Past Research Network events
Connecting Experienced Researchers

Oral History

In 2011 we embarked on a project to compile an Oral History record of the market research industry. This is an illuminating series of interviews which charts the evolution of the industry through the eyes of some of its most accomplished practitioners.

This is an ongoing project.  There are currently thirty-five fully edited Oral Histories available on the MRS website via the link below and we will add to these as the interviewing and editing process proceeds.

Oral History 450r


Background to the project:

The Oral History project was the brainchild of psychologist and qualitative researcher Lawrence Bailey, who wrote at the time: "It would be desirable to create an audio resource that would be of interest to Market Researchers in years to come, via interviews with some of the luminaries of our industry...

"What I have in mind is a series of one-to-one interviews in a style not unlike Desert Island Discs (without the music!), in which plenty of time would be devoted to reminiscence and narrative regarding the events and people that have shaped and developed Market Research... I would hope for interviews that bring out the character and interests of the interviewees as well as their knowledge about phases in the development of the industry, and the research activities that they themselves have been involved in."

Lawrence conducted the first seventeen interviews himself, including a video/audio interview with Bill Schlackman, one of the founders of UK Qualitative Research, conducted jointly with Simon Patterson.

In June 2015, Lawrence handed over the interviewing to Neil McPhee, another highly experienced qualitative researcher and ethnographer. Neil stepped down at the end of 2016 and Judith Wardle and Graham Woodham have now taken over as moderators.  We hope to be able to resume interviewing in 2021. 


Oral Histories currently available on the MRS website are as follows.

1. Gerald De Groot
2. Gerald Goodhart
3. Geoffrey Roughton
4. John Downham
5. John Barter
6. Marie Alexander
7. Valerie Farbridge
8. Martin Simmons
9. Liz Nelson
10. Ivor McGloughlin
11. Ted Whitley
12. Bill Schlackman
13. Nick Phillips
15. Sir Robert Worcester
16. Mary Goodyear
17. John Goodyear
18. John Samuels
23. Pam Edwards
19. John Wigzell
21. Phil Barnard
22. Peter Bartram
24. Hugh Bain (Part 1)
26. Paul Feldwick
27. Ed Ross
14. Tom Punt
29. Wendy Gordon
25. Juanita Byrne-Quinn
30. Tony Cowling
28. Sue Robson
31. Jackie Dickens
32. Peter Mouncey
34. Bill Blyth
33. Roddy Glen
35. Nigel Spackman
36. Tim Bowles


Further interviews have been undertaken with the following people and will be added to the website as editing proceeds:

24. Hugh Bain (Part 2)
37. Adam Phillips