Interview with Don Sutherland. One

Title

Interview with Don Sutherland. One

Description

Don’s father was a Scot and his mother came from the west coast of England. They moved to Coventry, where Don was born. When he was eight, they moved to Newcastle-on-Tyne where his father worked in armaments. Don left school at 15 and half and went to work at an insurance firm. At 20 he decided to join the Army but registered as a conscientious objector instead; a trial followed, and he got exemption on Christian grounds. His brother also registered, and immediately lost his job. A regulation was brought in that he had to register for fire watching at his place of work. He refused to register as he already did fire watching duty at his place of worship. He was charged, and his mother paid his fine.
Don then joined the Society of Friends (Quakers) and worked for a farming network run by farmers and pacifists. He stayed at one near Market Rasen for 25 years working with poultry and horses. He finally worked for 18 years, until he was 62, in foundry offices on the outskirts of Lincoln. Don would give out printed materials in Lincoln on pacifism and one woman slapped him on the face saying “how dare you”.

Creator

Date

2019-05-17

Language

Type

Format

00:56:59 audio recording

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Identifier

ASutherlandD190517, PSutherlandD1901

Transcription

DE: Right. So, this is an interview for the International Bomber Centre Digital Archive with Don Sutherland. My name is Dan Ellin. We’re here today at Don’s house in Lincoln and it is the 17th of May 2019. Don, could we start with you telling me a little bit about your, your early life and childhood and where you grew up and those sorts of things.
DS: Yes. My father was a Scot from Sutherlandshire. My mother came, came from the west coast of England and my father travelled quite a bit before he arrived in Coventry and that’s where I was born. I lived in two places there and moved up north to Newcastle upon Tyne when I was eight years of age. And I continued there, living there until I was twenty one. So, I had my, I went to about four different schools in Newcastle before getting, going to the Grammar School and leaving at fifteen and a half after I’d passed my O Levels and went to work for a few years at one insurance firm and then for three years at another insurance firm. But when the war came I wasn’t at all sure about it. I’d heard nothing of the idea of Pacifism at that stage which is, it sounds strange but that’s the way things were. My, my father was working in armaments at a local arms factory in Newcastle so I was brought up to the idea that, you know armaments were arms and therefore war was a natural thing and there was absolutely no alternative to it. But so, when I, when I was in, supposed to resign at the age of twenty I wondered which one to go into. The Army, Navy or the Air Force. And I eventually decided I would join the Army and one, I suppose it was about teatime, I remember I went into the, into one of the places for recruitment where they were actually going in and getting, getting ready. Ready to do the necessary work. Work to get them fit for the job. I went inside with the intention of joining. I think it was the [pause] it was certainly one branch of the Army. I just forget what it was now and I went in and saw what was going on. I didn’t actually speak to any of the people in charge there but I could see the officer there working and I just sort of, it just struck me that this wasn’t the thing for me. I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. It was as straight as that and so I registered as a Conscientious Objector. By doing that I was able to meet a group of people who had quite a different attitude to war as what I had. And quite, quite a few of them belonged to the Religious Society of Friends and that influenced me eventually to join the Society of Friends. But there was quite, quite a variety of people and some living locally. Some women as well as men. So I, I belonged to this, to this group for a time and I was still, because I’d registered and had had an interview, an examination by somebody who I found out later on was supposed to be one of the toughest chaps in charge of examining, examining COs I got, I got conscientious objection. Complete exemption. The chap at the church I went to, the, one of the teachers who I knew fairly well I asked him if he would give me a reference. He came in and spoke for me and incidentally he had two, two sons and two daughters. I knew the daughter quite well. I didn’t know the sons quite as well but I knew that one before the war started had volunteered and had gone in to the Air Force. And in fact, when it came to it his older brother also went in to the Air Force. They both, they were both killed early on during the war. That was one shattering thing. A cousin of my mine who lived in the south, the only son of my father’s, one of my father’s sisters he was killed during the war. And at the office I worked in when I was so called called up, called up he, he was the only married man in the staff but fairly young and I knew both him and his wife fairly well and he was in two minds whether to register as a conshy as well. And he decided to and very soon he was, he was killed. So, I had some really shattering experiences of people who’d gone. Who’d joined up. Who’d got killed. I mean the loss was, they