Blow, Sandra (1 of 13).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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    British Library

  • Interviewees

    Blow, Sandra, 1925-2006 (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Lambirth, Andrew, 1959- (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Tape 1: Side A. Sandra Blow [SB] born 14th September 1925 Amhurst Park, Stoke Newington. Lived at Stamford Hill. Description of houses. Brother Stanley. Relationship with him. Jewish background in fruit trading. Grandfather bought farm in Paddock Wood, Kent. Description of farm and nearby hop farms. Liked the farm workers and particularly the maid Bessie Wootten. Toys. About her father, and his childhood. Later quite well off. Nurse. Lambing season at Paddock Wood. More memories of the farm. Sunday visits. Sketchy diet. Rheumatic fever aged 8. Very beautiful mother - innate artist, played piano. Not domesticated; SB follows this rather. Big Stamford Hill house - description. Grandfather died there. Grandparents lived at the farm, then aunt took over. Now her cousin. SB's older brother had control of the farm - the way it changed. Moved to Golders Green in 1936. School run by Victorian ladies. Earlier schools. Was taught piano. Family singsongs around the piano. Mother's parents (Rubinsteins) in Spital Square. Family life. Petticoat Lane, `Itchy' Park, pickled herrings. Religion - not important for a girl. Her brothers were taught Hebrew and their Bar Mitzvahs were important. SB didn't take to synagogue. Liked the non-Jewish farm workers. Childhood books. Kipling's `If'. Pictures on the walls. Not until later did she discover real paintings in the Iveagh Bequest at Kenwood. First school again. Won scholarship. Remembers writing an essay for which she was praised and deciding to be a writer.

  • Related transcripts

    Sandra Blow interviewed by Andrew Lambirth: full transcript of the interview

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