Hind's Head pub, Kingston Bagpuize.
The village was very small in those days with very few houses and it was all agricultural of course. Their biggest trade was early in the morning. They used to be up about 6 for the men going to work they used to come in on the cold mornings and have rum, I’ve heard him say and then they used to come in at lunch-time and have lumps of bread and cheese and beer for their lunch. When he first moved in the very first thing he sold was something quite unusual. They were building the school and one of the men fell off one of the planks and they rushed to him for brandy.
Hinds Head pub, Kingston Bagpuize.
I was in the pub with my father from 1919 until I married in 1931 then I went away with my husband and came back in 1939. My husband was in the army and went to the war and I stayed with my father because my mother was an invalid. I stayed until the end of the war during which time my mother died. When my husband came out of the army we couldn’t leave my father so he made it over to us. I never liked it at all. I never liked the life in the pub but we just couldn’t leave my father.
There was an aerodrome here during the war. They had gliders there after that it was taken over and a big camp was built by the Americans. We had a lot of Americans during the war and then after the war they had a lot of Poles for a while and then it was taken over by men who were building Harwell, which were nearly all Irishmen of course and they were good drinkers. We used to have our beer in on a Tuesday and we’d open that night for an hour, perhaps Wednesday for an hour or an hour and a half and then we wouldn’t have any more and we’d just keep enough for Sunday lunchtime. This was for about 4 years because we just couldn’t get the beer. On the nights we had beer it was hectic but of course a lot of them used to go further We didn’t have any trouble with them. It wasn’t a pleasant life because you were upsetting the locals, that was the trouble.
In 1972 Violet Viney was interviewed by John Simpson of BBC Radio Oxford. Here is the transcript of her interview.