Oral history of British science
Forrest, Michael (Part 2 of 14). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewee's home, Abingdon
Forrest, Michael, 1934- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 2: Remarks on childhood: exploring countryside around the Cwm and Greig mountain; playing with mining equipment; Idwal the milk, who delivered milk by churn; helping on nearby farm in return for cider, later sold for housing; caving and swimming. [04:50] Description of semi detached childhood home. [06:35] Remarks on: childhood room, books, toys; reading widely, such as W E Johns' 'Biggles' and comics, library; holidays at seaside, and in Caldicot countryside; relations with sister. [09:35] Discussion about playing with Meccano: story about crane builder Ruston sending MF and friend Oswald engineering drawings to base their Meccano models on. [12:50] Remarks on: parent's politics, mother uninterested, father Liberal position; social stratification in Aberdare; social class; parent's move to Aberdare; MF limited memories of London; MF feeling English in Wales. [16:35] Remarks on Town Council Primary School: sleeping after lunch; poor quality of many teachers in wartime, other than Mr Prescott; description of primitive conditions in school; frozen milk to drink in winter; social aspects of schooling. [19:50] Remarks on friends: Roger, who was killed at university; mutual friends with sister; educated friends finding work outside valley; Ozzy Gates, who MF played with Meccano and shot air rifles with. [21:40] Remarks on wartime: munitions factories nearby, evacuees, Aberdare hit by two bombs, food rationing, black market, limited impact; anecdote about having to take a taxi from Crewe to Liverpool, and Crewe being bombed en-route; [25:25] air raids at Grandmother's in Mill Hill, Sailor Uncle torpedoed. [26:10] Remarks on: limited contact with extended family due to war; evacuees at school; family life, cousins who worked for Atomic Energy Authority. [29:15] Remarks on West Mon Grammar School: Haberdashers' school; behaved like public schools; entrance exams; MF started in 1946; old well trained teachers and new postwar teachers.
Life story interview with physicist Dr Michael Forrest.