Taylor, Ann (1 of 4). The History of Parliament Oral History Project
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House of Lords, London
Taylor, Ann, 1947- (speaker, female)
Ledgerwood, Emmeline, 1968- (speaker, female)
Part 1: [Session one: 24 October 2013]. Baroness Ann Taylor [AT], born 2 July 1947 in Motherwell, Scotland. Remarks about parents and early childhood in Bolton, Lancashire. Mentions moving to new council house on outskirts of Bolton. Mentions father’s interest in politics and as a child accompanying him on Labour party activities. Remarks on gaining scholarship to Bolton School and class consciousness there. Remarks on excitement of by-election in Bolton East in 1960 and growing interest in politics. [09:20] Mentions admiration for local Labour party agent [Wally Edwards]. Mentions meeting Sydney Silverman and his agent Len Dole and receiving advice from Will Griffiths. Remarks about mother’s working life. Comments on father’s attitude to family life and politics. Mentions helping in local by-elections. Story about first time AT canvassed on her own. Mentions joining Young Socialist branch at 14. Mentions two brothers. Mentions father working for local council. Comments on impact of attending Bolton School. Remarks on momentum of 1960s affecting AT. Remarks on school providing training ground for development of debating skills. [19:21] Mentions teacher suggesting AT could study Economics at night school. Mentions deciding to study politics at university. Detailed comments about agent Wally Edwards’ role in selection processes and driving Young Socialists to meetings. Remarks on father’s education. Remarks on father reading books, the ‘News Chronicle’ and ‘The Guardian’, visits to the library. Comments on political interests of neighbours and efforts to engage school children in politics. Remarks on mood of political change of 1960s and Harold Wilson’s [HW] premiership. [29:00] Mentions getting married at same time as starting university. Remarks on political activity at university, inviting Denis Healey and Shirley Williams to speak. Mentions choosing to attend Bradford University because HW was chancellor. Mentions completing a Masters, working on a PhD and teaching for Open University. Mentions living in Baildon Moor and then in Colne Valley. [32:30] Remarks on working with university researcher on psephology and the emerging study of voting trends. Comments on negligible impact of studying politics on political career. Mentions getting on Colne Valley council at 21. Anecdote about being chosen as candidate. Comments on working on housing at council. Remarks on experience of working in local government. [39:14] Remarks on issues of early 1970s. Anecdote about branch meeting after 1970 election during which local activist Win Collett suggested AT’s name be put forward as prospective parliamentary candidate. Mentions attending Labour conference as Colne Valley delegate. Detailed story about how AT was selected as the candidate for Bolton West. Comments on frustration with MPs’ behaviour during late 1960s. Further comments on being selected as a candidate.
Life story interview with Baroness Taylor of Bolton (1947-), former Labour Member of Parliament.