Brown, Cynthia (4 of 31). Oral History of Oral History
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2014-01-20, 2014-02-26, 2014-04-02, 2014-05-22, 2014-06-03, 2014-09-16, 2014-10-28, 2014-11-26, 2015-01-07, 2015-02-17
Brown, Cynthia (speaker, female)
Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)
Part 4: [Session two: 26 February 2014] Describes what they did at the Girls Friendly Society and its history. It met at the Village Hall in Thurnby. [07:00] Secondary education in Leicestershire. Three years in one school then at 14 changed to a larger school. County was developing comprehensive education. She did not take the 11+. Mix of children. Old system excluded bright working class children. General expectation of sixth formers going to university or teacher training college. In those days you were likely to have left school at 16 or 17 to do nursing training. The Tax Office was an interim measure to get on a nursing course. [20:13] Her husband John had bought himself out of the Army. Cynthia could resign upon marriage. She approached the Leicester Royal Infirmary for a job. Worked four days a week. Infirmary was seen as a cut above the General Hospital (which was just down the road). She found the RAF was more relaxed in terms of discipline. Consultants also less formal and hierarchical. Working hours. No ambition to go up the managerial ladder. Never offered any training there. Medical wards were very generalist. Nurses there from Great Ormond Street from time to time, doing general nursing as part of their training . Talks about role of SENs. She worked at the Royal Infirmary for two years. [41:30] Moved from the tower block after their daughter was born. Much easier to get a transfer in those days. Became a parent governor at childrens school partially as a result of needing to get out and do something different. Mentions the Taylor Report on school governance. Became Vice-chair then Chair of governors. Got involved in the Neighbourhood Centre and became treasurer [and later Chair]. Not much locally for parents then. There was a playgroup at the church. Did set up a local history group at the school. Started to think about work when children went to school. Did go to the Alderman Newtons Evening Institute and did an O Level in British Constitution, then Economics O Level. Then Vaughan College [adult education college of Leicester University] WEA course entitled Castles, Crusades & Christendom. Went on a Certificate in Higher Education course for three years. Computer course at the local secondary school on a Sinclair ZX81. Politics course. Decided to do a degree in Economic & Social History full time.
Life story interview with Cynthia Brown, museum oral historian and former Project Manager of the East Midlands Oral History Archive