wouldn’t feel the loss of course but those who were connected with them must have felt a terrible loss and that was happening on a huge scale. Especially in the Air Force because there was a large number of Air Force were killed. But I ended, I ended up, what happened, I’d been working for nearly a couple of years and I was more or less about the last male member of the staff left by then because they’d all been called up. And then they brought a regulation in that we had to register for, for fire watching. So, I was already fire watching in, in the arrangement in the street, in the, in the place where I worshipped and also, I did, I was in the road where we stayed so many nights a week. I stayed the night in the office where we worked you see and, but that wasn’t enough but I refused to register as a matter of principle and the officer came along and warned me that I was, I’d be charged with this, an offence and did I realise that? So, I said, I said. ‘I’m not changing my mind.’ So, I went, I went to a police court and I was, it was quite ridiculous really because there were about six of us and we were all found guilty because we had to be because there was no doubt we’d all committed an offence under the law and I I my parents paid. Paid the fine. There were three, three young lads who, who were a different type to us. They weren’t quite so well educated. I say that in a, [pause] it doesn’t mean that I am any superior but they, they wouldn’t, wouldn’t pay the fine. I suppose it was a lot of money in those days but the money side hadn’t cropped up with me because it was paid anyhow. Because they wouldn’t pay the fine they were put in to prison which was ridiculous. The fact that you could get out of prison by paying a fine. I thought that’s absolutely ridiculous. Anyhow, went there and in those days prison was much worse than it is today. They were in the prisons south of Newcastle and when they, when they came out another chap and I, we cycled. They were let out at 6 o’clock in the morning. We cycled and met them when they came out and they’d had a very rough time so it made us feel quite bad about it. Does that cover that? That side.
DE: Yeah. Do you know how long they were in prison for?
DS: Well, it was about, about nine months I think it was. It was probably a twelve month sentence and had been reduced to nine months.
DE: And this was because they refused to sign on as fire watchers or civil defence. That kind of thing.
DS: No. Yes, it was just refusing to sign. They might have been doing it but they wouldn’t sign.
DE: Right.
DS: Yes.
DE: Yeah.
DS: If you disobey the law it’s a crime. So, I [pause] the boss went to the, to the hearing but when he heard the result we got back to the office and he said, ‘I think we’d better write to Head Office and tell them.’ He said, ‘If we don’t probably somebody else will. So, it will be better if we drop them a line and tell them about it.’ So, we wrote a letter together and by return of post came — given the sack [laughs] So I was out of work for a bit wondering what to do and one of the chaps I’d met who was, he was a member of the Friend’s Ambulance. Not a member of the Friend’s Ambulance Unit, but he was a member of the Quaker organisation and he, he joined this farm down in Lincolnshire. So, I went. I’d already been over there to have a look at the place because I knew somebody who was working there. But two farms in Lincolnshire set up, one was set up on a very sort of formal basis in London by a group of sympathetic people who had money. They put, and they appealed for money towards the cost of getting an estate in Lincolnshire. But in addition to that there were two people with wealthy patients, wealthy parents who also had a farm. So I first worked in the, in the farm that was put up by this, this group. Group of sort of financially wealthy. They weren’t necessarily Quakers. They were, I don’t know whether any of them were Quakers. They were either farmers themselves or sympathetic. So I joined first one and then luckily I joined the one which was much more privately read, privately run because we were, our whole, whole group, the two who put money into it were completely equal to us. They didn’t run it any superior way themselves. It was run jointly by us all. So, I thought it was a very good place and I moved in to that which was fortunate really because when the war went, was finished that one carried on and it wasn’t carried on in shared hands for twenty five years but I worked there for twenty five years.
DE: Ok. And where was this one?
DS: It was just between here and [pause] about fifteen miles away towards Market Rasen. Yes. Well, about three miles north of Wragby. And it’s no longer run by conshies [pause] I don’t know whether you want me to say anything more about my, that side of my future.
DE: Yes, please. Yeah.
