Ref NoRMB/69
TitleOral history interview with Mr Alan Waters on 14 October 2015
Date14 October 2015
Extent1 wav file and 1 transcript
Name of CreatorUniversity of Surrey, Alumni and Development Department
Burt, Alison
Waters, Alan
DescriptionInterview conducted by Alison Burt.

00:00-01:23: Introduction

01:23-02:45: Why Battersea College? Father was civil engineer with Surrey County Council; applied to City & Guilds College but did not pass interview; second option was Battersea Polytechnic

02:45-04:59: First Impressions: influenced by World War Two, battle walls in hallway of Main Building; black-out blinds, rationing; mention of bombing, story relating to bomb damage and practical chemistry examination

04:59-09:14: Harvest Camps: 1945 Portly, Gloucestershire, organised by Claude Richmond, mechanical engineering lecturer; mentions meeting wife at harvest camp; explains pay arrangement and tasks for students; description of food available at camp

09:14-12:54: Romance: met wife as part of group of friends; explains balance of male and female students due to Domestic Science School (Hotel and Catering Course); students mixed at meal times, in the Refectory, and in the Common Room; description of social dances; AW was assistant secretary of Operatic Society

12:54-15:12: Entertainment: Victor Silvester, Joe Loss records for lunch-time ballroom dances; Gilbert & Sullivan operas staged by students with amateur orchestra

15:12-20:35: Engineering Course: studying was more independent than at school; explanation of length of course; failed first exams, so returned to first year; description of lecturers; mention of old laboratory equipment

20:35-22:08: Battersea Lecturers: Mr Walker, lectured in structures, spoke clearly and concisely; describes lecturers as good

22:08-26:28: Memorable students: Chemistry students with musical talents, Bill Reed and Don Cashwall; John Gray, Royal Engineers, expert in Soil Mechanics; Terrel Wyatt, Royal Engineers, Chairman of WS Atkins

26:28-28:59: Celebrations: 1945 Victory in Europe day, description of celebration in Battersea Grand Hall and Trafalgar Square; fireworks on Saint Thomas' Hospital

28:59-33:22: After graduation: offer of employment with Southern Railway, but called up on National Service; description of military training at Pontefract; Sergeant Hill

33:22-34:36: Food at college: The Refectory; mention of samples from Domestic Science School students; mentions local cafe and pubs

34:36-36:50: Battersea Buildings: Main Building, very functional; mentions class of Battersea students

36:50-37:59: Rivalry with Chelsea College: mentions mascots

37:59-39:41: Engineering Course: describes different laboratories; details of conscription

39:41-42:00: Sports: Rugby team, Morden sports fields; describes Crazy Sports competition; badminton

42:00-44:54: Accommodation: commuted from Surbiton on train and tram; explanation of curfew for students in halls of residence

44:54-47:38: Mix of students: refugees from Europe; Polish students; ex-servicemen

47:38-50:03: Timetable: Lectures from 9:30am until 4pm; discussion of work load; purchased own text books

50:03-50:57: Laboratories: description of laboratories and equipment

50:57-53:33: Home Guard: Describes role in homeguard in Surbiton; description of Battersea area

53:33-54:53: Graduation: Unable to go to ceremony due to national service

54:53-56:58: Career: Longmoor Military Railway, Hampshire; railway survey project, West Africa; consideration of academic training

56:58-59:13: Wife: Domestic Science course, teacher at Varndean grammar school, hotel manager; description of previous relationship

59:13-01:01:30: Battersea memories: mentions friendships; recalls guest lecture from Frank Whittle at Battersea about jet engines

01:01:30 - End
Administrative HistoryMr Alan Waters studied at Battersea from 1943 to 1946; he studied a general engineering course covering all the civil engineering subjects including structures, strength of materials, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.
Related MaterialASD/20
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