Leicester Oral History Archive Collection
Speaker: Fenwick, Joan, 1925 - , Interviewee, Female,
Speaker: Johnson, R, Interviewer, Female
Summary of interview item: Describes family background in Grassmore, Derbyshire, where father had been leader in General Strike  and was barred from pits. Recalls village soup kitchen, mother baking twice a week for local bakery, means test. Explains move to Leicester in 1933. Mentions father warning daughters about pregnancy, discipline at home. Recalls thinking children at Hazel Street school spoke with posh accents, having second hand uniform. Describes lack of information about facts of life, start of periods. Briefly talks about parents' wedding and background. Talks about family life, fetching beer from off licence, not being able to afford for sister to be teacher. Describes house on Walnut Street. Mentions getting free bread from Leicester Market, sister's house on Grasmere Street, mother looking after sister's baby. Talks about work at Harrison and Hayes hosiery factory, pay, conditions. Recalls no talk of ambitions in her family, daydreaming while at Waterhouse Reynolds corsetry factory. Mentions rambling with friend, 'bad girls' going out with men, father being very strict about her being home on time. Talks about outbreak of Second World War (WWII), blackout being scary, air raid shelters, fire watching, rationing, using liquid paraffin instead of cooking oil, black market, propaganda posters, 'bad girls' and generous Americans. Brief mentions of reading comics as father didn't approve of newspapers, not being sure of what they were making at work during WWII, attitudes to illegitimate children. Talks about having first baby, mother having handy woman when she gave birth, deaths, funerals. Talks about earth toilets when in Grassmore, Derbyshire, street characters, killing pigs.
Place of birth: Grassmore, Derbyshire
Education: Hazel Street School
Marital Status: , Children:
Location: County: Derbyshire, Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Grassmore, Leicester
Periods Covered: 1930s, 1940s, 1950s
Recording Date: 10/5/1989
Playing time: 1 hr 57 mins
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: EMOHA
Cross Reference: LO/546/496
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