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ORAL HISTORY - MOLLY MORRIS - WEDNESDAY 13 AUGUST 1997.

Molly was born in Elvendon Road, Goring in June 1918. She worked at Site 2, after the war, in a clerical position. She was Molly Elms then. The jobs were classified as unskilled, semi skilled and skilled. The lowest was labourer skilled and unskilled, then storeman and then clerical.

As MU was part of Milton the year must have been 1947 at the earliest. She was known as Molly 1 and Molly Russell was Molly 2. Their present home at No.2 Cleevedown was built in 1954 and both she and her husband cannot recall her going to Woodcote from the house. Therefore she must have left 70MU in 1954 at the latest.

Her 1st/ex husband was a Warrant Officer in the RAF. She and Mr Morris presumably married and moved to 2 Cleevedown in 1954. During the period to 1954 she lived in the cottage next to the Queens Arms Hotel by the railway station. The cottage has since been demolished and now forms one of the bars in the extended hotel. Molly used to catch the RAF bus outside the hotel which called at 7.45am so that they could clock on at 8am. She left at 6pm in time for dinner.

She recalls the Search Buildings (Building No.65). Random checks and searches were made of the workers as they left the sites. Sometimes the RAF Police, who conducted the searches, would run down the road as workers were boarding the bus at the stop and pull them off and ask them to come back for a search. She remembers the RAF Police especially Bill China who has since died.

She worked in an office inside the Transportation Shed (Site 2, Building No.20A), not in the building outside (Building No.70). She wrote out the convoy notices. Her sister Daphne and husband worked at 70MU. He was Mr. O'Keefe and was a civilian driver and would make deliveries by RAF lorry to places as far away as Cornwall, Suffolk and Scotland and would be away for days. Molly also wrote out the convoy notices for overseas RAF bases such as Nicosia and Akrotiri, both in Cyprus. It appears that the notices were mainly for furniture. The Drivers would collect the goods from the sheds 1 to 38 and take them to the Transportation Shed for one of her notes before going to the UK RAF bases or to the RAF Transport Command bases (eg Lyneham, Wilts) for overseas bases.

Molly also worked with Molly Russell in the Sub Site Office (Site 2, Building No.62C).

Molly was on the Canteen Committee that consisted of a few people who made the arrangement for the canteen. This included making arrangements for dances. She thinks that they had their own RAF Band. Once when the cook was ill, she was called from Site No.2 as a member of the Committee to resolved the position. She did all the cooking that day.

She remembers the dances as she enjoyed them immensely. She and her sister would cycle to the dances held in the canteen at the HQ site. No buses were laid on for these events. She recalled one incident when her sister was riding the bike home at midnight and she was on the cross bar - they were coming down White Hill into Goring and the front wheel hit a stone. They both went over the handlebars and into the ditch. She went to the VE dance in the Canteen.

She recalls that mostly civilians staffed the site although she remembers that there were some Indian Air Force and South African Air Force workers there. She does not remember the Italian Prisoners of War as they had all left by then.

The Whitley Council was a modern day Arbitration Body. It was an offshoot of the Trade Union and Congress Party and acted as a liaison organisation between the armed forces and the labour force.

Molly recalls the lack of toilets and the practice of nipping into the woods for a pee. She remembers once when she and Ella Webb did just that and just as she was getting ready she heard a 'hiss' behind her. She turned around to see an Adder and with that they both took off. She also remembers when there used to be a lot of deer running wild in the woods. Once when on the RAF bus was travelling from one site it shuddered to a halt as a large buck deer jumped in front of it as it crossed the road. The doe and finally the baby deer followed him.

She does not recall the cinema but feels that they probably did have film shows in the canteen. She cannot recall ever seeing a film there herself. She remembers the Fire Drills, the annual inspections. She, like Molly Russell, never knew what the blast shelters were for which is understandable if she was there from 1947 to 1954.

She also remembers Mr. Goldsmid and says that everyone hated him. He was troublesome at all times as all he wanted was his land back and to get rid of the HQ Site opposite his house.

She remembers Joan Slade, Vera Robbins, Big George and Little George who emptied the toilets.

After 70MU Molly worked at the Taylor Penn factory. She also worked for Sir Beachcroft Towse of Long Meadow, Goring (See Whos Who).

From the above information she dates the Molly 2 photo between the dates of 1947 to 1954. Molly White thought it was taken after the war also, but was swayed by Vera Robbins who had written 1957 on the back of hers. Akrotiri was built in 1956 to relieve the overcrowding of Nicosia. If Molly 1 remembers writing out convoy notes for Akrotiri then perhaps the date of 1957 is correct after all.

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