Nottinghamshire Oral History Project: interview. Sample containing about 2993 words speech recorded in leisure context

4 speakers recorded by respondent number C167

PS26D X u (No name, age unknown, interviewer) unspecified
PS26E X u (No name, age unknown, building society manager) unspecified
FYLPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
FYLPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 096102 recorded on unknown date. LocationNottinghamshire: Nottingham () Activity: Interview

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (FYLPSUNK) [1] Right so erm.
[2] You you're the manager of erm the Building Society in ?
(PS26E) [3] Yes.
(PS26D) [4] Erm how long has this branch been in ?
(PS26E) [5] we opened end of nineteen eighty, so just over six years now.
(PS26D) [6] Mhm.
(PS26E) [7] And very successful it's been too.
(PS26D) [8] Mhm.
(PS26E) [9] Very pleased to be here.
[10] And the performance, both at this branch and as a spin off, our city centre branch in Street, which has benefited from us being here, and the contacts we m we've made while been here.
[11] Excellent.
(PS26D) [12] Mhm.
(PS26E) [13] Very pleased.
(PS26D) [14] What you know when when a building society is you know when it when a new branch is opened up.
[15] Erm you know, some people would say you know, er [...] seeing the kind of publicity that has had, that it would be it might be quite risky to er to o open the business of a building society here.
[16] Erm so what kind of what kind of research goes into into erm choosing where to actually site one?
(PS26E) [17] Well we had we had to look into it very carefully.
[18] We looked into this are in terms of the population here.
[19] The potential [...] we could receive here, erm the kind of people who live here, the numbers of people who live here now and in the future, the types of housing and housing again, in the future and all in all a g a great deal of study went into the area.
(PS26D) [20] Mhm.
(PS26E) [21] And in the end we decided to open here.
[22] There was three main reasons.
[23] Firstly there are there were no other building societies here anyway.
(PS26D) [24] Mhm.
(PS26E) [25] So we we've cornered the market as it were.
[26] No real competition there.
[27] Er secondly we've got a link with , the large tobacco factory.
[28] Group savings schemes and such like which have been in existence for many years.
[29] And with the factory being so close, it would offer them a service, by being closer to them, and improve our links.
[30] And thirdly related to that point, with there were a lot of existing members in this area anyway.
[31] So it seemed sensible to move into this area, take advantage of that for ourselves, and provide them with a better service.
[32] And again that has proved successful.
(PS26D) [33] Mhm.
[34] So this is an example of erm a business that which has moved to and done very very well.
(PS26E) [35] Very well indeed, yes.
[36] We're very pleased.
[37] [...] very successful.
(PS26D) [38] Mhm.
[39] In terms of local people, erm have you got many local people who are customers?
(PS26E) [40] Yes.
[41] In the su around about this area, the the local housing estates, a great many of our investing members just live practically round the corner, so we get to know them very well.
[42] For the mortgage side, we've got a lot of properties in the area that are mortgaged.
[43] But this particular branch has got a large area stretching out like , as far as .
[44] A lot of out mortgage business comes form the more outlying districts.
[45] i think it's fair to to say the majority of our investing members, just live round and about.
(PS26D) [46] Mhm.
(PS26E) [47] Again due to the local er schemes and such like.
[48] Got a lot of members from there.
[49] Which we see in very regularly.
(PS26D) [50] Mhm.
[51] The fact the fact that erm this branch is erm situated in a fairly disadvantaged erm area, erm does that have any implications at all?
[52] Or not?
(PS26E) [53] Erm I wouldn't think so w w it means that we have to get to know the the local clients very well indeed.
[54] We get to to know their problems better ad understand them better.
[55] We get to know them better.
[56] Which means we can provide a better service.
[57] It means we our staff are able to take more time er to understand and advise our clients which we need to do.
[58] Erm and there's no real problems because of the area I wouldn't think.
(PS26D) [59] Mhm.
(PS26E) [60] But er in fact it's probably an advantage because [...] the people who come in are generally [...] they're very friendly they're they've got a good spirit amongst themselves.
