A quarterly publication from The English-Speaking Union September 2010
The English-Speaking Union
About the English-Speaking Union
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The ESU brings together and empowers people of different languages and cultures. By building skills and confidence in communication, we give people the opportunity to realise their potential. Worldwide, the members and alumni of the ESU support these objectives.
International submissions Submissions should be made to email@example.com
Our vision is to provide people in the UK and internationally with communication skills, confidence and networking opportunities. We endeavour to see that the value of good communication as an essential attribute for individual, community and global development and understanding is publicly recognised and widely integrated into education and social policy.
DONATION Can you leave a gift in your will to the ESU? If you would consider leaving us a gift in your Will, we will be able to expand the work of the ESU in United Kingdom and all over the world. For more information on how your gift could be allocated please contact Jo Wedderspoon, Head of Fundraising and Development 020 7529 1576 firstname.lastname@example.org
The English-Speaking Union Dartmouth House 37 Charles Street London W1J 5ED T +44 (0)20 7529 1550 F +44 (0)20 7495 6108 email@example.com www.esu.org Registered Charity No. 273136
Branch submissions Submissions should be made to esubranchesnews @gmail.com
If you have questions please contact the Editor at Dartmouth House – 020 7529 1579 or firstname.lastname@example.org Deadlines Submissions for the edition published on: 15 March submissions need to be received by 1 February
We welcome all submissions for consideration. Photos and Illustrations Digital photos are preferred. Please send the original file from your digital camera – do not re-save or change the title from the default setting (this can degrade the resolution and limit the file size making photos poorer quality than the original file). For every photo please send a caption. It is only necessary to name key individuals in a large group. Refer to the photo by its full filename in the write-up of its accompanying article and advise us of the names of all the people pictured, e.g. “IMG_345.jpg – (L-R) Joe Bloggs, Bill Boggs,Kate Coggs”
15 June submissions need to be received by 1 May 15 September submissions need to be received by 1 August 15 December submissions need to be received by 1 November The ESU reserves the right not to publish submissions.
Postal submissions should be made as a last resort. Postal address The Editor ESU, Dartmouth House 37 Charles Street London W1J 5ED
© All material copyright ESU
A quarterly publication from The English-Speaking Union September 2010
Letters to the Editor_07
From the Director-General_08
From the Archives_45
The University Connection_50 Teaching Bolivian Street Children_10
Report on the Nursework Programme 2010_52
ESU website relaunch_12
ON THE HORIZON
Orient-Express_18 International at Home_18
Connecting Classrooms_18 CfBT research project_19 ESU Autumn City Lunch Series_20
ESU MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS
Managing Editor Hanna Cevik Editor Roberta Pearce Design The Click Design Consultants theclickdesign.com DIALOGUE 3
EDITORIAL Mike Lake ESU Director-General
Most readers of dialogue will know that the first part of the calendar year is our busiest period, with all the preparation for our various competitions, courses and exchanges in the spring and then the activities themselves in the summer.
It is also when we prepare for the annual audit of accounts which are completed in June. I am very pleased to say that everything has gone well. We had a satisfactory year from a financial viewpoint and all of our charitable activities have grown in terms of the numbers who have benefited. We have also increased connections with other organisations with similar objectives to our own as a step towards raising profile and influence. Meanwhile, various reviews have been undertaken at the direction of the Governors, our trustees. Progress with these reviews was considered by the Board of Governors at their meetings in March and July, and I thought it would be useful to summarise the content and direction for members and alumni, and for all readers interested in one form or another in the English-Speaking Union (ESU). The first review to mention in logical order is the strategic review. This considered the purpose and objectives of the ESU in the contemporary setting for our work. Discussions with the Privy Council, and best practice guidance from the Charity Commission over how the ESU should comply with current legislation especially on governance, reminded us that our primary objective in the Royal Charter granted in 1957 remains the strengthening of links between the Commonwealth and the USA. We were given authority in 1977 to extend our mission of “global understanding through English” elsewhere in the world and so the charity has broad scope to pursue our primary objectives. It concluded that the world has changed significantly since our formation, and that we should expect to change with it to remain relevant in our role, and interesting to new members and supporters. There was recognition of our need to have a clear charitable purpose or public benefit, and for us to be more knowledgeable about
the circumstances of the predominantly young people to whom we bring opportunities to develop the communication skills in spoken English that are so vital to their future success. The review also took note of the many organisations with similar objectives as our own, such as the British Council and the Royal Commonwealth Society, and recommended a policy of working more closely with such organisations as a way of increasing effectiveness. The conclusions are now being integrated into future plans. Our next review concerns governance. The ESU enjoys the status of a charity under its Royal Charter but with the exception of some minor amendments, there has been no change to our structure and processes over the years. Meanwhile, attitudes to effective governance have altered and the charity sector has mirrored the public and private sectors in introducing smaller, more agile governance. The Governors have concluded that they should reduce in number, with fewer committees and a clearer distinction made between the legal responsibilities of trusteeship and the important and creative advice of voluntary advisors. The National Council for England and Wales (NCEW) will remain an independent body representing members’ interests. The Royal Charter includes a provision for the appointment of volunteer ‘counsellors’ but this has not been used in the past. It is the intention that the smaller board will be supported by an Advisory Council of such counsellors, who will be appointed by invitation. The recommendations from this review will require a change to standing rules and therefore, be subject to a resolution at the AGM on 18 November. DIALOGUE 5
The third review concerns closer co-operation with the Royal Commonwealth Society. We are ‘genetically’ connected as two of the original loyal societies, all formed at about the same time and indeed our full and formal title is the ‘English-Speaking Union of the Commonwealth’. Previous consideration has been given to consolidation because we are so alike in many ways. The review has been undertaken by a joint working group of Governors from each organisation and it has concluded that there is potential merit in taking this discussion to the next level and investigating the advantages and the disadvantages of consolidation leading to a merger. The Governors have given clear direction on the matters that need to be considered before they take a view. The intention is that this work will be completed in the next few months for the Governors to take a decision at a board meeting in October. This is a complicated and important proposition
been determined to bring, what up to now has, of necessity, been a matter of discrete consideration, to as many members as possible. I have been tasked by them to undertake a series of regional meetings in September and October to brief members, to answer questions and to get the views of as many as possible, including our alumni and corporate supporters. In the meantime, copies of the relevant papers have been sent to branch and regional Chairmen to help them to respond to questions at their local meetings. Copies will be provided to individual members on request. Please contact Meriel Talbot (Director of Branches and Membership) for details. The third review addresses the international agenda and this is being undertaken by a working group formed from amongst the overseas affiliate ESUs, reporting through the International President (currently Arne Zettersten of ESU Denmark) to the International Council.
Specific consideration will be given to how we can meet the costs of maintaining Dartmouth House to a high standard for benefit now and for future generations. and the respective Governors of the ESU and of the RCS must be certain that it would increase the capacity of both organisations and strengthen future effectiveness. The key considerations include, inter alia • a shared vision of charitable objectives • an enhanced financial position • a vibrant membership base. Much thought has been given to the advantages to respective members and to income potential, of using both Dartmouth House and the RCS club facilities on Northumberland Avenue in a co-ordinated way. Thought has also been given to the feasibility of combining our international objectives and work is in hand to develop ways of aligning the ESU speech and debate and the RCS essay and youth parliament programmes. An important consideration has been our respective members and branch activities. There are examples of considerable overlap, but the feeling at this stage is that co-operation at branch level would not be forced, leaving local circumstances very much as they are. The main advantages of co-operation would be found at head office level in terms of reduced overheads and in our two streams of charitable work that would benefit from co-ordination. It is judged that these advantages would strengthen a relationship with the British Council as a credible partner. If the Governors do decide to proceed, their decision will take the form of a recommendation to be made to members as a resolution at the AGM on 18 November. The Governors have DIALOGUE 6
Our network of affiliates has now grown to the point at which we need to take stock of our mutual aims and objectives and to consider how to finance its management and development in the future on a shared basis. The intention is that the review will be considered by the International Council at the next meeting in Albania in October. At the same time, it is important that the Governors have a clear sight of the international objectives and oversight of expenditure borne by our budget. With this in mind, the governance review (see above) includes provision to establish a International Committee and this will be part of the implementation plan for the new governance structure. The Committee will be formed later in the year and its terms of reference will include development of strategy, and governance of costs and objectives. The final review covers members and branches and this is being chaired by Richard Oldham, Chairman of the NCEW and a Governor. The review group have met on two occasions to consider the scope and objectives of the review. In brief terms, its aims are to establish a clearer description of the particular interests of members and their role in support of the charitable objectives of the ESU. The review will cover the terms of reference for the NCEW and consider the interface between this body and governance of the ESU. The early indications are that, for many members, the activities at branch level are the main interest and motivation. The review will also consider membership recruitment and the growth of alumni ‘members’. It is anticipated that the review
report will be available in the early autumn for initial consideration by the members’ working group before going to the NCEW for endorsement. There is also work in hand to consider the income generated by our properties in Charles Street. The rent agreement for the Chesterfield Hotel is up for review and this is seen by the Governors to be an ideal moment to consider the longer term use of the property including Dartmouth House. Specific consideration will be given to how we can meet the costs of maintaining Dartmouth House to a high standard for benefit now and for future generations. It is our main source of income, and the Governors have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that our assets are used to the best possible advantage and are kept in good order for that purpose. However, it also needs to be recognised that Dartmouth House has an iconic role. There is a delicate balance to be struck between income and functionality as a home and venue and the Governors will review the options at their next meeting in October and
the outcomes will be reported at the AGM in November. The overall aims of the discussions as directed by the Governors are to: • achieve the best possible income from our property assets • maintain the property to a high standard of maintenance and refurbishment • protect the long-term interests of the ESU, its members, alumni and affiliates. At this stage there is a purely commercial angle to be considered as negotiations with the Red Carnation Group (who currently operate the Chesterfield Hotel) continue and it is imperative that matters remain discrete to protect our position. I hope this has been a helpful purview of the various matters under consideration by the Governors. The AGM on 18 November will have an important and full agenda and consideration is now being given to the best way of matching the expected interest with the arrangements for the meeting.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Miss JM Camp, ESU life member
David Keep, ESU member
Marjorie Welling, ESU Southend-On-Sea
‘… I must be the oldest life member of the ESU (at nearly 96!) and I rarely use its facilities now.
‘I was delighted to see Queen’s Park First School, Bedford in the latest magazine. I was there 1942-4 and had a brilliant infant teacher, who gave me a valuable afternoon as a head before I became a lecturer in 1971. My one term as a junior was less happy under a man who taught my father before the 1914 war. I then had eleven years at Bedford Modern who often score in the Public Speaking.
‘I was extremely pleased to receive dialogue a few days ago, and really delighted with the new format. There was so much of interest to read – and to see! The photography was excellent. dialogue kept me so engrossed I quite forgot the time and went to bed very much later than usual!
However I have been connected with its work since the 1940s – I assisted with the setting up of ‘Books Across the Sea’, was one of the first British teachers to go to the USA under the official government scheme which was partly funded by the ESU: when I returned in 1948, I worked in the exchange organisation from my office in Dartmouth House. More recently I represented the ESU on the Exchange programme: later I ran the public speaking competition in Buckinghamshire. Do you see I have had many connections with the ESU – but I know no one there now. One day I must come up there again!’
My sister and two cousins won scholarships for the same primary school.’
Keep on with the good work’ Every issue we hope to publish a selection of extracts from the letters we receive from members, partners and alumni. If you have any comments or suggestions, please get in touch: email@example.com Editor ESU, Dartmouth House 37 Charles Street London W1J 5ED
ESU database UPDATE
I would like to outline our plans to resolve the inaccuracies that we are experiencing with our database. This is a matter we must get right, not just as a fundamental administrative process, but also because it is a crucial basis for communication with members and alumni.
It was apparent some time ago that the new system, installed in 2009, and developed primarily for managing S&D programmes, introduced processing problems that are difficult to work around. Also, crucially, it is apparent that information held on the present system was transferred with inaccuracies. A combination of these adverse factors has increasingly come to light as renewals and changes to membership details have been processed through to the present. I want to be absolutely clear on what needs to be done to put right what should be a routine part of our work. Evaluation, with plenty of input from branch Chairmen, is now complete and I feel able to set down a plan of action. First, with regard to the software. It seems likely that the inadequacies of the current package cannot be addressed by manual interventions. I have asked for an evaluation and quote for a system that is designed for our needs. I will be looking for a supplier that is widely used in the sector and has credible service standards. I want to continue, in the meantime, to try to get value from what we have. A final decision on a new package will be made in October, by the appropriate governance committee when we have a fully costed proposal. Second, it is apparent that there are inaccuracies with both our stored information and with paper records such as they
exist. The problem is exacerbated by the way in which the renewal date relates to the date of joining. This makes it a constant business to process renewals. To ensure that all our records are correct I am asking all members to complete the enclosed form and return it to Dartmouth House in the stamped addressed envelope. I appreciate that it is a nuisance, particularly for recently joined members, but it will help us to establish a more accurate base. We will move to a twice-yearly payment system (30 June and 31 December) to establish a more organised process. Those members with renewal dates in the first six months of the year will pay on 30 June and those in the second six months will pay on 31 December. Please also complete the new payment and Gift Aid sections of the form and, if possible, complete the instruction to pay by direct debit (as opposed to credit/debit card or cheque). The change of date will be to membersâ€™ advantage. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that we will continue to unearth inaccuracies for a while to come. In summary, we have a clear picture of why the problems are occurring and we have a distinct and managed plan to address the shortcomings. Mike Lake Director-General
FEATURES â€“ Inside A selection of events and articles that deserve special attention for their significance to the ESU from the last three months.
Teaching Bolivian Street Children_10 ESU website relaunch_12 ESU Malta_14 ESU Turkey_16
TEACHING BOLIVIAN STREET CHILDREN This year, the South Wales branch of the English-Speaking Union has been sponsoring a very special young woman, 24 year-old Annie Syrett. Derek Morgan Chairman, South Wales branch
Annie studied Russian, Spanish and Interpreting at the University of Sheffield and, as part of her Spanish studies, spent six months in Santa Cruz, Bolivia working amongst street children. There are many tens of thousands of such children who either have no parents or other adult carers, or whose parents are too alcoholic, drug-addicted or poor to care for them, and who are alone, frightened and often starving on the streets. Alalay is the name of the poorly-funded Bolivian organisation with whom Annie worked and which encourages the children to leave the streets and lead normal family lives in cabins, each with a house-mother or father. Working amongst the children proved to be a life-changing experience for her as she realised that relatively little finance and a good deal of compassion went a long, long way in such an impoverished country, especially if any investment was carefully targeted. Since graduating in 2008, Annie has spent much of her time with these children and, because she was determined to make a difference to their lives, she founded her own registered charity in the UK named Friends of Alalay (Santa Cruz). DIALOGUE 10
The children themselves chose the name Alalay, meaning â€˜I am coldâ€™ in the Aymara language. However, it seemed incongruous to her that the street children survived by begging for money from others and then lived in an organisation that in turn worked by continually asking others for financial contributions, albeit for the best possible motives. Annie discussed with the Bolivian helpers how this circle of dependence could be broken and agreed that all of the funds that she raised would go to help the children become more independent, with no administration costs and with the overall objective, wherever possible, of establishing projects that would soon be self-funding. Leading by example, she set up a market garden for the children, paid for chickens and a herd of pigs, extended their bakery and bought them equipment to make their own school uniforms and clothes. They eat the eggs, bread and vegetables, wear the clothes they make, and sell the surplus at a profit. This way they learn the value of solving their problems by working their way out of poverty.
Annie with kids at the school in Santa Cruz
Annie also organised and personally helped to build a children’s playground, re-plumbed, re-roofed and decorated the children’s cabins, and is financially supporting several older children through their further education. Believing that education is critical for the children, Annie submitted to our branch committee a proposal to establish a teaching programme for 100 street children. We agreed to fund both the materials and the cost of a qualified teacher. As a result, an initial forty children are now learning English, which has the potential to fundamentally change their lives and future careers. The ability to communicate in English will make an enormous difference to their confidence and to their future education and job prospects.
children the opportunity to realise their potential. In addition, our colleagues in the Bristol branch are helping by supporting the renovation of an old building – to be known as “Casa de Bristol” – that will accommodate students from around the world who have volunteered to work with the street children, and also visiting school groups from the UK. It will additionally house a street children’s new medical centre, a library and classroom. Please take a look at the website at www.alalay.co.uk for further information.
As a committee, we look for three criteria to be met before we invest our funds – a credible and robust proposal, an agreed audit trail so that we can monitor progress and the assurance that the project fits well with the aims and objectives of the ESU. By supporting Annie’s work, in this way, we are building skills and confidence in communication and giving these
OUR RE-DESIGNED WEBSITE GOES LIVE August 2010 marked the launch of the re-designed ESU website at www.esu.org
This is the culmination of six months of consultation, re-structuring, design from The Click Design Consultants and building from Square Eye Ltd. It also signifies the beginning of better communication with schools, universities, alumni, members and the public. The re-launch of the website has given us the opportunity to think about how we communicate our mission as a charity. Annually, the ESU works with more than 15,000 children and university students, and is in contact with 3,000 schools and institutions. We put on over 100 events a year in Dartmouth House alone. We continue to build on our already successful programmes, scholarships and events, yet our focus on the best ways to publicise these has been a little lax. The all new www.esu.org gives a view of our work as never before. So what is different about this new site? Why do we need it? These were among the many questions we asked and were asked during the last six months as we started to dismantle and rebuild our home on the web. The internet has changed a lot since its birth in 1983 (www.howoldistheinternet.com). From a niche, techie obsession of the eighties, to the dotcom boom of the late nineties, the arrival of ‘web 2.0’ and the age of social networking, the character of the internet and the way we relate to it has changed hugely. With 70% of the UK’s households connected to the internet, we have moved DIALOGUE 12
from using a computer to type up school essays to using it as the conduit for our daily lives. People now use the internet to answer all their questions – “Where should I eat? How do I get there? What does this company do? What have I seen that actress in before? What’s the answer to 2 across?” And these days, if it’s not online, it’s not relevant. This is why we needed to shift our understanding of the purpose of the ESU website. In the past, it has been an addendum to the organisation. We need to understand that if people are interested in our projects, want to do something and aren’t sure where to go, or hear about the ESU and want to know more, the most likely thing they are going to do is search for us online. And now what they will find is a website that reflects our activities. The new website is divided into five different sections – news and events; programmes; members, partners and alumni; history and information about us. From the moment you land on the site you can see our latest news, images and video, as well as forthcoming events. This reflects our busy calendar – always having something exciting to report, yet always looking forward to the next event. The programmes’ section guides the user to the appropriate programme for their interest areas. Whether you are an entrant in our schools’ or universities’ competitions, interested in professional development training or
scholarships, you will be taken quickly to the part of the site that you require, while seeing the breadth of programmes we provide along the way.
whether that’s a branch Chairman, staff member, or winner of our competition. We don’t just want to tell the world about the ESU – we want to show you who is doing it.
The members, partners and alumni section takes the user to a micro-site for each of our UK branches and international ESUs, showing the latest news and events, populated by members. It also gives the user the opportunity to find out where their closest ESU branch is, and join the ESU. The alumni part of this section gives our alumni the chance to re-connect with those who did ESU programmes with them, write about their experiences and view photo albums of their courses and their reunions.
We have big plans for the new website. In the coming months, we will be building on the framework, adding video, audio and interactive content, while constantly updating our news and events. We welcome contributions from members, alumni and other users to make this site a source of information, forward-thinking and opinion made for our users and by our users.
The history section is part of the ongoing project to digitise and publicise the archived information the ESU has collected over its 90+ year history. We have such a remarkable heritage, and we want the world to know about it. Over the next year, we will be digitising content, uploading reports, video and photos from the past, and bringing it into the present – showing our members and visitors the role the ESU has played in making history. The ‘about us’ section brings personality to the site that was hidden before. It presents the staff and the departments of the ESU at Dartmouth House, giving a face to the name and making our work most personable. Personality is key with this new look ESU website, linking everything we do with a face, DIALOGUE 13
THE ESU FAMILY REACHES 52 – MALTA LAUNCHES Annette Fisher Head of International Programmes
Over a lunch in 2008, I met the then Maltese High Commissioner to London, Dr Michael Refalo. Michael was familiar with the ESU’s programmes and had been a loyal supporter of our work at Dartmouth House throughout his time in London. Michael informed me that he was retiring from the Maltese Foreign Office and would be returning to Malta. Some of our readers may recall that the ESU had done some work with Malta in the past, but a committee had never been established. He suggested that when he returned to Malta, we could work together to put together a committee of interested parties and develop a plan for opening an ESU in Malta.
Michael was true to his word and formed an excellent committee of people with a diverse skill set. The role of Chairman was taken by Martin Scicluna, a Maltese citizen who had spent many years working for the British government in London. Martin put together a programme of ESU activities in the country which fitted with the ESU’s international strategy and which addressed the needs of Malta. Over the past 18 months, Martin and his committee have worked tirelessly to implement what has proved to be a very effective programme, including debate and public speaking work and an English in Action scheme with primary schools.
1. Signing the Memorandum of Understanding; Mike Lake, Lord Watson, Minister of Education, Employment and Family Doleres Coistina, Martin Scicluna. 2. Arm of Support programme recite Three Little Kittens for the delegates 3. View over the ‘Three Cities’ from Valletta
Meetings and Partnerships
In late May, delegates from ESU member countries joined Dartmouth House staff and the Malta committee on a sunny evening in St Julian’s, an area just outside the capital, Valletta. This first evening was an opportunity to meet each other and to get to know the committee members but it was also a chance to hear from the British Deputy High Commissioner about the UK’s relations with Malta and an in-depth history of the island.
While the delegates enjoyed the beautiful islands and absorbed the history and culture of the country, the ESU staff helped the committee to form partnerships with local organisations and to increase its profile. ESU Director of Charitable Activities Martin Mulloy and I conducted a public speaking workshop with teachers from local schools to train students for the International Public Speaking Competition in 2011. Meetings with local partners included the Federation of English Language Teachers of Malta and the Dean of the University of Malta. The results were very positive and ESU staff are now working with the committee and its partners to hold an international conference on attitudes to English and to pilot a programme of mentor training with the university debate society.
The launch day was a packed programme starting with the speeches of welcome and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, followed by presentations by the ‘Arm of Support’ programme from primary school children, public speaking from high school students and a show debate by members of the university debating society. The day ended with a reception in the stunning setting of the British High Commissioner’s residence where an ESU flag was presented. Throughout the remainder of the programme, delegates enjoyed a cultural tour of the main island and also visited Gozo where the first branch of ESU Malta was launched.
Our thanks go to all the delegates who attended to support the launch and special thanks go to the committee of ESU Malta for organising such a successful launch. We wish them well with their programmes in the future and look forward to continue working with them.
ESU TURKEY LAUNCHES AND ITâ€™S 53!
1. Lord Hunt speaks at the launch ceremony about the growth of the ESU family and the importance of Turkey as a key strategic partner in the region 2. Lord Hunt and Riza Kadilar, Chairman of ESU Turkey sign the Memorandum of Understanding 3. Minarets in Istanbul 4. Evil eye amulets in the Grand Bazaar 5 The Grand Bazaar 6 City view of Istanbul across the sea of Marmara 7 Over 40 delegates travelled from across the world to welcome Turkey into the ESU family 8 The launch was kindly hosted by the British Consul-General in the beautiful garden of her residence. Look out for the full article and an interview with the Chairman of ESU Turkey in the next issue of dialogue.
