School; Monovian Editorials

Editorials

Introduction

 

The Monovian was started in 1918 and ran for three issues before lack of funds stopped production. When The Monovian was re-started in 1925, the numbering was also reset to No.1. Thus the first three are numbered 1-3 and the second series then runs from No. 1 in 1925 to No. 101 in 1977-79. Interestingly, with the exception of a couple of hiccups during the war evacuation, this series was produced twice or three times a year for 45 years before the tradition was broken with one issue in 1971, then the last three issues appeared with gaps of two years between each. Thus, the Monovian survived and triumphed through the second world war, only to be defeated by the comprehensive system!

 

Early Series; 1918-20

No.1 1918

Foreword


It is with great pleasure that we offer to the School this, the first number of The Monovian and we hope that with it is definitely established an institution which is well nigh indispensable to the life of a big school like ours. This can only be so if we have the unfailing support of every present member and that of no inconsiderable number of Old Monovians. Our "bete noire" in school magazines is the one that confines itself to an endless succession of names, dates and figures, a diminutive understudy of a Government Blue Book! We want The Monovian to be the first vehicle for the literary talent of those amongst you who may hereafter essay the hazardous profession of authorship. We extend a hearty welcome to members of the staff who, having served in the Great War, have been recently demobilised. We are all looking keenly forward to the day when we leave the old premises in High Street, which have housed us so long, for more commodious ones in Forest Road. We understand the building of the new School is to be proceeded with soon. Let us hope that this is so, for we are a growing institution and very cramped in our present shelter.

 

No.2 November 1919.

Foreword

We have read somewhere of a certain professor who, convinced of the paramount importance of the weather in affairs of life, allocated exactly ten minutes of his time each day to a discussion of it-whether with himself or not, we can-not say. Now if any sort of weather deserves such a portion of a savant's precious time each day, all the more does the weather we have enjoyed so far this Term merit a line or two of cold print to perpetuate its memory. School re-opened on Friday, Sept. 19th, and, during the rest of that month and the bulk of the two following ones, we have enjoyed a succes-sion of mild days, not infrequently sunny, with occasional thin fogs and light rain. The result is that games have gone in full swing since the beginning of Term, which makes us regret the late date of the opening of the season with outside teams. But a vigorous and successful series of matches will easily atone for the late date of starting. The most outstanding item of interest for the Term is the foundation of the School Photographic Society, under the presidency of the Headmaster and the expert leadership of Mr. Broad, whose skill with the camera is well known. A good start has been made with an excursion to Kew (not " in lilac time," unfortunately-the. best time according to the poet), of which an account appears in the General School Notes. We wish this, the tender nouveau ne of our rapidly growing interests, the best of good fortune, and appeal for a wide membership paying subscriptions regularly. We should like to add that the excellent instruction members will receive gratis would cost them highly elsewhere. A bombshell ! One afternoon about the middle of Term we received in full assembly the disturbing news that we were all to be photographed-and that right early-the following morning immediately after prayers. Only one short night, alas! to practise before the patient glass that witching expression that kills instanter. Promptly next morning, resigned and hatless, we filed out, and the deed was done-and quickly. There was a goodly array of clean collars mid neatly arranged locks, and some of the staff looked strange in gowns so fre-quently discarded. The result of all is that an excellent photograph has been taken, which, if purchased, would form an attractive souvenir of happy school days. Our General School Notes for this number open with a list of successes achieved in public examinations last Summer. It is a record of which we may be legitimately proud; and, though it is somewhat invidious to make distinction where all have done so well, we should yet like to draw attention to E. P. Martin's achievement in coming third on the list of County Intermediate Scholarship winners, and R. G. Sutton's success in the Cambridge Higher School Certificate Examination, which is of advenced character. The Cadel Camp at Little Baddow fulfilled all the expec-tations of the promoters save one: the number of cadets who attended was not as big as it ought to have been. We confidently anticipate a much Iargcr attendance at the next camp, now that it is known what a splendid holiday can be enjoyed there. Many Old Boys are taking a keen interest in the School Magazine, and the editor begs to thank them for numerous letters of congratulation and encouragement. He hopes they will steadily support the Old Boys' Section. A very good plan would be for one of them to act as editor for that section and see to the collection of material for it. It is difficult for the general editor to get into touch with many Old Monovians. In conclusion, we extend a hearty welcome to Mr. J. Baird, the last member of our staff to be demobilised, and to all new boys, who, we hope, will do all in their power for the advancement of the School, and buy their Magazines regularly and promptly.

G. Rothery.

No. 3 March 1920

Foreword
March, 1920.
An editor is usually regarded as a being who sits before a desk laden with an enormous pile of MSS., which he consigns with monotonous regularity to the limbo of forgotten effort, culling perhaps one in every hundred as suitable for publication. We in our very humble capacity are not in such a fortunate (or unfortunate) position: since the foundation of "The Monovian" we have cried aloud for material. Our cries this time have been heard and we are very glad to be able to publish a greater number of efforts from boys themselves. This is quite as it should be: a school magazine should be a boys' affair, and it rests with them to make it a success. One other point ere we close our remarks, imperatively scanty owing to exigencies of space: when the idea of a magazine was first mooted, every boy from top to bottom of the School pledged himself to support it loyally throughout the whole of his school career. Let us all remember our pledge: it is a point of honour with us.


 

Series; 1925-79

 

No. 1 1925


Editor: A. E. Holdsworth Asst. Editor: W. L. Roberts
FOREWORD.
Lack of funds obliged us to discontinue some years ago the publication of the "Monovian"; but now, with cost of production lower and a greater number of boys in the School, we hope to make the venture permanently successful. It is fitting that the revival of the magazine should come at this moment. We have the feeling that we are marching into a great future: we have just extended a warm welcome to our new Headmaster, Mr. Midgley, who, though he has been with us but a term, has already identified himself in most vital fasshion with our numerous and increasing activities, aiding and encouraging us in all; our numbers are growing, and at long last the fine building which is destined to house them is in process of being built in the Chingford Road; the open scholarships we have won at Oxford, Cambridge, and London arc spreading our reputation well beyond the confines of Walthamstow; and finally, with the formation of a Chess Club by Mr. Morgan and Mr. Broad, a Sixth Form Reading Circle, under the able guidance of Mr. Whitt, our new English Master, whom we greet most cordially, and a strong increase in the growth of the Debating Society, we feel we are devoting more attention to matters which lie beyond the scope of the ordinary school curriculum. Our readers will judge of the merits of this, the first number of the revived magazine. We trust their criticism will he kindly. We have set ourselves a definite standard of literary excellence, and that a high one. We are going to accept only the best, so that it will be an honour for a boy to have an effort of his published in our pages. The "Monovian" will not be an outlet for the irresponsible effusions, poetic or other, of young humorists, but an interesting record of the School's life and a means of expression for the literary instincts of its members.

A.E.H. (Vlth). W.L.R. (VIth).


 

 

No. 2 1926


Editor: A. E. Holdsworth. Asst. Editor: W. L. Roberts.
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.


The warm welcome extended to our first number has given us added encouragement in the preparation of this, our second, and we should like here to take the opportunity of thanking all those who contributed to the successful revival of the "Monovian." The period under review in this number is noteworthy for many School functions and other interesting events; and the successful School Sports, the presentation of the Old Boys' Cup, the vigorously contested Inter-School Sports, and the exciting Old Boys' Football Match, together with the regular School activities, have provided abundant material for our contributors.
The pleasures of the last few weeks have been somewhat marred, however, by three disturbing factors: the weather, the General Strike, and the grim spectre of examinations looming on the horizon. The weather we will not discuss here owing to the deficiencies of our maledictory vocabulary. As for the General Strike, without wishing to associate this editorial with any definite political opinions, we must nevertheless confess that from our point of view it was a complete failure. Only one cricket fixture had to be cancelled, and School routine continued just as usual. In fact the only indications of anything out of the ordinary were, firstly, that motor cars made their entrance with great eclat into the playground and were given a delirious welcome; and, secondly, that little boys from South Chingford, who arrived after the second bell, could no longer offer the excuse that they travelled by tram. We hope that as a result of the Strike our readers realize the healthgiving properties of an early morning walk, and we trust that they will seek consolation for their bodily discomfort in the perusal of the literary efforts which follow, and which, in spite of upheavals, have appeared at the scheduled time. When we come to examinations, a lump rises in our throat; and this subject, being of such sinister significance to us all just now, we will, rather than disturb the reader's peace of mind, and so prevent his enjoyment of what follows, pass it over in silence, only expressing the fervent hope that everybody (including ourselves) may be successful in obtaining first class honours.
A.E.H.
W. L. R.

No. 3 November 1926


Editor: A. E. HOLDSWORTH. Asst. Editor: W. L. ROBERTS.
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.

The Autumn Term finds us in rather a dazed state. We are, in fact, still recuperating from the effects of last term's examinations: some are recovering from the actual papers, and others from the results. Therefore readers will perhaps excuse any slight mental aberrations which they may detect in this and the following pages. This term is, of course, pre-eminently a time of settling down, hut when those persuasive and all pervading people who flourish receipt books and brandish fountain-pens begin to haunt the corridors, it becomes also a time of settling up. When we have finished settling down, some of us begin to work. Some work a little: these are the majority. Some work quite hard: these are new boys. Some work harder than that: they are the contributors to the "Monovian." Some of these last do not, of course, always wish to work, but for very excellent reasons they invariably work hard. What follows is the result of their efforts, and we hope that, in spite of brain-fag, of examination fever, of the shortage of coal, and of the counter-attraction of the Chess Club, they have succeeded in producing a third number which will compare favourably with those that have gone before. Having thus re-introduced ourselves in a manner terser than that of former occasions, it only remains for us to wish all our readers the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years, and to express the hope that we shall see many of our old friends at the Prize Giving and at a certain other less formal function, so inevitably associated with Christmas festivities.

A.E.H., W.L.R.


 

 

No. 4 March 1927


Editor: A. E. HOLDSWORTH. Asst. Editor: \V. L. ROBERTS.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.

Let loud the trumpets blast! Let the bells ring out! Let there be martial music! Let there be flags and cheering voices! Let innumerable local dignitaries prepare their flowery speeches! On July 21st, Sir Rowland Blades, Bart., Lord Mayor of London, worthy successor to good old George Monoux, qui hanc scholam fundavit, A.D. 1527, is coming, with due solemnity, to open the new and spacious buildings of this, the Sir George Monoux Grammar School, so long harboured within these red tin huts, and lulled by the soothing odours of sweet, bubbling pickles. Let us pause here and think great thoughts. Yet stay! We will leave those to the local dignitaries. Suffice to say that the long-promised new building is at last to be officially and authentically opened in this four hundredth year of the School's existence. And though, of course, we can scarce contain ourselves at this prospect, we have still contrived to follow our normal round of Prize Days, Old Boys' Dinners, football matches, and occasional lapses into hockey, chess, and sanity. We have still managed to yawn our way through various debates and committee meetings; and a few members of the Sixth Form, with their well-known devotion to good causes, have been able to record these and other things for the "Monovian." We will not therefore trespass unduly on your patience; but having made our momentous announcement and briefly introduced you to this fourth number, we retire with blushing apprehension and bid you cast an eye, critical perhaps, but not unfriendly, on the pages which follow.

A.E.H., W.L.R.

No. 5 July, 1927.

Editor: A. P. HOLDSWORTH. Asst. Editor: \V. L. ROBERTS.
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.

Goodbye, goodbye to High Street! Goodbye to corrugated iron and gravel! Good-bye to Messrs. Gillards, Purveyors to the King and makers of sweet scents! Good-bye to the jovial guardians of the recreation ground! To the amiable person upon whose head our straying ball was sure to drop, good-bye! For we are moving. No more to frequent Room D, home of antique erudition! No more to manufacture gases in the Lab., dusky dormitory of spiders! No more to swing our planes in the dusty Workshop, where Mr. Ingleby gave us lines! No more to take afternoon tea with Mr. Toplis in Room P! No more to gaze with awe on Room O's bookcase, filled with mighty classic tomes! No more to tremble as Mr. Prowse strides to the rostrum of Room M, wipes his moustache with mighty sweep, and proclaims a viva voce! No more to sing sweet songs to Mr. Belchambers in the musty Hall, partly hall and partly bungalow! No more to park our bikes in those discreet old sheds, where so many nightly truants have penned their neglected homework! No more to disturb the Staff room's nicotinal peace with rude fracas in Room H! No more to play at pushing off the log! No more to carve our youthful names in inky places! Tempus ferax, tempus edax rerum, and we are moving from High Street for ever. We go now to Chingford Road. All is ready for Lord Mayor and Sheriffs to unlock the doors, which interesting function will take place on July 20th. It is peculiarly fitting that the Lord Mayor should perform the great ceremony, for readers of our series of articles on " Monovian Celebrities" will remember that our worthy founder was himself Lord Mayor of London in 1514-15.

No. 6 November, 1927


Editor: J. H. PAYLING.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

All hail, noble pile! To thee, drab ruin of High Street, farewell, a long farewell! Now, lulled by the Sweet music of the trams, amid the smiling meadows of Chingford Road, far from the land of stalls, decrepit gramophones, and quackdoctors, where neither the odour of Messrs. Gillard's world famed pickles, nor the clamouring of the most enterprising vendor of bananas can penetrate, we are able to contemplate in peace the events of our departure from High Street. Those were days of high solemnity: when we in exaltation cried "Jo triumphe," as the Lord Mayor passed on his way to unlock the portals of our new home; or later, when mournful prefects performed the solemn obsequies of the old building-by decking its, gates with crape. Perchance we crept back to our late habitation, forlorn and desolate, there to shed a silent tear for the glory that was. The School Camp came and went; the examination results - but, enough! Let bygones he bygones! From the whirl of opening days, civic luncheons, and other momentous happenings, many have emerged with minds somewhat dazed. But life in the new building soon dispelled the mists of bewilderment, and, long ere now, the majority have settled down in their new surroundings. Some are even working hard. Let it not he forgotten that the School this year celebrates its four hundredth birthday-an impressive occasion which needs no editorial flights to commend its importance. We should like to draw the attention of our readers to the Foreword kindly contributed by the Headmaster to this, a special number of the Magazine, in that it is the first to be issued from our new home.

J.H.P.


 

 

No. 7 March, 1928.


Editor: J. H. PAYLING.
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.

The composition of an Editorial is ever a thorn in the flesh; but lest you should scornfully cry out that it is a fashion amongst editors to bemoan the hardness of their lot, let us hasten to assure you that we are on this particular occasion in a truly sad plight. For we are quite unable, we confess it with deep contrition, to embellish this, our all too plain introduction, with some apt quotation from the Latin tongue. The Classic Muse disdains to walk with us. But why, to be sure, should we lament this desertion? Why, indeed, should we seek the aid of the proud Latin tongue? We have no great thoughts to express, no momentous events to chronicle or to herald. For times are not what they were. The new building is no longer new, alas! We are sensible now only to its faults, and almost ignore its many advantages. Moreover,

we, in the manner of human kind, have forgotten the enthusiasm of those "July days." No longer now do we consort with mayors and aldermen, and the glamour of 1927's celebration has been dissipated by the advent of 1928. Nothing remains but to chronicle the ordinary, every-day events of school-life. We of the Monoux School pursue our placid existence, content with the round of debates, chess, paper-chases, and football, all of which come as pleasant diversions in lives of otherwise unremitting devotion to the acquisition of knowledge. This, we hope, will in some measure explain the comparatively small proportions of this number. But enough of this. We weary you, and so, our prologue spoken, we make our bow and bid the curtain rise.
J.H.P.

No.8 Summer 1928

Editor J.H.Payling

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
Rejoice! Fling far and wide the tidings, that all who love the name of Monoux may hear and he glad with us! Ye scions of that ancient name, don your most festal garments, and with triumphal music hail the victors' return! Rend the heavens with your songs! Shout aloud, for victory is yours! Rejoice, rejoice, and again we say, rejoice! Patient reader, bear with us awhile. Spare your condemnation of these editorial ravings. Have we not, after years of striving on the Drapers' Company's ground, made ourselves at last the victors at the Inter-School Sports? Come, let us wipe from the tablets of memory all thoughts of trivial everyday events, all guilty fears of tell-tale examination results, all glad longings for summer holidays, and remember this alone-that the victory is ours, is ours at last. Year after year have we turned our backs upon the field of contest, disappointment in our hearts, dejection on our faces. This year we returned to Walthamstow with glad hearts and happy faces. But enough-a pen mightier than our own has described this, the latest of Monovian triumphs. Next term we hope to present the Monovian to you in a new garb. We trust that you will receive it kindly. The colour scheme and the design, reminiscent of the School tie, will be, we feel sure, more truly Monovian than those of the present cover. And now, having duly prefaced this, the eighth number of the Monovian's efforts, we will put off our editorial state, conferring it on younger strengths, while we become once more an ordinary, though singular, member of society.

No. 9 November 1928.


Editor: D. THOMSON. Christmas, 1928.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
In spite of the rumours circulated the Monovian again appears in its customary, garb. Little radical change has been made. One or two features have unavoidably been dropped. The space allotted to the Old Monovians' Section is now somewhat larger, and more in proportion to the number of Copies bought by the O.M. Association. This section of the magazine is now under the editorship of R. G. F. Sutton. One word more, gentle reader, before we depart. We would beg you, like Dr. Johnson, to spare your criticism, for if anything has been omitted, much also has been done. Spare your criticism until No. 11 has appeared. For only then will you he able to form a fair and just estimate for the year-and by that time we shall probably he beyond reach of your wrath! Extend to us the Christmas spirit of goodwill, and resign yourself, like us, to the festivities and other joys of the season, which we hope will be a happy one for you all.


 

 

No. 10 March, 1929.


Editor: D. THOMSON. Easter, 1929.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.

After long waiting in the cold in its drab winter coat the Monovian has at last found a garb which, we flatter ourselves, suits it admirably. Besides representing the School colours, it is symbolical of the growth and advance of our School from its humble origins to its present grandeur and pride of place, so that it is in every way Monovian. Full praise for the new design must go to Mr. A. E. Hayes, our Art Master. We should like to take this opportunity of thanking him, and of congratulating him on conceiving a design so appropriate, so effective, and so artistic. This term we make a new departure by the inclusion of cartoons, which we think will supply the long felt want of illustrations in the magazine. May we hasten to assure those caricatured that they are inserted with no malicious intent, and remind them that caricature is one of the highest forms of f1attery. The term of activities we here record has been a very lively one. Never have School societies flourished so well-in spite of the gloomy description given by one of our contributors. The Instrumental Society recently came second in the London Secondary Schools' Musical Festival. The Chess Club has had a fairly successful season. The Dramatic Society this term is producing Captain Brassbound's Conversion. And the Debating Society has had interesting, if irregular, meetings. But there are other activities of a very different nature looming on the horizon, Before the next issue of the magazine appears, many unfortunate victims in the Upper School will have passed through the terrible ordeal of examinations. To all with this dismal prospect we extend good wishes, encouragement. and sympathy-we ourselves will be amongst them. But, when all these trials are over, think of the harvest of Matric. Hons., all the Inter. B.A.'s (perhaps), the summer holidays, and the School Camp!

No. 11 Summer 1929


Editor: D. THOMSON. Summer, 1929.

To all those who have given encouragement and helpful criticisms of our last issue we express our most sincere thanks. If the present issue seems small in comparison, we hope that it has lost only in bulk. Production costs make it impossible to publish all we should like, and until some wealthy benefactor appears, space must inevitably be limited. With the exception of the Dramatic Society, School Societies appear to have been passing through a fairly uneventful period. The present term, however, has been a lively one. From the excitement of Sports and our triumphs in Invitation Races we have proceeded to the terrors of Examination. From this cloud on an otherwise enjoyable term we are emerging into the pleasures of the summer holidays and the School Camp. To those who are leaving us this term we wish God speed. To those who will be with us next term we wish success in the new school year. To all we wish the happiest of holidays.

D Thompson

No. 12 Christmas, 1929.


Editor: D. THOMSON.

For a second year we take up the editorial pen. It is with a thrill of pleasure that we realise that we no longer record the activities of a school in a suburban district, but the activities of the most important school in the Borough of Walthamstow. But more of that anon. We regret the loss this term of two members of the Staff, Mr. C. Lloyd and Mr. Norton; but in return extend a hearty welcome on behalf of the School to our three new Masters, Mr. Durrant, Mr. Rayner, and Mr. Simmonds. The School has started the year with an exciting and eventful term. While memories of the School Camp still lingered, we were plunged into the stir of Charter Day. School Societies after the summer rest have blossomed anew with increased vigour. The Chess Club continues to hold its own against other schools; the Debating Society has held several bright, enthusiastic, and well-attended meetings; and the Dramatic and Instrumental Societies and the Choir are all busy preparing for Prize Day. The term promises to have a very lively close, if all the proposed House Teas materialise.

