Jones, Edward (1 of 11) National Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Jones, Edward, 1939- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Dillon, Niamh (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Edward Jones (EJ) Born in St. Albans, Herts. in 1939 – mentions his mother’s fears of giving birth during the War. Mentions his mother having a drawer full of knives to repel the Wehrmacht. [00:02:10] The number of people in his family, his grandmother was involved in his upbringing, mentions going to boarding school aged seven. Reflects on the public school system and its role in servicing the empire [00:03:51] his school was Imperial Service College, Haileybury. Considers his maternal grandmother’s background; reflects on the possibility of some Jewish heritage thorough her family. His mother was a painter, father was a sculptor, [00:06:56] his background and parents’ influence on his later career. Reflects on his mother’s upbringing in Birmingham, his father’s heritage in Wales, anecdote about his paternal grandfather serving in the Black and Tans, he was later in manufacturing [Section from 00:09:38 to 00:09:45 CLOSED and muted on playback track]. EJ – talks about class differences within his family, mentions how he doesn’t know that much about family history. [00:11:52] Talks about his father’s need to leave home in order to follow his interest in art and design – he later worked as a car designer – their distance from their extended family, his affiliation to the Irish. Father’s family’s interest in music, EJ had a good voice (a record was made of him aged 11) – [00:16:34] mentions how generally children were distanced from the adult world – mentions going on painting/drawing holidays to the south of France with his parents’ – mentions his mother teaching him about art, [00:20:05] EJ interest in rugby. EJ talks about his mother’s work as a portrait painter; its popularity, reflects on how usual it was to study art at the time. His father studied at the Royal College of Art. His parents’ marriage at registry office [00:24:25] EJ later also married at a registry office. Discusses his father’s war work on camouflage. EJ mentions their Anderson air raid shelter, seeing flying bombs. [00:28:10] Describes the family home in St. Albans, remembers falling through a window, [00:30:09] talks about his childhood speech impediment, mentions film The Kings Speech. [00:32:05] talks about having the speech impediment at school, situations which exacerbate it. Talks about the film The Kings Speech. [00:35:44] Returns to talks about his childhood home in St. Albans, talks about the medieval centre of the town. [00:37:35] Describes his home and how it was decorated, remembers his father bringing home car prototypes as toys, drawing as a boy [00:41:44] and his parents’ encouragement. Talks about his sister Sonia (check spelling) and perhaps having more attention as a boy, academic qualifications when EJ was applying to university, his sister’s education and subsequent family in the United States. [00:45:52] Mentions the age difference – different expectations/toys for boys and girls, reading comics. [00:47:56] Watching Westerns at the cinema – later being influenced by American popular culture (Elvis, Marilyn, teddy boys). Wanting to be non-conformist at school, his clothing as a young child (sailor suits). [00:51;05] Describes his clothing as a young man/teenager, his father’s sense of style; describes his father’s clothing, [00:53:53] EJ talks about his interest in clothes, and considering working as a fashion designer. Describes his father’s handsome appearance.

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