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April 3, 2019

When I applied to do a degree course, I thought a BA might be better as I not ‘studied’ Art since I was at school and my BA of 10 years ago was Art and Humanities and to me didn’t seem relevant. The MA seemed liked a step to far; however, when I shows my portfolio I was offered a place when I confirmed my BA a few weeks later

During that time, I did look back on my life since I hadn’t been an artist and how at times not even a dream.

I did go to college when I left school but to learn Domestic Science with the view that I might get a job in a hotel in Southampton or at the seaside.  This proved to be most unattractive and that work in the city with a room seemed a lot more fun; cinema, Top Rank, department stores, ball rooms and discos in walking distance.  As I wasn’t a shorthand typist I had to ‘be’ an accounts clerk in the head office of a national car rental and petrol filling station company.  Here I dealt with petrol meter readings and car rental agreements long before computers were used instead clumsy calculating machines and huge accounts machines the likes I had not seen then or since.  Pretty mundane stuff, but I did get to learn to drive and use new cars; the likes of which had never seen before (since moving from the riverside) the Ford Capri, Cortina, Corsair and the iconic Mini.  I lived nearby in a Girls Friendly Society Hostel I shared a room with a girl from Nuneaton who had come south to work in the Pirelli Tyre Factory she was also an accounts clerk and her department were beginning to use punch cards so it was very exciting times as regards ‘new-fangled’ equipment.  She was a bit older, put curlers in her hair at night, smoked, did a crossword each day and was a socialist.  I was nowhere yet politically or otherwise since I was still not an artist.  My father I since worked out at was probably an anarchist and my mother voted Liberal.  My boyfriend at the time was an apprentice fitter at Vosper Thorneycroft’s and was to be a trade unionist.  So being a socialist and voting labour among the first 18-year-olds to get a vote was particularly exciting and as I lived very near the Transport and General Workers Union offices, I did get to see some important people coming and going; like Harold Wilson.   Having said all that did go to the local Wimpy Bar where the Southampton Football Team would go and there were some caricatures on the wall drawn by Ron Davies and Mike Shannon’s girl friend had a hairdresser’s salon around the corner.  Then there was Radio 1 that started then and who didn’t love Tony Blackburn?  So, for this mixed up little girl from a house boat on the river there was much going and not much spare money so I did begin to make my own clothes but not yet considering change in career this suited me for a while.

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