Stuart Birks' oral history recordings as featured on the Manawatu People's Radio programme, "Manawatu Conversations."
Broadcast on Access Manawatu, 19 June 2018. The first of two interviews with Frida Evelyn Larsen on being a war bride during World War II and then settling in New Zealand. Frida Larsen was born in 1920 in Carlisle in Cumbria, England. She was a nurse and later obtained her BA (Hons) at Massey University. She had two children. Summary of interview: Part 1 of 2. War bride, husband a fighter pilot from NZ. To NZ in 1946. Overseas Ladies Club started by Jill Cook for war brides and then immigrants. Adjustment hardest for those from large towns going to the country. Husband on the railway. Club activities. Racism, anti-Catholic feeling. Became a Quaker. Some war brides from Italy. Back to England – everything seemed small. Other differences. Work. Family background. Class issues in the UK. Civic honour, Palmerston North (1997). Interviewed by Stuart Birks at the Brightwater Home in Palmerston North. Interview is 26 minutes and 48 seconds long. The interview was recorded for a series of talks played on Access Radio Manawatu, now called Manawatu People's Radio.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 18 December 2018. Colin Dyer Part 2 of 2. Summary: Many Showgrounds events in the 1990s. League test where ran out of balls. National image of Palmerston North. Team announcement after All Black trial. Tina Turner concerts, bomb threat. Other evacuations. Growth of venue management as a skill. Parallel growth of sports management. Personalities – Rob Muldoon, sports people. Tipene O’Regan, Frank Endacott, Kereyn Smith, Prince Andrew.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 29 January 2019. Andy Asquith. Summary: A move towards e-voting. From in-person to postal and now perhaps electronic. Method does not tackle key issue of turnout. Security of result. Disengagement. Knowledge about candidates, issues. Career politicians. E-voting omits debating stage. Information through soundbites. Preference for entertainment. Councillors have governance and representative roles. First past the post versus Single transferable vote (FPP v STV). Importance of civics education.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 8 January 2019. Reg Bridewell. Summary: Grandfather came to NZ in 1929 and set up a bakery in Palmerston North. Bakeries had zones. Self-help shops. Home deliveries, horse and cart, then a van after the war. First bakery in Victoria Avenue and Main Street (photo of this). Baking in brick oven heated with wood shavings. Horses in a paddock. Description of the oven. Grandfather’s lost recipe book. White and wholemeal bread only. More variety with electric ovens. Barracuda loaf. Working hours. New equipment after the war. Rationing supplies. Horses knowing the route. Now centralized, takeovers. Baking in Auckland. Boniface’s Bakery. Better quality now. Homestyle and Freshbake brands. “Improvers” added to the flour. Original bakery still standing.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 27 November 2018. Dennis Quinn Part 2 of 2. Summary: Coming to Palmerston North. Why moved here. Projects, telephone exchange. Range of work. Interaction with clients. Operation of contracts, role of architect, problems that arose. Registration. Changed work environment, competition, computerization. Drawing skills. Now drawing may be done offshore. Women architects.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 6 November 2018. Mike Behrens Part 1 of 2. Summary: First job as a lawyer in 1968, Palmerston North. Thrown in the deep end. Law Society meetings. Court work, mainly criminal defense. Court reporters. Difficulties with a Supreme Court judge. Local lawyer community. Interesting personalities. High Court case of a will. Early sporting days. Trevor de Cleene. Became a QC, and then became a judge in 2004.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 23 October 2018. Bev Quinn. Summary: What is Hospice? How got into hospice – other nursing training and experience, including UK and Zimbabwe, district nursing in Palmerston North. Setting up the PN Hospice. Increased demand and changing nature of care, more in own homes now, palliative care nurses. Funding. Fundraising methods. Emotional involvement. Certification and accreditation. Activities for patients. Families staying over. Animals. Recording life stories. 8
Broadcast on Manawatu people's Radio 14 August 2018, Eric Franklyn Part 2 of 2. Summary: Made redundant and retired in 1998. Takaro Sports Club. Time in JCs. Changes in courts. Treasurer of Takaro Sports Club for 13 or 14 years until recently. Gaming machines, improvements to club. Skills of public servants. Viability of clubs, falling membership. Climbing Mount Taranaki/Egmont. School days. Discipline. Teachers. NCEA.
Broadcast on Access Manawatu 26 June 2018. The second of two interviews with Frida Evelyn at the Brightwater Home in Palmerston North. Interview is 23 minutes and 29 seconds long. The interview was recorded for a series of talks played on Access Radio Manawatu, now called Manawatu People's Radio. Summary: Larsen on being a war bride during World War II and then settling in New Zealand. Frida Larsen was born in 1920 in Carlisle in Cumbria, England. She was a nurse and later obtained her BA (Hons) at Massey University. She had two children. Summary of interview: Part 2 of 2. Family background, great-grandfather was a Chartist. Grandparents were unionists. Grandmother was a Suffragist. Father was a Fabian. Other grandmother was a Tory. Attitudes to war in UK in early 1900s. Her son wanting to be a conscientious objector (1960s?). NZ politics, trade unions. Britain and the EU. Citizenship issues. Husband not allowed a British passport.
