Name: DSC_0031
Description: Mavis Lawes with her friends on holiday in the girl guides
Collection: 1948 Olympics: Then & Now
Contributor: Shari Baker ©2012 | www.floemedia.co.uk
Rights: Shari Baker ©2012 | www.floemedia.co.uk
Mavis was interviewed whilst she as looking at a photograph of her aged 17 years old on a holiday abroad with the girl guides. In 1940s, the girls wore navy blue and light blue uniforms, and the leaders had name badges and whistles.

When she was a young girl, Mavis was awarded a city scholarship. She says that whether you got a scholarship or not was a big thing at school as going to grammar school could open so many more doors for you. They did the same subjects as other schools, such as English, Maths and General Knowledge, but there was no tutoring. It made a big difference to people’s lives. If you didn’t go to grammar school, most people left education aged just 14 years old. Mavis’s parents were very poor but were determined that their children would have a good education to get out of a life of poverty. Before 1944 when the Education Act was passed, there was no free education and scholarships were relied upon. All three children in Mavis’s family passed with her brother becoming a university lecturer and her and her sister becoming teachers. Mavis was the only one in her school to get a scholarship. However, she says it did create a ‘them and us’ environment.

 In 1948-1949, Mavis started working and she then went to college in 1949. She says that being a 17 year old then was very different as girls were still in ankle socks and ‘not sophisticated at all’. Mavis says she wasn’t into fashion or make-up until she went to college and got together with other young women her age.

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Name: Mavis_Lawes_MP4
Description: Video interview with Mavis Lawes
Collection: 1948 Olympics: Then & Now
Contributor: Leeds City Council Older People's Sport Development
Rights: Leeds City Council Older People's Sport Development