Conversations in the Dining Room
Emma Knytleigh: In an attempt to record the current history of Stoney Grove a number of interviews and conversations will be recorded with some of the people who have connections with the estate. Accordingly the Dining Room has been supplied with hidden microphones and recording equipment to allow the process to take place in as natural a setting as possible. Participants are, of course, aware that conversations are being recorded.
Conversation with Frank Churchill 20/9/99. Present EK, FC.
EK: You have been at Stoney Grove for fourteen years, correct?
FC: Not really sure, it all rather blends in the middle.
EK: But you were friends with Monty Hall and came to stay here after leaving your job as a English Literature teacher.
FC: Do we have to do this Emma? Why don't you just come back to the Hermitage?
EK: Let's keep this professional, shall we. I'm just interested in the life of the people at Stoney Grove. Oral history is very important, you should know about that. If you won't talk to me privately then I'll appeal to your sense of history.
FC: But I can't tell you what I know. Mr. Hall told me things in confidence.
EK: Frank, I want to understand something about everyone that was here. It doesn't have to be published, but it's important to know about the people that spent their lives here. Did Mr. Hall know who John's father was?
FC: He said she had many gentlemen callers.
EK: Any that are still in the village?
FC: Well Bobby Archer, now Sergeant Archer, of course. Nigel Banks too, as well as Jerry Anderson and Lumpy Gaites.
EK: What did he say about them?
FC: Well Nigel was always fond of the wine. Lumpy was a hopeless romantic, writing her love poems and things. I think they thought Bobby Archer was nicking things. Jerry spent as much time looking at the paintings as he did at Elizabeth.
EK: Did Mr. Hall know the father, or were they considered the cast of possible suspects?
FC: He suspected who it was, but they all called at the house. Elizabeth was a bit spoiled, and I think things got a little wild with drink and drugs.
EK: You know my opinion on that front! But why did she go away?
FC: Mr. Hall said he thought it was the right thing to do. I think he always regretted it, but he thought it was the best thing for her. He was very fond of Betsy and her death was a great shock to him.
EK: Did he help John when he was born?
FC: He said he could hardly bear to see him, but I know he sent money and John visited the house as a boy.
EK: Does Shirley know the father?
EK: Frank are you drifting off? Does Shirley know the father?
FC: Oh yes. Shirley knows the child's father.