Suffolk Sound Archive: interview. Sample containing about 11632 words speech recorded in leisure context

2 speakers recorded by respondent number C338

PS22N X f (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS22P X m (No name, age unknown, retired) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 093601 recorded on 1989-05-15. LocationSuffolk () Activity: interview

Undivided text

(PS22N) [1] would you like to start off by telling us when you joined County Council, in which department?
(PS22P) [2] Mm, it was the eleventh of October nineteen thirty nine.
(PS22N) [3] Mm.
(PS22P) [4] It was a Michaelmas Day or at least the old erm Quarter Day for paying rents and erm it was generally known in those days as muck spreading because erm it was [laughing] [...] [] usual time for erm, the farm workers to get ready for the winter ploughing.
[5] Anyway, if I could just erm describe how I managed to get there in the first place, which was all a matter of luck I suppose as much as anything ... erm I ... went to the East Anglian schools for erm blind and deaf children at Gorleston on Sea from nineteen twenty eight to nineteen thirty six, erm, in those days erm education for the ... er disabled er continued until sixteen.
[6] They always assumed that er, the disabled were two years behind the normal child so that er
(PS22N) [7] Mm.
(PS22P) [8] [laughing] we had to spend [] a couple of years erm longer at school.
[9] Erm, I never had any idea as to what I might do when I left school, in fact erm, apart from basket making and er one or two manual skills of that sort erm, there wasn't much available.
[10] But erm, it was suggested ... about a year or so before I left, that I might take what was called The Gardeners Scholarship to erm The Royal [...] College for the Blind, which in those days was at erm Upper Norwood S E nineteen and erm so erm I had no objections, I didn't, [laughing] I didn't [] see any future at all in it anyway, but erm I took this erm scholarship examination, went up to the R N C to ... work erm some papers and to be interviewed and erm, much to my surprise they erm offered me one of these scholarships which was worth forty pounds a year for three years in the Commercial Department of the College which was an innovation really as ... erm primarily a College of Music for erm blind students and erm ... so off I went to the R N C of sixteen and erm did my three year course and got erm some R S A certificates and ... erm was reasonably successful I suppose I, perhaps [laughing] I wasn't [] as diligent as I should have been.
[11] I was much more interested in football and cricket really, but erm, anyway, I left in the July of nineteen thirty nine when things were getting ... a bit erm dubious in the international sphere and erm
(PS22N) [12] Mm.
(PS22P) [13] still had no prospects of employment and I don't think er, er my parents had any erm particular ideas and my father who worked for erm Roads and Bridges Department was speaking to the Chief Clerk at that time, that was, er, his name was in fact and erm he was a very sympathetic character and er he said he'd have a word with erm ... with somebody in the County Council and erm see if they could find me employment as a typist and erm using the argument of course that the Education Department had up to that time at the R N C erm paid the balance of the fees for my course, erm I could just mention to you that the scholarship was worth forty pounds a year fee.
[14] Full fees were a hundred pounds a year and erm the Education Department ha [clears throat] had assessed my father's contribution towards the fees at six shillings a week which was about fifteen pounds a year.
[15] They were paying something like forty five pounds a year for my training.
[16] ... Well erm ... erm had a word with erm who was about oh fourth in line in the erm education hierarchy in those days and erm [clears throat] then spoke to who was the Chief Education Officer and er, I think they were a bit erm, bit apprehensive about employing a blind typist because erm it was something that they had never had any experience of ... but in the end they thought it was worth a try and er especially after supporting me at the College and erm also perhaps they had in mind that [clears throat] many of the erm employees would be leaving if war broke out and erm, in fact by that time war had probably started
(PS22N) [17] Mm.
(PS22P) [18] but anyway, erm, it came as a bit of a shock to me when who was at that time the Horticultural Adviser or Horticultural Organiser as they used to call him, turned up at home at Debenham where we lived at the time and er said he'd come to collect my typewriter [laugh] we had no notice of this anyway was erm a jolly old soul and erm he went off with my typewriter and erm shorthand machine and the next day my father brought me into Ipswich and erm, well I saw and did a bit of typing and erm, that's how it all started.
(PS22N) [19] You were the first blind person to be employed in the County Council?
(PS22P) [20] In the County Council, yes.
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [21] Mm, well there have been subsequent erm employees of course but
(PS22N) [22] Mm.
(PS22P) [23] I felt that it was a bit of a responsibility to erm, to justify the [laughing] employment [] of
(PS22N) [24] Yes.
(PS22P) [25] erm a blind person.
[26] I also remember, incidentally, the first letter that I had to erm type, a young chap who was erm shortly called up for service in the Army came in and erm dictated a little letter to me to see how erm, how I got on and erm it was a letter to parents in Halesworth [clears throat] whose daughter had just been er transferred to a grammar school and erm in those days of course the, if the distance was more than three miles ... the Education Committee er provided a cycle and cape and leggings and erm the object of the letter was to find out the child's inside leg measurement
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [27] well [laughing] yes, yes [] I wondered whether I'd got it right you know, it sounded just a silly thing to ask and erm and I erm had to consider that [...] probably asked whether I had erm made a mistake in my shorthand [laughing] before, before [] I actually typed it but erm, anyway they seemed erm reasonably satisfied and everybody was very kindly and erm considerate and
(PS22N) [28] Mm.
(PS22P) [29] and so I stayed there but erm travelling from Debenham wasn't very easy of course that were
(PS22N) [30] How did you travel?
(PS22P) [31] By, by bus mhm
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [32] and erm but erm even so getting to and from the bus was a bit of a problem, unfortunately I've never had erm been one of these people who have got the nerve to erm go about a great deal by themselves and erm being up in London you know, immediately before the war I had erm, it wasn't very easy getting about so erm and erm I wasn't very
(PS22N) [clears throat]
(PS22P) [33] confident really
(PS22N) [34] Mm.
(PS22P) [35] but anyway, erm people used to be very helpful and erm
(PS22N) [36] Mm mm.
(PS22P) [37] so I managed for a few weeks and then I went to lodge with my sister at Trimley
(PS22N) [38] Mm
(PS22P) [39] and from there of course the bus service was erm much better.
[40] They had two or three different bus services and erm, the bus went past County Hall so that it was quite,
(PS22N) [41] Mm.
(PS22P) [42] quite easy, well it was comparatively easy, [laugh] only trouble was of course that erm at night erm one had to go right down from County Hall to Barrett Corner to get on the bus because they were so full by the time they got to County Hall and erm so I used to walk down there with erm a chap from the Education Department, who was in the Works and Stores, a chap and erm, he was quite helpful.
(PS22N) [43] Mm, you never had a guide dog?
(PS22P) [44] Oh no, no.
[45] In fact there were very few guide dogs at that time and erm I've never felt that erm it's, I mean maybe ... just my ... erm silliness really but I, I never wanted a dog lying about all day because once at the office I stayed put as it were until it was time to go home and I could have taken the dog I suppose during the lunch hour but I preferred that time to erm to reading
(PS22N) [46] Mm.
(PS22P) [47] and just relaxing and erm in any case as I say er guide dogs were few and far between at that time
(PS22N) [48] Mm mm.
(PS22P) [49] and I've never wanted one since because er luckily I've got erm my wife who, we get about together.
(PS22N) [50] Mm.
(PS22N) [51] What, can you remember what your salary was when you [...] ?
(PS22P) [52] Yes it's erm ... it was seventy five pounds a year at age nineteen
(PS22N) [53] Mm.
(PS22P) [54] and erm I actually received twenty seven and twopence a week, to start with it was paid weekly but subsequently erm we went on to the monthly erm payments and er but that's what I had and er ... I used to pay my sister fifteen shillings a week for, for lodgings.
(PS22N) [55] Mm.
(PS22P) [56] But erm interestingly enough my salary until after the war was charged to erm Civil Defence.
