Gwen Divall interviewed by Colin Divall (session 2 of 2)


Oral history interview with Gwen Divall conducted and recorded by Colin Divall on 13 April 2006, in Swilland, Suffolk. The interviewee is the interviewer’s mother. This is the second and last session of the interview. Duration: 1 hour 53 minutes. The interview focuses on Gwen Divall passenger experiences on the railways and other forms of mobility, especially during the period between the First and Second World Wars. After 1945, post Second World War (WW2); WW2 years; bus travel; no limits to personal movement; [00:05:00] cycling after school; trip to Stratford on Avon and Isle of Wight and Youth Hostels; [00:10:00] bus to Epping Forest; train to teacher training college alone; Hereford college by train via Paddington; long distance coach cheaper; from accommodation to campus by coach; experience at rural school by bike; [00:15:00] traveling to Liverpool and Durham to NUS conference by train; cycling to Penzance on YHA trip; lorries to Symonds Yat; [00:20:00] entertainment in Hereford; travel not paid; applied for teaching jobs at Middlesex County Hall; put at school in London; [00:25:00] walking to school and living at home; mother doing cleaning jobs; [00:30:00] husband cycled and walked; [00:35:00] [interference] train to South Downs; bus then train; water transport; abroad by ferry to Paris; [00:40:00] coach to Nice by charter; mainly university students going to jobs; walking holidays in England and Scotland and Wales; bus to London for diploma in English; [00:45:00] Austria for climbing from a hotel; travel by train; no sleeping car; Italy by train in 1951; Spain in 1952; trains crowded; married in 1955; honeymoon to Brittany; [00:50:00] move to Beaconsfield; husband worked in Maidenhead; GD taught at High Wycombe; cycling to work; used Green Line buses; also trains to London; [00:55:00] local shops used; no car; to hospital by bus; husband worked at DSIR at Datchet; [01:00:00] arrival of baby, train to Eastbourne; bought secondhand car in 1959; father only driver; [01:05:00] Greenline buses to central London; car sharing to work; moved to near Wimborne Dorset; [01:10:00] sports car to Stratford on Avon; bus to town; learnt to drive in 1961; delivery of food; car used more; now two cars; [01:15:00] supply teaching; reasons for buying a second car; walked children to school; Bournemouth main shopping area; [01:20:00] train from Wimborne to London; car to station; laundry; door to door salesmen; entertainment in Colehill; [01:25:00] car to London then public transport; types of cars; Morris Oxford; Triumph Dolomite; [01:30:00] various new cars; kept two cars for a long time; no long distances; moved in 1969 to Coleshill; [01:35:00] long-distance buses to London; from Wimborne; convenient; car not good in London now; choice of Poole or Bournemouth for London; [01:40:00] 1980 first flight abroad; Greece; France; Eurotunnel; hovercraft; father flew earlier with the army; [01:45:00] car travel in the 1960’s; in 1949 father out of work; new job needed train to work; parents from Clerkenwell and St Pancras [01:53:38] [end of interview]

Oral history recording made by Colin Divall from the Institute of Railway Studies and Transport History (University of York) in partnership with the National Railway Museum. This specific interview was made as part of Everyday Mobilities in Inter-War Britain project


Corporate Archive
Object Number:
oral history interview