ON THE HORIZON â€“ Inside We bring you details of events that are due to happen as we are about to go to press. A full report will appear in our next issue, and will be available online, but we want to share the excitement of the moment with you now.
Orient-Express Trips_18 International at Home_18 Connecting Classrooms_18 CfBT research project_19 ESU Autumn City Lunch Series_20
CONNECTING CLASSROOMS A new link between the ESU, British Council and schools at home and abroad
The ESU is delighted to offer a choice of regional fine dining experiences in partnership with Orient-Express. You will travel on either the British Pullman or Northern Belle. The dates and departure stations are: Sunday 21 November from Cardiff Wednesday 1 December from Cambridge Friday 17 December from Liverpool and from London A flyer is enclosed with this edition of dialogue. Contact Jo Wedderspoon for more details, firstname.lastname@example.org
The ESU is exploring the possibility of working with the British Council on its global initiative, ‘Connecting Classrooms’. This is a major project currently involving around 70 countries, which aims to “build lasting relationships between schools in the UK and schools around the world”. It currently involves schools in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ukraine, Colombia and others across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
INTERNATIONAL AT HOME WITH MEXICO
The objective is to foster genuine connections and partnerships between individual schools in the UK and schools globally, with teachers and pupils developing direct relationships – via the internet – and working on joint curriculum projects and areas of interest. International partnerships enrich the curriculum, improve skills, develop trust and understanding between young people in different cultures and help schools and local authorities meet core government education objectives.
For our third International at Home of the year, we have teamed up with the British Mexican Society to celebrate the bicentennial of Mexico’s independence. The guest of honour at the event will be His Excellency Eduardo Medina Mora, the Ambassador of Mexico to the Court of St James’. Guests from the diplomatic sector and members of London’s international community will join ESU members for coffee with an opportunity to learn more about the work of the ESU, hear a presentation from the Ambassador on his country and the independence day celebrations and enjoy a tour of Dartmouth House.
Initially, the ESU hopes to work with the British Council to set up links between UK schools and schools in Bangladesh. The British Council has around 100 Bangladeshi schools committed to the ‘Connecting Classrooms’ project and is seeking UK counterparts to forge links and relationships. We hope to support and encourage our branches to approach schools and local authorities around England and Wales to seek potential partners. We will contact branches over the next few months with full information regarding this project. Our hope is that we can expand the network of UK schools to establish connections with those other overseas countries, particularly where we have an active international ESU organisation.
Wednesday 13 October 2010, 10.30-11.30 am. Please register your interest with Annette Fisher, email@example.com
DOING THE RESEARCH: GETTING THE RESULTS The ESU prides itself on its history of promoting speech and debate training and competitions. From our public speaking competitions and school and university debating competitions, from ‘Discover Your Voice’ to the ‘Great Debate’ series, the ESU rightly considers itself the leading UK organisation in the field.
Moreover, we implicitly believe that speech and debate training delivers not only the confidence to speak in public but a range of other skills involving analysis, listening and understanding, clarity of thought and an appreciation of the importance of balanced discourse which are vital and valuable, particularly young people, as they progress through their education and career. But how much of a difference are we making? Are our methods valid? Is all of this just received wisdom? If we wish to project ourselves as the leading organisation in this field and to make claims for the benefits of speech and debate skills – especially in today’s far more competitive environment, where all claims are rightly subject to scrutiny – and, indeed, perhaps influence curriculum policy at a Department of Education level, then it might serve us well to base our beliefs and practices in well-founded empirical research. The ESU would then speak with expertise and authority.
The ESU is now working with CfBT Education Trust (see www.cfbt.com), one of the UK’s leading educational organisations dedicated to educational research and to providing education for public benefit. We plan to assess the impact of our speech and debate programmes in schools and to discover whether the overall standard of competency in oral skills improves as a consequence. We will seek evidence that there is definable and measurable improvement, not only in assumed areas of pupils’ confidence, listening skills and articulacy but in the specific attainment goals in speaking and listening in the National Curriculum and National Strategies. We intend to put the research project out to tender in September and for the Speech and Debate team at the ESU and CfBT to work with the successful academic research institute in the coming year. Results and findings will be discussed in future editions of dialogue. The final research report will be published by CfBT.
ESU AUTUMN CITY LUNCH SERIES – A Reflection On the Election Following the success of the Spring City Lunches with the theme of the general election 2010, where our guest speakers were Lord Mandelson, Dr Vince Cable MP and Andrew Mitchell MP, our Autumn City Lunches will focus on how the events of the election, and the resulting coalition government, are now affecting Great Britain. Our guest speakers are all alumni of the ESU and each covered the general election closely. The lunches are designed to be intimate, with a maximum of only 40 guests, to enable the chairman of the lunch to put questions from the audience directly to our guest speakers in a Q&A session during coffee.
Quentin Letts – 13 October Quentin Letts is currently the Daily Mail’s Parliamentary sketch writer. He also contributes to publications as diverse as the News of the World and Horse and Hound magazine, as well as regularly appearing on television programmes such as This Week, Newsnight, Have I Got News for You and Question Time. Quentin has spent much of his career writing and editing newspaper diaries, including the Evening Standard’s ‘Londoner’s Diary’ and four years at the helm of the Daily Telegraph’s ‘Peterborough’ column. After a stint as the Telegraph’s New York correspondent, in 1991 Quentin became the editor of ‘Peterborough’. After another posting to New York, but this time as correspondent for The Times in 1997, Quentin returned to the UK and was given his first taste of sketch-writing at the Daily Telegraph by then editor Max Hastings. After four years as a parliamentary columnist at the Telegraph, in 2001 Letts was lured to the Daily Mail by editor Paul Dacre to revive parliamentary sketches in the paper. A self-proclaimed middle-class man, Quentin Letts is known for his sharp wit and logical arguments in his columns and sketches. In 1980 Quentin Letts received a Bell Scholarship (Chautauqua) from the EnglishSpeaking Union, studying at the world-renowned institution in New York state.
Sophie Loussouarn – 27 October Sophie Loussouarn is an alumna of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm) and Wadham College, Oxford University. She graduated from the Institute of Political Science in Paris and is an expert on British politics and economics. She lectures at the Sorbonne in Paris, at the University of Amiens and at the University of Alicante. She has written a textbook on British institutions called Definitely British Absolutely American and a book on the British economy since 1945, L’économie britannique depuis 1945 : Son rôle et son avenir dans le cadre européen. Her book The Political Odyssey of Tony Blair was published in January 2009 and her book on David Cameron, A Conservative of the 21st Century followed in June 2010. She covered the general election for French television.
Michael Crick – 3 November Michael Crick is a journalist, biographer and broadcaster. Born in 1958, Michael was educated at Manchester Grammar School and New College, Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Union, edited Cherwell and founded the Oxford Handbook. After two years as a trainee journalist with ITN, he was a founder member of Channel 4 News in 1982, and later served as the programme’s Washington correspondent. He joined the BBC in 1990, first as a reporter on Panorama. Since 1992 he has worked part-time for Newsnight, where he has a reputation for pursuing politicians. He won a Royal Television Society award in 1989, and another in 2002 for his Panorama special on Jeffrey Archer. Michael Crick’s first book, Militant (Faber, 1984), is still acknowledged as the definite account of how the Trotskyist Militant Tendency infiltrated the Labour Party. This was followed by Scargill and the Miners (Penguin, 1985) and Manchester United: The Betrayal of a Legend (Pelham, 1989). More recently he has examined the lives of three highly controversial public figures, with Jeffrey Archer, Stranger than Fiction (Hamish Hamilton, 1995); Michael Heseltine: A Biography (Hamish Hamilton, 1997) and The Boss: The Many Sides of Alex Ferguson (Simon and Schuster, 2002). He has also compiled Manchester United: The Complete Fact Book (Profile, 1999). He was subsequently Vice Chairman of Shareholders United, and served on the Manchester United Fans’ Forum. He attends nearly every United match. In 1975, Michael was on the winning team from Manchester Grammar School for Boys in the ESU Public Speaking Competition for Schools.
– The lunches will start with drinks at 12.30pm, where guests will be invited to
write their question to the speaker on a card. Lunch will be served at 1pm followed by a Q&A session during coffee. We anticipate that the lunches will be finished by 2.45 pm. For more details, please contact Jo, firstname.lastname@example.org
OPERATIONAL DEPARTMENTS ARE CONSOLIDATED Key areas of the ESU’s charitable activity have been subject to staff re-organisation and strategic review with the overall aim of improving performance, reach and impact. Everything is now consolidated and focused within three main areas: Speech and Debate; Education; Marketing and Communications; and Fundraising and Development. Speech and Debate (S&D) is, of course, well-established as the focus for all our competitions, training, events. Future developments in this area are core to the ESU’s purpose. The ESU also has a wide range of educational programmes, particularly scholarships and exchanges; a range of awards, from the Duke of Edinburgh ESU English language awards to the Marsh Trust book awards; and finally several major educational activities and conferences such as English in Action, the Globe Cultural Seminar and the Shakespeare Study Course in Stratford-upon-Avon. To bring more energy and focus to these vital areas, these will all now be consolidated within the Education department headed by Gillian Parker. To bring a greater focus and developing expertise in the areas of publications, website and online developments, public relations and all-round marketing abilities, there is now a Marketing and Communications (M&C) department led by Hanna Cevik. A huge amount of refreshing new work has already been done, in the area of ESU publications and image, and similar work is now underway in the creation of a new ESU website, with vastly improved appearance and functionality. Our new ESU website will contain all staff contact details and areas of responsibility. The Marketing & Communications department will also focus, in the future, on the development of a media and PR capability and greater marketing expertise. These are early but vital steps for the ESU’s future and how it relates to its audiences, stakeholders, beneficiaries and the world at large.
Jo Wedderspoon has been promoted to Head of Fundraising and Development. A new team has been created to coordinate the fundraising efforts of the ESU through corporates, public bodies, trust funds, members and alumni. The team will also co-ordinate the development of ESU relations with our members, alumni and the public through events and the management of the ESU database. There are three other members of this team: Narissa Nelson, our Database Officer, and two other new members of staff who we will introduce to you in December’s dialogue - an Events Manager and an Alumni and Development Officer. All enquiries or comments regarding fundraising, events, the database and alumni should be directed to the Fundraising and Development team. Meriel Talbot, Director of Membership and Branches, will continue to oversee all membership and branch activities The purpose of this new alignment of departments is twofold. Firstly, to build on the ESU’s declared educational aims, particularly in the range of scholarships, internships and exchanges we offer, and to explore new programmes for the future, some in partnership with organisations such as the British Council. Secondly, we want to bring a new commitment to the role of events in our overall activity, particularly for raising the ESU’s profile in its various stakeholder audiences – members, alumni, young people, schools, the public and so on – and to develop an exciting mix of events which attracts new audiences and beneficiaries and can contribute to critical general fund-raising.
PROGRAMMES â€“ Inside News and events from the programmes that the ESU runs from Dartmouth House.
International Relations Conference_28
Globe Cultural Seminar_30
Stratford Study Course_33
John Smith Memorial Mace_24
Capitol Hill Reunion_25
House of Lords Tea Party_35
International Public Speaking Competition 2011_25
Great Climate Change Debate_36
Debate Mentor Programme_25 Debate Work With Schools_26 Alumni Open House_27 Secondary School Exchange Arrivals_27
Great Tudor Debate_38 Great Football Debate_39 London Debate Challenge finals_41 Debate Academy_42 American Memorial Chapel Grant_43 Granta_44 From the Archives_46
KATHERINE LEAVES US Katherine Plummer will be leaving ESU in September to begin a teaching degree, as a precursor to what we confidently believe will be a very successful career in teaching. Katherine joined ESU in September 2004 and has made an invaluable contribution to the success of Education programmes, in particular, the SSE scholarships and English in Action. Her calm efficiency has ensured that the Buckingham Palace award ceremonies have been a pleasure for everyone involved and we are all very much aware she will be a tough act to follow (let’s hope HRH doesn’t notice her absence). Good Luck Katherine from everyone at the ESU!
NEW COMPETITIONS OFFICER Éamon Chawke joins Speech and Debate as Competitions Officer. Éamon has recently moved from Ireland to the UK, having completed an undergraduate degree in Law and Irish and a postgraduate degree in Law. He has also achieved seven First Class Honours results in Speech and Drama with the Leinster School of Music and Drama. At university, Éamon was involved in competitive and non-competitive speech and debate with the UCC Philosophical Society. He served as Director of Finance and Procurement for the World Universities Debating Championships in 2009. This tournament is the largest student event in the world and was the largest conferencing event in Ireland in 2009. He will have responsibility for the running of the Schools Mace, the Public Speaking Competition for Schools and the International Public Speaking Competition.
NATIONAL MOOTING COMPETITION The team from Oxford University is the winner of this year’s ESU – Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition. It is the first time that this university has won the coveted silver mace. Hannah Noyce and Emily MacKenzie beat Dylan Gee and Henry Oliver, representing BPP Law School in the prestigious evening final, which was held in the President’s Court of the Royal Courts of Justice on 29 June. The ESU – Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition, which is now in its 38th year, attracted entries from 57 teams this year. The final was judged by a panel chaired by the Honourable Justice Garry Downes AM, Judge of the Federal Court of Australia. David Mildon QC and Tim Eicke, both of Essex Court Chambers assisted him. In a moot, two pairs of ‘advocates’ argue a fictitious legal appeal case in front of a ‘judge’. To win, you do not necessarily have to win the legal case, but must make the best presentation of your legal arguments. Entries for this year’s competition are open, details and registration are available on the ESU website www.esu.org/universities.
2010/2011 JOHN SMITH MEMORIAL MACE Entries will soon open for this year’s John Smith Memorial Mace National Debating Championships. The competitions, which are run in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England, pick the university debating teams that will contest this year’s international final, to be held in Dublin in April. DIALOGUE 24
The English Mace takes place on the weekend of 26 - 27 November, with the initial rounds hosted at Pimlico Academy. The semi-finals and final are held at Dartmouth House. For more information see the John Smith Memorial Mace page at www.esu.org/universities
ESU ALUMNI CAPITOL HILL REUNION 2010
ESU INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC SPEAKING COMPETITION DATES ANNOUNCED The final of the ESU International Public Speaking Competition will run 23 – 27 May 2011. The theme is ‘Words are Not Enough’. For details of the dates and themes of the ESU’s national competitions in individual countries, please contact your local ESU.
On 9 July alumni from the ESU Parliamentary Exchange Programme (Capitol Hill) enjoyed a warm, English summer evening sipping Pimms in the courtyard of Dartmouth House. The alumni, a mixed group from the last 20 years, caught up with old friends and renewed their association with the ESU. We were particularly pleased to see Alice Rowlands (2004) who has just returned to the UK from Canada with her fiancée Jonathan. We send them our very best wishes for their forthcoming marriage.
In 2010, we welcomed 76 participants from 45 countries to the final in London, with the grand prize being taken home by Moataz Elisrawi from Lebanon. We look forward to welcoming more participants in 2011 for an even bigger and better competition!
NEW DEBATE MENTORS PROGRAMME With the start of the new school year, the Speech and Debate team are preparing the launch of a new ESU mentor programme. Under this scheme, university students from the UK will receive extensive training on how to teach debating and public speaking. In addition, they will have access to new online resources. These newly-trained ESU mentors will assist the ESU in meeting the increased demand for the delivery of Discover Your Voice sessions in schools throughout the UK.
Our host for the evening was Braxton Moncure, former President of the ESU-US branch in Washington. Braxton forms strong links with the ESU interns when they are in Washington and enjoys catching up with them when he is in London. The ESU is very grateful to him for his continued support and generosity.
A 50% discount is available to branches who wish to book a Discover Your Voice training session for a school in their local area. For more details please contact email@example.com
“I love seeing the kids, how they’ve grown and what they are doing with their lives.” Braxton Moncure (centre of the photo).
A ROUND-UP OF OUR WORK WITH SCHOOLS Young minds develop. Preconceptions change. Opinions are formed and reformed. Young people gain the opportunity to engage with the issues that dominate the society in which they live and develop the skills necessary to vocalise their opinions. The value of the work that the ESU does with secondary school students cannot be understated. Through competitive and non-competitive activities and events, the public speaking and debating abilities of thousands of young people all over the UK are enhanced. Debate Academy In July, the ESU ran ‘Debate Academy’, a three-day training programme where expert tutors run workshops providing students with key debating and public speaking skills in preparation for this year’s debating and public speaking competitions. For a full report, see p40. Schools Mace The ESU Schools Mace is the oldest and most prestigious debating competition in the world. It is open to teams of two students from Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 (ages 11-19). Last year, the Mace saw approximately 800 students from over 400 schools compete. Registration for this year’s competition closes in October. The first round of the competition will take place before the end of January, the regional final days will be held by the end of March and the national final will take place around Easter. The Mace provides students with an opportunity to debate a range of controversial topics in the areas of law, politics, economics, culture and global affairs. Students develop their ability to consider all aspects of a debate and advocate for their side. The competition also develops the students’ ability to think on their feet and engage with arguments on the opposing side of the debate. This year, the final of the ESU Schools Mace will be held in Ireland and held in conjunction with the final of the John Smith Memorial Mace, which is the equivalent competition for universities in the UK. DIALOGUE 26
Public Speaking Competition for Schools The ESU Public Speaking Competition for Schools is administered by Dartmouth House and run by the branches. It is open to teams of three students from Key Stage 4 (ages 14-16). Each team member takes the role of chairperson, speaker or questioner. The ESU Public Speaking competition celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and attracted 365 teams from all over the UK. In contrast to the ESU Schools Mace, the public speaking competition uses a non-confrontational format. It develops students’ confidence to speak in public and enhances their verbal communication abilities. Participants also gain an opportunity to develop their research and analysis skills, exploring a wide range of topics. By this time next year, a future MP may have spoken in public for the first time or a future barrister may have argued his inaugural case. Alumni include Rory Bremner, Sandy Toksvig and Anita Anand. Registration for this year’s competition will remain open until 1 October. The contest will start late in the autumn term, the regional finals will be completed by the middle of the spring term and the final will take place on Saturday 7 May at Goodenough College, in London. The ESU Schools Mace and the ESU Schools Public Speaking competitions help prepare some of the brightest young minds in the UK for their future careers. The entire organisation plays a role in that preparation; from the organisers in Dartmouth House, to the branch members who give up their time to help arrange and run competitions, to the mentors and teachers who pass on their knowledge and skills to young people. This makes the competition uniquely valuable. Its potential for inspiration and mentoring is wide ranging and often results in amazing opportunities.
ALUMNI OPEN HOUSE
Twenty-five alumni and guests came to our first Alumni Open House evening on 27 July. The warm evening allowed everyone to wander into the courtyard from the bar. Soon there was a lively crowd catching up with each othersâ€™ news. The diversity of our alumni was demonstrated by the attendance of both an SSE alumnus from 1956 and a Walter Hines Page Scholarship alumna
from 2008. Alumni always enjoy coming back to Dartmouth House and remembering when they first came for their interviews. Several commented on the beauty of the building and enjoyed using the facilities in the evening. It prompted several to sign up as full members of the ESU.
We are opening Dartmouth House from 6-9 pm on the last Tuesday of every month for alumni to come in for a drink. All alumni are encouraged to come whether on their own, with fellow alumni or just with friends â€“ the atmosphere is informal and there is no need to book. The next meeting is on Tuesday 28 September.
US STUDENTS WELCOMED AS BRITS FLY OUT Fifteen schools across the UK will have an addition to their classrooms this autumn as they are joined by an American student. The students arrived throughout late August and early September and were able to stay with host families who are alumni of the programme.
They will get together at Dartmouth House for a Thanksgiving dinner in November. There are also fourteen British students flying over to the States on the threeterm exchange with more expected to go in January as part of the two-term exchange. The new three term scholars
had a briefing day on the 2 July where they were given guidance and tips from alumni and ESU staff. The occasion gave them the chance to get to know each other and add each other on Facebook! A full report can be found at www.esu.org/sse
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS CONFERENCE Who: 30 delegates from 24 countries What: a CPD conference themed on Global Challenges Where: Mansfield College, Oxford When: 8-15 August Annette Fisher, Head of International
As August rolled around again, I found myself sitting in the little office in Mansfield College with a box of delegate packs and flags. It was 2pm on Sunday afternoon and I was waiting for the delegates of the 2010 Conference to arrive. I couldn’t help but remember the same day last year when I was waiting for the 2009 delegates. At the start of the week, they were just names and countries in a list but by the last day we have all made friends from over 25 countries. And so they started to arrive – from Serbia, Cyprus and Ghana and as far afield as Bangladesh: no longer a list of names but nervous and excited delegates from every continent of the world. And so the week began... After a quick briefing session, the delegates joined ESU staff for dinner with guest speaker Sir Christopher Meyer who spoke to them about the importance of diplomacy in today’s world as it faces so many global challenges.
Day 1 Delegates discussed which of the different economic development models adopted by China and Latin America was more successful and which was more likely to be effective. Over the lunch they were still discussing the different merits of the two models and by this point questions had arisen as to whether or not there even were models! The morning session was juxtaposed by culture and history as the delegates explored Oxford and its colleges, making sure they caught all the ‘Harry Potter’ moments on camera! Day 2 Terrorism and conflict were the themes of the day and delegates heard from expert lecturers from the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. In the afternoon, ESU staff were joined by a facilitator from the Directory of Social Change who challenged the delegates with questions relating to what they had learnt about terrorism. Day 3 ESU alumnus and world debating champion turned Africa expert, James Dray, introduced the delegates to the issues facing voter turn-out in sub-Saharan Africa. Delegates added to the post-lecture discussion by explaining what issues voters faced in their countries. After lunch, it was straight into London for an afternoon walk around the major sites during which ESU staff ‘explained’ some little-known facts about our national monuments – “Did you know that the bell in Big Ben was stolen by highway robbers during the Great Fire of London?!” The day ended with a sensational dinner at Dartmouth House where delegates were joined by the teachers attending
the ESU’s ‘Shakespeare and His Stage’ cultural seminar in association with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, sponsors of the two programmes and actors from the Globe. All agreed that the atmosphere over dinner was “magical.” Day 4 The delegates were asked to concentrate on the human consequences of climate change in different regions across the world. Dan Smith and Constantinos Kerigan-Kyrou took the audience on a journey through the topic, examining the problems and discussing some of the possible solutions. Over the afternoon session the delegates split into regional-based groups and discussed what actions were being taken in their countries to combat climate change and what more they, as individuals, and their regions could do. Day 5 Jason Vit and Steve Nolan from ESU Speech and Debate travelled up to the college to work with the delegates on their presentation skills and to help them improve their confidence in communicating complex subjects to diverse audiences. They rounded off the morning with some debate-related games to get them warmed up for the afternoon workshops. And then, out of nowhere, it was suddenly the end of the week and the closing dinner was upon us. In five days the list of names in everyone’s packs had transformed into friends and contacts across the world and the ESU’s alumni network had gained 30 fantastic and passionate individuals.
