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Olins, Wally. (6 of 19). The Oral History of Wolff-Olins
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Oral History of Wolff Olins
Interviewee's home, Reading
Olins, Wally, 1930-2014 (speaker, male)
Roberts, Melanie (speaker, female)
Part 6: Wally Olins [WO] describes his sense of always being in trouble as a child and young person and the effect this had on his relationship to school and family. Talks of seeing himself as being slow to mature, and the importance of Thomas Fox, a history teacher at Highgate, who became a valued mentor. WO describes his early ambitions and his parents' response to them as well as his sense that school, university, and the army were a very slow preparation for business where he finally realised himself. Talks about Highgate in terms of its view of itself and its reality. Goes on to describe the school routine and ethos as well as his starting a magazine called the Forum which was supported by advertising. WO talks about the debating society, acting, theatre-going and discovering a talent as a comic, and how the latter filtered down into his later work. Describes his own long term interests coming out of this education, as well as how he was finally able to free himself from particular expectations in order to move in an entrepreneurial direction.