Sunday, 11 August 2019

Seeking Pauline Holmes nee Sollitt

I recently posted asking if anybody had contact with Pauline Holmes nee Sollitt who was a bridesmaid at our wedding in July 1971. Following this I have reason to believe that she has a son Stuart Michael Holmes born in Luton, January 1976, Mothers maiden name Sollitt. So if anybody knows Stuart Holmes would they please get in contact with me. Many thanks

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Avery Hill College Badge

My mum was at Avery Hill College from about 1923 to 1925. Came across this on eBay.

Hallmarked  on reverse Fattorini Brothers  hallmark  appears to be E maybe F  with clipped 
top corners and scroll base which would date it as 1904 or later  vgc   approx.3 0mm by 32mm, 
located in south west London. There are three entwined letters ie AHC. very  attractive item  
clip working  …..

Avery Hill College was established in 1906 by the London County Council as a residential 
female teacher training college. The mansion at Avery Hill, Eltham had been purchased by 
London County Council in 1902. It had previously been the home of Colonel John Thomas North 
and his family, who had spent up to £200,000 on renovating and adding to the property to 
create a large Italianate mansion. On his death in 1896 his widow sold the property, which 
was eventually bought by London County Council for £25,000. The College opened in 
1906 with 45 resident and 115 day students. Most of the students were between 18 and 21 
and came from London, and had already worked as pupil-teachers. 
The syllabus included nature study, drawing, music and the theory of education as well as 
the more usual academic subjects. Science was not taught until the 1930s as so few of the 
girls had been taught the subject at school. Games included tennis, hockey, cricket and netball, 
and student societies were established to organise social events and activities. 
By 1908 the College had purchased nearby Southwood House and a school building in 
Deansfield Road which were converted to hostels. Numbers of applicants to the College 
continued to rise, and four new halls of residence were built in the grounds of Southwood House,
the last opening in 1916. 
During the First World War Roper Hall became a convalescent home for soldiers, but the 
College remained open.

In 1928 Avery Hill was attached to the University of London to conduct examinations for 
Teacher's Certificates, along with all teacher training colleges. In 1935 a range of improvements 
were made to the College's facilities, when the halls of residence were updated and mains 
electricity introduced. The Principal, Freda Hawtrey, introduced training for nursery school 
work as an important feature of Avery Hill courses after 1935.

During the Second World War Avery Hill was evacuated to Huddersfield Technical College. 
The College returned to Eltham in 1946, although all the buildings had suffered war damage, I
ncluding most of the original mansion. Three large houses in Chislehurst were purchased in 
1947 and converted into hostels, easing the problem of student accommodation.

After the war the College continued to attract rising numbers of students, with up to a third 
coming from the north of England by the late 1940s. Students continued to take a two year 
course leading to a Teacher's Certificate validated by the University of London. In 1959 Avery 
Hill took on male students, but inadequate accommodation meant that they boarded at the 
former Methodist training college in Westminster. The College also established an annexe at 
Mile End for mature students in 1968. In 1960 a third year was added to the teacher training 
course, according to the Ministry of Education's requirements. From the 1960s the future of 
Avery Hill as an independent college was under close consideration by the Inner London 
Education Authority as well as the college itself. After several years of resisting plans for 
mergers and retaining its independence Avery Hill merged with Thames Polytechnic in 1985, 
when Avery Hill became the Polytechnic's Faculty of Education and Community Studies.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

A Complete Buggers Muddle

Mr "Call me Dave" Cameron seems to be escaping the opprobrium that Mrs May is collecting. Admittedly Mrs May has played a poor hand very badly, but it was Mr Cameron who started the whole farrago off by calling for the referendum in the first place. The irony is of course that it was called to try and unify the Tory Party which at the time was haemorrhaging members to UKIP. The theory was that he would have a referendum that would vote in favour of remaining in the EU and thus the arguments would cease. 
In fact he never thought that there would be referendum as his coalition partners, the LibDems would not allow it. He made the grave mistake of winning the general election with an overall majority and so Nick Clegg was unable to prevent it.
We are now in the current sorry mess and there appears to be no way out. Jeremy Corbyn doesn't really know what to do as he is and always has been a Eurosceptic and his own inclination is to vote to leave. Most of the senior Tory politicians are giving the appearance of not giving a tuppeny damn about the country but simply want to position themselves to be the next prime minister when Mrs May goes.
The Referendum Bill as passed by Parliament was a purely advisory vote, but was given more substantive power as all the major parties said in their Election Manifesto that they would abide by the result. Although I struggle to recall when political parties were that concerned about manifesto promises except when it suited them.
So we are in a complete buggers muddle. My preferred solution of consigning all 650 MPs to a small boat in a major storm in the middle of the Atlantic is perhaps a tad too extreme; but something drastic needs to be done. the current House of Commons does not appear to have a majority to do anything. If we had another general election would anything really change as both of the two major parties are split on this issue.
Should we have a second referendum? This time with one choice being leave on a defined set of terms the other being to stay. If we had three choices:
1. Leave on a defined set of terms
2. Leave with no deal
3. Stay
we would probably find that each garners thirty-three per cent of the vote and we would be no better off than we are today.
My personal preference is to go for a second, two choice, referendum. Is there any other viable solution given where we are today?

Monday, 18 March 2019

Hatred and the Internet

Why has the world become a nastier place than it was when I was young? It now seems almost impossible to agree to disagree and remain friends. 
Is it really all the fault of the internet that enables us to communicate with people that we don't know and say things about them that we would never say to their face? 
I am proudly Catholic, sadly there are factions within the Church that barely tolerate each other. In politics there appears to be rancour and loathing between the political parties and within each party.
Or was the "golden age" of my youth a figment of my imagination and that the real hatreds were always there just hidden below the surface?  
Meanwhile I shall continue to argue the toss with my friends from other countries about the Six Nations and the forthcoming Rugby Word Cup whilst we buy each other a beer.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Brexit and the Parliamentary Vote

Why is the Prime Minister allowed to have multiple votes on her Brexit deal whilst the proletariat are just allowed the one vote? And now I read that the Chancellor is bribing the DUP to support the deal. Talk about one law for them and another law for us.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Safeguarding Policies in the Catholic Church in England & Wales

The Bishops Conference of England & Wales has, since 2001, implemented a policy of referring allegations of abuse to outside agencies. You will find all the procedures clearly laid out on the website of the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service, CSAS,
For those of you with family links and ties to diocese under the jurisdiction of other Bishops Conferences and wish see a these England & Wales policies applied throughout the whole Church then please write to the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, at 54 Parkside, London, SW19 5NE Email:

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Homily for Today Sunday 3rd March

It is undoubtly sadly true that abuse takes place in many institutions and within families. Churches of all denominations, football coaches, youth leaders, scouts etc etc. The list is almost endless. However, today’s Gospel reminds us that “How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank in your own? We need to get our own in house in order before we start trying to solve the problems of others. 

“The first enemies are within us, among us are bishops and priests and consecrated persons who have not lived up to their vocation, we have to recognise that the enemy is within.” Not my words but the words of Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogota in his address to the synod on the protection of minors held last week in Rome.

Cardinal Tagle from the Phillipines said in his speech, "Our lack of response to the suffering of victims, even to the point of rejecting them and covering up the scandal to protect perpetrators and the institution, has injured our people, leaving a deep wound in our relationship with those we are sent to serve."

While a Nigerian nun, Sister Veronica Openibo, called out the church’s leadership for its hypocrisy in parading themselves as the custodians of moral values, while covering up atrocities that blighted the lives of the most vulnerable members of its community. 
Meanwhile one of the pope’s most trusted advisers, Cardinal Reinhard Marx  the archbishop of Munich and Freising, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that files documenting abuse had been “either destroyed or never created".

He said the church's administration had left victims' rights "trampled underfoot" and "made it impossible" for the worldwide institution to fulfill its mission. "Instead of the perpetrators, the victims were regulated and silence imposed on them,"  Cardinal Marx continued. "The stipulated procedures and processes for the prosecution of offences were deliberately not complied with, but instead cancelled or overridden."
"These are all events that sharply contradict what the Church should stand for," 
As I prepared this homily the final summary of the synod by the Pope was not published. I know that I am not alone in praying that it was not just a talking shop but that real concrete action will follow. We are still waiting for the Papal Nuncio to hand over files and testify to the independent inquiry that is taking place about abuse at St Benedict’s School, Ealing. Just as the police do not investigate themselves, there is the Independent Police Complaints Commission, so the Church should not investigate itself. We need an independent body to investigate allegations of abuse, taking care to recognise the rights of the accuser and the accused. We have seen all too recently in the UK that malicious accusations ruins innocent lives just as an abuser ruins innocent lives.
I cannot be the only person to ask myself the question; “Do I want to be part of this institution? Would I be better off walking away? Is this really what my vocation is all about?” Then I remembered the words that were said to me at my diaconal ordination as the Book of The Gospels was given to me: “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you now are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”

The living word of God is as true today as it was when it was first written. The wrongful actions of some cannot change that. The real presence of Christ will be truly among us at the consecration of our gifts of bread and wine. We must hold firm to the reality of the resurrection of Christ our living Lord that we will prepare ourselves for, beginning this week as we celebrate the start of Lent with Ash Wednesday.
We must do all we can to prune the rotten branches that are within; I urge you all to write to the hierarchy demanding that real concrete action is taken. No more talking, an independent review board now.
Jesus didn’t often get angry. But once or twice he got absolutely furious, and it was always about the same thing: the religious elite, who in his day were the Pharisees. “Do not imitate their actions, because they don’t practise what they preach,” he warned, telling them they were “like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but are full of bones and decaying corpses on the inside” (Matthew 23 v3, and v27).
We must stay and we must fight for that which is right, as there is so much that is good. The vast majority of the clergy are good men, we are blessed with them here in Bromley in Fr Tom and Fr Matthew; we must support them so that they can truly serve.

We read in John’s Gospel, Chapter 6: Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, "Are you also going to leave?" Simon Peter replied, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God." This is the reality that we must fight for.