Ref NoRMB/39
TitleOral history interview with Mrs Harriett Nailon on 9 March 2016
Date9 March 2016
Extent2 wav files
Name of CreatorUniversity of Surrey, Alumni and Development Department
England, Lauren
Nailon, Harriett
DescriptionInterview conducted by Lauren England.
No transcript was made of this recording.

Part One
00:00-00:34: Introduction: Graduated in 1967 with a Diploma in Hotel & Catering Management

00:34-06:25: Why Battersea? describes desire to run a hotel from young age; mentions support from Enfield County School for Girls; describes opportunities for women at that time; remembers article on careers in hotel management which mentioned Battersea College of Advanced Technology; recalls school arranged cooking experience; describes attitude to food in England in late 1950s, mentions Fanny Craddock and Philip Harman

06:25-07:15: First impressions of Battersea: recalls disappointment; describes early part of course as academically simple, but physically demanding; recalls high contact hours

07:15-07:42: First summer holiday: expected to get experience in industry, mentions eight weeks employment as chambermaid in Clifton Ford Hotel, Wellbeck Street

07:42-:: Practical Aspect of Course: Describes relationship of qualification to City and Guilds basic cookery certificates; explains second year cookery exam; details value of membership of Hotel & Catering Institute (MHCI)

11:30-13:50: Typing classes: describes process of typing in 1963; recalls female students advised to take evening classes for typing; mentions Pittman's College, Green Lane

13:50-20:10: Second half of course: recalls it was more valuable; describes number of students dropping out of course, explains possible reasons why

20:10-21:40: HN's Motivations: describes awareness of business; recalls original knowledge of hotels and staying in hotels; mentions theatrical aspect of hospitality

21:40-22:51: Male dominated environment: HN not affected by gender imbalance; first to ask questions; was head girl at school; not intimidated by male colleagues

22:51-27:35: Year Group: Describes lack of camaraderie; mentions most students lived at home or in rented accommodation; HN commuted from parents' house in Southgate; mentions early marriages and contraception

27:54-35:25: John Fuller: describes feelings of discontent in student body; mentions move by John Fuller from Battersea to Ross Hall in Scotland; recalls appointment of Clifford Gibbs, chairman of Kings' Fund as head of department; mentions Rik Medlik

35:25-40:42: Relationship with lecturers and uniforms: remembers staff and students called by surnames, mentions Mr Freeman, restaurant lecturer; recalls girls told not to wear trousers; describes uniforms, contrasting before and after course changed to degree; mentions move to Guildford

40:42-46:02: Romance: describes story about Philip Nailon, lecturer; remembers first lecture with him in October 1966; remembers more challenging academic work in final year; mentions marriage to Philip Nailon in Oct 1971

46:02-53:38: 1965 industrial year: mentions companies which would take female students - J Lyons, Strand Hotels and Trust Houses; describes 6 months at Strand Palace Hotel and then 6 at Regents Palace Hotel; mentions weekly wage; explains rented accommodation near Earls Court; mentions 1966 Football World Cup; recalls leaving party at end of placement

53:38-56:30: Dinner Parties: describes dinner party for hotel personnel managers, who organised placements; recalls vice chancellor Dr Leggett came; mentions Charles Forte was busy; HN was chairman for event;

56:30-01:00:40: Waldorf Astoria Prize: mentions organisation of prize by Philip Nailon and Alf Armstrong, chef lecturer; explains nature of competition; HN applied in 1966; mentions Cornell Hotel school summer school, mentions journal called Cornell Hotel Quarterly

01:00:40-01:02:40: Final Year: describes introduction of modules on finance in final year; mentions Alf Munden

01:02:40-01:15:40: Degree Status for Hotel and Catering Management course: describes process of assessment to make course into degree; mentions dietetics; mentions health visitors course; mentions 1960 Robbins report about converting Colleges of Advanced Technology into Universities; describes tests of department over 18; explains idea to increase academic rigour for Hotel and Catering Management course by using case studies, like Harvard; mentions Mr Gibbs, discussed quantity and quality of applicants; recalls final test was interview of academic staff of Hotel and Catering Management by other academics