DS: So, I worked there for twenty five years and I didn’t think that I was physically up to, up to [pause] up to the work and I left that place and because we’d, we’d got a house through the farm as well we had a house that we owned so we were able to stay in the same area for quite a long time. And I, I then worked for eighteen years in Lincoln in one of the factories which is on the, on the far, far side of [pause] as you go out on the right side of Lincoln to where a lot of the shops, the big shops are it was right at the outskirts near the, where the trains go. And it’s gone now. It was, it was two kinds, two kinds of foundries. One was, one was quite mechanised where I, where I worked. The other made very large castings. Big. Big, big items for boilers and that sort of thing. So, I worked, I worked there ‘til I was sixty two and the government brought in a scheme which no longer exists where you could leave and get, get paid a certain amount. Not your full salary but a fair amount until you were sixty five when you then go on to your normal pension. And it had started being reduced to sixty four, and then it came down to sixty three and sixty two. So, at sixty two I decided, had the idea because I had a big garden at home and my wife is a professional gardener so I left work at sixty two and a half and I’m still here.
DE: Ok. So you, you started out. You worked in insurance in an office I presume and then, then in farm work.
DS: Yes.
DE: And then in in industry in castings.
DS: Yes.
DE: Yeah.
DS: Well, I wasn’t actually in, I wasn’t doing manual work. It was, it was the organisation really. Planning. Planning of the work that was being done and that sort of thing really. Not, I wasn’t, I wasn’t doing any manufacturing work itself.
DE: Right.
DS: No. No. That was a, that was a different grade of staff. They were paid weekly. We were paid monthly, you know.
DE: Right. And what sort of work did you do when you in, working on the farm?
DS: Well, I finished up by, by working with poultry. We, we did different, did a lot of work. We had the eggs, the hatching eggs sent to us and we produced the chickens and then we we then supplied the eggs back to the, to the firm for hatching. Quite a lot. We had built a large commercial workshop which I helped to build and etcetera. So that was my life. I I did a lot of other kinds of work as well. I I was, I worked horses quite a lot in the first farm ploughing and a lot of other work with horses. Sometimes two together. But I enjoyed that. I loved working horses. I remember one day I was, I was working among the chickens on the farm near the road and the neighbouring farmer had three daughters or four daughters and one went by riding this, this hunting horse. And about ten minutes later I heard a galloping noise and I was quite near the road and it was such a bend in the road and it was sort of out of sight and I could hear it coming louder and louder and louder and it was coming back to where it had come from you see. And so it came around the bend and I stood in the middle of the road and stopped it and I thought well I’ll get hold of it and go back and see what’s happened to, to the rider you see. So nothing. Nothing happened. No sight. I thought dammit I might as well get on. So, I got on board and rode it and eventually what she had done is, it had, it had it was like a round route and it was quicker for her to walk home by continuing in her direction. So, I caught up with her eventually. So, she said, ‘Oh well,’ she said, ‘You’re on board. You might as well ride it till you get, get to the farm.’ Where she worked. Where she lived and then she ran, went running back to my car. It was quite funny. But I couldn’t horse, never rode a proper riding horse and I don’t think, I didn’t gallop. It’s quite a different matter just, just riding a working horse when it’s empty. I really enjoyed my work on the farm. Then latterly I, I’ve been trying to keep fit by, by swimming in the local swimming pool and I I was, I was swimming until I had this stroke six months, six years ago. Six months ago now. I’m not quite sure of the date. It was perhaps about five months ago now. But I went on holiday with my family last year. There was a convenient lake where people swam and I dived in to, in to the lake without any problems at all and swam. But I I joined the local swimmers. They probably still have it at the pool quite close to here just one afternoon a week for people of a certain age and ability and when I, when I did it seven years, years ago. I was doing it seven or eight years ago one of the helpers there also taught diving so she gave us the opportunity, I think there was three of us who were interested in diving so she taught me diving. And then I’d, I’d never dived off a board properly before but she got me diving off the high board and somersaulting and that sort of thing. So, I was able in my nineties to go to various parts of the country including going over the, over the coast once to dive in my nineties.
DE: That’s incredible.
DS: It’s good to keep active when you get older. Yes. I had an allotment until this year down the road there.
DE: Oh, near the church. Yeah.
DS: Yes.
DE: Yeah. I know.
DS: That’s kept, that’s kept me active.
DE: So that’s the secret. An allotment and swimming and diving, is it?
DS: [laughs] Yes.
DE: Is it ok if we go back and ask you a few more questions about particularly the, the time when you were a Conscientious Objector? You mentioned that you had an interview or was it, was it a tribunal or —
DS: A tribunal.
DE: Yes.
DS: That’s right. Yes.
DE: Yes. Yeah.
DS: Yes.
DE: And you said the gentleman who, who was in charge was one of the more strict, stern chaps.
DS: Yes.
DE: What sort of questions was he asking you? What did he want to know?
