Kingsbury County Days

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

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George Boole Update: Film premiere at the Collection

By way of an update to my previous posts about the Lincoln born father of digital technology George Boole, Dave Kenyon writes:

Friends of George Boole,

I thought you might be interested in the UK premiere of the Irish film about George Boole. It’s at 2pm this Sunday 25th Oct at the Collection. It’s part of a longer programme, but the Boole film is 58 mins long. Attendance is free but ticketed.

The film is presented as part of the current Frequency Festival in Lincoln. Tickets are available here. (Get your free tickets by clicking on the green “register” button.)

George Boole update

I have written before on this blog and elsewhere about the father of digital technology, George Boole, maths genius and son of a Lincoln cobbler, who had his own school near Lincoln Cathedral. Dave Kenyon, co-founder of the Lincoln Boole Foundation has been in touch about another success in his campaign to raise awareness of this great thinker. Dave writes:

The Lincoln Boole Foundation is pleased to announce the upcoming installation of a large commemorative plaque in the centre of Lincoln at the junction of High Street and Silver Street, just yards from Boole’s birthplace. This high-profile memorial has been given the blessing of both City and County authorities. Its size and position will make it arguably the highest profile memorial plaque in the city – as befits the inventor of digital logic. Continue reading

George Boole, Victorian digital hero

I really cannot recall when I first heard of George Boole, the creator of Boolean logic, but I do remember being intrigued when I spotted the plaque on his former house in Pottergate, Lincoln, when I first came to work in the City.

 

When I first mentioned to a few local acquaintances that Boole came from Lincoln I was met with a few blank looks, but now, in Boole’s bicentenary year, there are welcome signs of a growing recognition here of his global importance. Much of this awakening is down to the sustained and dogged influence of my friend, former colleague and co-director of the Lincoln Boole Foundation, Dave Kenyon.

So who was George Boole? Dave has written a brilliant guest post for me, all about Lincolnshire’s Victorian Digital Hero:

George Boole, Lincolnshire’s forgotten genius is 200 years old this year. Unbeknownst to most of us, he’s responsible for the ‘digital DNA’ of everyday life.

Most readers interested in Lincolnshire will probably know that 2015 is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Similarly, most will be aware of Sir Isaac Newton as the county’s most illustrious son. But very few will know of the bicentenary of George Boole, the Lincoln man who has had most recent worldwide impact. He invented “Boolean Logic” which is the binary system at the heart of silicon chips and all things digital. As if that wasn’t enough, he was the youngest and poorest winner of the Royal Society’s Gold Medal for a hundred years. To cap that off, he also laid some of the foundations for ‘Pure Maths’ and gave us many aspects of calculus used daily by scientists and technologists of every type. Continue reading