Franklin, Stuart (1 of 13). Oral History of British Photography
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Franklin, Stuart (speaker, male)
Read, Shirley (speaker, female)
Part 1: Born in Guys Hospital June 16 1956. A large age gap between father and mother. An only child, family lived in West London. Father worked in the city, mother had been a secretary. Didn't have a strong relationship with them, was sent to boarding school at seven. Mother died when SF was 13. Father died when he was in his twenties. Spent holidays with relatives. Thinks he went to a primary school in Hindhead and to prep school in Horsham. Then to Rugby. At school liked sport, English, Latin, History. Stayed with people in Hindhead, Ryde, Bexhill, a range of places, was interested in the wide world. Still has close friends from Rugby, they were challenging the world they were part of. Used to spend a lot of time in the art rooms. Enjoyed painting though it wasn't highly valued by the school system. A mean and unkind environment in general. Did worse and worse academically, couldn't relate to what he was being taught. But doing better and better socially and making good friendships with the rebels. Hated what the school represented, a hard, cold brutal institution. Left because he was so unhappy there. Father found him another school with slightly more liberal attitudes, St Christopher's. Main ambition to get away from school and family, wanted to travel. Started doing this at 16 and hasn't stopped, an escape from his past. Wanted to discover the world and himself for himself. Travelled from 16 till he went back to college at 22. Went to Israel and worked as a volunteer picking avocados and oranges on a kibbutz. Then to Turkey and Bulgaria and travelled back through E. Europe. Moved into a room in Earls Court above the Troubadour at 16, with a girlfriend.