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Oral recollections of WW2 in Kidderminster

As part of a data collecting exercise by the Kidderminster & District Archaeological & Historical Society in preparation for its 2006 publication of "Kidderminster & District in World War 2" by Bill Wood, Bob Millward & Robert Barber, many local people provided personal recollections of life in and near Kidderminster in those times.

Verbal reminiscences by seven contributors were recorded by Bob Millward in 2005 and early 2006 and the recordings are now available (for personal use only) in MP3 format on this website (click on the blue links below to hear the audio files).

The original tape recordings are now held by the Archive Service at the Hive.


Jessie Maskell née Hatton) was born in 1914. She had been a weaver for Tomkinson's and worked there in the 'bomb' shop during WW2. Later she worked for Adam's carpet factory off Birmingham road near the Land Oak.

Recorded: 12 May 2005. Time: 40 min. File size: 36 MB


Peter Carter born in 1926, and Monica Hill's brother, was at Hartlebury Grammar School when WW2 began but, even so, joined the ARP. Much later he was to serve as a local councillor and Town Mayor.

Recorded: 23 May 2005. Time 38 min. File size: 34 MB


Margaret Phelan (née Pugh) was born in Kidderminster in 1927. Margaret was a Unitarian Lay preacher at the New Meeting Church for many years and became involved with many local societies including the Kidderminster & District Archaeological & Historical Society, the Kidderminster Civic Society and she served as a voluntary steward at the National Trust property Hanbury Hall. Her excellent knowledge of Kidderminster, combined with her phenomenal memory, made her a 'go to' person for queries about Kidderminster past.

Recorded: 25 July 2005. Time: 25 min. File size: 22 MB

John James Russell born 1928. Owned the Audio & TV business in Coventry Street (opened in 1942 by his father) and ran it until 2002.

Recorded: 24 August 2005. Time: 7 min. File size: 6 MB


Marjorie Rivers Long time member of the Kidderminster & District Archaeological & Historical Society who lived her early life in Shatterford. She was a schoolteacher during the war - mainly in Evesham. There is much non-WW2 content but some events in Kidderminster & Shatterford are recalled.

Recorded: 30 October 2005. Time 30 min. File size: 27MB


Monica Hill (née Carter) born 1928. Was Peter Carter's sister and friend of Margaret Phelan. During the war the Carter family lived in Larches Avenue.

Recorded: 7 December 2005. Time: 39 min. File size: 35 MB


Alf Mole was born in 1934 and brought up in Lorne street (No. 120). He recalls WW2 experiences in Kidderminster as a youth.

Recorded: 16 January 2006. Time: 1hr 16 min. File size: 69 MB