Ref NoRMB/4
TitleOral history interview with Mr Ian Bell on 14 January 2016
Date14 January 2016
Extent1 wav file
Name of CreatorUniversity of Surrey, Alumni and Development Department
Bell, Ian
Jacqueline Wood
DescriptionInterview conducted by Jacqueline Wood.
No transcript was made of this recording.

00:00-00:44 - Introduction

00:44-05:40: Why Battersea? School in London; mentions apprenticeship after school with Lancashire Steel; mentions commute from home; recalls application and fees organised by Lancashire Steel; describes 5 year sandwich course; recalls degree compressed to fit 1966 grant of Charter; describes employment with Lancashire Steel before Battersea College

05:40-08:20: Industrial Placement: recalls lecturers found placements; mentions working with Pete Bayliss at Lancashire Steel, describes role timing moving scrap steel, mentions steel unions

08:20-09:45: Balance of academic work: 18 months before Battersea in industry; 6 months placements, January to June; employment with Lancashire Steel after graduation; returned to education as industry unionised; mentions Professor Jim Reed

09:45-11:30: Move to Guildford: Describes campus as building site, mentions mud; recalls catering was rudimentary; describes commute; remembers student accommodation was spread around Guildford; recalls student lifestyle and trips to Guildford Lido

11:30-15:38: Battersea College overcrowding: mentions Usk Road Annexe; recalls technical drawing classes at Falcon Road Annexe, converted swimming pool; hostels on Clapham Common; remembers construction of Ralph West Hall of Residence; mentions popularity of Battersea College for vocational courses; discusses rise in higher education, desire in Surrey county for a university; Battersea College integrated into University of London; mentions conversion of diploma in technology into masters degree when Battersea College gained charter

15:38-19:47: Teaching at Battersea College: remembers mostly laboratory work, chemical analysis, wet analysis, spark analysis; discusses make up of steel; recalls most teaching was spoken, without visual aids; mentions using punch cards to analyse data at University of Surrey during masters degree; mentions slide rules

19:47-24:27: Socialising: recalls owning car; lived in rented accommodation in second year, Camberwell; girlfriend who became wife was studying at Queen Mary College; year of 12 Metallurgy students; remembers Head of the Lake competition

24:27-32:11: Sports: Five-a-side football; mentions Streatham rugby club; Battersea rugby team, games on Wednesday afternoons, Merton sports grounds, meals in clubhouse after games; remembers 1966 national university championships, South East region qualifying group, article in Daily Telegraph about victory over Reading University, lost to University of Sussex at Crystal Palace stadium; spring 1965 rugby tour to Paris, watched France vs Wales international

32:11-34:42: Characters: Harry Brill Edwards, wealthy research student; Clive Roffey, president of Students' Union; Joe Mackowiak [Mackowiak?], fastidious Polish lecturer; John Thomas, strength of materials lecturer; Jim Reed, younger lecturer; Polish contingent, come over during World War II, Skopiak [Szkopiak?];

34:42-46:22: International Students: Mostly UK based, apart from Poles;
Teaching standards: Older lecturers, Ted Leach; keeping up to date with industry; Ken Ginsberg, lecturer found international placements for students;
Member of Metallurgical Society, guest lecturers; member of 1953 Club, informal group of alumni, arranged social events, IB was secretary, mentions Bob Walker, annual dinners and foreign trips;
Metallurgy Society Trip to Russia: describes final year trip to Sarajevo 1966, sailed from Tilbury, visited Leningrad and Moscow, only one technical visit allowed, watched opera in Kremlin, discusses surveillance; mentions Cold War

46:22-50:02: London in 1960s: Discusses modern stereotype, recalls students were still quite reserved; remembers parties with students in Putney, invitations sent to women's colleges; mentions The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Beatles; describes popularity of traditional jazz; remembers jazz balls and dances in Battersea Great Hall; mentions skiffle and folk music

50:02-53:42: Great Hall parties: recalls mixing between students from different London colleges, Imperial, Chelsea College; describes rivalry with Chelsea College, annual flour fight on Albert Bridge; University of London RAG week, drink dry Six Bells public house on Kings Road

53:42-55:48: Fashion: Miniskirts and tights, many female students made their own clothes; male students wore jeans, style was more relaxed than during 1950s; suits and ties at events

55:48-01:00:52: Gender mix on course: Remembers two or three girls in Metallurgy department, none on IB's course; recalls students mostly caucasian grammar school boys; describes company sponsors of students; remembers couple of Indian students; very little overseas recruitment, contrast with University of Surrey

01:00:52-01:07:44: Guildford Campus: Graduated from Battersea College in 1966, returned to University of Surrey in Autumn 1968; discussion of nationalisation of British steel industry; role as research assistant to John Bailey, on carbon fibres; liaison with companies in United States

01:07:44-01:11:30: After Guildford: Did not complete qualification; joined London Education Authority as careers advisor, course at Reading University on careers advice; IT manager in careers advice in London boroughs; Hoskins software for careers service; Hampshire local authority education department; discusses developments in computing

01:11:30-01:12:45: Graduation: Guests were mother and girlfriend; graduation ceremony in Main Hall, Battersea College; recalls two students left course, but had successful careers

01:12:45-01:18:05: Value of Battersea studies: describes feeling equipped for life; values the experiences offered; learnt time management, adaptable; learnt to appreciate everyone equally; recalls very few metallurgy students stayed in industry, considers why

01:18:05-01:20:30: Regrets: no regrets from student days; appreciates value of sponsorship; recalls birth of interest in metallurgy on school placement

01:20:30-01:26:25: Final memories: Remembers travelling in post office van owned by student sponsored by Ford Motor Company; describes Green Café, close to Battersea Main Building; mentions The Eagle public house and staff

01:26:25-01:28:06: Food: Mentions The Refectory; describes community at Battersea College; recalls relationship between Metallurgy and Hotel and Catering Course students

01:28:06-01:35:12: Romance: remembers relationships; recalls Battersea College was mostly male students, visiting girls from other colleges; metallurgy students mostly still married to Battersea College girlfriends; mentions Fred Starr, reunion annually, mentions Johnny Moore, academic at Colorado School of Minds

01:35:12 - End
Administrative HistoryIan Bell graduated from Battersea in 1966 with an MSc in Metallurgy and Materials Technology. He returned to the University of Surrey in 1968 as a research assistant in carbon fibres.
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