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Interviewed by Lynne Cairncross 8 June 2010
Joan married John Downes in 1952 and has lived most of her married life at the historic property Brownlow Hill with its carefully preserved house and gardens. Joan has been involved in Red Cross and has a long connection with St Paul's Anglican Church at Cobbitty.
This audio file is an extract from an interview. The full interview can be found in the Camden Council Library collection. Go to catalogue entry ...
Joan:....So the church has always been a big, an important part of our family.
Lynne: And you’ve also been on the flower roster for a long time.
Joan: Yes, I have. At the moment I’m the one who seems to keep an eye on it all, and I just make sure somebody is doing the flowers every week. We just do one vase on the altar each week with some sort of – whatever flowers we’ve got at that time in our gardens. And so that’s all....
Lynne: What are most of the cut flowers that you would take from your garden? What do you have that you...?”
Joan: Well, I’ve mostly got roses. But they’re not always roses. There’s sometimes just a mixture of things; that I walk round and I can get a few bits that sort of connect up with one another and make it a reasonable vase. It’s not a very big vase, so it doesn’t take very many flowers. And so that’s....
Lynne: What happens when there’s absolutely nothing in flower?
Joan: Well, I was just thinking about a couple of Sundays ago, which is the winter. And there are few, very few, with the dryness and everything. And one of the people who does it just found autumn leaves, and they were so pretty. They were - there with the window, and the sun on the window behind, seemed to sort of reflect into and amongst the leaves, which was such a pretty arrangement that she had done. So, this week I was doing them and I had enough roses – just the very end of the roses, really. I had enough to do with a bit of greenery. So that was alright. It’s just a matter of whatever is there, just to do them. Sometimes its special occasions like Christmas and Easter, when we do put in a few more, and various people help.