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Interview with Kenneth Kelsey, 24 March 2010

By Kenneth Kelsey and Jenny Keating


Kenneth Kelsey was born in 1923 and went to infants and junior school in East Ham, east London, but cannot remember being taught history there. At 11 he passed the scholarship exam and went to Raine’s Foundation School for Boys in Stepney. He remembered that they spent most of the five years concentrating on 1485-1815, the period they were going to be examined on for School Certificate. The teacher taught them by lecturing and then they made notes at the end of the lesson. They were particularly made to learn the dates and two points for each reign. (See photographed exercise books) There were no outings or aids except for a map over the blackboard (whereas in geography they had a well-equipped geography room and duplicated notes). Kenneth did history for School Certificate – everyone at his school did. Then he left school and went into the RAF. He enjoyed his history lessons but regretted the narrowness of the history taught. After the war he was a chartered secretary and a barrister. Interviewed by Jenny Keating

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