News today that Foyles has been sold to Waterstones. Christina Foyle would be turning in her grave!
Asked who had been the most boring literary lunch guest, she always told the story of Sir Walter Gilbey, director of the gin-making company. ”He spoke for one and a half hours,” she said. ”A man in front of my father fell asleep so he hit the chap with the toastmaster’s gavel. The man said: ‘Hit me again. I can still hear him.’ ”
The village hall at Waterrow was extended and modernised in 2008-2009. This was made possible by a donation by my late father of land around the hall from his field, part of Trowell Farm.
The committee of the village hall recently invited us to unveil a plaque in recognition of this generous donation.
I was asked to say a few words – here they are:
It’s a great honour to be here today and to see this plaque being commissioned.
I know my father would have been deeply embarrassed and I think I am too. As I remember it, you asked, and my father was only too happy to accommodate a request that he saw as benefiting everyone.
My earliest memories of the hall is when the annual village fete was held here in the 1970s. There were all the tradional village fete events like lucky dip, tea and cakes here in the hall, and the infamous race up to the top of the hill, which was guaranteed to separate the men from the boys!
Always the village hall was the reason these and similar events were held where they were, and it’s wonderful to see how it has now been refurbished and expanded into the modern facility it is today.
So thank you for inviting us here today, on behalf of all the Wickhams, thank you!
I’ve always been pro-Europe. However I think the majority in the UK are not, and the half-in, half-out approach we have now is the problem.
As I don’t think the UK would get fully engaged with the EU and stand as an equal to the major players there, I have now come to the view that Britian would be better off out of the EU. This is sad, as we will undoubtedly miss out on future opportunities. The toe-dipping, special exemptions and policy opt-outs mean we will never be taken seriously in the EU decision making process and our influence to bring about change in the way the EU is governed is tiny.
I don’t believe the in the long term we’ll be much worse off economically. I believe we’ll be worse off as a society if we close our borders and I hope this will not happen. There’s always the option of rejoining. We’ll still be part of Europe.
I was excited to be elected as a Parent governor at Sacred Heart last Autumn. The governing body meets once a term and my first meeting with my new colleagues was this week. It was held at St Mary’s school – because the two schools are now in Federation, there is one governing body that looks after both schools.
The governing body includes other parent governers, a staff representative, the headteacher, a representive from the Diocese and other expert, hardworking dedicated people who give up a lot of their time over the years to Sacred Heart and St Mary’s.
As I say, the meeting took place at St Mary’s this time and included some time to tour the new school building that is rapidly rising from the rubble of the building site. It’s going to be an amazing space for the children and staff when it partly opens in only a few months time.
The meeting included progress reports from each school, with a particular focus on how the results are matching up to the targets that were agreed with the governing body. Each school has a mission statement. These form the backbone for a School Development Plan – this public document (they can found on the school websites) sets out long term strategic priorities and details what the schools will be doing to reach ambitious targets.
As a new governor, I found plenty of resources to help me hit the ground running. Wandsworth council provide comprehensive training for school governors and I’ve been to an evening induction course. This has really helped – the main thing that I learnt was that school governors main role is strategic – not to work on operational issues. We support headteachers, but also ask questions and make sure the headteacher is taking the school in the right direction. Overall a big responsibility.
So whilst I can’t intervene on who took who’s seat on the school trip, I can, and will, work with the school management team to improve our children’s education so that our kids can achieve the very best of their ability.
I can be contacted via the school office if you want to meet with me.