[57] I think it was erm a bit of a ploy that erm I was extra to establishment really and I was only temporary, on the temporary staff until erm well a year or so after the war when all these things were sort of sorted out and erm I was on the permanent
(PS22N) [58] How many hours a week did you work?
(PS22P) [59] Erm ... well
(PS22N) [clears throat]
(PS22P) [60] I think it was about forty four
(PS22N) [61] Mm.
(PS22P) [62] but of course erm as a sort of public to the er, er a gesture to the public erm but one stage during the war when things were getting a bit grim on the war front, it was decided that erm, we should work extra hours as erm, [...] to show that we were pulling our weight [laughing] [...] [] , so we used to, instead of starting at nine o'clock until erm half past five, and working on Saturdays as well of course, erm, we had to start at half past eight and finish at six and it was a bit of a fiasco really because nobody erm, you know, well the end of the half past five you were pretty well tired out so erm the rest of the time ...
(PS22N) [63] Mm.
(PS22P) [64] you were really kicking your heels and erm quite apart from which in the winter time the er conditions were pretty grim because they had the erm anti-splinter netting over the windows and erm big blinds which had to be drawn as soon as it was dusk because er, of course you weren't allowed to show a light and erm if that was [...] it became really thick
(PS22N) [65] Mm.
(PS22P) [66] mm, I don't think the cleaners were all that erm good at their job, I mean they, they were, er perhaps that's a bit unfair to them to say that because erm the collection of dust was erm [laughing] pretty dreadful []
(PS22N) [67] Mm.
(PS22P) [68] with all the books and files around and er, it became, anybody with any chest troubles erm
(PS22N) [69] Mm.
(PS22P) [70] found it v very difficult cos erm atmosphere as I say was erm really dreadful
(PS22N) [71] Mm.
(PS22P) [72] it got very hot and erm stuffy and unpleasant
(PS22N) [73] Mm.
(PS22P) [74] so erm, and that went on for, I suppose till the end of the war when er, when we had a reduction in hours again, we went back to the normal nine till half past five.
(PS22N) [75] Mm.
(PS22P) [76] Mm, we did have to, oddly enough there was always a tradition when I started er ... of working on Tuesdays erm an extra quarter of an hour because that was Committee Day
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [77] and erm ... I don't know what the idea really was, I think it was possibly so that erm, that people concerned with the Committee Meetings could erm sort themselves out and
(PS22N) [78] Mm.
(PS22P) [79] for a little more time to
(PS22N) [80] This was just presumably Education Committee?
(PS22P) [81] Yes, it was just the Education Department
(PS22N) [82] Yes, mm
(PS22P) [83] at least as far as I can remember.
(PS22N) [84] Mm mm.
[85] Mm do you remember anything about the A R P during the war [...]
(PS22P) [86] Oh, yes, yes , its erm, erm County Hall of course was the County Control Centre for erm air raid precautions
(PS22N) [87] Mm.
(PS22P) [88] erm,ca before I go on to that can I just erm tell you what erm, where we worked?
(PS22N) [89] Yes, certainly, sorry.
(PS22P) [90] Erm, the archway from St Helens is still there isn't it?
(PS22N) [91] Mm, yes.
(PS22P) [92] Now just on the left as you go under the archway there was a small door
(PS22N) [93] Mm.
(PS22P) [94] I don't know whether it's still there but
(PS22N) [95] Yes.
(PS22P) [96] erm you went into the small door and then turned right
(PS22N) [97] Mm.
(PS22P) [98] there was erm, men's cloakroom on the left hand side and then our enquiry office was immediately on the right hand side.
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [99] You went a little farther along, past erm 's room.
[100] being the Chief Clerk and then turned left and down quite a long corridor, which in those days was erm shorned up with four by four timber posts because er, presumably they thought if the County Hall got a direct hit the ceiling might come down
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [101] [laugh] but er they were a bit of a nuisance because more than once, I must admit I erm, I collided with them which rather made me aware of their presence but anyway erm, then just beyond ... I am sorry, on the erm right hand side, a little way down this corridor, were the stairs up to the next floor which was in those days Public Health
(PS22N) [102] Mm
(PS22P) [103] and right next to those were stairs down to the basement but they've still got the basement, mm mm
(PS22N) [104] Yes, yes that's right second floor is Education now.
(PS22P) [105] Is it?
(PS22N) [106] Yes.
(PS22P) [107] Oh yes because erm
(PS22N) [clears throat]
(PS22N) [108] I know it because I finished up ... erm then just beyond the erm the stairs down to the basement was Arthur 's room
(PS22N) [109] Mm.
(PS22P) [110] and then
(PS22N) [111] [...] got the General Office now. [laugh]
(PS22P) [112] mm mm, and then the next erm one down on the left was where I worked with erm a chap named Tom .
[113] Erm his, he passed away s some years ago.
[114] Erm,interest interestingly enough erm Cyril was very friendly with er Tom's son Kenneth who was erm Planning Officer in some area now Sussex
(PS22N) [115] Mm, mm.
(PS22P) [116] I think but continuing down the corridor erm which was all the Education Department, you came to the typists' room right at the bottom of the corridor on the left
(PS22N) [117] Mm.
(PS22P) [118] and then erm turning right you went past the ladies' cloakroom and before you got to the door out into erm Grimwich Street
(PS22N) [119] Mm.
(PS22P) [120] there was a large room which was the Control Room and er in there they had erm four, three or four erm telephones which were manned constantly for twenty four hours
(PS22N) [121] Mm.
(PS22P) [122] and they took messages from the erm various A R P points throughout the county.
[123] We're talking about East Suffolk of course
(PS22N) [124] Yes.
(PS22P) [125] not erm the whole of Suffolk and erm the County Hall staff as a whole was divided into six shifts, erm and each shift was on duty for twenty four hours a day, for twenty four hours on
(PS22N) [126] Mm.
(PS22P) [127] and erm so that erm the shift that was on say Sunday, would erm erm be on again on the Saturday and so it erm, you know you got a different day
(PS22N) [128] Mm.
(PS22P) [129] each week and erm, the shift which was on duty say on Sunday would have Monday off, they were, they could erm go home on Monday
(PS22N) [130] Mm.
(PS22P) [131] and erm ... the six shifts had erm Controller and generally speaking these were Heads of Department, the erm, the Mr who was Chief Education Officer at that time.
[132] Incidentally, he wasn't known as Chief Education Officer, he was Secretary for Education, he only became Chief Education Officer after the war but erm he was the Controller of Shift E and most of the education staff were on Shift E.
[133] It so happened that erm Tom tha who I was working with, see he was on Shift er Shift F and er [laughing] there was always a bit of rivalry [] between the various shifts as er, as to erm, you know, who did the better job and all this sort of thing
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [134] They were always erm, making caustic comments about the entries in the, in the log book which the telephonists had to keep, erm, of the messages that came through
(PS22N) [135] Mm.
(PS22P) [136] but erm ... they erm, they had their meals in the canteen which was one of the committee rooms adapted for that purpose ... and erm, I think erm, the youngs younger people used to quite enjoy it really I mean they used t ha
(PS22N) [137] What did you think of it?
(PS22P) [138] Well I was never on it [laugh] I was exempt and erm the younger people were, they had the opportunity of not erm being on the shifts
(PS22N) [139] Oh I see, it wasn't compulsory then?
(PS22P) [140] It wasn't compulsory er erm up to the age of about eighteen I think,
(PS22N) [141] Mm.
(PS22P) [142] I think erm, you know there were one or two sort of erm clandestine meetings and that sort of thing
(PS22N) [143] [laughing] yes [] .
(PS22P) [144] [laughing] as you could imagine [] because erm they had all the whole building to erm to roam about in
(PS22N) [145] Yes.
