“You don’t want to hear that I’m sure!” – an oral history of England international rugby union players Joe Hall International Centre for Sports History and Culture De Montfort University
Research aims: • Examine existing theories about rugby union • Shed new light on post-war society
“the merit of oral history is … that it leads historians to an awareness that their activity is inevitably pursued within a social context” Paul Thompson, The Voice of the Past: Oral History (Oxford, 2000, 3rd ed.), p. vi
“the merit of oral history is … that it leads historians to an awareness that the activity they study is inevitably pursued within a social context”
‘Sporting life story’: • A life story through the lens of rugby • Ensures the right balance between sport and wider life
“It definitely made my life. Because when … Dad started butchering, I mean we lived in a council house … He worked jol y hard al his life … and we certainly didn’t make a lot of money in the butcher’s shop. But it was when we were in the sports shop that we were more successful. Wel , to help me, probably, have a house like this, you know; it was through rugby, real y, which helped me fantastical y.” Ted Woodward, interview with Joe Hall, May 7 2014, Farnham Royal.
“I think the Quins have always been known perhaps for being a little bit more – I’ve got to be careful, I don’t like to use words [like] ‘upmarket’ and so on, but you know what I mean … I always felt that I wasn’t really one of them. Because I come from a very humble background, and I suppose in those days, as a boy, I used to feel it, very very much actually … when I was at school you came across this quite a lot. But I was accepted by the Quins, and nothing like that was ever remarked, but I always felt just a little bit – not on edge – but – wel I wasn’t one of the gang.” Tom Danby, interview with Joe Hall, April 30 2014, Flimwell.
“Some historians have seen [the war] as the supreme agent of social change in modern Britain – thereby ignoring the overwhelming extent to which social and cultural life reverted after 1945 to familiar patterns”. David Kynaston, Family Britain: 1951-57 (London, 2009), p. 138.
“We went on tour – we used to go on tour up north with the Wasps – and the people who were playing for the Wasps in those days were a lot older … They’d just come out the war, and, really, wanted a good time and they did all sorts of things which we could never really believe would happen. I remember on one occasion … we were in a coach, and they stopped the coach because they wanted to have a wee … And they stopped the coach and lined across the road, and stopped the traffic coming up the road. You don’t want to hear that, I’m sure!” Ted Woodward, interview with Joe Hall, May 7 2014, Farnham Royal.