Graham Hall, Jean (1 of 6) National Life Story Collection: Fawcett Collection
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Graham Hall, Jean 1909-1996
Abrams, Rebecca (speaker, female)
Part 1: Memories of maternal grandparents; mother's father was head foreman in a paper mill in mid-Lothian; father's father worked in family paper shop in Edinburgh, then ran a paper making firm, CALDWELLS MILL, in Inverkeithing. Childhood memories of Inverkeithing. Parents both worked and met at Caldwells. Siblings: Older brother, Robert (now dead); young brother, George Graham, later married JGH's best friend, lived in Norfolk, now lives in Scotland, his son is a land agent for National Trust in Lake District. Robert two and a half years older; George three and a half years younger than JGH. Saw great deal of parents and extended family while growing up: spinster aunts visited daily; father home from work for lunch; regular trips to Edinburgh to see father's family. Parents: resembles mother physically and father in temperament. (Mother died in l975, aged 87). Mother was "gentle but tenacious woman", took up reading Trollope in old age, always happy to be wife and mother. Both parents left school at l4. Family moved to Sanderstead when JGH was seven years old due to father's promotion to London branch of Caldwells. Mother missed Scotland terribly, but joined local Presbyterian Church - where JGH still goes. Father enjoyed being with his children; more volatile than mother. Impressions of parent's marriage. (Father died in l946, aged 60). Father a stabilising influence, helped her without encouraging or discouraging. Mother very keen that JGH should have same opportunities as boys, as persuaded father to let her do a term at LSE, against his better judgement. Attending London School of Economics aged l8, still living at home. Wanted to be a social worker. Frequent and very heated political discussions with father. From 7-l8 had attended Convent School in Sanderstead; then a BSc in Economics and Statistics - not then interested in politics. Lived at St Margaret's Settlement in East End of London before starting at LSE; great deal of freedom there. Political commitment started at LSE. Parents inclined towards liberalism, but father also a staunch capitalist. Remembers mother voting for first time. Poverty in housing conditions in l930s; listening to Mosley speaking in East London on Friday nights. Political awareness came out of her work as a social worker. Childhood hobbies. University - took up rowing. Commitment to work: "It seemed natural". Always worked very hard, but not a workaholic, she says.
Life story interview with the late judge, Jean Graham Hall (1909-1906)