Mary Harvey

Interviewee: Mary Harvey interview
Born: 1921
Interviewer: Pupils from Year 6, Saint Margaret Mary’s RC School
Date of interview: 20 November 2012

0-7 mins
Growing up in Blyth, Northumberland. Ballroom dancing six nights a week; working with a chemist serving submarine crews in WWII

8.25 mins
Having a family and sharing details of Brian, son 

10 mins
Moving to Perry Common, Birmingham. Memories of how it used to be with 1200 ‘Boot’ houses made from metal frames and breeze blocks, which all had to be demolished. Many people moved away before new replacement homes could be built. Now it’s a lovely place to live. New homes are going on the ‘Rec’ (recreation ground) any day now 

11.30 mins
Serving with the voluntary women’s group as a teenager and looking after the soldiers 

12.45 mins
First visit to Birmingham in 1941, and then moved to Birmingham to live in 1945 - as a young bride. Wonderful in-laws. Memories of  Christmas day 1942 at the fire station dance, Jerry’s Lane. Meeting Dennis – future husband. Only three days to prepare for a wedding 

17.50 mins
‘Living for the day’ during the WWII 

19.05 mins
Travelling on the old buses during WWII 

20.20 mins
Losing loved ones, losing three bothers and a sister in a two month period - two years ago; getting on with life 

20.50 mins
Working in a chemist during WWII with people from different nationalities 

21.40 mins
Promoting walking to school rather than driving 

22.50 mins
Most important life changing experience was coming to live in Birmingham; family tree goes back to 1700’s but Mary was the first person in her family to leave the North East 

23.30 mins
On the massive changes in Perry Common including knocking down the old ‘Boot’ houses that dated from 1926; the first lot came down 14 years ago; now better quality new houses have been built, and the old straight roads have replaced with curved ones and cul-de-sacs 

25.30 mins
Memories of neighbours playing games together and bus trips to the seaside; and the municipal bank that used to be on College Road 

26.50 mins
How Perry Common hall was built in the 1930’s (or 1950’s?) by unemployed builders and how the council provided the materials; the hall has been rebuilt recently with new facades. It accommodates wedding receptions and conferences and parties etc. Three churches and the Perry Common Hall are getting together to stage a craft fair and the switching on of the Christamas lights on 4th Dec 

29.15 mins
Favourite subject at school – science; later had a sowing business 

30.50 mins
memories of school and the miserable, very strict teachers 

32.15 mins
The experience of giving birth to a son 

33 mins
Mel’s comments about time… 

33.18 mins
How the shops and houses in Perry Common look and feel different to how they used to be; the hope of opening a new charity shop 

34.15 mins
Comparing Perry Common to Blyth and how Blyth has changed

35.40 mins
Life on arrival in Birmingham, love of the city, but not adopting he accent. 

37 mins
A happy marriage of sixty years. Husband died 12 years ago requiring a big adjustment; still living a full life.

Full Interview