Julianne's Interview

CARTER's Family History via New Zealand

  

Transcription of the taped interview which took place between Julianne (interviewer) and Eva Gladys Strong (interviewee) on 7 May 1991.
© 1991 Julianne

Jules: This is April 26th, (Friday) 1991 and I'm talking to Eva Gladys Strong, nee Stevens, born on the 24th Dec 1901.
So..., what was your happiest memory?
Eva: That must be my wedding day (laughs) I suppose.
Jules: So what happened on your wedding?
Eva: We just went to, ah, what do you call it? (pause). I forget now what you call it.
Jules: Registry Office?
Eva: No it wasn't a registry office - well, it was like a registry office really - but, you had to go there. It was compulsory to be married there. If you wanted to go in the church, you still had to be married there. But we didn't bother to go to the church. Um, when you're in a foreign country, you know...
Jules: The Embassy?
Eva: Not the embassy. Oh, I can't remember it now.
Jules: And that was... where was it?
Eva: In Nice.
Jules: In France?
Eva: In France, in Nice. We just went there, and after - the wedding. We had two witnesses of course. And when they'd gone we just went to this big American - we were working for this American man and he was there [something] came with his secretary and he went to [something] away so he gave us permission to use his yacht. So we spent a couple of days on this yacht in Cannes, that's further round than Nice.
Jules: So how old were you and how old was your husband?
Eva: I was 21 and he was 32.
Jules: So was it a spur of the moment thing to get married?
Eva: Oh, well we waited till we were 21 anyway and no one could object then (laughing). Oh well my mother didn't anyway. We just went there.
Jules: What was your saddest memory?
Eva: Saddest - oh that was when Doreen died.
Jules: Your daughter.
Eva: She was away on holiday and she just died of a severe attack of asthma, in hospital. We were all away on holiday, everyone was away on holiday.
Jules: It must have been difficult to contact...
Eva: Christmas time, just after Christmas day.
Jules: It must have been difficult to contact everyone.
Eva: Well the police had to contact, contact Muriel. Aunty Muriel.
Jules: And what was your earliest memory?
Eva: You're not going back to the start again, are you?
Jules: Yeah, because the other side, remember - there was a mistake so we have to do the thing again.
Eva: Oh I see. Oh well, I know I can remember very clearly the day two of my brothers and I played truant from school. I suppose I was about 8 then or something. I got wet, I got wet through in a water trough, playing in a water trough. My father gave us both a jolly good thrashing, I know that. The only time my father ever hit us. He never ever touched us.
Jules: So your father never hit you? So how were you disciplined when you were a child?
Eva: Oh, my mother was very good at that.
Jules: What did she do?
Eva: Oh, she didn't do anything, only just we just did what she wanted us to do. She wasn't strict or anything like that, we just had a happy life.
Jules: That's good. So what was your childhood like? Are there any [other] memories that stand out?
Eva: Oh, just the time I played... Oh, I didn't tell you this the other day: at the school I went to, see the girls had the top and the boys had the bottom and you all had to go to have prayers into the hall, you know, march into the hall - assembly hall and we'd all say the prayers, and I had one of these spinning tops, and I was winding the string around it while I was saying prayers. My eyes were closed, but I was automatically [ something ]. The governess, she saw me. So I opened my eyes, and she said "Yes, you". She said "I want you up here." I got the stick in front of the whole school.
Jules: Oh, no. How many people were there in the school?
Eva: How many? Well, there were six classes. The whole of the school, you see.
Jules: How old would've you been, about ten?
Eva: Oh let's see, I'd be about nine, I suppose. That was in, when we went down back to Croyden. Left Yorkshire and went back to Croydon.
Jules: And what did your father do for a job?
Eva: Oh he was a plumber.
Jules: A plumber. And your mother looked after all your - how many brothers and sisters?
Eva: Oh we all looked, well, we weren't all born at once. When we left Yorkshire there were five of us, four girls and one boy. The rest came after we left Yorkshire.
Jules: So how many other brothers and sisters did you have?
Eva: I had another sister, two other sisters - the two sisters and then a brother and another sister. There were nine of us altogether. Big family (giggles).
Jules: And were you a poor family with so many children?
Eva: A what?
Jules: A poor family, with so many children.
Eva: Oh no! I mean to say you had to struggle sometime but I wouldn't say that we were poor.
Jules: So you had nice clothes and nice food?
Eva: Oh yes, mother kept us very well dressed.
Jules: And were you an average student?
Eva: I suppose so. I left when I was in Standard Six, that means in Form Two here these days.