DS: Well, would I do this and would I know that? Sort of gradually working me to a situation. And I I think I said no, which seemed rather, to questions which seem rather tame now, I should have said yes to. But I probably, as far as I was concerned I was using my replies as a defence rather than necessarily giving him the answers that he would then use to get, move me further off the off the station. Saying I was not justified in doing what I was, I was doing. But it was quite unusual for some reason I got exemption. Because my elder brother he also registered and he got the sack from his job straight away but he was married and he had a child on the way and he went in for a non-combatant service. Ended, ended up in not the very Far East but near. It was a British colony. A large British colony at one time. What did they call it?
PW: In India?
DS: Russia. Not Russia. No. Further east than Russia. But it’s now two separate countries which are at war with, potentially at war with one another. You know who I mean.
DE: Korea.
DS: No.
DE: No.
DS: No. They’re English speaking.
DE: Oh right. Ok. I’ll have to have a think.
DS: Right across the other side.
DE: So, this, this gentleman at the tribunal he was, he was convinced that you weren’t just making it all up and it was, it was to do with your, your religion, I suppose.
DS: It was on Christian grounds. Yes.
DE: Yeah.
DS: Yes. My, the chap who was the, the minister at church I went to in Newcastle he was a CO. But you see all the other chaps at church who were eligible had joined up so I think he was in a difficult position in a way that that because you see they were automatically exempt.
DE: But they joined up anyway.
DS: Not necessarily. Well, no. No. No. But he, but he, he didn’t register as a CO.
DE: Oh right. Ok.
DS: But they were not obliged to join up. It was up to, if you were in, in the police force. Not the police force —
PW: The ministry.
DS: The church. In charge of a church.
DE: Right.
DS: You weren’t automatically, you were automatically exempt. You could just keep your position. I suppose it was keeping the, keep the home fires burning.
DE: But at one point you had intended that you would, you would join the Army.
DS: Yes. I went. I went along and —
DE: Yeah.
DS: I went in the room and saw what was going on anyway and I thought well I, I’d been encouraged by so many people you know that joining up was the automatic natural thing to do. There was no alternative. You couldn’t be opposed to war without joining up. Of course, I don’t know what your attitude is now and it’s one thing that people today don’t have to face of course. There’s no calling up because war has changed in its nature now. Well, wars, wars were fought in the old days by the poor people who couldn’t get a job. They were in the Army for, for lack of a better thing to do. That’s what the Army was. I think it was, I think it was only in the First World War that the idea of recruiting lots of people came in to it. And the second of course as well.
DE: So, you’d been under a fair bit of peer pressure that it was the right thing to do to join the Army and you went along to the recruiting office.
DS: Well, it wasn’t. I didn’t, I didn’t feel it as pressure. It was just the natural thing to do because one had heard of anything else you see. I’d, I’d never heard of a Conscientious Objector before. I don’t know whether you’ve heard of them, have you?
DE: A little. Yes. Yeah. So, you, you went along and you were in the recruiting office and it was, it was then that you changed your mind.
DS: Well, it wasn’t a recruiting office. It was actual, a serving office where they were actually already started. I suppose, I don’t know, I don’t know what would have happened if I had have stayed, what the procedure would have been but the men there were being worked. But in my work I’d, I’d also, this is another thing that has affected me because when I, when I was working and the war had been on for a period one of the local places that was normally used for amusement was set aside for training and, and the men, the men showing the training there. Being encouraged to to fight. Fight one of the officers and you know and you trained. You get you used to hitting people in the face etcetera etcetera. And also using bayonets etcetera you know. So that affected me quite a lot as well. I thought I can’t do this. It's strange how people can be made to think it’s a natural thing to kill your fellow men. Mind you, I think the reason, the idea of being against war in the Second World War was different. I think in the First World War it was a war that should never have started in a way. It was quite different. Whereas the Second World War was a was a devilish business. One unearthly gang trying to kill all the rest of the for the sheer sake of power. I don’t know what you’d call it really. Fascism. You hate to hear the word spoken now. We have, we it’s forty years now isn’t it since the war finished? Nineteen, fifty, fifty odd years.
DE: And a few more. Yeah.
DS: Yes. And I don’t know. We’ve still got this struggle between [pause] oh I can’t think. My mind, my memory just goes.
DE: Never mind. Never mind. So you say you had no idea that you could refuse and you had never heard of Conscientious Objectors. How did you find out about them?
DS: Well, it was very strange really. In Newcastle there’s an annual event. There’s a really big, a big moor in Newcastle, a public moor and you could play private cricket there if you wanted to or just walk across it and that sort of thing. And every, every year they have a big gathering where where people can speak as well and it was a Quaker, or a Pacifist gathering there where I first came across the idea of Pacifism.