What Would We Do? During the week of the International Relations Conference, delegates were asked to form groups and discuss what actions they thought should be taken to combat terrorism and climate change. Here’s what the 2010 representatives thought: Terrorism and Armed Conflict Individual Actions: • Educate young people about extremism and terrorism through speech and debate • Campaign against counter-productive anti-terrorism policies • Empower and educate local communities to combat against terrorism and extremism at a local level • Provide constructive opportunities for people to voice their opinions in a safe and non-violent manner • Donate money to support anti-terrorist organisations
Government Actions: • Promote responsible journalism and media practices • Initiate pro-active and positive anti-terrorism programmes • Combat drug trafficking and money laundering • Improve internal state control of extremist groups • Increase and promote the integration and cohesion of migrants
International Actions: • Enhance multilateralism between states and improve the coordination of the international community • Promote inter and intra-cultural exchange • Strictly control the private production of weapons • Reduce the economic inequality between states and enhance cooperation • Increase international financial monitoring and control
Climate Change • Promote the implementation of e-government which would reduce the use of paper and increase the use of technology • Investment in green technology and green jobs • Development of effective urban planning • While the developed nations might have caused the problem, all states should seek to combat climate change as members of a global community • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of institutions within states to mitigate and prevent against the consequences of climate change • Raise awareness that being green is ‘cool’ and that the compromises to life style needed to reduce CO2 emissions will have widespread positive social impact • Promote regional green energy cooperation
SHAKESPEARE AND HIS STAGE: GLOBE CULTURAL SEMINAR In August, a one week course took place at Shakespeare’s Globe providing thirty teachers from 30 countries, whose second language is English, with insights into approaching teaching creatively in the classroom.
During the course of the week, delegates attended three of the Globe’s productions including Henry VIII, Henry IV Part I and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Delegates had the opportunity to meet with members of the Globe Theatre Company to explore how productions are conceived and mounted. The teachers also had the chance to talk about and debate the places of Shakespeare in their respective countries and classrooms including discussions: ‘Shakespeare in Several Classrooms’ and ‘Shakespeare in Several Tongues’ led by Director of Globe Education, Patrick Spottiswoode. Here is what one delegate, Carmel Sammut from Malta, had to say about his experience at Shakespeare’s Globe…
Expectations for this week at the Globe were very high as I was looking forward to the interaction with international delegates who had all a common interest in Shakespeare and his works. I was looking forward to the practical approaches of the workshops on the plays’ texts. The fact that all the delegates, hailing from 30 worldwide countries, were living together at Bankside House made it easier for us to socialise as in the mornings we met for breakfast and it was a good time to relax and speak about what we had gone through the previous day. There was a good mix of university academics, sixth form teachers, drama teachers and also actors. This balance of people who came from different approaches to Shakespeare and his work meant that there was an amalgamation of those who appreciated theory and others who were more in favour of a practical DIALOGUE 30
approach. In fact this proved to be very beneficial when it came to workshops and seminars as delegates could voice their opinions and concerns according to their line of work. It was interesting to find out that some countries have dropped Shakespeare studies completely from their school syllabus and how this has impacted their education system. Many of the workshops were very practical and interactive. I mainly appreciated Yolanda Vazquez’s methods of working hands on with Shakespeare’s texts. She provided us with workshops that brought together words and physical exercises which could help students feel the rhythm of Shakespeare’s language in their body. It was intriguing to map out Macbeth’s dagger speech according to the iambic pentameter rhythm and come up with a cardiograph which visibly shows Macbeth’s erratic heartbeat as he grapples with his dilemma of killing King Duncan. She also provided exercises that focused on the use of pronouns and proper nouns in the certain texts which connected with the fact that characters are made up by what they say about others, what is said about them and what they say about themselves. Rather than a ‘read and learn’ approach or lecturing to the students, it is important to make the word come alive.
Shakespeare’s language strange to grapple with as even his contemporaries would have found many of the words that he used as foreign to their everyday conversation. It was interesting to understand how Shakespeare’s language provided evidence of an Italian and English clash of cultures. English’s use of monosyllabic words directly contrasted with the use of polysyllabic Italian words. An example used is the name ‘Katerina’ and ‘Kate’ Petruchio: Good morrow, Kate; for that’s your name, I hear. Katharina: Well have you heard, but something hard of hearing: They call me Katharina that do talk of me. It seems that what is happening here is not merely a quarrel between male and female, Kate and Petrucchio, but also a cultural conflict represented by the British lad who is trying to tame the Italianised girl. These were the kind of interpretations that raised a lot of debate and which made for Patrick Spottiswoode’s sessions to be an international dialogue about Shakespeare’s use of language.
Glynn MacDonald is an inspirational movement instructor
Other sessions with Patrick led us to talk about Shakespeare
whose workshops on archetypes in Shakespeare’s plays made everybody take on the roles of the sovereign, the trickster, the warrior and the lovers. Glynn provided us with insights in how many of these archetypes can be merged together as characters could be regal but hypocritical or warriors with a conscience. Her approach might be more beneficial to actors but certainly can be applied to character interpretation in a classroom or a lecture. Jungian archetypes provide a psychological guide to these characters who do not merely remain words on paper.
in translation. This topic proved to be one of the highlights even during the dinner we had at Dartmouth House. This was a lovely evening in which we got to relax, eat lovely food and also interact with the delegates from the International Relations Conference. Amidst all the global interactions, a tour of ESU London headquarters, and introductions to the sponsors of the event, we had the chance of sounding our language to those present through Shakespeare’s first sonnet from Romeo and Juliet. Maltese was one of the twelve languages chosen to be spoken at this event. It was a magical moment when the males spoke Romeo’s lines on first meeting Juliet in their own tongue and Juliet replied in her own.This moment obviously led to further discussion during one of the sessions about the problems arising in Shakespeare’s work in translation. This was a topic that intrigued me personally as I had formed my own opinions of how the verse and rhythm in Shakespeare’s language can sometimes create
Our seminars with Patrick Spottiswoode made us more aware of the development of the English language as is evident in Shakespeare’s works. Shakespeare is believed to have coined many words which in his own time would have been considered new. This proved to be a revelation to discover that probably it is not only our students who would find
an added artificiality when it comes to translating his works into Maltese. This observation was shared by other delegates when they spoke about translations in their own language. Some mentioned that translators in their language did away completely with the verse and instead translated everything in prose which gave a more natural ring to the words but obviously lost the richness of the rhythm. The programme included many different aspects related to Shakespeare and his works. One cannot fail to mention the visit to the backstage of the Globe which quickly puts to rest any mystification one might have of Shakespeare’s plays. Two other interesting sessions were those about costumes and music used on stage in Shakespeare’s days. We met James Bisgood, a Globe musician, who brought us a vast variety of instruments which we could actually touch, play and hear. He explained the development of each instrument and how it would have been used to create an atmospheric effect in the plays. Jenny Tiramani, a theatre costume historian provided us with insights into the art of costume making in the 16th and 17th Century and we got an idea of how costumes were handed down from seasoned actors to young boy actors who were apprenticed to theatre companies. An unforgettable day was when we were divided into small groups, given a ticket for the London underground, directions and maps and were instructed to go and find salient representations of Shakespeare in streets, squares, museums and other venues around central London. This proved an occasion for group members to get to know each
other better, realise how strongly present Shakespeare is in everyday London and also an interesting way of getting out and about for those who were in London for the first time. This happened on the second day of the encounter and it was beneficial for the entire group as this proved a very good way how to break the ice and make members open up. Obviously one cannot fail to mention the performances at the Globe which left us reeling with enthusiasm about Shakespeare’s plays. I would urge anyone who thinks that Shakespeare belongs to the past to attend to one of the present performances at the Globe and they would quickly change their mind. Even standing in the Globe courtyard for a three-hour performance did nothing to detract from my complete involvement in the play. Overall I would recommend this experience to anyone who asks me about it. It was a valuable week which taught me new information, approaches, and insights into Shakespeare and his works. I have been teaching Shakespeare for a long time and this proved to be a fresh injection of ideas which have renewed my interest and will certainly have a long term impact on my teaching and approach to this great playwright and his works. Thank you to the team at Globe Education as always for providing an unforgettable week for our group with their expertise and invaluable insights into the life and work of Shakespeare. Thank you also to the Bath & District Branch, Salisbury Branch, Epping Forest Branch and Cambridge ESOL for their invaluable contributions to the course.
SUPPORT for Summer Seminars In response to our appeal in the June edition of dialogue for funding for the summer seminars, we received support from the following branches: ESU Oxford branch, ESU Epping Forest branch, ESU Bath and District branch and ESU Hertfordshire branch We would like to thank the members of those branches for their support of the summer seminars. We also received support from Cambridge ESOL, The Best Family Fund Drue Heinz Trust, The Swile Auditable Trust
STUDY COURSE: A FEAST OF LANGUAGES
Dr Nick Walton, Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, writes about the ESU Shakespeare Study Course in Stratford-upon-Avon which took place in August. Nineteen delegates from 17 countries attended.
I’ve just waved goodbye to a remarkable group of people. It is often said that Shakespeare can bring people together – and that has certainly been the case in Stratford over the last week. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the EnglishSpeaking Union, teachers, theatre practitioners and university students from Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Hong Kong, India, Latvia, Malta, Mauritius, Denmark, Portugal, Russia, Tajikstan, Turkey, and the USA, have had the chance to spend a week immersed in all matters Shakespearian - they have moved from “speaking sugar’d” sonnets, to saucy speculation about Shakespeare’s sex life! For some this was their first trip to England, and their visit to his birthplace marked the fulfilment of a lifetime ambition. For others this course provided their first opportunity to hear Shakespeare’s plays performed in the
English language. And for me, this global gathering represented a rare opportunity to hear first hand about Shakespeare’s influence across continents and cultures. It is a rare privilege to discuss Shakespeare’s works with an audience of this kind. Casual conversation about Shakespeare’s plays soon slips into anecdotes about ways in which language, culture, and tradition play a significant role in shaping an individual’s response to drama. The RSC’s Complete Works Festival in 2006/7 gave me an appetite for global Shakespeare, and I am always excited by news of Shakespearian happenings outside of the UK. Each delegate comes with a story about how he or she was introduced to Shakespeare and perhaps more importantly an idea of how they wish to inspire and excite the next DIALOGUE 33
generation of readers and theatregoers. We can all learn such a great deal from one another through conversation – ‘only connect…’ as E.M. Forster wrote.
performed to great acclaim. By the 1980s the entire canon had been translated by Valery Petrov and these translations continue to serve as the standard text for performance.
One of our guests this week was Sava Dragunchev from Bulgaria. Sava is a company actor at Bulgaria’s National Theatre which was founded in 1904. Sava has recently played the role of the King in Love’s Labour’s Lost, and is currently performing in a production of King Lear. The production has a renowned Bulgarian actor in the title role and at the age of 81, this performer is the true embodiment of Lear’s “four score” king. The play is performed against a backdrop of metal walls, lending the production a tough, unsettling atmosphere. Naturally, Sava was interested to hear about the RSC’s current production of the play and it was interesting to compare some of the choices the two companies have made for major scenes.
Like Sava, all of the people on this course had interesting tales to tell, and my next couple of blogs will feature contributions from other members of the course. Watch this space for upcoming blogs on Shakespeare in Maltese and translating Shakespeare for performance in Bangladesh. These can be found on www.bloggingshakespeare.com
A quick flick through The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, edited by Stanley Wells and Michael Dobson, tells us that Shakespeare’s name first appeared in print in Bulgaria in 1858. Curiously the first reference to Shakespeare’s name in Bulgaria was ‘in relation to weather conditions in the British Isles’, rather than with reference to any of his plays.
Thank you to all of the members of this year’s international delegation – it was a pleasure and a privilege to spend time in your company, share in your stories, and learn from your experiences of working with Shakespeare in ’a feast of languages’. You will be missed, but hopefully we will meet again. The ESU would like to express its thanks to the administrative team at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust without which the course could not run, and to the education team at the Birthplace Trust: Dr Nick Walton, Dr Paul Edmondson, Professor Stanley Wells CBE and others who gave the delegates a fantastic week of lectures and discussions.
It appears that the first amateur performance of Romeo and Juliet took place in 1868, and since that date Shakespeare’s plays, particularly his comedies and tragedies have often been
US TOUR Squad SELECTED This year’s ESU-US tour participants have been chosen by Dartmouth House. Representing the UK will be Lewis Iwu, former World Universities Debating Champion and Mary Nugent, former Director of Debating at the Cambridge
Union. The tour, which runs over a two month period, will see them visit dozens of US colleges and schools, performing teaching and mentoring duties as well as taking part in many public debates.
Lord Hunt with a group of business people studying at International House Executive Secretary with Director of IH Executive Centre Maurice Cassidy
L-R: Madame Beatrix de Montgermont-Keil, National President of ESU France, Lord Hunt and Garo Keheyan, Chairman of ESU Cyprus
Alumni of the SSE programme
HOUSE OF LORDS TEA PARTY The House of Lords Tea Party was held on 6 July, kindly hosted by ESU Chairman Lord Hunt. The annual event is a great opportunity for ESU members from across the UK and the globe to meet and have afternoon tea on the terrace of the House of Lords. This year, nine of the UK ESU branches were represented including Brighton and Hove & District, Canterbury & East Kent, Colchester, Eastbourne, Hertfordshire, London Region, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Taunton & District. We were also fortunate to welcome some of our members from our overseas branches as well as representatives from International House from Argentina, Brazil, Cyprus, France, Germany, Japan, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland and the US.
The event additionally affords an opportunity to thank some of the volunteers who very generously donate their time to ESU education programmes.They include volunteers from the English in Action scheme which helps non-native English speakers to gain confidence and skills in understanding and speaking English. Members who attend the gathering are able to meet some alumni from the SSE programme who have who have most recently returned from the States. The House of Lords Tea Party was a great success and a perfect start to the summer with tea, sandwiches and plenty of cakes. Please look out for the next yearâ€™s date early next year. DIALOGUE 35
GREAT CLIMATE CHANGE DEBATE
The Great Climate Change Debate on 22 June heralded the beginning of a new partnership between the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and ESU Speech and Debate. Eighteen schools came to the historic headquarters of the RGS in Kensington to learn about and debate the issues surrounding climate change. Students were treated to a series of expert workshops. The first involved a thought-provoking and challenging experience on climate change delivered by Kate Amis, Manager of the Societyâ€™s Geography Ambassadors Programme. As part of the session, students took part in an activity to ask which countries hold the most responsibility for causing change. This provoked a lively discussion regarding where responsibility for solving the problems associated with climate change lay. Some students felt that it should lie with
developed states that had benefitted from the industries associated with causing global warming whilst others argued for a shared global approach. Following this session, students were taught how to debate in a series of exciting and interactive seminars. Expert mentors from ESU Speech and Debate helped guide students who had little or no experience of debate to be able to confidently present their ideas in the afternoon. The young people were remarkably enthusiastic during the sessions and all of the mentors commented on how willing the students were to get involved. Next, students divided into their school teams and participated in two debates judged by our mentors. They confronted issues regarding whether science or a change in human behaviour holds the answer to solving climate change
and whether responsibility for combating climate change lies with the developed world. To ensure suspense levels were kept suitably high, students were given supportive feedback on their debate performances but the results were not released until the two teams breaking to the final were announced. The day culminated in a spectacular debate in the beautiful setting of the Royal Geographical Societyâ€™s prestigious Ondaatje Lecture Theatre. In front of a packed auditorium of students and observers, teams from St. Marylebone and Godolphin and Latymer schools clashed on the topic â€˜This House would ban the eating of meatâ€™. After a long adjudication and on a 3-2 split decision, the adjudicators declared St. Marylebone School the winners of the competition. Congratulations to all the fantastic students that took part in this event. DIALOGUE 37
GREAT TUDOR DEBATE The Great Tudor Debate took place at Hampton Court Palace on 5 July.
The first Great Tudor Debate was attended by students from sixth form colleges around the UK, including St. Edwards School, Darrick Wood School, the ESSA Academy, Sutton Grammar School for Boys, The Park School and Doctor Challoner’s Grammar School; picked by an open application process. Along with debates on whether ‘King Henry VIII was right to divorce Catherine of Aragon’, and ‘Cardinal Woolsey was the architect of his own downfall’, the students and their teachers were treated to tours of the impressive palace and an exclusive audience with Cardinal Woolsey himself (fortunately played by an actor).
Participants ranged from keen debaters to those with an academic interest in the Tudor period. They all hugely enjoyed the opportunity to speak in the rooms of the palace, in front of Royal Collection paintings, a chance not usually available to education groups visiting Hampton Court Palace. The day’s events resulted in several prizes being given for Best Speech, Best Point of Information and Best Use of Facts. Deborah Bayliss, teacher at Darrick Wood School, commented afterwards that the tour was fascinating, and the day really engaged her students. The Great Tudor Debate will be part of the coming school year’s calendar of Great Debate events. Full information on that calendar is available at www.esu.org/events
GREAT FOOTBALL DEBATE The Speech and Debate team, in partnership with West Ham United FC and Tottenham Hotspur Learning Centres, ran the first football themed Great Debate
The final ‘Great Debate’ of this school year saw seventy Year 5 and 6 students from more than 10 London primary schools take part in heated debates on the current situation and future of football. The Speech and Debate team, in partnership with West Ham United FC and Tottenham Hotspur Learning Centres put on a fun, fascinating and challenging day, promoting debating and public speaking to students from a diverse set of London schools. Expertly led by our team of mentors, the students were introduced to the different skills involved in debating, through games and workshops. And what better way to play voice projection games than by taking the pupils to the stalls by the football pitch?
After their training, all those involved debated the use of goal-line technology, whether diving is acceptable and if footballers get paid too much. This was the first time the students and their teachers had taken part in debates and by the end of the day, they were all asking for more! Our ‘Great Debates’ series aims to show teachers and pupils alike that the skills learned at these events can be used to enliven classes, lessons and help to bring new understanding to and enjoyment of all school subjects. We hope many of the schools will enter one of our schools competitions this year. The Great Debate series is supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation. DIALOGUE 39
LONDON DEBATE CHALLENGE FINALS DAY The London Debate Challenge, one of the ESU’s flagship programmes, reached its finale on 1 July when the finals took place at Dartmouth House. Over the previous three months, local education authorities across London had organised competitions for the secondary state schools in their borough. After months of preparation, the winning teams of these borough competitions came together to compete for the title of London Debate Challenge Champions. Twelve boroughs took part in the debates this year, with over 100 schools taking part in the earlier stages of the competition. After a day of exciting debates on issues such as how to prioritise patients for organ transplants and how to address the problem of illegal downloading of music, the teams from Greenwich and Enfield progressed to the grand final of the competition. After yet another brilliantly articulated debate on the motion ‘This House Would punish parents for their children’s truancy’, and a long and heated discussion amongst the judges, the team, compromising Tayla Ryan, Deren Mehmet and Nadine James from Crown Woods School, Greenwich were declared London Debate Challenge Champions 2010. The day gave all students the opportunity to demonstrate their debating skills and receive constructive feedback from world-champion judges who kindly volunteered their time and expertise. Everyone at the ESU is looking forward to the 10th London Debate Challenge next year, which we hope will bring debating to even more state schools in London. DIALOGUE 41
‘I really enjoyed Debate Academy! It was great to be able to spend so much time debating, and it was really useful to be taught by such wonderful mentors, then to try to use those techniques in actual debates straight afterwards. The difference in coaching at Debate Academy was that there was far more to do with actually winning things rather than just debating at school level; it was great to have that insight that is rarely available from teachers or older school students.’ Student, aged 16
For 10 years, the ESU has held the premier residential debate course in the world. It is open to students between 14 and 18 years old and attracts everyone from complete novices to some of the most highly skilled young debaters in the UK, who want to hone their skills.
On other evenings students had a choice of specialist workshops on different speaking skills and a range of lectures spanning law, feminism, human rights or the state. These were delivered by faculty members who regularly teach these subjects in schools and universities.
The students at this year’s Debate Academy experienced an intensive few days. Breakfast was at 8.15 am and classes ran from 9 am until 6 pm covering different speech and debate skills, information and discussion sessions to help build knowledge and the all important practice debates. The annual team quiz also took place with five rounds covering current affairs, music, quotations and the all-important ‘find the link’ round which always induces some interesting thinking!
At the start of the weekend some of the students from the advanced track took part in a demonstration debate and at the end of the weekend, six novices did the same. They spoke in front of the rest of the students and faculty on the topic ‘This House Would ban the consumption of meat’. Of the six young people in the debate, two had never spoken in a debate before coming to Debate Academy. All gave outstanding individual and team performances.
‘The lectures in particular were invaluable and the way the course was designed and taught was brilliant as it showed the myriad of disciplines that debating encompasses and really opened my eyes to the depth of the art of debating.’ Anita Subedi, student
AMERICAN MEMORIAL CHAPEL TRAVEL GRANT – EXPLORING LINKS WITH MIGRANT WORKERS The final interviews for the 2010-11 American Memorial Chapel Travel Grant Award were held on 15 July. This professional development grant allows member of the clergy to travel to the United States to explore an area of their interest. Previous scholars have investigated a very wide range of projects, from research into American churches’ response to their country’s situation following 9/11 to exploring the international development of parish nursing. The panel of Reverend Helen Wordsworth, Reverend David Gatliffe and Father John Dickson SDB decided, this year, to award the full £1,800 to Reverend David de Verny from Swinehead, Lincolnshire. He will be researching migrant workers and how the different churches and denominations reach out to them within their communities. David says, “I am profoundly grateful to the ESU and the AMCTG committee for awarding me this grant. I accept it gladly and with excitement.” David will be visiting Alabama, Seattle, Boston and Washington DC during two separate visits over the coming year.
The biggest attraction of Debate Academy and the reason that we are able to run the programme, is the number of outstanding mentors who give up their time for free to teach each year. This year, 25 university students and recent graduates, as well as a few teachers and professionals whose careers have benefited from debating, returned to make up the faculty. Between them, there were multiple World and European Championship finalists who, collectively, have won more national and international competitions than can be listed. As well as their own skill as speakers, they also brought with them a wealth of teaching and coaching experience which allowed us to make up a legendary faculty. A huge thank-you goes to everyone who came along and helped out and well done to all of the students who worked so hard.
