PEOPLE

Julia Hailes

Robin Mills met Julia Hailes at her home in Hooke, West Dorset. 'My father was a prisoner of war, captured in Dunkirk at the age of 19. Apparently, he became expert at picking locks and tried to escape a few times, but he wouldn’t really tell us much about his five years in captivity. His army career continued after the war in Palestine, Malaya and Singapore, where he met my mother. Her route there was a rather surprising one, given that it wasn’t very common for women to travel the world ...

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Clive Farrell

I was born and brought up in Cambridge. My father was in the RAF during the war, afterwards becoming a flying instructor. I am blessed with probably the most generous father in the world; he always had time for us four children, the most unselfish person I’ve ever known. He’s still alive – he’s 98. He always encouraged an interest in natural history in us, and we were well educated, although by the time our education was finished he’d run out of funds. I used to bemoan my lack of ...

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Louisa Hawker

Robin Mills met Louisa Hawker at her home in Salwayash, Dorset ‘I’m a Dorset person, born and bred. I was born in the old Dorchester maternity hospital, Somerleigh Court, quite some time after my older brother and sister. We were brought up on a farm just outside Beaminster, and I had a glorious childhood of farm animals, ponies and dogs. My father was something of an experimental farmer, and went to Cambridge to study agriculture. He then went to India, to teach farmers how to grow pineapples—in the middle of Calcutta racecourse—and ...

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Nik Ryan

Julia Mear met Nik Ryan in Seaton ‘I was born in Stockport near Manchester. When I was seven we relocated to Henley-on-Thames with my dad’s work in IT. This was around the time I started picking up the guitar and messing around with it. No-one in my family ever owned an instrument, but a neighbour ended up giving me a guitar. I’d probably seen The Monkees on TV and would have been emulating that on a broom handle or something similar. I had an elder brother Paul, 8yrs older than me, ...

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Matilda Temperley

‘I grew up at Burrow Hill, near Huish Episcopi, on my family’s cider farm, a carefree and creative early life. My siblings (Alice, Mary and Henry) and I had what people sometimes describe as a feral childhood, but we would all consider idyllic. We were always involved in anything happening on the farm. Aside from helping out with farm jobs we used to cause all sorts of trouble, which seemed to be tolerated as long as it was outside. We would spend hours roaming the moors, and at the farm ...

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