Oral history of British science

Land, Frank (4 of 18). An Oral History of British Science.

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  • Subjects

    Computer Software

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Ivybridge

  • Interviewees

    Land, Fred Frank, 1928- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 4: Comments on: earliest memory watching Hitler in a parade; photographs of him and RL as children in Tiergarten; [02:31] Nanny, who later opened a kindergarten they attended. Remarks on brother RL: differences in memories, close relationship, similar career track through Lyons until FL went to work at LSE, closeness of twins such as his twin granddaughters [05:29] Comments on: childhood friends; his nanny, who became a family friend, as did the nanny of his children; family friends; Scamonee, his father's business partner who appropriated the business with the help of the Nazis. [10:13] Comments on lawyer uncle Kurt: sent to Dachau c.1936; Gentile wife, son in German army; survived better than other uncle in the camps; Iron Cross winner in First World War; FL stayed with whilst his mother gave birth to still born sister. Comments on other uncle Robert: children Peter and Miriam who came to England on Kindertransport; died shortly after war; married a gentile; imprisoned in forced labour camp; wife committed suicide; daughter committed suicide. [15:11] Remarks on: mother's brother, who escaped to America; [16:01] family's plans to leave Germany, restrictions on where they could go, selling flat before they left; journey from the Hague to Harwich, where they met cousins Heinz and Herbert, and onward to Victoria station; their clothing being completely out of style with real English clothing. [20:10] Comments on: flat in Carlton Vale, Kilburn; learning English with help of friend John Wilson; [22:51] feelings about emigrating; existing family in England making it seem less alien, such as Auntie Greta and father's brother, who lived in Seaford. [24:50] Short anecdote about mother's less than perfect English. Remarks on: little trouble with English school children, except for a boy called Rutherford after evacuation; Essendine elementary school in Kilburn; [27:33] playing in the park; supportive teacher; lunatic asylum next door to school, whose patients they sometimes talked to but sometimes found frightening; [30:35] short time at school before evacuation. Comments on evacuation [closed between 31:46 – 34:56] story about stealing bricks for Mr Gentle's greenhouse; taking to country life well. Remarks on: differences between himself and brother, such as quite different wives; [38:00] mother's painting, photography and attending art school at the Camden institute; mother visiting them during evacuation. [40:15] Remarks on: father's internment; confusing period after arriving in England; schooling arrangements when they were evacuated; story about being caned for inattention in a music lesson with Mr Lee; encouragement of teachers; suggestion of Mr Brennon the headmaster that they go into the Post Office. [44:45] Comments on: attending Willesden County Grammar school, after his parents had moved to Cricklewood; mother fighting difficulties to get them into grammar school; class distinctions in school streaming; [47:45] details of how science teaching arrangements did not suit them; gaps in education, such as English grammar, and slow start at school; [50:43] favourite subjects in humanities, such as English, History, Geography. Remarks on reading heavily: reading Russian classics; ahead of age group; reading less in later life due to other activities, such as gardening. Remarks on path to study economics at university: influence of Miss Stevenson at school; interest in political side of economics. Comments on interest in politics: influence of left leaning mother and discussion of politics at school, communist teachers; following course of the war; [56:42] in favour of 1945 election results; anecdote about correspondence with a conservative journalist economist, Strauss, before they started university. [59:18] Comments on starting at the LSE: political atmosphere; choosing subjects with brother; opting to study anthropology; table tennis; [1:00:46] becoming a student union officer, but rarely talking at meetings as they were much less experienced than confident ex-service men; large numbers of ex-servicemen; student societies. [1:03:56] Comments on membership of the Air Training Corps at school: anecdote about the awful quality of their drill work; camp at HMS Heron, Yeovilton, where they witnessed a plane crash. Remarks on returning to Yeovilton to do a Prince2 evaluation for a computer project for the treasury in 1980s. [1:10:23] Remarks on: official secrets act; other evaluation projects, including the Cardiff court system; flying in the ATC.

  • Description

    Interview with computer programmer and information systems theorist Frank Land.

  • Related transcripts

    Frank Land interviewed by Tom Lean: full transcript of the interview

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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