Broadcast on Manawatu Peoiple's Radio 25 December 2018. Part 1, John Ward. Started work as a photo-engraver, December 1953. Called in to work urgently after Tangiwai rail disaster, Christmas Eve. Description of event and photograph processing for the reporting. How the plates were prepared. Distribution to newspapers. Father was a watchmaker. Other jobs by photo-engravers. Photo-finishes at races. Part 2, The C Mayhew British War Medal. Numerous participants. Finding the medal. C Mayhew engraved on it. British War Medal from WWI. Finding the family using military and genealogy research. Contacting the family. Get together to hand over the medal (and make this recording). Ribbon for the medal. Restoration.
Broqadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 16 October 2018. Barbara Bridewell. Summary: Two cochlear implants. Hearing aids not effective. Nature of implants. Before and after the implants. Washing dishes instead of mixing at events. Discovering had hearing problems. Comparison of implants to normal hearing. Music. Use of phones. Value of conversation. Costs/funding, waiting times. Ages for implants. Support networks. People not using hearing aids. Implants giving better than normal hearing, but nothing when take off external part (e.g. nights).
Broadcast on Access Radio on 24 April 2018, Part 1 of a 2 part recording with Bruce Withell. The Palmerston North Folk Club celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. Bruce describes its many venues and three recesses over this time. He also discusses the types of instruments played and the New Zealand folk tradition.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 9 October 2018. Owen Dolan. Part 2 of 2. Summary: Missionary in Peru, other posts. Bishop from 1995. Role of bishop. Problems in the church. Catholic Church in NZ. Catholic schools. Debutant balls. Music in childhood. Bishops’ synods. Oscar Romero canonization. Changes in the Church. NZ focus? Priests from overseas. Celibacy.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 18 September 2018. Barry Slade, Part 2 of 2. Summary: 13 years teaching at Glen Oroua, then Principal of St James in P.Nth. Changed to fit the state system. Integration, school committees superseded PTA. Much parent involvement. Then Board of Trustees. Released from teaching. Numerous policies required, increased paperwork. Retired 1992, changes since then. Parent interviews, visiting poorer parents. School swimming pools. Children from foreign countries. Now police checks and parents working, so need teacher aides. Workload. Retirement after 40 years. Year off in the middle. Token policies. Music.
Broadcast on Access Manawatu on 1 May 2018, Part 2 of 2, with Bruce Withell. The Palmerston North Folk Club celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. Summary: Bruce describes some of the characters in the club. A shipment of post holes. Audiences and audience participation. Declining popularity of folk music?
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 4 September 2018. Ann Behrens, Part 2 of 2. Summary: Coming to Palmerston North with a young family. Teaching at St Joseph’s. Comparison to St Dominic’s in Dunedin. No problem having a young child with her. History teaching. Playcentre and then the Psychological Service of the Education Service. Before the time of ADHD. Only woman in the service. Problems with their building. Became a manager, mainly of early childhood work. Management approach changed, “the era of managers”. Hobbies, family history. Germany and Norway. German submarine. Grandmother Scottish and a trained midwife (unusual in early 1900s). Why happy to stay in Palmerston North. Scandinavians in this area.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 9 November 2018. Mike Behrens, Part 2 of 2. Summary: Appeared for the defense in well-known criminal cases. Difficulties with this. Lundy, John la Roche. Case where concerned about the result. Ongoing effects of cases, some affected people not moving on. Victim impact statements. Court action, witnesses, theatricals. Summing up. Cameras in court. Expertise of juries. Expert advisors and witnesses. TV representation of the law. Treatment of prisoners. White collar crime. Sensible Sentencing Trust. Rehabilitation. Circuit. Retirement.