The American Memorial Chapel Travel Grant is offered to a member of the clergy of the Episcopalian, Roman Catholic and Free Churches and can be used to carry out a research project in the United States. It began in the spring of 1968 with a visit to the USA by a British clergyman. The late Lord Baillieu, who was Chairman and Deputy President of the English-Speaking Union, was closely associated with the American Memorial Chapel, built in St Paul’s Cathedral, which commemorates the British and American servicemen and women who gave their lives during the Second World War. It was agreed that the monies remaining after the project was completed should be given to the educational trust of the English-Speaking Union, to hold as a separate fund and to use the net income to enable the exchange of clergy between the UK and USA for educational purposes. For more information on the grant, or an application form, please contact Kate McCulloch at the English-Speaking Union on 0207 529 1568 or firstname.lastname@example.org
GRANTA LAUNCH ISSUE 111 ‘GOING BACK’ WITH THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING UNION After one hundred years under lock and key Mark Twain’s autobiography is to be published in November Granta, in collaboration with the ESU, hosted an event on 15 July at Dartmouth House launching Granta issue 111 ‘Going Back’ which extracted in full a passage from The Farm by Mark Twain. Robert McCrum, associate editor of the Observer, playwright, author and critic Bonnie Greer with Granta editor, John Freeman who moderated the panel, sparked lively discussion amongst the 120 guests who were fortunate enough to get a ticket to this exclusive event at Dartmouth House. Actor Kerry Shale, who recently incarnated this American great on Radio 4’s Nightwaves gave several dramatised readings throughout the evening taking the audience back to Twain’s great classics. Twain insisted that his memoirs remain unpublished until a century after his death so that he would be “dead, and unaware, and indifferent”. 2010 marks the end of a century where an extensive, outspoken and revelatory autobiography which he devoted the last decade of his life to writing is finally going to be published. The creator of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and some of the most frequently misquoted catchphrases in the English language left behind 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs when he died in 1910, together with handwritten notes saying that he did not want them to hit bookshops for at least a century. Granta editor John Freeman said that Twain refrained from publishing the memoirs in his lifetime, concerned
about how “his creeping anxiety and deep hatred of American imperialism” would have been viewed by the public. Freeman, who selected the extract from the 700-plus page first volume of Twain’s autobiography, said the author had intended the passage to be the beginning of his memoirs. “It feels like the lodestar – his childhood is so vividly captured that you feel this is what made him a writer,” said Freeman. “I never thought of him as a kind of Proustian writer, but this is – in a much more energetic way.” Published in July’s edition of Granta magazine, the extract finds Twain reminiscing about the time he spent on his uncle’s farm as a child. He met the middle-aged slave ‘Uncle Dan’ there, “whose head was the best one in the negro quarter, whose sympathies were wide and warm, and whose heart was honest and simple and knew no guile” – and who went on to become Jim in Huckleberry Finn. Twain writes that in his schoolboy days he “had no aversion to slavery”, not being aware there was anything wrong with it, but recalls “one small incident” that stayed in his memory, “clear and sharp, vivid and shadowless, all these slow-drifting years”, which gave rise to the slave who ends up with a “tingling rear” after attempting to help Tom Sawyer whitewash his fence. Sandy, “a little slave boy… from the Eastern Shore of Maryland” irritated the young Twain with his noisy singing and he ran to his mother to complain, only to be told that “poor thing, when he sings, it shows that he is not remembering… He will never see his mother again; if he can sing, I must not hinder it, but be thankful for it.” “It was a simple speech, and made up of small words, but it went home, and Sandy’s noise was not a trouble to me anymore,” writes Twain. His mother, he said, “has come handy to me several times in my books, where she figures as Tom Sawyer’s Aunt Polly”. “I fitted her out with a dialect, and tried to think up
other improvements for her, but did not find any,” he wrote. “I used Sandy once, also. It was in Tom Sawyer; I tried to get him to whitewash the fence, but it did not work.” The century milestone has now been reached, and in November the University of California, Berkeley, where the manuscript is in a vault, will release the first volume of Mark Twain’s autobiography. The eventual trilogy will run to half a million words, and shed new light on the quintessentially American novelist. “He was a showman, in a way,” said Freeman. “It shows a great deal of confidence: ‘You’ll be interested in this in 100 years time.’ And we are.” Special thanks to the United States Embassy and the American Society for their support. Granta’s newest issue brings to life Pakistan’s landscape and culture in fiction, reportage, memoir, travelogue, poetry and, in a special collaboration with the arts organisation Green Cardamom. Granta 112: Pakistan is a critical watershed celebrating Pakistan’s literary renaissance. A spectacular launch will be held at Asia House on 15 September. A festive celebration of poetry will take place at SOAS on 13 September with Daniyal Mueenuddin. On 16 September at the FLOW Festival, Kamila Shamsie, Aamer Hussein and Nadeem Aslam will discuss the intricacies of expressing Pakistan. Friday wraps up the week with a Pakistani pop dance party fundraiser for the floods appeal at Blackall Studios. Please visit www.granta.com/events for details. Granta is offering ESU members a special subscription deal for £29.95/ year plus a Granta tote bag. Please visit www.granta.com/esu10 for details.
FROM THE ARCHIVES THE FUTURE OF ANGLO-AMERICAN RELATIONS The January-February 1949 edition of English-Speaking World, the ESU journal from 1947 until 1962, contains a transcript of a speech delivered at a Branches Conference by R J Cruickshank, author and editor of the News Chronicle, on ‘The Future of Anglo-American Relations’. It shows that nothing much has changed when it comes to calling massive corporations to account over their ethical and moral responsibilities. Describing friction points as “bits of grit that get into the machine”, Cruickshank suggests that “when the Atlantic presents a stormy surface, full of waves and implications, it is a good thing to remember that there are deep currents flowing underneath, and I think we can say with some assurance that these currents are flowing in the right direction”. Cruickshank pinpointed “three marked changes in the gravitational field of British-American relations” sixty years ago: I. “ The incredible evolution of the United States in the past decade from being an Isolationist to being an Internationalist country, from being the Great Neutral to being the Great Interventionalist”; The 1920’s saw “the overwhelming repudiation of participation in the League of Nations by the United States and the defeat of Woodrow Wilson’s exalted dream of American leadership creating a universal reign of peace… Until Pearl Harbour it was still possible to believe that isolationism was the fundamental philosophy of the American people, to which instinctively and automatically they would return in times of peace”. II. “ The remarkable change in the economic and political position of our own beloved country, Great Britain”; “We all feel that Britain is a quite different country from what it was in 1938. Today under the hammerings of the war, under the threat of a new conflict and under the pressure of events in these momentous days, Britain has become rather more conscious of herself as a European country than ever before in her history… By tonight, the names of members of the Western Union Defence Council will have probably been announced. What a significant thing this is! Britain in Europe!”
III.“The development of the British Commonwealth and Empire and its new web of relationships both with Britain and with the United States”; “The Dominions are now Powers in their own right… the wonderful potentiality of the great Commonwealth” Relationships with the ‘Dominions’ became shadowy in early post-war years due to the shortage of news paper. In Canada, St. Laurent’s significant speech calling for an Atlantic alliance did not feature in the UK press. Cruickshank notes that “[i]n the nineteenth century that would have been a matter of major interest” now, “it passes without remark”. Much as it probably would today unless uttered by a ex-Big Brother housemate. Labour Minister Ernest Bevin urged regional peace keeping pacts, lamenting the United Nations inability to take on the issue of enforcement. “A toothless organisation”, Cruickshank declared; a sentiment uttered on more than one occasion since. He suggested applying ‘Dominion’ thinking to ourselves in order to see ourselves as the US sees us – a concept with which we have recently become familiar. Cruickshank felt that the US did not at the time quite understand the relationship between Britain and the Empire – “As all of us who were in Washington then will remember, any British spokesman in the United States was constantly met by attacks on British Imperialism. There was a tendency then to think of Canada and Australia as the unfreed, famished, pale and bleeding victims of the tyranny of George III”. On what was to come he said “[i]t is as though we saw a great ship shrouded in fog, so that we cannot quite make out its magnitude or dimensions; we cannot quite see what gun it carries, but we know that there is something tremendously big coming forward”. The Marshall Plan prepared the way for future co-operation between the US and Europe. Like all grand plans, the devil is in the detail and as Cruickshank suggested, it was “bound to create frictions and suspicions”. Sixty years later, friction with the US over oil slicks, but the global economic crisis signals that we are all inextricably bound together.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
In the new century, the United States remains the ‘Great Interventionalist’ and the economic and political situation in Britain remains remarkably unchanged – Labour gives way to Conservative and the huge divide between rich and poor remains. Welfare strategies introduced then and rejected by the US are now creaking at the seams here as they strive to introduce them there. Then, Cruickshank’s ‘Dominions’ were largely pacific and Canadian. Not in his wildest dreams could he have predicted the networks which now exist and the mass movement of peoples in all parts of the world.
The Commonwealth alliance is looser but remains strong, largely due to the work of its eminent non-political figurehead and through the use of a common language which, as Shaw and/or Wilde famously suggested, is what divides Britain from the US and certainly had the previous US President bemused – criticism which, despite its accuracy, would not have been advisable sixty or even ten years ago. Cruickshank concluded his speech by suggesting that the intricacy of Anglo-American relations “is more interesting, more difficult, and going to be more troublesome and cause far more scratching of the head than ever before”. Will this cause major sores in another sixty years, or will we still be brushing away grit?
AMERICAN MISTRESSES A preoccupation of the national press in the early 1920s was not the lamentable waste of British men but ‘surplus women’. While ESU members engaged in the suffrage movement saw this as an opportunity for women to be accepted into the workforce on an equal footing others, like Patricia Saxon, author of An Englishwoman’s Letter in the ESU journal Landmark, saw it as an opportunity to solve another pressing problem, a topic which ran and ran through several editions. A fascinating and unique publication, Landmark ran from 1919 until 1938 and contains articles and comment on the social and political issues of the day. In 1923 as now, a major part of the work of the ESU was in creating exchanges between those who had the potential and influence to foster AngloAmerican understanding. In its time, the ESU has run GI balls, home-stays for US servicemen and visitors and even a travel bureau – but American mistresses? Patricia Saxon, a member of ESU London, keen to kill two birds with one stone, proposed solving the severe shortage of domestic staff in America and a shortage of women’s jobs in the UK, by providing ‘educated middle and upper-class girls’ to become ‘lady-cooks, lady housemaids and ladyparlourmaids’ in the US. The ESU’s role, it was suggested, would be to bring together the young ladies, pre-tutored in American ways by expats andmatch them with suitable ‘mistresses’ in America. DIALOGUE 46
With barely contained eagerness, I leafed past articles on The British War Debt to America, Capturing Wild Elephants at Travancore, Robert Burns and How to Care for Children’s Teeth, before homing in on a response from across the pond. One of Uncle Sam’s Nieces admonished the ‘Saxon Patrician’ for her misguided belief that all Americans are rich, pointing out that the backbone of American society inhabit ‘twice-turned garments; paddle about in muddy snowy streets on their heels so as not to get wet through the holes in their soles and strive to “appear amused” rather than depressed by their lowly lot, or they won’t get asked anywhere’. Sniffily dismissing the Americans as a lost cause, Ms Saxon turned her attention to the admirable Swiss system of training girls for servitude to solve ‘the ever-present domestic problem’. The subject ran and ran, engendering passions for and against the cause. Ms. Saxon was moved to suggest that all anonymous communications were delivered to the bin unread. Wonderful insights into a bygone age. Gill Hale, ESU Libraian
BRANCHES â€“ Inside The UK branches of the ESU provide a stimulating range of events and programmes often inspiring ESU DH to turn local endeavours into national ones.
The University Connection_49
North West Region_60
Report on the Nursework Programme 2010_51
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BRANCHES Editorial Branches have had a full and varied summer as can be seen by the following reports. This year’s annual Branches’ Conference was a one-day event, held here at Dartmouth House on 30 July. Ninety delegates attended and the day was a great success. Richard Oldham, Chairman of the NCEW, welcomed delegates and Lord Hunt introduced the day. Mike Lake then spoke about the ESU’s international development and the implications of managing a growing dependency. We broke for lunch for which, because of the beautiful day, the courtyard made a perfect setting for a delicious meal. Mike’s second presentation was on the future of the ESU in its UK context. He covered the Governors Review of Strategy and noted that, amongst the conclusions, the attention placed on public benefit is increasingly important for charities and it will be of advantage to the ESU to have a sharper focus on our purpose and objectives. He noted the changes planned for governance and the aims of moving to a simpler structure with a clearer role for Trustees. He also spoke about the crowded field in which we work and the need to find opportunities for partnership and for cooperation in order to raise our relevance and profile. He went on to talk about the possibility of a merger with the Royal Commonwealth Society currently under consideration by Governors, noting the barriers and potential advantages. A lively discussion on this proposition followed with a particular view expressed that members wished to be fully engaged with the subject.
DIALOGUE 48 48
Jo Wedderspoon talked about the database and the problems we are experiencing and asked for members’ patience, and Hanna Cevik spoke about the development of the new website. There followed a Branches Forum and Question Time and the conference ended with the presentation of the Branch Awards to the following winners: The Hardacre Trophy to the Ouse Valley Branch The David Griffiths Punchbowl to the Exeter and District Branch The Mrs Norman-Butler Gavel to the Salisbury Branch. The ESU Membership Prize and the NCEW Prize to the South Wales Branch. The Lord Watson Award to the South Wales Branch. The Valerie Mitchell Award to the London Region. The Deputy Chairman, Ed Gould, gave a short address to summarise the day. He noted the importance of well-judged change in the life of all organisations and drew attention to the careful consideration being given by Governor-led Working Groups to the various reviews described by Mike Lake. He concluded by thanking the Chairman, Richard Oldham, Mike Lake, Meriel Talbot and their colleagues for their work in ensuring an informative and helpful Conference. We then went to the Royal-Overseas League for a reception in their garden followed by dinner at which Jeffrey Archer proved to be an extremely interesting and vamusing speaker.
In the autumn we shall be organising a Communications Day for branches and also a day for Branch Secretaries – details will follow. If you have any queries or comments about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact me – I look forward to hearing from you. Meriel Talbot Director of branches and membership Apologies In the June issue, a photo was printed on p58 with the caption mistakenly naming Rachel Laurence as Rachel Jeffries. The Editor apologises. The East regional final of the Public Speaking Competition for Schools was not printed in the June edition due to an administrative error. The report can be found online at www.esu.org/news. The Editor apologises.
BRANCHES THE UNIVERSITY CONNECTION Here in Bedfordshire we have enjoyed a productive relationship with our local university for the last four years to mutual advantage.
Putteridge Bury campus of the University of Bedfordshire
I believe that several UK branches also have university connections of various kinds, but it is clear the majority do not. So what is the incentive for others to follow? Consider the assets of a typical university: thousands of students, often drawn from countries all over the world as well as from the UK; hundreds of highly qualified academic staff, many involved in cutting edge research into issues of interest and importance; extensive buildings and estates housivng a huge quantity of teaching and DIALOGUE 50
seminar rooms equipped with the most modern technology; large numbers of administrative and technical staff covering every area needed to support a complex teaching, research and business operation; and – despite public sector funding cuts – an unparalleled budget.
How does the branch benefit? In the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka lauded the powers of ‘Pure Imagination’, and that is what is needed at this point. To illustrate; our main sponsor the
University of Bedfordshire supports ESU Ouse Valley in several ways: Providing the branch with some cash sponsorship, enabling us to undertake initiatives we might otherwise be unable to afford. Allowing us to use university premises for special events, such as for hosting visiting VIP speakers or holding awards ceremonies for prize-winning school students. The youngsters, and their parents, love it.
Printing our annual programme card to high quality specification, together with all the events fliers distributed to members during the year. This represents a marginal cost to a large organisation, but a significant saving to us.
something with which the university will be pleased to be associated for selfpublicity reasons. Think of the sponsors of the Manchester United shirts in miniature – although perhaps, on reflection, in micro miniature!
Providing technological support and advice when requested for our presentation equipment – a useful saving over the local retailer.
Your case will be strengthened if you can suggest other benefits. For example any involvement with schools, will be viewed favourably, as within their ranks are to be found the undergraduates of the future. Organising heats of the public speaking and/or debating competitions will certainly attract much interest.
Arranging visits from university groups to talk to members on a topic of interest. Chinese students and tutors on the subject of ‘Growing up in China’ were a big hit last year. Utilising high level contacts and influence to attract top national speakers to our annual joint seminar. Providing assistance if requested to compile our annual accounts, including the appointment of a university nominated Honorary Independent Examiner. Sponsoring three senior university staff for their memberships of the ESU, to include the Vice Chancellor. Enabling the branch to promote the university as its main sponsor in publicity material. This is good for our image and professional credentials, and can assist in attracting speakers.
What are the benefits for the university? This is a question you will anticipate when you seat yourself comfortably in the Vice Chancellor’s study for that initial meeting. To a large extent, the answer lies in the activities you already provide, or intend to provide, at branch level. Most of u incorporate into the annual programme a series of talks by various external speakers, and an interesting and attractive list of contributors is
In Bedfordshire we run an annual competition for competence in English for GCSE year school students for whom English is a second or additional language, with prizes awarded to high achievers and also to others of lesser ability who have made exceptional progress. The awards ceremony is held in the idyllic surroundings of the university’s Putteridge Bury Campus and the proud extended families turn out in force. Another successful venture has been our annual joint seminar – a prestigious event supported by both organisations. As before, the university benefits in PR terms by association with both of these activities.
Don’t forget other ESU activities Finally, you must say something about the central functions of the ESU: the attractions of Dartmouth House itself of course, but more specifically the enormous range of exciting and prestigious opportunities which the ESU has available, especially those which impinge directly on universities such as scholarships and internships. Whilst you can anticipate a general awareness of the English-Speaking Union in most universities, only those with a previous involvement will have a more detailed knowledge and
historically, participating institutions have tended to be drawn from a similar group each year.
If working with a university will be something new, you may be concerned at how you establish the initial relationship. I do not deny it requires careful handling, but hey, most ESU members I know have had excellent relevant experience during their successful careers, and I cannot believe this is a bridge too far. However, should you decide to give it a try, just be sure that: (1) You get to see the boss first if you can. Vice Chancellors are generally very reasonable individuals – but perhaps I would say that wouldn’t I? And, (2) Be clear and succinct as to what you are after – and, as importantly, what you are offering in return. Publicity material is available from Dartmouth House. This article is based on a presentation made to the 2010 branches conference. Tony Wood, Chairman, ESU Ouse Valley Directors note: relationships such as these, whereby the donor sponsors ESU activities and receives a benefit such as publicity in return have VAT repercussions. The organisation, in this case the university, must be invoiced for the net receipt inclusive of VAT. Please contact Jill Lloyd at Dartmouth House before entering into any sponsorship agreement.
BRANCHES REPORT ON THE NURSEWORK PROGRAMME 2010
â€œI really like the relationship between the doctors and nurses and the patients, which is very positive. The nurses do their work from the heart. In England doctors and nurses work as a team. In Riga there is still a strongly expressed boundary between doctors and nurses.I was surprised at the large number of volunteers in the hospital, a good sympathetic people who help visitors and nurses. For example, on my first day they helped me to find my way to the Academy. In Latvia no one will help in a hospital for free. English nurses do not change their uniform, or their shoes when entering or leaving the hospital. In the University Hospital Riga we must change shoes. Uniform remains in the hospital. Uniforms are white for every one and all must wear them. Visitors must buy disposable shoe covers if wearing street shoes. Muriel Harrison, Polina Musajeva, Gill Prior
We have received a very nice thank you letter and report from Polina Musajeva, the Nurse Work Programme 2010 scholar. The Great Western Hospital, Swindon now makes the ESU nurses Honorary Appointees which is gratifying. Here is an excerpt from her report.
For me it is strange that the shops close at five or six. We have shops open to eleven. In Riga almost every day I can buy a little, here people shop at weekends and buy a lot. I have not seen many animals- like cats. We have many cats and dogs walking the streets. I was surprised that people here feed the birds. In Riga the main population live in apartments and it is not good to feed the birds because of litter. Coming here in the spring I saw a lot of beautiful flowers and trees.Very nice, but unusual for me to see so many gardens. I think Latvia is not very developed in horticulture. I found the Hospital School for children very interesting. Children who are in for a long stay, everything is taught according to their age. I would like to thank the English-Speaking Union for giving me this opportunity to come to this country. I will be giving lectures in the University Hospital Riga which will help me towards my next qualification. I now have new objectives, to continue my English studies, improve my spoken English and understand this country and its customs better. Thank you all for your support. Polinaâ€? This account speaks for itself. Gill Prior, Head of the Nursework Programme
DIALOGUE 52 52
NICK BUTTERWORTH AT COLCHESTER BRANCH
much-loved grandfather. The family resemblance is clear. So is the resemblance between Percy the Park Keeper and Q Pootle 5, providing an alien twist to the stable. While Q Pootle 5 is soon to reach the television screens in a new animation (which he kindly played to us), Nick was clear about the importance of avoiding the television in favour of reading to children and of sharing that crucial time with a child when both adult and child enter the make believe world he has created. He encouraged readers to adopt different voices for the different characters as it draws the child further into the story. Indeed, it can be impossible not to put on silly accents when relaying the adventures of Albert le Blanc, the miserable looking polar bear modelled on one of his daughter’s own toys. Nick Butterworth at Colchester branch
The Colchester and North Essex branch of the ESU were delighted to introduce Nick Butterworth to an enthusiastic audience of both adults and children who enjoyed hearing his explanation of the creative process behind his children’s picture books. Nick Butterworth is best known for his creations Percy the Park Keeper, Albert Le Blanc, Tiger, and Q Pootle 5 as well as his stories from the Bible and books about family members. He plainly has retained a magical ability to understand what it is that captures the imagination
of young, and not-so-young, children. Percy is a gentle man whose friends are the creatures of the wood who join him in his adventures. The Percy the Park Keeper series has been translated into 15 languages and has sold over 4 million copies. Flying lawnmowers, animals sharing a bed on a cold winter’s night, and rabbits that fall down holes only to pop up behind their rescue party, are stories that are bound to entertain and delight across generations and, it seems, continents. Percy looks like Nick, but he was apparently modelled on his
Those who attended had a thoroughly wonderful afternoon and we were all grateful for the generous time given by Nick and to our hosts in Dedham for lending their beautiful home for the afternoon event. After Pimm’s (for the adults!) and strawberries we felt that all senses had been thoroughly satisfied and we are encouraged that our branch will be able to promote the educational aims of the ESU in varied and interesting ways.
BRANCHES EAST REGION
Cambridge Welland Valley
These photos should have featured in the June issue of dialogue. The Editor apologises for the error.
Polly Ray with Ann Carley and Caroline Windsor
East region final of the public speaking Competition with the teams and judges. (L-R) winners Peterborough High School for Girls, Alexander Finnnis President of East region, runners up Westcliff High School for Girls and judges Rachel Laurence, Mark Jefferies and Professor Bill Forster OBE. Also pictured are Leo Hamilton-Hoole, Chairman of East region and Regional Officer and organiser of the day, Stephen Roberts.
We joined the regional winners from our branch area at the public speaking Final at Lincoln’s Inn. Peterborough High School for Girls competed at this final and we were well rewarded by Gemma Rate who won the prize for the Best Chairperson. As usual, a very worthwhile and enjoyable competition. We held a fundraising Bridge afternoon with nine tables playing, comprising some branch members, (including our Chairman) and friends and many devotees of the game of Bridge! A raffle and tea of sandwiches, homemade cakes and cookies produced by our committee provided useful funds for the branch.
Peterborough High School for Girls winners of the East region Final of the public speaking Competition. (L-R) Gemma Rate, Anna Sidebottom, judges Rachel Laurence and Bill Forster, Alexander Finnis, Mark Jefferies (Chairman of the Judges) and Emily Morgan.
Our annual picnic took place at Tolethorpe Hall, home of the Stamford Shakespeare Company followed by their production of Othello where a small group of members enjoyed a memorable performance by this excellent company. The branch’s long association with the Stamford Shakespeare Company and it’s sponsorship of young actors has received very welcome recognition. The board of Tolethorpe Shakespeare Company has invited the branch to be
patrons. The committee were delighted to accept this kind invitation on the branch’s behalf. This year the branch had the privilege of sponsoring a young student, Polly Ray from Cambridge, to attend the week long Oundle for Organists summer school part of the Oundle International Festival. The final event of the festival was the Platform Concert in the Chapel of Oundle School, where a cross-section of the week’s activities was performed. The event was attended by several branch members. After the concert we were able to meet Polly, her parents other students and also Robert Quinney the new Director of Oundle for Organists and administrator Graham Williams.
well as reference to his well-known characters, Percy the Park Keeper and Q Pootle 5. An amended version of The Owl and the Pussycat provided a more adult-orientated element. Nick concluded by pointing to further developments with the animation of his characters. Following a question and answer session with the audience, James Raven thanked both the speaker and Bob Foster who generously opened his home for the talk and the preceding meeting. Co-host Janet Lucas collaborated with Janet Edwards to serve strawberries and cream on what was a delightfully sunny afternoon. See p52 for a fuller report.