01:15:40-01:20:30: Time in Waldorf Astoria: describes value of degree as shown at Waldorf Astoria; HN felt she had been taught to think independently; discusses booking for Christmas dinners

01:20:30-01:26:20: Value of education from Battersea: mentions high profile alumni, Greville Bridge, Chris Beaumont, Peter Venison, Peter Katesbury [Catesbury?], set up Graduate and Student Management Society (GSMS) of Hotel & Catering Institute; mentions GSMS conferences in Great Hall at Battersea; describes Hotel and Catering Management alumni society 'Old Baccoreans', with yearly newsletter and dinner dance; mentions SIGNet, Surrey International Graduate Network, and describes Sue Walton and Philip Nailon's efforts to improve alumni relations

01:26:20-01:30:50: Departmental traditions: Describes tradition of dinner academic; describes change in degree structure; mentions Miss Lennox, lecturer in Hotel Housekeeping

01:30:50-01:34:50: Personal Tutors: remembers registers were taken in first year; describes introduction of personal tutors in second year; recalls hosting Philip Nailon's international tutees for dinner on Boxing Day in 1970s

01:34:50-01:42:20: International Students: describes mix of nationalities at Battersea and within hospitality industry

01:42:20-01:44:30: Academic Success: mentions degree result; describes awarding of Morgan Prize, Trust House prize and WD and HO Wills prize; mentions prize for industrial year report

01:44:30-01:47:57: Relationship with Philip Nailon: recalls limited interaction whilst studying; remembers he used to sometimes be in bar on Friday night; recalls evening with Philip to meet John Cunliffe, former winner of Waldorf prize; HN describes writing to Philip while she was abroad; recalls they met for a drink in 1969, dated for a couple of years and got engaged in 1971

01:47:57-02:02:14: Links to Industry: mentions visiting speakers, Miles Quest, editor of Catering Times, Rondy Young, PR entrepreneur, Dereck Taylor, sales director of Grand Metropolitan, Ted Romp from Union, Jean Denton, research fellow at Battersea; also mentions Sir George Young, Battersea fellow, wrote book 'Tourism: Blessing or Blight'; series of lectures on principles of catering from John Longdon, general manager of Café Royal; mentions [redacted], narcoleptic student; visits to industry - Myers bed factory, commercial laundry, Ironcoop brewery in Romford, Hovis Bakery in Wandsworth, Booth's Gin in Clerkenwell, Billingsgate Market, Covent Garden Market, Smithfield Market; butchery course in final year

02:02:14-02:11:20: Liberal Studies lectures: Wednesday afternoons for sport; recalls timing of liberal studies lectures; visiting lecturers: film historian, Sidney Harrison, pianist from BBC home service, Enoch Powell, Tony Benn. Remembers liberal studies lecture, Nov 63, Dr Leggett announcing confirmation of charter and Lord Robens to be chancellor; mentions John Frayn, head of liberal studies department

02:11:20-02:13:00 Catering: describes colleagues focussing on catering side of course; HN was more interested in people, so interested in expanding general knowledge

02:13:00-02:15:12 Evening Classes: describes Battersea short courses in evenings; explains they were aimed at current employees keen to improve skills; mentions Management Development Programme, run by Philip Nailon, Richard Cotaz [Kotaz?], Bernard Davis and Rik Medlik; helped to strengthened links with industry; Richard Cotaz [Kotaz?] and Bernard Davis consulting business Delta Catering,

02:15:12 - End

Part Two

00:00-02:30: John Beavis ran Centre for Inter-Hotel Management

02:30-04:25: Battersea College Summary: steeped in traditions; describes current campus restaurant in Guildford; remembers Battersea College students were taught to think and recall knowledge

04:25-05:26: First day at Battersea College: remembers address to Freshers in great hall by Dr Leggett; describes seeing university logo and motto and feeling welcome

05:26 - End
Administrative HistoryHarriet Nailon (née Lott) graduated with a diploma in Hotel & Catering Management in 1967.
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