[61] And we find it's a warm friendly area which [...] er a a poss possibly a bigger, more higher paced environment wouldn't get.
(PS26D) [62] mhm.
(PS26E) [63] Er.
(PS26D) [64] [...] Yeah.
[65] So [...] you're saying it actually has quite a lot of advantages ?
(PS26E) [66] Mm.
[67] Yes.
[68] Th th th th the people round here are excellent.
(PS26D) [69] Mhm.
(PS26E) [70] And there seems to be a good spirit around and Yeah we're we're very pleased to be here, you know .
(PS26D) [71] Mhm.
(PS26E) [72] We've found a lot of friendliness and warmth.
(PS26D) [73] How how does that co you spoke about friendliness and warmth here, How does it compare working with the other places you've worked at?
(PS26E) [74] Previously I've worked in city centre environments.
[75] Which I have enjoyed it's been er a bit of a challenge coming here because in the city centre, business-wise, you're surrounded by the professions such as estate agents and solicitors.
[76] And the membership, your investors had to actually make the effort to come to you.
[77] Whereas here the situation is reversed.
[78] Erm ... we're surrounded by the membership, and it's actually me which has to go out to visit the estate agents and solicitors and such like.
[79] But I found in the city centre, that er I did enjoy working there, but it it can be a bit of a cold and unfriendly place because it's so such a rapid pace of life.
(PS26D) [80] Mhm.
(PS26E) [81] Whereas here, you're still very busy, but er you have the membership just on your doorstep and you can get to meet them and know them a lot closer than you would when you're having er a large volume of people filing through your doors in the city centre.
(PS26D) [82] Mhm.
[83] [...] if you you said you preferred to work here, you preferred working here to other places?
(PS26E) [84] I think I do yes yes.
[85] I I did enjoy going to the city centre, but so far er in the few months I've been in , I've enjoyed it tremendously yes.
(PS26D) [86] Mhm.
[87] When I s first spoke to you erm earlier I mean, like last week, erm you were telling me er something about erm the involvement that this branch has had with the local community.
[88] So what do you think about that?
(PS26E) [89] Yes with with the membership being on the doorstep, we do get to know them a lot better.
[90] Er we do have to get involved with the community and we just find ourselves drawn into the community without any real problems.
[91] We've been able to advise and help the the members.
[92] And enabled us to to be to be known throughout the local streets, the local shopkeepers and such like.
[93] So we find ourselves drawn in very easily.
[94] On a more specific nature we've sponsored a five-a-side football competition at the local Leisure Centre, for the last couple of years.
[95] Providing the trophies, getting to know the people involved, and getting publicity obviously for ourselves from that, which has been very rewarding, very enjoyable.
[96] Er we're involved in the local Carnival recently.
[97] Er had a stall there again, getting to know the people involved.
[98] Various other things, there's the local Day Centre.
[99] Which is a local centre for physically handicapped adults.
[100] We've got to know the the people who run the centre, fairly well.
[101] Erm helping out whenever we can.
[102] And helping them with advice as well.
[103] So all in all, yeah, we get we get involved with the community as much as possible.
[104] Both as a conscious decision, because of the business we do er need to be known around the area.
[105] And also for the enjoyment and personally, the the satisfaction you get, rather than going home at five o'clock and forgetting all about .
[106] Much rather be involved and I find it much more rewarding personally.
(PS26D) [107] Mhm.
[108] In terms of erm the fact that you've got f erm fairly sizeable ethnic minority population.
(PS26E) [109] Mm.
(PS26D) [110] Erm what kind of efforts have been made to get customers ...
(PS26E) [111] First of all we offer a good a service as possible, we try to get to know the individuals, and help them and give them individual advice.
[112] Erm I think that's ab the best that though we can get word of mouth, erm getting to know the individuals.
[113] Erm also w we've had several window displays er reflecting the local issues.
[114] Such as we had an exhibition of Afro Caribbean art, [...] last year, from a local sender just up er Road a little bit.
[115] And that produced a lot of interest.
