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Barry Swift


Staying in Burngreave

Colour photograph of the face of Barry Swift.
Barry Swift © Carl Rose


Barry Swift has lived in Burngreave for most of his life. He was interviewed for the Burngreave Voices oral history archive. In this sound clip he describes how the area has changed over the years and what has made him stay.

This sound clip lasts for 2 minutes and 43 seconds.

No, I think the only other thing, if you just go back right to the very start of the Burngreave...sorry, society is very different obviously in Burngreave. I moved into this house in 1946. The road outside was like a rural lane. The hedge across the road grew right in, right out. If we saw three cars a day - that's all there was. There were little stone cottages across the road. Life has changed so much, and although I've lived in Burngreave for sixty years, perhaps down this end it's been a little more cut off from the... more difficult problems, there still have been some tremendous changes down here and I stayed in Burngreave. That's, I think, another thing which, it was a conscious decision. When we were first married, we actually looked for a house as near to church as we could find, bought a house on Scott Road. And I don't know how long we would have stayed there, we were in there just 15 months 'fore my father died and my mother needed to move to a smaller house - tried to sell 16 Crabtree Lane, here - couldn't. Catherine [daughter] was due in a month or two months and so we decided to buy it, because we thought it would make a good family home. And so I've been here ever since. When the children were small we tossed up what to do, whether we should move. We didn't, we decided our place was here in this area... and I, I don't regret it. I feel at home, obviously after all this time, but it's also important I've got my roots, and since I've been widowed - I never thought I should get used to being on my own. In fact it, I suppose it was the worst nightmare I ever had, being left on my own, and I found, by the simple expedient, I simply - as soon as Marjorie died, she'd very ill, she'd had a heart bypass and died within thirty six hours of the heart bypass. So she had been very ill and I decided if I were to go forward thinking what might have been, life would be unbearable, and it certainly wouldn't have been what she'd wanted me to do. And so I, as I put it, I closed a chapter of my life in1995, and it's worked for me. I, I've started a new chapter. I've got so used to looking after myself and don't think anyone can live with me now!

Extract from an interview with Barry Swift recorded by Jill Whitfield for the Burngreave Voices oral history project, January 2006.