PEOPLE

Tania Kovats

Robin Mills met Tania Kovats at Luppitt, East Devon ‘I was born in Whitehalk in Brighton but spent most of my childhood in Patcham, close to the Sussex Downs. My mother is English, my Dad Hungarian. When war broke out in 1939 his family faced a terrible decision: their oldest son would remain in Hungary, but they would get their youngest out of the country. At the age of nineteen he was moving across war ravaged Europe, sometimes in camps for prisoners of war with other displaced people. He saw nothing ...

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Donald Campbell

Julia Mear met Donald Campbell in Colyton ‘I was born in London and a lot of my growing up there involved birdwatching on Hampstead Heath, watching cricket at Lords, football at Spurs and Arsenal. We were a big family, five children and I was the youngest. During the war, a rocket landed across the road from us and buried us all in our beds. Of course, at eight years old I thought this was very exciting. I was at prep school in Buckinghamshire, I always played lots of sport and ...

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Jenny Halling Barnard

Robin Mills met Jenny Halling Barnard at the Dorset History Centre, Dorchester ‘My Mum and Dad met in Botswana where they were both teaching. Dad’s Danish and Mum’s a Bristolian. They both have itchy feet and love travelling, and I think some of that has rubbed off on me. They returned to Denmark where they had my sister, and then a year later to Bristol where I arrived. When I was 9 we left Bristol for Chard, and I haven’t lived anywhere longer than four years since then. At 12 we moved ...

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Maddy Irvine

‘I had a wonderful childhood, born and brought up in Virginia Water in Surrey, which seemed at that time to be like a real village. My dad was a baker, and his shop, Wentworth Patisserie, was one in a parade of shops that also included a butcher, chemist, ironmonger and greengrocer. My young life revolved around my horse and my donkey, Pip and Misty, and that meant that I spent most of my time outdoors. Whatever the weather we’d ride our bikes to see to the horses, maybe go for ...

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Giles Aspinall

‘I was brought up in the West Midlands, just north of Telford, so I’m not a local boy. Telford’s maybe not the best address but is in fact steeped in history, with the Ironbridge Gorge nearby. I was lucky to have a very nice upbringing, and we lived quite deep in the countryside. However we were surrounded mainly by intensively farmed monoculture so I didn’t really learn a lot about nature as a child, but later in life in my twenties I became fascinated. My parents were very into self-sufficiency ...

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