Viv Mason, née Jones, lived at Merryvale House in Ashfield during her childhood in the 1930s and 1940s. Viv and her mother Dorothy were prolific collectors of material; and thanks to their efforts we now have an extensive collection of material from her childhood, especially the time of World War II and the following years.

Viv's father, John Robert Jones, was a gifted and energetic engineer who moved from Kensington in London to renovate "Merrivale Cottages", which at the time was in a poor state. His mother, Kate Jones, also moved to the village, to live at (the house now known as) "The Poplars".

John Robert Jones became a special constable; both he and Dorothy were very active in the second world war, helping to organise bodies such as the Air Raid Precautions organisation.