Stedman, Ronald (27 of 32). Food: From Source to Salespoint
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1999-09-08, 1999-09-30, 1999-10-28, 1999-11-17, 2000-04-20
Interviewee's home and Butchers' Hall, London
Stedman, Ronald, 1917-2009 (speaker, male)
Courtney, Cathy (speaker, female)
Part 27: Tape 14 Side A: Plans for Easter – RS not a churchgoer but took grandchildren to children’s Christmas Eve service. Father’s working life – father born 1885 died 1972 – draper by trade – worked in John Lewis, Peter Jones stores – lost his job just before WW2 – difficulty of reemployment then but during war got a job with local civil servant and worked throughout duration of war – retired aged 65. RS doing well in his business at that time. Father’s lifelong deafness influenced his character, made him timid and afraid of saying wrong thing in company – so ‘went into a shell’ and didn’t show his feelings. Wife Win would collect him once a week from his home in Tooting and take him to Woldingham to stay there a couple of nights and then take him back to his home. RS’s parents moved from Brixton in 1935 and went to Streatham Vale. Father couldn’t afford rent there so moved to small flat in 1938. Father then moved to Mitcham and was bombed-out of two places – went to Bath - job in drapery store there, returned to London after war. After wife died got council flat in Tooting. Father had girlfriend who visited him and stayed with him for weekends Father had few interests but liked reading, mostly detective stories. Both parents died from heart problems. Mother lived to 65 years. Shock of son’s prison sentence when she was about 49 resulted in rise in blood pressure –and spent last 3 years of her life in hospital (St Benedicts) NHS hospital in Tooting. RS thought it a pretty awful place – details. Memories of the family doctor before the introduction of the National Health Service. RS’s experiences of NHS – peritonitis in 1946 – emergency - removal of gallbladder aged 50 – insertion of pace-maker in 1998 and says NHS has worked well for him. All his children born in hospital – two sons one 1944 and one 1946. Latter died at 1 year 10 months of septicaemia. Michael first son, second Paul - daughter 1947, youngest born 1950. Older brother’s memories of lost brother. Details of births. Wife Win rhesus negative so home confinement unwise. RS not present at any of births. Involved with children as far as possible in busy life. In retrospect would have loved more involvement. Demand for rabbits during and after war. Rabbit train arriving daily at Waterloo Station – 20 to 30 carriages full of wild rabbits from Devonshire. Black market in rabbits. Later myxomatosis and no rabbits sold for many years.