Research - The interviews

From the Grassroots is exploring the history of modern politics in Devon through oral testimony.  Using the accounts of activists, agents and councillors, the project is building a picture of the county’s major political issues and the dynamics between local and Westminster government since 1945. The recorded interviews provide a whole new perspective on the ‘day-to-day’ culture of local politics.

Through our interviews we have ‘given a voice’ to people at all levels of the political ladder who have contributed to the political history of the county. We have explored how politics has changed through the personal memories of individuals who participated.  Oral history is a powerful medium in which to discover how political cultures are nurtured through the interaction of individual personalities and experiences.  

Here, you can browse our material in two ways:

•    Through the individual biographies of our interviewees . You can hear clips from their interviews and learn a little about them and their experiences;

•    Through thematic articles. Over the project we are researching various themes that have influenced the human history of Devon politics, such as family tradition, religion, education, as well as the impact of political idols and doctrines.  You can find out more about some of these themes here.




Featured interview

    • Born 1948
    • Party Activist
    • Labour

    Anita Long was born in Exeter and has lived in the city throughout her life. Her father was a Labour Councillor and later mayor, and she inherited many of her socialist views from him and the experiences of his family before the Second World War (to listen to some of these, listen to Anita opposite). Anita’s mother was German, which she says helped form her pacifist views.

Featured theme

  • The General Election of July 1945 is one of the pivotal turning points in British political history. The Labour Party not only won its first Parliamentary majority, but also introduced a wide-ranging programme of social and economic reform which provided the basis for a political consensus lasting over thirty years.

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