Colchester The local President, Professor James Raven, and Chairman, Geraldine Watson, attended the recent launch of ESU Malta, where the branch received a ceramic eye of Osiris, the logo of the nation’s fishing boats. The branch Annual General Meeting was held in Dedham on 26 June. Commenting on her remarkable achievements, James announced that Geraldine was standing down as committee member and Chairman along with long-serving Treasurer David Watson. Brian Cooke was elected Chairman with Janet Edwards as Vice Chairman. Karen WaldenSmith was elected to the committee as both Treasurer and Public Speaking Competition for Schools Organiser and Christopher Newton as Secretary. Following the AGM, children’s author and illustrator, Nick Butterworth, gave a highly entertaining illustrated talk on his work to 50 members and guests. He enthralled the children with his demonstration of drawing games as
Epping Forest Wrapped up against the cold, but enjoying themselves nonetheless!
In May, 40 members enjoyed a delightful holiday in the Lake District, based in the middle of the lovely little village of Grasmere. Five full days with packed with visits to various houses and castles in the area, many of which began as Pele towers giving the residents much-needed protection in those lawless and violent days, and in more peaceful days were added to in Georgian domestic style and then enlarged, rather oddly, in Victorian Gothic, with battlements and turrets. The gardens were all lovely, the daffodils barely over and a great profusion of tulips were to be seen in the walled gardens. The scenery of the hills, lakes and villages were enhanced
by surprisingly good weather, except for our last day, a cold and blustery one, when a trip on Ulllswater was planned. Two ladies took one look and refused to go and those who got to the steamer first made a beeline for the saloon downstairs, where they could see little but were out of the wind. The other hardy souls braved the outside area where the view was spectacular but the wind was biting. Some seasoned travellers were well prepared and disappeared inside allenveloping anoraks which rendered them completely unrecognisable, but all returned with rosy cheeks and not a cobweb in sight to enjoy the log fires and cosy armchairs of the hotel. Once again we must say ‘thank you’ to our organisers, Una Corderoy and Ron Truss, for what really is the last event to be arranged by them, as they now live in Yorkshire. Over the years Una has organised 33 trips like this, and feels that is probably enough! Two more outings have given much pleasure to our members. One to Chenies Manor, an enchanting Grade I listed Tudor manor house in Buckinghamshire, which dates from 1180 when it was owned by the Cheyne family. Both Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I visited it on numerous occasions. The MacLeod Matthew family live there now with their young children and have undertaken a long process of restoration of house and gardens, which are a joy to see. The second outing was held on 15 July when 42 ESU members and friends visited this year’s Art in Action held in the beautiful setting of Waterperry House and Gardens near Oxford. For some of us it was a repeat visit but for others a completely new experience – a festival of fine art and craftsmanship with artists working in front of visitors, giving us a rare opportunity to observe DIALOGUE 55
BRANCHES the creative process at first hand, with a chance to “have a go”, to buy or even to commission art works in a range of art forms. We were in luck with the weather – very windy but dry and warm and, with a great choice of food, music, lectures and for the weary Waterperry’s beautiful gardens to relax in, we all agreed that it had been an enjoyable and exciting day. Hertfordshire The AGM of the branch was held on 18 May at the Chairman’s home. Chairman Nigel Rogers gave a summary of the year’s events; the Secretary and PSC Organiser gave their reports. Mike Foers, the Treasurer, presented the accounts for the eleven months to 31 March 2010; after a short discussion, they were approved and accepted. Having been Treasurer for 6 years, Mike resigned but is staying on the committee as newsletter editor. Nigel thanked Mike for all his work and presented him with ESU engraved whisky glasses. John Eames has also resigned from the committee after many years, and we shall miss him and Anne.
The branch was very disappointed that the Albanian student we were expecting to host for two weeks, Miklovan Gjonaj, had to cancel his visit four days before he was due to arrive. There were several events planned involving branch members, and other activities we thought Miklovan would find interesting, but it was not to be. Annette Fisher suggested we might like to contribute to sponsoring an Albanian delegate attending the ESU International Relations Conference being held in Oxford during August. This we were glad to do, and met Irma Peta at a reception at Dartmouth House on 11 August.
On 18 July, we held a ‘Poetry in the Garden’ tea party at the home of Mike and Pauline Foers. Their garden has been open twice this year, as part of the National Garden Scheme, and they have raised over £1,300 for the charities the Scheme supports. Nineteen members and friends enjoyed looking round the lovely garden prior to sitting to enjoy the poetry selected and read by them, and also the tea and cakes. It was a beautiful afternoon and the donations went to the branch scholarship fund. Norwich and Norfolk Susan Yaxley accompanied by Patience Tomlinson delighted us with a talk and readings from the books of Mary E Mann, Norfolk’s forgotten novelist. Susan gave us an insight into Mary Mann’s life here in Norfolk whilst Patience read extracts from her books – complete with Norfolk accent! Patience is a frequent performer on BBC Radio 3 and 4. Our speaker for June was unable to attend so one of our members, Ms R Bird filled in the gap after lunch with a quiz which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Our AGM was held in July and we welcomed Stephen Roberts, our Regional Officer, to the meeting. Our summer activities include a coffee morning in August at the home of the Chairman and our usual pilgrimage to the Cromer Pier Show takes place in September.
The student winners of the 2010 Ludlow Awards assemble with proud parents and friends for a group photo
In an article in the last issue of dialogue, chairman Tony Wood described an initiative the branch launched in May in a Bedford Lower School, to introduce 8-9 year old pupils to the principles of public speaking by utilising the ESU Discover Your Voice scheme. Members may be interested to know what has happened in the intervening months. The school was much impressed with what had been achieved in a single day with a group of 20 children. The head and teachers were very keen to cascade the activity into other classes during the balance of the summer term, and this required nothing more than moral support from us. I anticipate, however, that our services will be called upon in due course to act in a judging capacity – something to which we look forward. The plan for the new school year is to encourage the introduction of public speaking into other lower schools in the neighbourhood, initially by means of a shared day’s training drawing a handful of children and a teacher from
each school interested. The branch will ultimately be looking to organise an inter-school competition, and we have already set aside a trophy for this purpose. The local Rotary Club has expressed interest in cooperating with us on this on a cost-sharing basis, and we will accept their offer. To be continued. Also in May we held our fourth annual joint seminar with the University of Bedfordshire. A capacity audience of 120, which included representatives from the local medical and health communities as well as some student nurses in training, were treated to a masterful presentation by Professor Sir John Tooke (author of a major government report into the reform of medical training) on ‘The Role of the Doctor in the 21 Century’. From the many questions asked, and the way the speaker was besieged at the end of his talk, it was clear the subject matter was seen as highly relevant – in many different ways – by those attending, and
this resulted in some lively interchanges. As the seminar was held on the very day the new government coalition was formed, it was inevitable the issue of political influence on the NHS would arise with a vengeance –fortunately no eggs (or other projectiles) were involved! Later in the same month, also at the university, we held our second annual presentation of certificates and cash prizes to school students in their GCSE year for whom English is a second or additional language, and who had shown outstanding ability or determined progress in the language. On this occasion we were able to make a total of 26 awards to students drawn from 7 schools in Luton, and once again the event was enthusiastically supported by proud parents and extended families. Our 2010-2011 programme commences on 30 September. Full details of all the year’s events are posted on the branch web pages, www.esu.org/ousevalley.
BRANCHES Southend on Sea
Amy Hughes being presented with her certificate and cheque by the Mayor
“Quiet Please, Michael Munns My Life with the Stars – Scene 1, Take 1, ACTION”
Following a heart attack he decided to write, and what better subject then his knowledge of the stars. He wrote a best seller with his biography of John Wayne, and his latest book is on David Niven entitled The Man Behind the Balloon. His fascinating talk on his life with the stars, recalled for many of us our encounters with these same stars but from the 1/9d or 2/3p, stalls in the local Odeon, Majestic or Gaumont cinemas. Happy Days.
Amy Hughes, the 2010 recipient of The Florence Warren Memorial Trust Award, was delighted to play for members of The English-Speaking Union and their guests during their garden party at the civic house, Porters.
Amy played at the garden party
On a sunny, Sunday afternoon the Mayor of Southend-on-Sea, councillor Ann Holland presented Amy with her certificate and a cheque to purchase music, books and other equipment to help her forthcoming music studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. Tea was taken in the garden and a raffle was held in support of the Mayor’s charity.
Not a film set, but the Suffolk branch of the ESU listening with maybe not stars in their eyes but certainly the names of famous stars of stage and screen in their ears, as our speaker Michel Munn told us of his fascination with films, and his almost lifelong ambition to be a famous film director. His first meeting was with George Raft, famous for his gangster roles, who he did not run into, but was arun over by the Rolls Royce in which George Raft was a passenger. Raft took Michael under his wing, and from then on his life was a long round of meeting and talking with the stars. On his fourteenth birthday, Raft hosted a party for Michael. The guest list included Peter Sellers and John Houston. Over the years, still determined to become a director, he met many stars but realised he would not succeed as a top director.
I was so star-struck by this talk that I almost forgot to mention the delightful lunch provided by the Farmers Club Bury St Edmunds, of the usual high standard we have come to expect. Talking of standards, we had on display for the very first time the new banner of the Suffolk branch ESU. As they say in the film business “that’s a wrap”!
Branch President and ESU Governor Alexander Finnis with Chairman Joy Childs and Alan Childs
Alexander Finnis, the Mayor and Mayoress of St. Edmundsbury Councillor and Mrs Houlder, Deputy Town Mayor of Felixstowe, Doreen Savage, Town Mayor of Felixstowe Councillor Jon Garfield, Town Mayor of Bury St. Edmunds Councillor Robert Cockle, Consort of Stowmarket Town Mayor, Leonard Hamilton-Hoole. Front row (L-R) Town Mayor of Stowmarket, Town Mayoress of Felixstowe Councillor Jan Garfield, Peggy Osborne, Consort Deputy Town Mayor of Felixstowe, Councillor Frank Warby Consort to Deputy Mayor of St. Edmundsbury Patricia Warby.
Suffolk President’s Garden Party The Suffolk President’s Summer Garden Party has long been a highlight of the Suffolk branch Social Calendar – eagerly awaited by ESU members and guests alike. The prestige of the ESU and the generous hospitality provided by President Alexander Finnis, together with the relaxed social atmosphere also attracts a significant turnout of local dignitaries amongst the 150 guests from around the region – as the photo shows. Guests enjoyed lively chat and catching up with ESU members from Suffolk, Ouse Valley, Colchester, Cambridge and Welland Valley and Norwich and Norfolk and it was also nice to see members of the Suffolk Young People’s Theatre mixing with guests and enjoying the music supplied by the Jeff Burbridge Trio. A highlight of the day was the presentation of flowers and champagne to Geraldine Watson, outgoing
Chairman of the Colchester branch, and her husband David. East region Chairman Leo Hamilton-Hoole spoke on behalf of the whole region when he thanked both Geraldine and David for the tireless support they have given to the ESU over many years – typified by their work with International students – and for the public speaking Competition. Geraldine gave a gracious speech of thanks and we were all delighted to hear that she intends to maintain her relationship with the ESU. Five lucky winners of the free raffle wended their way home happily weighed down by generous hampers courtesy of the President. A fine time was had by all and guests departed in the evening sunshine already looking forward to next year. A fuller report and more pictures of a thoroughly enjoyable day can be found on the Suffolk section of the ESU website – www.esu.org
The Suffolk branch ESU held its 43rd AGM on 21 July 2010, in the delightful setting of Culford School. The meeting was chaired by Joy Childs with the President, Alexander Finnis and those members of the committee that were available in attendance. As with previous years the committee appears to have performed so well that there were no nominations to replace the serving members. The committee therefore agreed to continue in post for a further year. There was a plea from the committee to all members of the ESU of the importance of their attendance and support for the very talented youngsters in this year’s Public Speaking Competition for Schools. A much needed break for a buffet lunch was taken before we were entertained by our speaker Alan Childs (no relation to our Chairman). He told us of his work as an author and photographer. His works include beautifully illustrated books on East Anglia, and delightful information books for the younger reader such as Life as a WWII Evacuee, Life in a Tudor Home, and The Tudor Theatre, to name but a few. Mrs Childs thanked Mr Childs, whilst Mrs Childs husband Mr Childs looked on.
BRANCHES MIDLANDS REGION Birmingham After the successful launch of the Birmingham branch at the Council House, courtesy of the Lord and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham, things are still moving along with the redevelopment of the branch. We have had encouraging meetings with, for example, the Birmingham Rep and Birmingham City University and hope to write to members with a branch programme for the autumn. Gloucester As always, it was a sell-out (tickets were limited to 50) for our annual summer party, in July, this year at Gloucestershire committee member, Jenny Hunter’s home in Dumbleton. Jenny, together with branch Chairman Austin Millington, welcomed everyone beneath a blue sky and warm sun into her stylish garden as the band played. The Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Band is supported by this branch throughout the year and has played at our events for several years. Members of the band excelled themselves and were given warm rounds of applause at every available moment. It was true toetapping music, and much to everyone’s delight several people took their partners and started dancing! Several ESU members from other branches came to the party, as they do for our other events; it is a gesture we have been encouraging for several years now. It was suggested in the last dialogue that this would be a good idea for branches to adopt. Please note, we have been doing this for sometime! We, in turn, enjoy other branch’s events! At the end of the party, four guests said they would like to join the ESU! It is always good news when a student in their gap year takes advantage of DIALOGUE 60
undertaking an extremely worthwhile cause and not just travelling round foreign countries for their own pleasure! We give financial support to such students when a suitable application is accepted by our committee on behalf of our members.
outside this Oxfordshire village has made its name more publicly known for the part it played in the Civil War Battle of Chalgrove Field, the Church and the Manor both go back a lot further in time and both contain unsuspected historical and architectural treasures.
This year’s student is Gloucestershire resident, Jessica Palmer, who under the auspices of Africa and Asia Venture Ltd, is teaching English in rural communities in and around Darjeeling/Kalimpong. Jessica says that raising educational levels in the schools (when English is such an important global language) and helping the different communities to communicate with one another in an area where many different languages are spoken, is of paramount importance.
The nave of the church for example dates from the 12th Century, while its chancel was added in the 14th Century. Both are fine, well-kept examples of the prevailing building styles of those early times, but the church’s main claim to fame are the very rare and very early wall paintings in the chancel. These are lavish and extensive. They portray on one side the story of the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ, and on the other side scenes of the Virgin Mary’s life. At the Reformation, when the display of all forms of human images was forbidden, the murals were lime-washed over and forgotten about. Only in the 19th Century were they rediscovered and the limewash removed. Though some of the paintings have suffered damage, a surprising number have survived relatively unscathed. They are quite exceptional and well worth seeing.
In thanking us for the £500 donation, Jessica says: “I intend to be a good ambassador for my country and will do everything I can to make the sponsorship worthwhile. I look forward to speaking about my experiences at your Christmas party in 2011.” Oxfordshire
The ESU group then moved on to have a sumptuous lunch in Chalgrove Manor, by special arrangement with the owners, Paul and Rachel Jacques. This was followed by a guided tour, given by the hugely knowledgeable proprietors. Over 30 years they have uncovered and steadily restored some of the oldest features, many of which had been walled in during Georgian times, and thus raised this magnificent building from Grade II to Grade I listed status. Members of the Oxfordshire branch being entertained by musicians from the Oxford Pro Musica Choir
In July a group of Oxfordshire ESU members paid a visit to St Mary’s Church, Chalgrove and Chalgrove Manor. Although a stretch of land
Much of the manor dates from 1460 with later additions in 1480 and 1540. To the back of the house had been added some Jacobean and Georgian buildings. However, some of the wooden panel walls in the interior date from as early as the reign of Henry III, and in
one of the ancient rooms, more wall paintings have been revealed. The whole manor was simply breathtaking. Here was a stunning and recently restored ancient manor, an architectural gem, little known by our members, even though we had all lived in Oxfordshire for some years. Worcestershire The summer has been a quiet time for the branch and the only event has been a trip on 9 June to Osbaston Hall, the home of Leanda DeLisle, the wellknown author and historian. We were shown round the House and the lovely gardens and given a short talk about her writings. With a nice tea, it made an enjoyable afternoon.
NORTH EAST REGION Lincolnshire On a warm July evening the Lincolnshire branch held an evening at Fulbeck Hall to listen to presentations by some of the recipients of travel awards from 2009. About 35 members and families attended. The St John Ambulance Lincoln team had travelled to Nepal to instruct in English first aiders operating in support of a recently presented ambulance; this was pioneering work and they had clearly done a marvellous job which is being followed up. Richard Jerman had attended a course in America on international law with 30 other nationalities; this had proved to be an enriching experience and the use of the English language was a fundamental part of its success. A team from Lincoln Cathedral had attended an international preservation trades workshop in Colorado giving presentations and practical demonstrations; so successful had this
been that Lincoln has been chosen as the next venue for this prestigious group to meet in 2011. Here follows a report from one of our committee members on the literary luncheon, which followed the branch AGM. The Surprising Life of Constance Spry by Sue Shephard, Macmillan £18.99 Sue came to talk to the Lincolnshire branch of the English-Speaking Union during the Lincoln Book Festival after a lunch that, of course, included Spry’s signature dish of coronation chicken. (The dish was actually invented by her partner at their Winkfield School, Rosemary Hume.) Sue is an expert in the history of both food and gardening; her books include Pickled, Potted and Canned – a history of food preservation (and not about heavy drinkers as one might think at first) and Seeds of Fortune about the first commercial plant collectors in the 18th century. We think of Spry as a glamorous, even snobby figure of the 1930s who arranged spectacular flowers for society weddings and for royalty, as well as being the most influential cookery writer since Mrs Beeton, but not all is as it might seem. She was democratic, too, and probably preferred to sit on the steps discussing plants with a knowledgeable garden worker more than she did exchanging gossip at a smart party. Her origins were humble; she was born in a slum in the back streets of Derby but as her father became more successful, their houses – and gardens – increased in size and as a child, she took inspiration from the flowers around her. She grew into a dynamic and hardworking woman; her first successful career was as a teacher in the east end and then in Ireland who arranged flowers for her friends’ parties merely as
a hobby. She was 29 when she was given two important commissions which were to lead to a move from the east to the west end of London – to decorate the foyers of a chain of cinemas and to do the windows of Atkinson’s perfumery. It was November when she did her first arrangement for the shop, when there is little around to inspire but she arrived with armfuls of Old Man’s Beard from the hedgerows, hops and coppery leaves into which she put bright green orchids. It was a sensation. Spry broke all the rules of arranging by mixing “weeds” with hot-house flowers, the dried with the fresh and clashing rather than tasteful colours. She might use ferns or cabbages (so chic) and fruit – whatever was in season – and was very fond of decorative kale. These she might put into unconventional containers, such as baking trays. One wedding was entirely furnished with cow parsley, which must have caused a few sneezes… Her new career took off, and she soon had a shop. But it was not only the rules of decoration that she broke: Mrs Shepherd discovered quite late into the writing of her biography that the famous Mrs Spry was never actually married to Mr Spry who himself, had a long lasting affair and eventually married her assistant who had shared their home for years. Spry herself had an affair with the (female) painter Gluck. But it is not for her surprising private life that Spry should be remembered and celebrated. She was a knowledgeable plants woman who collected and saved many of the old roses that were going out of fashion and are now so beloved; David Austen’s first hybrid was named in her honour. She wrote many books on her methods, though Be a Millionaire for a Few Pennies caused some disgruntlement when the buyers realised that it was DIALOGUE 61
BRANCHES how to decorate the home cheaply but effectively rather than giving tips for the stock market. Her books are still worth tracking down â€“ they are informative and beyond the trends of fashion. She believed passionately in the freemasonry of flowers and that anyone could trawl the hedgerows, garden and vegetable patch and with a bit of imagination and confidence, make something beautiful. In the ephemeral world of flower arranging, her influence is long lasting. We should be as grateful to Mrs Spry as we are to Mrs Shepherd for her timely reminder of her skills. Shervie Price York
James Cook, branch Chairman Patricia Cook, Lord Watson, and Chairman NCEW Richard Oldham
In July about 18 members and their guests went to see Scion Hill Hall on the York branch summer outing. The hall is one of the last Edwardian-style, pre-Great War country houses to be built in Yorkshire. Work started in 1911 and the house was finally completed in 1913. The Architect was Walter H. Brierley of York. Brierley was regarded as Northern Englandâ€™s answer to Sir Edward Lutyens and he made a fine job of giving to a large country house the coziness and informality of a smaller, DIALOGUE 62
snugger home, whilst at the same time retaining the elegance and influence of Edwardian society before World War I changed culture and viewpoint forever.
North West region Liverpool and Merseyside
The house holds the wonderful collections of fine antiques and works of art which were gathered by Herbert Mawer from the 1930s onward. The current resident of the Hall, Michael Mallaby, also collects antiques and paintings and his acquisitions extend and enhance the Mawer treasures. We were blessed with reasonable weather, despite the lack of positive sunshine and our group were treated to an extensive tour of the house, guided by Michael Mallaby himself, where the room layouts of the Mawers have been largely preserved. The quantity and quality of the china and porcelain were stunning, there were many pieces from the Meissen factory and sets of Coalport dinner services. There was a fine Bechstein boudoir piano and antique woodstove fire bellows which were operated by turning a handle. In the kitchen, where we had tea and scrumptious home-made scones and jam, there was an antique vacuum cleaner, powered by hand. I was told that it was more exhausting keeping the vacuum going than cleaning by scrubbing and polishing! After tea we had a chance to walk around the splendid garden, replete with Greek statues, immaculate lawns and a large central flowerbed full of magnificent blooms. Thanks to our Chairman Patricia Cook for organising this splendid trip, and to Michael Mallaby for guiding us round the house and garden.
The branch entertains former Director-General Valerie Mitchell in the garden of Poulton Hall Bebington Wirral on May 21 2010 L-R: Vice President June Lancelyn Green; a student from Liverpool Hope University Chris Ikem; President HH Elizabeth Steel; Chairman Michael Shankland; former Chairman Hilary King; Valerie Mitchell; and ESU scholar Austin Oloku
Our Vice President, June Lancelyn Green, hosted a memorable AGM in her magic garden at Poulton Hall on a glorious May afternoon. It was momentous in celebrating the immense contribution of two retiring officers of the ESU, former DirectorGeneral, Valerie Mitchell and our own Chairman, Hilary King who retired after no less than eighteen years in office. She deserves a medal! Liverpool and Merseyside President, HH Elizabeth Steel paid eloquent tributes to the two women who had steered the ESU through huge changes locally and internationally. When Valerie and Hilary spoke of their years in office besides the many events and celebrations they had managed what shone through was the sheer fun and friendship they had enjoyed over the years. No-one will believe their memoirs when they appear!