[116] From the local community.
[117] Had people coming in, they noticed that we aren't just a building there offering financial services, but we were actually interested again, in the local community.
[118] And the interest which bore out was was of great use.
[119] It wasn't the kind of display which we could have had in in a city centre environment, er but in this area, er it shows that we're receptive to people's needs and we care about what goes on.
[120] And it helped.
[121] The the individuals, the the members, to see that we we cared about what what their interests were.
[122] And they came in and chatted to us about it.
[123] Er it was very very pleasing.
(PS26D) [124] Mhm.
(PS26E) [125] Went very well.
[126] And it's something which we're doing again in the future.
(PS26D) [127] Mhm.
[128] With regard to the flats I mean, one o erm [...] the flats have been up since the late sixties and erm now they're gonna be coming down.
(PS26E) [129] Mm.
(PS26D) [130] And they erm were a large area of housing in the local area.
[131] Erm ... what do you feel about the fact that those are gonna be coming down?
(PS26E) [132] I think the flats still have a stigma about them.
[133] They're a lot of the problems in tend to be directed towards or because of the flats.
[134] They're certainly a controversial issue.
[135] Erm so if they do come down, or when they do come down, I think it it will benefit the area, as long as something better is repl is there to replace them.
[136] Erm I think [...] very many people live in the flats sort of thing, and and they're going to need rehousing.
[137] A lot of them are going out of the area, but I think er I'd imagine that a large majority or a a large proportion certainly would wish to stay in .
[138] And the first priority must be to find them suitable replacement housing.
[139] I've noticed in and , there's a lot of new town houses being built.
[140] New brick built standard sort of more traditional type housing, which are very attractive and appear to be very well built.
[141] And I think that could be the area, or the the type of development which could go on the flats.
(PS26D) [142] Mhm.
(PS26E) [143] Er the present flat site.
[144] Er new housing has to be a priority in this area I I should have I would think.
[145] And this type of more traditional housing er would be preferable.
(PS26D) [146] Mhm.
(PS26E) [147] n my in my mind.
[148] My opinion.
(PS26D) [149] Mhm.
[150] Going back to what you said earlier on on er on this question, erm you mentioned that erm the flats were subject to controversy.
(PS26E) [151] Mm.
(PS26D) [152] Erm what are the kind o obviously you've been here a few months.
(PS26E) [153] Mm.
(PS26D) [154] Erm what are the kind of comments that people have made to you about the flats?
(PS26E) [155] Concerning the flats?
(PS26D) [156] I mean how have they been seen by local mu community?
[157] How you know,w what kind of views do do people have ?
(PS26E) [158] Yes we have.
[159] A lot of a lot er of members who actually live in the flats, and all of our members practically know about the flats, and the the general impression is that they are a in a way a a a friendly and er a community type place.
[160] But they're they're very disadvantaged and they're a bit of an eyesore.
[161] Generally.
[162] So the impression which I get from the locals, is that they'll be happier when the flats are down.
[163] As long as they're replaced by something which is an improvement.
(PS26D) [164] Mhm.
(PS26E) [165] The general feeling is, Get the flats away and the place will improve.
(PS26D) [166] Mhm.
(PS26E) [167] And that generally comes form the flat owners which I've talked to meself.
(PS26D) [168] Mhm.
[169] Do you so you've got quite a f some customers from the flats ?
(PS26E) [170] Mm.
[171] Certainly, yes, some some people who live in the flats, come along to the branch quite regularly, and generally the the impression which they give me is that they'll they will be happier when they're the flats have been replaced.
(PS26D) [172] Mhm.
[173] [...] you you personally would like some kind of hou some housing to be put there .
(PS26E) [174] Personally, yes, this isn't er a policy view but living in the ar or living around the area, working in this area, I think the area could be improved, if s the flats were replaced by something which looked more attractive.
[175] Because the don't look attractive.
(PS26D) [176] Mhm.
(PS26E) [177] And er they seem to be the cause of all the problems.
