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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleRichards, Mrs Alice
Ref No8SUF/B/142
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 30
Date29 Mar 1977
Extent92:00 mins
DescriptionInterview took place at 6 The Wranglands, Fleckney, Leics. Interviewee is daughter of Alice Schofield-Coates (1881-1975); and of Charles Coates (d.1939). Her aunt was Marion Coates-Hanson (b.1870). Also see interviews with her mother [8SUF/B/042] and sister Marion Johnson [8SUF/B/041] and 8SUF/B/153.

Interview in 2 parts: 8SUF/B/142a and 8SUF/B/142b.

Interview Summary:
0:00 mins:
Family nurse would discipline children, not mother. Father would not allow mother to do any domestic tasks. Mother ran house (Agecroft) as boarding-school during a difficult patch, but it fell through. Then had paying guests, people of a certain standing. After father's death, job as National Union of Women Teachers (NUWT) organiser. Mother's lavish habits; did not get on well with her servants.

15:00 mins:
Mother did not like move down to Derby to live with brother's family. After his death, moved back to bungalow in Middlesbrough. [They look at photographs.] Her mother's middle-class aura; parents were left-wing intellectuals. Mother very feminine, and loved celebrating children's birthdays and Christmas. Her happy childhood.

30:00 mins:
Mother would have breakfast in bed, get up late, go to morning room with desk. Lie-down in afternoon, or go to Red Cross, or council work or court (as a magistrate). Evenings: parents would entertain. Mother never considered employment. Only angry words were on his bankruptcy. Her father idolised her and supported her campaigns. Her Aunt Marion Schofield-Coates's marriage to Frederick. She was an alderman, her husband in the background. Nunthorpe house, when they did their housework together and collected antiques.

45:00 mins:
Mother and Marion never got on. Mother's final unhappy years in nursing home. Alice a disappointment to mother. Personal relationships in family. Father was perfect man; 'Charlie' got on with everybody, including servants.

60:00 mins:
Parents went to Labour Party meetings together. Became vegetarians shortly after marriage. Mother ran health food shop, with suffrage shop above. Family holidays, with governess; parents' golf, until bankruptcy; regular tennis parties. Minerva Club. Stayed with Lilian Lenton in Twickenham shortly before she died. Lenton had been organising for Women's Freedom League (WFL) in Middlesbrough area, often forgoing her salary. Lenton took Alice up to Rothesay to help with annual WFL campaign. Lenton uninterested in men, and developed a relationship with woman called May Green, one of parents' paying guests.

75:00 mins:
Visited Lenton in London shortly before she died, had grown undignified - in contrast to her trim earlier self. Felt it was sad. Lenton's sister, who was looking after her, was reprimanded. Lenton dwelt on her David Frost interviews: she was his favourite suffragette. Told tales of her incendiarism, and found her arson attacks exciting. Went to Serbia and worked for the Save the Children Fund. Lenton was extremely good friends with her mother. A frequent visitor. Erratic driver. Very kind to Alice. The WFL became full of old fogies.

90:00 Mother's attitude to son Peter living with Doreen before they were married. She eventually accepted it.
Related Record8SUF/B/041
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 52
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