We are interested in collecting memories from individuals who have Paralympic stories to share, from the humble beginnings at Stoke Mandeville through to the present day. It may be that you were involved yourself as an athlete, volunteer, Games maker, or spectator, or perhaps you have a family member with a connection. Whatever your involvement, help us bring our collections to life and preserve Paralympic heritage for future generations by sharing your experiences. Our friendly volunteers are waiting to record your story!

If you have memories you would like to share of the Stoke Mandeville or Paralympic Games then please contact [email protected]

Oral history interviews

Please get in touch if you would like the transcripts in a different file format.

  • Margaret Anne Aldous - medical photographer at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the 1950s.
  • Kevan Baker OBEParalympic athlete and advocate for those with disabilities, competed at 4 Paralympic Games from 1984-1996.
  • Mike Brace CBE, DL - former Paralympic skier and leader of disabled charities.
  • Margaret Bullivant - widow of Les Veale, wheelchair fencing coach from the 1960s to the 1980s.
  • Ernie Guild MBEParalympic athlete competed at 3 Paralympic Games; Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996.
  • Lora Fachie MBE - gold winning Paralympic cyclist.
  • Ron Foster & Paddy Moran - friends and Paralympians who competed in wheelchair basketball in the 1950s and 60s.
  • Dave Gollopspectator and volunteer at the Stoke Mandeville Games and national para sporting events.
  • Jane Johnson-Booth - volunteer at the Stoke Mandeville Games in the 1980s.
  • Baroness Masham - Paralympian, campaigner and Westminster’s longest-serving life peer.
  • Mike Parkin  - competitor at the early Stoke Mandeville Games and founder of RYA Sailability.
  • Tim Reddish CBE, DL - Paralympic swimmer, competed at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Paralympic Games.
  • Rick Rodgers - founder, coach and athlete at Paracheer International.
  • Dot Tussler - Head physiotherapist, National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville.
  • Dick Thompson & Alan West - Paralympic athletes who attended multiple Games in the 1960s and 70s.
  • Joe Thompson - competitor at the early Stoke Mandeville Games.
  • Monica Vaughan - Paralympic swimmer, competed at the Toronto 1976 and Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games.
  • Terry Willett - wheelchair basketball player and fencer competed at 4 Paralympic Games from 1968-1980.
  • Doug Williamson - Paralympic swimming coach and founder of Sport Ability.
  • Tahra ZafarHead of Costume for the London 2012 Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies.

Margaret Anne Aldous

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall with Helen Phillips, daughter of Margaret Anne Aldous, 6th October 2020.

Margaret Anne Aldous (née Bennett) was a medical photographer at Stoke Mandeville hospital in the 1950s, capturing images at the National Spinal Injuries Centre and of the early Stoke Mandeville Games. Learn more and download the transcript here

Kevan Baker OBE

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 23rd September 2020

Kevan competed at the Stoke Mandeville 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games in the Men’s Discus Throw. Here he talks about advocating for those with disabilities, as Chairman of WheelPower - British Wheelchair Sport (1995-2018) and founding member and CEO of the Patient User Group for Spinal Cord Injury (SPINE) at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. Learn more and access the transcript here

Mike Brace CBE, DL

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 10th August 2020

Mike Brace CBE, DL, is a former Paralympic skier and leader of disabled charities. In this interview, he discusses his early life, sporting career, and his involvement in disabled sports associations, from his own London sports club, Metro, to the British Paralympic Association and London 2012. Learn more and access the transcript here

Margaret Bullivant

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 11th November 2021

Margaret talks about her husband, Les Veale, wheelchair fencing coach from the 1960s to the 1980s. Les helped pioneer the development of the sport including the international fencing rules used at the Paralympic Games from 1976.  Learn more and access the transcript here

Lora Fachie MBE

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 28th January 2022

Lora Fachie MBE has competed for Great Britain at the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Paralympics in cycling, winning gold medals at the last two Games. Listen to the interview below or download the transcript.