DE: And did it, was it a help to meet other people who thought along similar lines?
DS: Oh yes. It was a tremendous help to meet other people who, who had been more or less brought up in the idea. The Quaker idea of Pacifism. Yes. But not necessarily. Conscientious Objectors weren’t necessary Pacifists. They, they were just grounds of common sense I suppose really. It was the idea of killing people. Whereas Pacifist is slightly more complicated.
DE: Can you explain the difference a bit more?
DS: Well, it’s, it’s a religious basis whereas a lot of people who were, who registered as Conscientious Objectors weren’t necessarily, didn’t belong to any church. Didn’t do it for any religious. Just on, on humanity grounds really.
DE: Right. I see.
DS: How anybody could object to it.
DE: Yeah. Well, I suppose in the eyes of the authorities it’s easier to prove that that your motives for not fighting if you can say it’s for religious reasons.
DS: Yes. Although at that time I didn’t belong to a religious church. I was the only person in that church who, who didn’t believe in fighting.
DE: Right. Ok. So, you also said that as soon as the, your, the insurance head office had, had found out that you’d, you’d been fined that you lost your job.
DS: Yes.
DE: Were, were any, did anybody else have a sort of negative attitude or —
DS: Well, nobody, nobody, nobody at work at all. I I didn’t get a lot of ill words said to me at work when I registered. Which I was very pleased about really.
DE: What about from anybody else?
DS: Well, I, after I’d registered there was a chap whose father was a, he worked at the local hospital. He was a very well-known doctor there and he was, he was this young young fellow who was training to be a doctor too and he decided, he’d registered as a conshy and he decided to write some letters out about it you see to give away. So I, I was still at work actually when I was doing this and I, on a Saturday morning I wrote. I was handing these out down the town in Lincoln and definitely, definite Pacifist letters and a young woman I’d given, given one too she must have read it. Walked and reading as she went away and she came back to me and slapped me on the face and said, ‘How dare you?’ That’s the only time I have had any ill treatment although I know there was a chap at the office while I was still working there he found out that I was a conshy and asked to see me and boasted about the number of men he’d killed in the First World War. That’s the way it was.
DE: That’s an odd thing to boast about.
DS: Not really. Not really. Well, if you were called up what would you do?
DS: I won’t ask, expect you to answer that question.
DE: Well, my, my son has already decided that if there was ever that situation again that he would, he would refuse to fight. I think I’m in the position now where I’m old enough that they wouldn’t want me but I don’t know. I suppose probably I would have gone with the crowd and I would have gone.
DS: Yeah.
DE: Yeah.
DS: It’s not easy. No.
DE: No.
DS: It should have got cooler by now [pause] It’s quite tasty this, isn’t it?
DE: It’s nice. Yeah. So, I believe that the reason that I’m here today is because you had visited the International Bomber Command Centre.
DS: Yes.
DE: With lots of, lots of other Quakers. Could you say a little bit about what you were, what you were doing up there?
DS: Well, we’ve got, we’ve got a couple who you probably know, they were the couple that I’m referring to. Do you —
DE: I don’t know.
PW: Myself and my wife.
DE: Oh, I beg your pardon. Right. Yes. Ok.
DS: We’d been going there for a bit. I don’t know what inspired them in the first place to go there but, but we could see that that this organisation for some reason or other which I understand was setting it up in this area because I know a lot of them, a lot of the bombing came from this part of the, part of the world. So, we’re, we’re privileged in a way that we know because so many of the men who joined the Air Force lost their lives which is a, which is tragic. And the fact that it seems to be also committed to the idea of not necessarily justifying war by having this, having this Centre but at least, at least it tells you what war has done and what people have done to defend the country which is in ordinary terms a very unselfish and sacrificing way to do so. I’m pleased that they, they’ve got interested and I understand that there are people who support the organisation who aren’t necessarily very Pacifist inclined but they appreciate what the Air Force has done. But not necessarily I hope support the future of an Air Force which now apparently is working in areas to the east of Germany [pause] which is not, not defending England. You know that, don’t you?
DE: Yeah. Well, the Centre is supposed, is about remembrance and hopefully also reconciliation.
DS: Yes. Yes. It’s a very. It’s a good idea. But it’s bringing people from all over the country and all over the world.
DE: All over the world. Yes.
DS: Yeah.
DE: Yeah.
DS: Yes. Its remarkable really and it’s not, it’s not really sort of visible where it is from a distance. Here you can see the, part of it.
DE: The Spire. Yeah.
DS: But it’s quite hidden as you go up the hill.
DE: Yes. It is. Yeah. Yeah.
DS: It’s quite a big large space isn’t it really? A lot of work put into it and I gather, I gather the the white poppies have landed up inside instead of being outside.
