Glimpses into the lives of Maldon residents over the last 70+ years


To capture the memories of Maldon residents for the benefit of future generations,

the Society has established an oral history archive, ‘Memories of Maldon’, under Wendy Howell's leadership.

Copies of our recordings have been deposited with the Essex Record Office to provide material to assist those researching Maldon's history.


Extracts from the archive were first played at the Society's 60th Anniversary event on 5th October 2017.

You can listen to extracts from the recordings at our listening station in the Maeldune Heritage Centre.

Below are short extracts from some of our recorded interviews. Do listen, they are fascinating! 

LINDA KEYES - Linda started working as a receptionist at the Blue Boar in 1962 when she was sixteen. She remembers it as being a very “posh” Trust House Forte hotel and describes some of the guests and the rooms. (2.5 mins)

JOHN PRIME - John lived in Southend as a child and moved to Maldon later on. He remembers that in war time he volunteered with other 13 year olds from his school to help with the harvest on farms in Wiltshire. He and 3 friends decided to cycle there to save the train fare! He describes part of the journey which was in 1944. John died in 2020. (3 mins.)

PAT WILLIS - Pat was one of the embroiderers on the Maldon Millennium Embroidery. She much admired the designer Humphrey Spender and talks about visiting his studio. (2 mins)

ANDREW FAWCETT - Andrew assisted Humphrey Spender with the designing of the Maldon Millennium Embroidery (now displayed in the Maeldune Heritage Centre) which was finally completed in 1991. He describes some of the details of the planning of this magnificent piece of work. (2.5 mins.)

LEWIS BANYARD - Lewis was a teenager in the 1950s and remembers trying to earn a little money whenever possible, including pea picking. He also remembers the ‘radio relay’ system in Maldon which had to be paid for each week. (2 mins.)


DEREK MONK - Derek is 89 years old and as a child, remembers living very close to Bradwell Airfield which was used by the British and Americans in the war. He recalls a dramatic incident involving a Spitfire plane trying to land in a field nearby. (2.5 mins.)

If you would like to listen to some different recordings, you can hear them on our listening station at the Maeldune Heritage Centre. (re-opening soon)

CHRISTOPHER FOYLE - Christopher is the owner of Beeleigh Abbey which he has restored over many years. He remembers the house in his grandfather’s time and after that, his Aunt Christina lived there. The family have been responsible for the well-known Foyle's bookshop in London.

© Christopher Foyle

GRAHAM SMITH - Graham has a wonderful memory of Maldon High Street in the 1950s and 60s and the characters who lived and worked there. Here he describes some of them and also some locations which have changed considerably in the last 70 years. (2.5 mins.).

JEAN SMYE - Jean is a highly respected Maldon beekeeper. She teaches the subject and sells her Maldon honey locally. Here she describes her early love of bees and what she has learnt about bees doing ‘their own thing’. (3 mins.)