Archive Oral Histories - Peggie and Bill
An oral history recording with Peggie and Bill, former care staff at Le Court Cheshire Home. Subtitles are available. Bill was sent to work at Le Court in 1949 by the Employment Office after leaving National Service. He talks about the Nursing Sister managing nursing from her bed as she had TB and his first job being the washing up. Peggie joined her husband and describes the old house and the challenges it brought, but dispels myths about it being delapidated; it was a very grand house, but old fashioned with no mains electricity or central heating as we understand it today. Bill discusses the second resident Granny Haynes and the types of people that were living and working in Le Court at that time. They mention the Le Court fete and talk about the founder Leonard Cheshire, his father Professor Cheshire and their routines when living at Le Court. Bill talks about the first news story on Le Court by the News Chronicle and the resulting donations and interest. Peggie talks about how in those days, there wasn’t provision for disabled people and how Leonard Cheshire’s work overcame prejudice. She remembers a foundation trip to Rome with service users from all over the world where they were turned away from their hotel due to prejudice and shock by the locals at seeing so many disabled people out in their community. They talk about the new building being opened by HM The Queen Mother and the benefits brought by the new building to both staff and residents.
Download a transcript of this oral history (.docx Word format).