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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleGroves, Mrs
Ref No8SUF/B/143
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 30
Date30 Mar 1977
Extent84:22 mins
Admin Biographical HistorySee biographies for Mrs Groves and her mother Robinson; Lydia [nee Dean] (fl. 1908 - 1934); suffrage campaigner
DescriptionInterview took place at 16 Oak Drive, Alvaston, Derby. (Mrs Groves's daughter Fay is also present).

Interview summary:
0:00 mins:
How she became involved in the suffrage movement. Mother's [Lydia Dean] influence. During the First World War. Father's [James Robinson] reaction. Mother's political beliefs. Labour newspapers in the home. Starting work. Mother's vegetarianism, personality and family. Influences on her mother's political beliefs (John Alton, a progressive man who moved to Derby with his wife). Mrs Groves's vegetarianism. Mother's religious beliefs (Weslyan). Mother's interest in theosophy. Role of Annie Besant. Mother's job as post office girl before her marriage, supporting her family. Meeting and marriage to Mr Robinson, a blacksmith. Care for her brother Sam.

15:00 mins:
Move to a new house. Father's change of career, mother running a hardware shop, sanitary inspector. Mrs Groves working in family shop. Father's character. Going to Hyde Park rally with her mother in 1908. Involvement in suffragette movement. Loftus Hare, progressive meetings. His support of women's rights. Mrs Groves's involvement in the women's movement. Selling newspapers in Derby market place, attending meetings. Mother providing accommodation for visiting speakers. Socialist movements. Esperanto classes. Support for equal suffrage. Hyde Park rally [1908]. Concessionary train tickets, journey to London. Procession from St Pancras to Hyde Park. Speakers including Mrs Pankhurst. Mrs Groves's interest in Adela Pankhurst.

30:00 mins:
Setting up a vegetarian food shop at the age of 16. John Alton, vegetarian food round. Mrs Groves's political beliefs. Mother's reasons for becoming a suffragette. Helper at home. Mother's shop. Role as a pioneer, clothing and vegetarianism. Influence of John Alton. Mrs Groves's siblings. Sister's lack of interest in women's movement. Mother's choice of sensible clothing and hairstyles. Mrs Groves's choice of hairstyle. Socialist Sunday schools, playing the piano. Family's reaction to First World War and criticism for pacifist beliefs, at odds with Mrs Pankhurst's beliefs. Drifting away from women's movement. Move towards No Conscription Fellowship. Mother's retirement and activities in later life. Mother's death in 1934, father's death in 1929. Mother's personality.

45:00 mins:
Mother's personality and relationship with her children. Mother's looks and housekeeping skills. Caring for Mrs Groves's uncle Sam, his socialist beliefs and reading, his death. Family's choice to become vegetarian. Beliefs about vaccination, anti-vivisection. Mother's lack of hobbies, love of talking and opinions. Memories of father rescuing her mother from a mob who were harassing her. Burning of Breadsall Chruch. Mother's education. Mrs Groves's uncle Ernest Stocks. John Alton.

60:00 mins:
John Alton's involvement with the family. Cooking, mother's psoriasis and how it affected her life. Mrs Groves's siblings, her brother's choice to join the army, her mother's reaction. General Strike, support for strikers. Mother's use of her intelligence, interest, intellectual curiosity and religious beliefs. Mother's relationship with neighbours and eccentricity. Mother's attitude towards discipline. Mrs Groves's Uncle Ernest, his wife Emma. Emma's mental breakdown and admission to psychiatric hospital.

75:00 mins:
Mother's support of people in need. Her care for her brother Sam. The Wheeldon Case. Family support of left-leaning movements. Father's career as a blacksmith and later as a council employee. Mrs Groves's vegetarian store, opened in 1908, her customers. Sugar rationing in Second World War, selling treacle. Increasing popularity of vegetarianism and natural foods. Selling kosher food in the Second World War, selling food to travelling artists. Connections with the Quakers and non-conformists.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 53
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