I am very pleased to say that the West Yorkshire Archive service have accepted the Back-Chat Collection interviews into their permanent archives thus ensuring their accessibility to the public for many generations to come.

You can hear this interview by simply clicking the West Yorkshire Archive Link where you will find all of the Back-Chat Collection interviews listed in alphabetical order along with captioned photographs.

If you would like to contact The Back-Chat Collection please do email me at carloharrison1947@gmail.com.

To listen to the interviews which are now hosted on the
West Yorkshire Archive Service click here.

Karen Cracknell


June 1958 St. Ives (Huntingdomshire – now Cambridgeshire)


Grew up on various RAF bases, Romford, Braintree, Harlow and now lives in Wales

Date of Interview

11th December 2020

“I give my permission for you to use the recording and any photos I provide for the purposes of Back Chat – it’s been a privilege to be involved..”

Karen Cracknell (3rd January 2021)

Karen has lived a nomadic life starting with her father being in the RAF which saw her growing up in Somerset, Ceylon, Singapore, Leicestershire, the Cotswolds and Germany. Working in the police force was a major part of Karen’s life but then led her to a very diverse career.  Now widowed, she has two adult children – her daughter is a bespoke teddy bear maker living in France and her son is a firefighter.

Karen now lives in rural Wales and has learnt the Welsh language and how to play the harp which sat quietly in one corner of her cottage throughout our interview.

Interviewer: Carlo Harrison

Cataloguer: Fiona Quinton

Sound Engineer David Myers

HTML5 Audio Player

You can listen to the entire recording by clicking the start arrow or, you can move the slider to one of times shown for the headings opposite, they are a guide to the many things we chatted about.
Coronavirus – Wales
Coronavirus – Welsh Government
Coronavirus – Boris Johnson
Pet Dogs
Parents – Ronald & Dorothy Phillips
Military Life & Childhood
Family Life
Military Life, Moving Around
School Days, Junior RAF – Senior Romford
Childhood Christmases And Holidays
Bullying At School
Husband Andrew Cracknell (Died Aged 52)
Children, Jenny (Teddy Bear Maker) – Pete (Firefighter)
Police, Prosecution Unit – Bank of England 
Inspector of Constabulary – Courts – Prison Ombudsman 
Women In Work 
Playing The Harp & Learning The Welsh Language 


Please take into consideration when listening to these interviews that the meaning of language changes over time and that interviewees have not intended to cause offence by anything said which now may be thought to be unacceptable.

Recording this social history, chatting to different people about a whole host of subjects has been a real pleasure, such an interesting and I think worthwhile project for people to listen to both now and in years to come.

Thank you for visiting this website.

Carlo Harrison