Jones, Terry. (1 of 10). Oral History of British Photography
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2000-04-06 and 2000-09-29
British Library and i-D, 124 Tabernacle Street, London, United Kingdom
Jones, Terry, 1945-, (speaker, male)
Martin, Penny, (speaker, female)
Part 1. Terry Jones (TJ) was born in Northampton in 1945 (2 September). His mother lived in London and married his father, who was in the RAF, within two weeks of meeting him. TJ never knew his father, who had left by the time his little sister, Mavis -now Elizabeth- was born, a year later. TJ's first memory is of the West Country. The family moved to Porelock Weir when he was two or three. His mother worked as a cook for Dr Barnardo's and then at a school outside Minehead. As they did not have a house, this allowed them to board in the school and TJ could sit in on lessons, while his mother worked. Aged three and four, TJ sat in on French or Latin classes. TJ remembers stags and snakes in the countryside around the school and describes himself as a bit of a loner. When he was six or seven, the family moved to Grittleton Girls School, where his mother worked as a cleaner. TJ was praised for his artwork while attending the school. TJ's mother previously worked as a secretary. TJ remembers his mother's boyfriends that allowed him to drive down Porelock Hill. TJ's mother would get his pocket money orders for stamps, which he collected in albums. TJ read stories from Boys Own, Champion and novels and had pillow fights with his sister. He does not remember being disciplined and became good friends with a local farm boy. TJ's mother was artistic, made Christmas cards and played the piano and violin. His Uncle Harry was a London bus driver and TJ remembers family going on busman's holiday to seaside. TJ thinks his mother became aware that since he was a boy, they would not be able to stay living the single sex school much longer. When he was 10, this caused her to have a nervous breakdown. She was placed in a psychiatric hospital in Divises and he and his sister were housed in Mare children's home in Somerset, where TJ was unhappy.