Partial Transcript: EC: Because erm, he wrote up and he [had it?] towards his book, didn't he? [referring to Stephen Peart, author of 'The Picture House in East Anglia']
VB: Yeah. That's right. Erm, I mean he's already done a book about cinemas in East Anglia. But eh, we're more interested with talking to people who went to the cinema. I think he's more interested in--
Segment Synopsis: Reference to Stephen Peart (author of 'The Picture House in East Anglia') who Ethel Cullum had written to in response to an advert; mention of poverty; going to the cinema with elder sister at the age of 10; nothing much to do other than going to the cinema; Ethel Cullum considered herself "a real fan"; father wouldn't allow her to go dancing, so cinemas only entertainment; Mr Cullum mentions this was probably because "he had seven daughters".
Partial Transcript: And eh, I saw the first talkie on the Haymarket with Al Jolson [referring to The Singing Fool]. Saw that. And erm, [pause 2 seconds] and the one at erm... And at the Regent, you saw one picture and then you'd have something on the stage. That would either be someone on a, an organ or else like two comedians or something.
Segment Synopsis: Mrs Cullum's description of cinemagoing in Norwich, including reference to first talkie seen at the Haymarket, acts at the Regent and other films such as 'All Quiet on the Western Front' shown at the Theatre de Luxe: "ever such a sad picture. War picture." and spoof version 'Not So Quiet on the Western Front'; mention of Pola Negri.
Partial Transcript: Well 'course, the earliest erm, stars that I can remember, 'course it's going back, was erm, they were very fool-- and they were more comedians than they were [actual?], eh, dramatic actors. Was erm, you get Tom Mix. He was the real cowboy. And Douglas Fairbanks. And eh, what was his wife's name? Douglas Fairbanks, who'd he marry?
Segment Synopsis: Description by George Cullum of early male stars, including Tom Mix and Douglas Fairbanks; mention of the Empire picture palace; mention of often rowdy behaviour of children in the matinees, shouting out 'Look behind you"; the pull of cliffhanger series and only having apples and carrots available to take into the cinema rather than sweets due to lack of money; breakdowns.
Partial Transcript: EC: But I, I expect you wondered where all us lot sleep, did you? Well we were in a three-bedroom house that, that erm, in the First World War 19, 1914, eh, eh... [pause 2 seconds] My eldest brother, see we were all grown up. There was twelve of us. And two years in [between] each of us. Except in the first two, that was fourteen months. Well, my eldest brother went in the war. My eldest sister went in erm, ammunitions at London. My other sister after her went to the Land Army. And my brother went to the Far East in the war. So they were gone. And that left us, you know. But we used to sleep four in a bed.
Segment Synopsis: Description by Edith Cullum of family life during First World War; 12 children, some joined up, sister in "ammunitions at London", and other in the Land Army; younger ones sleeping 4 to a bed; gathering wood for fire; always ate well; father kept rabbits, chickens, a goat for milking, and had an allotment; talk of sister going into 'service' at a big house and of clothes being passed on and making their own nightwear etc; mother had a 'copper fire'; father well-educated, possibly illegitimate son of aristocrat; grandfather paid shilling a week for his schooling; father very strict - use of 'the strap' to punish her brothers; father very hard-working - had wanted to take mother to India so he could act as interpreter, but mother-in-law against it. Never drank, but did give his wife 'a hiding' every time she got pregnant. Mother brought up in Catholic orphanage in Woolwich and was 10 years younger than her husband.
Partial Transcript: VB: Did your parents ever go to the pictures, or?
GC: Did they ever go to the pictures?
EC: Yes, they did.
EC: See, as the family got older, they were able to answer father back, weren't they? And then eh, mother and father used to go to the pictures where I went.
EC: Yeah, the buses were running then. We didn't have any buses when I was a kid. Yeah, and the people where we lived, they were astonished 'cause mothers and fathers didn't go out then, did they? And they used to go, didn't they George?
Segment Synopsis: Discussion on parents' cinemagoing; mention of mother being Catholic; Edith Cullum able to walk 10 minutes and catch a tram which would drop her outside the cinema, but trams since replaced with buses; mention of the Regent and the Electric [theatre] as being around during the First World War; question asked by George Cullum if any interviewees had mentioned a cinema on St Stephen's Road.
