Oral history of British science
Rothschild, Miriam (7 of 16) An Oral History of British Horticulture
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Rothschild, Miriam, 1908-2005 (speaker, female)
Brodie, Louise (speaker, female)
Part 7: Miriam Rothschild's [MR] father threw an annual flower show with free champagne for everybody, tea music and fireworks. He wanted everyone to have a good time. Also ran an agricultural show. MRs mother died at the beginning of the Second War. It was a terrible shock for MR. She had already been running the farm, but not the garden, now there was only a skeleton staff and the Red Cross occupied the house. She spent a lot of time trying to persuade the Natural History Museum to move its collections out of London, and found members of the aristocracy to take things. She had the helminthology collection (worms) and its curator to live at Ashton. Story of her visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury. MR went to live in the village. Mention of her work as a marine biologist at Plymouth and her stint at Bletchley. Stories of misdemeanours by those living at Ashton Wold. MR became a gardener herself because of the War. She took a course as a dairymaid. They milked and made butter by hand, and only later got a separator. Story of pumping cows' udders when they had milk fever. In between she tended the acre of cottage garden, learnt how to use a spade, never used a spray. Weeded carrots and other vegetables by moonlight. She enjoyed it all enormously. Story of finding her identity bracelet 2 years later. Her husband George Lane came to Ashton Wold as a wounded soldier and happened to have a letter from MRs mother. Story of how they met.
Interview with Dame Miriam Rothschild DBE FRS, naturalist and entomologist.