(PS22P) [146] and er, I think the younger people quite enjoyed it but the older ones, of course, found it bit of a bind, er particularly after erm the sort of patriotic fervour
(PS22N) [147] Mm.
(PS22P) [148] wore off a bit, I mean there was erm, everybody was feeling very patriotic at the beginning of the war but after four or five years the erm novelty wore off
(PS22N) [149] Mm.
(PS22P) [150] and erm
(PS22N) [151] Was there any financial incentive for
(PS22P) [152] Not re no, no, no, no.
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [153] But erm ... as far as financial incentive goes, erm ... it was about a year or so after erm I started there I think when er they introduced it, the erm war bonus, which was a supplement to normal salaries
(PS22N) [154] Mm.
(PS22P) [155] and erm as usual this was erm, this created a bit of controversy because erm temporary staff, according to the reading of the minute, didn't er, weren't entitled to war bonus because erm, they'd been appointed at a certain salary and er that was that and er, but in the [laughing] end we [] managed to get our war bonus as well so we were on equal pegging with the, with the other staff.
(PS22N) [156] Mm.
(PS22P) [157] But erm there were one or two little hiccups of that sort where erm temporary staff were erm regarded as a bit er [...] second rate citizens [...]
(PS22N) [158] Mm.
(PS22P) [159] and erm, with all the erm younger men and some of the girls of course er, volunteered for the services
(PS22N) [160] Mm.
(PS22P) [161] er we had quite a number of married women coming in to er, to work as part of their war effort and erm, so that there was quite, there was quite erm ... quick turnover of staff at that time
(PS22N) [162] Mm.
(PS22P) [163] and erm ... to be fair to them, I don't think that erm some of them were particularly interested in, [laughing] in their work [] and er
(PS22N) [164] Mm.
(PS22P) [165] [...] the war effort was really erm a way of getting out of erm away from home because the women were erm, found themselves left on their own
(PS22N) [166] [...] mm
(PS22P) [167] cos the men had gone to the services.
(PS22N) [168] Mm. ...
(PS22P) [169] But erm ... yes that was the erm, that was the A R P erm
(PS22N) [170] Mm.
(PS22P) [171] story.
(PS22N) [172] Yes.
[173] Bu coming on now to your relation working relationship with West Suffolk, I mean did you have much contact with, with staff in West Suffolk or?
(PS22P) [174] Very, very little really, erm we had contact with other Authorities of course, in the course, in erm er particularly in connection with evacuation, erm ... evacuation took up erm quite a lot of staff and, and time at that er particularly initially because erm Suffolk was in a peculiar position or at least the East Suffolk was, erm at the beginning of the war of course erm East Suffolk was an evacuation, er was erm a reception area
(PS22N) [175] Mm.
(PS22P) [176] and erm there were all sorts of funny stories and erm some of them not quite so funny about erm the way that the children and erm mothers from Dagenham came by sea and landed at, at Felixstowe
(PS22N) [177] Yes, I've heard about that, yes.
(PS22P) [178] and erm it was really remarkable because er, I mean presumably the Germans were told about it and erm kept [...] U-boats and [laughing] [...] [] and the [...] from shipping out the er
(PS22N) [179] Mm.
(PS22P) [180] out the area, but to bring them from, by sea from Dagenham to erm Felixstowe is a bit
(PS22N) [181] [...] by, by rail.
(PS22P) [182] Yes
(PS22N) [183] [...] mm
(PS22P) [184] and erm, then of course when they reached Felixstowe, everything was a bit chaotic because th they had to sleep on the floor in the schools down there
(PS22N) [185] Mm.
(PS22P) [186] and then they were bussed to an Acton crossroads where erm a rather bemused erm billeting, Chief Billeting Officer then had to decide where the buses had got to go to [laugh]
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [187] [laughing] and so [] you know looking back on it, was all rather funny but erm, it wasn't at the time of course particularly for the children and erm mothers.
(PS22N) [188] Did evacuation just take place over two or three days or?
(PS22P) [189] Yes, mm mm,
(PS22N) [190] Mm.
(PS22P) [191] but erm it had sorted itself out after, well more or less after a week or two a lot of the evacuees of course didn't stay very long, they went back home because erm ... I know mother had a, a little boy from erm Guildford when we lived at Debenham and er he went back after a while, the mother used to come down and visit him from time to time, they were very, came from very poor circumstances and the
(PS22N) [192] Mm.
(PS22P) [193] mother used to spend most of her time in the local when she did come and er
(PS22N) [194] Mm.
(PS22P) [195] in the end she took the children home with her, erm it was so different from what they'd been used to in those erm
(PS22N) [196] Mm.
(PS22P) [197] East, well in the East End particularly, Guildford was not much better
(PS22N) [198] Mm.
(PS22P) [199] but erm ... erm ... anyway ... the erm children were absorbed into the schools of some sort
(PS22N) [200] Mm.
(PS22P) [201] but erm then became, we got round to the erm question of getting the children into similar schools to the ones that they'd been in and erm I came into this, in fact I came into all sorts of things erm well by accident then I suppose anyway [laughing] not for any other reason [] but erm Mr erm who was the Secretary for Education, he had a Personal Assistant a chap named erm erm he was a very likeable chap erm and er a rather ec bit of an eccentric really because erm he'd been erm, he'd trained as a doctor and erm he'd left the course before completing it.
[202] Then he went erm into the Navy for a short time and for some unknown reason he managed to get out of the Navy and came as Mr 's Personal Assistant and erm one of his jobs was to erm get these pe children sorted out and I used to write no end of letters for him to erm places like erm Ilford and Wanstead and mainly the northern suburbs of London erm about certain children who had been attending central schools which were something, which were something that erm East Suffolk couldn't offer and erm trying to decide whether they ought to go to grammar school or one of the area schools as they we then were
(PS22N) [203] Mm.
(PS22P) [204] in Suffolk and erm most complicated situations we got into.
(PS22N) [205] Mm.
(PS22P) [206] The erm billeting actually was dealt with by a section connected with the er County Accountants Department
(PS22N) [207] Mm.
(PS22P) [208] which subsequently became the Treasurers ... and erm ... they used to erm collect the contributions from, from parents and there again I got involved because they were short of typists at one time
(PS22N) [209] Mm.
(PS22P) [210] and erm we had to write to parents and er collect contributions which were overdue.
(PS22N) [211] Mm.
[212] How large were the, were the classes with these influx of all these,di did it boost up the numbers in the?
(PS22P) [213] Yes, somehow they used to accommodate them but
(PS22N) [214] Mm.
(PS22P) [215] you see it wasn't very long after that that [laugh] they were deciding somewhere in er erm, I think Whitehall that erm Suffolk should become an evacuation area.
(PS22N) [216] Mm.
(PS22P) [217] So that at that point erm, we ceased to receive evacuees and Felixstowe went to Redditch, Felixstowe Grammar School.
[218] I am talking about grammar schools actually because erm the work that I was concerned with was in the secondary education which erm translated really means meant grammar school education, so that the schools that erm I had most contact with were the grammar schools.
[219] Felixstowe went to Redditch and Worcestershire.
[220] Erm, oddly enough Leiston Grammar went to Sudbury.
[221] Erm Lowestoft, which was the only other one which evacuated in total, they went as a school rather than a, you know, the individual children.
[222] Erm Lowestoft went to Worksop in erm Nottinghamshire.
(PS22N) [223] Mm, how we how were the children transported?
[224] Just
(PS22P) [225] Oh they went erm
(PS22N) [226] by train?
(PS22P) [227] they went by train, yes.
(PS22N) [228] Mm.
(PS22P) [229] And erm the they went as a unit, staff as most of the staff as well went
(PS22N) [230] Mm.
