You will have to forgive me if this edition of Full Circle is a few days late. I promise to get the next issue to you on Friday! My commitment to FC is huge, but it is as nothing compared to those people in Dundee who have continued to publish the Beano. It’s hard to imagine a comic that has survived for 80 years! Quite remarkable. The Archers and Coronation Street still have a lot of catching up to do!
Personally, I was not a regular reader of the Beano although occasionally I was given the Christmas Annual as a special treat. No, for preference, I read the Hotspur following the adventures of the great Alf Tupper and The Wolf of Kabul. Gosh, the children of today are missing out on so much!
I was also an avid reader of Look and Learn. This was a weekly educational magazine for children and it was filled with interesting articles on such diverse topics as volcanoes, King Charles or the founding of the World Wildlife Fund. I am sure that the general knowledge I learnt then still holds me in relatively good stead today, with a few regular updates from Wikipedia!
As a laverbread-eating Welshman, I couldn’t let my contribution to this edition close without mentioning, with a fanfare or two, the amazing accomplishment of Geraint Thomas. For so long the bridesmaid of the Sky Cycling Team, he coasted around the Champs Elysees last Sunday, already the winner of the 2018 Tour de France. He comes across as such a grounded, humble person and so it’s amazing to think that, until the age of 13, his coaches saw nothing special in him! He is the toast of Cardiff at present. It just shows you what hard work mixed with a good dollop of passion can achieve. Well done, Mr Thomas. Just for interest, my Uncle Des was a Thomas, so Geraint and I are probably related!
Please don’t forget, if you ever fancy a look at the ongoing developments at St Bees, or if you would like to meet me or Gareth Seddon, do please telephone us to make an appointment. We would be delighted to see you.
Forwards with confidence
It has come to our attention that the Taylorian Library in Oxford will be featuring the former St Bees teacher Henry Allpass in an exhibition this Autumn.
An enthusiastic and gifted poet, Henry attended Exeter College in Oxford, where he was a friend of JRR Tolkien, author of the Hobbit and of course, The Lord of the Rings. After graduating with a first class honours degree in modern languages he took up post as the senior language master at St Bees. He lived in Foundation for a year and, in a published St Bees School Magazine of 1917, it is said that St Bees, “Completely absorbed his heart and soul.”
In 1915 he transferred from the St Bees Officer Training Corp to the Essex Regiment, obtaining the position of Battalion Bombing Officer where he volunteered for service in 1916. In this position he was recommended for the Military Cross for, ‘most gallant behaviour under fire’.
Henry led a bombing raid on the German trenches during the battle of the Somme. The raid left him wounded and unable to move with stretcher-bearers struggling to reach him. However, there was hope that he was alive and taken as a prisoner.
Incredibly, during his time on the Western Front, Henry continued to send scholarly work on German language authors home to his former professor.
In 1917, the School Magazine wrote, “His death has been officially presumed, and it is with the deepest sorrow that we at St Bees realise our loss”. After his death, the Allpass family presented the School with a sum of money to be used for the presentation of an annual prize to the best French scholar.
He applied the words that his friend and colleague, James Yates, had written from France before him: “Life here is very interesting, but it is not the real thing. My life is still being lived at St Bees”.
The exhibition will be open to the public on Saturday 8th September. For any further information please visit: https://www.oxfordpreservation.org.uk/news/oxford-open-doors-2018
I have always been fascinated by educational assessments because they provide accurate, and often unseen, measurement of a child’s potential. As many of you will already know, we offer a free educational assessment service to any child, whether they are registered to the school or not.
If parents are interested to learn more about our bench-marking service, do please get in touch. You never know, you might have the next Einstein in the family!!
Uniform for our Pioneers
The first of our ‘pioneer pupils’ was kitted out with her uniform on Friday. And, as my father would have said, “Didn’t she look a bobby dazzler!”