 


 

No. 13 March, 1930


 

Editor: D. THOMSON. Easter,

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.

We are sorry to see that of the football results recorded in this issue of the Monovian the "L's" sadly outnumber the "W's." But if sports prowess has been unsatisfactory, the more intellectual and aesthetic side of school life has flourished. The Chess Club has gone from victory to victory. The Instrumental Society recently gained the distinction of coming first in the London Secondary Schools Musical Festival. The Debating Society has been so successful that it has outgrown its former meeting-place, and now utilises the more spacious accommodation of the Assembly Hall. The ever-active Dramatic Society has held innumerable meetings, taken part in pageants, and visited, read, and produced plays. There are also rumours of an opera in the near future. The term promises to be a lively one. There is the production of The Fourth Wall. There are the School Sports. There are rumours of at least three House Teas; hence the strains of a jazz hand which occasionally issue from the Hall. To all who will have undergone the ordeal of examinations before our next issue appears, we wish the best of luck and the greatest success. Finally we would draw the attention of the whole School to the message sent by Mr. E. A. H. Goodchild at the Old Monovians' Dinner :- "Tell them to he vital in all that they do; to walk on the sunny side of the road; to speak out, work hard, laugh, and fear nothing. Life holds the choicest treasures for those who woo her with the gayest courage."

 

 

No. 14 June, 1930.


Editor: D. THOMSON.
Asst. Editor: K. E. ROBINSON.

The period of activities chronicled herein has been lively. The end of last term saw the School Sports, the production of The Fourth Wall, the Mock Trial, and no fewer than three House Teas. This term has seen the Inter-School Sports. But the liveliness of the present term has been subdued partly by the quiescence of School Societies, partly by the sense of laziness occasioned by warmer weather, but most of all by the eternal skeleton at the feast - examinations. We trust that when the School goes under canvas in July, the skeleton will have been left safely behind; although the cynic may suggest that even the bare bones of a skeleton might prove welcome to the ravenous cannibals of Pett. It is our experience that the School passes not through annual, but through biennial phases of development. Each phase is ended by the exodus of most of the older members of the School. It is remarkable how such changes affect that part of school life outside the everyday curriculum. Such a phase began in 1928, and has ended this year. The Captain of the School, the Athletics Captain, the Editor of the Monovian, and, Whittingham excepted, all the House Captains have remained the same throughout the two years, thus ensuring unity of development. This period is, we suggest, noteworthy for the accentuation of two growing tendencies, The first might almost be called a democratic tendency. Any feeling of Upper School exclusiveness, which previously existed, has been broken down. Many factors have contributed. The School Camp has undoubtedly created a wider fellow-feeling amongst all forms. House spirit has a similar effect; and House spirit has been encouraged by more team events in the Sports, and House Teas have become more and more popular. Societies have adapted their activities so as to make the widest possible appeal. Whatever the cause, it remains a fact that School activities have become more representative of the efforts of the whole School. The second tendency is the natural result of the first. The School is undoubtedly looming larger in the lives of more of its members. School activities have become so varied that it is possible for everyone to find some interest in school life besides doing homework or gaining marks. The School is awakening more enthusiasm. There is more magnetism in being a Monovian. If the Scout movement is weak in the School, it is because the School suffices. The formation of the Christian Union hints at still further development along these lines. The same tendency is expressed in other ways. For the last two years our Sports have been held on our own ground. In the last two years the School's own Library has grown enormously. There are prospects of our own Gymnasium and Dining Hall. The School is becoming more and more self-sufficing. It is not implied that such tendencies did not exist before. It is only suggested that they have gained strength in the last two years. But, changes noted, equal mention must be made of the permanent influences which have enabled its to develop naturally on traditional lines. First, there is the ready sympathy and encouragement of our Headmaster, whose generous rule has made possible our multifarious activities; secondly, there is the consistent energy of all the Masters who lead the various Societies. The steady co-operation of the Staff runs throughout. We would like, for the first time, to make grateful acknowledgment of the services rendered by Mr. Rothery who, both as proof-reader and business manager, has for years shouldered much of the task of producing the Monovian. It will be noted that the editorial "we" is now truly plural. And so, having duly prefaced this, our last effort, and having duly rung down the curtain on an era of eventful growth, we would bow our successor, with the best of wishes, into the editorial chair.

 

 

No. 15 November, 1930


Editor : H. E. ROBINSON.
Christmas, 1930.

.

After much searching, we have been reluctantly compelled to the conclusion that that the interesting piece of furniture, the Editorial Chair, mentioned by our illustrious predecessor is a mere figment of his Celtic imagination. But, did it exist, with what awe would it inspire upstart newcomers like ourselves! For above it looms the dread shade of Holdsworth, and there rises the plaintive voice of Payling, complaining, in Gilbertian phrase, that "The Editnrs lot is not a happy one," and the . . . - but Thomson is still with us. Discretion bids us pause. For the Monovian has a genuine tradition. It exists to create a public opinion, to foster a tradition, to give the School a sense of organic unity. It is a focus for all that goes to make up that comprehensive being we call "the School." It serves as a link between past and present, between School and town. And so its Editor must ever beware of unduly favouring any one interest. Its lighter vein, if ill-received by harassed men of the world, may delight readers yet oblivious of care, whom its measured exhortations may disgust. But above all it is a School Magazine. The spirit of these aims is, we hope, embodied in the present issue. Besides chronicling all that goes on at School it records plays at the Girls' High School and an addition to the Connaught Hospital; gives prominence to the great historical pageant, held to celebrate the anniversary of Charter Day: and includes a review of the old Monovians' first public performance of a three-act play, Bird in Hand. Thus are School and town, present and past brought together.

 


 

No 16 Easter, 1931.


Editor: K. E. ROBINSON.

On Prize Day, Mr. Wickham Steed asked if we realised that, by attending a School founded in the sixteenth century, we were sharing in a life which had been going on for many hundreds of years. It was a similar idea which actuated the revival ofFounder's Day: the idea that in the School, a social institution of to-day, we have at once an epitome of the educational vicissitudes of the past four centuries, and an incarnation, however imperfect, of an ideal which time has not been able to destroy and which serves as a signpost for the future. Unfortunately, the decision to re-institute Founder's Day was only taken a little more than a fortnight before the day, and a concert, hurriedly prepared, was the only form of celebration possible. Next year, however, we may hope for a celebration more suitable in nature and representative of the School's past. The contemplation of past glories or future greatness, however, is fit only for "the idle dreamer of an empty day," unless it be used as a guide to the present, the world of to-day in which we live. And in that sphere we must not surrender to the prevailing mania for depreciation. Football results have shown a remarkable improvement in the latter half of the season, and the success of the Third Eleven augurs well for the future. Academically, the traditions mentioned by the Head on Prize Day have been worthily maintained by the open awards secured in December at Oxford and Cambridge. We can look forward to the maintenance of a reasonable standard in the Athletic Sports; and the Dramatic Society is to produce at the end of this month its third three-act play. The School is not backsliding; nor will it do so, if its younger members, inspired by its age-long tradition, are ready to give of their best to the common life, to assume responsibility fearlessly, not to give in easily to discouragement, hut, "Strong in will, To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield."

 

No. 17 Summer 1931


SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.


The following Editorial was written, the contents of the Magazine compiled, and we were on the point of going to press when the tragic news reached us that the Head had died. We do not think it necessary to alter anything in what follows. The references to the Head now acquire an added and poignant significance, but even so, they help to bring his figure once again vividly before our minds, and to strengthen our memories of him. He, it was, who inspired the resuscitation of the Monovian, when he was appointed to the School; and he continued to be enthusiastic about it all the time he was with us, urging that it should always aim at a dignified tone, befitting a School like ours. 'We are glad to place this on record. Nothing is, at the moment, further from my intention than to speak editorially, for there is little that I can say editorially that I have not already said somewhere in the following pages. I would ask all those inveterate critics to look through their copies of the last three issues of the Monovian, to count the number of unsigned articles in them, to add to this total all those signed with my illustrious cognomen, and finally to reflect that all that mass of verbiage has to be put together in the intervals of arduous toil in the S'Lit. Yet even the longest sentence to hard labour comes eventually to an end, and the imprisoned are released, if only to toil yet more unenviable. Reflections such as these are natural to the composition of a last Editorial, when glimmers of the dawn are seen in a kind of wistful reverie, and when that famous line of Keats, "there is a budding morrow in midnight," assumes a significance it never before possessed. But my period of editing the Monovian has been rendered less arduous by the many kindnesses I have received: from the Headmaster who has given me counsel and support; from Mr. Rothery who continues to shoulder that most laborious and thankless task of proof-reading; from Miss Bolton, who has invariably made a note of what one had intended to do and didn't; and from all those condemned by fortune to contribute notes, who in their forbearance did not despatch my unfortunate self to another world. To my successor, whom I congratulate on his arrival in this great office, whose reputation he will find so much tarnished by my own short stay, I offer only one thing-my sincerest sympathy, and may he never need it!

 

 

No. 18 November, 1931.


Editor: M. J. GURNEY.
Christmas, 1931.It is with pride that we often remark that the School was founded in 1527, but do we realise the real significance of that date? Do we realise that by then Tyndales's translation of the Bible had been in existence no more than a year, and that the Authorised Version did not come till 1611; that Bacon and Shakespeare were as yet unborn, undreamed of; that the defeat of the Turkish navy at Lepanto, and the crushing of the Spanish Armada were still many years away? How many Monovians saw a Shakespeare first night? And how many read a first edition of Milton? And yet may they not have done so? For were not Monovians at that time among the few of the cultured and the educated ? It was a great era of revival of culture and learning in the known world, and the School was a spark of the energy and genius of the age. Today we are entering upon a new era in education. The importance of the secondary school has probably never before been emphasised so much. And its importance is growing rapidly, for nowadays something more than an elementary education is demanded. And, not only are we at the beginning of a new era of education in general, but also of one in the history of our own School. A period of forty years in its story must shortly come to an end, for with the deepest regret we realise that Mr. Prowse is going to leave us. For forty years he has been a "tower of strength" in the School, and who, even in forty years, could have left a deeper and more lasting mark? But though one era must end, a new one must likewise begin. A new leader, Mr. P. D. Goodall, has come to us, and we extend to him a very cordial welcome. And let us show that welcome in a practical way. Let there be a renaissance of the Magazine. At one time the Editor could boast that the Monovian would be "an interesting record of the School's life and a means of expression for the literary instincts of its members." But where now are the articles of yesteryear? Why do the literary instincts hide themselves from the public gaze? Why has practical interest flagged? There is a danger that this flagging of interest may spread. In the beginning the School was a spark of a "marvellous burst of new life and energy." It is this that we must remember- and we must not only remember it, but live up to it. Team-spirit is essential; there must be none to hinder; all can, and must, play a part. "Monoux expects......"


 

 

No 19 February, 1932.


Editor: M. J. GURNEY
EASTER, 1932.

Last term ended on a comparatively quiet note for a Christmas term, as the building operations made it impossible to hold the Prize Giving. But the gap was partly filled by two House Teas, which were held in spite of the adverse conditions; by the revival of its once Annual Exhibition by the Photographic Society, which can feel justly proud of the work it displayed; and finally by the two excellent innovations of an afternoon of carol singing, accompanied by the Instrumental Society, and a morning of one-act plays by the Dramatic Society. This term the Instrumental Society has once more taken part in the London Secondary Schools Musical Festival; the Debating Society has had an active and successful season; and the Dramatic Society is preparing for the production of the Prize Day play. Further we are glad to see that the Headmaster carries on the tradition of former Heads in taking a very active interest in School Societies, which continue to provide that cultural interest which is so essential to any educational system. For the object of education is not the mass-production of mere "Men in the Street," but the development of cultured citizens. But a school is not simply a machine, which from raw material of very varying character will produce cultured citizens after some four or five years. The individual boy has to play his part, and it is a very large and important one. The absorption of facts must not be his sole aim, though this must necessarily occupy a considerable part of his time in view of examinations. His aim must be to develop his mind in learning how to use those facts and in attempting to form ideas of his own; to develop his character in striving against the herd instinct, which claims so many victims, and which leads to the annihilation of individual character. In a word, to become what is expected of a member of a school in such a position as our own: a "gentleman," a worthy citizen of a civilized world. As is already known, this term sees the severance of Mr. Prowse's official connection with the School. Beyond this brief announcement we make no further comment in the present issue of the Magazine, reserving until the Summer number a detailed account of his career, a host of tributes from various sources-and an excellent photograph. 

 

 

No. 20 SUMMER, 1932.


Editor: E. W. SCOTT.
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
June, 1932.

In the Easter number of the Monovian it was promised that the present issue would contain a photograph of Mr. Prowse, together with an account of his career and tributes to his work from various sources. The promise has been kept, and we refer our readers to the details of his long and honourable connection with the School. This term has been the close season for the majority of the School societies, and consequently there is little of outstanding importance in the reports of them in this number. Only the Photographic Society, which has enjoyed one or two good outings, and the Instrumental Society, which has been working at its programme for Speech Day, have been at all active. We are glad that, as recorded later in the magazine, greater attention is to be paid to School swimming. Swimming is the best alternative to cricket as a summer sport in schools, and there are many doubtless who think that an alternative is badly needed. It seems that good cricketers are born and not made. At any rate, the making of them is a long and often expensive business, and not one that could be easily undertaken by such a school as o urs. The result is that often strong, healthy boys spend their games-time at a game on which they are not very keen, and in which, as not even its most enthusiastic advocates will deny, they get little exercise. During the term the new building has risen superbly before our eyes. It supplies, of course, a real need: no school of the size of ours can be said to be really complete without a gymnasium and a dining-hall. We are glad that the ruling powers have recognized this fact. Finally, we would ask all our readers to pay great attention to the short article by Mr. Ellis on page 17. It would be difficult to over-estimate the distinction that Holdsworth has gained, and the honour he has conferred upon the School, through his election to the Presidency of the Cambridge Union.

 

No. 21 November, 1932.


CHRISTMAS, 1932.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.

The addition of three new members to the Staff, the inauguration of three new School societies, the establishment of regular gymnasium instruction for the whole School, and the opening of the Tuck Shop have all helped to make the term that is now ending a very remarkable one. The excellent record of the Football First Eleven, which up to half term had won five of the seven matches played and drawn the rest, has contributed towards the same end. Finally we must not fail to mention the Prefects' Room, it long last has been made fit for habitation. Its walls are now decorated in becoming black and yellow, while the stained and carpeted floor and curtained windows contribute largely to its air of comfort. A noticeable feature this term has been the increasing of boys wearing the recognised School dress. While we can see the virtues of this change, we are thankful it has not been brought about under compulsion. We do not, however go so far as to side with those who would say that compulsory uniformity in school dress is an abomination, and that a boy should be allowed to dress as he likes. We think, rather, that, though freedom of choice with regard to one's clothes may be a pleasant thing, it is hardly a matter of great importance. There are surely many much more essential outlets for the expression of one's individuality than that provided by dress. And many people, indeed would gladly welcome the idea that the problem of what they should wear should be solved for them, for all places and all occasions, during their school days and later in their lives, by the provision of a uniform regulation dress. Anyhow, we applaud the good sense and taste of those boys-the great majority who are wearing the excellent official dress of the School. We draw the attention of readers to the following notes from the Headmaster: - A word of explanation is perhaps needed concerning the Tutorial System, which has been introduced into the School this year. In my opinion the House System, a product of Boarding Schools applied to Day Schools, is of little use beyond promoting rivalry in games, and so facilitating the organisation of matches within the School. The House unit in a School of this size is too large for a House Master to know his boys very well. In future, therefore, every boy on entering the School will be placed under the special personal supervision of one of his Housemasters. Thus every member of the Staff will have a direct knowledge of and responsibility for some 24 boys with whom he will retain contact during their whole School life. Where the system is successful, one Master should be able to know the boy more fully than has any Master been able to do heretofore, and, understanding the special circumstances of the individual, he will, I hope, be able to give that boy far better help in his difficulties and perplexities than has been possible in the past. I hope that parents will get to know their boys' "Tutor" and encourage their sons to go to him for guidance and help. This year we are also trying to get rid of the bugbear of exams below the Fifth Forms. Admittedly, it is an experiment, but we are keeping careful watch not only on the work of the School, hut also on the "health" of the School, and we believe that both will be the better for it. For this year, at any rate, there will he no positions or mark percentages given on the Term Reports, but boys will be classified in groups. Such classification, together with individual remarks when deemed necessary, will, it is hoped, be a clearer indication to parents of how a boy stands with regard to the various subjects taken.


 

 

No. 22 March, 1933.

 


Editor: E. W. SCOTT.
EASTER, 1933.
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.

There seems to be little doubt that the part the six Houses are playing nowadays in School life is much less important than formerly. Even House Teas are now almost things of the past. This winter only two have been held and these, be it noted, by Mallinson and Spivey, who were celebrating their attainment, after five years of growth, of the same status as the other Houses, and whose members were enjoying their first experience of House Teas-sufficient explanation of the survival of the function in these two cases. If this loss of vigour in the Houses was not being counterbalanced by many beneficial tendencies, it would be regrettable. The House System, besides making the running of the School considerably easier, has real value as an educational instrument. The encouragement in the individual boy of enthusiastic loyalty and service for something that is beyond his own personal interests is part of the task of every school. How this encouragement can best be brought about is a very interesting question. Probably in his heart of hearts the young boy is more concerned with the welfare of his form's football team than that of the School in general. This is quite understandable. Service for a school is often too vague an idea to make much appeal to the young boy. He must have something more obvious as a motive for action. And this is frequently supplied by the form of which he is a member. His efforts for his form, because it is a much smaller unit, will have a more pronounced effect and a better chance of recognition than his efforts for his school. And just as the form encourages loyalty that might otherwise flag, so does the house: it is a smaller unit than the school, and as an object of service it is thrown into sharp relief by rivalry with other houses. Of course, as a boy grows older, his early loyalties become less keen. But the important thing is that his capacity for loyalty and service should be developed while he is still young. The House System, then, has its advantages from an educational point of view; but it is not irreplaceable. Indeed, it has many disadvantages, also from an educational point of view. Obviously, educational ends are better served by loyalty, say, to a literary society than by loyalty to a football team. And as the House System is, or  is at any rate in most secondary schools, concerned almost exclusively with sport, clear opportunities for improvement are indicated. Further, what is called the "House Spirit" often stops short at mere moral support: you are a good member of your house if you encourage it lustily from the ranks of the spectators. A more active participation in school life must be demanded of a boy if he is to receive its full educational benefits. What, then, are the reassuring tendencies that are counterbalancing the decay of the House System in our School ? They are seen primarily in the increasing strength of the School Societies. There exist now societies, all in a state of healthy growth, catering for every taste, including that of the very young, and providing boys with opportunities not only for loyal service but also for incr~asing their skill or their knowledge. As for sport, the life-blood as it were of the House System, it seems to have been in no way adversely affected by the loss of stimulus provided by House competition. Interest in football has never been keener, a result of the excellent policy of more trial games and more School matches for the younger boys. It is remarkable that the year that has shown a weakening of the House System should have been the most successful one ever experienced by the School football teams. Finally, during the past two or three terms, both swimming and athletics appear to have taken a new lease of life. After the very successful gala held last September, swimming training has been provided during the winter for those who desired it, and it is symptomatic of the times that this year, owing to the new training methods introduced by Mr. Ninnim, the various Houses are no longer responsible for the athletics training of their members.

Editor: E.W.SCOTT.

 


No. 23. June, 1933.