South East region 1066 (Hastings)
After the inaugural ESU/Liverpool Hope University lecture members and University Staff gathered in the courtyard for a group photograph.
Mike Shankland was unanimously elected Chairman. Mike is an alumnus of the Walter Hines Page Scholarship from the era when Sir David Hicks was General Secretary. Finally, Mike received his alumnus tie after 26 years!
connections with the Merseyside area where he is buried at Formby.
Hilary King and the branch officers have forged close links with Liverpool Hope University including our overseas student scholarship held this year by Austin Oloku. The shared missions of the two institutions were celebrated further in the inaugural ESU/Liverpool Hope lecture given by the Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Bill Chambers in the Senate Chamber on the topic ‘Internationalism and Liverpool Hope University.’ His deeply researched world tour showed how much we have in common in sharing language and culture across the globe. Afterwards members enjoyed a splendid lunch with members of the University staff in the Vice-Chancellor’s dining room.
Although our season of lunch meetings ended in April we have had a most enjoyable summer programme. On 9 June branch members visited Erdigg, a large National Trust property near Wrexham. Acclaimed as one of Britain’s finest historic houses, Erdigg contains a fine treasure trove of fine furniture, textiles and portraits etc. The impressive range of outbuildings, the 18th century formal gardens and the landscape park are also of great interest.
In June members heard an interesting talk by Caroline Sherrard of Inspired Learning on her trip to the hottest place on earth, the incredible Danakil desert in the northeast of Ethiopia. There, she saw and described to us the centuriesold tradition of mining salt from great salt lakes, the breath-taking hot sulphur springs and the volcano, Erte Ale. She shared with us photos and the story from this remarkable place.
Excuse my French, but I had never heard of Percy French until our July lunch. Once Michael Kelly started singing ‘The Mountains of Mourne’ and ‘Are You Right there, Michael’ – songs familiar to us all, he revealed the Irishman’s amazing career and his
And thank you for that support in the previous season of events. Mid Cheshire
In July we held our summer fund raising event – a buffet supper followed by entertainment by The Cheshire Cats, a small group of musicians from local secondary schools. They played a varied programme of jazz and popular music. Our new season started in September, when Martin Mulloy, ESU Director of Charitable Activities, was our guest speaker. This was followed by the Annual General Meeting.
The branch AGM was held before the talk. As the branch does not have a Chairman at present, Veronica McVey (Branch President) conducted the meeting and the branch report was presented by the Hon. Secretary, Michael Plumbe. A much-enjoyed bread-and-cheese supper was provided by Brenda Wilson and Cath Burrows. Brighton and Hove The designation of the South Downs as a National Park is a momentous decision for both conservation and development over a large area of southern England: Brighton, Hove and District branch marked this event – 60 years after it was first proposed, 10 years in the planning process – by DIALOGUE 63
BRANCHES inviting Charles Anson, Chairman of the South Downs joint committee (and formerly Press Secretary to the Queen) to address us on the question ‘Will it Make A Difference?’ Charles outlined the history of the national parks – a fairly recent invention in this country, created after the Second World War – and explained that we have to thank John Prescott for initiating the process for the South Downs. The guiding principles are to protect the natural beauty and provide access to it, while not setting “in aspic” the present levels of development. The South Downs National Park is the largest and most populous in England, stretching from East Hampshire to Eastbourne, with both a substantial population (108,000) within its boundary and large conurbations (including London) less than an hour away. Four ESU branches are in close proximity! While the original idea for the park was that it should follow the chalk line Charles felt the inclusion of East Hampshire made it a more rounded area. The park reaches the coast in East Sussex but does not venture into the sea despite the rare species there, because of legal complications. The South Downs National Park will have its own fully fledged National Park Authority by April 2011. While in these times of austerity it is difficult to say whether additional funding will be forthcoming, the Authority will have extensive planning powers, which it may decide to delegate with appropriate guidelines to local authorities. The rural economy may benefit from both increasing visitor numbers and in production and marketing, for example of South Downs lamb and English wines, which are already established successes locally. Charles added that the
wine-growing areas of Sussex are just an hour away from the Champagne region of France and at least two French houses have bought vineyards in Sussex, while Ridgeview and Nyetimber have won coveted French sparkling wine awards on blind taste. The price we have to pay reflects this high quality, but long may it continue! Canterbury and East Kent The Canterbury and East Kent branch held its AGM in Rutherford College, University of Kent on 15 May. We are grateful to Dr Rachel ForresterJones for her help over the venue and were delighted to welcome the Vice Chancellor, Professor Julia Goodfellow as Vice President, who gave up her precious free time to be with us as did many loyal members. We decided this year to acquaint the members with some of the scholars we had supported in addition to our other educational activities. Mathew Hale was unable to attend as he is still studying in America. Olivia Waldron, also unable to attend, sent a resume describing her scholarship on the Shakespeare course at Stratford which she described as “a life-changing experience”. The Chairman read this out and it was left for members to read during the afternoon – and evoked much interest. This was followed by a short talk from Victor Gurr, a local student who had been sent on a week’s course to study drama in London, again he expressed his delight in how much he had learned and gained from mixing with others from many different parts of the UK and how beneficial the week had been in spite of the extremely gruelling programme. Lunch was organised by members and committee members. Our thanks to all who helped and also for those who supported the meeting.
The next event was on 29 August. ‘A Taste of Africa’ with lunch at the home of Dr Valerie Ainscough was thoroughly enjoyable – a report next edition. Eastbourne Another busy period for the branch has seen our links with the USA grow stronger. ESU Eastbourne has begun its sponsorship of the 41 young marines of the 1 Battalion 8 Marines 2 Marine Division Alpha Company Weapons Platoon who deployed to Afghanistan in August. Carolyn Randall, the branch’s Honorary Secretary is coordinating both care packages and the sending of letters to these young men in our attempt to demonstrate all that is great about the Anglo-American links of the ESU and all that is kind and supportive for those brave men and women fighting daily to secure our freedom. Anyone interested in supporting these troops so very far from home should contact Carolyn direct at carolynR20@aol.com.
Steve Fort, Chorister in Residence
Following on from our appointment of our new Director of Music the branch is thrilled to appoint Stephen Fort as Chorister in Residence. Stephen was formerly Chief Chorister at St John’s College, Cambridge and he is currently Chief Chorister at St George’s College, Weybridge.
Central School in New York and to address former veterinary students he had brought on exchange from New York to Glasgow University. As a former Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry in the United States, Will was also invited to preach for the United Presbyterian Church.
Will Glover appearing on WJTN in New York
From Parliament House Brisbane to talk radio and newspaper interviews in New York, branch member Will Glover continued his international education tour celebrating two years of the Obama presidential campaign in the United States. Will, a consultant to the 2008 presidential campaign recently returned to New York to undertake a series of engagements. His appearance on the Nancy Bargar Show marked the highlight of his visit during the early summer and Will spent over two hours fielding questions from an audience often hostile of his links with the Democratic Party. Nancy said; “Will was thoroughly professional and engaging in dealing with questioners often hostile to presidential decision making”. As a former Royal Navy Lieutenant, Will was the invited guest at the annual Memorial Day parade in Randolph, New York where he met both with veterans and high school students from the Central School. On behalf of the scholarships sub-committee, Will represented the ESU at the Chautauqua Institution. The tour also featured the American launch of ESU Eastbourne’s charity books and Will spent time working with elementary school students in a ‘Meet the Author’ session. Will also found time to lecture and teach at Fillmore
In a strongly American season the highlight of the last few months was our annual garden party at the home of Jane and Douglas Mitchell where branch members were entertained with symphony and song from the young members of the branches music department. A group of members also attended the annual House of Lords tea party at the invite of Lord Hunt. Guildford and District
and Charles II of which she said writing Marie-Antoinette gave her the most pleasure. She comes from a theatrical and political background, her father was Lord Longford and her first husband a Tory MP. Lord Longford introduced Harold Pinter in the House of Lords where, amusingly, Duchesses said they had read his plays whilst Dukes had not. Pinter, born to a Jewish family in the east end, gave up religion at 13, did not feel racially Jewish and was very patriotic to Britain. His first marriage was to Vivienne Merchant. The title Must You Go arose from Lady Antonia’s first meeting with Harold Pinter in 1975. Only managing to speak to him at the end of the evening, he protested “must you go?” as she attempted to leave. The book was written from her diaries, after his tragic death from cancer, as a celebration of their life together and to help her get over her grief. Sir Ronald Haywood and his wife and Lady Antonia and Harold were great friends. Several stories were recounted during the evening, including tales of their tennis matches.
Lady Antonia Fraser; Jamie Barber, Director of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre; Jeff Thomson, Guildford branch
The next meeting of the branch is being planned for December. Details about events should be addressed to Jeff Thomson on 01483 449669.
The Guildford branch in conjunction with the Friends of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre were privileged to welcome Lady Antonia Fraser CBE in conversation with the distinguished playwright Sir Ronald Haywood about her recent book Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter. Tickets for the Mill Studio, attached to the Yvonne Arnaud, rapidly sold out. Lady Antonia Fraser is a renowned royal biographer, her books including Mary Queen of Scots, Marie-Antoinette, DIALOGUE 65
BRANCHES London region
AMAZING TOUR TO ST PETERSBURG
Some of the West Sussex group on our tour of Wells, Bristol and Bath.
Travelling from the Chichester area in a luxurious coach, we stayed for 4 nights at the Swan Hotel in the beautiful city of Wells, visiting the cathedral and Bishop’s Palace. A day spent in Bath, with a local guide to the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey, was followed by a day visit to Bristol to explore the Waterfront and SS Great Britain. Further expeditions included the National Arboretum and the National Trust properties of Mottisfont, Mompesson House, Montacute House and Dyrham Park. On a Saturday evening in late June, we held a mid-summer concert and buffet at Lordington Park, in aid of our scholarship fund. The performers included our branch Secretary, pianist Elizabeth Brooks, one of our grant holders, cellist Ella Rundle and two Robert Headley Prize-winners from Chichester University, pianist Ben Lathbury and counter-tenor Toby Forster. Over 60 people attended this much enjoyed evening.
Our monthly ESU walks continue to attract those who enjoy exploring our beautiful countryside, and meeting friends over lunch in a country pub. The AGM was held at Parham House, followed by lunch and a tour of the house and gardens. After six years as Chairman of the branch, David Tinsley, is now stepping down. His enthusiastic leadership, which has seen a rise in both membership and activities, has been greatly appreciated. We are very fortunate to have a former chairman, Roger Tilbury, to guide us forward in the next few years. The next branch event was on 17 September at The Spur Inn, Slindon, with lunch. Alan Bott gave an illustrated talk about ‘The Silk Road from China to the West’. A report will appear in the next edition.
The St Petersburg Collection by Theo Fabergé is once again hosting an exceptional tour to the former Russian capital. In association with the House of Friendship, guests will stay at the luxury Astoria Hotel in St Petersburg and visit palaces, museums, and other historic buildings associated with the Romanov dynasty. Theo Fabergé was the last grandson of imperial jeweller, Carl Fabergé, and the association with his name assures glimpses of the ancient Russian culture and inheritance, which no other Tour can offer. 2010 witnessed the beginning of the tercentenary celebrations of the founding of the tsar’s village, Tsarskoye Selo, and 2011 attendance will glory in the completion of this magnificent event. For details contact Valerie Thomas, T: 01895 238674, email@example.com
Sir Peter Jennings, General Sir Mike Jackson and Holly Shakespeare, Chairman of ESU London region
This summer, ESU London members have enjoyed three well supported and very successful outside visits and a most enjoyable AGM at Dartmouth House, when our guest speaker was General Sir Mike Jackson, who is certainly the best known British General of modern times. He retired in 2006 after nearly 45 years service in the British Army, finally becoming Chief of the General Staff. Renowned for his ferocious pursuit of perfection on military exercises, dubbed ‘Macho Jacko’ by the tabloids, he was seen as a hard but fair commander and he certainly entertained our members with a fascinating talk. On our visit to Fulham Palace we learned that it was a summer retreat for over a hundred Bishops of London. Once the largest moated site in England, its gardens have been home to many of the country’s botanical ‘firsts’. The medieval Great Hall has been the scene of royal banquets and supposedly the persecution of protestant heretics whose ghosts are said to haunt the Palace corridors. The surviving building dates from 1495 and is Grade One Listed.
On 16 June, a party of our members visited Lord’s Cricket Ground, the Home of Cricket. An excellent guide met us at the historic Grace Gates, named after the legendary Gloucestershire cricketer. We were taken around the ground and ‘nets’ and into the famous Long Room in the Pavillion, where our guide gave an interesting commentary on its history. We also visited the players’ changing rooms and the various exclusive ‘members rooms’, which are not usually open to the public. The tour ended with an informative visit to the museum, followed by some of us enjoying a most pleasant lunch in the Lords Taverner restaurant. Our visit to the Shakespeare’s Globe is always a very popular event and this year was no exception. We saw Macbeth – the Scottish play as actors like to call it – and from first to last, Shakespeare’s gripping account of the psychological experience of murder enthralled the imagination. In scenes of nightmarish vividness and language of haunting
power, Macbeth represents the profoundest engagement with the forces of evil in all drama. It was a gripping afternoon for us all. By the time you read this, we will have had a day trip to meet up with ESU York branch, visiting York Minster, the Railway Museum and other highlights of this great City, we will also have had a visit to the Government Art Collection and will be looking forward to an illustrated talk at Dartmouth House by Andrew Crisford on Abraham-Louis Breguet, the French watchmaker and his English clients and two interesting international evening events – one on an Indian theme and the other Mexican, both with appropriate entertainment.
BRANCHES South region
Some 50 Salisbury ESU members and their guests enjoyed a rare treat when Louise and Sydney Jeffreys opened their home and garden for a delightful social evening designed to make the aims and activities of the ESU more widely known and to encourage new members.
The ‘Guatemalan Villagers’ with (L to R) Gill Prior, Louise Jeffreys, Muriel Harrison and John Tough
The highlight was a parade of models in authentic Guatemalan Highland Village costumes from a collection made over twenty years ago by Louise when she and Sydney were living in Central America. These costumes are hand woven. Gill Prior, Vice Chairman Salisbury ESU, and Muriel Harrison, ESU Regional Officer, spoke on the aims of the ESU in promoting global understanding through the use of English. They spoke in particular about the ESU’s charitable work in providing educational opportunities for young people internationally and about the opportunities for members to participate in overseas ESU events. A good number of the guests enrolled on the spot.
In April, local businessman, Michael Gould, who spent part of his childhood in Nigeria and has been involved for 35 years in running a charity on the West Coast of Africa, spoke on the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). With his experience in the country and his personal contact with some of the then military leaders, he gave a shrewd insight into the conduct of the war, and the involvement in seemingly haphazard ways of countries which supported one side or the other. Our lecture in May, which was open to the public, was given by writer and broadcaster, Piers Brendon. His subject was ‘The Decline and Fall of the British Empire.’ The growth had been founded on trade and the British ideal that freedom was a benefit to a subject people. That same ideal was eventually used by Ghandi to champion India’s independence. Some Empire traditions die hard, and an enjoyable lecture was followed by afternoon tea. At the suggestion of a member, the branch is sponsoring a medical student, Alison Thorne, for a three-week elective course to Tanzania. Salisbury branch meets monthly from September to April for lunch and a talk from a diverse and interesting range of speakers at the Rose and Crown, Harnham and new members are always welcome and should phone 01722 328235 in the first instance.
Carys Brown, Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards, Derek Morgan, Meriel Watkins, Lindsay Watkins, Lady Inkin
Our summer garden party proved to be the most well-attended, convivial and financially successful of all so far. Held in the magnificent gardens of Castle upon Alun House, home of Sir Geoffrey and Lady Inkin, around 150 members enjoyed fine wines, enticing canapes and a glorious June evening with sunshine throughout. We were delighted to welcome back the very talented musical quartet, Tinnitus, four doctors whose clinical expertise with scalpel and stethoscope is complemented by chordal felicity with keyboard and guitars. Our Branch President, Captain Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards presented cheques to Bridgend Soroptimists International, who are working with fellow Soroptimists in Karachi to provide an English teaching programme at a very poorly equipped school, and to local student Laura Dunn, who has secured an internship on Capitol Hill working for Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Representative for Rhode Island. Our Soroptimist friends also
South West region Bath and District Colleagues from other branches are invited to visit our entry on www.esu. org/southwales, which is meticulously updated by our branch Secretary, Graeme Morgan, with commentary and photos of each event. Conscious of the need to get a better degree of organisation into our Public Speaking Competition for Schools, the membersâ€™ committee we established last year has already met to plan a more comprehensive programme for the coming year, with more schools involved and an earlier start to the local heats. We are also looking forward to welcoming Lord Hunt as our guest speaker at our next lunch in September, with the promise that Lady Hunt will also make a welcome return to Wales as well. Members and guests enjoying the summer garden party
benefited from the proceeds of a Tombola stall which was completely sold out well before the end of play. The proverbial icing on our festive cake was provided by Vale Life, which by a leap of imagination may be described as the South Wales equivalent of Hello magazine, with the forthcoming edition including a whole page of photos of members (and some prestigious publicity for the ESU and our branch). During June, Anne Morgan, member and wife of our branch Chairman, introduced a group of lady members to Dartmouth House and received a very warm welcome from Katherine Plummer and colleagues as well as enjoying a delicious lunch.
After lunch at the Calcot Manor Hotel, near Tetbury, in May, members visited Newark Park, a tenanted National Trust property, originally a Tudor hunting lodge. The house was remodelled by James Wyatt and the gardens and interior reflect the eclectic tastes of the current tenant and his American predecessor. At our Annual General Meeting, held at the Bath and County Club on June, Alan Cox stood down as Treasurer and became our President in place of the much loved Betty Hollas Brown, who has died after a long illness. Alan has served ESU at national level as Deputy Chairman of the Governors; Honorary Treasurer; member and former Chairman of the National Council for England and Wales.
Finally, our lips are sealed in respect of the rumour regarding the alleged arrival at our branch of a delegation from the Chancellorâ€™s office seeking to understand how, with a subtle combination of prudence and benevolence, we have established such a robust balance sheet and income and expenditure account.
Alan Cox, President Bath and District
Andrew Fletcher left the Chair after four extremely successful years due in large part to his enthusiasm and hard work. David Leonard was elected in his stead, with Andrew, as Vice-Chairman, retaining responsibility for the Public Speaking Competition for Schools.
After the meeting the members were treated by Patrick Nixon to a talk entitled ‘Diplomatic Reflections of an Arabist’. As a British diplomat, Patrick served mainly in the Middle East and was Ambassador to the UAE from 1998 to 2003. He reviewed the changes he had witnessed in the region and gave an appreciation of current trends there. The fascinating talk provoked so many questions that it was difficult to persuade the members to go in to dinner. Bristol
Karen Lippoldt, Head of Alumni Relations at the University of Bristol, receiving a cheque from Tony Williams, President and Chairman of ESU Bristol, with Pip Willoughby
Since we have just concluded our 70th anniversary celebrations, we feel it is fitting that we continue our links with
Bristol University which commenced in 1941 when Dr Loveday, ViceChancellor of the Bristol University and the then President of ESU Bristol, presented a cheque for £1,000 to Professor Field, Chairman of the University Council. These funds were used to open a hostel, supported by the University, to help mothers and babies recover from the trauma they had suffered from the heavy raids that hit the city during the war. We have therefore given a further £400 to the University Alumni Foundation which will provide a grant to help postgraduate students with the cost of travelling to conferences to present their research findings. The photograph shows Karen Lippoldt, Head of Alumni Relations at the University, receiving a cheque from Tony Williams, President and Chairman of ESU Bristol. Also in the photograph is Pip Willoughby, one of our members and also Deputy Chairman of the Bristol University Convocation. Karen thanked us and said how “grateful they are for this generous donation that has such fascinating historical links to an intriguing and imaginative organization.” And finally, we also gave a donation of £250 to La Casa de las Mercedes, a Mexican charity which Maria Gutiérrez Peneloza supports. Maria has been studying at Badminton School for the past year and was Badminton’s speaker in the Bristol rounds of the public speaking competition. The charity works with abused girls, providing them with shelter and day-care for their babies to allow the girls to receive an education and so improve their chances for the future. Our AGM in May was well attended and the business of the meeting was ably led by our Chairman, Tony Williams. Two new members joined
our committee and it was proposed that Tony be appointed as President to our branch, following the sad loss of our previous President, Erin Dehn. The meeting was followed by a light supper, after which the Chairman introduced our speaker, His Honour Mr Justice Royce, who shared ‘Reminiscences’ of his time as a judge. He presented various interesting cases and was able to make a serious and difficult subject amusing as will as informative. Towards the end of May we all enjoyed lunch at the Bristol and Clifton Golf Club, where we were hoping that Catherine Johnson, of Mamma Mia fame would join us for a question and answer session. Unfortunately, Catherine was taken ill – however, we were delighted that Jeffery Boswell was able to step into the breach and regale us with bird calls using his great variety of whistles etc. By the time lunch was served our knowledge of the language of birds and how to communicate with them was much enhanced. In mid-June, a beautiful summer’s day awaited us at Valerie Grimsley’s home for our annual garden party. A marquee and gazebo had been erected to shield those who wished from the sun, while others enjoyed the glorious sunshine. Our Chairman welcomed us all and invited us to partake of the delicious food and drinks which had been provided by members of the committee. A very happy afternoon was spent by all, meeting up with friends and catching up with each other’s news. We thank Valerie most sincerely for a delightful day. Towards the end of June, 34 members and their friends journeyed by coach to Salisbury, where we were able to visit Arundells, Edward Heath’s home. The tour was fascinating with excellent guides, and it enabled us to gain a
different perspective of the “man” as against the “politician”. We also wandered round the beautiful garden where the sunshine and a slight breeze enhanced the enjoyment. Salisbury Cathedral and Mompesson House were also close by and were most interesting places to visit – and our comfortable coach with a friendly driver, Steve, added greatly to our comfort during the drive to and from Salisbury. An excellent day!
The city public works commissioner persuaded Mayor Fiorelloh Laguardia that a memorial should be placed near the site to be known as Bristol Basin. The ESU of the US arranged for a plaque to be placed on the footbridge leading to the river, and Laguardia personally attended the ceremony. The plaque stayed in place until early 1970, when a new construction project tool place on the site, and on its completion in 1974, the ESU of the US held a second ceremony at Waterside Plaza where the plaque was rededicated by Bristol’s own Cary Grant. Grant said of the event “I have a deep seated emotion about this ceremony”. The plaque now stands in New York as a tribute to the heroism of the people of Bristol in the Second World War. The Bristol branch of the ESU recently celebrated its 70th anniversary and to commemorate the occasion, committee member Michael Withers and form Lord Mayor of Bristol Peter Abraham visited New York to see the plaque. They were met at Waterside Plaza by Mark Stollar, Vice-Chairman of the ESU of the US and Alice Boyne, President and Executive Director of the ESU-US.
America salutes Bristol During the Second World War, Bristol was a major port for American supply ships bringing aid to war-torn Britain and was therefore savagely bombed by German aircraft. At that time, there was little trade between Britain and the United States. The ships on the return journey were filled with ballast from demolished houses of the devastated city. The rubble was dumped and subsequently used for the construction of the Manhattan section of East River Drive, now Franklin D Roosevelt Drive.
