Oral history of British science

Wood, Sir Martin and Lady Audrey (Part 11 of 11)

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  • Subjects

    Scientific Instruments

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Interviewees' home, Abingdon

  • Interviewees

    Wood, Sir Martin, 1927- (speaker, male), Wood, Lady Audrey,1927- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 11 [56:57] Remarks on AW hobbies: nature study; sewing; brother's Meccano; youth hostelling with sister, such as walking in Peak District; building Meccano toys; reading, Dickens, Scott, Austin, Hugo; going to school in England; playing with a whip top. [06:35] Remarks on MW hobbies: interest in methods of production of things; story about job in school holidays, when MW went unrewarded for speeding up production; [10:20] working with father, making things to speed up doing small jobs; interest in forestry from childhood, working in wood rather than in training corps at school; patrolling coast of Newquay with school when evacuated, German sabotage; anecdote about motorising on butter churner as a youth using vacuum cleaner motor and home made rheostat [QUOTE THIS]; [17:30] MW disapproving of father neglecting to sharpen tools; death of MW in war. [18:20] Remarks on MW siblings: half sister, four brothers, sister; comparisons of MW and siblings, practically skilled brother killed in war, surgeon brother; remarks on photo of butter churner; happy family life; occupations of other siblings, nurse, doctor; MW brother launching flying doctor service in Africa; description of MW doctor brother. [23:03] Remarks on MW: MW wanting to be an engineer from youth; MW decision to become Bevin boy, enjoying mining; family connections with Cambridge, decision to study engineering; family occupations; MW enjoyments in making things; discussion of pen holding hand carved by MW; MW artistic bent, courses in drawing at Cambridge technical college; MW considering himself a generalist, extent of knowledge of maths; being able to envisage engineering design in his mind. [30:10] Remarks on AW schooling: AW elementary and schooling in Hastings; Trinity Hall boarding school in Southport, enjoyment of exploring school before term started thanks to evacuation from Runcorn; AW life in a small boarding school for Methodist ministers daughters, daily milk ration, prep, games, singing; young or older school teachers in wartime; science teacher Joan Kemp; music teacher Katie K [Kempster]; [35:50] science lessons, having physics lessons from boy's school physics master; anecdote about school parliament voting for chemistry to be taught at school certificate level; AW all rounder status; AW deciding to study biology rather than medicine, enjoying studying wildlife; dissection in biology classes; sport; decision to go to Cambridge university. [40:30] Remarks on MW schooling: attending New College School, Oxford; war preventing a year in France; disabled teachers during war; disagreements with masters; enjoying exploring countryside in Cornwall, avoiding land-mines on Friston Beach; dislike of organised games; MW enjoying most subjects if well taught, such as chemistry and carpentry; disliking classics, but winning a prize; injured teachers during war; MW mostly enjoying school; MW evacuation to hotel in Cornwall from Holton in Norfolk; wartime conditions meaning the suspension of normal public school rules; [48:30] MW doing gardening for locals in Cornwall and repairing woodland used as army training ground rather than school training corps; MW later buying local wood as a nature reserve. [51:20] Remarks on: MW school results; AW working late into evenings. Description of AW in late teens, vivacious family. Description of AW in late teens.

  • Description

    Interview with scientific instrument designers and entrepreneurs Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood

  • Related transcripts

    Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood interviewed by Thomas Lean: full transcript of the interview

  • Related links

    Visit the 'Voices of Science' web resource for extracts from Martin and Audrey Wood's interview

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