Mardall, June. (6 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 6. Points arising from the last tape: Mother was a minituarist painter on ivory June Mardall [JM] later shared a house in Kensington with Barbara Priestley (now Lady Wycombe) Jean Conder married Jack Moya. Betty Ventris. Philip Powell, Geoffrey Powell, Leonard Manasseh, Peter Coke. Philip Powell was hardworking, amusing, played and worked hard. Lost touch with most of them when she got married. Betty was overawed by Michael (her husband's) cleverness. Peter Coke was intellectual, had lots of books in Kensington. Neville Conder was very talented, did beautiful drawings. Eventually Barbara Priestley, JM and Alvis Mayben actress got sick of the big house and shared a flat in Holborn. Lived independent lives. The first flat was in Great Ormond Street, gentleman's chambers so it had no kitchens, but it did have rats in this beautiful Georgian house. BP met this air force man, she is an artist rather than an architect. JM Knew her step sister Angela Wyndham Lewis. Alvis Mayben died at 40 in a car accident. During the war, JM had to do some useful job. Either TP Bennett or Edward Mills. Then went to work for Freddie Gibberd After she was married, she met an American, Charles Fenn, and twenty years later she built a house for him. Still a good friend. Built a house in Ireland and later others CF is now an expert on Ho Chi Min. He was a playright. He left America during the McCarthy episode. Moved to Ireland married again and had two children. JM was good at doing neat plans later built a row of six houses for him overlooking Schull harbour. Did other houses for his friends. Went to Ireland every year One day he took her to see a site and she bought it on the spot They built a cottage there. Took her daughter out for a few days just recently. Went to visit the old house and a Japanese had bought it and altered it. Met a builder who had worked for her. Description of building cottage. In the 60s, they always went to Finland for holidays The old family house had no water or sewage and was decrepit Mother in law was persuaded to sell it and when she died in 1964 and they built a prefab house on an island 12 miles off the coast The old house was about 20 miles west of Helsinki right on the sea with quite a lot of land. Cut down 400 trees one year to pay for a holiday Bertil Gripenberg built a house on some of the property. Cyril worked for his father, riding to work every morning, in 1931 Cyril worked on a design for the stadium for the Olympics. He got second prize. If he had got first he would never have come to England. Couldn't afford to spend any money on the old house. Property on the island was much less expensive. Mostly rocks, and some trees but it was windblown. Sailed up there five times in the boat from England. It would take two weeks. Going through the Lymn fiord, or the Kiel canal. Boats were between 30 feet and 44 ft (this one was burnt). JM didn't know anything about sailing before 1946 when she first went to Finland. Had a lot of fun. It was an easy place to learn, the islands gave protection. When they closed the island house up for the winter, there was nothing to shut down. Used sea water for everything except drinking.

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