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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleFrankenburg, Mrs Charis
Ref No8SUF/B/194
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 38
Date22 Jul 1981
Extent100:18 mins
DescriptionInterview took place at 111 Marsham Court, Marsham Street, London SW1.

Interview summary:
0:00 mins:
Her systematic methods. Writing things down. The differing influences of her parents. Her active approach to politics and within her family. Support of her husband in her political career. Sydney Frankenburg's work with ex-servicemen and politics. Earlier memories of Sydney. Jews in Manchester. Her pride in Salford. Liberal dominance of the local political landscape.

15:00 mins:
Lack of Conservative participation in local initiatives. Reasons for political leanings. Her patriotism. Her parent's influence on her own Conservatism. Laziness of Conservatives. Literary family and its influence on her to write. Her keenness for breastfeeding. Energetic influence of her parents in being politically active. Role of discipline in the family. Mother's influence of her conscientious and caring attitude to others. Her likeable nature. Her independence as a teenager. Going to meetings alone at night in Salford.

30:00 mins:
Her work in a girl's club in Stepney, London. Visiting Health Centres. Organised by the school. Her interest in very small babies. Her father's lack of interest in her career when she didn't want to teach. Her liberal attitude to raising her own daughter. Activities in the Stepney Girls' Club. How it introduced her to social work. Her First World War work as a midwife. Grief at losing her brother. Reasons for wanting to go to France to train as a midwife for 6 months. Doctor Annie McCall. Looking after Belgian refugee women. Quakers ran centre. Initially went to Switzerland then to France. Returned home to help dying Aunt. What she learnt in France. Reasons for her aptitude in French. Good training in France. Married after returning home after the war. Trained for three months as a maternity nurse then three months as a midwife. Dr McCall's pioneering training.

Unusual vocation for her class background. Reasons for being a midwife. Her love of babies. Her mother's loss of her first child. Her admiration for her brother who she lost in the First World War. Obligation to people who were lost in the war. Dislike of anaesthetic. Movement for natural childbirth. Grantly Dick-Read. Critical of Mrs Baldwin [Lucy Baldwin, maternal health activist and wife of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin]. Her own experience of natural childbirth. Truby King and preference for breastfeeding. Public talking on the importance of breastfeeding.

60:00 mins:
Her humorous attitude to the Catholic Bishop opposition to the Birth Control Movement. Activities of the Manchester Women's Citizen Association. Memories of her first public speaking and her career. Her attitude to servants. National Council of Women's Maternal and Childbirth Committee. Her health. Breakdowns in her physical health due to over-work. Pressure from her parents.

75:00 mins:
Didn't view herself as a feminist but supported women and women's causes. Why she didn't enter into Parliament because of long working hours. Her preference for looking after her children. Variety in the work that she did. How she worked well in groups, with men and women. Her surprise that she was not encouraged to join central committees on the Family Planning Association by Margaret Pyke. Her achievements in the National Council of Women in the 1950s. How childbirth and caring for families interrupted the trajectory of her career. Her dislike for getting older and deterioration of physical health. Frustration and memory loss. Large number of friends.

90:00 mins:
Enjoyment of easy reading novels and other activities in her retirement. Reasons for writing her autobiography. Handwrote it and then typed it up. Comprised of typescripts of letters she sent from Oxford and copies from France. Patron of a school in Manchester. What her children have done. First son killed in Second World War.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 75
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