Oral historians

Brown, Cynthia (1 of 31).  Oral History of Oral History

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  • Recording date

    2014-01-20, 2014-02-26, 2014-04-02, 2014-05-22, 2014-06-03, 2014-09-16, 2014-10-28, 2014-11-26, 2015-01-07, 2015-02-17

  • Interviewees

    Brown, Cynthia (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: [Session one: 20 January 2014] Born in 1948 in Bond St Maternity Hospital, Leicester. Father born in Leicestershire, Mother born in Rugby. They met during the War. He had been called up in 1942. They married in 1947 and they lived in Bushby, Leics in a farm cottage. Basic amenities. She went to the village school in Thurnby. Fathers name was George Stanley (Stan) Mayfield, mothers was Gladys Cant. Father was nearly 40 when they married. More about family background with some Post Office workers. Father worked in a rose nursery most of his life. Has one brother, five years younger. [08:50] Childhood games and places to play in the village. Read a lot. Went to the Free Church chapel in the village. Vicar was not pleased to give her a school prize [school in the village was Cof E]. Mother used to belong to the Womens Section of the British Legion. Went to the Girls Friendly Society and chapel youth club. No real discrimination over being chapel goers. Did enjoy history at school and had a history teacher passionate about the subject. He encouraged her to go to university but she had decided to be a nurse. Mentions Stewart Mason as Director of Education for Leicestershire who was experimenting with comprehensive education through the Leicestershire Plan and Cynthia went to secondary school a year early. Did her A Levels at 17. [24:07] Describes the primary school and teachers. Went to a comprehensive school in Oadby then Wigston. Leicester City resisted comprehensive education in spite of being a Labour Council. [36:38] Their cottage belonged to the farmer across the road. Her grandfather worked for him. He had no need probably for the cottage to be let to farm labourers. Very basic, no inside toilet up the garden - and the council used to empty each week. Later got an outside toilet attached to the house. Further description of the cottage. They moved when she was 10 to a council house round the corner. The farm was a livestock one. [44:00] Her interest in history was confounded by the perceived lack of jobs in the subject. Liked the idea of nursing. Going to university wasnt a serious option. Some went to teacher training college. Village life could be stifling sometimes, but help was readily available. Her dad used the pub as a social centre but mum was secretary of the Womens Institute as well as a deaconess of the chapel. Remembers her dad making poppies for her mum for the British Legion. [55:30] Describes the rose nursery and her dads job. He had his ashes scattered there. Her mums also scattered there. They could never go on holiday until September because summer was his busiest time. They went to her aunties in Rugby and this meant Cynthia used to have a week off school. Her aunt had a TV. Got their first television in 1966 for the World Cup. Used to go train spotting with her dad in Rugby.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Cynthia Brown, museum oral historian and former Project Manager of the East Midlands Oral History Archive

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