Tony Parker

Tony discusses his early life in the Escourt Street area of East Hull and going to David Lister School. He gives his thoughts on how ‘rough’ these places could be at the time. He goes onto talk about his route into work and later about tough times following a bad accident that meant he lost his home. He also discusses his involvement in local politics through residents association, touching on issues of class and housing. He finishes by talking about his current work in gardening and his thoughts on impending retirement.

Media No: 1068
Interviewee Forename: Tony
Interviewee Surname: Parker
Year of Birth 1952
Interviewer: Dan Dearing
Location: St. Catherine’s Convent, Southcoates Lane (His Work)
Date of Interview: 04/10/16
Duration (HH:MM:SS): 01:27:29

Time Code Notes

[00:00:00] Born down Escourt Street in a ‘2 up, 2 down’, youngest of three brothers, shared bedroom with grandfather. Parents work – father was an ex-seaman who worked as a railwayman on the docks, mother worked at bingo halls for a while.

[00:03:35] Describes area growing up as ‘pretty rough’, watching fights outside pubs like Blue Heaven, getting beaten up for going down the wrong street. Talks about a ‘code of conduct’ in fights.

[00:04:57] Talks about expectation of work after school and compares that to attitudes today.

[00:06:02] Description of house and how cold it was with no central heating, talks about lighting coal fires each morning and general poor quality of rented houses and landlords. Talks about cooking equipment and tin baths.

[00:09:17] Talks about getting married at 18 and putting down a deposit on a house and then a subsequent bad accident that left him out of work and losing the house. Talks about nearly losing his hand and the consultant who saved it and an anecdote about meeting him again in later life.

[00:12:47] Childhood activities – football, running, rugby. Talks about David Lister School in the mid 60’s and describes it as a ‘battlefield’ with conflict between students and teachers.

[00:17:20] Leaving school at 15 and first jobs. Apprentice joiner and incidents of workplace bullying, getting sacked. Working in a fireplace factory and then window cleaning in the city centre – talks about being scared of heights initially. Going self-employed cleaning house windows to earn more money.

[00:21:50] Talks in more depth about his experience of education – feels he didn’t get one. Describes incidents and physical conflicts with teachers and issues around class.

[00:28:00] Talks about serious accident aged 11 when he was knocked off his bike by a lorry and spent a month unconscious in hospital.

[00:31:28] Meeting wife aged 18 at Locarno, describes her as ‘more educated’. Describes first experiences in pubs and going in underage.

[00:35:20] Talks about hitch hiking around the country as a teenager and sleeping anywhere he could. Talks about bands and fashion and his social life. Mentions Craven St dogs, Blue Heaven and Cottingham Civic Hall. Mixing with students and people from different classes/social backgrounds.

[42:10] Thinks his generation had more expectations then parents and were aware of their ‘rights’. Talks about how he would dress/fashion. Going to Gardeners Arms and Haworth on Saturday nights.

[00:46:10] Moves on to talk about local politics, mentions going to see Jeremy Corbyn speak in Queens Gardens. His role as chairman of local residents association. His thoughts on social injustice and people living in ‘squalor’ in the modern day.

[00:48:35] Talks about a particular case his was involved with and conflict with the council, giving his personal opinion and how it was handled. Issues to do with standard of housing and repairs.

[01:00:20] Gives his opinion of local Labour council who he believes ‘haven’t done a lot for the city’.

[01:03:44] Gives more detail of accident suffered as 25 year old machinist and 1 year spent not working. Rehabilitation and ‘embarrassment’ at not being able to hold tools. Talks about switch to gardening and working on the grounds at St. Catherine’s convent.

[01:13:00] Talks about his attitude to religion and general philosophy of life giving his opinions on mass media and it’s impact on the modern world.

[01:20:00] Talks about why he loves gardening and describes it as a ‘way of life’.

[01:25:40] Gives his thoughts on imminent retirement and how the thought ‘frightens’ him.

These time code notes are provided as a rough guide to the above recording. Untold Hull would like to thank all the volunteers who took part for their time and hard work in producing this information.