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The National Forest’s LANDshapes project interview with Bill Bentley

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LANt031 Bill Bentley
LANDshapes Oral History interview summary

In this absorbing recording, meet 'Country bloke' and lifelong fisherman Bill Bentley who will teach you how to tickle trout and explain the dying art of dry-stone walling and the equipment needed for the job "…just hammer and chisel that's all. And wireless… stop you from going nuts!" Happy-go-lucky Bill recalls that he "…used to ring bell and blow the organ at Calke Abbey… Calke Church… that was when I was young… Mrs. Molesey used to give me a shilling every Sunday". Listen as Bill talks of his memories of the impact of war on Melbourne "…I can remember the bombs dropping in Melbourne here. They dropped one or two in Melbourne Pool. I can remember a landmine dropping, that was over the back on Sam Hollingworth's farm. That knocked a hole in the ground - ooh you coulda put a lorry in it" and go back in time with Bill as he remembers the VJ day celebrations in 1946 "…We had a big do like for VJ day, we had a big bonfire and course we'd been cleaning ground and we took all the trees off and we made a hell of a fire and, ooh ah, we had a good time". Hear Bill's recollections of life on the farm "…we were two mile from a phone, two mile from a letter box… two mile from everything - well it wasn't quite two mile from the pub!" and discover why he calls himself "…a bit of a chicken really!" and says "I've had one of the most fantastic lives anybody could ever have. I've enjoyed me life… and I've been one of the happiest blokes you'll ever meet in your life"

Interviewer: Roger Kitchen
Interview Date: 30/03/2005
Landshape Zone: Melbourne Parklands
Parish: Melbourne
Location: Melbourne, Derbyshire,
Date of birth: 27/07/1932
Location of Original: Originals held with The National Forest Company
Reference LANt031

Photo of Bill Bentley

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Last updated: 15/9/2005
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