Interview with Paul Jasper at his home 33 Cambridge Road, Colchester, on 9th April 2009. Also present were Brian Jay and Tony Millatt, both from West Mersea.
[00m]At the start, Paul is just explaining how he and his brother came to be in a prewar advertisement for Rinso.
[06m]Paul describes coming to Mersea and being unofficially adopted by George and Violet Hewes.
Paul went to school mainly on the island, at Miss Francis, St Michael's. Very friendly with Don Procter in school days. Peter Trigg was there at the same time - They could cut through a whole in the fence beside Port Bower to get to the school. Paul was head boy at the school when Miss Catchpole was head girl. Each year they would have Hare and Hounds chasing bits of paper along the front, past the boating lake, and ending at Brierley Hall where Mr Catchpole lived, for a glass of lemonade. After 11+ time, Paul went to the Boys High School in Colchester.
[14m]Long list of names at school at the time.
[15m]1936 GRAF ZEPPELIN flew over
1938 issued with gas masks.
When the war started, the beach was mined, barriers erected, only the Hard was available accessible. Boat squadron arrived - many boats collected from the Thames etc.
Aligators arrived - kept beside the Causeway at night but are said to have churned up the roads. Many soldiers on the island. Captain Hamilton Peters. Early in the War, a platoon would be sent to Feldy dusk to dawn. Don Procter used to go out fishing with Bobby Stoker and was out there when Bobby's brother [Horace] hit the mine and was killed [on smack MAGGIE].
[23m]We as boys had the times of our lives. We did not have to off the island to school at the time of the invasion. Lots of new people on the island - squadies, evacuees, the latter a mixed blessing. But Mersea soon became an endangered area and a lot of children were evacuated from Mersea. We were very keen on aircraft recognition, built lots of models - in later years made from wood and perspex salvaged from crashed Mosquitos. West End Cycle Stores in Colchester had some of the bits needed.
Airfield was being built at Bradwell - there was a squadron of Bostons, flown by Canadians, for a year. Replaced by Mosquitos.
A good friend scavenging and building these models was Ian Michell, later blown up on a mine.
Short break to look at aircraft recognition books and then continued in another file.
Note from Rosemary Rainbird's Hewes family research William George Hewes was born 1886, died 11 November 1946.
Violet Kate Farthing was born 1873 died 1948.
You can find out more about Will and Violet Hewes and also Paul, in "From when I can remember" by Pixie Farthing.
Copyright(c) Mersea Island Museum Trust 2020 This item is part of the Mersea Island Museum Collection The information is accurate as far as is known, but the Museum does not accept responsibility for errors.