Oral historians

Thompson, Paul (21 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 21: [Session ten: 31 March 2016] Genesis of the idea of National Life Stories By the time he was 50 there was a stage in his life where he was wondering where oral history was leading to. Family wise his father died in 1986 and his mother in 1994 when he inherited some capital from them. They were not rich but his father had sold up their grocer shop in Woking and became an archaeologist. Paul decided to give some money to good causes he believed in so he donated 3-4,000 to the Oral History Society. Earlier his father had given him a Henry Moore sculpture. Mentions one of his teachers Walter Strachan who set up an architecture club and he was keen on sculpture. Walter used to visit Henry Moore at nearby Perry Green. Paul encouraged his father to buy a Henry Moore which he did in the late 1950s . When he acquired the Henry Moore Paul decided to use the proceeds of any sale to set up a national collection. Christopher Roads was director of the National Sound Archive. Mentions Roads’ predecessor Patrick Saul and earlier attempts to set up a national archive. Paul had started the bare bones of a committee with a number of people including Asa Briggs. He had died two weeks before this interview – Paul praises his achievements. At the time he was head of Worcester College and Paul went to see him with the plan and he was really enthusiastic. He became a very supportive chairman. However he was less good at getting money in.

  • Description

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

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