Leicester Oral History Archive Collection
Speaker: Brownlow, Erik, 1905 - , Interviewee, Male, Musician; Fireman;
Speaker: Florance, J., Interviewer, Male
Summary of interview item: Recalls interest in music as a school boy and being in the choir at Melton Mowbray Parish church [Leicestershire] when Malcom Sargeant was choir master. Describes playing the violin at the Palace Arena in Melton, accompanying films. Mentions typical programme, poor state of the building, danger of films catching fire and visits by live theatre companies. Describes the new Picture House in King Street where he worked from 1921 until 1930 when sound came in. Mentions running music shop and band, and teaching during this time too. Also sold radios that he made. Recalls moving to Leicester and toured to hotels and dances as freelance musician, also played in Lewis's Roof restaurant, describes this. Recalls working for season at Brighton Hippodrome, when Second World War broke out. Became full time member of fire service in Leicester until joining Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) in 1943. Became artist manager with ENSA and describes tour to factories in Britain and entertaining troops in Europe. Recalls leaving ENSA in 1949, started to run a public house in Lincoln, and work as a freelance musician but moved to Cottesthorpe and played in hotels again after a few years. Plays his theme tune and other pieces.
Place of birth: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
Marital Status: , Children:
Father's Occupation: Master Baker
Location: County: Leicestershire
Periods Covered: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s
Recording Date: 19/5/1986
Playing time: 1hr 10 mins
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: EMOHA
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