[178] If they could be improved by er sorry replaced by housing of a higher standard, erm generally made to look more attractive, landscaped and such like, then I think the area as a whole will improve and it'll attract people to the area.
(PS26D) [179] Mhm.
(PS26E) [180] Which I think should be er an important er an important idea in their minds.
[181] In the minds of the people who decide what's going to replace them with.
(PS26D) [182] Mhm.
[183] What about for local businesses, erm what do you think could be done to actually to attract more businesses to the area?
(PS26E) [184] I think the first thing is to improve the appearance, because the area itself appears to me to be to be thriving.
[185] There's a lot of larger shops, we've got Boots just over the road and er a lot er of good businesses round about.
[186] There's one or two empty shops, but they appear to be moving fairly quickly and getting taken over.
[187] So the important thing I would say, is just to improve the physical appearance.
[188] Because a lot of the shops and house fronts which the the bus routes are on, the main roads are on, do look tatty.
[189] And if they could be given a a better appearance, then the the people who see them, the people who drive through on th main road, such as Road and Boulevard, they could see that the area isn't as run down as often the medium makes it out to be.
[190] Erm to me it is a thriving and very good community, and all it really needs is to look as it's thriving.
(PS26D) [191] Mhm.
(PS26E) [192] Erm perhaps money could be spent on on face-lifting the areas, because a lot of the structures the s themselves seem very stable and sound.
[193] It's just the actual A lick of paint here and there basically and
(PS26D) [194] Mhm.
(PS26E) [195] Erm Other areas in which I've lived in I lived in the in an area in Hull, where the whole of this inner city area was revitalized simply by giving things new front doors and new gutters and drainage and tidying up the small gardens that there were, and providing things such as railings.
[196] This was all done by er a local authority grant.
[197] And the whole street was revitalized in a in a in a swoop.
[198] And that kind of thing on a perhaps a little larger scale, could work here I think.
(PS26D) [199] Mhm.
[200] Yeah that's quite interesting.
[201] That's an example having worked somewhere
(PS26E) [202] Mm.
(PS26D) [203] and er the response there and that
(PS26E) [204] Yes.
(PS26D) [205] works?
[206] How well did it work?
(PS26E) [207] That worked very well indeed er over a period of what twelve to eighteen months, the whole street, which was mainly residential, was brought up to standard up to a higher standard, simply by providing new fronts.
(PS26D) [208] Mhm.
(PS26E) [209] Erm th the the bits of the properties which people actually saw.
[210] And that produced a spin off effect, because the people who actually lived in properties or the shopkeepers in the properties, they could see that the outsides were improved, and that provided a spur for them to provide the insides.
[211] And it certainly got er the community spirit going and got everyone working together.
[212] Someone had given the impetus to sort the outside external improvements for starters, and that provided the spur to for them to do the internal work.
[213] And as a whole, the whole street was improved very quickly.
(PS26D) [214] Mhm.
(PS26E) [215] And it was very successful.
(PS26D) [216] I mean a do you think that kind of thing would work here?
(PS26E) [217] I think it could do.
[218] Yes.
[219] Erm as I say the the people here ha have got the spirit enough the they they're quite happy to to improve the area the they want to see the the area erm go up.
[220] There's a lot of pride in the area.
[221] And if they were given the opportunity or or and the impetus to to start to do something positive, I'm sure they would take that up.
(PS26D) [222] Mhm.
(PS26E) [223] Just talking about there about the people in the area.
(PS26D) [224] Mm.
(PS26E) [225] Erm how much community spirit have you found does exist?
(PS26D) [226] Very very much so.
[227] Erm perhaps the Since I came to the area about four months ago, the thing that I've noticed most is the people are very proud and they're very friendly, very open people.
[228] And s we get a mixture a large mixture of people coming to our office, because this type of area, we are a building society, er w w we see all manner of people coming in here, and the way in which the , they mix very well.
[229] Complete strangers come in start chatting to us and to each other, and the the as an area, it seems to pull everyone together.
[230] They realize that they have problems and but they seem so willing to stand by each other and the the spirit which I've noticed is very h [recording ends]