Burton, Richard (2 of 10). National  Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2014-02-01, 2014-02-08, 2014-02-09, 2014-02-15, 2014-02-16, 2015-09-10

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Burton, Richard, 1933-2017 (speaker,  male)

  • Interviewers

    Franklin, Geraint (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 2: [Session one: 1 February 2014] Introduction to session. Story of Northcliffe changing will in favour of CRHB. CRHB funded the education of her grandchildren. [00:04:37] Description of RB’s father [PBHB]; his education at Trinity College Cambridge; his interest in Communism. PBHB’s younger brother a member of the Communist Party. PBHB and his brother broke ties with Communist Party at time of Nazi-Soviet Pact. PBHB’s character. Marriage to VXB in 1930; circumstances of parents’ meeting and courtship. Parents’ divorce in 1942 or 1943. PBHB’s alcoholism; the victim of defraudment. [00:16:56] PBHB founded the Academy Cinema on Oxford Street around 1935, which showed foreign films. Description of cinema-going; the projector room; subtitling. PBHB sold cinema to business partner [George] Hoellering, [Austrian] film director. PBHB’s appearance in ‘Murder in the Cathedral’, directed by Hoellering and shot in St John’s Wood. [00:24:10] PBHB acquired three media titles, ’World’s Press News’, ‘Photography’ magazine and ‘Photography Yearbook’. PBHB’s illness with aortic aneurysm. Story about front cover of ‘Photography’ magazine. PBHB’s emigration to Malta and business activities as property developer, antique dealer and hotelier. RB concluded his father’s business affairs after his death. [00:41:53] RB first met Gerald Barry [GB] around 1941, courting RB’s mother [VXP]. VXP then working in BBC; GB editor of the ‘News Chronicle’. Story of GB’s false beard; story of RB and GB watching Blitz from roof of News Chronicle building. GB’s marriage to VXP; their son Stephen Barry [SB] born in 1943. GB’s support for the Festival of Britain [FoB], ran FoB office as Director-General. GB’s ‘quixotic’ character, love of jokes. [Winston] Churchill’s opposition to Festival of Britain. Mentions compositors of News Chronicle. Mentions country weekends hosted by GB. RB’s relationship with his brother SB; his subsequent career as theatre director and early death. GB’s appearance. [00:54:13] GB’s conversation with RB about his future around 1949 or 1950. Tendency in family towards engineering or architecture. Meeting of Festival of Britain architects in GB’s house, Forge Cottage in Sussex. GB’s school design competition [of 1938] in ‘News Chronicle’. Reflections on significance of FoB. GB’s work with Hugh Casson [HC] on FoB; HC’s support for ABK as competition judge. Possible significance of HC’s friendship with Prince Phillip. Support of [Herbert] Morrison for FoB. Remarks on HC as architect.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Richard Burton (1933-2017), architect.

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