Dick Grove: picnic fieldwork

Dick Grove comments on a 'family expedition' to examine Alpine glaciers, 1958.

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In your notes you’ve got, for 1958, a family expedition. Not family holiday, but family expedition. Is there any significance in calling this the family expedition in 1958?

Well, Jean was anxious to pursue her studies in glacier history, looking at glaciers in the field, and the obvious way for her to do this, was to take the children, who were still very small, with her and for me to drive. We had a car, we had a tent, and Jean made the arrangements for accommodation at Entreves. And Chamonix was the obvious place to go to in France. And Jean had three of her undergraduates accompanying her to help look after the children, and two or three other undergraduates attached themselves to us. My main job was to drive the car and provide some of the muscle power. Jean’s main job was looking after the children and feeding the baby. And we drove relatively short distances, it would take us three or four days to get to Switzerland and so we would spend time on the way, sightseeing and camping and making sure that the children were – had time to play. The car was always overloaded with books as well as children and equipment. Usually I was pressing to get out into the field as early as possible and always there were delays for one reason or another, and so it would be eleven o’clock before things started moving, and probably it was dark by the time we got back in the evening. On some occasions we were mapping glaciers and their positions of tongues in relation to moraines. It was a cross between, I suppose, ordinary tourism and expedition work. It was a sort of a – a picnic field work and much of the time was taken up with inessentials.

  • Interviewee Dick Grove
  • Duration 00:02:59
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Paul Merchant
  • Date of interview 5/22/2010
  • Shelfmark C1379/12

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