Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Geoffrey Leech - Professor and Specialist in Stylistics - Cleobury Days.

Recently Colin Partridge, a former English teacher at the school, left a comment on this blog. Since then we've had an interesting e mail exchange. I had heard of Colin via his namesake - David Partridge who drew attention to Colin's innovative teaching methods. Colin was at the school Autumn 1959 - Summer 1961. In 1968 he left England to take up an academic post at Victoria University in Canada, eventually become both a professor and an author. I hope to do a post on Colin soon, but first here's an interesting piece of school history that Colin has shared with us. -

Earlier, on Facebook Paul Williamson had remembered Geoffrey Leech and Colin Partridge - 
" I remember Geoffrey Leech as I mentioned on a previous posting about his piano playing, the pair of them were brilliant."

GEOFFREY LEECH


Here's what Colin had to say  -

" Here is a piece of school history you may not be familiar with:

In summer term 1960, when the weather was glorious and the School was closed for approximately three weeks after a member of the administrative staff was diagnosed with jaundice and the students were not allowed to return to "campus" for several weeks in April-May 1960 , a young post-graduate student from London University taught English alongside me at the school. As a young scholar in Linguistics, Geoffrey Leech was interested in all forms of speech, including the speech of the students... Slightly shy, he was best-known among them for his amiable manner and sparkling piano-playing.

Geoffrey Leech became the world-renowned Professor Leech, specialist in Stylistics and contributor to the new English Dictionary under the editorship of Randolph Quirk. Through him the School modestly contributed to the study and re-making of the English language."

From Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Leech
"Geoffrey N. Leech (Born 16 January 1936  was Professor of Linguistics and Modern English Language at Lancaster University from 1974 to 2002. He then became Research Professor in English Linguistics. He has been Emeritus Professor in the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University, since 2002."

On this site Geoffrey describes his development and work after leaving Cleobury -

On 1st January 1962, I was fortunate enough to be granted a research studentship at UCL: this was a meagre sum of £750 per year (slightly less even than I had been earning as a very junior teacher), but I was overjoyed to have the opportunity to abandon school teaching and take up full-time research. I owed this ‘break’ to a commercial television company, ATV. How fortunate I was that some television magnate happened to donate to UCL a moderate sum for research on the language of advertising, at that time!...


....I regard it as the most fortunate accident of my career that when I went to study English at University College, I chanced upon a magic circle of leading scholars in the study of language. During my undergraduate years (1956-9), I became particularly interested in the linguistic part of the syllabus, and had opted for what was then called ‘Syllabus B’ – a set of courses which contained a large component of language work, more historical than contemporary."

In this article http://www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage/about/leech.htm Geoffrey goes on to describe how to work with Randolph Quirk and his development from there. This University of London is an interesting read if you are interested in the development and dynamics of language.

These are some of Geoffrey Leech's many publications - He has written, co-authored or co-edited 29 books and well over a hundred articles and papers in the areas of English grammar, literary stylistics, semantics, computational linguistics, corpus linguistics and pragmatics.



They include:
English in Advertising: A Linguistic Study of Advertising in Great Britain (1966)
A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry (1969)
Meaning and the English Verb (1971, 2nd edn. 1987; 3rd edn. 2004)
Semantics(1974; 2nd edn. 1981)
A Communicative Grammar of English (with J. Svartvik) (1975, 2nd edn. 1994, 3rd edn. 2002)
Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose (with M. Short) (1981; 2nd edn. 2007)
Principles of Pragmatics (1983)
A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (with R. Quirk, S. Greenbaum and J. Svartvik) (1985)
Spoken English on Computer: Transcription, Mark-up and Application (ed. with G. Myers and J. Thomas) (1995)
Corpus Annotation: Linguistic Information from Computer Text Corpora (ed. with R. Garside and T. McEnery) (1997)
Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (with D. Biber, S. Johansson , S. Conrad and E. Finegan) (1999)
An A-Z of English Grammar and Usage (with B. Cruickshank and R. Ivanic) (2001)
Word Frequencies in Written and Spoken English: based on the British National Corpus (with P. Rayson and A. Wilson) (2001)
Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English (with D. Biber and S. Conrad) (2002)
A Glossary of English Grammar (2006)
English - One Tongue, Many Voices (with J. Svartvik) (2006)
Language in Literature: Style and Foregrounding (2008)
Change in Contemporary English: A Grammatical Study (with M. Hundt, Ch. Mair and N.Smith) (2009)
More of his work can be downloaded here http://ling.lancs.ac.uk/profiles/Geoffrey-Leech/

and his book A Linguistic guide to English Poetry can be downloaded here.


Leech, Geoffrey and Svartvik, Jan. 1975. A Communicative Grammar of English. London: Longman. (2nd edn. 1994).

