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Peter Cox: Growing up in London

Most of the children growing up today face a less certain future than their parents. Jobs are far less secure, if they enter further education many will land themselves with a substantial debt, and they can expect to work a good five years longer than their parents, who are the ‘baby boomers’ born between 1945 and 1965. This group has been called the ‘golden generation’, the recipients of better diet, health and life prospects than their own parents, who were typically born between the two world wars. It’s members of this older generation that Peter Cox spent much of 2014 interviewing, hearing the early life stories of over 100 members of the U3A, the University of the Third Age, most aged between 75 and 95. They often grew up in straitened circumstances, born to parents who had little money to spare, with few holidays, a lack of free medical care, and little chance of further education. What’s more they had to live through the disruption of a major European war in which London was extensively bombed, living nightly through the fear of the Blitz or the separation of evacuation to strange places and people.

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