Through the prism of advanced years, Eric Armstrong looks back at his A Birmingham Childhood 1923 - 40. Incidents, thoughts and emotions are carefully surveyed although the earlier memories derive from the age of the flapper and the sights and sounds of "the Charleston" and "Bye Bye Blackbird". The last memory recorded is that of an ex-evacuee receiving a lingering kiss from a sweetheart. The in-between years comprise a journey of self discovery and a steadily expanding world that ignited with the outbreak of the Second World War. The many changes have been set in a variety of overlapping contexts particularly an extended family in the Black Country; countrywide events such as the general strike of 1926 and disturbing events in Europe, notably in Germany.
Alongside friends and colleagues, the author marvelled at the achievements of Amy Johnson, Charles Lindbergh and Malcolm Campbell. He revelled in cinematic delights such as King Kong and the dancing of Fred and Ginger. He listened avidly to "Children’s Hour" and "Band Wagon" on the BBC. However, throughout A Birmingham Boyhood 1923-40 runs a thread of references to the manners, mores and morals of the day and as such constitutes a piece of important social history on Birmingham. Complemented by 200 rare and unpublished photographs, this is a fascinating snapshot of local history and an innocent childhood in changing times.
Eric Armstrong was born in 1923 and raised and educated in Birmingham at Handsworth Grammar School. Having served in the Army from 1942-1947, he graduated from Birmingham University in 1950 and worked at Cadbury for six years in the industrial relations field. Armstrong commenced an academic career at the University of Aston and later became a professor at Manchester Business School. Awarded the OBE in 1988 for services to industrial relations and arbitration, Armstrong has had fifteen books published on the social history of Birmingham.
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Extent: 192 pages
Illustrations: 166 black-and-white photographs