Wondrausch, Mary (1 of 9) National Life Stories Collection: Crafts' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2007-09-20, 2007-09-25, 2007-10-03

  • Recording locations

    interviewee's home, Compton, Surrey

  • Interviewees

    Wondrausch, Mary, 1923- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Hughes, Hawksmoor (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Mary Wondrausch [MW] born Mary Angela Lambert Battersea, London 1923. Description of father, Harold Lambert, a car and airplane designer before World War One then started first Ford car franchise in England. Remarks on not knowing parents well, mentions nannies. Short story about mother telling MW of father’s death. Comments on parents’ mansion flat in Battersea. [03:30] Story about seeing a film of father and MW’s uncle, Percy Lambert [PL], mentions Brooklands Museum. PL first man to drive at one hundred miles-per-hour. Remarks on MW inheriting father’s creative talents. Mentions paternal grandfather, a cabinetmaker with antiques shop in Pimlico, London. Comments on paternal aunts Annie and Millie, remarks on their following the Primrose League, Aunt Millie personal assistant to [William] Joynson-Hicks, mentions Oswald Mosley. [06:29] Comments on parents never holidaying together, remarks on mother’s holidays in France and Switzerland, mentions L‘hotel des Orange, Cannes, France. Remarks on MW’s brother attending Haileybury School. Comments on parents’ move to Cadogan Gardens, London. [08:50] Story about mother marrying beneath her, remarks on mother’s parents not being married, maternal grandfather a Swedish aristocrat, mother’s maiden name Montgomery, remarks on Aunt Signa marrying Bobby Miles and belonging to the Edward VII set. MW’s maternal grandmother an artists’ model and an Irish milkmaid, remarks on father’s and uncle’s money and celebrity, mentions Crossley Motors. Mentions father’s Ford garage and showrooms in Kingston, Surrey. Short description of father, remarks on not seeing him often. [15:53] Comments on MW under-estimating mother, mentions the ‘Daily Mail’, description of mother, remarks on her good taste. Comments on her decorating her flat in a modern style (1927). [19:03] Remarks on MW’s gymnasium in parents’ flat in Battersea, remarks on MW’s indulged childhood. [21:14] Description of Easter holidays on a farm in Bignor, Sussex, remarks on MW’s interest in food. Short description of breakfasts in Cadogan Gardens. [25:20] Description of MW’s older brother Michael, remarks on his death during the Second World War, comments on not knowing him well. [26:48] Short stories about cook allowing MW to polish knives in the kitchen, washing father’s hankies, father’s pneumonia, cleaning his tobacco pipes. [28:10] Remarks on attending St. Mary’s School, Ascot, then Pole’s Convent of the Blessed Jesus [Pole’s]. Comments further on MW’s indulged childhood, remarks on dressing like Shirley Temple and Princess Elizabeth. Comments on practising the court courtesy at school. [31:54] Description of uniform at Pole’s, mentions Dickens & Jones department store, remarks on detachable collars and knicker linings. [33:09] Story about leaving St. Mary’s after a ‘nerve storm’, comments on not being a conformist. Description of MW as a school girl, remarks on being disruptive, mentions spending time in the art room and library, remarks on friendships. Comments on reading poetry, quotes from Francis Thompson.

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