Layton, Peter (2 of 22) National Life Stories Collection: Crafts Lives

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  • Recording date

    2014-11-24, 2014-12-18, 2015-01-07, 2015-01-13, 2015-01-19, 2015-03-02, 2015-03-09, 2015-03-16, 2015-04-13

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee’s home in Worcester Park and studio in London

  • Interviewees

    Layton, Peter, 1937- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Cornford, Frances (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 2: PL’s path to art as tortuous; Knowing David Hockney but going to a different grammar school. PL’s activities with Zionist youth group Habonim; going to summer camp and having great time; PL leading the singing round the campfire and being good at ball games; PL eventually going to Israel to be a youth leader; learning Jewish stories and observing Jewish holidays. [10:27] Awareness of Holocaust; EH involved in twinning with German towns and putting up German student teachers; EH welcoming in waifs and strays; food made by EH; further remarks on holocaust; effect of family losing everything when left Prague; parents speaking German at home in early years but later in English; PL not facing a lot of discrimination. [19:17] Parents reaction to holocaust; EH as forgiving. Remarks on Israel; Mike Leigh and others in Habonim with PL; PL going through phase of being Zionist. [23:55] Importance of passing eleven plus; description at PL at age 11; PL’s friends amongst family friends of parents. PL’s family not well off and getting food parcels from US; EH busy visiting and looking after others. Comments on GL’s writing about their childhood; sister Vivienne an MBE for work with charities. PL’s parents having a circle of six other refugee couples who would socialise with; many of families well off. [37:35] Comments on EH’s breakdown; PL evacuated during war for short periods to Morecambe and Manchester. [41:58] Comments on grammar school; PL as not having to go to assembly because Jewish and playing shove hapenny; playing chess; PL in school sports teams and liking rugby; playing in tennis and chess teams; PL a member of Saltaire tennis club; Salt’s Mill later bought and developed by Jonathan Silver, a friend of PL from Habonim youth group; grandparents having caravan near Shipley Glen. PL going to Dorothy Braybrooke’s School of Dancing; parents finding money for dance classes. [48:36] School friends including David Johnson and Fred Hughes; friends among Jewish community; meeting at department store Brown Muffs; listening to records. Comments on playing rugby; anecdote about getting warm after bath; sport as important to PL. Bradford as filthy place. Remarks on working in Batley in the rag trade after leaving school as a managerial trainee; working on shop floor with ragpickers. [01:08:29] PL concentrating on youth groups and sports. PL not considering art school or university. Knowing David Hockney (DH) through David Johnson and going climbing with them in Scotland while at school; hitchhiking to Scotland and climbing round Glencoe; DH as first person PL saw sketching; DH sketching round Bradford while at art school; anecdote about DH dressing up. Remarks on Scottish trip with DH; hitchhiking; camping in a clay pigeon shed; hitchhiking separately. Other trips with David Johnson to expo in Brussels.

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