Jennie Corbett

Interviewee: Jennie Corbett
Born: 1949, Birmingham, England
Interviewer: Pupils from Year Six, Oasis Academy, Short Heath
Date of Interview: 11/02/2013

0.00
29 Ellis Street, Birmingham B1, back-to-backs, and being sent to Princess Alice Children’s Home, New Oscott

03.25
Not going to school and visits from the School Board Man

05.38
Being kept in at breaks to catch up with education at Wylde Green Infants School

08.30
On the farm at Princess Alice, Spike the sheepdog.

11.15
Father a Muslim, mother a Christian, neighbours Jewish, living next door to the Synagogue, and going to mission school

12.50
Father’s hardship at being a new arrival from India in Birmingham in the 1940’s

15.40
Building the Carpenter’s Arms community centre (on the site of a previous Pugin building, in Boldmere); serving the elderly and the lonely

19.15
Living along the Chester Road and problems with Fosseway Drive housing estate

22.55 
Getting married and having a baby

24.05
Watching the seminarians at Oscott College and going into the mysterious woods to get chestnuts, visiting Pugin treasures. How the farmers from Princess Alice and Oscott collaborated

26.24
Boldmere High School for girls

28.18
Leaving school and Princess Alice Children’s Home aged fifteen, the difficulty for people with a foreign name to get a job in the early 1960’s. Changing surname and getting first job as a clerk at RM Douglas, George Road, Erdington

31.45
Meeting husband aged eighteen, marrying at twenty

38.20
Being trained at Brownies to use the big red telephone boxes, the only ‘mobile’ phone until fifteen years ago

39.35
Taking shorthand as a secretary  

Full Interview