Ref NoRMB/43
TitleOral history interview with Mr Geoffrey Pye on 14 October 2015
Date14 October 2015
Extent3 wav files and 1 transcript
Name of CreatorUniversity of Surrey, Alumni and Development Department
Nailon, Harriett
Pye, Geoffrey
DescriptionInterview conducted by Harriett Nailon.

Part One
00:00-00:33: Introduction

00:33-02:52: Why Battersea College? describes appeal of living in London; describes available space on course in December 1963; interview with Mr Gibbs

02:52-03:45: First Impressions: mature school; mix of students; seven or eight girls on course

03:45-06:08: Accommodation: mentions halls of residence in Chiswick; commute to Battersea; moved to hostel in Clapham Common with Fred Kaplan; more people of similar age, met wife there; rented accommodation with friends in second year, Balham

06:08-07:47: [redacted section]

07:47-10:00: Industrial Placement: Grosvenor House, three months in each department; five star hotel in Park Lane, London; felt prepared by course for time at hotel; describes Hotel and Catering restaurant

10:19 - End

Part Two
No transcript was made of this recording

00:00-02:19: Subjects covered on course: Mentions training in housekeeping, starching chef's hat, reception, food science, French, statistics; recalls early years were not intellectually challenging compared to A-levels; discusses of value of craft skills in hospitality industry

02:19-03:00: Industrial Placement: Describes it as a craft based, maturing experience; recalls it was easy to identify final year students who had done their placement.

03:00-04:02: Final Year: recalls focus of course on management, led by Philip Nailon; remembers Rik Medlik lectured on tourism; describes additional modules on accounting.

04:02-07:10: Academic Prizes: describes receiving prize of a silver ashtray in second year from WD and HO Wills Tobacco for academic studies; recalls most students did smoke; describes winning Fred Cobler prize of £100 from Grand Metropolitan Hotel in third year as most promising student; recalls maintenance grant for 10 weeks was £100; remembers receiving Emile Jouzy Award in final year for role as chairman of Graduate and Student Management Society

07:10-10:20: Chairman of Department Society: recalls most departments had a society and ran talks from people in industry; describes opinion of Hotel & Catering Institute at the time; describes role of Graduate and Student Management Society (GSMS); mentions society magazine 'Stagnant'; recalls members of GSMS organised international conference in final year

10:20-12:28: Sports: describes role in Battersea rugby team; remembers breaking ankle in first year playing rugby; recalls walking around with plaster cast

12:28-14:20: Relationship with Lecturers: recalls formal relationship, addressing staff by surnames; describes formal nature of hospitality industry

14:20-14:55: Fashion: recalls trend for men to wear hair long; remembers having hair like The Beatles; describes flat mate, Terry Dove, arguing with lecturers about his long hair

14:55-16:40: Swinging Sixties in Battersea: Describes influence of Sixties fashion on Battersea, recalls atmosphere in Chelsea around the King's Road; remembers organised dances, with live bands; describes how social life centred around pub culture; remembers drinking in The Eagle public house at lunchtime, between lectures

16:40-17:00: Liberal Studies Lectures: Doesn't remember them

17:00-19:53: Favourite Memories: remembers enjoying being away from home; recalls music, playing guitar, meeting girls and playing rugby; remembers enjoying learning about hospitality, especially the practical side of the course; recalls value of catering skills, remembers housemates stuffing roast chicken with breadcrumbs

19:53-22:10: Bad Memories: Recalls not feeling challenged by course in first two years; describes a broad range of subjects which did not feel well integrated; describes lack of links between hygiene modules and practical kitchen work; remembers some lecturers were older and uninspiring

22:10-23:48: Creation of Degree Course: recalls attitude of other students when Hotel & Catering Management became a degree, remembers being last year of students to qualify with diploma of University of Surrey

23:48-24:52: Reception of Degree: remembers some resentment in department that next year of students would receive degree qualification; describes attitude of industry towards course and new students

24:52-27:58: Careers Advice: does not recall College providing careers advice; remembers final year careers fair, presentation by Army Catering Corp and by member of Walduck family from Imperial Hotels; recalls ambition to return to Grosvenor House after industrial placement there; describes role at Grosvenor House as admin trainee

27:58-29:00: Industrial Placement Pay: recalls earning £7 and 10 shillings a week, with a share of tips in restaurant and bar on top

29:00-33:39: Employment at Grosvenor House: recalls starting salary of £750-800 per annum, remembers starting in personnel training department interviewing staff regarding efficiency, recalls feeling uncomfortable with task; remembers discussing role with Peter Venison at event, resulted in offer of job as assistant with higher salary

33:39-34:25: Battersea 'Mafia': describes reputation of network of alumni, remembers value in finding employment; considers difficulties of current students

34:25-36:45: Sports: recalls thriving social community; remembers playing rugby during autumn and spring terms, on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Battersea Park; remembers playing against other universities and colleges, mentions rivalry with University of Sussex; recalls helping Battersea rugby team win the University of London Union cup in 1964-5, remembers tutor Bernard Davis spectated

36:45-38:02: Tutors: describes system borrowed from Oxford and Cambridge, remembers it was more pastoral care than academic guidance; remembers role of Bernard Davis in awarding him second year prize

38:02-38:34: Accommodation: Recalls most students, around 70%, lived in halls or hostels around campus

38:34-39:30: Mixing with Students: recalls meeting students from other courses through rugby and accommodation; describes hostel on Battersea park road, mentions housemate Peter Keith

39:30-41:30: Hindsight: wished he had studied harder; recalls bad exam technique, mentions economics exam

41:30-44:06: Comparison to Modern Student Life: describes changes to student finances, recalls grant from local council; remembers good opportunities for Hotel & Catering Management students to make money; believes students are now more focussed on vocational courses

44:06-46:04: After Graduation: remembers most students found work in other industries; recalls few students were successful in entering hospitality industry

46:04-48:21: Commitment of Students: discusses careers advice provided by secondary school before applying for college; recalls visiting careers fair before college and meeting Mr Cox from the Imperial Hotel at Llandudno; mentions employment at the Adelphi hotel in Liverpool before joining course

48:21 - End

Part Three
No transcript was made of this recording

00:00-03:30: Work Experience: advises students to get experience before choosing a course, recalls advice from brother in law to get work experience before starting course; describes niece interested in Hotel & Catering Management course

03:30-05:00: Wastage Rate: recalls high drop-out rate of students on Hotel & Catering Course; mentions friend Terry Dove; suggests recruitment of students could have been more thorough

05:00-06:53: Prior Work Experience: remembers difficulties finding work experience before starting course; describes contact with local job centre; recalls assistance of father in finding job at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool

06:53-09:16: Employment in Adelphi Hotel: recalls served breakfasts and lunches on sixth floor with waiter called Jock, remembers training he had there

09:16-12:16: Funny stories: Describes lessons in Hotel and Catering restaurant, remembers forgetting to remove condiments after main course, describes response from instructor; recalls exams in practice kitchen when student dropped her soup, other students passed her a spoonful of theirs, remembers she got top marks

12:16 - End
Administrative HistoryMr Geoffrey (Geoff) Pye graduated in 1967 after studying Hotel and Catering Management.
CopyrightCopyright of the University of Surrey
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2024