Oral history of British science
Moreton, Roger (Part 1 of 8). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewee's home, Fleet
Moreton, Roger, 1935- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 1: Roger Moreton [RM], born Knighton, 11 August 1935; parents Geoffrey and Dora Gertrude; father rural bank manager; attending schools in Knighton, Kings Lynn and Leominster as father moved with work; [03:15] father, busy with work, quiet at home; being an only child; parents campaign for RM to attend Ludlow Grammar in Shropshire, rather than Prestine Grammar; father and RM interest in rugby and golf; father's ambitions at work; [07:27] mother's house proud nature, work ethic, ill health but lived to 90; father's death at 59; mother from Coventry, father from Nuneaton. [09:28] Remarks on parent's family backgrounds and siblings: mother daughter of headmaster; father youngest of large farming family; mother's family blitz experience; RM contact with extended family, holidays with mother's family. [12:47] Remarks on: wartime holidays in Aberystwyth and Borth; postwar holidays in Rhossili and Gower; National Service; sporting hobbies, including fives. [16:40] Remarks on school: primary and junior schools in Knighton, Kings Lynn, Leominster; boarding at Ludlow Grammar School; pecking order and bullying associated with boarding; story about RM standing up to a bully; [21:50] cricket fan house master; school discipline; RM feelings on school; RM initially assigned to lower stream class but working his way to top; RM competitiveness; enjoying science, geography, maths, Latin, due to structured nature; poor French teaching; learning geography through general knowledge games at home; enjoying maths, until university, especially applied maths; [29:43] physics favourite subject, well taught by Vincent Waterhouse, as RM wanted to know how world worked; [32:50] favourite physics topics; A-level physics classes; A-level results; scholarship applied maths, but getting Radnor county scholarship not state scholarship; [38:47] parental encouragement; parental ambitions for RM, possibility of becoming a banker; education and National Service allowing him to put off decisions about what career to follow. [42:05] Remarks on: being little interested in science outside school; enjoying exercise and outdoor activities; birdwatching and bird nesting; only child status leaving him envious of larger families; friends, complications caused by boarding, term dates and parental expectations of him being friendly with public school boys; [47:45] RM sitting Repton School entrance exams; parents' expectations of his behaviour; parents' Tory outlook. [51:15] Remarks on religion: compulsory church at school; father sides man at Knighton church; mother not regular churchgoer; RM encouraged to go to confirmation classes; discussion of RM agnostic outlook, with reference to Charles Coulson and anecdote about being quizzed on agnosticism at Aluminium Research Laboratories interview. [56:20] Remarks on: wartime, little effect on countryside, father in Air Raid Precautions [ARP], rationing; moving home as father's job moved, finishing up in home above bank in Knighton; description of Knighton home over bank, now a listed building, cold until central heating; [1:00:46] move to Leominster after father's retirement; effects of moving on RM; bedroom as child; home life and freedom to explore countryside; cycling; squash later.
Life story interview with materials scientist Roger Moreton.