Oral historians

Thompson, Paul (9 of 22).  Oral History of Oral History

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  • Recording date

    2012-11-22, 2013-03-11, 2013-05-23, 2013-07-12, 2013-08-13, 2013-09-18, 2014-09-01, 2014-12-02, 2015-04-28, 2016-03-31

  • Recording locations

    British Library, London (Tracks 1-20) Poplar (Tracks 21-22)

  • Interviewees

    Thompson, Paul, 1935- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 9: [Session four: 12 July 2013] Colin Bundy chosen as Secretary rather than David Lance. Talks about the Imperial War Museum as a valuable resource at the time. Differences with David Lance. Mentions Bill Williams at Manchester and his work. Colin Bundy and Bill came down to Colchester and Colin soon after agreed to stand for Secretary. David Lance then moved to Australia. Mentions the role of David Edge and his radio astronomy project which probably started in the 1970’s not 1940’s.Solitary figure. More recently much more work done around science. [06:30] Minutes showed a rise in membership but Theo Barker keen on 500 members as a target. Journal issues – thematic/general alternatively. News section important. Guest editors. Leeds conference 1976 notes. 1977 conference to be in Scotland. Describes work around teaching at that time – Laurie Taylor and Sallie Purkiss, Ruth Frow, later Alan Redfern. Discusses with interviewer present day lack of focus in schools and universities. [16:30] Report on Manchester conference. Mentions Elizabeth Roberts’s work on working class women and Bill Williams’s on Jewish immigrants. Theo Barker was succeeded as Chairman by John Saville. Campaign committee set up with Raphael Samuel. Importance of his role in the Society. Meeting at the BBC on teaching and oral history then a follow up meeting at Islington Green School. Aim for a London conference. Eve Hostettler was to organise a conference at Essex in 1977 on women’s history. Paul to liaise with Hywel Francis for a Welsh conference. [23:24] Patrick Saul was trying to get a grant from the SSRC to co-ordinate oral history in Britain via a central unit. Discusses the potential of regional hubs and links with the BBC and BIRS. Issues around BIRS and there was a reaction against them having a central role. Attitude of the SSRC not monolithic. The three year moratorium was indeed temporary. John Saville’s role within SSRC was critical. [31:00] Split with folklorists – Paul not sure how this came about possibly an issue at Leicester where Stanley Ellis’s paper was talked out by Raphael Samuel overrunning. Possibly folklore has diminished in importance. Lot of people straddle between OH and folklore. John Saville reporting back in June 1976 BIRS application turned down unconditionally. [38:00] Burwell House project in Cambridgeshire. Paul had worked with them on developing their OH work. More about schools conference planning. Reads out angry letter from Raphael Samuel to Paul and Alun Howkins re schools conference. Pauls’ reply to 15th October meeting issues. Tension between emphasis on workshop meetings and main committee. [57:00] Review of Manchester conference and OH committee meeting October 1976. Membership 376.Letter about unsatisfactory election of committee members. John Saville saying that less resistance by SSRC to oral history and Bill Williams mentioning MSC employment schemes. At this time a lot of Journal articles describe practical issues. Campaign committee membership. John Saville offering to ask Victor Kiernan to talk about the Raj programmes on the BBC. Long letter from John Saville about it. Michael Mason had recorded 300 hours on the subject. John Saville considering resigning the chair of the Society. Disputes within the committee. Attempt by Michael Mason to create a national archive via the BBC. Report on the Edinburgh conference. Brief discussion about George Ewart Evans.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Paul Thompson, co-founder of National Life Stories.

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