LaTrobe-Bateman, Richard (1 of 10) National Life Stories Collection: Crafts' Lives

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  • Subjects

    Furniture making

  • Recording date

    2005-04-12, 2005-04-21, 2005-05-06, 2005-05-23

  • Recording locations

    interviewee's home, Somerset

  • Interviewees

    La Trobe-Bateman, Richard, 1938 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Hughes, Hawksmoor (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Richard La Trobe-Bateman [RLTB] born Paddington, Mentions living in Streatley, Berkshire during the Second World War. Story about RLTB’s sister Diana [DLTB] living in Switzerland as a young girl on account of her health. Mother’s name Margaret Jane Schmid. Description of mother’s family, remarks on father thinking maternal grandfather was a spy. Description of father’s family, mentions paternal grandfather who was Admiral of the Fleet (Sir George Callahan) sacked by Churchill. Comments on not knowing when parents separated as RLTB was sent to St. Andrew’s boarding school, remarks on hating school. Mentions father’s remarriage and RLTB’s attendance at Westminster School. Remarks on the narrowness of the curriculum at Westminster School. Description of mother’s snobbery and RLTB’s relationship with his parents. Remarks on not knowing much about mother’s side of the family. Description of mother: her aptitude for drawing and her ideas about art, remarks on her not taking RLTB’s work seriously; her friends; clothes; her reaction to her divorce. Remarks on never having a proper family home. Description of having negative memories of mother and her affect on RLTB’s confidence. Description of paternal ancestors who were engineers, mentions William Fairbairn an engineer on the Britannia Bridge, dam builder John Frederick La Trobe-Bateman. Story about great grandfather, Sir George Callahan. Description of paternal grandparents and their relationship with father. Mentions grandmother’s affair with Fisher, First Lord of the Admiralty. Mention mother and DLTB being presented at court. Story about father selling a portrait of Charles La- Trobe, the first governor of Vittoria to Australia House. Story about the formation, through marriage, of the name La Trobe-Bateman. Remarks on the family fortune being spent on building churches by RLTB’s great grandfather, a cannon at Christchurch, Oxford. Description of paternal grandfather’s 1920s suburban house. Remarks on being bought up Church of England. Mentions father’s education at Charterhouse School, Godalming, then Kings College, Cambridge. Story about father taking an office job with Shell rather than as a naval architect with Swann Hunter. Story about father’s work during Shell’s restructuring in the 1950s. Mentions his retirement to Sark Channel Islands. Description of father and his relationship with mother. Description of RLTB’s relationship with father. Comments on father’s work in intelligence during the war interpreting aerial photographs. Remarks on RLBT’s love of the physical rather than social world. Mentions moving back to London in 1947. Short description of RLTB’s childhood home and local shops in Streatley. Remarks on having no memory of daily life before boarding school. Comments on enjoying drawing and music as a child. Remarks on the superiority of classical music over pop music. Compares the abstract world of music with the physical world of objects. Description of visiting the science museum, remarks on preferring to have work displayed in the Science Museum to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Description of not being able to express wonder while learning geometry and physics at school.

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