Jules: And were there any subjects that you liked and that you hated?
Eva: No, I just went through. Never got on very much with maths. (laughs)
Jules: And did you play any sports?
Eva: Ah yes, I played basketball, well it's not basketball now, it's netball. Same thing.
Jules: And what about hobbies? What did you do in your spare time, did you read a lot?
Eva: Ah, I read a lot, yes. I used to tinkle on the piano, not that I could play, but I used to tinkle on it. And sing with it. I thought myself a wonderful singing and playing the piano. Not much I can play now. I can't.
Jules: What did you want to do when you grew up?
Eva: There wasn't anything in particular. I worked in the war years, in the last year of the war. I was 14 then, when the war - when the war broke out, I was 14. That's when I left school and went and did war work in London making helmets and that. But they weren't really good really, I gave those up. The firm gave them up because they weren't very good. They were made of flanolette, they weren't practical.
Jules: And did any of your brothers go in the war, or anybody that you knew?
Eva: No, I only had one uncle went in that war, and he died, my Dad's brother.
Jules: And, um that was the First World War. What did your parents expect of you?
Eva: I don't think they expected anything of us, only just be good citizens I suppose.
Jules: So can you tell me a bit about you and your husband deciding to come to New Zealand?
Eva: Oh well we were back in England then. We got married and stayed for a while in Nice, and then we went back to England, and he gave up his job you see. And we were in London, and of course he was badly gassed in the World War, you see, during the first war. And so that caused [something] asthma in the London fog. I don't think they have them now, but in those days he just couldn't live through them. So we decided to go where it was clearer. We were going to go to Australia, but we didn't get to Australia, he changed his mind. (laughing).
Jules: So tell me about his part in the war, how he got gassed in the war.
Eva: Well he started from the war, right from the time, from 1914 right to 1919. It was when the Germans started the mustard gas, that's when he got gassed, round in Belgium.
Jules: So you decided to come to NZ - did you know anything about it?
Eva: No, didn't know a thing. Didn't even know where NZ was (laughing). Just a little island, that's all we knew it as, all I knew what it was. Well, that's all it is really.
Jules: And were you the first one in your family to come over here? And were you sad to leave your family, your parents?
Eva: Well, naturally I was, yes.
Jules: Your parents didn't try and talk you out of coming or anything?
Eva: No, no. It was just where he wanted to go. It didn't worry me.
Jules: So how was the boat trip over?
Eva: Well I was um, I had a bad dose of flu when I got on the ship, but once I got over that it was alright. I had a good time on the ship.
Jules: How long did it last?
Eva: Oh, about six weeks. It was on the old Remuera.
Jules: And can you remember the first day that you arrived?
Eva: The first day we arrived. Yes, I can remember that quite well. [something] to hear everybody singing "Yes we have no pyjamas". (laughing) [something] that everybody was singing that, and that had been in England for a couple of years before.
Jules: That was a popular song.
Eva: It was a popular song in those days.
Jules: So you were glad that you'd arrived. Were there many people at the wharf?
Eva: Oh, I never thought to [something] but there was nobody there to meet us because nobody knew us.
Jules: So which port did you arrive at?
Eva: Wellington.
Jules: Wellington. And did you have anywhere to go, like a job lined up?
Eva: No, we had to wait till, we had to look for a job. We got a married couple's job in Hawkes Bay, way in the back blocks.
Jules: On a farm was it?
Eva: Yes, in a big sheep farm, a sheep station.
Jules: So what was each person's job, your job?
Eva: Well my job was more or less.. I was housemaid, you see - I used to do the cooking and clean the house and that, you know, general housework, and he was the general man outside.
Jules: So what new experiences were there there?
Eva: Well, one experience was I first rode a horse for the first time, for two hours. You can imagine how I felt after that. I don't know if you've ever been on a horse, have you?
Jules: Yeah, I have.
Eva: Gee, my legs were like that I think [something].
Jules: I bet they were. (laughing) And what were his experiences?
Eva: I didn't even, just that he, he was a very quiet man, he never really mixed very much.
Jules: And he had to learn how to shear a sheep?
Eva: Oh no he never did do anything like that. He just had to look after round the house and outside, gardening, look after a cow and ah, lambs. You know sometimes a lamb was brought home, you know and feed the lamb with a bottle.
Jules: So where did you go from there?
Eva: Well, when I started having a family, I wasn't going to have a family in the back blocks. So back we went to Wellington. We stayed at People's Palace till we could find somewhere to live - that's where I met my first friend I had in New Zealand, she died recently, a couple of weeks ago.
