred. Apart from a brief spell in Birmingham, he has lived in Ilmington all his life. The son of a farm worker, in 1950 he was a young schoolboy.
JOHN COOKE lives a stone’s throw from where he was born in Ilmington. A father of four, he married in 1950 and was working in a builder’s yard at nearby Shipston.
ERNIE COOK had a large extended family in the village. In 1950 he was a young married man with a baby son and herdsman for a prize herd of cattle at Dowler’s Farm.