Anonymous interview, 2 July 2010
The respondent was interviewed in West Yorkshire in 2010. He is of Irish heritage and attended a Roman Catholic comprehensive school in Oldham, Lancashire, during the 1980s. He discusses the influence of his family on his love of history, in particular his awareness of his Irish ancestry. By contrast, he experienced no strong sense of Irish identity in school, despite the numerous children of Irish descent and the presence of several teachers who had left Northern Ireland to teach in England due to the Troubles. He recalls a project he did on the Troubles in his third year of secondary school. He loved history and was inspired by the stories of kings and queens. By contrast, he disliked social history, especially the industrial revolution. At that time, when the Miners' Strike occurred and Oldham was a decaying textile town, he wanted history to be an escape rather than a reminder. He discusses notions of Britishness and his A level and undergraduate studies. Interviewed by Dr Nicola Sheldon.