Kendal Oral History Group aims to compile a picture of earlier times through the recorded memories of the area’s older residents. Joyce Woodhouse was born in 1923 and interviewed in 2011:

WE LIVED at Oxenholme.

Christmas Day, we used to go to church in the morning. After we’d opened our presents and had our Christmas dinner, we used to walk to Heversham. It was a very small cottage but all the families went. My father was one of five and they all had children. So we all went to Aunt Patty’s at Sedgwick. Uncle Jim had a crystal set and, at six o’clock, when the news was on, nobody had to speak. Then Father Christmas came - usually one of the parents - and the year my father was Father Christmas I was crying my eyes out because daddy was missing Santa Claus.

After Aunt Patty died, we all went to Auntie May’s, who lived on the top of the hill at Leasgill, for Christmas. We walked all the way there, but we walked a different way every year. My father decided we’d go this way one year and that way another year. We used to hate it. We had our party frocks and didn’t want to get them wet. We walked on the roads, they were very quiet in those days. We’d sometimes go round by Hincaster, sometimes go through Levens Park, but it was mainly narrow country lanes. Then one year we said 'we’ll go by bus', 'cause they ran buses on Sunday then.

We walked all the way to the top of Hawes Lane only to see the bus go across the top of the road before we got there, so we had to walk all the way there yet again. Then we had an uncle who had a car and he used to take us to and from Auntie May’s.

She had a long table spread with beautiful food, everything you could imagine to eat, and lovely crackers. She always had very good crackers with nice things on the outside of them. Than we all went into the other room, so we played charades and things like that and the adults sometimes played whist.

We also had a little party at school with Mrs Fothergill, one of the governors. She always gave us a bag with an orange, a new sixpence and something else which we took home with us.