Michael conveyed greetings from the Bristol branch and said that for both him and Peter it was an emotional moment and a great link between the two cities. In a letter to Michael, Christopher Broadwell, Deputy Director of the ESU of the US, hoped that “the visit by the former Lord Mayor of Bristol would open a new chapter in the story of the emotional and physical bond between Bristol and New York to share with our ESU members across the US”.
John Baxter, Sir Richard Dearlove, Arlene Fullerton and Sir William Fullerton
On the very day his contribution to a provocative letter to The Times attacking Liberal Democrat Foreign Policy was published, Sir Richard Dearlove addressed the Cornwall branch in Truro School Chapel. Before a large audience, Sir Richard spoke to the title, ‘From a Cornish Fishing Village to Leadership of MI6’. For over 90 minutes the audience was enthralled by his brief description of life in Gorran Haven after the Second World War, his recruitment by SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) when he graduated from Cambridge, and by a very short, but fascinating survey of the history of MI6. But the bulk of his talk addressed contemporary issues, which prompted a plethora of searching questions. Sir Richard answered them all directly, clearly, and, where appropriate, discreetly. To listen to him reflect on the origins of the Iraq war, radical Islam, Pakistan’s nuclear capability, use of intelligence from dubious sources, the Chilcott enquiry, Zimbabwe under Mugabe, genetic manipulation and Britain’s nuclear deterrent, was to feel part of a privileged seminar given by a hugely important and powerful figure. Cornwall branch has now reached a century. Gains, John says, that enabled the Cornwall branch to win the Norman-Butler Gavel for increased DIALOGUE 71
BRANCHES membership for 3 successive years. Many thanks are due to Catherine Rentoul, Colin Hawkins and Eileen Beall in those early days. John continues; “a great deal of work is needed to maintain a lively branch, and I am grateful to many people. Muriel Harrison is our Regional Officer and has been unfailingly supportive. One of our “consultants”, Nicola Oddy, has not been well, but we are delighted she is making a good recovery and hopes to be able to contribute more next year. Brian Oaten has produced countless posters and fliers to advertise our events. Arlene and William Fullerton have been generous hosts, and sources of inspiring speakers. Arlene left the committee last year and William does so this year. Both will continue to be fully involved.
New branch Chairman Jeremy Varcoe with outgoing Chairman John Baxter
Teeny and Richard Oliver have been hugely supportive in both providing hospitality and following Public speakers. Teeny, together with Jenny Green, are the brilliant organisers of Primary School public speaking. Gil Patrick is the inspiration behind the proposed Shelterbox Link, about which he will speak after the AGM. Mary Thompson took on joint responsibility for planning events last year, and has already planned some exciting occasions for 2010-2011. Maureen DIALOGUE 72
Ward takes the minutes of our regular committee meetings, and ensures they are quickly and efficiently circulated. Jeremy Varcoe has been “Executive Secretary”, a role he will give up at the AGM. A successor will be sought. It was his idea to set up the partnership with the Du Maurier Festival, something that started successfully last year with our new branch “friend”, EV Thompson. Jeremy and I attended the opening event of this year’s festival when the branch sponsored a fascinating discussion between Patrick Gale and Philip Marsden, skilfully chaired by Tim Hubbard of Radio Cornwall. Chris Taper is not only our Teasurer but he handles most of the branch publicity. He is always cheerful, and a great support. The Vice-Chairman and Membership Secretary bring youth and style to the branch. Members are well aware of his superb reminders of events, and his provision of “childlabour” to ensure warm hospitality! Simon Holdsworth has a full-time job, and we are enormously grateful to him for all that he does. I am confident that the branch is in good hands, and I wish you all well next year. John commented in his report at the AGM that the year came to a sad end with the loss of Harriet Taper, wife of our Treasurer, Chris, and loyal member of the branch. Despite her long illness, Harriet enjoyed attending meetings, particularly the public speaking of primary school children, and had written reports for the ESU branches newsletter. She is much missed. There have been 14 events since the last AGM on 21 May. In Truro School Chapel. Attendance has been erratic and it is possible that we have been doing too much. Hardly anyone attended the visit to the DCLI Museum in Bodmin, and the audience for Sir
Sir Richard Dearlove, former Head of MI6, was smaller than hoped or expected. Nevertheless members have had opportunities to learn about such eclectic subjects as music therapy, international development, “Fifteen”, Geevor Tin Mine, Cornish writing, the Queen’s Harbourmaster at Plymouth, and gardening at Trelissick. We were also the first branch to welcome the new Director-General of the ESU, Michael Lake, who was pleased to share his ideas for the future, and to respond to comments from fellow Cornish members! A number of changes will be reported at the AGM. Our President, Lord Tyler, has left the county, and announced his resignation at the public speaking competition, where he presented the trophy to Truro High School for Girls. A possible successor will be suggested at the AGM. As I have indicated, I have well exceeded the term of Chairmanship and will step down. Jeremy Varcoe has agreed to become the new Chairman. The next branch event was held in September, ‘Lock’em Up Or Let’em Out’ (the work of the parole board) with Sian Flynn – member of the parole board. A report will appear in the next edition.
Sir Michael Stear and Mac MacDonald
Major General Sir John Grey and Laurie Burbridge with Major General Andrew Salmon
Ben Bradshaw with Ken Parry
In May we had an illuminating talk by Major General Andrew Salmon on the final days in Basra of the British Forces. In a temperature of 50 – 55 degrees centigrade and with only a staff of 400 the Marines arrived to try and repair some of the damage which resulted from Saddam and 30 years of constant war. The talk was illustrated by a short video of shooting and destruction showing the state of Basra.
He talked about the last year, starting with the ousting of Speaker of the House Michael Martin who, as he put it, did not grasp the importance of the expenses scandal. The perks of being Minister for the Department of Culture and Sport means that he gets to Wimbledon (he is a keen tennis fan) and he was also able to go to Bayreuth, sitting in a box with Angela Merkel and members of her government. They were applauded by the German audience which was very different from the situation in the UK where life was dominated by the economy and Afghanistan and not much else.
Gradually over a period of time, relationship with the British improved. Basra had been completely trashed and a joint programme to clean up and repair followed. The focus was on social and economic development. Eventually, the forces started to get the locals to stop fighting and work to sort out the devastating problems. After 4 months of intensive security operations, Ramadan was celebrated in Basra for the first time in 30 years, the locals began to feel secure and a strategic communications plan was implemented to try to achieve security, optimism and economic and social regeneration.
There followed a short video showing Basra once again open for business. Trade had increased, oil companies were back in business, waterways were cleared, the airport was functional once more, streets were cleaned and locals were not worried about security. Shops were opening and people were confident about a normal life. With this achieved, the Marines were ready to transfer authority to the Iraqis. It started with an orderly withdrawal of equipment and the video showed a very emotional handover of authority and after 6 years of fighting, the Marines withdrew to the tune of ‘Amazing Grace’. In June, at our final session of the year, we held our Annual General Meeting. This was followed by Dinner and a most interesting talk by the Rt. Hon Ben Bradshaw, member of Parliament for Exeter. He was absolutely charming and won over many of the stalwart Tory ladies, who were queuing up afterwards to talk to him!
BRANCHES Teaching awards – The Duke of Edinburgh ESU English Language Book Award and the ESU President’s Award, for technological innovation in English language teaching.
Ben Bradshaw, Paul Waterworth, Helen Waterworth, Ann Armstrong and Lizzy Stear
Ben described his visits to the Palace at the time of his appointment as a Privy Councillor and when Parliament was dissolved. On both occasions, he rode there on his bike. He spoke with candour and gave some fascinating insights into his dealings with Gordon Brown and the Queen. Ben has been an MP for Exeter since 1997 after a career in print and radio journalism which saw him appointed to “a quiet post” in Berlin in 1989. Of course, it did not remain quiet for long. Plymouth Martin Mulloy, Director of Charitable Activities of the English-Speaking Union, was our guest speaker at the Plymouth branch AGM in July. Martin gave a very wide-ranging talk on the issues related to the charitable education activities of the ESU, informing the audience that the ESU currently runs a huge range of Speech and Debate programmes and competitions; scholarship, exchange and internship programmes for a wide variety of beneficiaries including school pupils, students, teachers, librarians and others; an all-year round programme of events and conferences, including residential courses at Stratford with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Globe Theatre and Oxford University; operates in over 50 countries worldwide and runs two major English Language DIALOGUE 74
The key challenges for the ESU is to ensure that all its activities delivered clear public benefit, that the activities reflected the ESU’s declared aims and purposes and are an appropriate, effective and meaningful use of charitable funds. Martin also mentioned the need to align branch efforts and funding with the overall activity, funding and purpose of the ESU. Martin was previously Director of the BBC English Language Training and BBC Languages businesses for BBC Worldwide, developing major multimedia language learning programmes globally. More recently he worked as a consultant for US and UK media and publishing companies, evaluating strategic opportunities in educational markets worldwide. He also worked in China on various English language training projects, including the Olympic English-learning campaign with the organisers of the Beijing Olympics. Prior to all of this, Martin worked overseas as an ELT teacher and for various publishing groups and educational organisations both in the UK and internationally: he has lived and worked in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, France, Spain and China.
Taunton Sir Robert Corbett’s personal recollections in April of the fall of the Berlin Wall were hugely enjoyed by members, a number of whom had been there at the time. The talk fitted well with the branch’s predilection for speakers who have first-hand knowledge of their subjects. In May Tom Burr maintained that theme with his illustrated account of his employment by the National Trust over 39 years, during which he played an active part in turning it from a landowners’ club into a national institution with 3.5 million members. Following a well-attended AGM in June, the branch’s year ended with a masterly survey of the life and career of Siegfried Sassoon, given by Dennis Silk, CBE, former Warden of Radley College and President of the MCC. Matching pictures and poems to his narrative, he took members through Sassoon’s pilgrimage from the favoured and cosseted son of an idyllic rural Kentish upbringing to the searing experience of the trenches on the Western Front that turned him into one of the greatest of the War Poets, with a power to move through an economy of words that was as telling for members on that evening as it must have been when his work was first published. But this was not simply an impressive academic study, as through cricket and the proximity of Heytesbury, Sassoon’s home, to Marlborough College, where Denis Silk taught, the two became firm friends, thus bringing members into direct and privileged contact with Sassoon himself for a memorable evening.
REGIONAL DIARY East Region
Thursday 28 October
Monday 6 December
Sunday 5 December
Tre Fratelli Ristorante, Tithe Road, Kempston
12 noon for 12.30 pm sharp
Armscote Farm, in the hamlet of Armscote, Warwickshire
Contact: Frederick Thomas 01923 854608 Friday 1 and Saturday 2 October Visit to Rochester and Chatham. Staying at the Holiday Inn - historic towns and Dickens trail. Please let secretary know asap if you are interested in coming so that we can reserve the booking at the hotel. Tuesday 2 November Literary Celebrity Dinner, Speaker tba.
Mike Lake CBE, DirectorGeneral of The EnglishSpeaking Union, will talk on Charities and The EnglishSpeaking Union.
Thanksgiving Lunch. Dr Nigel Bowles, Director, The Rothermere American Institute, Oxford, will talk on The Special Relationship: does it exist?
Thursday 9 December Southill Park, Nr Biggleswade 12.30 pm Christmas drinks and canapés, by kind invitation of our President Charles and Jane Whitbread.
Ouse Valley The following events commence with lunch at 1 pm with the talk to follow. Inquiries to Brenda Alexander on 01234 881473. A full annual programme and booking form are both available on the branch’s ESU web pages.
The Sharnbrook Hotel, Park Lane, A6 north of Bedford
Belvedere, St Albans Thanksgiving Lunch
Victorian Christmas Party in at Chairman’s home, date tba.
Carols, readings, quiz etc.
Thursday 25 November
Thursday 25 November
Christmas Luncheon at the Shoeburyness and Thorpe Bay Baptist Church.
Tuesday 18 January 2011 Henry Davis, specialist in Russian and Eastern European History, will talk on The Blue Danube: history and culture past and present. Venue: Tre Fratelli Ristorante, Tithe Road, Kempston
Southend on Sea Monday 27 September
Thursday 30 September
Restaurant, Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff-on-Sea
Bedfordshire Golf Club, Stagsden, Nr Bedford
12 noon for 12.30 pm £10
Professor Brian Johnson, Chemist and Emeritus Master, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, will talk on the subject Can computers fall in love?
Lunch retiring to The Lexus Room for a film show by South Essex Filmmakers. Monday 25 October 9.30 am Julia Tetley will give a guided tour of Southend Magistrates Court, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea.
All details and availability of tickets from Jacqueline Millington, 1, Queen Street, Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, OX10 7HR Tel: 01865-340.266 (STAMPED ADDRESSED ENVELOPE PLEASE). Sunday 7 November Chavenage House, Tetbury. 12 noon Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon with guest Pete Waterman, music impresario, and one of the most successful figures in British popular music culture; the man who launched the music careers of dozens of artistes, including Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Pete’s other passion is the creating of choirs all over the country, and his love of the working model steam train. He has a lot to tell us! Ticket includes a welcoming glass of wine and a two-course luncheon.
11.30 am (prompt) Annual Christmas Party. Gloucestershire members Anthony and Wendy Dixon will be giving us a warm welcome into their 17th Century, mullion-windowed home. Our current BRANCH MUSIC SCHOLARS, Dom Whyte will be playing guitar, accompanied by his brother on keyboard, and Luke Harris on viola. Ticket includes all drink and food: cava and canapés.
Worcestershire Thursday 23 September Yorkshire Grey Restaurant, near Upton on Severn. 12 noon for 12.30 pm £17.50 Irena Nikitina will give us an illustrated talk on the Architecture of St. Petersburg. This had been announced as to have been at the Worcestershire Golf Club but has had to be changed. Friday 19 November Thanksgiving Lunch 12 noon for 12.30 pm Worcestershire Golf Club Phill Reed, Director of the Churhill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms in London will talk about the Great Man, a key figure in Anglo-American relations. Sunday 12 December 14 College Road, Malvern 12 noon £7.50 Christmas Reception at the Chairman’s house. Buffet Lunch and mulled wine
North East Region
Friday 19 November
Saturday 22 January 2011
Visit to the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester to see a matinee at 4 pm of Zack a comedy by Harold Brighouse.
Contact: Don Miller 020 8540 6754 unless otherwise stated.
Tuesday 8 February
23 - 27 September
‘The genius of Wedgwood’ with Gaye Roberts
London members visit to Lisbon
Tuesday 8 March
‘Global warming’ with Peter Bielawski
Talk at Dartmouth House by Andrew Crisford Antique Clocks
Meet at 12 noon for 12.30 pm
Contact: Geraldine Richardson Eames, Secretary of Branch 01469 571 387, firstname.lastname@example.org
11 November Hemswell Autumn Dinner with well-known author Louis de Bernieres.
Hugh Hollinghurst on the topic ‘John Foster and Sons: Kings of Georgian Liverpool’. This is a celebration of the life and works of a family that enriched Georgian Liverpool. Monday 13 December Western Rooms Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
North West Region Liverpool and Merseyside Contact: Sue Davies 0151 342 6157, or Dorothy Lewis 0151 638 5512 Friday 17 September Hurlston Hall, Ormskirk 12.15 pm for 12.45 pm £17 (admission by ticket) Fundraising lunch to raise money for the Rattle Scholarship Fund. Well-known mountaineer Bill Jones who will recount his recent climb in the Rwenzori (the mountains of the moon) in Uganda. Friday 15 October Athenaeum Meet at 12 noon for 12.30 pm
Christmas Lunch with guest Gillian Reynolds MBE
Also to be arranged:
Gillian Reynolds was born in Liverpool and is an acclaimed radio critic, journalist and broadcaster and is the radio critic of the Daily Telegraph.
North West regional final of the public speaking competition for schools
A summer event
Contact: Jennifer MacPherson, 01925 730176. New venue for 2011 to be advised.
Lunch meetings at Fourways Inn, Delamere, Cheshire 12 noon for 12.30 pm Tuesday 12 October Bletchley Park Dr. Diana Henderson, Fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge and Director of Alumni
Tuesday 9 November
Inspector William Stupples from Merseyside Police on the topic ‘Cannabis Farms and Community Safety’
‘Brunel - Gambler of Genius’
(Inspector Stupples’ talk was postponed in January due to the bad weather.)
Tuesday 12 April A talk by one of the sponsored students
12.30 pm for 1 pm
The speaker will be John Sims who will describe Brunel’s major projects in pictorial form. Tuesday 14 December ‘Flog it’ with Peter Ashburner
A spring/summer outing
South Wales Contact: Derek Morgan, 01656 699129 Friday 17 September AGM and Lunch with guest speaker Lord Hunt of Wirral Monday 29 November Howell’s School, Cardiff Christmas Carols and Supper
8 December Dartmouth House A Celebration of Christmas
South Region Salisbury Salisbury Branch meets monthly from September to April for lunch and a talk from a diverse and interesting range of speakers at the Rose and Crown, Harnham and new members are always welcome and should phone 01722 328235 in the first instance. Monday 27 September Branch AGM
South east region
Canterbury and East Kent
Saturday 30 October
Contact: Valerie Ainscough, 174 Old Dover Road, Canterbury CT1 3EX, 01227 471180 or 819037
South East Region’s annual ‘Literary Lunch at Chartwell’. Further information from Meriel Talbot, 020 7529 1567.
Brighton and Hove Contact: Arthur Collins 01273 307335 or email email@example.com Meetings (except where specified) at 2 pm for 2.30 pm at The Hove Club, 28 Fourth Avenue, Hove. Tuesday 21 September ‘The Story of the Old Ship Hotel’ with Jackie MarshHobbs, and AGM Friday 8 October 6 pm George IV: Cad or Catalyst with Lord Baker of Dorking Ticket only – from Arthur Collins Tuesday 19 October Napoleon on St Helena with Michael Smith Tuesday 9 November
Sunday 29 August 1 pm “A Taste of Africa” lunch at the home of Dr Valerie Ainscough Tickets in advance only £15. Closing date 20 August.
Eastbourne Contact: Charles Beal, 01323 439100 Saturday 18 September 32 Denton Road, Eastbourne 3.30 pm £6 Afternoon tea by kind permission of Jimmy and Diane Stuart. Our speaker will be James Cottam the branches university scholar to the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC and NYC. Thursday 14 October Langham Hotel, Eastbourne
100 Years of a Sussex Village with Valeire Mellor
12.30 for 1 pm
Tuesday 7 December
Lunch. Jane A Green will speak on ‘Cruising with the Stars’.
‘Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes’ with Richard Crane and Faynia Williams, to coincide with the V&A exhibition.
Friday 19 November The Royal Eastbourne Golf Club 7 for 7.30 pm Thanksgiving Dinner £22.50
Guildford and District
Friday 26 November
Meetings at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.
Thanksgiving Lunch at Champs Hill preceded by a recital given by music students of Chichester University with guest speaker Nicola Horlick.
Contact: Michael Plumbe, 6 Swan Terrace, Hastings TN34 3HT, 01424 71 37 37
South West Region
Further information from Jeff Thomson 07850 922601.
Saturday 25 September Jenny Miller has kindly invited us to her studio at 6 Uplands, Maze Hill, St Leonards, for this event. Afternoon meeting and tea, Luisa Rosina, the clarinettist we have helped to sponsor, will give a recital. Provisionally on Thursday 4 November, Mike Lake, Director General, has agreed to visit the branch for lunch. We hope to have our Christmas Lunch in the first week of December. The details have yet to be fixed.
West Sussex Contact: Branch Secretary Elizabeth Brooks, 01243 378900 Friday 24 September the Barleymow, Walderton 1.30 pm at with lunch available at 12.30 pm Alan Bott OBE will give an illustrated talk about the ‘Silk Road from China to the West’.
Bath and District Bookings Secretary: Mrs W Wilson (Elin) 22 Northanger Court, Grove St, Bath BA2 6PE firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 01225 334242
Bristol All meetings take place in the Newbolt Room at Clifton College, unless otherwise stated. The talk starts at 7.45 pm. Wine, soft drinks, coffee and biscuits available from 7 pm Friday 17 September Newbolt Room ‘My First Impressions’ Charlotte Leslie MP, Conservative MP for Bristol North West. Tuesday 12 October Newbolt Room Question and Answer session with Catherine Johnson, playwright of Suspension and Mama Mia.
Tuesday 7 October Visit to the Cabinet War Rooms in London.
Our Chorister-in-Residence will perform the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ as a highlight.
Tuesday and Wednesday 16 and 17 November
Friday 10 December
Monday 13 December
Carruan Farm 12 for 12.30pm
ESU Bristol Heats Schools’ Public Speaking Competition.
(with short talk - speaker TBA)
Afternoon talks start at 2 pm and evening talks at 7.30 pm (except special events) and cost £2.50 including tea/ coffee. They take place in the Churchill Room, Astor Hotel, Plymouth. A good two-course, pre-talk lunch/supper is available at 12.30/6pm and costs £12.
Christmas Lunch Meeting
Redmaids School Bristol 5.30 for 6 pm
Thursday 25 November Redwood Lodge Hotel, Beggar Bush Lane Thanksgiving Lunch. Reception: 11.30 am Talk: 12 noon Lunch: 1.15 pm Sir Christopher Meyer, ex UK Ambassador to USA and to Germany. Sir Christopher will sign copies of his book, Getting Our Way.
Exeter and District All meetings are held in the Duckworth Suite of the Exeter Golf and County Club. Enquiries to Ann Armstrong on 01364 642839 Friday 15 October 6.30 for 7 pm Supper meeting with Roger Knight on ‘The MCC and the Spirit of Cricket’
£25. (Cheques to John Lindley by Wed.17th Nov).
Thursday 11 November
Cornwall Contact: Chris Taper, email@example.com, 01208-863867
Supper meeting with Richard Kellaway CBE on ‘The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’.
Friday 8 October
Friday 10 December
Visit to St Austell Brewery
6.30 for 7 pm
Supper meeting with Susan Howe on ‘Recollections of Cp;etpm Fishacre and Hysterical History’.
Tour and snack lunch Charges apply Friday 22 October Truro School Chapel, 6.30 pm Rt Rev Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro on ‘A Day in the Life of a Bishop’ Tuesday, 16 November Truro School Chapel 6.30 pm James Williams on ‘The Role of the High Sheriff of Cornwall’
6.30 for 7 pm
For further information and booking (meals and special events must be booked in advance). please telephone Jill Rogerson 01752 847 113. School students attend free, college students £1. Monday 11 October Evening Meeting
12.30 for 1 pm at the Theatre Royal Jeannette Nicholls on ‘My Work at Plymouth Theatre Royal’ £15 (£5 deposit per person or pay in advance) Jeannette became Chairman of TRAC in 1992. She ran the Theatre’s Costume Hire Dept., voluntarily and was costume manager for both High Heels in the Rubble and Out of the Rubble and for all Music of the Nights. In 2008 she devised and produced Barking Mad, an entertainment of Les Barker’s verses.
Dr. Ann Pulsford on ‘Women in Science’
In 1988 Ann joined the newly formed Plymouth Marine Laboratory and supervised research projects on immunology and parasitology of marine fishes and molluscs. In 1995 she was invited to apply for the post of Executive Editor of the Journal of the Marine Biological Association, which she has been editing for the past 14 years, and created a new online journal Marine Biodiversity records.