.............................
NEW - August 2014 Professor Geoffrey Leech passed away. There is a good tribute to him on this page
http://britainisnocountryforoldmen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/britain-is-no-longer-country-for-and_24.html


Rev. John Moultrie (1799-1874) Poet and son of George Moultrie, Rector of Cleobury Mortimer

Quite by chance, while researching the Postman's Knock beer (tribute to Cleobury writer Simon Evans), I came across a Victorian poet - The Rev. John Moultrie (1799-1874), son of George Moultrie, the Rector of Cleobury Mortimer! I hadn't come across him before but press-ganged him for this blog!

There are at least two poems in his collection written at the vicarage in Cleobury Mortimer and one about Lady Godiva! Unlike with Simon Evans however, I can't point you to any beer named after him! He was a Reverend remember!


Here's a short biography of John Moultrie - 



John Moultrie (December 30, 1799 - December 26, 1874) was born in London and educated at Eton College. Many of his best verses were contributed to the Etonian. He entered Trinity College (Cambridge) in 1819, and in 1822 entered Middle Temple. Three years later he was ordained, and was presented to the living of Rugby by Lord Craven. At Rugby he became friends with Thomas Arnold, to whom he addressed two sonnets.
He published several volumes of verse during his lifetime. A complete edition of his poems was published in two volumes in 1876 with a memoir by Derwent Coleridge. The volumes include some pieces popular at the time, "Godiva," "Three Minstrels," an account of meetings with Wordsworth, Coleridge and Tennyson, "My Brother’s Grave," and some hymns.
(A longer bio can be found here on Wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Moultrie_(poet))


BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Poems (1833); The Dream Of Life Lays of the English Church and Other Poems (1843); Altars, Hearths and Graves (1854); The Three Sons (1858); Poems [first collected edition] in 2 vols (1876).

His poems can be read Here


This is an extract from the poem Godiva a tale


GODIVA, — A TALE.

I

Whoe'er has been at Coventry must know
(Unless he's quite devoid of curiosity,)
That once a year it has a sort of show,
Conducted with much splendor and pomposity.
I'll just describe it, if I can—but no,
It would exhaust the humour of a Fawcett, I
Am a vile jester—though I once was vain
Of acting Fawcett's parts at Datchet-lane.

(It's quite a long poem, so follow the link to read the full text). There are two poems in the collection above that are designated to the Vicarage in Cleobury. Type in Cleobury in the search and it will highlight them.)

TEXT RECORDS:

1820Godiva, — a Tale.
1823Introductory Stanzas to the Second Canto of La Belle Tryamour. To ****.
1823La Belle Tryamour, a Metrical Romance: by Gerard Montgomery. [Sir Launfal.]
1823La Belle Tryamour. Canto II.
1824La Belle Tryamour. Canto III.
1824The Witch of the North.
1824Three Sonnets by Gerard Montgomery.


PUBLICATIONS:
Poetry of the college magazine [with H. N. Coleridge]. 1819.
Poems. 1837.
Poetical works of Thomas Gray [ed. Moultrie]. 1845.
Saint Mary, the virgin and the wife. 1850.
The black fence: a lay of modern Rome. 1850.
Psalms and hymns. 1851.
The song of the Rubgy church-builders. 1851.
A pentecostal ode. 1852.
The poetical remains of William Sidney Walker [ed. Moultrie]. 1852.
Sermons. 1852.
Altars, hearths, and graves. 1854.
Poems, ed. Derwent Coleridge. 2 vols, 1876.

Hobsons Brewery, Cleobury Mortimer - Postman's Knock. Tribute to Simon Evans!

Phillip Walker left the following comment on the post I put on here about Cleobury writer Simon Evans.

Phillip told us " Hobsons Brewery, Cleobury Mortimer, have brought out a beer 'Postman's Knock' as a tribute to Simon Evans. Initially a bottled beer. Hobsons have recently introduced it on draught."


I did a bit of research (hic!) - on line I'll have you know!

http://www.beer-pages.com/notes/beer-of-the-month-2007-10.shtml
"Hobsons Brewery in Cleobury Mortimer in Worcestershire took the brewing world by storm in August when it won the Champion Beer of Britain top accolade at CAMRA's Great British Beer Festival in London with its 3.2% Mild. The beer is a genuine, traditional dark mild and its success gives a fillip to the small mild sector. The cask version of the beer is available in pubs within a 50-mile radius of the brewery but it will now enjoy wider appreciation in a stronger, bottled version called Postman's Knock. Founded in 1993 by the Davis family, the brewery was first based in an old sawmill. It relocated to a farm site nearby and a new brewery was installed in 2006. It includes a bottling plant that has enabled the company to add bottle-conditioned versions of its beers to its portfolio.


Hobsons Postman's Knock (England) 
(RP) 4.8% is a powerful strength for a modern mild, but not unusual when the style was in its pomp in Victorian times. It uses the finest malting barley, Maris Otter, with pale malt augmented with dark crystal and pale chocolate malts and a touch of wheat and vanilla. The hops are Worcestershire Fuggles and Goldings. The beer is named in honour of Simon Evans (1895-1940), a novelist and short story writer, who settled in Cleobury Mortimer after World War One. He had been badly affected by poison gas in the war and, in order to improve his health, worked as a postman, walking up to 18 miles a day. The deep bronze/russet beer has a tempting aroma of chocolate, vanilla and earthy Fuggles hops. Good hop bitterness an d hop resins are present in the mouth, balanced by rich, dark grain, vanilla and chocolate. The finish is dry with continuing chocolate and dark grain notes and a good counter-balance of resiny, earthy hops. This is champion beer by any definition and can be bought, in an attractive box holding six bottles, from the brewery for £10.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Changing Coat of Arms on the School Sign

Not many noticed but if you look at the two photos of the school sign (taken 10 years apart) I posted on the welcome page, you'll see, if you zoom in, that the Coventry Coat of Arms appears to have changed during that period. And, a little research reveals that it did actually change!

This photo of the Webb children sat under the sign (Children of the Mr Webb the school Bursar) was taken about 1957. The Coat of arms is the original one.


And here is another view of the school sign from 1957, supplied by Michael Billings - and depicts pupils on their way to church at Neen Savage on a Sunday morning.



The Coventry coat of Arms above the name of the school looked like this close up -


However the Coat of Arms Changed in 1959 to reflect post war rise of the new city from the ashes of the old - 
"In 1959 the coat of arms was enhanced by two supporters; the Black Eagle of Leofric on the left, and the Phoenix on the right - representing the ancient town and Coventry's rise from the ashes respectively. " (Source http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/history/history.php)

And now looked like this - 


"Origin/meaning :
The arms were granted according to history by King Edward III in 1345. The present arms are identical to the old arms, with the addition of the supporters, and were granted on February 10, 1959.

The elephant is seen, not only as a beast so strong that he can carry a tower - Coventry's castle - full of armed men, but also as a symbol of Christ's redemption of the human race. The elephant is also seen as a dragon slayer in Medieval thinking. There is a now forgotten tradition of dragon-slaying in this neighbourhood - and Coventry to be the birthplace of St. George, who slew the dragon. In the early seals of Coventry, from which the arms are derived, are shown, on one side, the combat between another dragon-slayer, the Archangel Michael, and the dragon. On the other is the elephant and castle. The shield is coloured red and green, the traditional colours of the city dating back at least to 1441.

The crest, - a cat-a-mountain, or wild cat, is generally considered to symbolise watchfulness. The helmet is that of an esquire with the visor closed, as with all boroughs. 

The Supporters, granted in 1959, comprise the Eagle of Leofric (husband of Lady Godiva) and the Phoenix. The Black Eagle of Leofric recalls the ancient Coventry and the Phoenix arising from the flames represents the New Coventry reborn out of the ashes of the old. Coventry was heavily bombed and nearly completely destroyed during the second world war. 

The motto "Camera Principis" (the Prince's Chamber) is held to refer to Edward, the Black Prince. The Manor of Cheylesmore at Coventry was at one time owned by his grandmother, Queen Isabella, and eventually passed to him." (Source - http://www.ngw.nl/int/gbr/c/coventry.htm)



The change can be seen on this 1967 view of the sign featuring ex pupil Charles Joyce with his guitar -


Laurie Lindsay by the school sign taken by Peter "Dickie" Anderson
I think the above photo is from the 1970's - the lettering appears to be thicker than on the 1967 version.


About 1985 the school became the National Centre of British Youth for Christ and the school sign was replaced -


The school is now the Pioneer Activity Centre and the sign now looks like this -


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Rev DA Williams - Charles Joyce Virtual Museum Theme

DA Williams in the RAF as a Padre
Rev DA Williams
Today I received 45 photos from Charles Joyce - the latest of his Virtual School museum themes. This installment focuses on the Rev DA Williams (known by pupils as 'Jack'). (as in Jackdaw - from his initials DAW)

He was born in Llanwrda in Carmarthenshire Wales 1915 and left to become a Curate in Bangor then Llanbadarn Fawr and then Aberystwyth. During the war he joined the RAF as a Bomb Aimer ( responsible for assisting the navigator in guiding the plane to a bombing target and releasing the aircraft's bomb load).

After the war he became a Padre in the RAF serving in Kuala Lumpur. As far as I'm aware he started teaching Divinity and English at the City of Coventry School in 1962 (adding History in the 70's after Ken Williams left) and organising the school library. He retired in 1980 when he was 65 (two years before the school finally closed down). He retired to Llanwrda (the place of his birth) and lived a quite and frugal life until 2004 when he 89. To the surprise of everyone, he left £2 Million to a range of charities - See here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/6077710.stm

NEW - Additional information On 24 August, the Revd David Albert Williams: RAF Chaplain (1949-58); Assistant Master of King’s Rise School, Birmingham (1958-59); House Master of Bourne School, Kuala Lumpur (1959-61); Assistant Master of City of Coventry Boarding School, Cleobury Mortimer (1961-80); aged 89." from this sitehttp://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2004/10-september/gazette/deaths

A Tribute to the Rev DA Williams
The Rev DA Williams lived and advocated a frugal life and in terms of cars, was more modest in his choice than some of the other staff who had Jags and Bentleys. Early in the 60's he had a Morris Minor shooting break and then a mini...

He was born in and retired to Llanwrda



He served in the RAF as a Bomb Aimer during the war




He was a man of the cloth - a Curate and later a Padre in the RAF serving in Kuala Lumpur









Charles and I (Trev) had Mr Williams for English lit in the 5th form 1966-67. These are three of the books we studied with him that year.

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw was for CSE English where as the GCE choice was Major Barbara. Pygmalion of course was the basis of the popular film and stage show My Fair Lady. Shaw's work introduce us to the idea of social class...




The full film can be seen here in parts http://youtu.be/_pOVlAMrK4A


Moral courage was a theme that came through strongly in DA William's teaching and he would illustrate the theme with stories from his life's experience. In Far from the Maddening Crowd, the Thomas Hardy novel the character of the sturdy, long-suffering Gabriel Oak who also lived a frugal life was juxtaposed against the dashing Sergeant Troy with only conquest on his mind. In the end Gabriel Oak (strong and persevering like an oak) wins out. 'Jack Williams' (as we knew him) knew the novel inside out and his passion for the book and its life-enriching message came through in his teaching. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_from_the_Madding_Crowd


The Complete works of Dickens








Another book on the CSE English syllabus was Spencer Chapman's The Jungle is Neutral
Once again this book was a natural for the Rev DA Williams who had served in the war and become a padre in the RAF after war in Kuala Lumpur.


The amazing story of Freddie Spencer Chapman is told here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Spencer_Chapman
An educated adventurer and author before the war, Chapman joined the Seaforth Highlanders at Fort George near Inverness at the outset of the 2nd world War. Sent to Japanese occupied Singapore he became a thorn in their side, destroying no less than seven trains, fifteen bridges and forty motor vehicles and the killing of some hundreds of Japanese troops in a short period of time. Read more here




In the foreword to Chapman's book on his experiences in Japanese occupied Malaya, The Jungle Is Neutral, Field Marshal Earl Wavell wrote "Colonel Chapman has never received the publicity and fame that were his predecessor's lot (referring to T.E.Lawrence); but for sheer courage and endurance, physical and mental, the two men stand together as examples of what toughness the body will find, if the spirit within it is tough; and as very worthy representatives of our national capacity for individual enterprise, which it is hoped that even the modern craze for regulating our lives in every detail will never stifle."



Spencer Chapman

The explanation of the title of his book - The Jungle is Neutral is " However much he suffered in the Malayan jungle, he attributed his survival to the basic rule that "the jungle is neutral". By this description he meant that one should view the surroundings as neither good or bad but neutral. The role of a survivalist is to expect nothing and accept the dangers and bounties of the jungle as of a natural course. Hence, one's steady state of mind was of the utmost importance to ensure that the physical health of body and the will to live were reinforced on a daily basis."





"After the war, Chapman was asked to form a School in Germany for the sons and daughters of British Forces and Control Commission Civilians resident in the British Zone of occupied Germany. This School, the King Alfred School for children 11 to 18 years of age, used the German naval establishment at Plőn in Schleswig-Holstein where Admiral Doenitz had resided during the last days of World War II. Freddie, as Headmaster, set up the school, organised the teachers, arranged for the alterations to accept both boys and girls, and then in one day in 1948 accepted 400 young boys and girls into what was possibly the first successful comprehensive, co-educational boarding school in the World. His dynamism and understanding of the requirements of young people were the guiding influence in setting up the school and it was a first class success story which lasted for 11 years."

I can't be sure but I wouldn't be surprised if the above was part of the inspiration for the Rev DA Williams dedicating 16 years of his life from the age of 49 to 65 to teaching at the City of Coventry Boarding school. He was certainly in admiration of Chapman and there was common ground - his war service, his experience in Kuala Lumpur and his education. Food for thought!

Other posts on the Rev. David Albert Williams - 
http://wyrefarmed.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/rev-da-williams.html Article on BBC Wales leaving 2 million to charity.

http://wyrefarmed.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/learning-curves-2.html
Learning Curves - Trev Teasdel's look at DAW's English Literature lessons.