Adcocks, Bill (Part 1 of 5). An Oral History of British Athletics
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Athletics: Road events
Adcocks, Bill, 1941- (speaker, male)
Cutler, Rachel (speaker, female)
Part 1: General discussion about sport, professionalism, amateurism and volunteering. Early childhood described. Leamington Spa born 1941. Father from Hereford, Mother from Grimsby, met in Grimsby and then moved to Coventry in late 1930s 1940s. One older brother and one younger sister. Father was a welder. Ran away when 15 years. Uneducated. Followed the work, met wife in Grimsby. [0:06:20]Characteristics of parents. Father was caring and 'do anything for anyone', do anything for his children. [0:07:15]Mother was at home looking after children. Very poor financially, but rich in love and support. Father was very important in his life, very supportive. First race, took time off to see his son. Became a very caring grandfather. However also opinionated and bombastic man. Communist politics in 1940s and 1950s, late became Conservative. Lost work because of politics and union work. Story about losing job because of politics. [0:12:20]Religion. Went to Sunday School. [0:12:50]Describes leisure time. Play on street. Describes street lived on. Canal. Wood merchants at end of street - played in sawdust. Father playing out on streets with kids too. Story about Father breaking leg on bike ride. [0:15:15]Brother and Sister. Discusses relationship with both. [0:16:25]Other memories of family life. Describes house in detail. Working class housing conditions. [0:19:05]Story about Dad bringing lino home. Removal of stove, arrival of tv. [0:20:30]Describes in detail Christmas at home as a child. Rationing. [0:21:30]Father in the War - reserved occupation. [0:21:45]Describes earlyschool years - teachers and buildings. [0:22:45]Story about visit to motor show in London with father and brother. [0:23:10]School visit to London- school life in general. [0:24:45]Describes his own character - compares himself to father. We look at photo of himself and father from book "Road to Athens"- Adcocks. Describes character in terms of meetings. work etc. [0:28:40]Discussion about the way his character has affected professional life and amateur athletics career. Selection in particular discussed. [0:31:00]Secondary school, passed 11 Plus attended technical college - 1953. Describes sports at school. [0:32:45]Story about setting own races on the streets. Earliest recollection of athletics was at Grimsby. Story of owning his first book, History of the Olympic Games.
Interview with former long-distance runner Bill Adcocks