 


SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
During the term a party from the School consisting of boys who learn German went to the Academy Theatre to see Emil and the Detectives. The picture was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We should like to see the idea extended and visits to cinemas showing worthwhile films become a common feature of School life. For good or for bad the cinema is inescapably attractive to the average boy. This is not a lamentable fact except, of course, in so far as the unsavoury subject matter of many films makes them unfit for youthful consumption, for the film has its educational advantages. Even a poor film can serve as a jumping-off point for inquiry into dramatic, literary, and artistic values of many kinds, and for the discussion of broader questions of life. Many a class would doubtless become more articulate when dealing with a film that it found attractive than with a school classic that it certainly did not. Finally, the educational benefits that might accrue to a boy from an intelligent attitude to the films could be heightened by advice given at School as to the films most worth seeing. In this way, too, the objections to the demoralising effects of the films could be overcome. Perhaps it will not be long before a film society is as necessary an institution in a school as a dramatic society. We think there is room for such an addition even on the very long list of our own societies. The managing of a society is admittedly difficult, though it is easy to make the task more difficult than it need be, Most of the work devolves, of necessity, on the secretary. Now it so happens that every year the time of many boys who would be otherwise eminently suitable for the position of secretary to a society, is made precious by an approaching examination, either the General or the Higher School. Consequently the boys best suited for the position are generally those who are enjoying a lull between the two examinations. It is not without significance that many of the most active societies in the School have had as their secretaries members of the First Year Sixth. This consideration will doubtless be borne in mind when the officials of the societies are elected at the beginning of next term, when it is expected that there will be a large number of such eligible boys. Given an efficient secretary or, at any rate, an efficient committee, half the battle is won. Full plans of the future activities of the society would he laid down at the beginning of the Christmas Term and strictly adhered to; the extensive publicity necessary for the life of the society would be undertaken; and all clashing with other School functions would he avoided. Finally, it would greatly help the societies if teas at reasonable prices could be provided for all those boys who have interests to follow in School after 4 p.m. It is not unlikely that next term something will be done in this direction.

 

 

No. 24 Christmas, 1933.

 


Editor: P. A. Timberlake.
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
"What's the good of all this education, anyway?"

If this question were heard only from the lips of the workweary prospective General School candidate, it would give no cause for comment. But, in point of fact, it is voiced less often by the schoolboy than by the disappointed parent whose newly matriculated son has tried and failed to get work, or by the triumphant parent whose boy has "got a job" without having received the advantages of a secondary school education. What is the good of all this education? Education is preparation for citizenship. The most decisive influence in a boy's education is that exercised in his home before he reaches school age. This determines how and to what extent he will be affected by the new influences, which he will encounter when he starts school. The elementary school, also, plays a large part in moulding the boy's character and in training his mind and determining his attitude to his fellows. A young man whose schooling has finished at the elementary stage should be able, after consideration and comparison, reasonably to choose his way of life and his opinions from those offered him. He has become discriminative. But a boy who has had a secondary education should have learnt to think for himself. He has not only been taught to be receptive and critical'; he has been encouraged to be original. He should be able to form opinions of his own, to originate new ideas which are to be accepted or rejected by his fellows. And since his originality is of no value to others unless he can't express himself freely and clearly, the secondary school education is intended not only to encourage him to be original, but also to enable him to make his ideas known by providing him with a mastery over his language, and by teaching him to think and to argue in a logical maimer. We see around us to-day schools organised in many different ways according to many -different theories of education. By what are the sources of these methods and the correctness of these theories to be judged? By examination results? We think not. The test of education is not to be found in mark percentages. The success of the method adopted in a secondary school is revealed in the originality of the scholar who has come under its influence, in his ability to think logically and to express himself correctly and convincingly. Surely, there is no better medium for the exhibition of these achievements than the School Magazine. A boy begins to form his opinions when he is at school. The influence of the school and its activities has some immediate effect in determining his attitude to life. The success or failure of the methods employed in this School could be reflected in the Monovian if more boys contributed. Never before in history has good education been so necessary for the well-being of the world as it is to-day. A generation of well-educated men and women would ensure a future of peace and happiness for mankind. A badly-educated generation would allow humanity to be plunged into another world war, which might see the end of civilisation. It is vitally important that those in authority should know how far educational methods are succeeding in our secondary schools, in this School. The Monovian has perhaps not yet sufficiently played the role of revealer of the mind and the outlook of the School. This we feel it should do, and we appeal to the boys of the School to show greater enthusiasm and greater conscientiousness in contributing to its pages.

P.A.T.


 

 

No. 25 Easter, 1934.

 


Editor: P. A. Timberlake.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
The response to the appeal for contributions published in our last issue has been almost negligible. At the same time we continually hear boys in the School complaining that the Magazine is devoid of interest and lacking in variety. In order that the financial position of the Monovian shall not be dependent upon the number of sports subscriptions received, the charge for the Magazine is now made separately. This term the sales have decreased. Is the explanation of this failure on the part of so many boys to manifest any interest whatever in the fate of the School Magazine to be found in inability, or in unwillingness to support it either by contributing or by paying nine pence to read what others have contributed? We would prefer to believe that this complete absence of enthusiasm is due to intellectual poverty and to financial difficulty. But can it be that in a school of five hundred boys not more than five have the initiative or the originality to contribute to their own Magazine? Can it be that the two hundred orders received represent the total number of the boys who can afford to pay for a Magazine, and those who are determined to make sacrifices in order to buy one? If these things were so, this editorial would be unnecessary. But we have no reason to believe that they are. It may be, on the other band, that that same apathy which is prevalent in many walks of present-day life is gradually permeating the School and choking all interest in those things with which boys have no personal concern, and for which they need accept no individual responsibility. This view, though still less pleasant, is, we are compelled to admit, more probable. But we cannot bring ourselves to believe that either of these possibilities offers a true description of the situation, We do not think that the boys of this School are a horde of mental cripples. We refuse to believe that the School is sinking into apathy when we see eleven School societies all in flourishing condition, and multitudes of other activities, requiring unlimited energy and untiring effort, continually taking place in the School. We think rather that the poor support which has been accorded to the School Magazine is a result of a not uncommon schoolboy thoughtlessness, an unstudied negligence which can easily be overcome. For this reason we are endeavouring, first of all, to make the Magazine as attractive as we possibly can. The variety to be found in its pages is, we are convinced, as much as can reasonably be expected from the few individuals whose work it represents. We will, however, still welcome suggestions from those who do not feel able to contribute themselves. Secondly, we have introduced a new feature, a Literary Competition. If boys are unable to compose an original article and yet are anxious to show that they are not altogether indifferent to the fate of the Monovian, they can enter for this competition and stand a chance of winning a valuable prize.

P.A.T.

 

 

No. 26 Summer, 1934

 


Editor: P.A.Timberlake.

We have received a copy of the Leyton School Magazine in which the editorial page is printed twice over. If the explanation of this is that the unfortunate Editor feels that his termly exhortation is not being read,  we offer him our sympathy, and confess that we are in the same plight. In spite of the editorial appeals in the last two issues of the Monovian; in spite of a spectacular publicity campaign, made possible by the kind co-operation of Mr. Hayes and his art classes; in spite of a circular appeal to parents, Magazine sales this term are down still further. That the quality of the Magazine is not at fault we have the testimony of a number of readers, including no less distinguished a person than Dr. B. L. K. Henderson, the well-known author of Thirty Years' Hard. Comparing the last issue of the Monovian with other school magazines, Dr. Henderson, who is an experienced educationist as well as a famous author, described it as "one of the best I have seen." The Walthomstow Post, too, has a good word for the Monovian: "A well turned- out and readable production. . . a really excellent little journal." And indeed, many boys in the School expressed their satisfaction at the improvements we have been able to effect in recent issues. Surely, then, the Monovian is worth the halfpenny a week and the odd penny which go to make up a year's subscription. Nevertheless, at present, well under half the boys In the School subscribe to the Magazine. Yet we have some cause for rejoicing. If the reader will turn to the literary section of the present issue he will find a number of excellent contributions which were not written by the Editor: three of them, indeed, came from boys in the Junior School. Only an Editor can appreciate the encouragement that such an achievement brings to those whose responsibility it is to make a school magazine interesting. We sincerely thank our contributors, and trust that their example will be widely imitated.

P.A.T.

 

No. 27 Christmas 1934


Editor: P.A. Timberlake
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
"We should be preparing boys for the life they are going to lead after leaving school, and in this respect I believe we are making progress. Boys are thinking for themselves much more than they did in our day." It would be easy to write an editorial running into several pages on the subject-matter of this short extract from the Headmasters Report. Much has been said and written of the objects of higher education, and much more has been left unsaid. But there are few thinking people today who will maintain that it is possible for the individual to fulfil his obligations as a member of society before he has began to think for himself. The primary importance of independent thought is today generally aecepted. So if the ultimate aim of the education in this School is to provide boys with the means to fulfil their obligations as citizens, we cannot claim that our education is even beginning to be successful until we have evidence that it is leading boys to think for themselves, to think about things that matter, and to form their own opinions on  them. A year ago we wrote in this strain. At that time the Monovian, which should be the organ of the boys of this School, had shown little evidence of independent thought. It has not shown nearly enough since. The boys fur the most part either have nothing to say or, if they have, are too lazy or too timid to say it. But there is some evidence. The last two issues of the Monovian contained articles, by Junior boys as well as by seniors which showed distinct originality of treatment: " The Pavement Artist," " The Houses in Between," and "A Dream" to mention only three, revealed something of that healthy independence of outlook which typifies the virile and responsive mind. In the present issue we print two articles under the heading, "War and Peace." Without expressing any opinion on the articles themselves, we suggest that it takes a good deal of mental courage and independence even to attempt to think seriously and honestly on a question of such vital importance as that of war. We trust that these articles will not be the last of their kind. We believe that it should be the first concern of the School to see that this spark of mental independence is not allowed to flicker out or to pass unnoticed, but that it is fanned into a flame. If this flame is once lighted in the minds and the hearts of the younger generation, they will never rest until they have fulfilled their duty as members society- in making the world a place fit for humanity.

P.A.T.


 

No. 28 Easter 1935

Editor PA Timberlake

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

When one has just spent a fortnight speaking editorially by day and writing editorially by night, consuming large quantities of paper and wearing out pen-nibs editorially, employing all the methods of the Inquisition editorially in order to extort belated contributions from reluctant fellow-journalists, it is to say the least of it-somewhat. disconcerting to be confronted with the heading "Speaking Editorially" and compelled to start writing afresh. Nevertheless, there are a few remarks which can and should be made editorially in the present issue and which have not already been made elsewhere We have frequently had occasion to complain of apathy and indifference on the part of the boys towards the School Magazine. In the past we have lamented the evidence of widespread unwillingness to contribute to the Monovian. This term we feel confident that the days of complaining editorials are passing, if not already past. The last issue of the Monovian was sold out within twenty-four hours of publication. The first order received this term is for twenty-eight copies in a form of thirty boys. Surely these are indications that the "unstudied negligence" to which we attributed last year's lack of support is being overcome. A year ago we considered ourselves fortunate to obtain four literary contributions from people not themselves responsible for the Magazine. This term we print fourteen and are only with the greatest reluctance compelled to omit a further six. Who but the cynic will deny that this evidences the growth In the School of a true sense of responsibility, of a community consciousness which is positive instead of negative and rational instead of sentimental? The boys in the School are waking to a realisation of the value and the importance of the School Magazine. But this is not enough. The interest must be sustained, the enthusiasm must increase and continue to increase. While we are glad to be able to thank so many subscribers and so many contributors for their help, we cannot leave the matter there. We are going to leave the matter with the parents. The President of the Monoux Parents' Association1 addressing a meeting of the members, expressed the hope that the Association 'would inspire them to take a greater interest in their sons' education" We suggest to the parents that one of the must obvious and most direct ways of taking an interest in the education of their sons would be to encourage them not only to subscribe, but to contribute to the School Magazine.


P.A.T.

 

No. 29 Summer 1935

 

Editor: F.A.Timberlake

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
"This magazine is indeed an achievement of which the School can be proud." (Walthamstow Post on the last issue of the Monovian) The function of a school magazine--as even the most pessimistic of our predecessors has admitted-is to preserve a record as nearly as possible complete of the life and the development of the school. What is too frequently overlooked is that "the life of the school " does not consist merely, or perhaps even mainly, in achievements of body and brain that can be summed up in tables of sports and examination results. It consists, to a degree unsuspected by some even of the most progressive of educationists, in the individual life of the mind and the body of every member of the school. And a school record that fails to reveal whether healthiness of body and healthiness of mind are resulting in a growing appreciation of the deeper beauties and the wider possibilities of life, a record that is silent as to the powers of observation, of understanding, of reasoning-the degree of culture, attained by the boys of the school-such a record is not only hopelessly inadequate, it is comparatively valueless in preserving a record of examination results, or in comparing the cricket averages of one generation with those of the next, indisputably a much greater advantage is derived from putting on record some indication of the level and the extent of the imaginative life, of the independent thinking and feeling of the individuals who comprise the school from generation to generation. When a school magazine has succeeded in doing this--even though its literary and imaginative essays represent the work of only one or two of the most developed minds-it has provided an invaluable touchstone for all future generations-it has left a historical high-water mark that must be reached again and passed. If the Monovian during the past two years can be said to have reflected in any degree the tone of the thought and the mental outlook of the School, if it has mirrored in any permanent fashion the imaginative and appreciative life of the boys, it has fulfilled its function, and the School can be proud of it. We believe that our two years of effort for this end have not been entirely unrewarded. Resignation is rarely a happy experience, even when it brings relief. As I pen these final paragraphs of my last Monovian editorial, and recall how great a happiness it has been to me to make through the pages of the magazine such small contribution as I could in the service of the School, there come rushing back to my mind several terms too late whole hosts of unfulfilled plans and undeveloped ideas and contemplated changes that cry out for recognition. But if I were to start describing them now, or even to begin to improvise an adequate apology for the shortcomings of my editing during the last two years, thin final termly effusion would become even more boring than its predecessors and be swollen to unwieldy and unhealthy proportions. There is another and more congenial task that I have to perform in the conclusion of this last editorial. Or rather, it is not a task, but a privilege and a pleasure to be able to record my gratitude to all those whose patient and devoted co-operation has rendered my toil less arduous. Without the assistance of Mr. Rothery, who has read and criticised the manuscripts of over sixty articles of my own, in addition to putting the finishing touches to my frequently inexplicable editing of articles by other people, the Magazine, I am convinced, would never have come out. Moreover, his careful and tireless proofreading, besides being an immense relief to me, has been mainly responsible for the extraordinary infrequency of errors in the Magazine. To the Headmaster and many members of the Staff who have made valuable criticisms and suggestions; to all the authors, poets, and artists who have provided material; to the luckless secretaries and house-captains who have had to tolerate me for so long, I can only offer my very best thanks. And last but not least I would pay tribute 'to the printers. Messrs "Dexterity," who for two years have patiently carried out my every instruction, even when it entailed considerable inconvenience for themselves, and have, as I know, on more than one occasion kept their men working all night in order that we should not be disappointed.

P.A.T.

P. A. TIMBERLAKE

 

No. 30 Christmas, 1935

 

Editor: G.H.W.Bramhall


SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
Readers of this issue of the Monovian will notice that there are no Debating Society Notes. Although we do not wish to detract in any way from their several values, we cannot but feel that the decrease in support given to this Society is to a degree attributable to the recent introduction of many other out of schooI activities. The root of the trouble does not lie so much in the fact that boys are over-estimating the importance of, sav, the Art Club, the Hobbies Club, or the Dramatic Society, but rather in the fact that they are underrating the value of the practice in public speaking obtained in the Debating Society. This fault would be remedied if only boys would realise that in the course of their lives as ordinary citizens they will be frequently called upon to express their views, and that they cannot do so to their own satisfaction unless they have had some practice whilst at school. This experience the Debating Society can supply, and for this reason alone it should be well supported. Moreover, the Debating Society has a. long and distinguished record. Such names as those of A. E. Holdsworth, who afterwards became President of the Cambridge Union, K. K Robinson, D. Thompson, S.O. Speakman. G. A. Barnard, and P. A. Timberlake, our predecessor, are still fresh in the memories of most of us. This record is not one built up by presidents or chairmen, as such, but one which all members have established over a long period of years. The torch has been set well and truly ablaze. Woe betide us, if we allow it to flicker and die out! The Monovian has also gained for itself no small reputation. To the achievement of the high standard it has reached the whole School has contributed in so far as it has realised at last the fact that the magazine exists for its benefit as well as its amusement. The School as a whole then must take upon itself the responsibility of maintaining the reputation it has helped to build.


 

 

No. 31 Spring 1936

 


Editor: G.H.W.Bramhall

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
Readers of this issue of the Monovian will notice that there are no Debating Society Notes. Although we do not wish to detract in any way from their several values, we cannot but feel that the decrease in support given to this Society is to a degree attributable to the recent introduction of many other out of schooI activities. The root of the trouble does not lie so much in the fact that boys are over-estimating the importance of, sav, the Art Club, the Hobbies Club, or the Dramatic Society, but rather in the fact that they are underrating the value of the practice in public speaking obtained in the Debating Society. This fault would be remedied if only boys would realise that in the course of their lives as ordinary citizens they will be frequently called upon to express their views, and that they cannot do so to their own satisfaction unless they have had some practice whilst at school. This experience the Debating Society can supply, and for this reason alone it should be well supported. Moreover, the Debating Society has a. long and distinguished record. Such names as those of A. E. Holdsworth, who afterwards became President of the Cambridge Union, K. K Robinson, D. Thompson, S.O. Speakman. G. A. Barnard, and P. A. Timberlake, our predecessor, are still fresh in the memories of most of us. This record is not one built up by presidents or chairmen, as such, but one which all members have established over a long period of years. The torch as been set well and truly ablaze. Woe betide us, if we allow it to flicker and die out! The Monovian has also gained for itself no small reputation. To the achievement of the high standard it has reached the whole School has contributed in so far as it has realised at last the fact that the magazine exists for its benefit as well as its amusement. The School as a whole then must take upon itself the responsibility of maintaining the reputation it has helped to build.

 

No. 32. Summer, 1936


Editor:G.H.W. Bramhall

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
"William Morris was . . one violently moved by hatred of the sordid, aimless, ugly confusion' which the nineteenth century took for civilization." C. Delisle Burns. Since the days when Morris started his life-long  struggle against the industrial and commercial interests which, in their race for wealth and power, threatened to crush the life and imagination of craftsmen and artisans, the world has realised, to an extent, its obligations to those whose labour creates wealth. The problems of working conditions, of housing, of education and facilities for physical and mental development or recreation, have all received considerable attention. Nevertheless, although the validity of Morris's protest is generally accepted and his example followed by greater numbers of thinking people, the evils of industrialism still remain; man still continues to be a drudge, a human ant. In face of this, education cannot do better than to inspire its charges with the ideal of WaIthamstow's greatest citizen, " the Ideal of a busily beautiful and happy life for everybody" a life that is beautiful because it is lived to a high and useful purpose, a life that is beautiful because it realises that human progress, the happiness of the individual, and the welfare of the community are closely intertwined. One of the ways in which individuals may combat the stereotyping tendency of modern industrialism is the free exercise of the imaginative and reasoning faculties, the development of our sense of enjoyment of things which are natural and beautiful. The speed of modern existence may be counteracted by the striving after mental and physical health. The Monovian exists to record for the benefit of its readers the imaginative efforts of the more energetic members of the School in an attempt to demonstrate that "the artist is not a special kind of man" as industrialism would have us believe, but that "every man is a special kind of artist." We therefore commend the magazine to the School, trusting that by the unstinted co-operation of all it may fulfil its purpose.

 

No. 33 Autumn, 1936



Editors: J. F. Salmon and J. 3. Hampton

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
In an article written by one of our predecessors (may we prove worthy of them!) it was commented that the House System was not irreplaceable; its main fault was held to be, we recollect, the disproportionate manner in which it encouraged sport rather than work. Undoubtedly sport holds a far greater attraction for the majority of schoolboys than lessons, which, however interesting, are essentially a form of work. It is the object of all boys to be successful in at least one important examination. Hence work resolves itself into a purely personal matter, to be endured for the good of the individual. In this respect the two main activities of the School, namely work and play, tended to neutralise the good effects of each other. Work which necessitated entirely personal effort acted against the co-operative spirit of sport fostered by the House System. At the time when our predecessor indignantly disclosed to the world the weaknessses of the House System, and indeed until quite recently, there was just cause for complaint. Today, however, conditions have changed. Esprit de corps is now equally manifest in both spheres of activity. At the end of last term the usual long faces were conspicuously absent. Boys could be seen interestedly, nay, even eagerly, scanning their reports to ascertain the number of A's and B's inscribed thereon; for every one of these obtains points for the boy's House in an entirely original competition. This innovation is the award of an exceedingly handsome cup to the House most proficient in scholastic attainments. The trophy has been presented by Mr. W. A. Workman, an Old Monovian, to whom the School is very grateful. At long last the spirit of rivalry has been brought to bear equally on work and sport. A further cause for lament was a tendency towards the giving of more moral than physical support in games. Such criticism was undoubtedly well merited at the time, when a handful of boys would be seen competing strenuously on Sports Days, while the remainder of the School indulged in vociferous cheering from the side. Such was the team-spirit of the Houses then. Now, all boys are exhorted to enter for the heats and, even if they are eliminated, to run in Losers' Relays. This system seems for the most part popular, and is certainly successful. Having thus disposed of the plaints of a former era, we now reluctantly assume the role of Mr. Grouser. Our cry for articles fell mainly on deaf ears. That this complaint is not original we fully realise, for almost every Monovian Editor, has, at least once in his career, found himself compelled to voice this appeal. It is against the unwonted lethargy of the Lower School that our indignation is in the main directed. It should not be the lot of the hard-worked Upper Forms to supply the bulk of a magazine which should be representative of the whole of the School. Let us hope that next term's response will prove conclusively that this tirade has not been fruitless.