Partial Transcript: GC: Yeah well, 'course, when the cinemas first, were first started, it was like a magic lantern show wasn't it? That was what the first cinemas were--
GC: And they had one of those, a place, I don't remember it. That was before my time. But they had one of those eh, in St Stephen's Road [probably referring to Victoria Hall]. There used to be a station there called Victoria Station, at the bottom of Queen's Road. And they had one there. But eh, I remember it being talked about, because my father's uncle kept a pub at the corner of Queen's Road. And that's how I come, came to know about it.
Segment Synopsis: Description of early cinemas, including one run by the then 14-year-old schoolboy, Alfred Warminger. In addition to mention of the the Capitol the Mayfair, Gaumont, Haymarket and others, George Cullum also refers to working on the refurbishment of the 'Thatched' cinema, where he caught fleas.
Hyperlink: Norwich Evening News article about the 'Thatched Cinema'
Hyperlink: Quotes from Stephen Peart's 'The Picture House in East Anglia' about going to the Victoria Hall cinema (also linked to from Introduction).
Hyperlink: Norwich Evening News article about Alfred Warminger, who opened up a cinema in Norwich aged 14.
Partial Transcript: EC: I brought a [sticker?], actually. [possibly referring to album or cuttings book]
[pause 3 seconds]
EC: That's the Carlton. I don't know if you've got that, have you?
VB: Erm, I don't think I have. No actually. That looks quite a grand one that.
EC: There it is.
GC: Yeah, well, there were about four, four cinemas--
Segment Synopsis: Discussion of various cinemas and location, for example, the Carlton, Haymarket, Capitol, Regal, Enterprise and Theatre de Luxe; possibly looking through photos or press cuttings; mention of letter to Stephen Peart; description of inside of the Regent and the Hippodrome, which got bombed during the war; mention of later cinemagoing and being able to choose between 3 different films and film about Billie Holliday.
Partial Transcript: GC: I'll make it. Do you take sugar?
VB: Eh, no. And no milk either. Just as it comes.
GC: Just a cup of tea.
EC: I'm sorry I can't hear. Some days I can hear all right. Now George never talks to me as if I'm deaf. I say, George, you should talk to me as if I'm a deaf person but he doesn't. And he's got a very soft voice. And that really annoys me. I mean it ain't no pleasure to be deaf, you know.
Segment Synopsis: General chat while tea being made about arthritis, housework and that George Cullum has taken more of this on; hearing loss; having fallen over the previous week; knitting; views about Norfolk people; sisters and their age; son and how he's bought Ethel and George's bungalow for them; discussion of Norwich; offer of a lift; George Cullum recounts story about vistor from East Midlands finding one-way system difficult to navigate; discussion about shopping in Lowestoft.
Partial Transcript: EC: Ginger Rogers is right fat now. She was in a bath chair the last--
GC: Talking about the people who trained him to dance. Gene Kelly. And Fred Astaire. He said but Gene Kelly erm...
EC: 'Dancin' in the Rain' [referring to Singin' in the Rain].
GC: When he went to see Astaire eh, he said, "Can you tap dance?" He said, "Yeah." He said, "Give us a song." He said, "I know who taught you that. That Irishman."
GC: He said, "And he can't do it."
Segment Synopsis: Going through prompt book, discussion on various stars including Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire; mention of interview with Tommy Steele; Gene Kelley, Charlie Chaplin; Pearl White (star of the 'Perils of Pauline' series); Bette Davis, Gracie Fields, Eve Arden; English v American films; Peter Sellers; Dirk Bogarde and others; confused Deanna Durbin with Shirley Temple; friend passed on copies of Picturegoer; liked Bette Davis, mention of The Little Foxes; mention of Harold Lloyd being best comedian; Frank Sinatra; Edward Horton; Eve Arden "She was always, eh, sort of in between. And very wicked." Some discussion of English vs American films;
Partial Transcript: EC: So we've been some help then?
VB: Very, very much. You really have.
EC: It's nice knowing you anyway.
VB: Well you too. I mean thanks very much for giving me your time and your knowledge. It's been great.
GC: It's just looking back really.
EC: Well if you liked anybody. I thought when I wrote that letter to that author, you know eh--
Segment Synopsis: Mention of Stephen Peart "the author", and how he had passed on details to CCINTB; discussion of spelling, dictionaries and crosswords GC:"keep your mind active... You never stop learning"; getting old and loneliness; importance of having a car; hobbies; mention by Ethel Cullum of her husband taking on some of the cooking and jobs once he retired (denied by GC), and how this would be important should anything happen to herself.