(PS22P) [231] with them and one or two remained behind but er, yes it was interesting how erm ... I always found it rather funny that er you had to go to Leiston to Sudbury to [...] evacuated to school
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [232] and erm ... if I could just mention that we had eight grammar schools, there was erm, in alphabetical order they were Bec Beccles, er Beccles Sir John the Man, er Bungay Grammar which had er small boarding house.
[233] Erm, Felixstowe,Fam oh sorry I missed out Hy Grammar School which was the really famous one.
(PS22N) [234] Mm.
(PS22P) [235] Mm,Fe Felixstowe Grammar School, Famlyn and Mills Grammar School, Leiston and Lowestoft and Stowmarket.
(PS22N) [236] Mm.
(PS22P) [237] Lowestoft was by far the biggest, erm and Lowestoft had a peculiar sort of administrative set up because they were what was described as erm a Divisional Executive and erm they had powers over their own committees ... apart from higher education which in modern parlance is further education.
[238] We used to call it higher education, and erm so we had to deal with the, the Lowestoft Grammar School in the same way as we did with the other schools and also with the erm Technical Institute which was at Lowestoft, that was the only erm purpose-built erm centre for further education in the, in the county at that time.
(PS22N) [239] Mm.
(PS22P) [240] Ipswich of course was a separate power, we had nothing to do with Ipswich.
(PS22N) [241] Mm.
(PS22P) [242] The erm Lowestoft Technical Institute was actually in Clapham Road and that got a direct hit
(PS22N) [243] Mm.
(PS22P) [244] er luckily, as far as I know, nobody was erm, nobody was erm nobody was killed.
[245] There may have been one or two injured
(PS22N) [246] Mm.
(PS22P) [247] but the Principal of the Technical Institute at Lowestoft was quite a character, a Mrs, a Miss G C and I remember it was the day after the erm, the bombing and the building was pretty well devastated and er Miss rung up and said, she'd got an idea she [laughing] said [] erm how about hiring a bus, a double-decker bus, I could have my classes in the bus and erm
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [248] it c it could er be driven around when there are air raids to get out of danger []
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [249] but she was a marvellous person, erm
(PS22N) [250] Mm.
(PS22P) [251] erm it may be that erm because of my generation, but you don't get the same sort of personalities [laughing] nowadays [] as you did in those days, erm Mr for instance he was, he was a most benign sort of erm fellow of what one would describe as a real gentleman mm, mind you he used to have his paddies at times but
(PS22N) [252] Mm.
(PS22P) [253] he was erm a very fine man really, I suppose,
(PS22N) [254] Mm.
(PS22P) [255] I remember erm one morning he came in in a bit of erm ... he was obviously very annoyed about something and er, when he was in those sort of moods he used to expect erm all sort of reports to be presented and er he wanted er statistics which nobody else had ever thought of and erm Arthur who as I have s hinted before was erm really my sort of [laughing] guardian angel [] he, he sort of er did a great deal for me.
[256] He was erm the chap, sort of chap who was erm, who was able to calm things down, he er
(PS22N) [257] Mm.
(PS22P) [258] he had a way with him and he was, got on very well with Mr and er he told us afterwards that erm the whole trouble was that the children's baths had leaked that [laughing] morning
(PS22N) [259] [laughing] Oh dear [] .
(PS22P) [260] and it [] turned Mr into a bit of a tizzy, but erm
(PS22P) [261] Mm.
(PS22N) [262] I don't suppose you'd er get that sort of relationship nowadays and of course it was during the war when people er the fact that erm there was a war on erm was a levelling down or up or at least a levelling of, of people's situations they,
(PS22N) [263] Mm.
(PS22P) [264] they were all in it together and er, there was perhaps not quite so much erm side
(PS22N) [265] Mm.
(PS22P) [266] as erm as they would otherwise be.
(PS22N) [267] So there was more sort of community spirit?
[268] Sort of
(PS22P) [269] Yes that sort of thing yes.
[270] Yes I well remember er I use when I was staying down at Trimley there was erm a lady there who worked in the Billeting Department, who ca who herself was evacuated from London and er, I used to catch the same bus with her but she never would speak to me, erm ... and erm ... one morning er she lived down at Curton and one morning they had some erm er German planes over Curton and they were doing some machine gunning and that sort of thing and erm [laugh] and we met at the bus ... stop and she was full of it and erm that sort of broke the ice it was
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [271] it was really amazing,
(PS22N) [272] Mm.
(PS22P) [273] how erm,gonna just because there'd been this, this scaring incident, it made her loosen her tongue and er
(PS22N) [274] Mm.
(PS22P) [275] because if I might say so disabled people were treated oddly in those days, they are not er, erm people I think were a bit er diffident about making contact with them and erm, a lot of people wouldn't erm, you know, give you a hand if you were
(PS22N) [276] Oh really?
(PS22P) [277] crossing a road
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [278] and that sort of thing.
(PS22N) [279] Oh really, that's a sort of discrimination
(PS22P) [280] It's, it's much better now er erm, you know people have become a little more ... understanding of course.
(PS22N) [281] Mm.
[282] Mm, must have been very difficult then to get around sometimes then
(PS22N) [283] Oh well it was, yes, and erm you know if people are friendly and er talk to you and, you know even if you don't want help, if they offer it's always appreciated.
(PS22N) [284] Mm.
(PS22P) [285] Erm
(PS22N) [286] Would you like to say a little bit more about the actual work of your Department?
(PS22P) [287] Yes, erm Arthur as I have mentioned earlier was erm the fourth in command as it were and erm if I can just sort of go down the erm the pecking order, mm, Leslie was the Chief Education Officer.
[288] In those days called the Secretary.
[289] He had a Personal Assistant who er, well didn't come into the reckoning really erm because he merely erm was filled in when Mr couldn't er attend various functions.
[290] Then the, the Assistant Secretary for Education was erm a very interesting chap erm he was a Mr A O D and erm he was, he had erm an elementary school background, he hadn't a degree or any qualification but he'd been in [...] so long that er he'd worked his way up to erm,s erm to Assistant Secretary for Education and he was a jolly chap and erm and he produced a, a dictionary of erm, of the Suffolk dialect which has became quite erm, quite a classic work really
(PS22N) [291] Mm mm.
(PS22P) [292] and then erm next in order was erm Alfred who was the Chief Clerk and then there were a number on level pegging, there was erm Cyril in charge of Works and Stores, Arthur who was erm, as I've said was my ... erm the [...] guardian and erm in the Finance Section was Charlie and erm then there was the typing pool.
[293] Erm, when I first started erm I think the typists felt that erm as an ordinary typist I ought to er be in the typing pool but the [laughing] I'm glad I didn't [] because I don't think I would have felt very happy amongst er
(PS22N) [294] Other women? [laugh]
(PS22P) [295] Yes, so many ladies I d I don't know how many there were about erm five or six I think
(PS22N) [296] Mm.
(PS22P) [297] so I've shared a room with erm this chap Tom who was er ... he had been in the First World War and er though he seemed old to me at the time, I suppose he was probably in his thirties and erm ... he joined the Home Guard and erm lived, because he was bombed out where he lived in he moved out to Coptock had accommodation out there and er he was in the unit at Coptock and so that used to take up quite a bit of his time and other erm members of staff were, of course also had fire watching and erm various civil defence activities, quite apart from the work on the A R P shifts.
(PS22N) [298] Mm.
(PS22P) [299] Arthur erm he was exempt from erm er these sort of civil defence activities, I think [...] bit of [...] in the road where he lived.
[300] Yeah that is.
(PS22N) [301] Mm.
(PS22P) [302] But erm he'd always had a temperamental heart and erm at times he wasn't at all well
(PS22N) [303] Mm.
(PS22P) [304] mm it's interesting t to think that he's now in his eighties and er [laugh]
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [305] he's survived all the er heart condition that he ever did have
(PS22N) [306] Mm.