 

 

No. 34 Easter, 1937.

 


Editor:J. F. Salmon

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

"..............and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the world." -Abraham Lincoln. These were the words of Lincoln in 1863. Seventy years after Mussolini, dominant power in Italy, proclaims boldly that "The democracies are done for." These sentiments, at first glance, seem to apply only to world affairs-as, of course, they were intended to - and to be irrelevant matter in a school magazine. But their application to school life was felt to be very pertinent by a number of members of the School early in February, when a debate was held on the motion that "The present system of election of Prefects is not in the best interests the School"-the present system being nomination and voting solely by the Upper School. The motion was, and some will say unfortunately, carried by fifty-five votes to forty-five. Despite the fact that the majority was composed largely of Lower School boys who, perhaps, anticipated their enfranchisement under a new system, it is evident from the presence of hose fifty-five votes that the democratic element in the School being threatened, and that a section of its members is in sympathy with a definite curtailing of their liberty. To the French philosopher Voltaire it seemed irrational and absurd that the canon law should impinge upon the civil life of the community and dispose of it in the interests of an organisation purely international; similarly, though in a minor "world" which concerns only a small group of boys, it seems irrational to transfer the responsibility of electing representatives of the mass from the shoulders of the boys to the begowned ones of the Masters. Probably the Staff could choose more wisely and well than the Upper School; the disadvantage of the change of system proposed in the debate lies not in any faults of administration which might arise, but in the general principle, in the gradual undermining of democracy involved, which would lead inevitably to the loss of capability for self-government in the School. It therefore devolves upon every member of the School to uphold democracy. To do this, it is essential that the School as a whole shall show itself capable of selecting wisely its leader s and of giving them loyal support by obedience uninfluenced by the sobering effect of Staff supervision.

 

 

No. 35 Summer, 1937

 


Editor: J. F. Salmon

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

Auferre trucdare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinern faciuut, pacem. appellant. Wednesday, May 12th, 1937. A heterogeneous mass of people throngs the pavements, crowds irreverently round the ancient statues on which they formerly gazed with such awe. From a distant corner comes a shout, unintelligible, confused, but nevertheless well-intended. Like a well-trained ballet the crowd sways, uncertain as to the reason, but obedient to a wave-like motion with no apparent source. Periscopes are produced in scores, hats swiftly removed, and the undertone of excited murmuring swells to a burst of cheering as the first soldier appears. Successive contingents of resplendent soldiery troop past the enthralled spectators, each distinctive marching tune swiftly rising to a crescendo and once more merging into the distance. All the might of the far-flung Empire is represented in this great union of force and display, and yet the watchers are unsatisfied. At last, the climax of the whole magnificent scene is reached: the great royal coach, cumbersome but glittering, comes into view, and now it is impossible to distinguish any particular sound from the crowd but a prolonged roar. At night, England's new King and Queen appear again and again on the balcony of their floodlit palace. "Coronation" photographs, articles cartoons fill the press for days afterwards. All London is the setting for scenes of inspired loyalty and pageantry In the south of England is a camp of big white tents; the occupants, now almost all adopted and sent to various parts of the country, are by no means strangers to the British press and thus, to the British people. A few months ago, four thousand frightened children forsook the sorrowful land of Spain for the summer peace of the English countryside, leaving behind relatives with no hope of similar escape until the declaration of peace. The rights and wrongs of the Spanish civil war we cannot attempt to decide; in fact, there is no man sufficiently unbiased for the task. But the plight of these refugees gives this generation an insight into the horrors of warfare, which in these days of highly-developed "civilisation" strikes combatants and innocents alike with the grim impartiality of Death. Patriotic Englishmen, seeing these children, and recalling the recent Abyssinian dispute, are apt to condemn the instigators of such misery as self-centred unheeding monsters who, nevertheless, being "foreigners," cannot be entirely blamed for their actions. Let them not forget that England already has her Empire- which means that certain of their predecessors, filled with fervent but misdirected enthusiasm, once subdued or "pacified" the luckless inhabitants of various lands and colonised" their territory just as Man has done and will continue to do until civilisation provides a solution. The desire for pre-eminence and power has obsessed most strong-willed, capable persons. invariably with disastrous results to one of the parties involved. Obviously, It will continue to do so; and the magnitude of the disaster which constantly attends this obsession grows as the science of killing is developed. The world is very old: in comparison. Man is in his Infancy-an infancy which has, nevertheless, produced great characters. So promising a child surely merits the opportunity to develop into maturity and ultimate perfection. Just as the School, by weekly subscriptions, is endeavouring to aid two Basque children to lead useful lives, so should the rulers of the world determine to guide their charge into a healthy future. This then is the responsibility of every ruling body. For the leaders of so vast a unit of the world as the British Empire the task is heavy indeed. At this critical time of crises and explosions in politics, our new King and Government have together embarked on a sea fraught with perils. If they were to fail, the world would be in sorry plight. For this reason we wish King George VI and his Cabinet every success in the uncertain future.

 

 

No. 36 Christmas, 1937

 


Editor: F. C. Carpenter

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

Christmas is still a legend. Children may have killed Santa Claus, but the older generation is afraid to bury the corpse. It is still a joy to remember Wenceslas and the snow; the Wise Men and the star; and the little Child. And Christmas comes but once a year, to tell us the story of the babe of Bethlehem. Now after close on two thousand years Christmas is a time to eat, drink, and be merry; to cast aside fear and enmity in a brave show of goodwill. Perhaps we are a little tired of the story, and as time takes us farther from it, the haze of romance deepens into the mists of forgetfulness. When Christmas is over, the world has that sad air of the last days of the year when hope and joyful expectancy are gone like a dream. The glowing sentiments of goodwill have cooled off; the empty chairs and the remains of the feast stare at us in silence as if to ask what it has all meant. Everyone keeps Christmas, and not without a thought of Christ; the celebration is but half complete without a carol; and the little Child is simplicity itself, simplicity, the quest of every age. Many tales are told of Christmas on the Western Front how, overcome by feelings of goodwill, enemies of yesterday joined camp and remembered together the Light that came into the world. Would that the spirit of Christmas were not spent in two days, but that it lasted through the year! Sentiment is not always evil, nor so far removed from charity. And the spirit of Christmas is charity, not a mean and niggardly charity, but the love of Christ showing imperfectly in thousands to whom Christmas is more than a name. The spirit of Christmas would never have allowed the Great War; it weeps even now at the plight of China and Spain. It does not see long, despairing lines outside the Labour Exchanges and tell us blandly that prosperity is at hand. But once a year it reminds us of the brotherhood of man and tells us that men were born to live, not to die. This it has done for more than nineteen centuries, and will do as long as the name of Christ is remembered on earth. Let Scrooge's lesson not be lost on us: I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, Present, and Future. The Spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach."


 

No. 37. Easter 1938.

Editor F. C. Carpenter

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
Our eyes do not deceive us : the new Technical College is almost complete. We wish it well, and look forward to a healthy rivalry with it. The Chairman of the Governors has assured the town that the new  College will in no way eclipse the Monoux School, but rather that the two will work together for the welfare of education in Walthamstow. But the very size of the building is a challenge. The Monoux School will find no light task in upholding and adding to its prestige in face of the efforts of a new and larger school which has nothing to lose and worlds to gain. It is not, however, with apprehension that the Monoux School regards its new rival, but with the knowledge and determination that from that rivalry shall come new and great opportunities to carry still further its own good name. The Monovian cannot escape this challenge. The School magazine should always be the chief link between School and town. It should be the product of many, or how can it hope to reflect the spirit of the School ? The Editor's task should be to collect, correct, and, if need be, to reject he should not have to write the magazine. Satisfying music never came from a one-man band. This term the Literary Section has no separate existence. Seldom has the Monovian known so poor a response to its appeals for contributions. The Editor's lament is worn with age, but the causes which provoke it are still to be removed. No editor, it seems, has a right to expect any change in the attitude of the School towards its magazine, an attitude best called apathy The Monovian must continue to reflect the spirit of the first school in Walthamstow. It needs your help.

F.C.

 

 

No. 38 Summer 1938.

 


Editor: F. C. Carpenter

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

There are two major wars still being waged. One is two years old; the other bids fair even to outlast it. We have grown so used to terrible news, that another air-raid is a matter of no more concern than a snowstorm over the North Pole. The air is thick with protests and counter-assertions, so thick, indeed, that the events which gave rise to them are obscured or at least reduced in horror, and the dreadful business goes on with the negligible resistance of committees, observers, and the like. Sometimes the world seems an impossible place full of madmen and freaks, where no goodness obtains, where kindness counts for nothing, where gentleness and humility are a crime. A word, a shout, we are told, will bring the skies down upon us. Slowly but most surely our lips also are being sealed. It seems only a matter of time for our several natures to conform to one fiendish pattern. And so, if we would seek some comfort, we look farther afield than simple pleasures. The insane complexity of modern horror is answered by the mad quest of pleasure. The whole world is chasing shadows. Single-mindedness has ceased to be fashionable. Millions of lives without purpose form a pitiful scene. It is a sad state when the purpose of life is to kill. Is there no loveliness left in the world? Is horror the whole story? When the spring sun struggles through the bursting branches, when the first cuckoo is calling a new summer, when Autumn first takes up brushes and palette; when Winter's white grace fills the calm earth-those are the moments which tell the full story of the world. A little while ago, a Chinese bombing plane flew over Japan dropping-leaflets. The Chinese Government had no hostile intentions towards the people of Japan, ran the message. How much of the despair and gloom is dissolved by a small event like this! No, horror is not the whole story.

F.C.

 

 

No. 39 Christmas 1938.

 


Editor P. S. G. Flint

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
But a little while ago we thought that there would be no issue of the Monovian this term. We expected to be evacuated hurriedly to districts safe from the dangers of the war that threatened to destroy civilisation. For a short moment, however, reason prevailed, and our fears gave way to thankful relief. There was to be no war. In these civilised times war endangers not only the fighting forces, but also the entire civilian populations of the nations concerned. In one air raid on Barcelona in January of this year three hundred people were killed, including eighty-three orphan children. Every citizen, whatever his beliefs, must be awake to the dangers that surround him. Let us briefly survey the state of civilisation today. British troops have been sent to Palestine to quell rioting. China is the scene of merciless bombardment and slaughter. Madrid, the greatest city of Spain, lies in despair. She has no flour for bread, no coffee to drink, no more furniture to provide fuel. During this winter many thousands of her population will face privation or death. Abyssinia, now in the hands of civilisation, is in a state of unrest. France is facing a grave economic crisis; her forty-hour week is being modified, taxes are being raised, prices will soar. In Germany the Jews are suffering terrible persecution. They are paying for a crime which they have never committed-the crime of being born Jews. Many German prisoners have only to renounce their beliefs, to prove their allegiance to Nazism, and they are free. But the Jew is a Jew for ever, and must continue to suffer. In spite of all this the peoples of the world do desire peace. Friends who have foreign correspondents assure us that the letters they received at the time of the crisis all expressed a fervent desire for peace. Why then, you ask, if everyone is so anxious for peace, are wars so frequent ? The answer is simple. The peoples, having blind. childlike faith in their leaders, do not realise until it is too late that they are on the verge of war. It is for you to decide the future. Your responsibility is great. Boys must realise that they will soon be called upon to vote for the nation's leaders. They must gain knowledge. This knowledge the League of Nations Union and the World Affairs Society can supply. A few years ago these societies flourished; to-day they are only half alive. They must be revivified. The torch once set ablaze must not be allowed to flicker and die out.

P.S.G.F.


 

 

No. 40 Easter 1939.

 


Editor: P. S. G. Flint

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
Time and time again the Editor's lament has filled the first pages of the Monovian. The School has been upbraided for its apathy and refusal to take an interest in its Magazine. Often has an irate Editor pointed out that since the School Magazine must, besides recording football results and house activities, also reveal the mind and outlook of the School, it must have many contributors. This term, however, we must put aside this old lament a new one has arrived to take its place. There has been no dearth of articles for this issue of the Monovian. Many of them, alas, have been written in doubtful English and in almost, if not quite, illegible handwriting. In one case we had to ask the author to translate his scribbled hieroglyphics into intelligible English! We hope that in the future our contributors will be more considerate. Since the last issue of the Monovian appeared, several people have bewailed the fact that a number of its articles were of a political nature. If we grant that the School Magazine must reflect the opinions of the School, surely we must not bar politics from its pages. Future generations of Monovians may not be interested in the football results of 1938, but it is not unlikely that they will be deeply interested in our attitude towards, say, the Munich Agreement and the German occupation of Austria and Sudetenland. This term we include an article on the problem in Palestine. We would be very grateful for any criticism given in a kindly spirit. It is rather ironical that the day after the fall of Barcelona the Debating Society decided that "It is vital to the interests of Democracy that arms should be supplied to the Spanish Government immediately." The House apparently realised that it is of the utmost importance to the peace of the world that in its fight against Fascism, Democracy should win, and that the interests of the weak should be protected. In the international field today the question of right and wrong seems to have been forgotten. We would like here to quote from an article by Sir Norman Angell: The rival ideologies which, ought to exist in the international field are the ideologies, not of Democracy versus Fascism, or Bolshevism versus anything else, but the ideology of constitutionalism, law as against anarchy; the ideal of the equality of right for great and small, powerful and weak alike, as against the ideal of allowing the survival of the strong and violent, irrespective of right." The Debating Society has shown on which side it is ranged


P.S.G.F.

 

 

No. 41 Summer 1939

 


Editor : P. S. G. Flint
Vol. XV No. 41. Summer 1939.
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
The school year that is now drawing to a close has proved extremely successful. Proof of this is to be found in the scholastic achievements of Epton and Rushman and the good fortune enjoyed by the School Football and Cricket Teams. The Fete, by the time the Monovian appears, will be history. The extent of its success or failure will be known. At the moment, however, all is excitement. Householders are being showered with leaflets and programmes and in some cases even asked to buy coco-nut ice" to help the Monoux School"; side-shows are appearing from nowhere; forms are conspiring together to draw from the public's pocket as much as possible. We can but hope they will succeed. The Loan Fund for which the Fete is being held is deserving of every support. The difficulties confronting those who seek to reach a university are all too great, and many on gaining admission to one of them have not the financial resources necessary to take full advantage of what it offers. Since the last issue of the Monovian we have seen the introduction of conscription. For six months every youth will be taught more effective ways of killing the enemy, not his own, but his masters' enemy. With the exception of those who have been told to believe that we are free only to starve, we Englishmen are proud of our freedom. But lately we have begun to fear that that free-dom of which we boast was dwindling away. The Government's new measure confirms this. Recently the Debating Society was unable to reach a decision concerning the advisability of conscription, and so we are unable to record its opinion. But it is obvious that opinion throughout the School is against this advance to totalitarianism. The irony of it, of course, is that to thwart the dictators we have had to adopt their methods. The future will prove the folly of such a step.


 

 

No. 42 Spring 1940.

 


Editor:D. E. MILLS.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.

A frequent cause of complaint with former editors has been the paucity of material. This time, owing to lack of space (caused by the war-time shortage of paper) and the wealth of experiences which every boy in the School has had since last September and which provide ample matter for articles, no such complaint is necessary; we thank both masters and boys for their response to our appeal. This. magazine may seem somewhat different from previous "Monovians "; the usual House Notes. for instance, are missing. We can only express our regret that the House System seems so utterly to have ceased to exist, and our hope that it will soon be revived. We regret also the other inevitable omissions that have been made and sincerely hope that this magazine will both be interesting and also serve in time to come as a reminder of the days when the School was transported lock, stock and barrel "into the wilds of Bedfordshire." We now look back on our stay there with mixed feelings; with regret at having left our new-found friends and the beautiful Ampthill scenery, and with amusement at the idea of the Sixth Form working in the vestry of a chapel, while a Women's Meeting carolled away above. We are indeed greatly indebted to the Colchester Royal Grammar School for the kind way in which it has received us, and we take this opportunity of expressing our deep gratitude. One shudders to think of the fate of the Monoux School, had it been left any longer to the tender mercies of Ampthill, kind as the inhabitants were. This edition, we hope, may present some idea of the lighter side of evacuation; its more unpleasant aspects and the grim circumstances which have rendered it necessary it is not our aim to mention, though at the same time one must, of course, not refuse to face facts. However, the immediate purpose of this magazine is to recall some experiences the School has had, and we trust that it will succeed.

D. E. M.

HEADMASTER'S FOREWORD.
Asked by the editor to write a foreword for the magazine, I made several attempts and tore them up, for it should have referred to happenings in the School since September, but I found it impossible to write of our little life here. My mind immediately went to those, young Old Monovians who not long ago were also enjoying their little life at School. They left with bright visions of their future, confident with the glorious confidence of youth that life was well worth living, and that they would play their part worthily in that life which was opening out before them. As, on the last day of the Summer Terms, I have looked down to the back of the hall, knowing that for the last time we were meeting as Master and boy, I have often been reminded of those lines:

"A young Apollo, golden-haired,
Stands gazing, at the edge of strife,
Magnificently unprepared
For the long littleness of Life."

They were not, by any means, all Apollos, but I wondered how they would react to the inevitable tediousness of business life, and how many of them would be able to keep up to the best level they had reached at School. Now, almost suddenly, they have been called from the office, warehouse, workshop, or University, to face the grimmest test of Life-or Death. Too young in many cases to be allowed to influence their country's policy by their vote, they are yet called to give their lives, it may be, to implement that policy. They are faced with terribly important decisions. With so little time given them to enjoy the fullness of life they are called to face the imminence of death. Because we of my generation have failed to make peace secure, and made no adequate protest against the doctrine that Might is Right, as instanced successively in the case of Manchukuo, Abysinnia, Spain, Czecho-Slovakia, etc., that doctrine is enthroned, and too late comes the full realisation that possibly the best of our youth and manhood will have to be sacrificed to restore sanity to the world. The pity of it! It is easy to be wise after the event, but many of us realised that unless we were prepared in peace time to make great sacrifices for peace, unless we were prepared in the relations between countries and nations to be guided by those feelings of consideration for others which alone make possible decent private life in a community, we sooner or later be forced to make the far greater sacrifices which modern war entails. So long as we are unprepared to give that full freedom to others, which we consider an inherent right for ourselves, we shall never attain real freedom; the world is much too interdependent. But now that the die is cast what must we do? For those who are still at School I think that the answer is that you must more whole-heartedly than ever before, show consideration for other people in your private life no less than in your life at School. That means that you must be prepared to put up with many things which make life less comfortable, so that your people may not be worried by your grumblings. You must help anybody whenever the opportunity occurs, and if you have brothers or relatives in the Forces be extra considerate to those who are feeling their absence. And at all times keep as cheerful as possible, and so do your little bit to brighten life. If you will only dedicate yourself to doing it, there are hundreds of ways in which you can help your country now in its hour of need. Value your freedom, and show yourself worthy of it. Imagine what life must be like for decent people living in Germany, where children are trained to spy upon their parents, where without trial people disappear into concentration camps and are never heard of again. This sort of thing must be stopped or civilisation will perish. But all the time we have to remember that we are fighting not for the freedom of a privileged England, but for freedom for the world, for the Germans, the Kenyans, the Hindus, the Czechs, etc. Perhaps this is getting perilously near to Pi-jaw, but I do want you to realise that we must make the sacrifice of our Old Boys worth while; we cannot allow them to give up everything they value in life, and then let them down. We must see that this time the sacrifice shall not be in vain, and that cannot wait until you grow up. You will help to fashion the new world which, if only we will it intensely enough, will grow out of the ruined hopes of to-day; and you must begin NOW. To all Old Monovians we send the wish that their strength and courage may not fail them, and that in their darkest hour the memory of what in the past has made life worth the living shall sustain them, and that deep in their souls they shall have abiding peace.