Jules: So tell me about her.
Eva: Mrs Horridge? Oh she's a lovely person, we were very good to each other. She was the same as me, we were both pregnant together and our babies, there are only ten days difference between Lucille and Hilda.
Jules: So where did you finally settle once you left the People's Palace?
Eva: We finally settled in, well, we bought a house in Miramar, quite a nice there. That's where I had all my children there, five girls. That's when the depression came along, about ten years after that.
Jules: And what was your husband doing during the depression.
Eva: Oh he was on a rail, working on a railway then. He never got put off the railway.
Jules: So you were quite lucky during the depression?
Eva: Quite lucky. If you worked, I mean if you hadn't got a permanent job like that, well you had to get right down to your last penny before you could do, get any assistance. There was no child allowance, or anything like that in our day.
Jules: Right the date today is the 7th of April, the 7th of May 1991 and I'm still talking to the same person. So I'm interested to know about how you coped without all the modern conveniences, you know the modern things we have today.
Eva: We coped alright, we had to, there was no modern convenience already thought of then, it was 60 years ago.
Jules: So how did you get on, say, doing the vacuuming?
Eva: Well, we had all these carpet sweepers, you know, the hand ones. We only had the one carpet in the lounge, that's all.
Jules: And how did you cook, with gas or electricity.
Eva: With gas.
Jules: So you made lots of preserves and things like that?
Eva: Oh, I used to do all the preserving, jams and bottled fruit and all that?
Jules: And what about doing the laundry?
Eva: Oh, well the old copper with the scrub board, and [something] a couple of tubs, a copper.
Jules: And how long did it take you to do your average family's washing?
Eva: All of the morning, more or less, to wash for five girls - I had five girls at that time.
Jules: And how many times a week did you do it?
Eva: Only once a week. When they were babies of course I used to wash their things every day.
Jules: And so how did you spend your day looking after the house and things like that?
Eva: Well, I had friends. I did make friends there and which'd come and see me and I used to go and see them. Then I'd go into the lodge then. And I've belonged to the lodge ever since.
Jules: And you used to like dancing didn't you?
Eva: Oh, yes, I've liked dancing since before I left England when I was young (giggles). Tape Ends
Jules: So now I want to ask you, you know, about how you looked after the house, what your duties were in your job?
Eva: Oh, just the duties of a natural home wife, I suppose, and mother.
Jules: What were they expected to be?
Eva: Well, just the usual, what would you do if you were married?
Jules: I wouldn't do anything.
Eva: Would you look after the house?
Jules: No, I wouldn't, my husband would! (laughing)
Eva: (sternly) oh, would he? I doubt it. Doubt it.
Jules: No, but things are different nowadays. I want to know about what happened in your day. Did your husband do any work?
Eva: Well, not in the house, not much. He was working on the railway most of the time.
Jules: So it was understood that the house was your domain.
Eva: Oh, it always was in those days, anyway. You never thought of asking the man to do the washing or... unless you were sick, of course. If you were sick it was different.
Jules: And what about dishes, did he do the dishes?
Eva: Oh, he'd help me there, and when the girls were big enough, they used to do it. (laughing.)
Jules: So tell me about your days, how were your days spent?
Eva: My days?
Jules: Yeah, like what exactly did you do doing the housework and that, what did it involve?
Eva: Well, I did all my housework and I'd read a bit, do a lot of knitting. Did a lot of knitting in those days. (laughing).
Jules: So you didn't actually spend a lot of time doing housework. Did you spend a lot of time doing housework?
Eva: Oh, it didn't take long to do once you got through it alright. You didn't dawdle over it - once you got the housework done, it was done! You didn't do it every day.
Jules: So what did you do? Did you do dusting? Wiping down the cupboards? You know, things like that.
Eva: Oh well that all comes in with the house work, doesn't it?
Jules: So tell me about it.
Eva: No, I'm not telling you anything - nothing to tell. You just do your housework, keep your house cleaned.
Jules: But I mean, nowadays, people aren't as particular...
Eva: Oh, these days it's different altogether.
Jules: So tell me about the difference.
Eva: I can't tell you about the difference, I'm too old for that. (laughing) No, I can't compare it really.
Jules: So how did you cope without things like a refrigerator?
Eva: Oh, I just coped - I don't know how we coped - we just did it and if the butter got soft we had to put up with it. (giggling)
Jules: So you bought meat daily and things like that.
Eva: Oh yes, that was always bought daily.
