Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Mrs Evelyn Chapple remembers surviving well during the Great Depression, interviewed in 1986

Mrs Evelyn Chapple, who was born in 1896, was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960' project. She remembers surviving well during the Great Depression of the 1930s because of income from real estate and her husband's employment at the Challenge Woollen Mills in Liverpool.

EVELYN: I was married in 1917, it's a long way back.

INTERVIEWER: So you had a family when the Depression came?

EVELYN: Yes, we had family and we obtained houses around and were letting property. Don't I know it. They [tenants] went out and left us owing money. One family owed us two years' money. My husband was soft, he'd say 'poor devils, you can't be hard on them, we've got money coming in and we've got a living and they've got nothing' and he'd let them go.

INTERVIEWER: Your husband's job wasn't affected at all?

EVELYN: They [other employees] went on three days a week, but my husband never ever went on any short time because he was making blankets and flannel for the military.

INTERVIEWER: So you wouldn't have noticed too much of a difference financially?

EVELYN: No, not at all. We had the same income coming all the time. The only thing is my husband wouldn't get any overtime once the Depression was on.

INTERVIEWER: What about the general feeling in Liverpool?

EVELYN: Well I never ever noticed it, because it didn't affect me at all.

Contributed By
(Excerpt from interview with Mrs Evelyn Chapple in 'Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960' conducted in 1986 by Liverpool City Council, editor and project co-ordinator Catherine Johnson ; researchers Angela Imbrosciano, Verica Miiosavijevic, Kathleen Smith.)