P.D.G.


 

 

No. 43 Autumn, 1941.

 

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
This is the second evacuation number of the Monovian, the previous one having been issued at the close of our stay in Colchester. We have now been in Leominster, a small country tow of Herefordshire, for fifteen months. We have had many wanderings-Ampthill, Co1chester, Bromyard, Leominster-and hope that our present abode proves the last before our return at the close of hostilities. Our hope is the stronger, as we are comfortably settled here, with excellent facilities for work. For these we are specially grateful to Mr. Green, Headmaster of the Leominster Grammar School, and his staff. They have spared no effort to accommodate us in every way.To all in the town, also, who are housing and looking after our boys we express our appreciation and thanks. We regret to announce that our Headmaster, Mr. Goodall, resigned at the end of last term. He had been with us for ten years. He was educated at Queen Mary's Grammar School, Basingstoke, and Reading University, and graduated at I.ondon University. His first appointment was at the Royal Naval Academy, Bognor. From there he went successively to Ashford Grammar School and Ealing County School, where he was Senior Mathematics and Second Master. From l928 to 1930 he was Headmaster of Falmouth Grammar School, and in 1931 came as Head to Monoux. Mr. Emery has been appointed Acting Headmaster. Many members of the Staff have joined the Forces and the numbers of the School in Leominster are small. We carry on, however, and hope to see the Monoux School once more complete and flourishing after the War, A large number of Old Monovians are serving in the Navy, Army and Air Force. The lists appearing in the Magazine are necessarily incomplete. We shall be glad of further information. The Decorations gained by Old boys are a source of great pride to the School. To the relatives of those who have fallen, The School desires to extend its most heartfelt sympathy in their grievous loss.


 

 

No. 44 Spring, 1942.

 


EDITOR C. J. Plouviez.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
The third evacuation number of the Monovian is a specially interesting issue, recording as it does, the appointment of Mr. J.F. Elam as our new Headmaster. He took over at the beginning of the year from Mr Emery, who carried on so ably since Mr. Goodall left last summer. We wish him every success and happiness with the Monoux School and we hope that he will not spend too much of his time and energy directing a sadly reduced School under novel conditions, but that he will return with us soon to the familiar atmosphere of our own building, where his quiet, but firm influence can be turned to a more positive use than is at present possible. There is no doubt that he believes in action and already has the best interests of the School at heart. He certainly knows more of the history of Walthamstow than most of us It is our intention now to produce a Magazine every term so as to have a complete history of our life away from home. We want to express, not the big issues, but the trivial, everyday affairs which make up a community life such as we are living, so that future generations looking back, and past generations looking forward, notice how vastly different from, yet how closely similar to, their school days were ours. If we have less ''moving'' incidents to report now than in either of the two preceding numbers, it is because we have settled here so readily and for so long that life seems almost normal. We are as cheerful, hard-working and comfortable as circumstances allow. Faulty black-outs, smoking fires, or cold rooms no longer amuse us; have, indeed, almost ceased to annoy us. In the past few months the social side of Monoux life has greatly increased. The Societies and House competitions, the concerts and socials have revived the out-of-school life, details of which used to take up so much of the Magazine. It is true that we have not produced a full-length play since Richard of Bordeaux, but even that may not be impossible later in the year. Meanwhile, we have found that we are not lacking in talent, either on the sports field or on the stage. We can and will, maintain, the high standard reached by our predecessors. Talking of our predecessor, we are justly proud of the growing Honour List of Old Boys in the Forces. It is, unfortunately, impossible to have a large section edited by Old Boys themselves, but we will gladly print any news of them which is sent to us. Indeed, we would welcome many more details of Old Boys, especially of those whose names have not yet been recorded in the Monovian.

C.J.P.


 

 

No. 45 Spring. 1943.

 

Editor: C. J. Plouviez.

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
After three years of evacuation, it is interesting to notice some of the changes which, for better or worse, have forced themselves upon us. Many of the original School party, boys and masters, have now left us, and those who remain are beginning to be regarded with mixed feelings of respect and curiosity. They have indeed "seen life," from the quiet country existence of Bedfordshire to the genial urban atmosphere of Colchester: from the time when, in Worcestershire, half the School had no idea where the rest was, to the present time when, after more than two years of settled life in Leominster. the School has achieved a new unity The Monovian, however, has not changed much as a result of the War. Its appearances are more erratic, its cover is less impressive, the paper is not so good, but the contents, although reflecting the war-time circumstances, are very similar to those of pre-war issues. A great deal of space is still devoted to sport-more since the Headmaster revived flagging interest at the beginning of last year by his own infectious enthusiasm. Society notes still summarise the indoor activities of the term; while House notes, though much reduced, are still printed. Moreover, the Editor still has to complain bitterly of the lack of initiative shown by the School in producing original compositions. It is important that the magazine should continue as far as possible during the present time, a fact which is continually being proved by the correspondence we receive. Men serving, overseas, in remote parts of England, or on the sea show a marked interest in the Monovian. Copies of the second evacuation number are still being asked for, and indeed, were there any for sale, we could still sell some of the Colchester number. We still welcome news of Old Boys in H.M. Forces to add to our already lengthy list, and at the same time we thank all those who have been good enough to write to us and whose letters we have not been able to answer individually. Good luck to all Old Monovians who are serving their country from all those who are still at School.

 C.J.P.

 

No. 46 Autumn, 1943.

 


Editor:C. J. PLOUVIEZ.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
Like the clown in the pantomime, here we are again. "And about time, too," no doubt you are thinking. We admit the fault and apologise, though we are not entirely to blame. "The Editor's task," wrote F. C. Carpenter in 1938, "should be to collect, correct, and, if need be, to reject : he should not have to write the Magazine." The sentiment is as true now as then and its iteration as necessary. At a time when so many school magazines are short of spaces we are lacking material to fill our pages. We take this opportunity of extending a belated, but nevertheless sincere greeting to all those who have joined or rejoined the School since its return from Leominster. We are pleased to note the way in which the various groups have settled down to form a united School. Surely there is something in tradition which even the greatest sceptic cannot ignore! Our highest encouragement is still the support we receive from Old Boys. Apart from many letters and much information which we greatly appreciate, we are particularly fortunate this term in having two articles by Old Monovians. We only hope that others will follow suit.

C.J.P.


 

 

No. 47 Autumn. 1944.


Editor : J. PERCIVAL.

SPEAKING EDLTORIALLY.
The period since the last issue of the Manovian, which recorded the School's return to Walthamstow after nearly four years of evacuation, has been spent in settling down once more in our old home. The life of the School is now largely back to normal, although there are still many reminders of the fact that "there's a war on"-ladies in the Staff room, blast walls in the corridors, black-outs, fire-watchers, and of course, flying bombs, to name but a few.. One is reminded even more strongly of this fact, however, when reading the Old Boys' section of this magazine, which continues to record the deaths of Old Monovians on battle fronts all over the world. It is impossible for us to convey adequately our admiration for the exploits of our Old Boys, many of whom have been decorated for their valour, or to express the full measure of our sympathy for the relatives and friends of those who have died. We who are still at school can do little to help bring this war to a speedy conclusion, but we can and must prepare ourselves to take a full and responsible part in the affairs of to-morrow. Unless we, as active citizens of a democracy, are ready to work for peace, nothing can prevent a new and more terrible war in twenty or thirty years' time. Democracy can only work when everybody plays his part to the full. It is we who are the future rulers of this country, and we shall have the choice of working for peace and civilisation or for war and annihilation. Meanwhile, the Monovian continues to reflect, as faithfully as possible, the life of the School. Two things stand out. The reports on youth conferences are an encouraging feature and, although we arc unable to omit the perennial complaint of the Debating Society that a does not receive enough support, we are pleased to note that the Junior Discussion Society shows much more promise. The Harvest Camp is another excellent institution which should be continued after the war, as it will help to continue the good work of evacuation in breaking down the barriers between town and country. One further point seems worthy of mention. One of our correspondents recently stated : "I note with regret the unfortunate dying-up of the fount of Monovian poetic inspiration." This has been rectified in the present issue.

J.P.


 

No. 48. Summer. 1945.

Editor : J. Percival

Assistan: Editor: R. J. Lander

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
We had hoped. now that the School has returned home, to produce the Monovian once more at termly intervals. Fortunately, however, we refrained from making any promises, and the wisdom of this course has  been demonstrated by the regrettable fact that exceptional conditions made it impossible to produce the magazine last term. Again we shall make no promises, but we sincerely hope that we shall now be able to resume regular publication. The dramatic course of world events since our last issue has prevented the School from settling down completely to its normal routine. The rocket attacks on London proved a very disturbing factor: more than once the School building was damaged, and the Juniors were again sent into exile at another school in the neighbourhood. We arc glad to say that the School suffered no serious casualties as a result of this bombardment. The celebration of the end of the war in Europe, coming immediately before Whitsun, resulted in the School's enjoying nearly a fortnight's holiday, a very delightful experience for the Juniors, but not perhaps an unmixed blessing for boys about to sit for examinations Meanwhile, life at School continues as normally as possible. Boys have played football and cricket, given a gym demonstration, acted in a School play, attended the various School clubs and societies, discussed weighty motions at the School Council, attended youth conferences, and done all, the hundred-and-one little things that make up school life. It should not be forgotten, of course, that they are also expected to indulge in a certain amount of academic study. We hope that the Monovian provides a fairly accurate reflection of all this activity. If it does not, please do not blame the Editors. We have no objection to writing the whole magazine, if necessary: but if it is to he representative of the whole School, boys must be prepared to write for it. There is one further point. Many boys approach the Editors at various times-usually very inconvenient times-and ask what they should write for the magazine. Naturally, the Editors arc not able to suggest a suitable subject for every prospective contributor, and therefore give the boy a suitably vague answer. Need1ess to say, nothing more is ever heard of the matter. Let us state that we cannot be responsible for telling you what to write about. If you want to write for the magazine, choose a subject that interests you and may interest others, and write about it. We can then tell you if it is suitable.

J.P.


 

 

No. 50 Autumn. 1946.

 


Editor: F. O. CLARIDGE.

The Monovian has lost a very capable editor in J. Percival, and he is to be warmly congratulated on the high standard of the magazine during his period of office. Indeed, it is to him that most of the credit for this edition is due, for he has done almost everything that there is to be done before a magazine is published - except write the editorial, for which he is highly thankful, and this unenviable task has now fallen to his extremely nervous and apprehensive successor. The present editor's idea for this essential was fully exploited by Percival in the last issue of the magazine, or perhaps it has been exploited by all editors of all school magazines with their remarkable gift for writing something about nothing. Yet there really is little to write about. Turning to School life, the editor finds that this has continued much as usual, with only minor changes, if any. in the routine. Thence to the outside world. He looks, shudders, thinks, and then shrugs his shoulders, for how can he, a mere scribbler in a school magazine, attempt to interpret something of which even the greatest writer in the greatest periodical can make nothing? There is nothing for it but to discourse inconsequentially on something which he hopes will interest his readers, and that is the magazine in his charge. Tbroughout all the difficult war years, the Monovian was published fairly frequently, if spasmodically, and was always assured of a welcome, especially among Old Boys in the Forces. The war has been over for some time, and we are, allegedly, at peace, but there seems to be more difficulty now in all things than there was during the war. However, this page is no place to discuss the merits and demerits of the international situations, and the editor does not profess to have anything of very great consequence to say on this subject. Technically, this is peace-time, and a certain degree of normality is expected. Presumably included in this is the wish of all Monovians and Old Boys that the magazine shall appear regularly. The "new management" can only say that this will be done to the best of its ability, and hopes that the previous extremely high standard will be maintained. This, of course, depends entirely on the contributions received from the School, and it might be added, from people outside who are interested. To conclude, it is only now that the difficulties of an editor are realised by the member of the School now in that position. Before be actually had to, he dreamt of writing an editorial daringly original and striking, but when he attempted to do so, promptly destroyed the result, and has finally compromised with the struggling effort now published. Perhaps as time goes by, he will become more adept at saying nothing in many words without making it too obvious, but at the moment can only tell all who pick up this edition to read it, and, if they can, enjoy it.

F.G.C.


 

 

No. 51 Spring, 1947

 


Editor: F. G. CLARIDGE.
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

All but one or two of the boys leaving last year after completing the Sixth-form course are now in the Forces, and the time is drawing near when this year's Sixth-form must exchange the pen for the sword. here are some who object to conscription on purely moral or conscientious grounds, but recently a situation has arisen causing many people to ponder the wisdom of continuing with this scheme for many years, as the Government apparently intends to do. This situation is the extremely grave economic crisis in the country, aggravated by the crucial shortage of manpower. Under present arrangements all boys on reaching the age of eighteen are conscripted and serve from one to two years, during which time their services in a productive capacity are lost to the community. Few dispute the necessity at the moment for a sufficient number ot troops to meet our commitments abroad, but these "commitments" must come to an end at some time.Is it guaranteed, however, that with their ending conscription will cease ? Surely the Government does not hope to maintain world peace with the help of compulsorily raised armies, for this idea is as great a fallacy as the conception of peace through unequal disarmament prevalent in the inter-war period. Then the argument may be advanced that we should "be prepared." Were France, Belgium, Jugaslavia-all with conscripted armies-were these countries "prepared" in 1939 and 1940? A much stronger case must be put forward for the maintenance of conscription in the years come than these arguments provide. It has been stated that valuable manpower in this country will gradually but inexorably decease, and a great effort will have to be made if we are not to sail to the economic doldrums. Nothing is more definite than the fact that in this position we should be able to do absolutely nothing to maintain peace, and the best use should therefore be made of the resources which we possess. It is questionable that eighteen-year-olds will be best employed in military training. Add to conscription the raising of the school-leaving age and it will be seen that after working for approximately two years, a boy would have his career interrupted, and for several months would be "maintaining order" in a foreign country. Multiply this by thousands, and the wastage is obvious, Nobody wants to retard the raising of the school-leaving age, and we can only hope that the Government will see its way to abolishing conscription, not only on moral grounds-too often pushed to to fore-but on the grounds of the country's obvious economic need. In conclusion, we offer no excuses for the choice of subject in this editorial, and for treating it at such length, as we think it is a question which concerns, or will concern, every boy attending the School, and one which we hope will figure much more in intelligent discussion.


F. G. C.

 

No. 52. Autumn, 1947


Editor: W. S. HARPIN
Assistant Editor: C. O. MORGAN

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

Now that the physical scars of war have largely disappeared, there is a tendency to ignore it as though it were completely effaced. It has become increasingly apparent that six years of war have engraved deeply on the mind of the nation mental scars which will be far more difficult to eradicate. The country as a whole has become apathetic, an attitude which is a strong contrast to that shown during the war. Indeed, the country is almost complacent about the present and future, despite the presence of a crisis whose gravity it is impossible to mistake. We are faced with a similar attitude and similar developments in the School, although the scale and manifestations are different. Such a feeling is revealed in some ways in School life, and nowhere more clearly than in the  esponse to the request for articles for the magazine. The attitude has now developed beyond the apathetic stage and there is a minority, happily decreasing, of boys who regard any exertion on their part outside strictly educational activity as unthinkable. Despite the number of boys in the School capable of contributing, the magazine has had to depend on, at the most, fifteen people to supply the requisite articles. The present condition of some societies also illustrates this attitude of indifference. In the School Council the original purpose of the meeting and of the organisation has been too often lost in the general levity and lack of constructive spirit. It has been said that to get anything from the School you must be prepared to give something in return. Unfortunately, there are at present people in the School who gain some reflected glory from its reputation and achievements without attempting to add to them by their own exertions. Their presence is a continual drag on development, but there are clear indications that their numbers are decreasing rapidly, while each new influx of boys brings an increasingly large proportion of enthusiasts. The most encouraging sign is the continued upward trend in the standard of school sport. which achieves results comparable to the best in the past. The recent examination results indicate that the educational standard is being well maintained. A new spirit is already apparent in the School: it is to be hoped that this article will assist in stimulating it to be universally strong.

W.S.H


 

 

No. 53 Summer, 1948

 


Editors: W. S. HARPIN. C. O. MORGAN

Having duly completed the rest of the magazine, the unhappy editor at last thinks he can rest. He lays aside his pen, gathers up the sheets of file paper covered with an uneven scribble and prepares to send them triumphantly to the printers. He has finished, or so he thinks. But no! there remains the editorial, that stumbling block for so many editors. He rushes round in search of ideas: many are forthcoming, some serious, some flippant, some better not printed, hut none that could be extended over the first page. What, then, is he to write about? Is he to be a bright young thing and write a brilliantly witty article? Is he to gaze on the appalling political scene and pen profound observations? Or is he to look at School life and draw a picture of the past term? The latter is, I think, more practical and certainly more within his scope.
We were very sorry indeed to say goodbye to our Headmaster, Mr. J. F. Elam, but at the same time extend a very cordial welcome to Mr. Stirrup, who succeeds him. Staffing difficulties last term were not confined only to the choosing of a new Head. Owing to much illness among the Staff prefects were obliged to manage recalcitrant and obviously hostile Latin and French classes. They were then able to tread for themselves the thorny path which stretches before teachers of the young. It might be said that The Pirates of Penzance was the most important thing last term. Certainly it was the most discussed. Everyone was interested because so many were involved: those who were in the production spent their time telling the others how good it would be, those who weren't spent their time making dubious remarks about individual performers and saying how bad it would be. The former were right. The four outstanding performances of the opera at the end of term impressed everyone with its charm, its freshness and its melody.
I could go on now, with this operatic success as an example, to point out that the School has returned to normal conditions of stability and security, that it has weathered the storm of the War and has now entered the comparatively still waters of the Peace, and with many similarly hackneyed metaphors to say that everything is perfectly all right. But how can it be with so many arrivals and departures among the Staff, when sport i~ restricted by the lack of pitches and tennis courts, when the famous swimming bath is yet but a distant mirage, when, to crown all, sweets are still rationed? No matter I can at least say I have filled up the first page of the magazine.


C.O.M.


 

 

No. 54 Spring, 1949

 


Editors: C. O. MORGAN, R. E. DURGNAT

THE famous Roman philosopher Seneca discussing in one of his Epistles the tendency of people to do the same thing over and over again, remarks that a man may desire to die "nor so much from bravery or misery as from surfeit and weariness." 1 do not apologise for quoting Seneca, because he expresses so aptly the thought that one hears often in the School, this idea of "What are we working for? Why should we work when we're only doing the same things over and over again? Why not do something new?" The same view was taken by some at the recent War Memorial ceremony: "Is it any good working like mad to pass examinations when we might soon be like them-dead, with nothing but a stone plaque to show that we have lived and loved? Why can't we enjoy ourselves while we have time? Like Edmund in King Lear they say in effect: "This policy and reverence of age keeps the world better to the best of our times. It holds our fortunes from us till our oldness cannot relish them.' We do the same things over and over again: we comment on the weather at least five times a day: we complain about food, the Government, the prefects, the staff in practically the same words every day; we go on the same journey to and from School; we take the dog out over the same dreary stretch of road night after night. "Why should we?" we often ask: "why should we work five and a half hours a day doing the same dreary subjects with the same dreary masters, who don't hesitate to tell us that they are as sick of the sight of us as we are of them? If we could enjoy ourselves we wouldn't become 'cloyed and weary.'" But we fail to see that, though life is after all a ' petty round of irritating duties ' and though we all do the same things over and over again, we do them in a different way. We comment on the weather every day: but the weather itself changes every day, it has infinite variety. We work at the same subjects day in, day out; but every lesson brings a new discovery, a new approach. If our minds are fresh, if they are not 'cloyed and weary,' even the daily journey to School can take on a colour arid an interest of its own, to see the same people every day, but there is always some new quality to discover in their characters. Perhaps this is because, though we are still often doing the same things, our minds, the world in which we really live, can invest these ordinary, mundane things with a glamour and romance of quite astonishing power. The world and the people moving in it have as little connection with our real life as the cinema screen. They may influence it, but all the time they can never truly change it. Our imagination, possibly the greatest talent we have, can alone keep us from becoming petty and small-minded in a petty, small-minded community. Those who have little or no imagination are those who make up the petty, small-minded communities; but they are in the minority. We who live in what modern novelists so scathingly term 'drab suburbia' can, even in doing the same things over and over again, keep free from becoming 'cloyed and weary' by the constant exercise of- what? Imagination? Will-power? Call it what you like-that force which builds in our minds an indestructible world of dreams and yet of reality, its boundaries stretching into the infinite, unrestricted by the daily rounds and the 'common task.' And so we work at the same subjects every day, every week. But we work not only because the knowledge gained is valuable for this or that examination, but because we are enlarging our minds, gaining fresh experiences, even if only at second-hand from great works of art, which we weld and shape into the world of our imagination, the world of our mind. For only there do we live. There we suffer more than the world could ever imagine; there we are happier than the world has ever been. To live without that inner world would be a prolonged agony. The pettiness, the monotony of the ' same things over and over again' would become unbearable. Or, if we throw away that sublime gift of imagination for material benefits, we can become utterly bound up by the small, meaningless details of life and quite fail to see beyond them. In either case, we would become so 'cloyed and weary' that life would have no significance, no interest no adventure. Then indeed it would not be worth living. But we have imagination. We can overcome pettiness, we can overlook malice and spitefulness. With that 'inward eye, the bliss of solitude ' we see so much more clearly. It is a pity that we don't use it more often.