Jules: And did you have it delivered to your house?
Eva: Oh yes, you don't expect them delivered these days, do you?
Jules: No, you don't. So you'd just ring up the butcher with your order and he'd bring them around about 5 o'clock...
Eva: He'd send them round or we'd go down and get it?
Jules: So you didn't really need a fridge?
Eva: No, never thought of a fridge in those days, never thought of one.
Jules: And you had your vegetables delivered daily.
Eva: In those days they were grown in the garden.
Jules: I see. And did you have any pets or any animals kept around the house?
Eva: The girls always had a cat, cried their eyes out over cats, they did. (Laughing) We always had a cat, how's yours by the way? (loud laughing).
Jules: Good. She's good. And you're fond of birds. You had birds.
Eva: Oh yes, I've had budgies for eighteen years. But they've always flown away on me. [Tape clicks off, to reveal part of other interview]
Eva: Well, during the depression we had to get out of the house. We rented a house in Khandallah.
Jules: Why did you have to get out of your house?
Eva: Because we couldn't afford to keep it.
Jules: So you weren't paying a mortgage or anything, you were renting.
Eva: Yes, we couldn't afford it so we just walked out. We went to a rented house in Khandallah. We had to get out of that house because the people wanted the house back again, so we moved into a railway house in Ngaio.
Jules: And how old was your oldest then?
Eva: Hilda? [incomprehensible]
Jules: And what are all your daughter's names, and how did you choose your daughter's names, by the way?
Eva: Oh, we just thought of them, that's all we did. We didn't give them any fancy names or anything.
Jules: Were they fashionable names at the time?
Eva: I don't know, they were just names we liked.
Jules: From books or something.
Eva: Well, Hilda was named after my sister. Second name after his mother. The other girls have only got the one name. Gladys was named after me of course, my second name. We just, we didn't get any fancy names for them. Muriel never liked her name, but we couldn't help that - we didn't know she didn't like it, did we? [tape restarts]
Eva: We lived in Ngaio, the girls all went to Ngaio School and I belonged to the Committee, the Ngaio School Committee.
Jules: You did? You belonged to the Committee?
Eva: To the School Committee or the Association it was called.
Jules: So what did you have to do for that?
Eva: Oh we just used to think of what was best for the children at school. I used to teach dancing to the girls one night a week.
Jules: What sort of dancing?
Eva: Oh just old time dancing.
Jules: Waltzes and things like that. So how often, did you have meetings once a week or anything like that
Eva: Once, yes, at the school. I used to go once a fortnight to the Independent Order of Oddfellows - I belonged to that.
Jules: And did you still keep up your dancing?
Eva: Oh, I did for a long time, till I got too old.
Jules: And your husband didn't mind that you were so active?
Eva: Oh no.
Jules: And was it normal for a woman in your position to be so active, because it sounds like you were involved in quite a lot of things.
Eva: It kept you well, didn't it if you were active. I wasn't sick at all very much.
Jules: And was your husband sick?
Eva: Well, he suffered from asthma [something]. In the last year of course he had a few strokes which lasted about a year.
Nothing very exciting in my life. Just a normal mother's life, I suppose, bringing up children, keeping them clothed and bathed.
Jules: Did you do your own sewing?
Eva: Oh yes, I did my own sewing. Till the girls could do it for me. Not much in my life exciting really.
Jules: Well you've done a lot.
Eva: Well, tried to do my best and that's all you can do.
Jules: So, if you could sum up your life, how would you describe it briefly with the things you have done?
Eva: I suppose I'd do it over again, I don't know.
Jules: So what's happened in your life?
Eva: Nothing very exciting. I was too busy looking after my girls till they grew up.
Jules: So then what did you do once they grew up and left home?
Eva: I just used to go off to a few meetings and one thing or another. Oh, I used to occupy myself somehow, do a lot of crocheting. Not very exciting.
Jules: And what sort of meetings?
Eva: Lodge meetings, and I used to go to the Church of England, and I used to go to Mother's Union, it's not the Mothers' Union now, it's got another name.
Jules: What was the Mother's Union for?
Eva: It was just like, helping the Church along, doing something for the church.
Jules: Like baking and things like that, donating old clothes.
Eva: [something]
Jules: And, um, what happened at the Lodge?
Eva: Just a normal meeting I suppose, initiations and - not many of those there now, the Lodge is dying out.
Jules: What do you go along to the Lodge to do, do you play bridge?
Eva: Oh, well, after the meeting we have a social evening.
Jules: What is the meeting all about?
