Recordings of George and Dorcas Juggins Reminiscing
They lived in a ruinous cottage near Oakridge - which was destroyed in the fire in which Dorcas died two months after her husband succumbed to a heart-attack. They had no main's water, gas or electricity. they cooked by paraffin or on the fire; water came from a nearby brook or from a neighbour; illumination was by oil-lamp. Dorcas could neither read nor write, though George could do both after a fashion.
Their cottage looked squalid to the passer-by, but it was home to them and in their own way they tended it. In many ways the two were utterly different. George was a dandy, with an air about him which could not be destroyed by battered and ill fitting clothes: a lively extrovert who loved to be be the centre of attention; fond of dancing and only too willing to re-enact as a solo the "talking pictures" which he loved to attend - which, be it said, were totally unrecognisable in his version. Dorcas was reserved, dour, pugnacious and fiery when roused, as she easily could be. Both were physically rather small; both utterly unselfconscious about their often bizarre appearance.
Yet it is impossible to imagine either married to anybody else. Though they constantly argued, they were devoted to each other, and Dorcas often remarked to us that George was "the best 'usbun ever to walk in shoes". Their marriage lasted more than fifty years, and their deaths were not separated by more than weeks.
Their passing produced a sense of loss throughout their district - tinged, one suspects, with a certain feeling of guilt in those who had made mock of them while they were alive.
To us they were friends like others: we found them original and refreshing in a world in which individuality seems steadily to decrease. George was a free talker to anybody who would listen, and Dorcas could open up when she knew and liked you. We are glad that we have so much material recorded with them, both on tape and film: something went out of life when the Juggins' were no longer there.
Peter and June Turner
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