C.Morgan

 

 

No. 55 Summer, 1949

 


Editors CO Morgan, RE Durgnat
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
It is often wondered what the most interesting study in life really is, what it is that makes life not only bearable but even interesting. It might be said that the study of literature, or history, or geography, or science is interesting; but all aren't interesting at the same time to each of us. The arts, while they may appeal to some, do not carry a message to all; sport has a wide appeal, but not wide enough to embrace humanity. Is there any study wide enough in its scope to interest all of us-and an absorbing study at that? I think there is. It is not a subject found in school curricula or taught in universities, because it has no fixed rules and no postulates. It is the study of people. The pageant of human life is ever changing, ever-colourful, and it makes the most wonderful spectacle in the world. Simply to watch other people, the way they dress, the way they keep wicket, the way they speak and act, is in itself fascinating. It is so to all of us. I refuse to believe that there is anybody who has never craned his neck to watch someone else's retreating back, someone he has never seen before and is never likely to see again. But simply to watch other people is not to study them. To study something is to apply one's mind to it. And it is only when we begin to apply our minds to other people that we find what an absorbing study they are. Even in the people we see day in, day out, our friends, our enemies, people we think we know inside out, there is always something we suddenly find we hadn't noticed before, some chance remark that shows a good or bad characteristic we hadn't known to exist. If we train our minds to observe and reflect on people and the motives for their actions, we will see, sometimes with pleasure, sometimes with pain, far more interest and excitement in life. We will notice touches of jealousy, of pride, of ignorance: a glimpse of unexpected beauty, like a rose in a grimy suburban garden; a bedrock of stability under a superficiallv volatile cover; the lie more truth-revealing than truth itself. This study of people must be differentiated from psychology. The study of people calls into play our own emotions and feelings, those instinctive likes or dislikes we have for certain people that when our mental make-up reacts to somebody else's. The cold abstractions of psychology make the psychologists relation to his patient resembles that of a scientist to new virus. The people with whom we come into contact influence our lives, and we influence theirs. Thus the study of people involves, besides the interaction of character on character, the modifications resulting from that interaction. Let us see how, in life, most of the things we do are but forms of that universal study. In sport it is the human element that makes for enjoyment in the game. If cricket were played by a team of robots, it would loose all interest, for robots have no personality, no human failings, no human virtues. The human (and therefore unstable and unpredictable) element makes every game of cricket different, even if played by the same teams. When we see Dennis Compton, we generally speaking know a great deal about him: whether he's on form all season or not; whether his batting average compares favourably or unfavourably with that of Len Hutton; and so on. See all the time how it is people, and what people say and dothat add much to ones appreciation of the game. We all know the boy is a bad sport, if he's a boy who lets the team down by grasping an opportunity for "showing off," the referee who is deaf, dumb, blind and stupid. They are all human beings, and the most interesting study in creation. As in sport, how much more so is it the human element, the human study, that predominates in Art, the supreme expression of man's genius. In drama it is the characters, that interest us; in poetry it is the soul of the poet that we examine: in music it is the composer that speaks to us; in painting it is again the soul of the artist that we observe. Some may say, with truth, that it is only in subjective creation we see the artist himself: but, even if an artist creates objectively, we see other people through his eyes - and the eyes of an artist are the most soul-searching in the world. People, people all the time, interest us in Art. Throughout Barrie's comedies we see the playwright, a lover of children, delightfully humorous, whimsically pathetic at times mawkish and sentimental. In Wilde's writings we can read the author's brilliant wit and command of le mot juste, and again that strange shadow that clouded his life and led to his downfall. O'Sheas magnificent but terrifying dramas show the writer's preoccupation with the primeval instincts of man, and his intense love, verging at times on hate, of the sea. Tchaikovsky's music reveals the composer's lyrically- changing moods of bitter depression and fierce, almost hysterical, exaltation. Rameau's music shows the flattering courtier, eager to gain royal favour. Shakespeare, our supreme poet, reveals little of himself except in the sonnets, and even there not much; but he has observed and analysed and reported others with meticulous care. By this I mean not that he gives LIS it series of caricatures of people he knew, but that he fused his knowledge of mankind, gathered by studying all types of men and women, into the greatest and most vital characters the stage has seen. The artist, then, is generally found to express himself in terms his art, or to report on other people. He may treat of abstractions like Spring or Nature, but always what he or other people feel or think about Spring and Nature. And, to a great extent, the personalities in Art, whether of the artist or those he has observed, are what appeal most to all of us. The artist realises the Fundamental importance of the study of mankind: a warm, whole-hearted study. Not a cold, abstract, psychological observation. It is this study of people that makes life interesting, makes it, in fact, completely fascinating. It is a study we are all able to undertake, most of us have, in fact, already undertaken it, though not perhaps so acutely as we might, and arc all able to enjoy. The study of people-the really acute study-is not easy. As it involves our own emotions, we have to start by getting to know something about ourselves, never either a very pleasant or a complete process. It means, too, spiritual suffering, unless, of course, we choose to remain on the fringe of life, merely observing, never "applying our minds" to, humanity. The latter course involves no great suffering, but neither any great joy. Deep happiness comes only to one who has suffered deeply. There is something of joy in pain, and much of pain in joy. The study of people, like all other studies, has results solely when the effort is wholehearted; and to be really whole- hearted in this particular study demands almost all we have. We must be prepared to trust others, even if our trust is sometimes misplaced: we must be prepared to lose much in an effort to gain more, what some people would call "experience." What is the purpose of this often-advocated study of people? Possibly to gain "experience"; probably also to gain the end of all studies-a desire to study more; but certainly to give us, that collective love of humanity without which our life is as a wilderness. Wilde said that " to understand is to love." The most we can hope for in this study, the most we can ask of life, is that, through an under-standing of our fellow-men, we may learn to  love them.


C. O. Morgan.


 

 

No. 56. Spring, 1950

 

Editors: C. O. MORGAN, R. E. DURGNAT

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

It is true to say that The Monovian, as a school magazine, compares favourably with any in our district, especially in its literary section. Yet there are two qualities which neither it nor any school magazine can possess-topicality and licence. The six-monthly appearance of The Monovian militates against topicality. Any news it gives is bound to be, through no ones fault, somewhat out of date. Because it is circulated fairly widely-among parents, governors, Old Boys and local schools, it cannot print anything which, though witty or amusing, might be considered embarrassing to any of its readers. These drawbacks of a permanent magazine did not arise in the weekly Bulletin, the demise of which has been lamented by The Monovian editors. Here was a news-sheet which was up-to-date and which could be slightly malicious at the expense of school personalities and activities without causing authority to take offence. The Bulletin could not be regarded as a rival to The Monovian, it could not achieve the permanence of the School Magazine, and its back editions dated very much. It worked in conjunction with the magazine, supplying topicality and wit where the latter supplied original contributions and chronicles. Therefore its present retirement is as unwelcome as it is unnecessary.

C.M.

 

 

No. 57. Summer, 1950

 

Editor - R. E. DURGNAT

Assistant Editor - A. J. KNOCK

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
We learn to read and to write at our peril. Reading and writing are the gateways to the palace garden of education, but unfortunately those who unlock the gates for us to walk through also open them to whatever chooses to come in after us. The extraordinary degree to which propaganda has been developed is one of the most disquieting features of this mentally cacophonous civilization. It is dangerous to repeat too often that the purpose of education is to fit a man for a place in this world: the statement is too open to misinterpretation. An equally important duty is to give us the capacity to choose between the thousand and one offers, commands, bribes and appeals that are made to him. To teach a man to read and write is to open him to the incessant advertising of the press, to the frankly biased ideological arguments and exhortations now bandied about, to the jostling and bullying of ideas in the world today. Amid all the propaganda, truth can hardly be heard. Truth wilt out, but men are expert at producing her upside-down, or wrapped up in a flag. For this reason the mock election at School was not a particularly happy event, despite the interest it aroused in the national and local press. One feels that the job of a school is rather to teach people how to examine and discount propaganda rather than to admit it in its most heated form into the school. It may be, as it often has been, argued that propaganda cancels itself out. Unfortunately, it does not: an advertisement for Rowntrees may cancel out one of Cadbury's and vice versa, but both advertisements will unite to produce the impression that one is not perfectly happy until one has bought a bar of chocolate. Consequently the almost entire preoccupation of modern civilization with the material things of life: no one is happy without chocolate, a motorcar, a wife (see the beautiful girl in the picture), insurance, sweet breath (hence someone's toothpaste), Hovis and butter for tea. In the political field the effect is almost as bad: ceaseless propaganda and slogans encourage loose, careless, immature thinking; one catchy jingle is worth ten good arguments. Almost the entire currency of political thought consists of half-truths advanced as whole truths. The only defence against all this is the clear thinking and, equally important, the wide basis for clear thinking, which education can give. The "general" periods for the Sixth Form can be a help but their very nature (discussion) means that they are all too likely to become (as they tend to) mere forums for the repetition of the same half-truths. Far more valuable would be a course in logic, a course, even, in medieval casuistry. Defiantly I cry, the person who knows how to split one hair will be far more useful to the community than he who has the entire battery of half-truths at his disposal. One adds in parenthesis that all clear thinking will seem hair-splitting to those unaccustomed to it. This in itself is not enough. It is important to be able to examine the controversies of our day; it is all the more important to be able to examine the standards, the assumptions that we (almost unconsciously) accept. For this it is necessary to know something of the standards of other times and other places, and how they faced up to their problems. For us, the Ancient Greeks and Chinese under Confucianism perhaps provide the most salutary standard. At this point the writer finds himself drawn into the old question of whether the Classics should be taught in schools or not. So, wrapping himself in the cloak of mystery, he mutters that it would be a good idea and that the study of Latin can do a lot to teach us to discount verbiage and get down to meaning, but that some little acquaintance with psychology, philosophy, economics and sociology is important too, and withdraws himself into the editorial cavern.

R.E. D.


 

No. 58. Spring, 1951.

 

Editors: R. E. DURGNAT, A. J. KNOCK

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
To be a good citizen to-day is an almost impossible task. The degree and the range of awareness demanded of the citizens of a democracy would tax all but the ablest and most determined minds. All the influences of our society to-day tend to make the mind feeble and flabby, to turn it into a passive receptacle for the shoddy and quite incompetent fodder of radio and television; propaganda ensures that the emasculated mind shall listen only to the very loudest loudspeakers and the most powerful ampliliers. What the propagandists claim the people want is trumpeted into their ears till all their own interests are forgotten and their own ideas buried deep in this cacophonous sepulchre of sound. We know more about the love life of Hollywood film-stars than we do about the life (or death), of the Chinese, of the Koreans, of the Greeks, of the people in whose lands men wage their battles for liberty and civilization-- which, of course both sides are fighting heroically to defend. It is all very easy to fall back onto the comfortable idea that only the government and the experts need bother about affairs and that all we, the people, need to do is once in five years to put a cross opposite certain names on a ballot- paper, like a sort of super football pool: but how can the people know whom to vote for if they don't know in what circumstances the Government is acting, and what the results of those actions are? A lazy democrayc gets, and deserves, a dictatorship. We in Britain are uncomfortably aware of the fact and out violent and panic-stricken defence of our liberties (against snoopers, censorship, centralisation and so on) are last-ditch measures in a perpetual situation which would never arise if our democracy insisted on controlling, not on being controlled by, our Governments. Unfortunately, to be a good citizen involves such tremendous difficulties that few would or could undertake the task. Not merely would we need to take an interest in (for instance) agriculture, population problems and general conditions all over the world today, but the roots of these problems in the past. We would have to take an interest in the histories, not only of present-day trouble spots like Korea, India. Malaya and French Indo-China, but of potential trouble spots like Italy, Persia and South Africa. (How dull and far away all these places are Yet who would say that what happens in these places will not affect us personally?). Equally important, therefore, is an understanding of historical and economic cause and effect. And so the subjects spread on and on till the entire mind must be transformed and thinking revolutionised. The prospect is (frankly) a grim one for a race reared on Pickles and Mrs. Dales Diary or the vicissitudes of eleven Englishmen clad in white on a tour of Australia. One would have a hard time trying to persuade the public that there are more pleasurable and more exciting relaxations than those of passive partisanship and vicarious sportsmanship; that it is more fun to have a go ' than to listen to a whole programme full of Lancashire men earning huge jackpots, more fun to play the piano than to listen to the no doubt praiseworthy efforts of Charlie Kunz. Only education can accomplish such a feat and obviously it is fighting a losing battle. Unfortunately, unless it does manage to create an intelligent and active body of citizens-and citizens means more than just people or classes or organizations or patriots-we are likely to pay the penalty. What has posterity ever done for me? and "Apres moi le deluge" are the favourite cries of those who urge irresponsibility. Once they were, on their own terrain, quite justified: they were justified until the days of the steamship and the railway engine; the aeroplane converted their jubilant call into the sandchoked burble of the ostrich, and the atom-bomb (how bored we are with the phrase, to be sure!) into a savage praying for dry weather in the middle of the Monsoon season. How many of us would escape if the war which every moment threatens us were to explode into' reality ?


R.E.D.

 

No. 59 Summer, 1951

 


Editors: R. E. DURGNAT, A. J. KNOCK

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
One of the hardest truths to realise today is that we arc living on inherited capital. We have fought two world wars largely  on inherited capital, to such good purpose that we are almost financially dependent on the benevolence of America: but there is a deeper sense in which we are living on capital. It is, I think, in the name of Humanism that the' two wars were fought and won. We are fighting now in the names of freedom, tolerance and justice, the basic virtues of Humanism. But how long our faith in these principles continue when the assumptions on which they rest are undermined, when for so many the forces of Christian belief and custom have lost significance and strength? All the watchwords and ideals to which the last century gave such sincere devotion and in whose name the present society has been built arc ultimately based on Christianity. If we, falling in with the humanistic tradition of the recent past, continue to cut ourselves loose from religious foundations of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, it is indeed hard to see how anyone can be for long persuaded to subscribe to a sentimental political idealism demanding that all men should be free, equal brothers. We have had in our own time the terrible example of an anciently Christian country which turned its back on Christian ideal and tradition in favour of a cynical and desperate materialism. In our own country we have till now maintained a balance between the forces of tradition and innovation. Whereas in Europe the political truths which England helped to formulate were distorted and pushed to a point where they became falsehoods, in this country, to quote Professor Butterfield : "More of Christianitv remained in our traditions, more of nonconformity and less of atheism, even in liberalism, and much of the Christian outlook remained in a secularized form, even among those people who had thrown overboard Christian dogma. Above all, we retained more strongly than other countries the respect for personality as such-respect for the other man's views, for example-the tolerance which does not seek to wipe the other man out as a rogue or a fool or a vested interest." But nowadays our situation is different. Our laws, our parliamentary institutions, our freedom of the individual are no long admiration of the world. In the face of a militant atheism which asserts that true happiness is only obtainable by the subordination of the individual to the State, we can only offer a systcm of indivdualism almost cut off from the belief in God which gives it meaning. It is the assertion of the supreme value of the single human soul in the sight of God that can alone make up for the manifest economic superiority of a nation united by tyranny. Our own age and country arc well summed up in T.S. Eliot's bitter words : "...a decent godless people, Their only monument the asphalt road And a thousand lost golf- balls.
It is finally the urgency of the times that must surely force us to the choice between the moral code of the materialist and that of the Christian. Our own fate and the world's hang on the character of our leaders in the next few years: we can gain thc whole world not by losing, but by gaining our souls.


A.J.K.


 

No. 60 Spring 1952

 

Editors: A. J. KNOCK, R. J. TACAGNI

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

What is the point of the School Magazine? It is a question that seems to occur to no one. The Monovian makes its twice-yearly bow to an audience whose general concealment of enjoyment, interest and even disapproval is, if assumed, a masterpiece of dramatic ability. It is brought into being by the feverish labour of the few, and sinks to an early grave in the immense apathy of the many. There are, of course, honourable exceptions to the rule of unconcern. Indeed, it would not have occurred to the Editor to voice these possibly rather querulous complaints, had it not been for the shock administered to his (comparative) complacency by the appearance in the School Bulletin of a long and perspicacious criticism of the last issue of the Monovian. Incidentally, we believe the Bulletin does not suffer the fate of some other periodicals, of being more often bought than looked at, and more often looked at than read. The Editors of the Monovian thus found themselves in an odd situation: a consideration (in some detail) of their work was almost certainly being read, and hence presumably commented upon, by those who had done little more than glance through their copy of the School Magazine. In any case, our thanks and appreciation are due to the Bulletin. One of the main questions touched upon in the Bulletin was the proper subject matter of a school magazine. It should not, we gather, concern itself with politics. The inference is that matters of a controversial nature accord ill with the purely decorative value of a school magazine. With this view we wish to disagree most strongly. Surely, since we are guaranteed a permanent audience, it is our duty as well as our privilege to write about anything, in any tone and style, short of the alternatives of dullness and libel. The Monovian wishes to accept, or rather longs to receive, material ranging from difficult modern poetry to articles on sport, by way of essays, short stories, criticism and humour, particularly humour. It has been said that schoolboy humour is elephantine: since we see so little of it, we are not qualified to judge; but there is not the least doubt that a leaven of wit is essential to our success. We do not, of course, expect each of our contributors to become a genius overnight. Writing well, or even the negative ability of not writing badly, comes naturally to no one; it is an acquired taste and ability, only to be got by a considerable application. Nevertheless, a healthy and well-supported magazine is the sign and offspring of a healthy school, and surely everyone has at some time longed to see his name in print. One sometimes feels that, but for the devotion of some of the Staff, half the societies which form an apparently integral part of our School life would disappear; surely our enthusiasms should not have to be aroused, directed and maintained for us by others. The position of the schoolboy is admittedly rather a difficult one: when he tries to take an active part in the School, and therefore in his own education, he may at first feel like a patient on an operating table, entirely ignorant of medicine, who wants to advise the surgeon. All the same, a grammar school training, we are assured, is aimed at making a boy think for himself, and if it does not do so, it has failed. From all this, some idea of the value and purpose of the Monovian may perhaps be gained. It is not (or at any rate, not merely) a forcing-house for literary talent. We are of course glad when the contributors of articles assure us that their work is full of undiscovered genius, only waiting to be unfolded; but those with any really strong literary inclination must of necessity be few, and do not in any case give an adequate mirror of the entire life of the School. Nor is it simply a record of important recent events, a kind of glorified diary, or just something put out for prestige. It is in fact all of these and much more besides; it reflects, or ought to reflect, every aspect of School life. It is not devoted to any sectional interest; but it is both an evocation of the achievements of the School, and in itself, if successful, one of the greatest achievements of the School.

A.J.K.

