Smith, Ivor (1 of 9). National Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2016-01-22, 2016-02-03, 2016-03-02

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Cambridge

  • Interviewees

    Smith, Ivor, 1926- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Dillon, Niamh (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: [01:03:36] [Session one: 22 January 2016] Ivor Smith born in Leigh on Sea in Essex – his memories of the coast at Leigh on Sea. [00:01:03] His parents’ originally came from Yorkshire, his father moved to Essex as he was a schoolteacher. IS comments on the school. He was 13 when war broke out in 1939 and the family evacuated to Derbyshire – the positive impact of this time. [00:04:12] Memories of his grandmothers’. [00:05:26] IS on how his father felt at home in Yorkshire, both IS parents’ grew up near Sheffield. His grandparents and parents were schoolteachers. IS reflects that his parents’ didn’t really fit in other residents in Leigh on Sea, it was a commuter town. [00:08:20] IS describes his father: his interests. [00:10:34] Comments on his parents’ political views, father’s experience of World War I. [00:11:43] IS describes his mother. Briefly describes his childhood home in Leigh on Sea. [00:14:00] His childhood interests. The buildup to the Second World War – IS reaction to the announcement that war had broken out. His decision to become a pacifist. [00:18:45] Talks about the move to Derbyshire and his decision to leave school and start art college: A History of Architecture by Bannister Fletcher – reflects on his education prior to art college. [00:23:33] His father’s vocation for teaching. [00:25; 46] Briefly describes his classroom in Essex, and in Derbyshire. [00:28:21] Briefly describes cycling around Derbyshire and drawing churches. [00:30:36] Considers the influence of religion in his early life – comments on social mores in 1940s and early 1950s, attitudes towards authority and the monarchy. [00:35:30] Reflects on social class – IS considers the effectiveness of his education prior to art school. [00:39:14] Discusses art school – how students were taught to draw. Mentions Albert Richardson, tutor at the Bartlett, and his drawing classes – describes the environment. [00:42:51] the other art students, clothing at art college. [00:45:14] His decision to study architecture at the Bartlett- describes Albert Richardson. [00:49:06] Comments that the first year was spent drawing the Doric and Ionic Order – discusses Richardson’s dislike of modern architecture. [00:53:21] The Beaux Arts teaching at the Bartlett. When IS was called up he chose farm work as he was a pacifist. [00:56:21] He later worked on Piggotts farm established by Eric Gill – IS interest in typeface. Talks about Eric Gill – describes living in Pigotts. [01:03:11] Mentions getting married, and demobilised and returning to architecture.

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