- 3 Dec 2003 (Creation)
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Subjects covered include Second World War, childhood memories and family life. Places mentioned include Muswell Hill, Yarmouth, Caister and Glasgow.
00:00-05:00 - Marguerite Harman (hereafter MH) introduces herself and describes her childhood in London during 1930s. She describes her experiences in air raid shelters, telling an anecdote about a disagreement between her parents after which land mines damaged her house. She describes carrying gas masks on the bus, and visiting family in Fulham using the London Underground, in which people slept. She mentions moving to Muswell Hill, and recalls bomb damage to the area. She describes visiting family in Glasgow to escape the bombing, mentioning the Clydebank Blitz.
05:01-10:00 - MH continues describing the Clydebank Blitz, mentioning attempts to locate family members. She describes being classified as refugees and being housed with another family, telling an anecdote about meeting her lost family. She mentions a concert for Victory Week, and their return to London. She mentions the death of her Uncle at the Battle of El Alamein. The interviewer asks about MH's work with a sheet music supplier in London and her move to Gorleston in 1960. MH mentions changes in music sales and describes her history as a singer.
10:01-15:00 - MH continues describing her singing career, leaving to care for her children. The interviewer asks about differences between London and East Anglia and MH describes Caister when she moved, explaining why she wouldn't return to London. She mentions the musical entertainment and the market. They discuss numbers of tourists in Yarmouth and Caister. MH mentions her husband's job at the camp's games room, and subsequent jobs and financial troubles. She starts describing her family.
15:01-20:00 - MH continues describing her family, mentioning the death of her husband. They discuss the rise in traffic. MH explains the location of the church in relation to the camp. The interviewer asks about changes in Yarmouth. MH mentions a fire at The Rose, the relocation of the Age Concern shop in which she works. The interviewer asks about fishing and MH talks about the fishing industry, mentioning fishing museums in Yarmouth. The interviewer asks about being a child during the war.
2001:-25:00 - MH describes being a child during the war, and her family remaining together due to her father's position as carpenter for the Ministry of Works, which she describes. She tells an anecdote about her father saying refusing work at Buckingham Palace. MH describes the living conditions on the Underground platforms, and feel of community in the air raid shelters.
25:01-30:00 - MH continues describing the role of the air raid shelters. She mentions the relocation of St Mary's School in Yarmouth, describing a project with the school children about the war. They discuss different types of air raid shelter. MH mentions taping the windows, blackout curtains and street lighting, telling an anecdote about travelling to Muswell Hill during the blackout, and falling.
30:01-35:00 - MH continues describing the blackout, mentioning air raids in picture houses, bomb damage in Muswell Hill and water supply. She continues describing bomb damaged buildings in London, mentioning strong fireplaces, rubble clearing and being worried about where the bombs would drop. She mentions different bins for waste disposal.
35:01-40:00 - MH wonders what silver paper was used for in hospitals. The interviewer explains how the Germans used silver paper. MH describes being born with a drooped eyelid, and the treatment for it, mentioning air raids at the hospital and missing school. She mentions an operation at age eighteen to move her pupil and tells an anecdote about knocking teeth out on a skipping rope. The interviewer asks about closed schools during the war.
40:01-end - MH explains not attending school for a year because they were closed. The interviewer asks about evacuation, and MH describes why she was happy to remain in London, mentioning the different experiences of children during the war.