In 1954 I passed the eleven plus exam, a bundle of tests which, according to Tory MP David Davis “rescued a generation of underprivileged children”. Even at this tender age we all in our last year at Fryent Junior understood the what was going on, and many feared the consequences of failure. I can’t remember much about the tests themselves, and I was surprised that I passed, as I suspect did my parents.
I know my Mum and Dad were pleased, especially as I had missed best part of a year’s schooling when I nearly lost my eyesight when I was eight. I learned later that for Dad, Grammar School entrance was a pretty big deal as he had always resented having been denied the opportunity himself in favour of one of his three brothers.
I remember the impact of my attainment on my Dad’s meagre wage packet, which immediately arose from the need to kit me out with an expensive uniform, only obtainable from a posh tailors shop in Golders Green which enjoyed a monopoly supplier arrangement with Kingsbury County Grammar, the school in London NW9 which the local education authority had selected for me. Continue reading →
1965 was not a good year for me. As a student reading French I was required, not unreasonably, to spend a year teaching in France. This ought to have been a pleasure, but by and large it turned out not to be. However there was one unexpected consolation prize, thanks to General de Gaulle, then president of the republic.
For some unknown reason, that year he decided to pay an extra month’s wages to all those like me who had been engaged in the mostly futile task of teaching English to French schoolchildren. This inexplicable but welcome gesture enabled me to buy my first car – an Isetta bubble car.
I first met Jane Chapman when she joined the School of Journalism at the University of Lincoln as a Principal Lecturer, in 2005. Our paths subsequently crossed only occasionally before I moved into another school, but I do recall some brief but always interesting conversations.
It was only much later, in September 2013, that I came upon references to Jane’s groundbreaking research into World War 1 comics.
At the time I was running the University’s Public Engagement Blog, which chronicled public engagement activities there over a period of two or so years, until it was apparently axed last year, without explanation. Continue reading →
Mary Cook writes: Around 800 windmills were grinding flour for Lincolnshire’s inhabitants up to a century ago. But winds of change have blown across the county, leaving some mills in ruins while giving others a new lease of life. Local government organizations, charitable trusts and private enterprise have been working to convert them into tourist attractions.
Visit the Maud Foster Mill, Boston.
This windmill is close to Boston town centre – just off the A16/A52 Grimsby/Skegness road and there is a free car park for mill visitors. On foot the windmill is a 10 minute stroll from the market square and the historic Boston Stump church. It’s hard to miss! Continue reading →
We all want the best for our children and grandchildren, but sometimes opportunities for enriching their development are hard to come by in a county like Lincolnshire, especially outside our main towns. Fortunately, help is now at hand.
Last December over 50 cultural, arts and education professionals attended an event called “What if Every Child Could Fly in Lincolnshire?” to demonstrate their passion and enthusiasm in supporting all children and young people in the county in having the opportunity to experience great arts and culture. The event was so successful that a follow-up event is planned.Continue reading →
…….which you can see for yourself in St Botolph’s Church (aka the Stump) in Boston Lincolnshire until January. 3,000 Christmas tree stars and a nativity scene knitted by people across Lincolnshire, all dedicated to family, friends, memories and even pets.
Called Christmas Knitivity, this imaginative project was organised by BBC Radio Lincolnshire in partnership with St Botolph’s Church. Local radio staffers and Boston parishioners got together with Oldrids store to decorate more than 30 trees with these unusual emblems. Continue reading →
Last Friday I took another trip out to Gibraltar Point, conscious that the building of the new visitor centre must now be well advanced. I was not wrong. The weather was unseasonably fine and sunny all the way there but, as is often the case, the point was shrouded in sea mist when I arrived.
Undaunted I took some shots of the visitor centre development from the car park on my much-derided and battered Nokia mobile, then dropped in to the temporary shop and café. I was working on the theory that the mist would clear as there was an offshore wind blowing. It seemed a fair gamble, having driven all the way there.