Luder, Owen (1 of 13). National Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives
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2015-09-16, 2015-10-14, 2015-12-07, 2016-01-26, 2016-01-29, 2016-02-08
Interviewee's home, London
Luder, Owen, 1926- (speaker, male)
Dillon, Niamh (speaker, female)
Part 1: [01:16:00] [Session one: 16 September 2015] Owen Luder [OL] Born in 1928 in London. His mother’s family was from Islington. Mentions he was born under the sign of Leo, explains that his mother wasn’t married when he was born. His mother married in 1931 to the man Owen Luder considers his father. [00:02:51] Mentions his grandmother who was a real Londoner, his mother never mentioned his real father. His mother worked in the garment industry. Mentions his mother was dyslexic but very organised. His father came from Penge in south London. [00:05:54] In 1935 the family moved to south London – describes journeys on the tram. [00:08:22] His primary school teacher, OL taking the 11 Plus exam. [00:10:28] Moving to the Old Kent Road in the late 1930s – describes the neighborhood. [00:12:27] OL attending Morbury Road school and passing the 11 Plus exam at the same time as the Second World War broke out. Games he played as a child. [00:17:57] OL describes the street he grew up in. Talks about families doing a ‘moonlight flit’ to avoid the rent collector. [00:21:01] The Battle of Britain in 1940: OL interest in airplanes, attending speedway. [00:24:03] Mentions that his grandfather died during the First World War and his grandmother brought up the family, she worked in the pathology laboratory at St. Bartholemews hospital in London. [00:26:32] Describes a German air-raid and seeing the East End of London on fire [00:30:45] living through the Blitz. Describes an Anderson air raid shelter, mentions a bomb in the neighbour’s garden. Mentions staying with his father’s family in south London, his uncle was a radio enthusiast. [00:37:37] OL reflects on how they adapted to staying in the Anderson shelter, mentions Londoners sheltering in the Underground. [00:40:09] Considers their attitude towards danger – collecting silk parachutes. Describes their home being bombed and being given coupons to replace their furniture. Continues to talk about London being bombed in 1940 and sheltering in a Georgian house which was subsequently bombed. [00:49:48] Mentions different German bombers, a neighbour who was buried under rubble during an air-raid. [00:53:08] Discusses education in London during the war, OL applied for a technical scholarship as he wanted to design airplanes but was directed to construction as there was need for building trades after the war. [00:56:13] Story about his grandmother’s house being bombed. [00:58:13] Talks about Brixton School of Building and deciding to become an architect. [01:02:34] His parents’ support which allowed him to train as an architect. OL placed an advert in the Architects Journal – his first job with Henry C Smith & Partners in 1945, discusses how he negotiated his salary. [01:08:09] Learning to type at this office. In 1946 he was called up for army service: the physical training, his thoughts on war, Sten guns. End of Track.