Howard, Pamela (3 of 11) An Oral History of Theatre Design
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2006-06-26, 2006-07-13, 2006-08-09, 2006-08-14
Various locations, London
Howard, Pamela 1939- (speaker, female)
Wright, Elizabeth (speaker, female)
Part 3: Brief description of mother’s childhood. Maternal grandparents Jacob [JG] and Sarah [SG]. Description of SG’s appearance. Mother’s attitude growing up. Mention of mother’s job at the business of her uncle Alec, ‘Floral Gowns’ [FG]. Remark about mother’s anglicisation. Mother’s attitude to life. Brief description of mother as a child; her education. Remarks about the effects of education on refugee children and their families. Mother’s sense of responsibility; changing attitudes to marriage. Description of father’s relationship with mother’s family; the careers of PH’s uncles. Mother’s visual sense; speculation about what mother might have done in life had she been educated. The influence of uncles on PH; drawing apparatus of Uncle Henry [HG]; PH’s role assisting him; invention of stories about the people in HG’s architectural drawings; PH’s application of this in her theatre work. Pressure to be educated; reasons for HG’s progression into town planning. Career of mother’s older brother; PH’s relationship with him. PH’s sisters’ relationships with their uncles. [0:19:14] Description of the furniture made by JG. Story about the sledge that JG made. Description of the colours and textures in the family living room. Brief description of the kitchen. Description of the roles in grandparent’s household; mother’s role at FG. Comments about the radio; listening to the news; Tommy Handley; the ITMA Show; wartime news bulletins; newsreel cinema. [0:30:19] Story about watching 16mm. projection films at children’s birthday parties; fear of the films. Trees given as presents to aid with the irrigation of Israel; the influence of Russian Socialist ideals in the building of Israel. The role of PH’s grandfather and uncles in the building of Israel; the ideal behind the creation of Israel. Belonging to ‘the Builders’ youth group; the purpose of the group. PH’s personal ideology; the expression of this through theatre. Description of how HG’s social ideals were expressed through architecture. Activities at ‘the Builders’; dress competitions; family attitude towards making things. Description of Yemenite costume owned by PH. Jewish dietary laws; tea parties. Story about father’s Ford Prefect car [0:49:45] Attending Wingate Primary School; teacher, Miss Pilchard. Story about teacher warning other pupils about PH because of her German name. PH’s lack of understanding about times tables; writing and drawing abilities as a child; story about the picture of a clown that PH drew on the wall. School facilities; attending a Hebrew school on Sundays. PH’s clothes as a child. Story about making butter; recycling knitted clothes. Description of appearance as a child. [1:00:00] Various household tasks; pickling; making raisin wine; preparing for the Sabbath. Father’s reasons for leaving Newcastle; effects of this on mother; journeys by car. Family’s arrival at new house in Birmingham; later move to a different house. Atmosphere on arrival in Birmingham; difficulty remembering the early period of life in Birmingham.
Life story interview with Pamela Howard (1939-), theatre designer.