 

No. 61. Autumn, 1952

 

Editors: A. J. KNOCK, R. J. TACAGNI

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
ONE of the greatest differences between the Monoux and schools abroad with whom we come in contact is that here we have an extensive system of activities in no way related to the work prescribed on the time-table. Much of their value and a great deal of their weakness arise from the freedom allowed to societies, the School Council, and the six Houses. Authority intervenes only when asked or when it considers the general well being of the School to be affected. Consequently clubs are formed, old ones die out, and societies start organising activities which clash; boys complain when measures passed by the School Council are not applied or a House fails to hold a meeting, although it is the boys themselves who are ultimately responsible for the neglect. There is one obvious way of dispensing with the greatest dangers of the system without at the same time impairing the vital independence of out-of-school activities. That is to ask the School Council to undertake the compiling of a diary of engagements. Each society and group wishing to join in the scheme would submit to the Council proposals for its various activities and the dates on which they were intended to be held. It would then become a routine part of the meetings of the Council to hear reports submitted by societies and clubs, to co-ordinate their work, and to prevent clashes in engagements which might otherwise lead to unfortunate results. For example, it has occurred in the past that two important speakers have been booked for the same day. Every year, every term, sees the formation of some new out-of-school activity that very often calls for the support of the most prominent members of another group of societies. Some voluntary co-ordination of arrangements would undoubtedly save organisers the dread fear that a function will bring discredit through lack of support. After all, boys cannot be expected to attend meetings of different clubs on successive nights just because there has been a lack of foresight in spreading important engagements evenly throughout the year. Towards the end of the summer term the school Council on its own initiative asked to revert to a basis of form representation. The constitution may or may not change, but in any case a careful review of the function and working of the Council seems desirable although it has accomplished much useful work under the present constitution. Once its exact position had been ascertained the Council could proceed to attempt a reform of School societies to prevent anomalies. Under no circumstances must the independence of societies be threatened, but it would be in the interests of all to co-operate in a careful examination undertaken by the Council. One example of present duplication of activities will serve to illustrate the crying need for some voluntary adjustment of "spheres of influence." The Debating Society and the Local Studies Group both engage public speakers. Almost all of the lectures organised by the Local Studies Group would be of interest to the Debating Society, and in the event of both groups arranging for public speakers in the same week the attendance at both meetings would probably be seriously impaired. Moreover, both societies deal to some extent with history, as does the Classical Society, while there is yet a general demand for an organisation dealing specifically with historical matters. So great is the unintentional competition from other groups already established that those interested in history feel unable to form a definite society. The need for reorganisation is obvious, for each of these groups is of inestimable value in broadening our minds and moulding our characters. In addition to the work already undertaken by the School Council it would be well to include the important functions of co- ordinating out-of-school activities and keeping a diary of events; the Vice-Secretary of the Council could be the specific officer in charge of them. Engagements of interest to several societies could then be organised jointly by them and be guaranteed their joint support. The dates of inter-House competitions would be included in the diary of the Council; and individual Houses could be encouraged to arrange original activities such as House teas, for example, since the number of dates booked by a House in the Council's diary would indicate the extent of its enthusiasm and its corporate spirit.


R.J.T.


 

 

No. 62 Summer. 1953.

 


Editor:A. J. KNOCK.
Assistant Editor: R. N. TAMPLIN.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
Georgius Monoux eques hanc scholam fundavit....... .
The sense of continuity is elusive. How many of us, I wonder, peering up at the barely legible Latin script on the board over the Library door, feel a fine and bigoted pride in the weight of centuries on our backs? And yet we are some fifty years older than, for example. Harrow-and, as I once told an Harrovian. we are rather cheaper to enter. We fail not so much in knowledge of the rather scanty stock of facts, as in the physical consciousness of our mediaeval origin, and perhaps in the realisation of the nature and civilising value of what Speech-Day speakers call the 'Grammar School Tradition.' A better name would be the Grammar School Revolution.' The School was founded half-way through the reign of Henry VIII, at the height of the anti-clerical storm, at that time about to attain the status of a Revolution. The new grammar schools springing up in many parts of England were weapon and symbol of that greater revolution of which the anti-clerical movement was only a part. The new learning of More and Colet, of Tyndal,. Cheke, Grocvn and Linacre, flowed into the grammar schools, coinciding with the unifying strength of the great Tudor Monarchs, combining with them to break down the old feudal order. The new rising groups of yeomen, merchants, lawyers and squires looked to the grammar schools and the universities as local and national intellectual leaders As much as anything else, the grammar schools-that is to say, the founders of our School were responsible for the noble flowering of England in the lifetime of Shakespeare. Then, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the School fell on bad times. I have before me as I write transcriptions of nineteenth-century documents, showing that the School could seldom muster more than a handful of pupils who received (according to the Alms Priest Schoolmaster)"a good English education, and if required are taught Latin." Moreover, any undue rejoicing over an inspectors remark (in 1862) that "the pupils showed a fair average acquaintance with Geography and Arithmetic," must be damped by the knowledge that their style of writing was exceedingly poor." Not until the eighties of the last century was the School revived. but since then it has grown by rapid stages to its present strength. The moral is not far to seek. Owing to the School's ancient languishing, we have ourselves to create our own tradition. Our own four hundred-year history - or rather the lack of it - explains the tenuousness of our link with the past. Fortunately, though, the future lies not so much with the independent schools-whose badge of past success is present expense--as with schools of our own kind, the State-aided grammar schools. We can build up our own Renaissance from ourselves, from the history of our last fifty years, and from the memory-nothing more-of our founder. And we can say with one of our own contemporaries that Because I do not want to turn again, Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something On which to rejoice......


A.J.K.


 

 

No. 63 Spring, 1954.

 


Editor: R. N. TAMPLIN.

Assistont Editor: W. H. WALKER.

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

There is at present discernible among British intellectuals a welcome return to orthodoxy-Church orthodoxy. This is understandable, for we lost our last hope for orthodoxy with the passing of the emotions aroused by the Spanish Civil War, and have since then lived in an unsupported vacuum, one without gravity, and yet how grave were the problems it presented. Now there is a narrow file of men's minds leading slowly back to the Church, tentatively, but that too is understandable, for we cannot but approach our gods in fear. This orthodoxy has not, I think, reached the mass of the people yet, but it will, for it is through the work of the pioneer intellectual that all changes in the people's thought are effected. The situation is rather odd, however, because it is the mass of the people and not the intellectuals who have the greatest need of a reliable moral backing for their lives. In any community the intelligentsia are best allowed freedom of thought-"the freedom to deny God in the morning and worship Him in the evening "- for then, without regimentation they will tend, regarded collectiively, to produce their best work. This is not to say that orthodoxy is a bad thing, stifling individual art and thought. The examples of Virgil, Pope, Goethe and Sergei Eisenstein are alone sufficient to disprove this. But nevertheless collectively it is right that the intellectual should have the choice of forming his own attachments as he will and when he feels ready. It may be that any particular and inclusive orthodoxy may satisfy every soul-stirring of a Goethe, but it will not satisfy every man of similar ability even in the same period. It is for these other men who have ability yet not opportunity that intellectual freedom is necessary. But for the mass of the people freedom of thought is liable in its extremities to be dangerous. It must be understood that I speak not of any age but of the age immediately to come. There are no eternal truths except the truth of God, and that can be interpreted so widely as to be contradictory and to resolve into several truths. Each age finds its own truths, and provided they are believed in by the people, they are sufficient for that age. But there is nothing our people believe; no universal church, no over-riding political philosophy, no culture, nothing. They do not even believe in the democracy they pretend to practise. Or if they do, then it is not worth believing in, for it is destroying our culture, and our unity of feeling, our much boosted common heritage. As a nation we are stagnating, for we are holding on to beliefs which for our country are outmoded, or nearly so, as everything becomes outmoded The age of the sociologist is passing; his place must he taken by the polemicist and the poet. Vet all in their time are righ,. though the intellectual has seldom been able to see this so clearly as he should now. His only honest way in this life is paradoxically to be two-faced. But the view of the people must be turned by solicitation, by incitement, by force, and by circumstance one way, for no country, at the stage of development that the United Kingdom has reached, can afford to confuse its people as much as we have with our democracy since the war. Besides destroying our social and cultural unity with its insistence on the judgement of the masses as against and not in combination with that of the minorities, it is now destroying itself, which is not altogether regrettable. But at the same time it is destroying what is left of a Britain, without culture and without an integrated society, by smashing our financial structure. We are watching a democracy which, because of its doctrines, especially with regard to the distribution of power, is bringing disaster to the country of its origin. This is a liberty that must seem excessive even for a democracy that has gone as long unquestioned as ours. Our country is on the turn. If we think our democracy can work then we must correct it. But if we are doubtful, the possibility of change must not be ignored. And whatever we do,provided we do it with and from our whole strength it will be well done. I do not now respect our democracy, for it is destroying those things I most admire, in our country, or in any country. To restore these values my hope is that the steady trend towards Church orthodoxy and Church power continues, stronger and stronger as our time goes past.


R.N.T.

 

 

No. 64 Summer, 1954.

 


Editor - W. H. WALKER

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

"GOOD LIFE OR HAPPINESS IS ONLY TO BE FOUND IN ACTIVITY."

Although these words were written by Aristotle over two thousand years ago, they are still true today. Our present-day psychologists, who base their statements on scientific experiment rather than observation, have reached the same conclusion as Aristotle. "Laying stress on the importance of work (says Freud) has a greater effect than any other technique of living in the direction of binding the individual more closely to reality." The truth of the statement cannot be doubted. Inactivity and unemployment lead to depression and boredom. Work adds meaning to an otherwise meaningless existence. History offers countless examples of men who have suffered through want of proper employment. We have only to cite the more notorious Caesars to show how inactivity has led to depravity and demoralisation. Ennui was their constant companion. As ordinary pleasures became mundane, they sought excitement and occupation through debauchery and excess. Perhaps they were psychologically defective, but their lethargy and idleness had a great deal to do with their boredom and the consequent moral decadence. In modern times we have the lesser but none the less pathetic case of the man who is too old for work and so is pensioned off. Lacking any further occupation, he becomes dejected, cynical, and resentful. Thus work is important, but the nature of the work is equally important. Aristotle realized this and he believed that in our work we should aim at an ideal, a standard of excellence ("arete "). This is a conception of excellence as something to be sought in every sphere and activity, a conception that everything whether it be a human faculty or an object of art or utility, has its own form of excellence which should be striven for as an end in itself. The business of life is to seek the highest and make the most of whatever man is or does. The same attitude is expressed by Jesus in the parable of the talents. But there is one important difference. Plato and Aristotle thought that reason was the noblest thing in man, and therefore that the highest lift was the life of reason lived by poets and philosophers and men of science. The idea that manual work could be an ennobling activity was quite excluded by Greek philosophy. Jesus, of course, saw no such narrowness. He Himself was a carpenter; and He naturally valued manual work as much as intellectual. Nobody can be happy in life unless he is doing useful work, work that he likes and does without compulsion, aiming at an ideal, a goal which directs the course of his action. There is no more certain cause of misery and demoralisation than inactivity, aimlessness, the feeling that we are not wanted. Nothing is more pitiful than the person who goes about his work sulkily, yearning for pay-day. His life has no meaning, no guiding force, no foundation, and so he seeks a nepenthe, a consolation in fantasy and day-dreaming. Drink and cheap entertainments and gambling take the place of reality. Admittedly these things are harmless if kept within bounds. When they completely replace reality, however, then there is a danger. When one lives only for the Saturday bacchanalia or a large win on the football pools, then one has lost contact with reality and is living in a mesmeric dream-world which cannot last indefinitely. One day there will be some crisis or other which makes the person face reality. The shock may be then so immense that the person becomes unbalanced. Suicides are often the result. The importance of doing work - and work that one enjoys cannot be over-emphasised. Yet such is not always possible. Physical or mental incapacity or financial difficulties may make it impossible to follow the vocation that one enjoys. This is where the proper use of leisure plays an integral part. Life can be made tolerable even if you find your work odious and insufferable, provided you have ample leisure to pursue those recreations that you really enjoy. But again the leisure must be well-spent. Using it merely for shoddy amusements such as those already noted is far from beneficial. It is detrimental. Leisure must not be entirely a time for fantasy, for escape from reality. The recreations must be those that come to terms with reality and provide for a fuller life, not ones that translate the individual to the clouds and leave him dangling there until the intractable force of gravity sends him hurtling to the ground with a loud crash. Leisure is a time for enriching ones life and this can only be done by living and not by stargazing. To be truly happy a man must be active, doing work that he is interested in. Idleness gives rise to ennui from which terrible things emanate. Leisure is a time for living a fuller life, not for daydreaming. For habitual castle-building can have dire consequences. "Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness." (Thomas Carlyle.)


W. H. W.


 

No. 65 Spring 1955


Editor: W.H.Walker
Assistant Editor: P.K.Sen

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

O Tempora, O Mores. This has been the perennial cry since Adam first took the fatal bite of the forbidden fruit. At times the cry has been weak and fitful; at other times it has been strong and forcefull. No age has been free of those that chafe and rail at the supposed decadence and degeeneracy of the time. But in those eras when conservatism rules and men have an immutable, unwavering way of life, the discontented voices arc not so blatant, and they come mainly from from the geniuses or mana-personalities, the individual spirits who cannot tolerate the shackles of social convention and habit, who rise above society and the accepted way of life. and champion change and revolution. Moses, Socrates, Luther- these were such men. And although these outstanding personalities are few in number, they are usually powerful, and eventually succeed in overthrowing the status quo. Then follows an age of transition, a period of stress and strain in which the exasperated and desperate cries become more and more voiciferous. For the old values and habits have been discarded, and men are left naked to be battered by those ever-present feelings of purposelessness and aimlessness. When a way of life, religious or philosophical, gains common acceptance, those aching feelings of aimlessness and the vanity of all things arc minimised. For the religious philosophical ethos gives purpose and meaning to peoples 1ives, and they find a place in society by a general surrender to this way of life. If it is strong, in this way of life or Weltanschenung becomes firmly ingrained in men's minds and sometimes exists unchanged for centuries. Then, as I have pointed out, exceptional personalities arise and overthrow the accepted values. Although such an overthrow is inevitable and even welcomed, it snatches all man's security front him. He has nothing left to grasp. He is left floundering, and his deep- seated feelings of vanity and emptiness come surging upwards. The age of revolution is a mental climacteric for everyone. This aimlessness, however, does not last indefinitely. For another religious or philosophical creed soon comes along and foists a new way of life on man. And the process starts once again. History is largely a record of this cyclic process of stagnation, revolution; stagnation, revolution. The Roman Republic, enervated by age and inefficiency, was ousted by the Empire. The consequent revolution is of great importance. It bears many relations to our present plight. For materialism and sensuality and Philistinism, the inevitable outcome of aimlessness, were rampant in the Empire. This critical period, in which there was no clearly defined way of life lasted until the conversion to Christianity under Constantine. The Christian religion brought a completely new outlook on life, which held undisputed sway throughout the Middle Ages until the Renaissance and Reformation. Encouraged by Meister Eckhart and Luther there was then a break with the Church, which had kept the people in a state of thraldom. At first sight, the schism gradually widened. The development of science, the advent of industrialisation further increased the breach. The way of life which had been accepted for centuries was discarded, slowly at first, then faster and faster, so that today we are living in the throes of a great revolution. We see the old values and habits spurned, and one by one stowed away in limbo. It is natural then for us to be plagued by feelings of aimlessness aud vanity: we are empty souls wandering in a waste land - A heap of broken images. where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water." As under the Roman Empire, materialism, Philistinism and sensuality run rife. We clutch these as if they will give us security in a disrupted world. But these are completely insubstantial. We must grasp something firmer, find a universally applicable way of life. We can choose Communism which satisfies the human cravings for common purpose and sense of usefulness -- subservience to the State. But this would be pernicious and disastrous. For such a way of life is inimical to happiness, for it enslaves the individual and cripples thought; it gradually stagnates and weakens until it is ultimately overthrown, as was the case with Roman Catholicism. We must find a modus vivendi that does not incarcerate the individual, but which is no less effective and efficacious. We cannot go far wrong by culling from all the great religions and philosophies of the past those doctrines which have universal and everlasting application, doctrines that advocate humanity. diligence, self-knowledge, sobriety. And an appreciation and understanding of beauty and the simple things of life. Combine these into a way of life that is adaptable to change and that does not stifle the individual, then our present plight will soon pass. What is needed is a re-orientation, It is essential to adapt ourselves to the changing times and not hark back to a fabulous past. Of course, a great effort of will is required, for it is so easy to fall a prey to despair and cynicism, tortured by feelings of emptiness and vanity. We must combat these morbid thoughts, evolve an acceptable and effective and salutary way of life. 'Then obnoxious materialism and Philistinism, frustration and aimlessless will disappear. And the cries of degeneracy and degradation will become weak and sporadic. We must cultivate the Waste Land.


W.H.W.

 

No. 66 Summer 1955.

 


Editor - W. H. WALKER.
Assistant Editor - P. K. SEN.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

In the last half century that intangible but important dimension of reality, the unconscious, has come under minute scrutiny from the psycho-analysts, especially Dr. C. G. Jung. The unconscious is roughly divisible into two, the personal and the collective. The personal unconscious is the storehouse of the experiences of early childhood. The collective unconscious consists of those elements which are derived from the experiences of the race generally. From this latter division of the unconscious come the symbols which visit us in dreams and fantasies, in the arts and in religious visions. The barrier between consciousness and the unconscious is thin. We can never be sure when we are going to receive an "inflation" from the deep recesses of our mind. It is precisely when we feel most conscious and at our highest point of rationality that non-conscious forces burst through the area of awareness and either becloud or dominate consciousness. If this happens to one person, it means he will experience moods, hear voices, or have fantasies. If this happens to many people at the same time, it means that a whole nation may be gripped by a mass psychosis, as occurred in Nazi Germany. Modern man is only too well aware that, like the sword of Damocles, his complete extinction hangs by a hair over his head. For, should a nation, equipped with the atom bomb and other means of mass extermination, come under the domination of a symbol of destruction, issuing from the unconscious, all the accomplishments of our civilisation, indeed of Man in his brief life on earth, will be shattered and blotted out. So long as we remain ignorant of the unconscious side of mental life we must be at its mercy. A study of psychoanalysis is therefore essential, and a study of the work of Dr. C. G. Jung in particular; for he, above all others, has contributed the most towards the interpretation and understanding of the unconscious. His work is not complete in itself there is still much to be done, more nooks and crannies to be probed in the storehouse of the psyche. But his is a fertile, new approach with wide implications not only to psychological but to social fields of study. Thinkers in such diverse spheres of inquiry as biology, sociology, theology and history, are turning with increasing interest to Jung's formulations. Arnold Toynbee, for example, has declared that the study of the history of civilisation requires a psycho-analytic approach. He considers the views of Jung to be nearest in spirit to his own. Toynbee is particularly concerned with finding out what constitutes the real continuity in history, perhaps the most crucial and perplexing problem in the interpretation of society. After deep and penetrating research into the history of the great civilisations of the world, past and present, Toynbee has reached the conclusion that while the outer structure of civilisation breaks up when it "dies", something yet lives on. Even the external products of a culture can remain in existence only so long as they correspond to something that is present inside the human beings of the age. The real continuity of history consists not in the outer forms of a civilisation nor in the surface flow of events, but rather in the forces that are psychologically at work in the depths of the people's minds. Civilisatons do not entirely die. Their outward manifestation disappears, but they leave an impression on the minds of the people that follow. This impression is, of course, unconscious. In Jung's historical conception of the unconscious, Toynbee finds scientific confirmation and explanation of his theory. The impressions that are left in the minds of the people after the decay of a civilisation are called "archetypes" by Jung. Both men agree that it is within the human psyche, vast though it be and strange to fathom, that we must look for the secrets of history. Gnothi seauton was the advice written up in the temple of Delphi, and, like all good advice, it is still applicable today. We realise now that we can know ourselves only by delving into the unconscious and coming to terms with its contents. Dr. Jung takes us a long way in our search for self-knowledge. It is, therefore, of paramount importance for all of us to take careful note of his work.

W.H.W.


