Betty and Elaine: Family Life with Ten Children

Fi Glover presents Radio 4's series capturing the nation in conversation: today, mother and daughter Betty and Elaine from Hull, reflect on homelife and making do when you have ten children. Daughter Elaine is a cleaner; Betty is a retired cook who brought up her ten children with love and fortitude. Theirs was a tough working class life, where Betty would often go without to feed the children. All these years on, with Betty now in her 90s, the love still shines through.

The Listening Project is a new initiative for Radio 4 that aims to offer a snapshot of contemporary Britain in which people across the UK volunteer to have a conversation with someone close to them about a subject they've never discussed intimately before. The conversations are being gathered across the UK by teams of producers from local and national radio stations who facilitate each encounter. Every conversation - they're not BBC interviews, and that's an important difference - lasts up to an hour, and is then edited to extract the key moment of connection between the participants. Many of the long conversations are being archived by the British Library which they will use to build up a collection of voices capturing a unique portrait of the UK in the second decade of the millennium. You can upload your own conversations or just learn more about The Listening Project by visiting

Producer: Mohini Patel.

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5 minutes

Last on

Fri 1 Jun 2012 12:52

Fi Glover and Jane Garvey

Fi Glover and Jane Garvey

Fi Glover and Jane Garvey roam the fields of broadcasting talking to interesting people.

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The Listening Project

Broadcast across Radio 4 and on local radio stations across the UK and Northern Ireland.

The British Library

British Library - Listening Project

The Listening Project is a BBC Radio & British Library partnership.