(PS22P) [307] and in fact er latterly he was much erm, much fitter than he was when I first knew him.
(PS22N) [308] Mm.
(PS22P) [309] But he was a very very kindly man and er he introduced erm me to a lot of things which I wouldn't otherwise have erm ... been able to do, or at least I wouldn't have g had the erm, been invited to do.
(PS22N) [310] Mm.
(PS22P) [311] And the work of our little section erm, which consisted of Tom, Tom , myself, Arthur and a young girl erm of about fifteen, sixteen.
[312] Erm ... was the erm running of these eight grammar schools ... erm evening institutes ... erm Tom was er sort of Commander in Chief of evening institutes
(PS22N) [313] Mm
(PS22P) [314] erm, then there were all sorts of odds and ends which I think very largely were erm the result of Mr wanting to erm ... build up a name for his Suffolk [...] doing rather more than perhaps some other Authorities
(PS22N) [315] Mm.
(PS22P) [316] and er particularly in the field of agriculture ... erm ... we had erm an Agricultural Organiser ... and erm he ran experimental plots in erm places like Tunstall and Wickham Market.
[317] We also had an Agricultural Orga Horticultural Organiser erm with experimental plots and he went round to schools as well and er
(PS22N) [318] Mm.
(PS22P) [319] looked after erm the work done in school gardens
(PS22N) [320] Mm.
(PS22P) [321] and erm ... one of er, of the various committees that erm Arthur was in charge of was an Agricultural Sub Committee which in turn had a Sub Committee called the Poultry Sub Committee.
[322] Now erm for [laughing] some reason [] or other we were responsible for the accredited Poultry Breeding Station Scheme which was erm initiated by the Department of Education or the Ministry of Education as it was then at that stage.
[323] Erm, sorry of Agriculture not Education
(PS22N) [324] Mm.
(PS22P) [325] and erm these were poultry breeders be erm scattered all over the count er county who ... yes the erm accredited poultry breeding station scheme was erm initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture ... and erm there were a number of farms scattered all over the county ... erm where they were open to inspection and erm we had erm had a Mrs who went round and inspected the flocks and erm they had to reapply each year to erm sustain their accreditation
(PS22N) [326] Mm.
(PS22P) [327] and erm you'd be surprised really how much er [laughing] correspondence [] and er
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [328] erm arguing and er they was going on about this because if Mrs went to a farm and then said that she saw some hens there that didn't look particularly fit erm and said they'd got to be culled and if the farmer thought otherwise then we got into all sorts of tangles because we knew nothing about poultry.
[329] Mrs er presumably did
(PS22N) [330] Mm.
(PS22P) [331] and erm there was no final erm sort of er judgment to be had so erm then we had to call meetings of this little Sub Committee who finally made up their minds and I remember typing reports, quite long reports, about erm Rhode Island Reds er crossed with Light Sussex and Light Sussex crossed with er Brown [...] and erm I, I knew precious little about poultry at that time.
[332] [laughing] Don't know very much now [] but er it er became most monotonous and I used to [laughing] and I used to like []
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [333] meetings with the Poultry Sub Committee which then reported to the Agriculture Sub Committee
(PS22N) [334] Mm.
(PS22P) [335] and that in turn of course reported to erm, to the full Education Committee.
[336] ... Another sideline of this erm little secondary education section that erm Arthur was in charge of was the library and erm the Library Sub Committee he erm had to look out for much to the annoyance of erm Bill who was the librarian at the time
(PS22N) [337] Mm.
(PS22P) [338] because erm Bill thought that er really the library was his pigeon loft er not Arthur 's.
(PS22N) [339] Mm.
(PS22P) [340] Erm so that erm ... there were all sorts of erm little by- products from the agriculture and library and that sort of thing that er we had to erm deal with.
(PS22N) [341] Who actually was responsible for buying the books in the library?
(PS22P) [342] Oh, the librarian was
(PS22N) [343] Librarian, mm.
(PS22P) [344] but he had to report, of course, to the Library Sub Committee
(PS22N) [345] Mm.
(PS22P) [346] and Arthur was erm sort of Clerk to the Library Sub committee
(PS22N) [347] Yes.
(PS22P) [348] but erm Mr took t felt a bit I think about er
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [349] having to go through another person
(PS22N) [350] Mm.
(PS22P) [351] but erm he was alright, very friendly really
(PS22N) [352] Mm.
(PS22P) [353] and erm in fact, we were looking erm ... my wife found a copy of the fiftieth anniversary erm of the County Council the other day.
[354] We were looking through that and erm Mr was the first er County Librarian in East Suffolk
(PS22N) [355] Mm.
(PS22P) [356] and we knew him quite well because er before we moved, my parents moved to Debenham, we've lived at Trimley and he lived erm well next door but one to us and er so we knew Mr quite well.
(PS22N) [357] Mm.
(PS22P) [358] Erm ... [...] the work that I became, as it happened, mostly concerned with was the erm granting of major scholarships as they were then called which subsequently became called County Awards and er which were attainable in those days only at universities
(PS22N) [359] Mm
(PS22P) [360] and erm ... er ... we had er ... each, there was a Ministry of Education form to be completed, a statistical return and erm when I first started there there were no more than seventeen university students with these major scholarships.
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [361] Now it doesn't mean to say of course that there were only [laughing] seventeen people [] in
(PS22N) [362] No.
(PS22P) [363] East Suffolk at university because a lot of erm the more well to do parents would erm would probably turn up their noses at the small amount of
(PS22N) [364] Mm.
(PS22P) [365] of the value of the scholarship and not bother to apply in the first place, but the major scholarship was worth at its maximum a hundred and fifty pounds
(PS22N) [366] Mm
(PS22P) [367] a year, for three years
(PS22N) [368] Mm.
(PS22P) [369] and fifty pounds of that was loaned which had to be repaid at the end of the course in sixteen equal quarterly instalments.
(PS22N) [370] Oh, I see.
(PS22P) [371] So that erm [clears throat] erm the collection of [laugh] of the loan was erm quite a major operation in itself because though erm there was a form of agreement and each agreement had to have two sureties and erm you could always go to the sureties if the student after the course
(PS22N) [372] Mm
(PS22P) [373] erm failed to pay up it erm, there were all sorts of circumstances which erm made it difficult for the student or difficult for the student or there were certain students of course who just erm tried to avoid paying altogether
(PS22N) [374] Mm.
(PS22P) [375] and erm at that time of course when we got to that sort of crisis we erm had to send a memo over to the er Clerk of the Council's Department er.
[376] The Clerk of the Council is now, of course, the Chief Executive
(PS22N) [377] Mm.
(PS22P) [378] and erm he would take er legal action or at least that was the idea, we hardly ever got any erm any [laughing] change [] out of the Le Legal Department and as often as not it was written off.
(PS22N) [379] Mm, probably cost as much to, to get the money back [...]
(PS22P) [380] Oh yes yes, but erm this we found wa always was the case with the er County Council Legal Department that er by the time they got round to it the people had [laughing] either [] gone abroad or something had happened er
(PS22N) [381] Mm.
(PS22P) [382] so it was written off in the end.
(PS22N) [383] Mm.
(PS22P) [384] Er the most interesting case erm, I remember was a chap who erm having completed his course erm joined the R A F and erm he was missing at Dieppe when they had the rather abortive attempt at landing at Dieppe during the war and er, but he was never ... erm posted as ... as erm having died and erm it was years afterwards, it was in the nineteen fifties in fact before we could get the Department of Education to agree to the loan being written off because erm obviously he was, by that time he had to be assumed as
(PS22N) [385] Mm.
(PS22P) [386] dead and not just missing.
(PS22N) [387] Mm.
(PS22P) [388] But erm another [laugh] funny story that er always sticks in my mind is er when we sent memos to the Clerks' Department and there was only the Clerks' Department, they were, they were trying to erm improve their public image as [...]
