Rosa Major was born in 1920. She remembered learning lists of kings and queens at her first school, in Tottenham, north London. She passed the 11+ and went to Tottenham High School, originally a drapers’ school. She enjoyed history, especially with one of her two teachers who encouraged the girls to read newspapers. They started with 1066 in the first year and went up to before the First World War but then she had to choose between arts and sciences at School Certificate level and chose sciences so gave up history. Her parents could not afford for her to go on to university so it was agreed she would have one year doing Higher School Certificate classes in the sixth form and would then take the civil service examinations. So she took history classes during that year, mainly recent economic history. Then she passed the exams and went into the civil service but after she was evacuated to Lancashire with the civil service during the war she realised that she was really interested in farming so she managed to get released to the Land Army and spent the rest of her working life on farms. Interviewed by Jenny Keating
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