Friday, 28 October 2016

Half Term Approaches

It’s October and Alice is already looking forward to half term!  Her wireless is now fixed and she can listen to the BBC Home Service and BBC Third programme.  Home was where Alice could listen to news, features, regional programmes and some general entertainment.  The Third programme was broadcast only in the evenings and was unashamedly highbrow, with classical music concerts, poetry readings and talks on scientific, philosophical and cultural themes.  Alice sounds pleased to have the albeit limited entertainment, especially as it is a cold October and she has had to negotiate having her electric fire earlier than normal!

First years listening to The Grand National on a wireless, c.1947-50

On the second page of her letter, Alice mentions some of the awful injuries that have been sustained by her fellow students whilst pursuing their gym classes in “learning to fall off things”!   Although, she does state this is "exceptional", so hopefully not all classes were as prone to injury!

Outside of her studies, Alice has had her first public appearance as the secretary of the Natural History Society and tells her parents of the exciting talks and visits they have planned over the next term.

Later in the letter, Alice makes reference to the hockey trials taking away players from her lacrosse team.  This means Alice is moved up from the 2nd team of the Bedford College of Physical Education, to the 1st team. However, Alice wins both her first team matches.

The College used the Fairhill Playing Field, adjoining the games field in Sidney Road for playing hockey and cricket matches.  The Fairhill Playing Field was shared with other users, as its use was administered by Bedfordshire County Council.  Bedford Physical Education Archive holds correspondence between the College and Bedfordshire County Council Education Committee, principally concerned with applications to use the playing field during specified periods, but also includes papers on reasons why the College needed additional playing field space. The letter below is from the Local Education Authority to Dr Walker, the Borough Education Officer, explaining that the College may need an additional pitch if more students come to the College.

Letter from Director of Education at the Local Education Authority, 1963

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