Oral historians

Howkins, Alun (12 of 17).  Oral History of Oral History

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  • Recording date

    2008-03-03, 2009-04-21, 2009-06-11, 2009-07-30, 2009-10-08, 2009-10-29, 2009-12-10, 2010-04-22, 2010-11-17, 2011-08-15

  • Interviewees

    Howkins, Alun, 1947- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 12: Recordings in Norfolk. Mentions singer Bob Davenport. First met Reg Hall at Essex. Mentions Three Score and Ten published by Topic. Importance of Tony Engle at Topic. Talks about various artists Topic issued around 1975. Talks about Ewan McColls opposition to singing in pubs. Cultural Narodnykism. Music to Alun related well to the interviews he was doing. Songs form Sussex Surrey and Kent. Recording songs in these places. Singing and playing in the pub in Great Bentley. People danced in the public bar and he was pleased.  Wanting to learn songs from people and linking the songs to the stories of their lives. Potential for a Radio Ballard. Did write a Radio Ballard in the early 1980s which was performed at the University Gardner Centre called The Rigs of the Time. [11:47] Reflects upon farming in 1960s. Trunch - 60% of the male population in farming. Recordings in Essex by Mike Yates. He went to the Ship at Blaxhall. Folk club in Colchester. [15:40] Describes the History Dept at Sussex. Mentions Keith Middlemass, Rod Kedward. Strong emphasis on social history created by Asa Briggs. John Harrison, Geoffrey Best Stephen YeoEileen Yeo John Lowerson, John Myerscough.  Describes the interdisciplinary education system at Sussex. Compares to Essex Sociology Dept. Mentions Political Shakespeare by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield. Gay history course. Compares what happens now at Sussex with when he started. History syllabus at schools. [30:30] Has been offered chairs in two other universities but decided to stay at Sussex. Mentions a job he applied for at Essex in 1975. Gareth Steadman Jones got it, then frozen. He then was offered a Fellowship at Cambridge. It was then offered to Leonore Davidoff. [35:00] Continued to be involved in oral history. Started to use the Norfolk interviews for articles. Published in the Journal of Peasant Studies Structural Conflict and the Farm Worker.  Work on the 1923 Strike used oral testimony. Mentions Nicola, his colleague, who had four articles published. Book Poor Labouring Man is based on the interviews he did in Norfolk. Work on horsemen which he never published. Compared to Steve Caunces work.  Did become involved in QueenSpark. Stephen and Eileen Yeo had set up a community based project on the Ken Worpole, Hackney model. Got disillusioned with it.  Describes the area and changes. Differences with the findings of the work happy but poor. Unequal relationship with local people. Mentions the German Spa and efforts to save it.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Alun Howkins, Emeritus Professor of History at University of Sussex and agricultural historian and folklorist.

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