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [389] We were told, because of the shortage of paper, we were told only to use ... secondhand papers er paper that had already been used for letters or memos when writing to the Clerks' Department and erm we erm used to get the grubbiest paper that we could and then you had to condense it and type it erm without too much space ... and erm that went over to the Clerks' Department, then erm when it got over th oh sorry you had to trim off the edges erm so that there was no spare paper left around the memo so that er you know there was just this little bit of paper [laughing] [...] [] with the
(PS22N) [390] Yes.
(PS22P) [391] message on it or the er instruction on it
(PS22N) [392] Mm mm
(PS22P) [393] and then when it got over to the Clerks' Department they used to stick it on another piece of paper so that they could put it on the file [laugh]
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [394] and er that may sound er a bit exaggerated but I can assure you that's what happened, that er, to go to, to be able to file these, these little scraps of paper they had to [laughing] stick [] it on another sheet
(PS22N) [395] Yes.
(PS22P) [396] it was rather funny.
(PS22N) [397] [laugh] ... Do you remember the introduction of, sort of computers or any sort of mechanized typewriters [...] ?
(PS22P) [398] Not erm, not within the the time which we are talking about really.
(PS22N) [399] No.
(PS22P) [400] This was erm well we were at County Hall of course and er subsequently we erm, they built this what was described as a derelict aircraft carrier and [...]
(PS22N) [401] Mm.
(PS22P) [402] and er we moved over there because erm the Department was splitting at the seams really, because immediately there was erm, the war was over and there were all sorts of plans for erm for development and that sort of thing and erm as I've already mentioned there were two, only two graduates in the whole of the Education Department who was Mr and er his Personal Assistant and erm then after the war there were three graduates appointed, all of them from erm, ex service men, there was Arthur who was erm Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, there was erm Bud , I can't remember his Christ proper christian name.
[403] He was in the R A F erm erm and then there was a chap named Harold who was Lieutenant Colonel from the Army.
[404] Erm he subsequently went to erm Huddersfield as Chief Education Officer
(PS22N) [405] Mm.
(PS22P) [406] but erm, and these people were assigned erm three separate sections erm, Harold for instance, he took over Further Education which was a term which hadn't been erm, was not an accepted term in those days because we'd always er referred to it as Higher Education
(PS22N) [407] Mm.
(PS22P) [408] and Bud was erm, dealt with schools and erm ... er, no I'm sorry Arthur dealt with schools.
[409] Bud had a very special job, he erm, he was in charge of the Post War Planning and erm, he spent no end of time and er a great deal of research having er committee member er committee meetings to do with the setting up of County Colleges
(PS22N) [410] Mm.
(PS22P) [411] and erm the reorganizing of erm secondary education which all stemmed of course really from the nineteen forty four Act
(PS22N) [412] Mm.
[413] Yes.
(PS22P) [414] and erm er in the end of course, hardly any of it was implemented.
[415] We never did get erm any county colleges.
(PS22N) [416] Mm.
[417] [...] funds, funds were limited for school buildings.
(PS22P) [418] We er yes, yes, we erm, one thing that did happen of course was that the area schools as they were called in those days became erm, described as modern schools
(PS22N) [419] Mm.
(PS22P) [420] and erm they was erm ... quite funny really because erm Rentham School was then Rentham Senior School erm was on the black nineteen twenty six blacklist of schools erm for erm closing and er, erm resitting somewhere,
(PS22N) [421] Mm.
(PS22P) [422] but er, under the nineteen forty four Act, Rentham Senior School then became Rentham Modern School and we thought [laughing] we thought that the [] silly term to go to a school which in nineteen twenty six had been er
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [423] on the blacklist
(PS22N) [424] Mm.
(PS22P) [425] because there was erm before the war there was a blacklist of schools which ... were due for reor reorganization and erm
(PS22N) [426] Mm.
(PS22P) [427] resiting.
(PS22N) [428] Can you remember where any of the others were, on the blacklist?
(PS22P) [429] Er, no that was er erm, most of, most of the blacklist had been dealt with erm it had been a fair amount of erm reorganization and er rebuilding
(PS22N) [430] Mm.
(PS22P) [431] but erm ...
(PS22N) [432] Course it was the Butler Act of nineteen forty four which set up this three stage
(PS22P) [433] It was, yes.
(PS22N) [434] national ladder.
(PS22P) [435] There was grammar, erm secondary, secondary grammar, secondary technical and secondary modern
(PS22N) [436] Mm.
(PS22P) [437] but there again secondary technical erm really didn't get off the ground,
(PS22N) [438] Mm.
(PS22P) [439] erm there were ... some erm secondary technical erm facilities of course at one or two of the schools [clears throat] before the war.
[440] Erm they had a machine, quite advanced machine shop at the Leiston Grammar School and er interestingly enough that became er used whilst the grammar school was evacuated as a training centre for erm .
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [441] Er one of the members of staff of the Leiston Grammar School, a chap named Johnny erm, was in charge of his trainees and erm there again erm Arthur and our section became responsible for erm all this in-service training for er, er women mainly because the men of course had joined up and erm the [...] used to come in quite often and er he got, used to get so upset because he couldn't erm, he got at cross purposes with some of these ladies
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [442] and erm he was always talking about erm different types of lathe and chucks and things like that and er, none of us had any idea what [laughing] he was []
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [443] talking about it was far too technical for us but
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [444] erm Arthur used to listen and in the end er, I think Johnny went off, you know, satisfied that somebody had listened to him
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [445] but erm that was erm financed of course by the Ministry of Labour at erm ... as the erm Education Department were responsible for the ... the general administration of it
(PS22N) [446] Mm.
(PS22P) [447] and erm Wickham Market had erm Machine Centre erm, that was used during the war for erm certain courses er particularly for erm tractor drivers, they used to er have a week's course, they had to apply to the Education Committee and er we got these applications in and erm they spent a week at Wickham Market, then in they used to stay in lodgings if they came from great distances and erm ... they would learn about the maintenance of erm of tractors and er, I suppose it's quite a good thing really because er, it was difficult to get any repairs done in those days
(PS22N) [448] Mm.
(PS22P) [449] and er that was one of Tom 's extras because [laughing] I could [] very well remember, erm we had very little ... erm time off at Christmas and there was one year that erm, we just had the Christmas Day and erm ... erm Tom had this meeting on the Christmas Eve to decide who should erm attend the next week's tractor course and erm, everybody was sort of feeling in the, sort of Christmas spirit and
(PS22N) [450] Mm.
(PS22P) [451] er perhaps Tom himself was erm not really concentrating very much but I know when we came back after the Christmas Day, the Boxing Day that is, erm, Tom was [laugh] quite oblivious as to what had gone on on the Chr on the Christmas Eve, so I remember we c we put our heads together and erm came to erm some arrangement as to who should be [laughing] invited [] for this next tractor course and nothing was ever said so I expect the right people went after all but erm it's funny how when ... he was
(PS22N) [452] Mm.
(PS22P) [453] a bit befuddled and I think everybody else was er
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [454] a bit unconcerned as to what was going on on the Christmas Eve.
(PS22N) [455] Mm.
(PS22P) [456] The erm education for the forces was another erm
(PS22N) [457] Oh yes, you mentioned that.
(PS22P) [458] another sideline of course and erm ... there again erm Mr who er kept a finger in, in a lot of pies, he erm with the W E A of course and erm the Cambridge Extra Mural Board of Studies.
