There are so many times during an oral history interview when you hear a story that makes you stop in your tracks. Joan’s story of her trip to her local butchers in Charlton, south east London in 1944 was one of those stories.  It’s an example of one of those twists of fate which happen in everyone’s life … if I hadn’t gone to that bar on that day I would never have met the love of my life, husband and father of my children….those kind of stories.

I so enjoyed meeting and interviewing Joan.  She was born in Dublin in 1933 and her family moved to London in the 1930’s.  She had the experience of being evacuated to Leicester at the age of 10 and placed with an elderly couple who treated her as an unwanted extra in the household.  What saved Joan from this dreadful and painful time was visiting the local library and escaping into a world of books and reading.  Luckily when her family discovered how unhappy she was, they came to rescue her and she spent the rest of the war years in London.

In this extract from the interview, you will hear Joan telling the story of her trip to the butchers.