Mardall, June. (1 of 10). National Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2001-08-08 and 2001-10-08

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home in London

  • Interviewees

    Mardall, June, 1920- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Brodie, Louise (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1. Born Hampstead in 1920. Grandparents on father's side involved with Robersons, artists shop. Saw a lot of grandmother who lived in Hampstead, fierce lady. She brought up some distant cousins, whose parents were in India. Father started as amateur photographer and had dark rooms in her house. Other grandmother whose name was Gregory was always ill and old also lived in Hampstead, an artistic family. Father worked in Robersons, mother became his assistant photographer. Lord Carnarvon lent him £3000 in 1916 to start business and he paid it back by 1919. In Dover Street, they had just one studio to start with. Marcus Adams joined (child photographer) and mother also practised under her own name Yvonne Gregory. They did portraits of the aristocracy and theatre and books of nudes when times were hard in 1930. Father did photography in the theatre during rehearsals. June was taken round to the dressing rooms. Father's name Bertram Park. Left Robersons altogether. Business and personal relationships difficult with Marcus Adams. June remembers when times were good as a child, family drove a Bentley to the South of France for a holiday. Father interested in growing roses as a hobby. Moved to a London flat in 1926 and had a big house in West Sussex with a big rose garden. June adored her nanny. Had a governess afterwards. When she was 7 went to a weekly boarding school in the Finchley Road. When she was 10 she went to boarding school in Suffolk which she liked. Was bullied into drawing, and disliked it and doesn't do it well. June Mardall [JM] remembers wonderful house in Sussex, in spite of being a bit lonely. Father was a thin nervous character and mother gentle and beautiful. In Golders Green there was a cook and nanny. A housekeeper came down to Sussex and there were other retainers there. Built as a half timbered house, with high ceilings. Teak wood from a ship was used. Five bedrooms, big living room with open fire. June never learnt to cook and hates it now. Had a lot of vegetables and fruit from the garden. Enjoyed sport at school, and was bright, and head of class etc, liked responsibility. Liked company of other girls though found it difficult to make friends. Enjoyed riding and wandering round the countryside and swimming. Remembers a village called Bedham which has no roads to it. The house was between Fittleworth and Wisborough Green. Didn't take much interest in the roses. Mother had a rock garden. Father was a special constable, volunteer force, this was a full time job in the First World War, commandant at Bow Street, a full time job in Second World War again. He encouraged actor friends to join special force too. Once a year they had a parade in Hyde Park which June remembers.

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