Elsie Ada Sinfield (1905-c.2000): oral history audio recording.
EAS’s childhood home backed on to the Wolverton Works’ Laundry and the children used to talk to the laundresses, who included her sister-in-law, through the railings. Her brother George worked for the Stony Stratford Ambulance and joined the Royal Medical Corps at the start of World War One. He served in Egypt and, whilst there, was confirmed by the Bishop of Jerusalem. Her brother Sidney was disabled as a child by an abscess on his spine, which was treated at the London Hospital by means of a plaster of Paris cast, before being operated upon at home by Dr Hope. He died in the 1918 ‘flu epidemic.
Canon Hartnett was at St George’s Church when EAS joined the congregation. She remembered the “Canon Hartnett Prize”, an illustrated Bible, which was awarded to the best pupil in the top class at school. He had three daughters: Kathleen, who married Reverend Woodhouse, who later became a bishop; Sylvia, who didn’t marry; and Marigold, who married a man in the “Air Force”. The curate was known as “Mickey Barford”, a “dear old soul”, who lived in Victoria Street with his housekeeper, Miss Walker, who was “a big one for missions”. EAS knew of Father Guest and him riding his bike down Bradwell Hill. In her experience, the protestant churches mixed socially, but the Catholics “kept to themselves”.
At McCorquodales, EAS started in the “Inland Revenue” department. After three months she was moved to the “envelope room”, where she was appointed to the “Union Committee”. Later she worked in printing and envelope folding until, in her last two years, when she felt unable to operate the heavy machinery, she worked in “window-cutting”.
She was friendly with Ivy Johnson, Mabel Archer and also Catherine Ager, with whom she used to have dinner at McCorquodales after her mother died. She remembered Mabel Archer living in Aylesbury Street with her mother and later married to Albert Brown. She recalled MA as a “lovely woman” who “knowed what she was doing”. She could not remember whether it was MA or Sis Axby (Mrs Baldwin) who called them out for the General Strike. Later she visited MA when she was resident in the same retirement home as EAS’s aunt.