Leicester Oral History Archive Collection
Speaker: Seal, Kenneth, 1916 - , Interviewee, Male, Musician; Army bandsman;
Speaker: Florance, J., Interviewer, Male
Summary of interview item: Recalls childhood in Leicester, mentioning Clyde Street and Ellis Avenue school and his father's death from Spanish Flu. Recalls the churches and mission halls in the area of Wharf Street, Leicester, particularly mentioning Rev Harold Drummand and Christ Church. Speaks about his grandfather, a local barber, the band of Hope, 'signing the pledge' and high incidence of drunkenness at the time. Relates drinking to the pawn shop. Returns to memories of school days, starting work in factory and attending night school studying music. Describes his interest in cinema organs and becoming a traveling organist. Recalls becoming an army bandsman during the Second World War and how this enhanced his musical skill. Describes his army experience, marriage and return to civilian life in 1946 as musician at the Leicester Palace Theatre. Describes his work at the Palace, variety artists he met and gradual changes due to television. Relates several anecdotes about different variety performers. Mentions working for the Opera house in Leicester. Describes theatre in the 1950s and the effect of television on live entertainment. Mentions the Fish and Quart public house and meeting new performers, such as Morcombe and Wise.
Place of birth: Leicester
Education: Clyde St Junior school; Ellis Avenue school Leicester;
Marital Status: , Children:
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Leicester
Periods Covered: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s
Recording Date: 20/5/1986
Playing time: 1 hr 51 min
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: EMOHA
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