DE: That’s right. So, you were up there. You were making white poppies.
DS: Yes.
DE: Yeah. Ok.
DS: Yes. There were quite a group, a group from your meeting wasn’t there?
[pause]
PW: Yes.
DS: I wasn’t able to stay. I had something else on that afternoon. I didn’t stay ‘til the very end when they were put out but I’ll have a look the next time I go there.
[pause]
DE: Just looking at my notes. Why did you choose to work in a farm rather than join the Non-Combatant Corps or any other alternatives? Or ambulance driving or anything like that.
DS: It was because I knew that, that some of the Quakers I’d got to know were in farming you see. And so it seemed to be a very suitable thing to do.
DE: And what was it like moving away from Newcastle? Coming all the way down south to Lincolnshire.
DS: I was warned by one couple who said, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t go down there. It’s all, it’s all foggy and cold.’ It’s one of the warmest counties isn’t it? No. I, it was, it was strange at first but I soon, I soon got used to it. I enjoyed it very much but it was quite new because I’d never done any physical work before. It was, it was all physical work for a start. Miles and miles going with a sack on my, on my tummy and putting, putting stuff on the, to make the crops grow, that sort of thing. Or clearing the ground with horses and rakes and things. I enjoyed it. And harvest time was great. It was all so simple and done by hand. We didn’t have combined harvesters at first you see.
[pause]
DS: And we had, we had local farm workers teaching us so we learned to do things the way they should be doing, should be done whereas when I moved to the other farm which was run by people without any outside help. I was quite staggered by their lack of knowledge of how to do things properly.
DE: So, the other farm you’d become the expert then.
DS: Oh yes. Yes. Well, what happened, sometimes we did, on the first farm this, this farmer who was on the committee used to come up and, and quite a crowd of young, young men and he, he would when you were lifting beet he, he would organise it in a, in such a clever way by using different groups in different ways that was much more efficient and then the second place I went to they had no idea how to do things properly [laughs] Which was quite annoying really but quite amusing at the same time. But then I went in to, in to poultry and I ran that myself.
[pause]
DE: Well, I think we’ve probably just about covered everything unless you can think of any other, any other stories or anything else you’d like to, to tell me.
DS: One interesting thing is on the second farm which was closer to the village itself we had, because we, having horses we had to have them —
PW: Shoed.
DS: Shoes. Shoes put on them. And this chap he had, had a couple of daughters so when you went shoeing you’d probably meet them. But one of our chaps he married one of the daughters. Actually, he lived to be well in to his nineties. About ninety seven when he died or ninety eight when he died. So, we had one person who married in to, in to the village. But several of, several of them at the second place I went to for some reason or other the staff seemed to be mostly people who were learning to get a degree in art. Four of them were.
DE: Right.
DS: And naturally when things became normal and the war finished they wanted to go back to what they’d been started at you see so we lost them and eventually the population declined. But the eldest, not the oldest member, the most mature member whose father had been a, a [pause] employed by the government in a very big position in, not Egypt, in the south, in the north of Africa. One of those cities there. He had got some peculiar illness and he’d, he died young so we lost one of the best members of our community which was very sad. So, there were very few of the original members there but the son still lives, lives in the village. You know who I mean, do you?
PW: No. I don’t.
DS: Well, he’s, he’s chairman of the village committee at Bleasby Moor. He lives at Bleasby Moor in the original centre of that community and they are trying to revive the little church building there but they’ve got, they’ve got a proper chapel but near the chapel is a small low building in severe disrepair which we used to use when I lived there. Used to use it quite often. But they won’t, the committee, the church committee locked it up now and we’re raising funds to buy it and convert it into a, like a village centre. Nearly got enough money now to do it. It’s quite, quite an active group of people there. Have you heard of Bleasby Moor?
DE: I haven’t. No. I shall look it up.
DS: Yes. It hasn’t got many villagers. It’s got a very healthy little Infant’s School there. Way beyond the numbers in the area. They come from quite a distance there.
DE: Right. I shall, I think I shall leave it there. What I should have said when I started the interview was also in the room is Peter Alan Williams. So that was the other voice that you may hear on the tape. Thank you very much Don for telling me some of your stories and recording your memories. Yeah. Thank you very much.
DS: Well —

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Citation

Dan Ellin, “Interview with Don Sutherland. One,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed November 27, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17212.

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