Mardall, June. (2 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 2. Father's studio was dark tapestries and chinoiserie. Marcus Adams studio had the camera disguised. Mother's studio was light with a painted ceiling. Had budgerigars flying around. She had a hideous 1930s chair which ended up in father's office, went to the V & A for an exhibition. The equipment was cumbersome. At one time there were over 30staff, the finishers were upstairs and the dark rooms. June Mardall [JM] used to clean the big glass negative plates. When JM was about 15 her uncle took her, and mother across Europe. She took photos of baroque churches. When things were hard in the early thirties, father experimented with colour, but it was not economic. A photo of JM in colour 1933 is now at the National Portrait Gallery. The nude photos were pretty and romantic. Each of the studios had different laboratory methods. When her father retired in the 50s they moved to a house near Pinner where he had a garden, he became Vice President of the Rose Society, wrote two best sellers on roses and created three new roses. In 1958 the rose "June Park" got its gold medal. The rose is a shocking pink with a lovely perfume and is very large. He had one gardener. Another was called "Lady Zia" after Zia Werner. June is proud of him. They were always photographing the Royal Family, four came at once one time. He was allowed to take a photograph of the Court but it was not allowed to be published. After he died the plates were stored with Adams' son. Nothing was done about make up. They had 400 volts in the building and it was too expensive to change. They had children's parties in the studios. When there were Courts, her father got into full evening dress and the debutantes came in the middle of the night to be photographed. JM was presented but did not do a season. Martita Hunt, Peggy Ashcroft, John Gielgud, Lawrence Olivier were photgraphed JM Failed to get maths at matric. JM knew Blanco White's parents. JM thought architecture might suit her. Went to a pre AA studio with a lot of other students in 1937 and went to the AA in 1938. She was expected to work, not just get married. Father prepared to finance her like a son. Most of her school friends just got married. JM was frightened of financial slumps, not into politics. She married her first boyfriend from the AA and it didn't last long. JM didn't go to church, was never confirmed. School was churchy. Mother got interested in Christian Science. Story of being shy at the AA. In the pre AA term one did things to help the imagination. They laid bricks to build a studio, visited a brick factory . There were 22 students of whom 4 were girls. There were only two terms before the war started. There was more architecture when they got to the AA proper.

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