Memoirs of Charles Atkinson

Interviewee:                          Charles Atkinson
Born:                                    August 1953
Date of Interview:                  19th March 2014
Length of Interview:               49.30 minutes
Interviewer:                           Janis Alexander


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Charles’ Burgher mother was held captive whilst five months pregnant in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Singapore. Listen to his revelations about her culinary and entertainment skills and her open door policy for Burghers at their home in London, Kensington.

Detailed summary (with time stamping for ease of access)


0:00:23.9: How I'm a Burgher.

0:00:38.9: My grandparents’ tea plantation in Kandy.

0:02:36.0: Special stories on life in tea plantation - food was main denominator.

0:03:23.7: Why I came to the UK.

0:04:20.4: Weather in London.

0:05:15.9: First days in London.

0:05:59.8: What month I arrived in London?

0:06:06.2: Where I stayed in London.

0:06:16.8: Meeting other Burghers in London.

0:08:33.1: Relationships in London.

0:08:58.0: Discrimination in London.

0:10:01.5: Staying close to my Burgher culture.

0:11:17.0: The beautiful present I received from Mount Lavinia Hotel, Sri Lanka.

0:13:10.2: My holiday in Ceylon.

0:14:09.7: Stories back in the day - high society.

0:16:38.5: The Ceylon dance troupe in Singapore.

0:17:36.4: Feelings on arriving back in Ceylon.

0:20:40.2: Careers of the family.

0:22:49.9: My brothers’ and brothers-in law’s sixties pop career as pop group “Fresh Windows” and song “Fashion Conscious’.

0:25:37.6: Age I was when I came to London and overcoming racism.

0:26:41.0: Stories of dad.

0:30:34.4: My first friends in London.

0:31:12.1: Stress points in London.

0:33:35.2: Social life in London compared to Ceylon.

0:36:24.5: Talking about mum and dad.

0:40:18.9: My first job. The music industry and property.

0:45:12.5: I bought my dream car a Rolls Royce at the height of my career.

0:47:27.2: Highs and lows of business.

0:49:51.3: What I loved most about Ceylon.

0:51:56.3: How Ceylon diet and lifestyle kept my mother young.

The End