Ref NoRMB/63
TitleOral history interview with Mrs Fiona Try on 8 July 2015
Date8 July 2015
Extent1 wav file
Name of CreatorUniversity of Surrey, Alumni and Development Department
Buckland, Amintha
Try, Fiona
DescriptionInterview conducted by Amintha Buckland.
No transcript was made of this recording.

00:00-01:15: Introduction: graduated in 1957 with qualification in Hotel & Catering Management; recalls Battersea Polytechnic became a College of Advanced Technology; remembers college offered variety of career-based courses, so had a variety of students

01:15-03:52: Why Battersea College? Recalls few courses in Hotel & Catering Management; explains her mother worked in hotels; describes commuting from Slough; recalls moving into Northside Clapham Common halls of residence; remembers walking or cycling to lectures

03:52-05:28: Accommodation: describes converted Victorian houses used as halls of residence

05:28-06:08: Food: recalls breakfast and dinner was provided, also lunch at weekends

06:08-10:29: Course: describes learning to cook; remembers first time using college kitchens; describes waiting training and uniforms; mentions lessons in accounting and law; recalls first lecture in tiered theatre; mentions head of department, Prof John Fuller; mentions arrival of Rik Medlik

10:29-13:48: Practical Lessons: recalls cooking lessons started with potatoes; mentions larger kitchen equipment; recalls using French cookery book by Auguste Escoffier; explains students watched demonstrations before attempting recipes; recalls cooking for Hotel and Catering restaurant, feeding lecturers and their friends; describes desserts

13:48-15:18: Method of Teaching: recalls mock reception area with front desk and card index, describes photograph of lecture room with mock reception desk

15:18-18:10: Industrial Placements: describes hospitality employment during summer holidays, including at Queen's Hotel, Eastbourne; chose to travel to United States of America at end of course; Dr John Fuller agreed to allow graduation if monthly reports were sent back to Battersea College, reports were published in Catering Times

18:10-25:26: Course Students: close group; mentions Sue Walton (nee Hoare); describes Students' Union, role as Vice President; describes rivalry with Chelsea college; mentions balls; explains Head of the Lake competition; mentions The North Star public house; describes invitations to Senate House from University of London Union; mentions Going Down Balls and dirndl skirts; recalls jiving in Great Hall at Battersea College; describes one group of older students, nursing tutors; mentions Oscar the Eagle, Battersea mascot, stolen by Chelsea

25:26-27:38: Students' Union: mentions Mike Banfield was in charge of social functions; mentions Ro Smith, secretary of society; Mike Woods, president; Ernie Littauer, Steve Gutterman, Larry Giberalo; mentions student newsletter

27:38-28:35: International students: Hotel & Catering students were mostly from the UK; recalls more international students in sciences and engineering departments

28:35-29:24: Battersea reputation: not aware of college before went; funded by University of London; recalls practical focus of course

29:24-32:42: Fashion in 1950s: girls wore full skirted dresses and petticoats; recalls ironing skirts in Northside hall of residence; remembers seeing Sikh students washing turbans; men wore jackets, shirts and ties; remembers wearing high heels all the time; beginning of 'Teddy Boy' style for men

32:42-39:44: Good memories: recalls great opportunity to try many activities; great sense of community; describes invitations to balls she still has; mentions Going Down balls, March Hare's ball; recalls Hotel & Catering department often prepared the food for balls

39:44-40:37: University of London Union: Senate House, near Gower Street in central London

40:37-43:05: Other Languages: remembers exchange programmes to France whilst still at school; recalls some modules in French during Hotel and Catering Course to help with menus

43:05-46:56: Memorable characters: mentions Liz Wright, and Liz Wilsden; Dilly Priddy from Jersey; Bill Armstrong; Dr Rik Medlik; recalls skills learnt at Battersea impressed employers in America, Hilton Hotels, Palmer House in Chicago; Fort Lauderdale job, then moved to Bahamas

46:56-48:14: Adventurous: went on own to America

48:14 - End
Administrative HistoryFiona Try (née Mackenzie) graduated in Hotel & Catering Management from Battersea in 1957.
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