Kendal-Mann remembers churning up a wasp’s nest

The Kendal Oral History Group has set itself the goal of recreating a picture of earlier times through the recorded memories of the area’s elderly residents. Harry Holmes was born in 1920. He was interviewed in October 2000:

He was 10 years younger and I had to drag Bill around with me most of the time.

One day we were walking along the canal bank and it was summer and the canal was a little dry and we see this wasp nest.

Bill was standing on the bank so we started pelting the nest with stones.

We kicked those wasps up.

They blamed Bill so they came out and stabbed him all over.

I had a can and poured water on it to keep the wasps away.

Anyway, he got stung, he had bumps and he was crying like hell, so we went up the canal.

The canal master had his house up there.

We knocked on the door, the keeper’s wife answered and I said, “Wasps stung me, brother.”

“Come on in, my boy,” she said and she got a blue dolly and put that blue dolly over him, his arms, his face and his legs and everything, and I followed him home, pushed him through the door.

My mother went crazy.

It [the dolly blue] took away the swelling.

The mill race used to be down the other side of Aynam Road and when they shut down the mill race more water came the other way and there were steps down to the warehouses where they used to have to wash the wool.

We were flooded almost every year.

The flood didn’t bother us much.

We used to have a new linoleum from insurance every year.

And we would pull up.

There was an inn down in the courtyard, and my father played the piano there, so every September he would take out the trestles and boards and they would bring the neighbors in and lift the piano up on those trestles.

We picked up the mats and then waited for the tide to come in.

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