Essex: Latest life story is published as part of oral history project

A MUCH loved character has had his memoirs published as part of a project to revive Clavering’s life stories.

Fred Sampford recorded his memories in 2008 for the Clavering Remembered series of oral history booklets, but died last year before it could be published.

Illustrated with photos from his own albums, the account tells the story of Mr Sampford’s varied career in farming, catering and decorating, and his 22 years as caretaker of Clavering Village Hall where he got to know a wide range of people. His story offers a unique insight into village life and local characters from a very different world.

At the book launch on Saturday, Mr Sampford’s lifelong friend Jack Livings sent a tribute, saying: “He was one of the best loved characters in our village and did many helpful things for our organisations and would always be ready to help at any event – he was a good village man.

“He was also a faithful supporter of our Royal British Legion and the Alzheimers Society, who sadly miss him as do many others – an honest, cheerful and good-humoured man who loved his family.”

The booklet is the third to be released by the Clavering Oral History Project, organised by Clavering History Group. Based on interviews with local residents and detailing their respective life stories, the publications seek to revive memories of Clavering. The earlier two books in the series tell the life stories of villagers Olwen Livings and George Barker.

All the books cost �4 plus 80p pp, and are available by e-mailing Joy Barrow at