Ron Foster & Paddy Moran

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 28th October 2021

Memories of Ron and Paddy by their wives Pat and Mary and friend Glyn Jones. They met when they had beds next to each other on the ward at Stoke Mandeville hospital and were soon encouraged to take part in the sports on offer, including table tennis, javelin and wheelchair basketball. They went on to compete in the early Stoke Mandeville Games and won numerous medals throughout the 1960s at four Paralympic Games and seven Commonwealth Paraplegic Games. Listen to the interview below or download the transcript. You can read Ron Foster's story here and Paddy Moran's story here

Dave Gollop

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 1st September 2021 

Dave Gollop was a spectator and volunteer at the Stoke Mandeville Games and national para sporting events from young boyhood; here he shares his memories of the early Games. Listen to the interview below or download the transcript. 

Ernie Guild

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 27th October 2021

Ernie Guild MBE competed in athletics for Great Britain at 3 Paralympic Games; Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996. Learn more and access the transcript here

Jane Johnson-Booth

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 10th September 2021

Jane talks about growing up next to Stoke Mandeville hospital, her time as a volunteer at the Stoke Mandeville Games in the 1980s and her experience as a spectator at the London 2012 Paralympics. Listen to the interview below or download the transcript

Baroness Masham

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 18th September 2020

Baroness Masham, Paralympian, campaigner and Westminster’s longest-serving life peer talks about her spinal cord injury; competing at the Paralympic Games in the 1960s; founding the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) in 1974; and disability, health and penal reform. Learn more and access the transcript here

Mike Parkin

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 16th September 2020

Mike Parkin competed in events such as table tennis, swimming, athletics and wheelchair fencing at the Stoke Mandeville Games. He was also active in the sailing community and was a founding member and trustee at RYA Sailability. He discusses his experiences at Stoke Mandeville, meeting Dr Guttmann and other memories. Learn more and access the transcript here

Tim Reddish CBE, DL

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 12th November 2021

Tim talks about how he first got involved in disability sport in the community, then elite sport where he went on to have a 13-year international swimming career. He competed in three Paralympic Games, three World and five European Championships, winning a total of 43 medals including three silver and two bronze Paralympic medals. Learn more and access the transcript here.

Rick Rodgers

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 21st November 2021

Rick talks about his experience as part of a cheerleading team and what led him to found Paracheer International where he is a coach, athlete and performer.  He hopes that cheerleading will soon become a Paralympic sport. Listen to the interview below or download the transcript.

Dot Tussler

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 13th November 2021

Dot talks about her role as a physiotherapist at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville and classifier for wheelchair basketball. Dot's husband was Nigel Smith, Paralympic wheelchair basketball player and coach. Learn more and access the transcript here

Dick Thompson and Alan West

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall with Diane West, 6th November 2020

Diane talks about her godfather, Dick Thompson and father, Alan West, who both represented Great Britain at the Paralympics. Dick competed at 4 Paralympics from the Rome 1960 to the Heidelberg 1972 Games, winning a total of 7 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals. Alan competed at 3 Paralympics from the Tel Aviv 1968 to the Toronto 1976 Games, winning a total of 2 gold and 4 silver medals. Listen to the interview below or download the transcript. You can read Dick Thompson's story here and Alan West's story here.

Joe Thompson

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall with Clare and Sandra Chamberlain, granddaughter and daughter of Joe Thompson, 12th September 2021

Clare and Sandra talk about 'Grandad Joe', his spinal injury, being the first resident of the Duchess of Gloucester House, and competing in the early Stoke Mandeville Games. Learn more and access the transcript here

Monica Vaughan

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 11th August 2020

Monica Vaughan, Paralympic swimmer, competed at the Toronto 1976 and Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games winning 9 gold and 1 silver medals. In this interview Monica talks about her early love of sport, her athletic and nursing careers, her work for the BSAD, and changes to the Games in her lifetime. Learn more and access the transcript here

Terry Willett

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 11th May 2020

Terry talks about his memories of Lodge Moor and Stoke Mandeville and the earlier Paralympic Games. Terry competed in wheelchair basketball and fencing at the Tel Aviv 1968, Heidelberg 1972, Toronto 1976 and Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games. Learn more and access the transcript here

Doug Williamson

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 7th October 2020

Doug was a ParalympicsGB swimming coach at the New York 1984 Paralympic Games as well as a technician and classifier. He is the founder, creator and inspiration behind Sports Ability, an inclusive games programme. Learn more and access the transcript here

Tahra Zafar

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 30th November 2020

Tahra Zafar talks about her role as Head of Costume for the London 2012 Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies. Listen to the interview below or download the transcript. Image ©Thomas Skovsende.