Eva: Oh, I couldn't tell you that, Julianne. That's something belonging to the Lodge.
Jules: Oh, it's a secret.
Eva: Well it's not exactly a secret but it belongs to the Lodge.
Jules: So you've sort of, like, sworn not to tell anything about it.
Eva: Yes, we've sworn on our oath, didn't we?
Jules: I see. So tell me about some people you've known in your life, your friends and people that you've met that have been interesting.
Eva: Well, they're all the same as me, I suppose. They've all more or less died now, I'm all left alone. I left all my friends up in Auckland.
Jules: So you mean they're all the same as you in that they came out from England and settled in New Zealand.
Eva: No, I don't think any of them came from England, only me. Oh, Peggy did, Aunty Peggy as the girls used to call her, she came out from Scotland, she died just recently. Nothing really, I had some friends and we never quarrelled, never quarrelled at all, I suppose that's why I kept my friends.
Jules: As an English person, how do you feel about the Royal Family?
Eva: Just the Royal family that's all, I never thought anything about them.
Jules: So you're not fanatical about them or anything or anything like that.
Eva: No no, they're just normal - the head of their country, that's all. The continent, I should say. Oh, I don't know, they're just royalty. Rich enough, anyway. (laughs) The country keeps them.
Jules: And are you a New Zealand Citizen?
Eva: Yes.
Jules: So you became a New Zealand citizen?
Eva: Yes, well I suppose I should be, after about 68 years, shouldn't I?
Jules: So you didn't go to a ceremony -
Eva: No, well I did. I signed some papers there. I had to when I got a passport, a New Zealand passport.
Jules: So do you feel like a New Zealander, or do you fancy yourself as -
Eva: No, I'm still British. Still British, always will be.
Jules: So you're quite patriotic?
Eva: No, not patriotic, just a British subject in New Zealand. I'm not a New Zealand subject now.
Jules: Ok, thank you.
Jules: This is the 18th of April, 1991 and it's Julianne talking to my grandmother, Eva Gladys Strong who was born on December the 24th, 1901.
Right, what was your happiest memory?
Eva: Oh, gee, that was a long time ago. I suppose when I got married, I suppose.
Jules: So tell me a bit about the day.
Eva: The wedding day? Oh, I don't know, we just got married and we went onto, on our honeymoon on the boss's yacht.
Jules: And where did you get married, and what did you wear?
Eva: Oh, I got married in the South of France, Nice - South of France.
Jules: And what did you wear?
Eva: Oh, dear, I've forgotten all about that. I just wore a dress, no I didn't, I wore a suit.
Jules: Was it white?
Eva: No, it was navy blue.
Jules: Navy blue. And, why did you get married in Nice? Did you have a big wedding?
Eva: No, just us, just had a small wedding, just the two of us more or less. Why? Well I suppose we just wanted to get married, I suppose.
Back to the top
Jules: And how old were you?
Eva: 21.
Jules: And how old was Granddad?
Eva: Oh, he was 32 I think.
Jules: And how long had you known each other?
Eva: Oh, a couple of years.
Jules: Would you like to say a bit about how you met, and decided to get married?
Eva: We were just thought to get married, so we got married.
Jules: But didn't you work together?
Eva: We worked together, yes.
Jules: And what were you doing when you worked together?
Eva: Oh, gee that's a bit personal isn't it?
Jules: No, I mean your job.
Eva: Oh well we were both working in the same gentleman's, American gentleman's home.
Jules: And what was his job and what was your job?
Eva: Well he was a butler and I was a maid.
Jules: Would you like to say any more about that?
Eva: No, no.
Jules: What was your saddest memory?
Eva: Saddest? Oh when my daughter Doreen died suddenly while they were on holiday, be the saddest thing.
Jules: And what was your earliest memory?
Eva: Julianne - that was a long time ago now. My earliest memory, oh I have no idea.
Jules: Do you have early memories, like the time you played truant from school and jumped in the river?
Eva: Oh, we didn't jump in the river. My brother and I were playing truant, certainly, when we were kids in a little country village in Yorkshire. We don't know why we played truant, but we were with two others who played truant (laughs). I fell in the pond, not a pond, a water trough.
Jules: And you had to dry your clothes before you went home?
Eva: Oh no, I went home soaking wet. Got a jolly good thrashing from my father for it.
Jules: And what was your childhood like?
Eva: Childhood? Oh quite happy. Lived in Yorkshire for eight years, I was quite happy there, and then we moved to Thornton Heath, lived in Surrey - oh just an ordinary life I suppose, Mother was very good to us, you know, very happy.
