W H Rhodes Educational Tour to Canada


It was fifty years ago that  48  young men  from London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester and Glasgow and two school masters set sail to Canada for a month’s tour of Quebec and Ontario, by the generous courtesy of the W H Rhodes Educational Trust. Continue reading

Mark Anthony Lied

Good men and women die every day. Their loved ones mourn and remember them but for those who are famous there is a rapid lament and they are forgotten. Mark Anthony claimed that the evil that men do lives after them and the good is oft interred with their bones. Mark Anthony lied. Continue reading

Once upon a time

I once crawled, then walked then ran and now I walk. I once knew nothing and understood less and then knew almost everything except that I knew nothing. Continue reading

Where Time Goes

“Where has all the time gone”, I asked a colleague who was more than 20 years older than me as he settled into a high chair from which he would find it easier to remove himself. He had seen more time vanish than me so perhaps he knew the answer. He smiled, as he always smiled when he did not know the answer to my questions. Continue reading

Memories of Memories

I have for the past two or so weeks written about some of my memories. Memories are simply our recollections of experiences, but as they age and mature they weave into what we are and what we have become. Like our dreams and our intentions our memories are imperfect not completely true, because they have become interweaved into our personalities, developing them, changing them and progressing them. Continue reading

Memories – Visiting the Elderly

When I was at George Green’s School in Poplar our headmaster was Mr George C Wilks. Mr Wilks was a small stoutish man who reminded me of an owl, with his large spectacles. At that time teachers wore gowns and Mr Wilks wore the blackest gown of all, impeccably maintained and regularly walked around the building.  Continue reading

Memories – the First Thing I Knew

As a child we lived at 163 Drury Lane in London. Drury Lane is today a fashionable cool road, but when I was a bay it was a road filled with tenement buildings, small shops, cheap restaurants with a theatre at each end. Drury Lane was the home of the muffin man and was also my home. My home was one room. My cot was near the window; my sisters’ cots were close by and my parents slept on a bed settee. Standing on my cot I could see out of the window and the first thing that I can remember seeing was the greengrocer’s shop on the other side of the road, several stories down. Outside the shop was an open lorry and on the lorry a young man was unloading wooden boxes of cherries, which he was delivering to the shop.

The young man picked out a cherry from one of the boxes, as he stood on the back of the lorry. He tossed the cherry high into the air, caught it in his mouth and ate it.
That is my earliest memory, I think, but cannot be sure. Memories are unreliable witnesses.

Memories: through the glass clearly

My father discovered that I needed eyeglasses when i was in primary school. he took me to the Greek Church in Moscow Road and asked which Greek letters were the same as English letters. I ask “what letters”.  Continue reading

Memories: taste of a time long past

Before my taste became dulled by the sheer activity of growing old, my taste was sharper than my mind. On one of my first day of Infants school, in Susan Lawrence School in Poplar, I left home with a penny in my pocket, my pocket money. Opposite the school was a small corner shop in a terraced house. What seemed to me to be a very old lady had opened her sweet shop opposite the school gates. I went in with my penny and bought what I had never been allowed to buy before – a stick of bright pink bubble gum, wrapped in greased paper, dusted with sugar. It was long and thin with squared edges. Continue reading

Memories: the old songs are the best

Music can fix a memory in your mind. that is why, as we grow older, the old songs are the best. They are a taste of our youth and the photographic fixer that delays the fading of the photograph. Eventually the photograph will yellow and wither, and the memory will be lost. Eventually, at the end, all memories are lost. Even if we write them down they will die with us but may become the music of others and thus part of their memories.

the old songs are the best and as we grow older so the old songs grow better. Listen now.