Branding & design
Olins, Wally. (1 of 19). The Oral History of Wolff-Olins
The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »
Is part of (Collection)
Oral History of Wolff Olins
Interviewee's home, Reading
Olins, Wally, 1930-2014 (speaker, male)
Roberts, Melanie (speaker, female)
Part 1 :Wally Olins [WO] born London 19 December 1930. Father Alfred Olins; Mother Rachel Muskowicz, both born in London in 1896 into Jewish immigrant families escaping pogroms in Eastern Europe in the 1880's and 90's. Talks about parents' European origins. Briefly describes mother's family background through memories of grandmother living with them. Father second son of large family who developed a road transport business. WO talks of mother having mental health problems and the impact this had on his parents' marriage and the family in general as well as on himself. Describes his father's successful role in family business. Talks about father persuading him to become a Freemason and its triggering a recognition of insider/outsider issues and their relationship to his drives and ambitions. WO gives an account of where he feels situated in life now and his early discomfort with class consciousness in Britain. Describes role of first wife and her family in shaping his development in the early days. Fills in details of early family life in relation to religion which was low key. Talks of this leading to his being in conflict with religion and the effect this has had on his children from two marriages. Talks about the culture of Jewishness.