Broadast on Manawatu People's Radio 25 September 2018. Summary: Gwen Brown attending 12 schools, father a farmer so moved a lot. Intermediate school in Palmerston North, used as hospital in WWII, so classes in various locations around town. Country primary schools. No cars, used horse and brake. Milked cows by hand at 8 years old. Warm summers and cold winters in 1930s. Seasons more defined then. House with no electricity or water. Outside toilet. 5 children. Bath once a week, cleanest first. Teacher Mrs Cross. Bird nesting. Rabbiting with father. Physical punishment. For one school, 5.5 miles walk there. Brother very cold so mother put him in oven. Porridge for breakfast. Sandwiches for lunch. Family war service.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 11 September 2018. Barry Slade, Part 1 of 2. Summary: Childhood in Palmerston North, 1930s, 1940s. Tricycle to school. Nuns, school dentist, lunches. Wartime. Using a slate, inkwells. Subjects taken. School uniform. Music lessons. Map of war in C&C window. Blackouts, growing vegetables. Rationing. Teacher training in Christchurch, bonded. Teaching in Bunnythorpe. Military service. West End School, 55-60 pupils in class. New teaching method on pre-1840 Maori. Male primary teachers. Country service. Desks vs tables.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 22 January 2019. Colleen Crooks Part 2 of 2. Summary: Porcelain doll making – after the porcelain stage. Traditional fabrics. Colours. Has hundreds of dolls, filled a granny flat. Dolls’ hospital. Still teaching this at 80. Cost of the hobby. Accurate reproductions versus a creative approach. Most prefer antique reproductions. A social environment in the classes, a “sisterhood”. Underwear, historically accurate. Hand sewing. Shoes. Hats. Hair, mohair, straws for curlers, dyes. Importance of eyes, “the soul of the doll”.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 4 December 2018. Alison Mildon. Summary: Family cars. Restrictions on overseas currency. Primary school. Localised communities. World War Two and ages of children. Getting to secondary school (Freyberg). Driving to school at 15. Views on co-educational schooling. Rural community implications. Few restrictions. Teenage pregnancies. Going overseas after lower 6th. Social activities, school pools, guides and scouts. Lamb and calf days. Changing communities.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 15 January 2019. Colleen Crooks Part 1 of 2. Summary: How got into doll making. History of porcelain dolls. Runs a dolls’ hospital. Can reproduce antiques in her studio, porcelain and clothing. Method of production using molds, porcelain slip, kilns and “paints” (china paints). The painting and firing process. Teaches classes in doll making. Competitions. Popularity as a hobby. Studying, apprenticeship, exams, Masters in Dollmaking. Further levels. Factories in Germany and France. A mechanical accordion-playing doll.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 2 October 2018. Owen Dolan, Part 1 of 2. Summary: To Hawera after mother died. Thought grandmother was his mother. Catholic community. School experience, at primary all the teachers were nuns. Protestant-Catholic relationships. Visits to Palmerston North in the war. Step-siblings. Highschool, then trained for priesthood. Got rheumatic fever in wartime epidemic. American troops, smoking. Blackouts. Limited impact of war, deaths of ex-pupils. Boarding school food. Teachers.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio, 31 July 2018. Bob Lawrence. Summary: Rugby player at school. Evacuated during World War Two. Guns firing across the English Channel. Dunkirk evacuation. War experience. University (17 when left school, so not National Service). Father was a driver. Conscripted after university. Fleet Air Arm, met. officer.
Broadcast on Access Radio, 15 May 2018, Paul McRae (b.1932). Part 2 of 2. Summary: Farming with his brother, bulldozing, getting driving licences. Style of policing. To Palmerston North. Driving trucks for the railways. Building a house. Children and sport. Growing vegetables. Pay and prices. Social activities, holidays.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 24 July 2018. Anne Cheer Part 2 of 2. Summary: Teachers College, Ardmore. April 1st pranks. Accommodation. Activities. Teaching. Rose to Assistant Principal. Pupils changing, less respect later. Changes with Tomorrows Schools. Pay. Working when a mother, child care. Retirement age. Reading recovery teaching. Living in a retirement village.
Broadcast on Manawatu People's Radio 28 August 2018. Ann Behrens Part 1 of 2. Summary: Teacher training in Palmerston North, 1957-8. Also taking a degree through Victoria University. Accommodation. Type of training. Funding. Trained for Primary, later worked as Secondary. Tenniquoits. Well trained – approach to teaching. No supervision. School inspectors. St Dominic’s College in Dunedin. Scandinavian grandfather arrived in NZ 1872. Visit to Norway. School management. Strong women. Teaching with 6 month old son in school. Lawyer husband, not from a family of lawyers, so hard to get first job. Later became a judge. In PN from about 1968.
Broadcast on Access Manawatu, 8 May 2018, with Paul McRae (b. 1932). Part 1 of 2. Summary: Great grandmother in NZ in mid-1850s, brought a still to Hokonui and made whisky. ([https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/hokonui-moonshine/](https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/hokonui-moonshine/)). Father in police force. Moved around a lot in childhood. (Hammering noise in background). Schooling in Palmerston North. Boxing. Trawling for flounder.
Broadcast on Access manawatu, 12 June 2018. Abbeyfield residents Beryl Ludlam, Bev Marsh, Elaine Morse and Peggy Pedersen describe their experiences. Topics include: School in the war years, air raid practice and shelters, power blackouts, fear of invasion, old ladies teaching, poor discipline, news through the radio, country school farewells for boys going to serve overseas, ration books, sending food to England, the effects of war on families, Japanese in Featherstone, ginger nuts recipe story, American servicemen, Elaine in the UK, effects of a bombing raid, school lunches, entertaining Americans on a New Zealand farm, letters to soldiers, end of war celebrations, war casualties.