May Brenner on Hardships in England: Sydney Brenner’s Motorbike Accident
  May Brenner     Biography    
Recorded: 14 Jun 2005

I still won’t think any African stories like the rest—life in England has been quite hard and quite tough. _less problems that missed families (?), illnesses and accidents. Sydney had this dreadful accident. I couldn’t believe it when they phoned me. He was knocked off his motor bike by a taxi. He still walks with a stick and how many years ago is that? I can’t count, thirty, a very long time ago. That news when the phone rings and I—twenty something years ago. I remember that he had just come back—he was just going away and he had just come back. But that’s always the way. That’s routine. He had just come back and he was just going away. My daughter running up the stairs quickly to get the French cigarettes he had brought back from France to take to the hospital where he was lying unconscious. A very bad family for road accidents. I don’t know what’s wrong with us. No, it happened here. It happened in Cambridge. South Africa wasn’t easy because he didn’t want to be there and he worked terribly, terribly hard to fit in research in his spare time when he was lecturing. He had a family to come back to and help look after. He didn’t like it. Nobody liked South Africa then. The place was horrible. It was like living in a terrible prison. Though we weren’t the ones who were imprisoned, but still the prison was there. Trying to get out and wanting to get out. I don’t know why I want to go back there when I talk to you. I think I’m crazy to want to go back to Africa. Why don’t I…

May Brenner was married to Sydney Brenner from December 1952 until her death in January 2010. She was engaged in doing a Ph.D. in Psychology in London.