Oral history of British science
Raynor, Frank (Part 3 of 18) An Oral History of British Science
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Interviewee's home, Abingdon
Raynor, Frank, 1922- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 3: [40:45] Remarks on: father's tendency toward left-wing politics; father's religious outlook, Ebenezer Chapel's help during his divorce, posting to RAF Shorebury and day trips to Llandudno with church. [02:40] Remarks on religion in FR childhood: member of local church choir, until vicar fell out with father when they moved to chapel; anecdote about fixed sermon at chapel; Alan Chambers' transformation of chapel into a more enthused venue; FR reading Testaments and helping with education. [05:40] Remarks on work for EIL on RAF based: seven day working week; anecdote about FR joining electrical trade union; trade union politics not entering into work much. [07:55] Remarks on mentor George Springle: previous career in electrical industry, Metropolitan Electric Supply Company [METESCo]; interest in politics and reading 'Hansard', explaining politics to FR; balanced political viewpoint affecting FR. [10:00] Remarks on: FR drifting away from religion during war, anecdote about discussion group with army padre; FR disliking intolerance between different religion; anecdote about Jimmy Collins, who FR knew from building of RAF Aldermaston, needing to know his religion when inviting him to work in Northern Ireland; FR transfer to electrical network installations during apprenticeship, where he met George Springle and his wife Kitty; FR encouraged to think independently and take a centre political viewpoint. [14:00] Remarks on childhood activities: helping out on nearby farms; learning to shoot and drive on farms; few toys, 9.5mm Pathe film projector, aircraft kits; support of friend Fred Hildon's family, whose brother Wally had a cine-film camera; having to pay to be an apprentice in many cases. [22:10] Remarks on cine projector: Disney, Charlie Chaplin and Margaret Lockwood films; expense; various lengths of reel; film library in Lock and Co chemists shop; running projector at home, later motor driven, details of electrical connections, domestic set-up. [26:00] Remarks on television: anecdote about FR discovering a broken television postwar on a farm; FR building television set postwar; expense of television pre-war; rarity of his, home made, television set when FR lived in Yattendon postwar. [28:25] Remarks on schooling: starting at Welhome Road School in Grimsby until move to Cleethorpes; story about passing grammar school scholarships in 1933, only to be rejected from grammar school after interview due to lack of places; FR attending secondary school at New Waltham until he started work aged 14; [32:00] FR always amongst top in class; lack of school playing fields; variable quality of form teachers; limited prospects at school; [34:35] FR least competent at composition classes, anecdote about his wife comparing his love letters to technical reports; lack of science teaching; subjects studied, arithmetic, English poetry; FR disliking studying gardening; basic but thorough nature of schooling. [39:25] Description of self around age of 14.
Interview with technician, Frank Raynor