Connie was born at Fledgesoft Farm in Whittlesey, where she lived wither her mum, Sarah, dad, Samuel and Brother, who was also named Samuel.
In her early years, she attended Broad Street School before continuing her studies at Peterborough Road School, a local all-girls school. Her favourite lesson was cooking as she enjoyed learning the different recipes, but wasn’t so fond of maths.
Connie’s family were smallholders, meaning they owned a small farm and she remembers the horses, cows, pigs, goats and other animals they had. She has memories of helping her Auntie Alice and Grandfather Cheshire, milk the cows each week to produce butter and dairy. The farm also grew a range of crops, which they used to sell to locals, including wheat, straw, barley, corn, potatoes and many other vegetables.
Most of Connie’s first jobs involved working on the family farm, but when she was 14, she took a role in House Service, meaning she would look after a family, cook their dinner and ensure the place was always clean and tidy. Her Auntie Alice had inspired her with different recipes, which certainly they came in handy during her time there.
When the war broke out, Connie worked back on the farm alongside women who had travelled up from London. They all became friends very quickly and after spending time in the countryside, they decided not to move back to London, so they stayed in Whittlesey and later in life, married men from the local town.
After working on the farm for a while, Connie tried out some different jobs, including factory roles and one based at a Brickyard. Both of these roles paid more money than land work, but remebers having to work hard and fast.
Some years later, Connie met Neville and they connected instantly. They were very happy together and married soon after at the registry office in Whittlesey.
The couple then moved in with Neville’s dad and brother where they stayed for a number of years. Neville’s dad also grew fruit and vegetables for a living and sold them on a stall he owned in Peterborough. After the war, both Connie and Neville worked for him, helping to grow and sell the fresh fruit and veg. Connie remembers this being a tough job, as she would work 6 days a week from 7 am to 4:30 pm throughout the summer months.
In her spare time, Connie would make jams and cakes, which she won a selection of rosettes for at local competitions. This was a treat for their three children Maureen, Pricilla & David, as they would often get to sample the cakes and different types of jam before being entered into the contest.
With a glow in her cheeks, Connie talked of fond memories watching Neville and his father work, while she brought tea and cake to keep them going.
Now living at Aliwal Manor Care Home, Connie says she is extremely happy and loves the food. Her secret to staying happy throughout her life was working on the land, she said, as this kept her active and breathing fresh air. A positive attitude towards trying new things helps too, she said – something she definitely still practices here at Aliwal Manor.