[459] He was very friendly with erm who was in charge of the Extra Mural Board and erm ... then possibly because of this connection erm we were asked by the erm Ministry of Defence to provide lectures and courses for erm units of H M Forces stationed in the area and erm so a panel of lecturers was erm formed and erm they used to go out, the, the units used to have their own Education Officers, usually a sergeant or perhaps a second lieutenant and erm they used to come into the office and say that they'd like somebody to go out to their Searchlight Unit or A A Unit stationed somewhere out in the sticks and er lecture on this that or the other and erm we were supposed to try and fix them up and erm the panel erm, it had quite a number of erm people on it that erm, I can't remember ... who they all were, I know that erm ... [laugh] you'd hardly believe this but there was a chap named Mr and another chap named Mr
(PS22N) [460] [laughing] Yes [] .
(PS22P) [461] and they used to erm, they were ornithologists
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [462] and they used to go out to these units and take slides and er lecture to the, to the men about birds and er natural history and Mr himself he, he was famous for three different lectures that he used to offer.
[463] One was from erm ... from Baghdad to Barqu and the other one was from Barqu to Basrah because he was in the First World War, I think he was serving with the Middlesex Regiment and erm, I don't know how he managed this, I never did understand.
[464] Anyway, he was a Captain in the Army and he had these slides of erm his, his journeys erm er in Arabia and he used to show this with er great regularity not only to erm Units of H M Forces but also to the er shifts, the A R P shifts he used to amuse them by
(PS22N) [465] Mm.
(PS22P) [466] showing these films.
[467] Then he had another one about er Gertrude who was erm, I never did know very much about Gertrude but she was erm a lady of some repute in er in Egypt a at erm either just before or just after the First World War.
[468] Then erm, of course there were people who lectured on er gate courses on elementary German, there was a friend of Doctor , who used to go out and, to units and erm give lessons in German and erm ... there were, there was a unit of Polish erm soldiers stationed, they had an armoured train, believe it or not, which was erm parked at Saxmundham and erm every so often, particularly at night, they used to trample up and down the line.
[469] Now what they, what they were supposed to do erm I never did know but there were quite a number of these er men who lived in this train and they had a lieutenant who's quite a handsome chap by all accounts, he used to come into the office a chap named lieutenant and erm erm this was one of the things that landed on Joyce 's plant er plate and er she used to meet these Education Officers and arrange for courses and in the er in Lieutenant 's case of course there was er, instruction in English which erm erm Stanley who was a Headmaster of er [...] Area School he undertook classes for these Polish chaps ... but er so often of course these erm, these units were only in the area for a limited space of time so you couldn't arrange anything very, very comprehensive
(PS22N) [470] Mm
(PS22P) [471] erm [laughing] I remember [] one er, I think it was Bedfield Hall or some big house at Bedfield where erm they had erm erm a hostel for Wrens, I think they were probably in training there and erm their Education Officer came in and wanted us to arrange a course erm and she wanted it described as a school for brides
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [472] about erm, you know early marriage and all this [laughing] sort of thing [] and erm that was a bit of a puzzle because erm, nobody [laughing] knew really [] what to
(PS22N) [473] Mm.
(PS22P) [474] lay on for them ... and erm ... also of course erm, I know, people like erm Mr and Mr they used to ... be picked up by er, by some chaps in a jeep or Army truck.
[475] They used to go all the way out to these erm Searchlight Stations and erm they used to, very often they, they were situated in a, in a sort of pit in a dug out and erm when they arrived of course er the Education Officer had forgotten to tell the, the troops that there was a lecture that they were supposed to attend and er nobody turned up.
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [476] They used to get erm these people on the Election Panel used to be paid a couple of guineas a time for their lectures
(PS22N) [477] Mm.
(PS22P) [478] but they were always a bit erm unhappy when they gave up so much time and er there was nobody there to listen [laughing] to them when [] when they got there.
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [479] A bit unfortunate really.
[480] Erm, another lecturer that I can remember was erm a chap named who was head at Reydon R E Y School near Southwold.
[481] He was very interested in astronomy and he used to lecture on the stars and that sort of thing.
[482] Erm, of course it has to be remembered that all these lectures, or at least most of them, were erm voluntary compulsion and the men used to turn up because they were told to and er whether or not they showed little or no interest very often and it was all ... erm well a bit of a waste of time.
(PS22N) [483] Mm.
[484] Mm.
[485] What would you say were some of your happiest memories of your time spent with the County Council?
(PS22P) [486] Erm ... ah, now that erm ... I think I was reasonably happy most of the time, erm I know if I can sort of look at the other side of the coin erm, I became a bit apprehensive as the war went on and er, obviously it wasn't going to last much longer.
(PS22N) [487] Mm.
(PS22P) [488] Er men were coming, young men were coming out of the forces and er they wanted their jobs back and er I began to wonder what was going to happen to me, if, because I was on the temporary staff and erm there was no guarantee that I'd be able to stay erm, and then of course erm I was thinking of probably getting married and erm ... er the salary at that stage wasn't er, wasn't very much to [laughing] get [] married on.
[489] I can't remember wha exactly what it was but er it erm had gone up a little since erm, since I first started.
[490] But I certainly remember going to Mr and erm, I felt very bold when I went and said that er, you know, sooner or later I'd erm, I'd get married and er set up a home and that sort of thing and erm I said er, what are the prospects of erm getting a reasonable salary?
[491] [laugh] He was then on a f salary of about four hundred a year I think.
[492] So it gives you some idea of what the salaries were like in those days.
(PS22N) [493] Mm.
(PS22P) [494] He said, erm, well what would you think was reasonable?
[495] Er what would you be able to manage on, sort of thing and I said about two hundred and [laughing] fifty [] a year and er, you know, that was quite realistic in those days but erm obviously it wouldn't go very far now, would it?
(PS22N) [496] [laughing] No [] .
[497] It wouldn't.
(PS22P) [498] But erm, if I could just erm ... erm expand a bit on this erm ... on this erm major awards, er because it was quite interesting, particularly because of the present er, uncertainty about what's going to happen about students' grants.
(PS22N) [499] Mm.
(PS22P) [500] Erm ... just er when I first started, I've already mentioned I think that erm there are about seventeen ... erm students at universities with major scholarships within the maximum of this erm hundred and fifty pounds a year and erm we inter had to interview all these erm applicants, erm which wasn't a very arduous task because [laughing] there weren't [] so many of them but
(PS22N) [501] Mm.
(PS22P) [502] we had to get erm reports from the Examining Boards erm on their performances, in the Higher School Certificate Exam erm, they had to take two main subjects and two subsidiaries and according to the recommendations of the Examining Boards, then, by and large, they er received a major award or, or they didn't but erm there was a consolation prize for those who didn't erm get a major award ... because there were a few, what they called, special loans ... erm offered by the Education Committee.
[503] These were fifty pounds a year
(PS22N) [504] Mm
(PS22P) [505] and, but of course, they were loans and had to be repaid at the end of the course.
[506] Er teacher training erm, which was then, of course, a two year course.
[507] Erm, they were not interviewed, they ... if they were accepted by a teacher training college they received erm a maximum of, of fifty pounds a year but erm as far as I can remember there was no loan erm element in that but I m I may be wrong because er but I never can remember erm writing to recover loans from the training college student.
(PS22N) [508] Mm.
(PS22P) [509] But erm, after the erm forty four Act of course, things began to er develop quite quickly and erm ... we then had what we called erm discretionary awards or minor awards we called them in the first place
(PS22N) [510] Mm.
(PS22P) [511] erm for various things and er one of the earliest er minor awards which the Education Committee had was to erm a girl from [...] Ruth who wanted to take erm erm a course for erm the N P S, the Pharmaceutical er Society's
(PS22N) [512] Mm.
(PS22P) [513] Exams and erm she was about the first I think and there was erm somebody else who wanted to take a course in erm Youth Leadership but erm, very quickly the numbers increased till the time I left ... of course we, we were dealing with thousands
(PS22N) [514] Mm.
(PS22P) [515] literally thousands and the expenditure had, had gone up to well over a million pounds.
(PS22N) [516] Mm.