Jules: Did you live on a farm or in the town?
Eva: No, we didn't live on a farm.
Jules: What did your father do?
Eva: My father? He was a plumber in a big house in Yorkshire, in a place called Skelton ---- Hall, he was a plumber there.
[Skelton is a village in the unitary authority of the City of York, England. It is six kilometres northwest of the City of York, west of Haxby, and on the east bank of the River Ouse. Skelton was in the Ancient Forest of Galtres. Historic buildings in Skelton include St. Giles Church (built 1227), Skelton Manor from the 16th century, and Skelton Hall from 1824. Skelton was made a conservation area in 1973. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 1,640. Prior to 1996 it had been part of the Ryedale district.]
Jules: And did you have a big house?
Eva: We just had an ordinary house I suppose.
Jules: How many brothers and sisters did you have?
Eva: Well while we were in Yorkshire, there was four girls and one brother.
Jules: So you wouldn't have had your own room.
Eva: Oh no, not with those others, my brother of course had his own room - and we girls used to share a couple of rooms upstairs.
Jules: And are there any other memories of your childhood that stand out?
Eva: not really.
Jules: Were you an average student?
Eva: Well, I suppose I was. What they call form 2 here, well that was standard 6 in the school I went to.
Jules: And was that common for people to leave school then?
Eva: It was a girls' school - and a boys school, but we were on top of the boys.
Jules: So you had separate classes.
Eva: mmm.
Jules: And did you play any sports?
Eva: Oh I played what they called basketball in those days, but it's netball these days. Different rules I suppose now.
Jules: And did you have any hobbies?
Eva: I used to crochet a lot even in those days.
Jules: And you weren't interested in dolls or stamps or drawing or any of those things?
Eva: No.
Jules: ... the Queen or anything like that?
Eva: No.
Jules: And do you remember what you wanted to do when you grew up?
Eva: No, didn't want to do anything in particular really.
Jules: Just get married. So what do you think your parents expected of you?
Eva: I don't think they expected, so long as we're good girls - I don't think they expected anything startling from us.
Jules: So what did you end up doing when you first left school?
Eva: When I left school, actually I went to London, because we lived in Thornton Heath then, I went to London to work, and I did war work. Because it was the war time, 19 ... the first world war. The first war.
Jules: And what sort of work did that involve?
Eva: Well we just made hair woods? for the boys.
Jules: And what about your social life? What did you do socially?
Eva: I used to go to dancing, a friend of mine, we used to go dancing a lot.
Jules: What, waltzes, and foxtrots and that?
Eva: Oh well you know mixed dancing, mostly old time dancing. There wasn't all this new fangled dancing in those days.
Jules: So what happened when you decided to come to New Zealand, what was it that made you decide to come?
Eva: Well, my husband decided - Granddad decided to go to Australia, decided to come to Australia, but it turned out we came to New Zealand instead, (laughing).
Jules: Was that a mistake?
Eva: No, he just changed his mind. It didn't worry me.
Jules: What year was that?
Eva: It must be 1920... Oh we left England in 1923 and we arrived in New Zealand in 1924.
Jules: So you didn't have any children at that stage.
Eva: No, no.
Jules: And how long had you been married?
Eva: What, before I had any? I had Hilda bout 2 and a half years after we were married.
Jules: And were you frightened to come to New Zealand?
Eva: No
Jules: You weren't worried about leaving your family? What was it like when you first arrived.
Eva: Oh well we came and we didn't know a soul of course. We knew nobody. And we got a job as a married couple and we went up to Hawkes Bay. A big sheep station, as a married couple.
Jules: And what was your job and what was Granddad's?
Eva: My job was doing the house, cooking and cleaning the house and he was the man outside, did all the jobs outside. He had to milk the cows, he'd never milked in his life before.
Jules: And did you ever have a period in your life when you were struggling financially?
Eva: No.
Jules: Not even when you had children.
Eva: We had a bit of a struggle when we had children, doing the 1932 depression, when you've got the 5 girls. We didn't stay in Hawkes Bay, we went back to Wellington. Granddad got a job on the railway, a profession. He was there until he retired.
Jules: And what did you do to save money? You know, your job as the housekeeper.
Eva: Well I just tried to make do with what I had. We never had any assistance like they have in these days. We just had to struggle along as best we could. During the depression years, Granddad was lucky enough that he wasn't put off the Railways.
Jules: And if you could do anything differently, what would it be?


Transcription to be continued...

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