Harrison, Brian (3 of 25). Oral History of Oral History
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2012-01-24, 2012-02-24, 2012-03-27, 2012-04-24, 2012-05-18, 2012-06-27
Harrison, Brian, 1937- (speaker, male)
Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)
Part 3: Born in nursing home in Fitzjohns Avenue Hampstead. Mother went to Putney High School. Her mother died in the 1918 flu epidemic when Brians mother was three. Her father died of drink/heart attack. Brought up by older children. Rich family Savill Estate Agents and Shaw Savill Liners and wanted to help but hers was the poor branch of the family and wanted to retain independence and hang together. Brians father no good with money. Describes other parts of the family. Interviewed family members. Brians father was a buyer in Peter Robinsons Toy Dept. Mother employed in the Hat Dept. in Peter Robinsons. Met when he left to set up his own business. Mother found parenthood difficult and left him at home one day to go shopping. Father no good at housework. Another tenant in the flats, Mrs Blackstock, took his mother over. Brian only child good childhood. Prep school he worried a lot, taken out of school for a term. T Darcy Yeo ran the school as an enterprise. Teachers Miss Dalgleish and Miss Keast as well as his wife. Did well at school. More about the school. [13:37] Anxiety reappeared when he went to secondary school. Mentions Alex Jeffries, history teacher. Went there aged 13 with a scholarship. Father was contemplating going to New Zealand. Mother befriended a neighbour Frank Robinson who told her not to go. Short sighted and not diagnosed until aged eight. School had links to St Johns, Oxford. In the CCF drill. When in the Army had been Military Transport Officer. Always wanted to do well. [20:15] More about his father. Mother and father eventually got divorced. More about his childhood and relations with his parents. Fathers business collapsed toy business in Percy Street, Tottenham Court Road. Employed refugees from Hitler, many Jewish people although he was anti-Semitic. Brian used to earn money working for his father. His father never had money. His mother alarmed by creditors coming to the door. His mothers older brother, Geoffrey, bought them a corner shop in North Kensington - sub post office.
Life story interview with Brian Harrison, original committee members of the Oral History Society and Emeritus Professor of history at University of Oxford.