Irene was born in 1923 in North East London and first went to primary schools there. Then her family moved to Southend in Essex. The first history she remembers being taught was at Westborough Senior Girls’ School, a non-selective secondary school in Southend. Unlike most pupils we interviewed who were at school in the early 1930s she was given duplicated material to stick in her history book; she was then encouraged to stick in other material ranging from newspaper cuttings to cigarette cards and advertisements. The result was a wonderful collection of illustrated material [see her photographed material]. Irene’s school ended at 14 and she worked in offices and administration during her working life and in the National Fire Service during the war. Interviewed by Jenny Keating
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