Ref NoRMB/1
TitleOral history interview with Mr Robin Alexander on 14 January 2016
Date14 January 2016
Extent1 wav file and 1 transcript
Name of CreatorUniversity of Surrey, Alumni and Development Department
Redrup, Kate
Alexander, Robin
DescriptionInterview conducted by Kate Redrup.

00:00-00:32: Introduction

00:32-03:07: First impressions of Battersea: mentions head of Civil Engineering department, Mr Peck.

03:08-25:24: Why Battersea? mentions O-levels at Chelsea Polytechnic; started in 1952; mentions the syllabus; describes balancing time;
describes sports clubs, athletics, hockey, badminton, cricket; mentions rivalry with Northampton Polytechnic; recalls annual sports meeting with Chelsea in Motherwell; recalls trips with hockey team, including to Germany; mentions McDonald Bailey and Arthur Wint; describes teaching at universities after graduation, North East London Polytechnic, University of Malaysia, University of Nigeria;
mentions spine problems

25:27-26:12: Sport: recalls playing badminton at other colleges: Chelsea, Northampton

26:15-30:49: Entertainment at Battersea: describes Saturday night dances in Great Hall; mentions Dutch Swing College Band; mentions Christmas pantomimes and examinations; mentions male toilets; mentions sports, cricket, hockey

30:49-32:16: Accommodation; describes living with friends, mentions Notting Hill Gate, Putney; recalls commuting by bus

32:19-38:00: Food: describes contrast to time in India; recalls rationing; mentions Indian restaurants in Notting Hill; describes contemporary society; mentions Woolworths; recalls difficulty of course

38:12-42:00: Family life: explains wife qualified as a State Registered Nurse and Midwife, employed in Homerton Hospital then Westminster Hospital; mentions Edwin Tate Library; mentions divorce; recalls teaching at North East London Polytechnic; describes moving to Malaysia

42:14-56:50: Value of Degree: describes skills gained; explains role at the North East London Polytechnic, describes demographics of students; mentions Dagenham Water Works, Ford Motor Works;
describes charitable projects to irrigate Africa;
Battersea staff: describes Mr Peck, head of Civil Engineering; mentions engineering drawing lecturer in Putney, mentions Polish College; describes fluid mechanics laboratory; describes facilities

56:50-1:05:59: Staff: recalls structures lecturer; mentions diagrams, concrete and steel, bridges; explains codes of practice;
Graduation: recalls visit by Queen Mother to ceremony at Royal Albert Hall; describes studying for master's degree at University of Southampton

1:06:02-1:09:18: Anything else to add? remembers having coffee and cake in Battersea Park; mentions Christies; mentions fiancée

1:09:18-1:16:11: Romance: recalls meeting fiancée at dance, became a domestic science teacher in Norwich; describes difficult family relations; mentions neighbourhood watch; mentions Nottingham, alumni of Southampton, University of London, University of Surrey; mentions developments in technology

1:16:26: End.
Administrative HistoryRobin Alexander studied Civil Engineering and graduated in 1963. During his time at Battersea he ran the Badminton Club.
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