Jackson, Donald (1 of 11) National Life Stories Collection: Crafts' Lives

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  • Subjects

    Book arts

  • Recording date

    2005-08-15, 2005-08-05

  • Recording locations

    interviewee's home, Monmouthshire

  • Interviewees

    Jackson, Donald, 1938 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Hughes, Hawksmoor (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Donald Jackson [DJ] born in Leigh, Lancashire 1938, story about DJ’s name change at his christening. Remarks on always feeling guilty as a child. Story about mother being anti-war as she was a Jehovah’s Witness. Description of DJ’s earliest memory of a de-railed engine in Rhyl, Wales. Remarks on living in a council house as a child. Long description of growing up among coal and cotton workers in Leigh: comments on DJ’s loathing of Margaret Thatcher, mentions DJ’s farming family, remarks on the fear of debt and illegitimate children, high level of pollution, trade visitors to the house, grandmother’s ice box, collecting horse manure, description of cotton mills. Mentions DJ’s common Aunty Lilly. Story about DJ getting caught cycling on a frozen canal (1946). Remarks on the harsh punishment regime at home and school. Description of DJ’s council house and furnishings, mentions mother’s washing machine. Story about mother tethering DJ in the garden. Description of DJ’s walk to school (Bedford Wesleyan School), [30:00] description of the canals and boats. Description of Father, Wilfred Jackson, whose family were farmers. Comments on the plainness of the name Jackson. Remarks on the family’s devotion to hard work. Description of the different ways of speaking at home and on the street, story about DJ deciding to change his accent. Comments on DJ challenging himself throughout his life. Defining story about DJ being called Toller at school. Description of the locality’s Anglo-Saxon roots and DJ’s Germanic looks. Description of DJ’s paternal great grandfather who made things. Remarks on the differences between Welsh and Lancastrian miners. Description of paternal grandfather, his career in a cotton mill and setting up a cycle shop. Description of the poor relationships between fathers and sons on paternal side of DJ’s family [01:00:00]. Story about incest in paternal grandmother’s family. Description grandfather’s shop ‘Jackson’s Bazaar and Cycle Stores’, comments on DJ receiving complementary cinema tickets. Description of DJ feeling superior to his neighbours. Story about grandfather sending father off in a lorry to sell wares. Comments on the appreciation of high standard of workmanship during DJ’s childhood. Story about talking to Welsh minors about calligraphy. Further description of father, remarks on his sign writing and painting, his difficult relationship with grandfather, his relationship with DJ. Description of DJ as a child, comments on mother talking to DJ about his elder brother who died at birth. Comments on DJ’s fear of babies. Description of mother’s disappointed aspirations. Story about maternal grandfather dying during DJ’s birth. Description of DJ’s brother, Barry Jackson [BJ] who is different to DJ. Description of mother, Helena Ruth (Nelly) neé Tolley and her family. [01:30:00]. Story about local residents favourite pies shops in Leigh. Short description of Wigan, Lancashire. Long description of mother’s upbringing in Wigan, remarks on mother’s birth in Wrexham, Wales, DJ’s maternal grandfather a coal miner, story about grandfather and family moving in to a rented new house, description of grandfather, mother left school aged fourteen to help grandmother at home, mother’s later work in a cotton mill, description of mother’s siblings’ careers. Comments on the importance of status in DJ’s family. Description of parent’s meeting and pragmatic marriage, story about father buying a sports car in Blackpool. Description of DJ’s relationship with mother, remarks on her Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Description of father’s family’s laconic ways. Description of maternal grandmother and her damp, run-down house, remarks on her poverty, mentions her wealthy miser brother, short description of her senility. [02:00:00] Remarks on parents’ siblings rising to the shop-keeping class. Comments on parents’ pressure on DJ to be successful. Remarks on religion in parents’ families, mentions the Church of England. Story about maternal grandfather breaking a pit strike. Mentions paternal great-grandfather’s suicide. Comments on the impact of the First World War on DJ. Mentions maternal grandmother’s Methodism, comments on DJ attending a Methodist school. Remarks on father not attending church and on DJ learning lots about the bible. Story about DJ being his headmaster’s errand boy, mentions the corporal punishment in the local Catholic School. Comments on the pollution in Leigh, story about DJ returning to great-grandfather’s fields as an adult and being amazed by the view. Remarks on parents forbidding DJ to go into the Co-op. Comments on everybody knowing each other’s business. Description of the shops in Leigh. Remarks on mother’s terrible cooking. Mentions DJ’s aunty who adored DJ. Story about watching a man sign writing on a bridge, remarks on the high standards of workmanship in Leigh. Comments on the modern lack of skilled jobs for young people. Remarks on the rigidity and poverty of society in DJ’s childhood. Story about DJ visiting Leigh as and adult and feeling a sense of belonging, story about giving a talk to the local Rotary Club.

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