New Year’s Party at the home of Sue Edwards, 36 St. Michael’s Terrace
Friday 26 November Thanksgiving Lunch Meeting 12.30 for 1 pm Lord Hunt on ‘The ESU and the First Thanksgiving Dinner, in Plymouth Colony in 1621’ £18 to include lunch Advance booking please to Jill Rogerson.
Monday 10 January
7.30 pm £7.50 to include drinks Advance notice to Jill Rogerson please. There will be a raffle.
REVIEW – Inside Reviews, listings, profiles and interviews from staff and members. To submit a review or listing for publication, please contact the Editor on 020 7529 1579 or firstname.lastname@example.org PROFILE_80 Sam Haywood BOOK_84 In the Wake of the Raj God’s Architect - Pugin and The Building of Romantic Britain Membership Benefits_86
SAM HAYWOOD Sam Haywood has performed to critical high acclaim all over the world as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Gillian Parker Head of Education
He began playing the piano at the age of four, inspired by evenings listening to crackly Beethoven LPs with his grandmother in the Lake District.Following his success at the age of13 in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, the Royal Philharmonic Society gave him their prestigious Isserlis Award. He went on to study in Vienna with Paul Badura-Skoda and at the Royal Academy of Music with the late Maria Curcio, herself a pupil of Artur Schnabel. He is regularly involved in educational projects and has cowritten a children’s opera. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s death, he recently made a transcription of the Romance from Chopin’s First Piano Concerto. Sam received an ESU music scholarship to Yale Summer School in 1998 and now sits on the panel for scholarship auditions, which take place in November. Sam spoke to me about his upcoming year, playing with Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis, and what not to eat before going on stage…
GILLIAN PARKER In 1998, you were awarded an ESU scholarship to Yale Summer School, Connecticut. Can you tell us a little about your time there? SAM HAYWARD I am very grateful to the ESU for this wonderful opportunity which taught me a great deal – and not only about music. Playing chamber music with good musicians is by far the best way to learn, I think. GP You have not only been auditioned for an ESU Music Scholarship, but are now sitting on the music scholarship audition panel. To our prospective music scholarship applicants, do you have any words of advice having now sat on both sides of the table? SH I suppose the important things are to choose a programme you feel passionately about, prepare it thoroughly and have a rough idea of what you’re going to answer to the inevitable question “So why do you want to go to X?” I would also try and avoid being pigeonholed. In my mind, there is no such thing as a chamber musician, soloist or accompanist – there are only musicians, good and not so good. I have never understood this obsession with categorisation. In proclaiming yourself a member of a particular group, you are automatically excluding so much wonderful music, so many possibilities. Besides, I think that being able to lead, accompany and to converse in music are all vital skills, irrespective of what you are playing. GP Apart from very generously playing for the ESU (more than once, I should add!) what has been the most memorable concert throughout your career so far? SH I ’ve really enjoyed all my concerts for the ESU. I now know many people involved with the organisation who always feel so welcome and comfortable. To be honest, I
have no ‘most memorable concert’. I don’t tend to dwell on past performances. I suppose I’m always thinking about my next engagements. I do often think of people I met at the time, though. It’s great that it’s so easy to keep in touch these days. I love Skype, Facebook and communicating via my website – a fantastic tool. I once took part in a school workshop in Wales with Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. In the corner, there was a severely handicapped little boy in a wheelchair. He hadn’t moved or said anything the whole time. I think we assumed he wasn’t fully aware of what was going on. We told the children a bit about the history of the work and asked them what images the different movements conjured up in their minds. They came up with some lovely associations – birds, various animals, types of weather. When it came to the last movement, that incredible, transcendental Praise to the Eternity of Jesus the little disabled boy suddenly spoke up from the corner. For him, he told us, it was all about Messiaen’s hope that one day he would be released from the concentration camp. That was a good moment. GP This year, you have travelled extensively around the world with violinist, Joshua Bell. How did you find the tour? How is it working with another musician for so long, it must be quite intense? SH This was my first major international tour and I remember being very stressed in the weeks leading up to it. Joshua is obviously hugely popular and the halls were always packed. In the end I was pleasantly surprised at how calm I felt on stage. This had been my main concern – I knew I could play the programme well, but wasn’t sure how the addition of two thousand people would affect everything. So after the first concert, with which Joshua, the critics and
PROFILE audience seemed very happy, it began to be fun. Playing with great musicians like Joshua, Steven Isserlis or Katherine Ann Spencer there is a real feeling of duo playing – no need for lengthy discussions; it’s mostly a case of listening to each other and reacting instinctively. This way concerts are never the same twice, keeping everything fresh and exciting. They are all great company and really fun to be with. At the same time there is an unspoken awareness of the need of personal space on tour. GP Travelling extensively and being on tour must be fantastic, especially if you are enjoying sell-out concerts. However, is there a downside to this? Is it as glamorous as we (the nonmusicians!) perceive it? SH This idea of glamour is mostly in the mind, I think. When faced with hours travelling, rehearsing and practice it doesn’t always feel especially glamorous, but that’s not to say it’s not wonderful, inspiring and exciting. The passion for music is obviously the driving force behind everything. To spend your life working with the creations of such great geniuses is a real privilege. They take you on a long voyage of discovery and also self-discovery, involving the whole spectrum of emotions. Non-musicians will often tell you, with
the squirrels; Prague, one of the most beautiful cities I have seen; New York, where I’ll go to the City Bakery to drink the world’s thickest hot chocolate and to the Fat Cat jazz bar play table tennis; across the road to the Wigmore Hall (on 16 April – my birthday!) and to lots of places I’ve never been and have always wanted to see – Moscow, Sao Paulo, Boston, Miami and many other cities in the USA. I’m really looking forward to Japan with Ken. Apart from being an excellent musician, he is one of the nicest people I know and an incredible impressionist! GP And the new CD release? SH It’s probably the ten-thousandth Chopin recording, BUT!!! – the first ever to be made on his own Pleyel piano. It is a unique instrument with a very seductive, silvery, warm tone and I think it shows his music in a different and very beautiful light. I am enormously fond of the instrument and have used it for several recitals at Hatchlands Park (well worth a visit!) and also at Lancaster House with Steven Isserlis. That was a special Chopin celebration concert organised by the Chopin Society. Chopin had played there on the same day of the year (15 May) for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1848. The Pleyel somehow makes it very easy to connect
The passion for music is obviously the driving force behind everything. To spend your life working with the creations of such great geniuses is a real privilege. a trace of pity in their voices, that the life of a musician “must be sooo difficult – sooo competitive – there are sooo many wonderfully talented musicians around…” Of course they are right, up to a point, but if they could be a musician for just one day, I suspect they might never say such a thing again. GP You have got an incredibly busy year ahead of you, touring with fellow music scholarship panellist Ken Aiso in Japan, more touring with Joshua Bell throughout 2011 as well as all your solo engagements. Can you tell us a little bit more about what is coming up? Anything our international ESUs should look out for? SH Yes, I’ll be doing more travelling next year than I’ve ever done before. I’ll be going back to Vienna, where I studied and began my adult life; Bucharest, where I’ll play Chopin in the Athenaeum – the most beautiful hall I know; Warsaw, where I will go for a nostalgic walk in the Lazienki park and feed DIALOGUE 82
with the audience – they are drawn into its magical sound world. Chopin loved it too – he said that Pleyels were “the last word in perfection” and uniquely referred to this particular instrument as “my piano”. The CD will be available from the beginning of September, initially via Amazon, my website or from the Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands Park. There are also some extracts on my website, along with a recording made on Haydn’s own piano. GP Finally, some light-hearted questions: Any superstitions before going on stage? SH No. I’m not at all superstitious – very boring, I know. I did once see a ghost, though. I have since tried every way to explain it rationally, but without success. GP Any food you avoid before playing? SH Anything heavy. A large curry would be disastrous. I’ve
had some kind hosts who tempt me before concerts with my favourite things such as rhubarb crumble, raspberry pavlova or sticky toffee pudding. Strong will-power is essential! GP For our younger, aspiring musicians, do you still have to practise? SH Oh yes – I practise more and more. I was a bit too relaxed about it early on, relying too heavily on my talent, which isn’t enough. Also, when you’re young you can memorise things more easily, so I’d strongly advise learning as much repertoire as possible at that stage. GP Any embarrassing moments? SH Well, I once had a poor page turner whose chair got too close to the edge and she suddenly disappeared. More embarrassing for her, I suppose. She wasn’t hurt, thank goodness. I also heard a funny story about a pianist’s hands getting entangled in his page turner’s dangly necklace as she got up to turn the page. The pianist then had to leap to the top of the keyboard, taking the poor lady with him! GP Favourite piece of music? SH I don’t really have one, but certain pieces are especially close to my heart. For example: my first ever opera, La Boheme; Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion, Schubert’s Winterreise; a couple of slow, sad Handel arias. Melancholic music strikes a particular chord with me, so to speak, though I do have quite a cheerful disposition! Were I ever to do Desert Island Discs people would probably become too depressed and switch off. I also like the Beatles, Katie Melua, Bryan Adams and I love Eva Cassidy’s version of Fields of Gold and Elton John’s Your Song. As a student, I remember him coming to give a concert at the Royal Academy of Music in memory of Princess Diana. He’d been a student there too and had apparently never been allowed to perform in the Duke’s Hall! He told us that if we didn’t practise, we might end up like him. Not such a bad fate, we thought… In my car I always listen to either Radio 4 or Magic FM.
“now I am going to emerge you”, I flinch, and much of his good work is undone. At the moment I enjoy walking around London in my MBT shoes learning Greek or listening to Radio 4 podcasts; I love being up in the Lake District, where my family lives; Sophia and I are also working our way through 95 episodes of Columbo – the complete series box set was half-price at HMV! She loves to watch Gray’s Anatomy, but there’s too much blood for me. I often say I’d have been a doctor had I not been a musician, but if I can’t even watch them on the television, maybe I made the right choice. Sam’s latest release is the first recording to have ever been made on Chopin’s own Pleyel piano of 1846 and is available to buy now. To find out more about Sam’s future concerts, please go to www.samhaywood.com where you will also be able to download his latest newsletter including a tribute to his teacher Maria Curcio. ESU Music Scholarships 2010 are now open. If you have studied music at a conservatoire or university in the UK, you are eligible to apply. Deadline for applications is 22 October. Please go to www.esu.org for further information on the scholarships. Auditions will be held in November.
GP When you have a spare moment – there aren’t many I can imagine – what do you do to relax? SH I am not very good at relaxing and am trying hard to improve (oh dear, I’m even getting stressed about how to relax – there’s no hope!). I did yoga for a while when I lived in Berlin, but I am not naturally bendy and found it quite difficult. I have a special energising hypnotherapy recording which I find quite useful. I even sometimes use it just before I go on stage in my dressing room. The only trouble is, the hypnotherapist’s grammar is a bit dodgy and every time he says something like “you are getting deeper relaxed” or DIALOGUE 83
BOOK REVIEW IN THE WAKE OF THE RAJ BY DESMOND HIGGINS
GOD’S ARCHITECTPUGIN AND THE BUILDING OF ROMANTIC BRITAIN
In 1957, independent India was 10 years old. Politically there had been changes: an entirely new government had taken over and a new neighbour – West and East Pakistan – had emerged on her doorstep. But in everyday life there had been little change. Many accounts now focus on the contemporary scene. This work however, attempts to remember conditions at this historic starting point.
Born in 1812, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was a prolific architect who transformed British architecture and interior design. He began collecting French antiquities at the age of 9 and sketching designs of Gothic churches and by the age of 15, he had been commissioned by George IV to furnish apartments at Windsor Castle. He went on to become a seminal figure in Gothic Revival, working fervently on numerous landmarks including Big Ben and Charles Barry’s design of the Houses of Parliament. In just 3 years alone for example, he built twenty-two churches, three cathedrals, three convents and a Cistercian monastery.
In the Wake of the Raj takes the reader behind the scenes, providing a look at grass roots: at village life, social mores and conflicts as well as some of the political issues. The emphasis is on North India with glimpses of Pakistan and Nepal. Born in Ireland in 1930, Desmond emigrated to Liverpool. But his Irish citizenship did not keep him from getting press-ganged into the Royal Navy, nor did it inhibit his entry into the diplomatic service. Delhi was his first overseas posting. Having served in Commonwealth countries on four continents, his ‘second retirement’ began in 2004. With his wife Barbara, he divides his time between Kingston-upon-Thames and Cheshire. “A fantastic book, well written and full of interesting facts. I read this book and felt a huge urge to pack my things and travel to India.” You can buy In the Wake of the Raj at Harrods, Hatchards, Stanfords and Waterstones.
Despite the significance of his work, God’s Architect: Pugin and the building of Romantic Britain by Rosemary Hill is the first full biography written about this extraordinary man. As well as detailing his career, Hill uses thousands of previously unpublished letters and drawings to describe his full yet ultimately tragic personal life, as well as his career. At the age of 19, his first wife died within a week of their first child being born and both his parents died within a year. His life continued to be turbulent, including the death of his second wife and sadly culminated at the age of 40, he died suddenly, disillusioned and certified insane. Hill successfully manages to integrate an intimate biography within a social, political and artistic context. The writing is elegant and often witty, bringing a complex and intricate story to life. Although it weighs in at around 600 pages, Hill manages to keep the reader absorbed throughout and covers many complex ideas in an accessible way due to her clear solid understanding of her subject and the historical and cultural context. This is a highly recommended fascinating read, particularly for anyone interested in architecture or the nineteenth century. God’s Architect won the Marsh Biography Award in 2009.
ESU MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS Contact Jo Wedderspoon, 020 7529 1576, email@example.com for further information
ESU EVENTS & DARTMOUTH HOUSE Use of member-only facilities at Dartmouth House Priority booking on room hire at Dartmouth House Priority bookings for the Revelstoke Room and courtyard dining Access to the Page Memorial Library – an area to work with access to WiFi
The Naval Club, 38 Hill Street, London W1J 5NS
Mount Street Printers, 4 Mount Street, London W1K 3LW – 10% discount
ESU members can book accommodation without restrictions. Contact reception, 020 7493 7672 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members will receive discount on production of ESU membership card.
Royal Over-Seas League, Edinburgh Overseas House, 100 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 3AB
Invitations to select events with high profile speakers to discuss current affairs
Please telephone 0131 225 1501 or email email@example.com
A diverse cultural events programme at member’s prices
University Women’s Club, 2 Audley Square, London W1K 1DB
Please call Dartmouth House to book the Revelstoke Room on 020 7529 1550
Members rates. Please telephone 020 7499 2268 quoting your ESU membership number.
The Chesterfield Mayfair, Charles Street, London
Buyagift.com – 15% discount
Access to the Executive Club Programme. Reservations: T: 020 7958 7729 F: 020 7491 4793 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Please quote “ESU” to obtain preferred rates. International Students House 229 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PN ISH offers student style accommodation for ESU members at a 15% discounted rate. Please telephone 020 7631 8310 The Lansdowne Club, 9 Fitzmaurice Place, London W1J 5JD As an affiliate of the ESU, The Lansdowne Club can offer weekend accommodation at guest rates. Bookings should be made through Jo Wedderspoon at the ESU.
www.buyagift.co.uk/esu – discount code ESU15 Buyagift.com offers a range of over 2,200 amazing gift ideas including once in a lifetime experiences such as Ferrari or tank driving to relaxing spa breaks and balloon flights. Buyagift also provide a range of traditional gifts including fine wine, flowers, hampers and chocolates. You can also book theatre tickets and hotel rooms throughout the UK and some worldwide destinations. T. M. Lewin Discount vouchers available for members for T M Lewin throughout the UK and online. Offers will change each month. Please visit the Membership Benefits (coming soon) page on our website or contact Jo Wedderspoon. Penhaligons, Burlington Arcade, London W1 – 15% discount Members will receive discount on production of ESU membership card.
Granta Magazine ESU members receive a special subscription deal for £29.95/year plus a Granta tote bag. Please visit www.granta.com/esu10 for details. LIFESTYLE The Commonwealth Club, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5AP ESU members can use the restaurant at the Commonwealth Club in the evening only at member rates (£21.50). To book a table quote your ESU membership number and the reference ESU10. ESU members can also book RCS events in the same way. Telephone: 020 7766 9200 Ambassador Select www.AmbassadorTickets.com/select – username: ESU password: play RADA, 62-64 Gower Street, London, WC1 25% discount on the full ticket price. For more details and to book tickets please contact the RADA box office, 020 7908 4800 quoting your ESU membership number. Janet Ginnings Hair & Beauty, 45 Curzon Street, London W1J 7UQ Members will receive 10% discount on production of ESU membership card. Telephone 020 7499 1904 or 020 7499 2767 to book. Piano lessons London members can benefit from a discount on piano lessons with Jeanne Broda. Contact Jeanne on 020 8810 6753 and mention the “ESU offer” for more details
September – December 2010
Wednesday 15 September, 6.30 pm, £8
Wednesday 13 October, 10.30 - 11.30 am
Panel discussion with David Smith presenting his book Age of Instability
International at Home
Wednesday 3 November, 12.30 pm, £40 (ESU Members) / £50 (Guests)
Dartmouth House invite you to a panel discussion with David Smith, Economics Editor of the Sunday Times, Richard Albright, Economic Minister, Embassy of the United States of America and Hiroshi Oka, Minister & Consul General, Embassy of Japan. Setting the near collapse of the international financial markets and banking system in a global and historical context, this esteemed panel looks not only at the political and economic factors that contributed to the fall of Lehmans, collapse of Iceland and disintegration of the subprime mortgage market but also at the emergence of a culture of risk and greed that made it possible to believe that greed was good and the good times would last forever. The Age of Instability provides an authoritative yet accessible guide to what happened, where, and when with practical suggestions for what needs to happen next. Contact: Gillian Parker, email@example.com or 020 7529 1564 Wednesday 22 September, 7 pm, £7.50 In aid of the ESU American Arts Scholarship to Attingham. Morrison Heckscher, who has been on the staff of the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1969, will present a lecture on ‘Rediscovering American Art at the Metropolitan Museum in New York’. Morrison Hecksher was made Lawrence A. Fleischman Chairman of the American Wing in 2001. He has served on the boards of the Society of Architectural Historians and the American Friends of the Attingham Summer School and is a trustee of the Henry Franics du Pont Winterthur Museum. He has written extensively on American Furniture and Architecture. Ticket price includes a glass of wine or fruit juice. Contact: Gillian Parker, 020 7529 1564 or firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday 23 September Deadline for 2 term SSE applications Tuesday 28 September, 6 - 9 pm Alumni open house. Alumni are welcome to bring friends, fellow Alumni and guests to Dartmouth House. DIALOGUE 86
For ESU members from the UK and abroad. Friends and non-members welcome. Wednesday 13 October, 12.30 pm, £40 (ESU Members) / £50 (Guests) Autumn City Lunches: Quentin Letts Quentin will take questions from members and guests during an intimate lunch for 40 people on his reflections of the General Election 2010 and how he sees the coalition government five months in. Contact: Jo Wedderspoon, email@example.com Friday 22 October Deadline for Music Scholarship Applications Please refer to website www.esu.org for details on the scholarships, how to apply and to download the application form. Applicants must ensure their applications have been received by the deadline. Please note that applications without a reference will not be considered. Contact: Gillian Parker, Education Department
Autumn City Lunches: Michael Crick Michael Crick is a journalist, biographer and broadcaster. He is currently Political Editor of Newsnight and closely covered the general election 2010. Michael will take questions from members and guests during an intimate lunch for 40 people on his reflections of the general election 2010 and how he sees the coalition government five months in. Wednesday 8 November, 7 pm, £20 ESU Annual Carol Concert With seasonal music and readings. Join us for Yuletide cheer, festive fare, mulled wine, readings and carols with singers. Proceeds from tickets and raffle will go towards the ESU Education Programmes. Contact: Events Manager Tuesday 9 November Buckingham Palace Award Ceremony For winners of the ESU’s competitions and awards in 2009-10. A reception will be held afterwards at Dartmouth House. Tuesday 9 November, 6.30 – 8 pm at Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, W1 £17.50 Auction preview and informal gallery in aid of the ESU Chilton Art History Scholarship. ‘The Arts of Asia: World Tastes in Chinese and Japanese Art’. Established in London in 1793, Bonhams is the world’s oldest and largest auctioneer of fine art and antiques still with British ownership. Colin Sheaf, Bonhams’ United Kingdom and Asia Chairman, will welcome us at a private preview of rare Asian artworks to be sold in the New Bond Street flagship auction house on 11 November. Colin will talk about the traditions of art auctioneering and discuss some of the finest Asian lots on view. ESU members are encouraged to bring friends to enjoy this event at an unusual venue. Ticket price includes light refreshments. Meet at Bonham’s Ground Floor main reception. Contact: Events Manager
DECEMBER Wednesday 10 November, 12.30 for 1 pm, suggested donation £3
Tuesday 16 November, 5.30 for 6.15 pm, members £40, non-members £65*
Wednesday 1 December 2010, 11 am to 4.30 pm
Lunchtime Concert with Xinghai Music School, Guangzhou & Wells Cathedral School, Wells
Annual Churchill Lecture with Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, Guildhall ‘2010: The Threats of Aggression’
Travel lunches on Orient-Express trains around the UK
Doors: 5.30 pm, Lecture 6.15 pm to be followed by a reception in The Livery Hall
Contact: Jo Wedderspoon, firstname.lastname@example.org
Six students from Wells Cathedral School and Xinghai Music School will be giving a joint musical lunchtime performance at Dartmouth House. As part of the Wells Cathedral School exchange programme, students and teachers will travel to Xinghai in October 2010 returning to the UK with three students from Xinghai Music School. This lunchtime performance will form a part of their joint musical performances at prestigious venues across the UK. Bring your own lunch along and enjoy a relaxing winter concert in the warmth of Dartmouth House. This lunchtime concert is FREE OF CHARGE but a suggested donation of £3 will go towards the ESU Education Programmes. Tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Contact: Events Manager
General Charles Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank was Chief of the Defence Staff between 1997 and 2001 and Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, between 1994 and 1997. His lecture topic ‘2010: The Threats of Aggression’, brings the infamous Churchillian theme, “the problems, perils, challenges and opportunities facing the English-speaking peoples of today”, into the context of the 21st Century and the broader aspects of the growth of the English language. Lord Guthrie has an unrivalled knowledge of defence and associated issues. Lord Guthrie will be presented the Churchill Medal of Honour by The Lady Soames LG DBE. He will join a long list of esteemed speakers including Ronald Reagan, HRH The Princess Royal, Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, Dr Henry Kissinger and Lord Christopher Patten.
Friday 17 December 2010, 11.55 am to 6.15 pm Travel lunches on Orient-Express trains around the UK London Contact: Jo Wedderspoon, email@example.com Friday 17 December 2010, 11 am to 4.30 pm Travel lunches on Orient-Express trains around the UK Liverpool Contact: Jo Wedderspoon, firstname.lastname@example.org
*- this includes a voluntary donation of £25 to the ESU Contact: Events Manager, email@example.com or 020 7529 1550 Sunday 21 November 2010, 12.30 to 6 pm Travel lunches on Orient-Express trains around the UK Cardiff Contact: Jo Wedderspoon, firstname.lastname@example.org Wednesday 24 November Deadline for Page and Chautauqua applications
â€“ Decemberâ€™s issue of dialogue: More of the latest events, reviews, competitions, updates, and developments, including: the Orient-Express trips, Connecting Classrooms and Autumn City Lunches.
The English-Speaking Union