Oral historians

Thompson, Paul (16 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 16: File 1982-5. Bill Williams resigned as secretary. Video conference organised by Steve Peet and Mary Chamberlain at London College of Printing. Discusses work in schools. Talks about Elyse Dodson and her work at the Royal Court Theatre. Steve Humphries becomes secretary. Letter from John Saville considering resigning. Paul replied that his contribution was essential. More about education – letters from Sallie Purkiss. [13:30] The Society had good financial reserves and discussion about how to spend some of it. Steve Humphries had been working on a directory. Discussion about paying the treasurer and secretary. Steve Humphries declined but a proposal to pay Belinda Westover should be paid up to £3.50 per hour. Proposed instead a clerical assistant post be appointed. Proposals from Joanna Bornat in 1981 or 2 for need for a broader national basis, local training and induction, more publications, new areas of research on oral history, keep the two conferences a year and work with partner organisations to organise them. Ideas for conferences put forward. [22:30] Letter from Bill Williams (May 1982) – background that he tried to have a relationship with Belinda Westover which went sour and he decided to resign as secretary. Then Belinda resigned as treasurer. [30:20] More problems with the directory. Letter from John Saville in 1982 about David Lance wanting to form a rival to the OHS. He recently died. Paul not keen on war history – given too much prominence. Meetings moved to the Mary Ward Centre about this time. Trevor Lummis became treasurer. Membership was 760. Mentions Bob Little and his role in Colchester Recalled oral history group. Television History Workshop. Efforts to get charitable status at this time. £8,000 in assets. Conference at Brighton with Andy Durr helping to organise. [45:00] Talks about Graham Smith and his PhD on Dundee. Then got a MSC job at Arbroath then Dundee. Elected on to the committee in 1983. Edinburgh conference and various inputs including David Clark. Mentions correspondence with Michael Savage who became head of sociology dept. at Manchester. Also Andy Noble, a young seine net fisherman who introduced Paul to fishermen on the north east Scottish coast. Mentions ‘Dictionary Bill’ from Coventry as another introducer to local people. Letter from Graham Smith about fundraising for equipment for the MSC scheme. [1:00:10] Anthony Seldon’s proposed conference was to be in 1984 – various suggestions for speakers. Further letter from AS with more suggested speakers. He did agree to be co-opted back on to the committee in pursuit of organising the conference. Provisional programme. December 1983 letter to say he has resigned and cancelled the conference due to teaching commitments. Also a bit of bitterness about the lack of support from the committee. Discussion about oral history of elites. Mike Hardy has taken over role of helping with membership and administration. Trevor Lummis’s Treasurer’s report on the organisation of the OHS (1984? undated). [1:22:00] Application to become a charity in November 1983. Certified accounts. More about Trevor and his background. He died in 2013. Paul visited him and his art dealer partner in France in 2011.

  • Description

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

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