(PS22P) [517] But that was er not until [laughing] ninete [] oh at the time of reorganization that we, of course the numbers increased dramatically then with erm, when we took the Borough students over and er also those from West Suffolk.
(PS22N) [518] Mm.
(PS22P) [519] But I erm became responsible for erm awards.
[520] Well I say responsible, I was really responsible to erm the e what we c that were then known as Assistant Education Officers.
[521] Erm, but erm, I had go was allowed a great deal of latitude.
[522] I don't know whether, people thought that erm if they interfered with me I wouldn't er ... I wouldn't play or what it was but then, anyway ... erm when the war ended, as I say I got a bit erm worried and erm I then got in touch with er Mr who was then er, then taken over from Sir Cecil Clerk of the Council or Chief Executive and erm, he suggested that erm I might take a course for the erm Home Workers Diploma For The Blind which erm was, well it was a sort of specialized er social worker really.
[523] They used to have people specializing for erm, erm blind individuals.
(PS22N) [524] Mm.
(PS22P) [525] So erm, both my wife.
[526] My wife used to [laughing] work [] in the Education Department, incidentally
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [527] and erm, we both decided we'd take this diploma and er Mr erm in his kindness let us erm erm go off to the workshops and do some practical work and erm my wife lived at Stow Upland and I was lodging in Ipswich and er ... he even allowed us to study in the, in the erm Enquiry Office in the evenings.
[528] I think he was a bit apprehensive [] about that because he didn't know whether erm he was doing right by allowing us to be together in the
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [529] Enquiry Office after office hours anyway.
[530] Erm, we did er the studies and erm too I took the diploma.
[531] Phil, my wife, erm had measles just at the time of the exam.
[532] So she didn't
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [533] take it in the end but erm anyway I got this diploma and er then I was quite annoyed because erm ... Social Services then erm pu the Welfare for the Blind was dealt with by the Public Health Department and a vacancy occurred in the Public Health Department for erm Blind Welfare Officer, or at least a Welfare Officer for the Blind and I applied for it and erm, they er didn't make an appointment because they didn't er get in other applications but they [laughing] di they didn't [] offer me the appointment.
[534] So I had a bit of an up and a downer and er erm created quite a stir with erm Mr the Clerk of the Council Professor.
[535] I thought this was very unfair and erm, but then ... luckily really because erm I don't think I would have let the job would have been difficult even if er I'd had my wife as, for transporting me around to these various people.
[536] Erm ... I then, erm sent a memo to the t erm County er Clerk of the Council and erm applied for upgrading and erm ... so I was then taken, I was put on the permanent staff.
[537] Taken off the typist's grade on to what was then called higher clerical and erm given the job of erm ... looking out for erm er awards, er both university and teacher training and
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [538] erm the minor awards or discretionary awards as they became and that's erm, I was given this job and er that's how it's ... built up really over the years.
(PS22N) [539] Mm.
(PS22P) [540] It started from something erm quite small and finished up with ... something [laughing] fairly large [] really
(PS22N) [541] Yes.
(PS22P) [542] and it's be it's been a very fascinating job because ... in the course of the years, obviously one has met erm, parents and students and lecturers and erm university tutors we've got to know quite well because erm there were all sorts of problems as you probably know with
(PS22N) [543] Mm.
(PS22P) [544] in these establishments
(PS22N) [545] Mm.
(PS22P) [546] and er the students themselves have all sorts of problems and latterly of course we had erm a great number of mature students
(PS22N) [547] Mm.
(PS22P) [548] and er ... as often as not they were ladies who had been separated or divorced and er they had all, a lot of sort of marital problems and it [laughing] became [] almost a, a we welfare of job
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [549] as much as erm a grant situation.
(PS22N) [550] Mm.
(PS22P) [551] The grants, the [...] of the grants of course increased over the years and the main thing about erm awards of course was to assess them and this is something which erm, I always felt a bit self conscious about because, we had this erm very comprehensive form where parents and erm, oh individuals when they were the students themselves had to complete and give very precise details of income
(PS22N) [552] Mm.
(PS22P) [553] and financial circumstances and erm, this was something of course that I had to leave to the people who were working got himself another job.
[554] So that erm, nobody really kn was the most monotonous job when you had to erm assess literally thousands of students in the end.
(PS22N) [555] Mm.
(PS22P) [556] [clears throat] And erm, I always felt sorry for the people working in Inland Revenue because er, [laughing] they were, they were [] having to do it all the time
(PS22N) [557] Mm.
(PS22P) [558] but erm, we never used to get the new rates of grants and the new regulations out from the erm Ministry until oh early June and all this work had to be done, erm, obviously before the
(PS22N) [559] Mm.
(PS22P) [560] new term st new academic year started
(PS22N) [561] Mm.
(PS22P) [562] and everybody was clamouring to know how much they were going to get and er we were always trying to head them off by saying that er, theirs was next [laughing] on the list [...] [] and er
(PS22N) [563] Mm.
[564] So sometimes students would get their grants quite late [...] ?
(PS22P) [565] We always tried to get some payment to them before a term started
(PS22N) [566] Mm.
(PS22P) [567] erm, it never, with reorganization it was a bit of a problem because erm [laughing] I well [] remembers too just after reorganization the County Treasurers took all the telephones off the hook, so there was no communication between our department and theirs.
[568] So you couldn't tell whether their, whether a student's cheque had gone out or not
(PS22N) [569] Oh dear
(PS22P) [570] and there was no contact at all department er it got really chaotic
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [571] and erm of course computers didn't help in the slightest because er, I think the er, I may be wrong about this but as I understood it erm the computer programmer worked for West Suffolk but at the time of reorganization he'd got himself another job.
[572] So that erm, nobody really knew how to program the erm,
(PS22N) [laugh]
(PS22P) [573] the thing and in those days they used to have the punched cards, you know, erm they still have this
(PS22N) [574] Yes.
(PS22P) [575] and erm they used to have to send these cards to Birmingham to be processed and there used to be a van going out from er Milner House to Birmingham.
[576] I think two or three times a week
(PS22N) [...]
(PS22P) [577] and erm, they had er, er a lot of girls over at Birmingham who used to prepare these cards for the computer
(PS22N) [578] Mm.
(PS22P) [579] but erm, it was erm ... rather silly really
(PS22N) [580] Right well, thank you Mr it's been a [...] a long and varied career [laugh]
(PS22P) [581] [laugh] It's erm
(PS22P) [582] eventful.
(PS22P) [583] it hasn't really been erm all that eventful but at least by staying put rather than going off at, I, I'd, I'd thought about, at one time, erm emigrating to New Zealand but er ... erm when I found out what the conditions were like out there I decided to stay and er
(PS22N) [584] Mm.
(PS22P) [585] we had the ch young children then so that erm all in all I am not sorry that things turned out as they did because erm as luck would have it, you know,
(PS22N) [586] Mm.
(PS22P) [587] it's er worked quite well.
(PS22N) [588] Mm
(PS22P) [589] and er I managed to get er do forty odd years and erm now I'm quite happy on the pension that [laughing] they gave me [] .
(PS22N) [590] You retired in nineteen eighty?
(PS22N) [591] Er July nineteen eighty, yes.
(PS22N) [592] Mm.
(PS22P) [593] I could have gone on of course erm, longer but er I wanted to do erm, I've always wanted to write and so I've er been able to do that since.
(PS22N) [594] Mm.
(PS22P) [595] And erm, my wife who's a teacher ... had erm a very devastating experience just after I retired so it was erm, it was as well that I retired when I did because I was then able to stay at home and er
(PS22N) [596] Yes.
(PS22P) [597] see after her.
(PS22N) [598] Yes,
(PS22P) [599] That about su [laughing] summons [] it up I think.
(PS22N) [600] Right, well thank you very much Mr .