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 – Wales01.24
Coronavirus – Welsh Government07.40
Coronavirus – Boris Johnson09.20 
Pet Dogs 15.15
Parents – Ronald & Dorothy Phillips18.10
Military Life & Childhood19.40
Family Life 25.30
Military Life, Moving Around28.40
School Days, Junior RAF – Senior Romford33.40
Childhood Christmases And Holidays38.25
Bullying At School40.60
Husband Andrew Cracknell (Died Aged 52)46.55
Children, Jenny (Teddy Bear Maker) – Pete (Firefighter)49.10
Police, Prosecution Unit – Bank of England 54.50
Inspector of Constabulary – Courts – Prison Ombudsman 
Women In Work 1.10.20
Playing The Harp & Learning The Welsh Language 1.17.00


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.

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

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Carlo Harrison