Hiscox, Josie (b.1918)

Josie’s family, the Hippisleys of Glastonbury, lived at Wick, where her father was a farm worker.  When Josie left school, she wanted to attend Cannington College to learn cheese making, but had to go into domestic service in Glastonbury to help support her family.


Josie started making rag rugs from old clothes during the war years.  Her husband made a frame on which she made the rugs.  Josie donated a collection of rag rugs to the SRLM, Glastonbury.

Josie Hiscox with her rag rugs. Josie Hiscox with her rag rugs.
Sound File
Listen to Josie Hiscox - 1.75MB Duration 3:48 min.

JH: Well then mother, she was taken ill. She had a, well she was what was it? She had a, a broken ulcer or something, but in her stomach. I, I can’t remember what it was, but she was pretty ill, and, well, that put paid to my cheese-making! So, after that, we, well I went to Hartlake Farm, you know, after Mother was better and that, looking after a little girl, Ann Thorold. And that was the daughter of Miss Somers that was. She married Mr Thorold, Thorold, T-H-O-R-O-L-D, and I stayed with looking after Ann until she was, big enough, I suppose, to go to school.


And then what happened then? Well I, when she was big enough to go to school, I think I helped in the house, doing the housework and that because it was a, a farm, farmhouse, you see. And then Mr and Mrs Thorold, they sold up the farm and went to, Tunbridge Wells was it? They went away and then Mr and Mrs Dewhurst that owned the pottery, the brick a tile pottery at Glastonbury, that’s the, the bungalow is still there but all the pottery is gone, the, the kilns, everything, all that’s gone. It’s below the cemetery. And well, I worked there right up until, until I left I suppose to... No, mother had a cottage left her in Pilton and, we lived there part-time and went back to Glastonbury part-time, you know, down to the family.


And Captain and Mrs Franks, they knew, well the, the old man died that belonged to the house and they knew about him, you see. And they came and asked me if, Mrs Franks and Miss, Captain Franks, they asked me if I'd go and work for them for a month, because they had holiday people. They’d let their house for a month to holiday people. This was before the war, just about the, the year before the war, I suppose started, or whether it was the war year, I can’t remember.


Anyway, I went there and, looked after this, it was an elderly couple that was renting the Monk`s Mill (Pilton), that’s down round by the church there. And, I think from eight to twelve I was there for, you know, doing their breakfast and cleaning up and making myself useful more or less! And the well that went on. Then when that month was up, Captain and Mrs Franks asked me would I come on for good? So Mr and Mrs Dewhurst, I think they, they were more or less retiring, so I stayed on with Captain and Mrs Franks and, well then...


MG: Could you tell me what you did when you were working at the pottery?


JH: I didn’t work in there. It, it was in the bungalow. The, the owners of the pottery, their names were, Dewhurst.


MG: So you helped them in their bungalow?


JH: In the bungalow. I did the, I was still there from eight to, eight to two I think it was. Well, then at two o’clock, after they’d had their lunch and I'd had mine and everything, I’d cleared up and was away. I was away home then and then helping out back at Wick. I, and I rode me bicycle.

Copyright Information
Copyright. This recording was made by Mary Gryspeerdt in November 1991. Photograph ©SRLM. For access to full interview please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre.