BNC Text FY4

Nottingham Oral History Project: interview. Sample containing about 7078 words speech recorded in leisure context

4 speakers recorded by respondent number C152

PS25H X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FY4PS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FY4PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
FY4PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 094703 recorded on unknown date. LocationNottinghamshire: Nottingham () Activity: Oral history project interview

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (FY4PSUNK) [1] And could you tell me when and where you were born, please?
(FY4PS000) [2] Yes, I was born in Lane at [...] Lane on the eleventh November, nineteen seventeen.
(PS25H) [3] And erm could you describe the house you were born in at all?
(FY4PS000) [4] Yes, it was a tt a very large semi-detached house [laugh] with erm a smallholding attached.
[5] My father was a miner but loved his garden and we had a big smallholding
(PS25H) [6] Mhm.
(FY4PS000) [7] all garden, and at the bottom was a streamlet, then had trout in it. [laugh] .
(PS25H) [8] So did you live with your parents, in your both your parent in your early life?
(FY4PS000) [9] Yes, erm, that was where I was born and er then when I was five my father erm hit a bad patch and he sold the house and er he decided to become a shoemaker in Baysford.
[10] And he and my mother had a disagreement about this and er the result was that my father became very ill and I went home to Grandma.
(PS25H) [11] And you you lived with your grandparents then?
(FY4PS000) [12] Yes, and then my father, when he had recovered a bit, he came to live with Grandma.
(PS25H) [13] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [14] And we I had a brother, a younger brother, as well.
(PS25H) [15] Mm.
[16] Were there?
[17] Did you ever get any feeling of sort of distaste from anybody about about y your mother leaving home?
(FY4PS000) [18] No.
[19] No.
[20] My father was [laugh] shall we say, well respected and er no, there was no There was never any query about it.
(PS25H) [21] Mm.
[22] So, you lived with your grandparents then.
[23] Was your grandfather a miner as well?
(FY4PS000) [24] Yes, my granda this was my second grandfather because my gra my own grandfather had died, before I was born, and my grandmother had married again and he was a he was the arm-setter at Colliery.
(PS25H) [25] Mm.
[26] And your father was a miner at this time, as well?
(FY4PS000) [27] Yes.
[28] And also in the house was Uncle my grandfather 's brother, Uncle Bill, who was er a winder at Colliery.
(PS25H) [29] Mm.
[30] So everybody was based at at , then?
(FY4PS000) [31] Yes.
(PS25H) [32] Do you have many memories of well, the men in the house, coming home from the pit, and talking about the conditions?
(FY4PS000) [33] M m yes, they talked about work [laughing] or work [] , and erm, but not about conditions particularly, and was a medium pit for conditions.
[34] They talked about conditions at which was a wet pit, and er how Hucknall was much better, anyhow and things like that.
[35] But great talk about Union activities.
(PS25H) [36] What were the Union activities?
(FY4PS000) [37] Er well, there was the highly immoral thing called overtime, erm if you had too much overtime you was keeping someone out of job.
[38] Er you wanted a fair number of hours and you wanted a fair wage.
[39] Er the Union was very [laughing] parochial [] .
(PS25H) [40] Mm.
[41] So the men in the house were all members of Nottingham Miners Association?
(FY4PS000) [42] Yes.
(PS25H) [43] What about the General Strike?
[44] I suppose the strike would be an early
(FY4PS000) [45] Well
(PS25H) [46] memory for you?
(FY4PS000) [47] Yeah.
[48] The General Strike, [laughing] it's a strange memory [] because I had to walk down Pad er now, erm I forget what the proper word is now, er it's called Walk, now [laugh] .
[49] [laughing] [...] sounds terr er terrible to me, [] because Pad was the way to Colliery, the last half mile along a dirt track.
[50] And er Granddad was on maintenance, of course, and I used to have to take his meals, so I used to go past the er picket, along with many other people who were busy coal [laughing] out of the pit tip [] .
[51] Er the picket was not as militant as it is now, and there were the talks of scabs, and things like that.
[52] But the Strike was, well we had the pit ponies up, and er we always used to go and feed them, and then we went, of course, to chapel for meals.
[53] I won't say soup kitchens because they weren't that at all, I mean, they weren't as civili You had a civilized meal, I know you sang grace before it, and said grace afterwards, but you had knifes, forks and spoons and chapel china.
(PS25H) [54] Mm.
[55] So how?
[56] Do you remember how your grandfather and father felt about the Strike?
(FY4PS000) [57] Erm yes, they er, they felt they'd been let down by the Railway men, I think, or someone else at the beginning at the Strike, and they were out on a limb but er they'd got to make the best of it.
(PS25H) [58] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [59] Erm I think they thought they'd been let down at the end of it.
[60] Erm I was taken to h hear A J , the miners leader at the time, he was the best type perhaps, a Welsh Chapel Parson, erm on the recreation ground and on the marketplace, when thousands turned up, [...]
(PS25H) [61] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [62] attend .
(PS25H) [63] How how did people feel about , because well if you read read Alan Alan book, then he's criticized very strongly as being too militant, and r well really Cri preferred to him.
[64] How how did the the miners?
(FY4PS000) [65] Well the miners er were middle of the road, as lots of miners are now, but er probably more middle then because, well, the Colliery Chapel and the Co-op were a way of life.
(PS25H) [66] Mm.
[67] What about ?
(FY4PS000) [68] , of course, was a chapel man and er I think they saw, or some of them saw him er a in him a way round, out of things, and, of course , he did deals with the collieries to get people back to work, and whilst [...] families had enjoyed six months in the gardens and doing all sorts of strange things, erm the men mainly wanted to get back to work, because they saw time running out.
(PS25H) [69] Mm.
[70] W was the Strike a period of hardship particularly?
(FY4PS000) [71] It was hardship in this, that er, perhaps the hardest time came after it when er, well it was called public assistance then, social security payments had to be payed back.
[72] All the things that you'd had during the Strike, but things did get left, and er tradesmen were very considerate, there was no chasing for m hard for money and er I know we had an insurance that wasn't paid and we used the book to have an imaginary shilling on a horse each day.
[73] Which put me off gambling for good, because whilst we won every day, it seemed, we'd lost a lot of money at the end of the year.
[74] Theoretically we hadn't done, but, of course, we hadn't played anything, but it was good exercise.
(PS25H) [75] Mm.
[76] Well moving onto social life, what are your childhood memories of of playing and [...] with your your father and playmates, etc?
(FY4PS000) [77] Well, of course, er f er Fathers and grandfathers er took er the youngster a walk [laugh] .
[78] Er there was walking, there was cricket and er billiards, erm street games, things you can't do now because of traffic.
[79] But a lot more, I feel sorry for my grandchildren, where they can't have as much fun as I used to have, kicking a tin.
(PS25H) [80] Mm.
[81] Did did church figure as prominently in your early life ?
(FY4PS000) [82] Oh cha chapel Later on, I mean er you know when you got to ten, eleven,ch there were so many things at chapel, I mean from learned dissertations, I mean the gentlemen from the University, here.
[83] Er Prof and , used to come and talk to the Guilds and things, er the men's meeting.
[84] And er then there were the concerts or the pantomimes or the operettas.
[85] I always finished up as a bandit, or a pirate, I don't know quite why.
[86] [laughing] I couldn't sing. []
[87] But equally they did Silas Marner and er Merchant of Venice, a good standard, too.
(PS25H) [88] So is th is a idea of a chapel being more in the community than just religion?
[89] Is that [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [90] Oh yes, it was a very much a community centre, I mean, [laugh] we played billiards at chapel, and various chapel people had billiard tables un under their dining table and er we u just go and play billiards.
(PS25H) [91] [cough] Going back to the your mining background, erm after the Strike were were your father and grandfather members of both the Nottingham Miners Associa Association and the industrial union?
(FY4PS000) [92] Erm, yes.
[93] My grandfather became involved because 's union er made a big thing out of compensation cases.
[94] Compensation had to be fought for, it wasn't a matter of right, and a piece of a very small piece of coal fell down the shaft, the onsetter's the man at the bottom, and it [...] through his hand and he got compensation and then my father was sacked for [...] the shovel.
[95] Too much of a coincidence, [laughing] I'm afraid, to [] our minds.
(PS25H) [96] Do you think the two were connected, then?
(FY4PS000) [97] Oh, we're sure they were but er this was the thing with a private collier company where you had er a sort of, not quite chairman, of the colliery sitting there at the top o in the office, watching everybody come and go.
[98] And er after that, my father went with the rounds with the collieries, where you had to belong to union to go to them, and Colliery didn't accept what was called the old union.
(PS25H) [99] Yeah was?
[100] The Pit was the Colliery [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [101] Pit as my n Pit was colliery, then there was , and then, of course, there were the pits and the pits, on the edge.
[102] Er but , Collieries as they became, they didn't acc That was Lancaster, they didn't accept er the old unions, so they erm they belonged Both I can't on Friday night I used to the Methodist's chapel to pay the old union subscription, and to the West [...] to pay 's.
(PS25H) [103] What was your father and grandfather's attitude to authority in the pit?
[104] Were they very resentful about, well, these dismissals?
(FY4PS000) [105] Very resentful about that, [...] , but er no, er I think er tt some of the pi It was Er not authority in the pits, they disliked the co-owners, erm one or two, and respected Pit always had a respectable authority er and ownership, I mean, stemming from the Quaker one.
[106] But er and the other pits where personalities were involved were not quite so [laugh] happy.
[107] But er the managers and er and the The manager of the pit and then the underviewers, and the rest, they were people who had worked their way up generally, and were accepted.
(PS25H) [108] So had the idea of the coal owner Er well at the end of the century, the the coal ow owner and liberal MP sort of connections in ?
(FY4PS000) [109] Well [...] was pit, was [...] and er they came to the family, that was someone at Mansfield, came back to open chapel bazaars, and all sorts of things, and particularly for the adult school.
(PS25H) [110] Yeah, going on to schools, which w which schools did you attend?
(FY4PS000) [111] I went [...] Street erm, which was just next door to Grandma's, only over the wall, [laugh] .
[112] And er then to 's Street, which was called School, for a year and then to 's, when it opened in nineteen twenty nine.
(PS25H) [113] Do you have many memories of your, well, early education?
(FY4PS000) [114] Street, yes, because er you went er you had a marvellous thing called Nature study, come geography, come everything, where you went for walk.
[115] But equally, [...] the first thing I remember was my number in the infant school, when I was number fifty five, and er there were fifty eight of us in the class, and one lady kept order.
[116] [laugh] . They were very ordered classes [laughing] I'm afraid [] .
(PS25H) [117] Was much learnt, or?
(FY4PS000) [118] Yes, oh yes, you learnt quite a lot and er much depended on er the teacher, of course, they weren't as bound as er teachers had been.
(PS25H) [119] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [120] We heard discussions of that.
[121] But erm you learnt quite a lot, and you learnt the basics very, very thoroughly.
[122] I mean, you marched round the playground until you could knew that twelve fourteens were a hundred and sixty eight.
[123] Which was when the top class in the infants, at seven, got in. [laugh] .
(PS25H) [124] Di Was there any sort of education outside school, say, Sunday Schools, or?
(FY4PS000) [125] Sunday Schools, er, mainly was er in best chapel tt tradition, I suppose, of er bible study and also of the social conscience of the Methodist.
[126] And er to me it presented a great opportunity,I I j I won quite a lot of books.
[127] [laughing] I always remember asking for Lawrence In Arabia, as a Sunday School prize. []
[128] [laugh] . And they weren't the Victorian prizes, that I won,I we got them for getting through an exam, because you could write or something, and er tt well, they were quite good books, and it was one way of getting a book.
(PS25H) [129] Mm.
[130] W what about Street school?
(FY4PS000) [131] Street School, I was th there on only there a year, and the headmaster came in one day, he was another Liberal politician.
[132] Headmasters were always members of the council, in those days, and they were always tended to be La Liberal or Labour, which I the present Labour would say was very pale pink.
[133] And the headmaster at er Street school, Joseph , was a Labour member of council, and Joseph was tended to be more Liberal.
[134] He came in one day and asked what M C C stood for, and I've always known a lot of useless information, so I could tell him, so I was then dispatched everyday to the erm radio shop in the High Street, to get the cricket scores in Australia.
[135] And then he asked me, he said, Well, have you read that notice on the board about er scholarships?
[136] I said, Yes, but there's no hope.
[137] He says, Well, your aunt was a teacher,co you could go teaching.
[138] You're na you're not going down the pit?
[139] I said No, no-one at home was, Everyone at home had said, You're not going down the pit.
[140] And he entered me for the scholarship, [laugh] , and er, I won.
(PS25H) [141] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [142] I incurred his displeasure on one occasion, there was a young lady sat on the form in front, we had those, where you sat in pairs, on the iron sort of things.
[143] She had plaits, and I tied them together, on to th behind the bar, and he he caned me. [laugh] .
(PS25H) [144] Mm.
[145] I suppose caning was a a more frequent form of discipline, in those days?
(FY4PS000) [146] Caning was, er yes, erm.
[147] If you asked for trouble, you got it.
(PS25H) [148] Would you ev would you ever get any comeback from you your father, if you got told told off at school ?
(FY4PS000) [149] If you got in trouble at school, you got in trouble at home.
[150] No if and buts. [laugh] .
(PS25H) [151] About going t about getting the Henr scholarship to , had only just opened then ,
(FY4PS000) [152] That
(PS25H) [153] hadn't it?
(FY4PS000) [154] It hadn't er I went when it opened.
[155] We were er before then there was the , the school just over the wall to Street, was the Centre.
[156] It was a pupil, teacher centre.
[157] It started life as a technical school, which it was given by subscription, mainly the colliery company, for scientific education.
[158] But used during the day by the Education Committee as a pupil-teacher centre.
[159] And up till then, you went to you got your scholarship, you went to the tu pupil- teacher training centre and then you became a teacher.
[160] Erm if you [laughing] passed [] [laugh] , erm you did a stint and then you came to College, Nottingham for your teaching ticket.
(PS25H) [161] So But was without a a secondary school
(FY4PS000) [162] Yes.
(PS25H) [163] for quite a long period, wasn't it ?
(FY4PS000) [164] Yes.
[165] Yes, until Annie came,m after the war.
(PS25H) [166] Was?
[167] How did the community feel about that? [...] [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [168] They felt strongly
(PS25H) [169] [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [170] They felt strongly about it, but er was only twelve minutes away, on the railway, quarter of an hour on the bus.
[171] And of course, in spite of everything that's being said, the thing about was that because of the two railway stations you could get anywhere in half or three quarters of an hour.
[172] You could get to I know Graham went to , which [laugh] is way out, other went up the Kimberley and that area, and other went to Sutton.
[173] And everybody could get home very quickly because of the railway stations that were there.
(PS25H) [174] So did you travel to school on the railways?
(FY4PS000) [175] We tr I travelled to school on the railway one bit, when they gave us season tickets, because with a scholarship you got your fares paid.
[176] And then they started paying your bus fare, at the end of the week, and so I decided I could walk.
[177] [laugh] . Er fourpence return was two mars bars, and quite a lot of us walked.
(PS25H) [178] Were there many boys from at [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [179] Oh yes, there were Well, all the erm boys from up to about the fifth form, in the old pupil-teachers training centre went, er was formed by joining that and school, they took boys from there .
(PS25H) [180] [...] .
(FY4PS000) [181] And er then there was the new intake of ourselves, and er there were probably fifty or sixty the first year.
[182] Erm, only three scholarship, but then of course, you got the er governors free places, which were nearly the same, and then the number who were being paid for.
(PS25H) [183] D s So did you notice any sort of class differences within the school?
(FY4PS000) [184] Very little, after the first [laughing] week [] .
[185] Erm uniform's a great leveller, or a I I'd never had such marvellous clothes.
[186] Erm I know a friend of mine, and my ambition, then, was to wear a collar and tie and wear half-shoes, as opposed to a jersey and boots.
[187] Erm now, of course, we'd wear a jersey and boots quite [laughing] happily [] , but er I did get a grant for clothing because otherwise there was no way of goin of accepting a scholarship.
[188] And erm the immediate reaction, at home, was to say, Well, you can't go.
[189] And the headmaster said, [...] quietly, Let's talk about it.
[190] And er so I had clothes from , and er I learnt what clerical colo clerical grey was, [laugh] and er, also what house shoes were, erm you know, slippers for wearing in school.
[191] So tt and of course, the other thing I learnt there was that you had dinner the wrong way round, you didn't have your pudding first, to fill you up. [laugh] .
(PS25H) [192] So [...] What other memories do you have of of , then?
(FY4PS000) [193] Oh, very happy memories really, we erm we had two or three masters from , erm one was the Sunday School superintendent, again this chapel and the son-in-law of the headmaster of Street, George Edward ,, as he's known to thousands.
[194] He must be rolling round, cos he was the maths master, he must be rolling round in his grave, as people say percentage, because he if you said percentage he yelled at you, Percentage of what?
[195] [laugh] . Erm but you'd failed him, if you didn't get a distinction in School Certificate maths, or arithmetic.
(PS25H) [196] So h how old were you when you left school?
(FY4PS000) [197] Sixteen.
(PS25H) [198] Which was, I mean, very late for those [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [199] No.
[200] No.
[201] We left er the secondary school, or as they were then, the grammar schools, at sixteen.
[202] You left the other one at fourteen.
[203] I could have stayed at Street [laughing] till I was fourteen [] , I could have stayed at Street until I was fourteen, and then you would've been out.
[204] And er but at er there you'd got to go for the other two years, and some parents were rather wondering whether that left you late in the queue for a job, because jobs were very difficult.
[205] Or whether you were going to earn enough, later on.
(PS25H) [206] Mm.
[207] How did you go about finding a job?
(FY4PS000) [208] [laughing] Wrote hundreds of letter, [] er to the people you wanted to do, because I'd never expected having to find a job, I must admit, because the year before I took School Certificate I had got a Naval a artificer apprenticeship, but then I got kicked in the eye playing rugby, and failed a medical.
[209] Something I'd never to do, so I had to settle down and get School Certificate, which I got with my matric exemption, and people from did.
[210] It er you were taught, and er I ju I'd say it was as liberal a education as you get now, but you'd got to get your maths, you'd got to English, you'd got to get a language, you'd got to get a science, and [laugh]
(PS25H) [211] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [212] it was broadly based.
(PS25H) [213] And so what was the job [...] found ?
(FY4PS000) [214] And eventually I found a job er as assistant to the er clerking to the [...] rating officer, who had also been a member of t , who was a member of the chapel, and er knew I was looking for a job and er, I hadn't written to him cos I didn't know this one was coming up.
(PS25H) [215] And so he told you about it, rather than?
(FY4PS000) [216] Yes, he told me, he said Ah well, have you got a job yet?
[217] I said No, not yet, erm I'm awaiting replies from so many.
[218] So I accepted a job with him, and then I got two offers the next day, one with the savings bank, I think it was, and one with someone else. [laugh] .
(PS25H) [219] And what what payment did you get?
(FY4PS000) [220] Ten shilling a week.
(PS25H) [221] Would it have been better had you gone to the other jobs?
[222] Or would it have been about the same?
(FY4PS000) [223] I don't know erm, probably about the same, then.
[224] It was about it was the same as I'd probably got if I'd have gone to the pit at fourteen. [laugh] .
(PS25H) [225] But er nevertheless you felt that you wanted to go into Well you were probably to over qualified for going into the pit, weren't you?
(FY4PS000) [226] Never thought about the pit, I'd been There was no question about that, it was something that was not going to last.
[227] I mean, the pits would be worked out, according to the talk at home, and anyhow, we wanted to live in Dartmouth.
(PS25H) [228] Mm.
[229] So what did you actually do in the rating office?
(FY4PS000) [230] Well, I wrote out births, deaths, marriage certificates, and er then measured up houses on the rating side, erm worked them out for evaluations.
[231] Erm used to go down to weddings, at the register office on a Saturday morning, and hope that they'd turn up without witnesses, because then you had to be ... compensated, [laugh] , for giving your service.
(PS25H) [232] How much would you get for?
(FY4PS000) [233] [laughing] I occasionally got ten shillings, which was more than a week's as much a week's wages. []
[234] Erm but er I learnt to write a fair hand, erm without too many flourishes, which er because I was always told that somebody might be looking at this in a hundred years time, or more.
(PS25H) [235] Mm.
[236] In going to measure houses, did you have to actually go out and visit houses ?
(FY4PS000) [237] Yes, oh aye I Yes, we You had to measure, and in those days, the councils were grouped in what they called Assessment Committee Areas, and each were wor making sure the other areas were using the same sort of basis.
[238] And I remember, one afternoon, going out with the whole of the rating committee, to houses at Eastwood and Beeston, and other places, and m in effect measuring them by counting how many nine inch bricks they were across the front and back, to make sure that, you know, nobody was subsidizing anybody else.
(PS25H) [239] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [240] Erm and you went in houses, you saw them.
[241] You know, learnt about construction.
(PS25H) [242] Mm.
[243] Did you see much of people's living conditions?
[244] Particularly poor living conditions, [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [245] Oh you saw er you'd seen this because er you had friends all over, I mean, the fact that you went to didn't er tt get rid of all your friends.
(PS25H) [246] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [247] Erm you had friends everywh , in all sorts of places, you didn't dally, shall we say, in some of them that might have been a bit smelly.
(PS25H) [248] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [249] And others that you wouldn't have gone in anyhow, but they were areas.
[250] But generally ... I saw more living conditions later on, er when er I started rent collecting for the council.
(PS25H) [251] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [252] And the rating officer was part time with the council, and one day, a rent collector was taken ill, and then I was given a five shilling bag of copper and told to go and collect these
(PS25H) [253] When?
[254] When was this?
(FY4PS000) [255] Er it would be nineteen thirty seven.
(PS25H) [256] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [257] [...] .
(PS25H) [258] So that was
(FY4PS000) [259] Thirty six?
[260] Thirty seven?
[261] Thirty seven, perhaps .
(PS25H) [262] That was during well,th the end of the Depression, really?
(FY4PS000) [263] Well it was still very depressed in the coal trade, you were they were doing this marvellous thing called three on and three off.
[264] If you worked four, you were worse off than if you worked three, you know, you'd got three days on th er and you got you got three days dole, er unemployment pay.
(PS25H) [265] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [266] And er so times were still hard, it wasn't until they, let's say until thirty ei thirty eight, that the depression finished in the coal field, when they started building up from then.
[267] And of course, this was the time of the means test, when young men from who er lived at home, their income was taken into account, in assessing how much Dad or Mum couldn't get.
[268] And er they took themselves off to Coventry and to and to Luton, to the motor trades.
[269] And quite a few went.
(PS25H) [270] What were the?
[271] What
(FY4PS000) [272] What?
(PS25H) [273] was the sewage conditions and the the water supply like in the thirties in ?
(FY4PS000) [274] Good. [laugh] .
(PS25H) [275] Because there'd been arguments about it earlier on in the century, hadn't there?
(FY4PS000) [276] Oh there had, had er it h erm had a marvellous water supply and it had a good sewage it had a good sewage disposal system.
[277] But erm sewage was to be one of the things I shall never forget, later on.
[278] Whilst I was working for the council, someone came to ask and we had some new o new officer appointed and he was very worried about getting ca er p permission from the council to launch a sewer scheme that was going to cost a quarter of a million pounds, a very large amount in those days.
[279] And [laugh] the older members of the staff, and there weren't many, I mean the total s council office staff was only about thi was twenty or so, and erm more men were employed outside, than anything.
[280] And they said, Well you know how to draw up your agenda, and you'll have something that's contentious, in this case it was the supply of stationery from three local stationers, from printi local printers.
[281] And they argue that half the night, and then er your thing will go through on the nod, if you get it in before t half past nine when they er standing order say the council meeting closes.
(PS25H) [282] Mm.
[283] S so Huck Urban District Council was separate from Nottingham [...] wasn't it ?
(FY4PS000) [284] Yes.
[285] Yes.
[286] Er Nottingham had about three attempts to pinch , and er the last one they were told to put their own house in order, first, because conditions were so much better than in the city.
[287] Erm mainly as a result,I I contend, that earlier on the Quaker coal owners encouraged home ownership, has this very high proportion of er owner-occupiers.
[288] Tt Er in nineteen seventy four, I think, at least about three quarters of them were [] .
(PS25H) [289] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [290] There are no there were no big property owners, no big coal, I mean the colliery company only owned sixty houses, I think, which were sold to the tenants, er when the lease ran out.
(PS25H) [291] W what about the the health service in Nottingham?
(FY4PS000) [292] In ?
(PS25H) [293] Er in ?
[294] Sorry.
(FY4PS000) [295] Erm health service?
[296] Erm what do you mean?
[297] The Doctors?
(PS25H) [298] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [299] Oh well you had er some very well loved Doctors, we had the black doctor, Dr , he was er West Indian, he took over from another one, Dr , who was also West Indian, I gathered, I never knew Dr .
[300] But Dr was a good cricketer, erm he also wrote a very You could also read what Dr put, and he was also said that he sent people to hospital very quickly.
[301] Erm then there was the er and he m Dr , and er Dr and then it became Dr , who is still there.
[302] Erm Dr was the medical officer of health, part time, and Dr was a character, he always had a white carnation, he rode round in a carriage on occasions, and he er wrote copperplate.
[303] That's when I had to put these things onto dea er put death certificates into [laugh] th their the doctor's certificate into [laughing] English [] , erm they were pretty good,t others weren't so g , er you know, weren't so good.
[304] I have been accused, too, of saying that, You tell your Doctor, I'd know what you, I knew what you'd die of, [laugh] because they had their own things, their own pet hobbyhorses.
[305] Erm myocardio degeneration and chronic bronchitis, and erm probably quite accurate, but er short of breaking your neck I think you, bronchitis was the killer, in .
(PS25H) [306] Mm.
[307] So yo you had to fill in births and deaths certificates?
(FY4PS000) [308] Oh yes, I had to co copy them, and er you know, you got these things, but the registrar he was [...] , you know, he was man.
(PS25H) [309] Mm.
[310] Have you s ?
[311] Did you see many changes in , over the pre-war era?
(FY4PS000) [312] Yes erm [...] during the h the Probably one of the reasons I was set on to start with, was the tremendous amount of house building.
[313] I mean, John , who was a local builder, sold a house a day for five years, which is some building.
[314] And you can see John, whichever way you go into , you'll see John types E and G, the semi-detached on Road, Lane and Road, and Road.
[315] You'll see them everywhere.
[316] And one or two people are very honest, they call the House, [laughing] because they borrowed the money from Halifax Building Society [] . [laugh] .
(PS25H) [317] What about transport in ?
(FY4PS000) [318] Transport?
[319] Oh well now it isn't a patch on what it was.
[320] Erm yo there was so many trains into Nottingham, into Victoria at twelve minutes, it took you thirty minutes into the Midland Station, having called at and , and all sorts of places on the way.
[321] They were, first of all, there were and 's buses, direct and the bus.
[322] And then, of course, come along and er for while there was a competition with chasers over the forest, you know one running either just in front, or just behind the other, sort of thing.
[323] And then, tt er Reynolds took ove er Reynolds went and er Trent took over and then Duttons went, and Trent took over again.
(PS25H) [324] What about?
[325] Did many people have cars in Hucknall?
(FY4PS000) [326] No, very few, erm in Lane, which is now [laugh] in an estate agent's parlance, erm a desirable part of the town, they used to be Mr the local the solicitor, of Castlegate, and his wife used to drive him to the station, to catch the train to Nottingham.
[327] She also meet him m met him at lunchtime, because the steam coach used to come out from town, and bring the business men, the wealthier one, out.
(PS25H) [328] Mm.
[329] And I suppose, seeing as it was so short, it was worth coming home?
(FY4PS000) [330] Yes.
(PS25H) [331] In that sort [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [332] Oh yes, er he could er he could still have an hour lunchtime, and er only be out of the office, say, an hour and three quarters.
(PS25H) [333] Erm moving on a l a little bit, what was your social life at the time?
(FY4PS000) [334] My social life, I suppose, ticked round chapel, then it ticked round er cycling and er walking.
[335] My brother tt he er had a bicycle and then he joined up, er we did have a hectic time, he could make anything go.
(PS25H) [336] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [337] He built a motorbike out of scrap bits he found on the tip, which didn't endear him to Grandma, or anyone else.
[338] And then joined so he joined the army, and I was left with this bicycle, and a friend of mine said, How about coming with us on Sunday, you can skip chapel this Sunday, and we'll go out er we're going into Derbyshire, and I finished up on Ack's Edge.
[339] I'd never ridden a bike, hardly, before.
[340] But then they had a cycling club, at chapel, and so we tended to go Saturdays, and then I started walking and youth hostelling.
[341] We went youth hostelling for m the sort of the chapel choir, after When you grew up in chapel, then you were either found a job teaching, in the Sunday School, or you went into the choir.
[342] Well I went in a choir, I could never sing, and I still can't, and er the choir used to go out quite a lot, and er we cycled and we youth-hostelled, even as w or in on working parties, at some of the peak hostels.
(PS25H) [343] What about erm, you were involved in the amateur dram dramatics [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [344] Well this er came through the same thing, the Youth Hostels Association, we had a visit from Gyp some German ones who did m play reading in hostels, and er some of ours went back there, and the Youth Hostels Associations, they had a play reading group, and er I joined that.
[345] As I say, I'd al been in things at chapel, Silas Marner and things, but er this was another thing, and of course, that's where I met my wife, at er Row, which is the boys' clu was the boys' club's Headquarters.
[346] And er we did one or two plays there and
(PS25H) [347] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [348] in the old S St 's Church hall on Street, which has now gone.
(PS25H) [349] Would Robin have acted with you, then?
(FY4PS000) [350] Robin , er William [...] was at school, one year behind me and I played with him, but Bill wasn't very er big.
[351] Erm I'm amazed now when I see him on television as to how big he is, because he wasn't as a youngster, and he was fragile and er we ribbed him because, in those days, you had an attache case for a school bag, and your initials were put on it.
[352] And er, he had the lot, W H M B, you see, and er he wasn't Robin, then.
[353] [laugh] . [cough] . And er this was one of things that my old boss, when people came into name their children, he said Now remember, these initials will go on case, perhaps, one day, and you don't want S A P, or something like that.
[354] And if they came in a with name that was unusual, er Now, are you sure?
[355] Do you want a moment [laughing] to think about it [] ?
[356] You know, when somebody came up with Mehetabelle, or something like that.
[357] Er but no, er Robin and the local dramatic club was er very, very good, you're in the market for money, putting on things in the chapel, or in the Co-op hall, at .
[358] Hit-the [...] was usually done in the Co-op hall, and er they were good.
(PS25H) [359] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [360] I mean, people didn't pay money just [laughing] out of, [] you know, loyalty, completely.
(PS25H) [361] What about the Spanish Civil War?
[362] Do you remember?
(FY4PS000) [363] Well, at that time my best pal went to the pit, his mother wouldn't let him enter in th for scholarship, but he did happen to come here for, Well, he seemed to always get a day's day release from the year dot, I think, and er eventually he got some A levels.
[364] He got his trade unions things, and his deputy's certificate, and that.
[365] But then, he got some A levels and he's finally got an Open University degree, good luck to him.
[366] And er we used to go occasionally to W E A meetings, in the library at , and er I wasn't a member of his class, but I did once go and hear Hugh , when he was at Nottingham.
[367] And er then er we had er a tutor who was very, very keen and we nearly all went to er the Spanish Civil War, and we took er the er paper for ages, erm and er But one of the group did go, Frank from , went, but the were always Communist, they never claimed to be Labour.
[368] But er they were always er well-remembered, and er w [...] Spanish Civil War through, I suppose nowadays, you call them fringe newspapers, but there was this paper we used to get at the tim at the time It wasn't the er Morning Star, or even it's predecessor, erm but you got a paper and you sort of heard the other side.
[369] Erm er, very concerned as to what it was going to lead up to up, and hoping, you know, against hope that's you weren't going to be involved in anything like that.
(PS25H) [370] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [371] And my Grandmother certainly wouldn't have wanted me going She had er her feet very firmly on the ground.
[372] I hadn't realized till long, long afterwards, until she after she was dead, that er she and her brother came to work, when the Midland Railway came to Nottingham, they left Norfolk, and he's got a horse, as a carter, and they walked from Holt, in Norfolk, to Nottingham, in search of a job.
[373] And they went to live at , and [laugh]
(PS25H) [374] Wh what about the Sec Second World War?
(FY4PS000) [375] The Second World War?
[376] Well, originally er I was involved in er registration, because there, with this very loose connection with the registrar, by now I was full time with the council, as rating assistant and rent collector.
[377] And er I got involved on national registration and er, on one occasion, we were working, we'd got a deadline and we were working through the weekend, and my wife came to pick me up at what she thought was a reasonable time, at one o'clock on Saturday, found she was given a cup of tea and set to work, and we finished, going home about midnight. [laugh] .
(PS25H) [378] So would you would you work overtime a lot ?
(FY4PS000) [379] Oh yes, you worked overtime, for which there was no pay, I mean, it didn't count er You see things [...] , you know, there was less structure about it, then, erm and you could have ti if you wanted time off for something, you'd probably have got it fairly easily, but er it didn't seem to be the great arguments that you've had since.
[380] And of course, er by nineteen forty erm well, Christmas thirty nine, I'd got my calling up papers.
(PS25H) [381] Were you on th ?
[382] You were on the point of getting married, by that time, [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [383] No.
[384] I We'd talked about it and said Well, we're not going to get married whilst war's on, as er probably the generation before, had said in nineteen fourteen, and er we got married eventually on the first of December, nineteen forty.
[385] Erm when one of our friends, who was a writer for the local press, headlined it, The cutter who walked a thousand miles together, before he got called up. [laugh] .
(PS25H) [386] Was this because of your rambling?
(FY4PS000) [387] Yes.
(PS25H) [388] So that's the [...] ?
(FY4PS000) [389] Yes.
(PS25H) [390] What what were your experiences of the war?
(FY4PS000) [391] Absolutely chaos, [laughing] I suppose [] .
[392] Erm I had expressed a preference for the Navy, so I was sent to Plymouth, to join the Devonshire regiment, at Mill Bay docks, which was a an infantry regiment and machine gun core regiment.
[393] And er it was very reg a regular come territorial battalion, and I was one of five foreigners from up country, erm you thought yourself as er an absolute native in grass skirts, waving a machete, or something.
[394] And er but er we got to know them eventually, but for the first few weeks, whilst we were in Devon, I think the five foreigners sort of got landed.
[395] We'd got nowhere to go at weekends, and they disappeared.
[396] [laugh] . Erm but then we slept under every hedge, I think, along the south coast, till we lost our machine guns, collected anti-tank guns, and eventually were transferred to the Royal Artillery, but still with this county pride of Devon, which I'd never met before.
[397] In Nottinghamshire, we don't have county pride, to the sense of Yorkshire and Devon, you know, where it's absolutely m something that really matters.
(PS25H) [398] Mm.
(FY4PS000) [399] Erm Devon, erm and their distaste of their neighbours, or distrust of Cornwall, I know, on one occasion, in the first fortnight, I think, we were in the Y M at Devonport, and er there was an argument with the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry and er well, I know we got out of a back window of the Y M fairly smartish, erm avoiding trouble.
[400] But er tt erm tt again, er I had a spot of luck, I suppose, erm at one stage we had a very ex-Indian service bloke who ha as quartermaster, had thrown a typewriter through the window, he was known to do daft things like that.
[401] I happened to be able to put it together again, it wasn't too difficult, and er so I got the job of being clerk-cum-what-have-you.
[402] It didn't get me out of very much, except a few guard duties and er I collected one stripe, and then two, and I did the pay and all sorts of things.
[403] Eventually we m , when we became a mobile, self-propelled anti-tank unit, erm my office er thing for paying everything, was a metal table, shall we say, on the inside of a truck, that was about one foot by two feet.
[404] And on that there was a typewriter and you could send signal messages, and everything.
[405] But typewriters we had problems with because, if they went in for repair, you never got them back from the Ordinance Core, and so at one place in Tunbridge Wells we handed a typewriter in and because the army were allowed to buy greaseproof paper, we bought a lot of greaseproof paper which came in the package of a new typewriter.
[406] Erm er, nothing changes. [recording ends]