Kendal Oral History Group aims to compile a picture of earlier times through the recorded memories of the area’s older residents. Harry Holmes was born in 1920. He was interviewed in October 2000:

I GOT my brother Bill into a hell of a state sometimes!

He was 10 years younger and I used to have to cart Bill around with me most of the time.

One day we were walking along the canal banks and it was summertime and the canal had dried out a little and we see this wasps' nest.

Bill was standing on the bank so we started throwing stones at the nest.

We stirred these wasps up.

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

I had a tin and I was chucking water on him to keep the wasps off.

Anyway, he got stung, he’d lumps all over him and he was crying like hell, so we went up the top of the canal.

The canal head keeper used to have his cottage up there.

We knocked on the door, the keeper’s wife answered, and I said: "Wasps have been stinging me brother."

"Come in, me lad," she said and she got a dolly blue and put this dolly blue all over him, his arms, his face and his legs and everything, and I trailed him back home, pushed him through the door.

Me mother went mad.

It [the dolly blue] took the swelling out.

The mill race used to run down the other side of Aynam Road and, if they closed the mill race, more water would come round the other way and there was steps down to the warehouses where they used to have to wash the wool.

We were flooded nearly every year.

The floodwater didn’t bother us much.

We used to have new lino every year off the insurance.

And we'd move upstairs.

There was a lodging house at the bottom of the yard, me dad used to play the piano in there, so about every September he used to get the trestles and the planks out, and they used to get the neighbours in and lift the piano up onto these trestles.

We would take the mats up and then wait for the flood.