Oral Histories Project

Main Street, Bradford, OntarioThe Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library’s Local History department has digitized old audio tapes, which include various interviews conducted with residents of the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury. These tapes are comprised of various interesting stories on everyday life in Bradford and surrounding areas over the past century.

Accompanying these recordings are written transcripts outlining each conversation in detail and available below. Due to the age of the tapes, the sound quality of some may be a bit poor. These transcripts are provided to facilitate listening and complement the audio recording. All of these transcripts have been compiled into a book, which we have catalogued for anyone interested in reading them in a collected format.

Do you have any corrections or comments on any of these oral histories and/or their transcripts? Please let us know by sending an email to bwgmailbox@bradford.library.on.ca.

Oral Histories

  • Apperley, Fred – Cookstown 1974 SCA #11 and 15
    An interview with Mr. Fred Apperley, discussing Cookstown in regard to pollution and politics. Emphasizes Mr. Apperley’s childhood in Cookstown.
    [ MP3PDF ]
  • Apperley, Fred – Cookstown 1974 (Short)
    An interview with Mr. Fred Apperley, discussing common household chores in regards to the 1970’s.
    [ MP3 PDF ]
  • Asselin, Mike
    An interview with Mr. Mike Asselin, discussing his upbringing, specifically working with his father as a young man.
    MP3 / PDF ]
  • Bateman, Dave
    An interview with Mr. Dave Bateman, focusing on Bond Head and remembering roads when they were newly built.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Baynes, Majorie
    An interview with Ms. Majorie Baynes discussing the Baynes’ family tree in detail.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Constable, Blake and Ken Tupling – Baseball
    An interview with Mr. Blake Constable featuring Mr. Ken Tupling. Topic of discussion is Baseball in Bradford, specifically mentioning teams from Barrie, Bradford, Alliston and Cookstown.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Coutts, Isobel and Norrie
    An interview with Ms. Isobel and Ms. Norrie Coutts, discussing their childhoods and the Scotch Settlement house in which they grew up in.
    MP3PDF ]
  • DeWilde, Renee
    An interview with Mr. Renee DeWilde, discussing working in the tobacco industry in the 1930-40’s.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Eek, John
    An interview with Mr. John Eek discussing Mr. Eek’s farming life and the trials and tribulations that arose along with it.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Fennell, John – 11th line 2002
    An interview with Mr. John Fennell discussing farming, particularly growing Ontario apples and the tools made to cut wood.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Fuller, Tom
    An interview with Mr. Tom Fuller discussing old farming artifacts.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Goodwin, Eldon – Marsh 1996
    An interview with Mr. Eldon Goodwin discussing the Holland Marsh in the 1920’s and 30’s.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Hurricane Hazel – Part One
    An interview with many residents’ accounts of Hurricane Hazel. Specifying different memories on Bradford’s assistance to other towns, and the recovery effort.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Hurricane Hazel – Part Two
    An interview specifically with Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Evans recounting their experiences with Hurricane Hazel.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Jermey, Dalton
    An interview with Mr. Dalton Jeremey discussing his life, specifically his time with the Town Council of Bradford.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Little, Dr. W.C.
    An interview with Dr. Bill Little, outlining his accomplishments as a coroner and doctor in Barrie.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Lloyd, Edgar – Mount Pleasant
    An interview with Mr. Edgar Lloyd about Mount Pleasant, specifically about the founding families and Mount Pleasant recreation.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Lower, Professor Arthur
    An interview with Professor Arthur Lower, discussing what it was like living in Barrie in the 1930’s.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Malcolmson, Bill – Transportation
    An interview with Mr. Bill Malcolmson describing buggies in the 1910’s. Specifically mentioning different parts of the buggy, and what each part did.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Malcolmson, Bill – The Depression
    An interview with Mr. Bill Malcolmson discussing how The Depression has affected Barrie, specifically the price of cars and buggies in the 1920’s and 30’s.
    MP3PDF ]
  • McKinstry, Mikey
    An interview with Mr. Mikey McKinstry describing specific parts of Holland Landing and Bradford.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Neilly, Sam – Gilford, November 2001
    An interview with Mr. Sam Neilly discussing where his friends and family lived in accordance to the present map of Gilford.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Nobel, Keith and Betty – January 24, 1991
    An interview with Mr. Keith and Mrs. Betty Nobel about family. Emphasizing a story of the Spence Lumber Company.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Saint, Joe – Miram Swan
    This is an interview with Mr. Joe Saint about different Bradford Properties, specifically the Jeff Homestead and the Strafford’s home.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Saint, Joe – Moore Street
    An interview with Mr. Joe Saint describing what Moore Street used to look like in the 1920’s in regards to houses and churches.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Saint, Joe – Selby Cemetery
    An interview with Mr. Joe Saint, discussing Selby Cemetery, specifically tombstones and waterproof wood.
    MP3PDF ]
  • Saint, Ken
    An interview with Mr. Ken Saint discussing the Saint family tree.
    [ MP3PDF ]
  • Sturgeon, Valetta – 1991
    An interview with MS. Valetta Sturgeon describing her childhood and growing up in Bradford West Gwillimbury.
    [ MP3PDF ]
  • Sturgeon, Valetta – Number Two
    This interview includes the same content as the “Valetta Sturgeon 1991” interview, although this transcription includes more detail on household chores.
    [ MP3PDF ]
  • Taylor, Harold
    And interview with Mr. Harold Taylor discussing the Holland Marsh, specifically Professor Day farming lettuce and the building of the Marsh.
    [ MP3PDF ]
  • Turner, Irene
    An interview with Ms. Irene Turner discussing her upbringing, specifically details about her father growing up.
    [ MP3PDF ]
  • West, John- October 29, 1996
    An interview with Mr. and Mrs. John West, discussing harvesting onions, potatoes and carrots, with mentions on the harvesting machines that were used in farming such vegetables.
    [ MP3PDF ]