Leicester Oral History Archive Collection
Speaker: Downs, Thomas, 1915 - , Interviewee, Male, Aircraft factory worker;
Speaker: Lee, L., Interviewer, Female
Summary of interview item: Recalls moving from Lanarkshire, Scotland to Letchworth, Herfordshire to find work in 1930s to avoid being a miner. Mentions training and the jobs available in an Aircraft factory after, choice of Pollards in Leicester to join friend taken. Details wages and cost of accommodation in 1935. Comments on not wanting to leave Scotland but Leicester a vast improvement on where he came from. Recalls trams and entertainment and sport in Leicester. Recalls meeting wife, the London Road and greater number of drunkards and police about then. Mentions other migrants to Leicester in the 1930s from Europe and North of England. Recalls how Leicester was affected by the Second World War, joining the Home Guard, bombing and air-raid shelters. Mentions not missing Scotland, son emigrating to Australia and great grandfather being a shale miner near Edinburgh. Recalls gas mantles in Pollards factory and need to use candles.
Place of birth: Lanarkshire, Scotland
Marital Status: Married, Children: Son; 1
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Leicester
Periods Covered: 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s
Recording Date: 12/12/1986
Playing time: 1hr 10 mins
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: EMOHA
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