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Res.2.15 Married couple, late thirties, corporation tenants, female interviewer, 18 April 1961

Identifier: EUA IN1/ACU/S3/4/2/2/15

Scope and Contents

Topics discussed include: Living accommodation and furnishings; flat maintenance; decline in friendliness and neighbourliness; generational difference in parental duties; childhood and early life; Newhaven; money and employment; politics and unions.

INTVEEs live on the top floor of a multi-storey block. They have no children. They have lived there for 2 and half years and were on the waiting list for three and half years. They had been living in one room which had ben divided in two by hardboard, a sub-let in a large old house for which they paid 30/-. They think their 3 apartment flat with all modern conveniences for under £2 a week is a bargain. INTVER describes the house as "well furnished indeed, both as to comfort and quality. The quite expensive three-piece suite had decent lines and is upholstered in grey instead of the prevalent cherry. There is a patterned all-over-fitted carpet". Most of the furniture is on hire-purchase except the furniture in the small spare room which they got by foregoing one holiday. Wife likes to read and is currently reading a Harry Spring novel. She wants to get a bookcase. The husband collects records and says he likes the Teds - Cliff Richard, Adam Faith, his wife prefers the songs from South Pacific, The King and I etc. They like the flat very much but do not like the district. They had not anticipated that the district would affect them but had not reckoned on the approaches to the flat being so unpleasant and the interference from local children - they put the lifts out of order or play in them, pinch bikes and mess up the landings. They deplore the absence of a caretaker. The cleaning of the landings and stairs is the responsibility of the tenants but they have refused to do it on more than one occasion because of the filthy state it was in. They sent for the sanitary who cleared it up. There had been a tenant's association when the flats were first occupied but this had lapsed. They think there has been a lot of movement in and out of the block. Husband asks INTVER "Do you think people are getting more snobbish?" and is quoted as saying "well in the old days nobody had anything and nobody expected to have anything. It was all share and share alike. You'd help out somebody in the same boat as you were yourself. Once people begin to get on their feet they start looking round to see what more they can get and then there's all this competition and it's each for himself". They both work. He works with people from Newhaven who he says are clannish and the older generation terribly superstitious - they will never say "salmon" or "pig", it always has to be "red fish" or "curly tail". INTVER asks if he knows about the Free Fishers and he thinks it is a friendly society to which members pay a small weekly contribution. If a Newhaven girl marries a man outside the Newhaven families, her husband is not allowed to become a member and her sons can't be members but sons of a Newhaven man who marries outside are allowed to join. He is hostile to the union and there is a general feeling amongst seamen that it doesn't represent their interests. He says the seamen's strike the previous year was against the union and not their employers. He no longer feels able to vote Labour since discovering the unions do nothing to promote the welfare of their members, he would not go as far as voting Tory so he abstained at the last election. He thinks the unions must have considerable funds that they could invest in industry. The wife votes Labour. They can buy little luxuries if they feel like it and husband is quoted as saying "Take biscuits for instance. When I was a lad, though we got enough to eat, a biscuit was a thing quite unknown in the family. Now we eat maybe three or four pounds a week".


  • Other: 18 April 1961

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Public access to these records is governed by UK data protection legislation. Whilst some records may be accessed freely by researchers, the aforementioned legislation means that records conveying personal information on named individuals may be closed to the public for a set time. Where records relate to named deceased adults, they will be open 75 years after the latest date referenced in the record, on the next 1 January. Records relating to individuals below 18 years of age or adults not proven to be deceased will be open 100 years after the latest date recorded in the record, on the next 1 January.


8 Sheets


Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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