Frampton, Elsie (b.1898)
Elsie Frampton and her son Alan farmed in Ashcott near Glastonbury. The Framptons ran a milk round until 1952. Using a bicycle, they delivered to customers who would come out with their jugs to be filled with milk.  Elsie Frampton was given an Austin car in 1924; she learnt to drive when cars were rare on the roads in Somerset.  When Elsie was younger her uncle bought her a Governess pony trap, which was made in Bristol, they brought it back to Bridgwater by train.
Pony and trap c.1910. An important mode of transport well into the 1950s. Pony and trap c.1910. An important mode of transport well into the 1950s.
Sound File
Listen to Elsie Frampton - 1.52MB Duration 3:18 min.

EF: Then I had a pony to drive and a governess car, uncle bought me that and then pony got one night we had a terrific thunderstorm and she frightened and jumped the hedge and put her shoulder out.  And then we had nothing at all as you might say.  We looked after her and had the vet and of course people said get rid of her but we wouldn’t do that.  Kept her for some years and I drove her again her shoulder had [] over.


Then of course the cars came, well uncle bought me this little car of course well the pony got too old and we kept her until she died, funny thing if they have been hit cut by lightning they never get over that it always affects them again.  I think it did one night anyhow she just died. But I had a nice little governess car, uncle went up to Bristol and found where they made them and waited there with some old aunts, cousins of auntie’s they were, waited until this thing got ready, brought it down on the train.  Uncle came drove the horse and big cart and pony down to Bridgwater. I brought the big horse back and brought the pony back from Bridgwater.


EF: I was the first one that had a car around here, you know.  I was so frightened; I had a little Austin, £150.  And I was frightened to death I wouldn’t be able to drive it.  And uncle said if I could, if I could Mr Pursey taught me over at Street. He said, "If you can’t teach her to drive it I shan’t pay for the car". Oh my dear, you have no idea.


AH: How old were you when you had that?


EF: How old Alan?


AH: How old were you when you had the car?


EF: 1924 wasn't it Alan?


AF: Yes '24.


EF: When cars came along first.  A hundred and fifty pounds this little car was.  Well I was so grand you have no idea.  I did try and had the piano but there was no piano in me.  I wanted to be playing tennis all the time.  I did sit up to the piano with the two pedals, that was the clutch and that one was the brake and I had the poker. And I put my foot on you know to change the gears with the poker you see.  And I thought well that’s all right and I can do that and I can put the brake on and pretend to be going on.


Oh you have no idea, course go with Mr Pursey I had about three lessons.  I put on another pair of shoes I thought I would be a little bit grander, he said "You have got the wrong shoes on, we must go back, we must go back". We had to come back; nearly weeping I was to change these shoes.  Anyhow, four lessons I had and then had to bring the car back.  Well you see I couldn’t come up this lane cause I wanted all Ashcott to see me driving this car along.  So I came up all over right all round Ashcott and all down here with the car.  My dear you would have died, I was never so grand in all my life.

Copyright Information
Copyright. This recording was made by Ann Heeley in September 1987. Photograph ©SRLM. For access to full interview please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre.