Thursday, 8 June 2017

Demonstrations and the long wait for exam results, 30 June 1957

This month Alice spends a lot of time writing to her parents despite being very busy with taking exams and preparing for and performing in multiple demonstrations. Alice is in good spirits as she is excited for the annual College Camp in July and subsequently returning home. In this letter, Alice has written only to her mother who is camping in Wiltshire and was unable to come to her gymnastics demonstration.
Alice talks of the gymnastics demonstration attended by her father and aunt saying she has left instructions for her father to explain the programme to her mother once she returns home. During the demonstrations (she participated in two) the temperature is reportedly over 80°F; gymnastics at that temperature must have been unbearable for them!

Pictured below is the Gymnastics programme from the Archive. It shows that shape and pattern are the pre-eminent factors for this year as with the three thematic approaches of body shape, rope work, and pushing and pulling with asymmetry and symmetry.

The swimming demonstration took place on 29 June and Alice believes the performance was one of the most successful in recent years. However, she admits a slight faux par on her part - during a pairs diving sequence she misjudged her footing and went crashing into the water – “with a rather large splash”. Although accidental she was fearful of what the staff may think but looking up she was pleased to see they had found the funny side of the mishap.

Demonstrations aside, Alice must wait for her Biology and English exam results, commenting that the Biology exam was extremely hard and so believes she will not get a distinction.
Alice closes her letter wondering what she could do for work over the summer, hoping to attend a friend’s birthday party on the way to camp, and asks her mother to send on a few camp essentials.

BPEA OSA 5/6 Programmme for Demonstration Day 1957

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