Psychogeography in Personal Relations

Research into Familial History in London, England.

My Nana, Patricia Mary. Passport photograph taken when she moved to Canada. 1960. She is 19 years old.

Interview of Patricia Mary Kimber Donoghue by Kristen Elizabeth Donoghue-Stanford

Please listen to part of the interviews presented below. While listening to the whole conversation may not be possible, skip through and listen to some of the various stories told from a first hand account of living in London from the 1940s to the late 1950s.

Below you will find a Google Maps guided tour around specific locations mentioned in the interview with Patricia Mary Kimber Donoghue. These locations will be used and visited in the final culmination of the project.
Approx. 12 mins.

First hand accounts are often the most rich resource you can find when conducting research. In order to understand my family history and how the psychogeography of London impacts me as an individual, I have to research the associations I have already formed with the area through ancestral connection.

My Nana’s Father William Kimber (on the right) in his military uniform. Date unknown.

This research was conducted in order to better strengthen my understanding of the places my grandmother felt impacted her the most. She only lived in London for nineteen of the eighty years she has been alive and yet her memories from that age are her strongest and fondest.

My Nana (right) on her wedding day in 1958 with her mother (middle) and stepfather (left).
My Nana’s brother’s Richie (top) and Billy (bottom) Kimber. 1940.
My Nana’s father William Kimber. Date Unknown.
My Nana’s Mother (left), Father (top right), brother Billy (middle) and brother Richie (right). Date unknown.

It is important to acknowledge that this research will always be incomplete. While first hand accounts are reliable and personal which is what I require for my project, they are unreliable due to time. My research could have extended further, with the interview of my Granddad, Michael Christopher Donoghue who also made the move from London to Toronto. However, having passed in October 2019 that option is no longer possible.

My Nana; Patricia Mary (middle), Granddad; Michael Christopher (right), and their friend (left). Vacation to the Isle of Wight. 1958.

I can continue to collect research. From my Nana, to her brothers Billy, Brian, and Jimmy who are still alive. Her brother Richie passed several years ago.
I can push and contact my Granddad’s sister, Sheila who lives in Parcent, Spain with her husband Alan what her life was like growing up in 18 Oxford Square and Dibdin House. I can ask my Granddad’s brother, Chris, who still lives in London even now.
It is never ending because my family roots still grow here.

I live in Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire with my second cousin Vicki and her husband Mick and their daughter, Amy who is my second cousin once removed but who I have known for almost my entire life in exchanges of e-mails, MSNs, video calls and summer visits to each other’s countries.

Amy’s sister, Claire, lives only 15 minutes away in Three Rivers with her two daughters Olivia in Darcy and husband Gary.

While my grandmother may have moved to Canada in 1960, our family still resides and thrives here. Our history goes on to places I can’t explore or may never get the chance to.

I suppose in all this research the question simply boils down to who that makes me as an individual to come from this ancestry; my home being in Canada, but to now return to these roots. How does it impact my behaviours and emotions in this new but familiar environment?

Good research always needs to end with more questions.