Leicester Oral History Archive Collection
Speaker: Brown, Benjamin John, 1896 - , Interviewee, Male, Plasterer
Speaker: Mitchell, T, Interviewer, Male
Summary of interview item: Talks about father becoming apprentice plasterer, working on Leicester Town Hall, earning more in New York, U.S.A., as cornice hand, doing well on return to UK. Talks of father's family, railway connections, visiting in a brougham. Describes childhood around Edwin Street, Leicester; games, country walks to Hungarton area, tramps. Relates father's memories of hot summer of 1868. Describes apprenticeship with father, hours, wages, employers' sacking apprentices when finished. Briefly mentions Master Plasters and Operative Plasterers trade unions. Remembers horse trams in Leicester, end of Boer War. Describes work done at Borough Asylum, General Hospital, Towers Hospital, including mentions of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), Poor Law, Hillcrest Hospital, various staff, hospitals growing food. Gives sketch of Charnwood Street area of Leicester. Describes Leicester Market, stalls, characters. Remembers various protest marches in Leicester from 1905 to 1930s. Describes situation of Master Plasterers at General Strike of 1926, a hard time. Talks about various coffee houses, who used them. Tells story of leaving army in 1918 after problems in Folkstone and London.
Place of birth: Leicester
Marital Status: , Children:
Father's Occupation: Plasterer
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Leicester
Periods Covered: Before 1889, 1890s, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s
Recording Date: 28/4/1987
Playing time: 1 hr 35 min
Access Restrictions: Restricted Item Copyright: EMOHA
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