Peter Eadie: Video Interview, 2006

 

Peter McGregor Eadie interviewed by Professor Robert Simmons, 2006.
Length 5’19”

 

MEMORIES OF MR & MADAME OUSPENSKY

PETER MCGREGOR EADIE
interviewed by Professor Robert Simmons
2006

Simmons: I believe your mother was in the Work, which gave you a good start. So how did that happen?

Eadie: Well, back in about 1930, when I was four-five years of age, actually, mother was travelling in a train with a book that she’d been given by a Major Turner; and she was sitting there in a carriage, coming up to town from Shoreham; and there was another very tall person known as Mr. Bennett, Captain Bennett he was called then, who was sitting at the far end of the carriage. This is what she told me, and he said “are you enjoying that book on yoga?” Because you must remember, in those days, those were kind of unusual books. Today they’re very common. And she said “yes.” And he said “well what do you find interesting?” She said: “I really hadn’t read a lot”, but she fell into conversation with him, and that was what really led her to being introduced to Mr. Ouspensky; that was the beginning of it, and that was about 1930, roughly…

Simmons: Who do you remember meeting, apart from Bennett?

Eadie: Well, there was my mother’s partner, Noel Wilson, who used to work at Lyne, and he used to drive Mr. Ouspensky up to town from Lyne to Colet.

Simmons: What kind of car?

Eadie: Well, he had a rather gorgeous Packard actually, a convertible Packard I can remember because it used to be parked outside our place in London, and I used to think, “Gosh, that’s a car I’d like to have…”

Simmons: Yes. It’s nice to think of Mr. Ouspensky hurtling up from Lyne to Colet in some style.

Eadie: Oh, yes, it was definitely style in that car. It was a sort of American Rolls Royce in those days.

Simmons: …That brings us to children’s parties.

Eadie: Yes…

Simmons: …and I remember that that was the kind of occasion on which you met Mr. Ouspensky and Madame Ouspensky…

Eadie: Yes…

Simmons: So can you say a bit about that? What sort of year would this be…

Eadie: Well, about nineteen-thirty, thirty one, when you, Christmastime then.

Simmons: This was Christmas. And you were how old then?

Eadie: I was about five, five-six.

Simmons: And the Christmas party was where?

Eadie: This was the first one, at Gadsden … I remember certain things about it, you know, I remember particularly amusing was the fact that they put water pistols, with lemonade, wonderful crackers . . . Christmas party, and all these girls were in pretty dresses, you know, and frocks and, you must remember again that it was a very, I mean I didn’t know because I was a child, it was very stern, this idea of negative emotion, you mustn’t express it. Well, I have a strong feeling that ‘O’ thought this one up, and he put these water pistols there. Well, there was myself, and there were the Carnegie boys, both looking like Just William with red hair you know … complete pictures of them, and there were these water pistols and Lonya was there…

Simmons: Yes…

Eadie: Madame’s grandson, you know, he was a bit uncontrollable anyway, that guy . . . Of course it wasn’t very long before the kids started filling them up, you know, and there was a great sort of war going on, as all these girls in their pretty dresses, and I can just imagine what my mother and those other ones would be thinking. God…

Simmons: You targeted the girls…

Eadie: … mustn’t express [negative emotion] … you know, normally you’d say “put that down” or something … when you were that age, but they had to sit there and watch and watch this go on and then of course Lonya was always inclined to overdo everything, and he said to me [when] the meal was over, he said, “I am going out to get a bucket of water.” He was about four or five years older than I was…

Simmons: For the pistols…

Eadie: Yes, for the pistols, “take this on into the sitting room”.

Simmons: Yes…

Eadie: And he said, “My mother – my grandmother – she’ll try and stop me, so you grab her. So I went in there and I hung on to her and he went by with a bucket. I remember, it’s a strange thing, because every time I went out to Lyne after that, Madame was very fond of me, so she may have been very stern to other people, but she was very kind to me. She had a very nice side to her, in that respect. I’m told she was a bit of a tartar when it came to discipline…

Simmons: She rather spoiled you… Eadie: Well yes, I think she did, yes. Simmons: Gave you chocolates and…

Eadie: Yeah, chocolates and allsorts and other sorts of things.

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