Industry: water, steel & energy

Camsey, Granville (1 of 16). An Oral History of the Electricity Supply in the UK

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  • Recording date

    2013-04-18, 2013-05-02, 2013-09-26, 2013-10-22, 2013-12-10, 2014-01-14, 2014-01-28, 2014-03-17, 2014-04-15

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Buckinghamshire

  • Interviewees

    Camsey, Granville, 1936- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Remarks on memories of childhood: working class upbringing in Lancashire mill town in a poor but happy family, with a weaver mother; mill owner Mr Eccles owning much of local village; parents being Salvation Army Officers; bitter winters without money to light household fire during week; GC first contact with engineering through mill engineer Big Harry; lack of books in home apart from Bible; shopping at Co-Op on credit; village helping Jack the farmer with harvest, anecdote about drinking workmen's sarsaparilla; [05:10] only cars in village owned by mill owner and mill manager; GC collecting new milk float with farmer Jack. [06:08] Remarks on Lower Darwin primary school: Headmistress Miss Eltoff and teacher Miss Blackburn; taking own lunch in for cooking; sleeping in afternoons; Miss Eltoff reading stories to school; colourful folio books. [08:10] Remarks on: Grandmother taking GC, mother and family in when GC father suffered medical problems; hard but enjoyable childhood; village cricket team, watching Learie Constantine, junior team playing amongst local villages; anecdote about Mr Dewhurst rewarding him for scoring first 25 cricket runs, GC giving money to mother; anecdote about being scrubbed up to collect prize for winning an art competition; Friday night bathing arrangements, water used for scrubbing flags; GC's birthday 1st March 1936. [11:30] Story about parents involvement with Salvation Army and GC Birth: GC mother saving money to buy uniform to study at Mile End Road training college in London, where she met GC's father; father's background in large family in Sunderland Millfield; parental influences on GC; parent's marriage with permission of William Booth; GC sisters born in Carrick Fergus and Royal Leamington Spa; GC birth in Otley; GC taking middle names from nurse Bateman who helped delivered him, and Thomas after father. [14:30] Remarks on: father's confinement in hospital in Liverpool; Salvation Army decommissioning GC's mother; GC sisters working in mill at 12 and 13, GC mother's hope for GC to do well. [16:10] Remarks on attending technical school at 11: few people attending university; influence of teacher Mr Wilde on GC; making woodcut images; PT instructor Mr Fairclough buying GC running shoes for athletics; description of Queen's Hall in ornate Blackburn Town Hall used for Mr Fairclough's gymnastic team demonstration; [22:00] award of prize for technical drawing; [22:25] anecdotes about working as errand boy for Harry Goldbourne's shop, colleagues later teasing him about being Granville from 'Open All Hours', regular heavy order from Dr Carter inferring with watching Blackburn Rovers; [24:44] book on model aircraft engines won as prize; Ordinary School Certificates, GC taking 10 years to pass English exam. [25:55] Comments on Salvation Army: family's frequent church attendance; restrictions on Sunday activities; GC membership of Blackburn Salvation Army Boys Band, led by Phil Hamar; anecdote about Thwaites Brewery opposite Salvation Army building; long term moral influence of upbringing on GC; [29:15] history of Salvation Army and General Booth; core beliefs and discipline; GC niece Salvation Army Lieutenant Colonel; busy Blackburn Corps; decline in recent years; scandal over a band member's infidelity; influence of faith on GC in moral code, socialist beliefs and concern over capitalism; later disquiet over money centred society in Hong Kong. [35:28] Remarks on politics: lack of political influence on GC in youth; GC only having to consider politics when he became senior in CEGB; story about debate about nuclear power with National Union of Miners [NUM] Arthur Scargill at Wakefield miner's institute, GC impressed by attitudes to learning; anecdote about acting as a runner to collect conservative voters on polling day. [40:50] Description of Lower Darwin: location in North East Lancashire; mill; Co-op; churches; nearby Royal Ordnance Factory, where GC avoided working as an apprentice; River Darwin, fishing in Mill lodges. [42:49] Remarks on mill: Jacquard stools; injuries to weavers from flying shuttles; electrification in mills; sisters leaving school to learn weaving; GC and weavers wearing steel shod clogs; GC impressed by mill steam engine; anecdote about day when silt was cleaned from mill lodge. [46:25] Further remarks on Lower Darwin and its miller owners: sporting teams; GC meeting wife playing tennis; sport facilities built by mill owner Mr Eccles; GC's mother becoming mill owner's pattern weaver; mill owner Mr Ward providing a millers house for GC and wife when he married. [49:00] Description of childhood home on Empress Street: GC purchasing house for mother after her retirement; layout of stone built house; anecdote about setting staircase on fire; peg rugs; black leaded fire; flag floors; gas lights; outside toilet and other facilities; anecdote about mother carrying hot coals to bedroom fire during childhood illness; lime washing of walls at Easter; washing clothes with mangle and a Dolly Blue bag; [54:25] cotton from broken bobbins from mills used in crochet curtains; anecdote about GC repairing hole left by gas meter when electricity was installed; mill owner tarmacking houses to eliminate cock roach infestation; milk deliveries from local farmer; Wakes week holidays. [58:20] Remarks on: high status of professionals in village; visiting Doctor Carter; sisters suffering from scarlet fever.

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