 

No. 67. Spring, 1956

 


Editor - P. K. San

Assistant Editor - D. J. Wilson
.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

ALTHOUGH THE MAJORITY of historical pronouncements are apt to suffer from the fault of being too indiscriminate, one would probably be justified in saying that the birth of modem nationalism dates from the reaction to the Napoleonic Era and to the subsequent European Settlement. When the Great Powers of 1815 succeeded victoriously in banishing Bonaparte himself from the European limelight, they nevertheless failed to suppress the legacy of national feeling that remained where the French armies had withdrawn from the field. At first nationalism began innocently enough. It was only natural that subjected peoples, having imbibed their first taste of freedom, should feel the desire to break the shackles imposed on them by a self-interested overlord. There arose the conception of a free, self-conscious people at liberty to steer their own course, independent of a foreign pilot. National feeling was then in its infancy; but it was strong enough to cause much embarrassment to the Great Powers, who did not fully understand the temperamental moods of the new baby, and resorted to spanking it. Some guidance, possibly that of a kind, understanding, but firm, "parent ", was necessary to see that nationalism developed along the right lines. Once the national aspirations of the country had been satisfied an era of repose was essential in order to reconnoitre, consolidate, and develop; nations, like human beings, must sometimes look to the future, before plunging blindly into an unknown void. But neither the "parent" nor the era of repose was forthcoming. National feeling grew up in its own impetuous way. It chose for its companions the ultra-radical sentiments of extreme political philosophers and the precarious bomb. In the mammoth task of consolidation, national feeling turned to intense national patriotism. The infant nationalism of the early nineteenth century became, in its adult form, a huge monster, the State, relying for its survival on the new weapons of mass indoctrination and the total subjection of the individual. It was in this way that Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy progressed. Nationalism in its totalitarian shape had reached its bursting-point; this is what happened in 1939, when Europe plunged into World War II. As the charter of U.N.E.S.C.O. says, the War was a war " made possible by the denial of the democratic principles of the dignity, equality, and mutual respect of men, and by the propagation in their place, through ignorance and prejudice, of the doctrine of the inequality of men and races ". Add to this, fear, selfishness, economic discontent, and possibly personal ambition of individuals, and you will have a formula for blind nationalism. While the established nations were busy razing one another to the ground, these very issues, a new force began to make  itself heard. In 1945, when Europe returned to a relative state of sanity, the Powers once more had time to look around them. For the first time they became vividly aware that European nationalism had a " baby brother ". This time the challenge came from Asia and Africa. It was the beginning of a new era of national feeling. It was like starting to read a book for the second time. Basically the story had not changed much; in some cases the words " self-determination " or " anti- colonialism " had been substituted for the slightly out-of-fashion " nationalism ". Today, we, the Western Democracies, are in a position similar to that of the Great Powers who met round the table at Vienna in 1815. The scale of our problem is considerably larger, however. The former statesmen had to restore some semblance of order to Europe. Our task is to prevent the disruption of the whole world. Today also political activity seems to have been greatly accelerated. That which was the metaphorical " baby brother " of a few years ago has now grown into a gigantic threat of the present day . The Powers in 1815 were concerned with the discontent of suppressed minorities. Today we face the problem of the national ambitions of teeming millions. Subsequent history has shown that the European Concert was ill- advised in trying to stamp out the inevitable flames of the bonfire lit by its erring infant wards. Today the use of the " big stick " by the Powers to crush nationalism would not only be ill-advised, it would be disastrous. Must Asia and Africa be allowed to let their nationalism grow into the ugly monster that has been prevalent in Europe in the past? Must the mistakes of Europe become the pattern to follow for the under-developed areas of the world? If this is to be the case then the only future for Asia and Africa is a repeat performance of the abominations of totalitarianism that made World War II inevitable. There are two reasons why we should not let this occur. One is that we have a moral obligation to our fellow beings: anybody who has the courage to envisage a future of peace and prosperity must accustom himself to the idea of sparing an occasional thought for the welfare of his fellow men. The second reason stems from commonsense self-interest. If we are to preserve our own standards of life, then we cannot afford to risk them by a clash with over-ambitious patriotism. Statesmen of the past may have had smaller areas to cope with; we have a much smaller world. Former statesmen may have been bewildered by the rise of nationalism; we have the benefit of their experience. We should realise that nationalism must be made to develop peacefully. How are we to achieve this? Coercion would be futile; the extension of a moral argument would be contemned or mistrusted. The answer probably lies in material assistance. It is significant to note that the brand of extreme national patriotism that is the forerunner to totalitarianism has bred swiftest where living standards were initially lowest. The poverty-stricken peasant, the maltreated industrial worker, see a ray of hope in the dictatorial demands of the state with its purported emphasis on the good of the community as a whole. By lending part of our brains and resources to the underdeveloped countries on the verge of a national awakening, there is every prospect of a future of peace and prosperity. And it is only then that people can become individuals, instead of suffering from an over-generalised view for the many.

P.K.S.

 

 

No. 68. Summer, 1956.


Editor - - P. K. SEN.

Assistant Editor - - D. J. WILSON.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

Ever since 'homo sapiens' first discovered that by switching on an engine and pulling a few levers he could travel faster than either his own legs, his horse, or the wind could carry him, there seems to have been stirred within the hearts of mankind an insatiable desire to go even faster. Fast cars, express trains and record-breaking jet 'planes are symbolical of an age in which the general rule of the traveller is to reach one's destination as quickly as possible. No longer is Man content to amble along on the back of a horse, a camel or a yak. From Texas to Timbuktu, from China to Peru, indeed everywhere from Aabenraa to Zywiec, the accent is on speed. The principal result of the speed mania has been to make the world a very much smaller place-so small, in fact, that Man is no longer satisfied with the earth around him, but is contemplating enlarging his horizons to embrace the vast potential hinterland around our planet. The possibility of space-travel appears to have become such a probability that an American firm has even started to sell chunks of the Moon. And prospectors of a more absentee variety than their 'forty-niner' ancestors are rushing to stake their claims with bewildering alacrity. It can be only a matter of time before the enterprise of the business man will lead him to conquer fresh lands in places farther afield, such as Mars. It can be only a matter of time before someone invents something to take us to both the Moon and Mars. Since Man seems so certain of conquering space in the not-too-distant future, we should try to find out something about the problems involved in communication with other planets. Is there, for instance, life on Mars, and if so, what will our well dressed Martian neighbours look like? Questions like these have to be answered even if it is only to ' keep up with the Martian Joneses'. There seem to be two con temporary schools of thought regarding the appearance of the Martian-Punch cartoons and American horror-comics. The former nearly always depict our trans-universal neighbour as a small, rubbery creature, half-way between a man and a piece of plasticine, quite bald, with pointed ears, and with eyes on stalks. Since Punch cartoonists rarely, if ever, take their problems seriously, such a description can be of little practical value. Their Martian was probably modelled for by a leprechaun. American horror-comics, on the other hand, are a little more realistic. They generally depict the Martian as a rather unpleasant thug, half-way between a Chicago gunman and a member of the Nazi S.S. For some reason, the 'American' Martian invariably has a green face. Whether this represents a close affinity to nature, or the result of germ-warfare experiments, or a surfeit of spaceship' mal de mer' is a debatable point. Of course, the green face may simply be some exiled Irishman's way of manifesting his national pride. Whatever the case, the green colour of the Martian would present an embarrassing problem in South Africa, where there are presumably no railway Compartments for 'greens only'. A much more likely description of the Martian is one which depicts him as a bowler-hatted, pin-stripe-trousered, rolled umbrella-carrying type, who travels up to town every morning on a Martian 8.45, from a Martian Suburb to a Martian office. This idea has in the past been disregarded as being too unromantic. It is interesting to note that our ideas of the Martian vary according to whether he arrives on our planet before we reach his. If the Martian gets here first, then presumably his planet is in a more advanced state of scientific development than ours, and this would be quite intolerable. The Martians would almost certainly be of the American horror-comic brand, ruthless, merciless slaves to a totalitarian dictator unequalled in obnoxiousness by anyone save George Orwell's 'Big Brother'. Furthermore, these Martians would probably go around on flying motor scooters, firing happily on the luckless mortals below with paralysing ray-guns. Of course, the Martians might turn out to be quite decent fellows, who could learn to speak English, play cricket and drink tea. In which case, we might even consider letting them into the Commonwealth. If, on the other hand, we got to Mars first, then presumably we should be in a more advanced state of scientific development. In these circumstances, the Martian immediately shrinks in our imagination to a stalk-eyed, Punch-like leprechaun. To borrow a phrase from io66 and All That, our conquest of Mars would be a 'good thing'. It is as well to remember, though, that from the point of view of the Martians it would be a 'bad thing'. They would consider our acquisition of their planet as an act of aggression by a 'land-grabbing imperialist'. And as everyone knows, 'land-grabbing imperialists' are not quite the thing nowadays.

 

P.K.S.


 

 

No. 69 Spring, 1957.

 


Co-editors - - - - D. J. WILSON, P. K. SEN.
Assistant Editor ------ D. ASHTON.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
QUITE RECENTLY a national newspaper published a short letter which was headed "Courtesy ". The correspondent reported: "Today I saw a youth of about sixteen intervene when a West Indian on a bus had not enough money for his fare. The boy paid the difference and refused to give his name so that be could be repaid". Very seldom does one come across such items in the national press ; too often do we see such glaring headlines as "More Teddy-boy Riots" and "This Ill-mannered, Spoon-fed Generation ". In fact, it seems that the whole aim of certain sections of Fleet Street is to blacken the character of the young people of today, and to overlook completely their merits. There is no doubt that modern teen-agers differ in many ways from their counterparts in former decades. But despite these differences, they are certainly not more wicked than their predecessors. Recent surveys have shown that, of the millions of healthy, hard-working teen-agers, only two per cent. are delinquents. The majority accepts discipline without argument, and rarely deviates from the law. But, of course, juvenile delinquency cannot be overlooked. The statistics, however, can often be very misleading. Nowadays even the most trivial offences, which have always been committed by young people but which previously were dealt with most effectively at the scene of the "crime", are brought before the juvenile courts. In 1955, two thirds of the teen-agers convicted in Britain had done nothing more than trespass or commit traffic offences on bicycles. Yet the statistics give the impression that they were juvenile criminals. If we turn to the activities of the majority, what do we see? First, Britain's young people recognise the value of education. Not only are there almost a million teen-agers in Britain regularly attending evening classes, but also more and more boys and girls are staying longer at school. An example of this is provided in this very School where there is now a large sixth-form of eighty-six. Over two million young people take an active interest in such organisations as the Boy Scouts' and the various youth clubs. Initiative and interest in civic affairs and politics is shown by the 125,000 members of the youth movements of the three major political parties. A substantial proportion of the present members of Parliament graduated into politics through their respective youth groups. The churches also depend to a large extent on the enthusiasm of teen-agers who serve at the altar, sing in the choirs, and help in the various outside activities. A B.B.C. survey has found that an increasing number of young people are attending meetings for discussions and debates on religious topics. This surely indicates a healthy future for the Church. One of the most serious charges so often levelled against modern young people is that they are lethargic and apathetic towards their work Again these allegations ignore the facts and cite only the exceptional few as examples. Provided that authority continues to recognise enthusiasm and does not clamp down and extinguish every spark of initiative, the present younger generation will remain lively and hard-working and eventually be more than capable of taking over the reins from their fathers. Young people have ambition: they want responsibility, and once they are given it they respond to their task enthusiastically. Examples of this enthusiasm to he of service are abundant. Not long ago some boys from this School helped to carry out a traffic census along with thousands of other teen-agers all over the country; and they did the job very efficiently. Then there are thousands of boys and girls with paper-rounds and part-time jobs on Saturdays. Clearly the average teen-ager does not want to he entirely dependent upon his parents; he wants to earn a little for himself. All these facts indicate that young people do not want an easy, irresponsible existence. They have abundant initiative, self-reliance and responsibility. Provided these qualities are nurtured carefully, there should be no fears for the future. Continual criticism does not help matters; appreciation, advice and guidance are the greatest needs.

 

DJ.W.

 

No. 70. Summer, 1957.

 

Editor: D.J.WILSON.
Assistant Editor: D. ASHTON.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

The mid-twentieth century has brought many great technical triumphs such as controlled nuclear fission, thermo-nuclear fission, radar, colour television, jet propulsion, supersonic flight and the possibility of space travel, but none of these disturbs men's imaginations as much as the word 'automation'. Many people have come to hate the word because it signifies to them a threat to their social and economic relationships, a threat, in fact, to their livelihood. Actually, if the word has any meaning at all, it means no more than the advanced mechanisation of our period. Mechanisation increases productivity, and productivity is continually advancing. For example, between 1948 and 1954 we learned how to make about one and a half times as many motor vehicles as were made previously, and in order to do this it was found necessary to increase the labour force by only ten per cent. This was called 'rising productivity' and the country was proud of itself. Now it is called 'automation' and the country is anxious. There is no need for anxiety. The most that need be expected from automation is a smooth advance in productivity. It has been calculated, in fact, that in any one year the introduction of automation will affect less than one per cent. of the labour force of this country. More than five times that number, however, would reach retiring age and be replaced by young persons. In general terms, it appears that the normal process of retirement and recruitment will compensate for any displacement of work men by automation. But the main question is whether automation will come soon enough to deal with the most pressing problem. Education will inevitably become more prolonged and young persons will be older before they enter industry. Men will live longer but their working careers will become shorter. There will therefore be a large non-working population; relatively fewer workers will each do less work per lifetime. It can only be hoped that the introduction of automation will come sufficiently rapidly to solve the problem by stabilizing the economy. Last year the Department of Industrial and Scientific Research published a report on automation, and the general conclusion was that there need be no limitations on the introduction of new, automative techniques. However, there is one serious defect, which is likely to hinder future advance in productivity, and that is the all-too-common shortage of technically trained persons. But the outlook is promising; more young people are seeking to prolong their education and qualify as technologists. The educational facilities are there, and the youth of today are responding. In fact, the young scientist's future is perfectly secure. I am still wondering what the future will have to offer us poor, unwanted members of the Arts Sixth.

 

D.J.V.


 

No. 71. Spring, 1958.

 

Editor:D. J. WILSON.

Assistant Editor: D. ASHTON.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY.
Public interest and attention has of late been attracted by a group of people who call themselves, or rather are called" Angry Young Men". This group consists of a number of young men (and, I believe, one fairly young lady) who belong to the post-war generation and who are busy trying to make a name for themselves in the arts, mainly literature. There is no doubting the fact that they have attracted the public eye. Indeed, their doctrine has even permeated the hallowed and ancient walls of Oxford. When I attempted a college entrance examination quite recently, one of the questions which greeted me was, "What are 'Angry Young men' angry about?" A subject which can draw the attention of such eminent figures as Oxford dons is surely worthy of our interest. Many people have reacted quite violently against what has been called "the conceit, self-importance, the humourlessness and intolerance of these young authors." Similarly it is very easy to say that such traits will always be evident in a generation of talented and self-confident young people. The trouble is that most of the older members of the community do not even try to understand; they merely decry the prevailing tendencies which seem so revolutionary. "Angry Young Men" are expressing their distaste for certain aspects of the modern world. It is wrong to say that they are talking only because they like the sound of their own voices. They have common aims and ideals, yet each individual member also seems to be a "specialist reformer " on one topic. Kenneth Tynan, the renowned dramatic critic, sees a need for considerable reform in the British theatre; Lindsay Anderson has similar ideas on the cinema. Bill Hopkins mourns the lack of new and existing ideas in the literary world. All of them, however, are filled with an almost overpowering fear and revulsion of the hydrogen bomb. They blame the older generation for the present state of world affairs; their bitterness is understandable. But they forget that their fathers knew a different world when they faced and triumphed over crippling depressions and cruel world wars. "Angry Young Men" do not merely condemn: they also endeavour to suggest remedies. John Osborne is giving his own answer to the lack of good dramatic material. He is undoubtedly the most outstanding of all young modern playwrights. The problem of the state of world affairs is far more difficult. Colin Wilson and Stuart Holroyd see the answer in a revival of religious faith. Let us hope that the talent of these young people which as yet is, I am sure, only latent, will flourish so that when they succeed to positions of responsibility they may lead the country with determination and with a definite ideal always in view.

 

D.J.W.

 

 

No. 72 Summer, 1958

 

Editor - D. L. ASHTON
Assistant Editor - H. MARCOVITCH

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
Education of the young is an important feature of human society. In all ages, instead of relying entirely on a child's learning freely and naturally from his surroundings, people have attempted some form of deliberate instruction. In this way society prepares for its future. Primitive communities probably concerned themselves especially with teaching skills closely associated with the preservation of life itself: hunting, building and so on, except where nature provided greater relaxation from the struggle to survive, so that leisure crafts could be passed on for the enjoyment of each generation. The way of life of the whole community is reflected in the upbringing of its offspring. The iron rule of young Spartans, for example, was a suitable discipline for their warlike life, in contrast to that of the young Athenians, whose athleticism was more of the intellect. We discern the influence of the We1tanschauun in the scholar's curriculum in medieval Europe which stressed religion as a cast for thought and theology as the queen of sciences. Even more obvious to the contemporary mind is the pressure put on education by political partisans who realise only too well the value of youth organisations. As civilisation has developed, improved means of communicating and recording thought have made it possible for qualified thinkers to study the meaning and working of education. From these studies conclusions have been reached which should form the basis for sound, careful instruction of members of civilisations to come. A secure grounding in psychology, history and experience of bringing up people to a state of fitness for participation as mature individuals in the country have assisted the creation of a valuable science of education itself. Moreover, broadly speaking, western society is so complex, massive and all-embracing that it has grown to regard instruction of the ignorant as a duty, almost to the extent that ancient communities had to recognise it as a necessity. Compulsory attendance at schools, a minimum educational certificate, vast expenditure by the state on educational projects; a modern nation cannot forsake such things and live. But, along with all this, there exists a growing, self-conscious consent to look at the subject in the light of human rights. Every man (wrote Mr. H.G. Wells) "is entitled to sufficient education to make him a useful and interested citizen, and further that special education should be so made available as to give him equality of opportunity for the development of his distinctive gifts in the service of mankind". Notice the latter part of this declaration. We have passed the stage when education consisted in merely fitting out somebody so that he could perform a certain function required by society. We now advocate education, like Lubbock, not merely to make the man the better workman, but the workman the better man. Training and nourishing the whole man is the task of a wise and confident community. Surely it is in the interest of society, as well as the individual, to do everything possible to develop thoughtfully latent talents from a personality and give it a deep, comprehensive outlook on its place in the world and the ultimate truths about human life. Anyway, the particular problems of the century hammer the point home. "Ours is an age of intellectual confusion," writes Dr. Frankl, a leading Vienna psychologist, "with a topsy-turvy sense of values. Materialism rides high; indifferentism is in the saddle. But our time is also a period of deep tragedy and acute political crisis". Our present school system hardly keeps pace with the fresh demands of a fast-moving civilisation. What does it provide, not so much by way of new techniques for greater economic advancement, but so that we can appreciate better the reasons for the whole business? I suggest that the pressing urgency of this situation will ensure that training along these lines is not confined for long merely to a few odd general periods thrown into the Sixth Form time-table and to several incidental remarks thrown out during class-time.

 

D.L.A.

 

No. 73 Autumn, 1958

 

Editor - D. L. ASHTON
Assistant Editor - H. MARCOVITCH

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

Science has figured prominently in the news recently. The Soviet satellite successes brought to the surface a controversy that has long been simmering. It concerns the relative importance of science and arts subjects to society and their consequent place in contemporary education. The dispute has been far-reaching, very involved and often tiresome. As in the older argument about the alleged conflict between religion and science, ambiguity and misguided thinking abound. Nevertheless, discussion has produced some sound conclusions, which, owing to the practical application of science to our lives nowadays, are extremely important. The vague use of the word "science" has been confusing. Here I take it to mean the study of natural phenomena which fall directly under the senses. Though it may require theorising about things that personal sensation cannot immediately perceive, such as the "construction" of an atom, it tells us nothing about truths that transcend concrete experience, nothing about any "final end of things." But it can supply information on which the intellect can work to abstract such truths. Of course, some philosophers (returning ironically to the root scire "to know" anything) assert that nothing can be known except by scientific methods. If this were true, much traditional philosophy, as well as all belief in the supernatural, would be without rational justification. This effect of science on human outlooks has been indirect and indecisive. Elsewhere, science has wrested the facts from ancient provinces of ignorance and superstition, and its use in improving tremendously our kind of life is obvious. The last few centuries, in which discoveries and scientific development have accelerated rapidly, contrast sharply with the long ages during which mankind discovered the wheel and how to plant crops. Most people could now have fairly healthy lives. Automation can lighten their labour. Many enjoy their leisure with the help of instruments hardly dreamed of a hundred years ago. Science has begun to transform the world. Government, business men, and technicians achieve these results through industry. A celebrated thinker has pointed out that, if government will do its job in this great age, statesmen of the future must work with scientists as the Medicis lived and worked in the company of artists. And through democracy government leadership can be controlled for good. This is vital in times when science has made possible the utter ruin of human minds, race suicide, the deforming of human offspring in advance and the virtual destruction of the world. It is a pity that technological advances have not gone hand in hand with a keener perception of ultimate issues and greater exercise of moral restraint. Remorse and despair need not haunt us for ever: why should they? What, then, are we to do with our lives? At present science itself does not provide us adequately with a pivot for our activities. And the systems based as exclusively as possible on science seem to ignore many aspects of the human make-up. The part-sciences such as psychology, sociology and ethics help us in this matter only when their content closely borders established moral standards and metaphysics. The laboratory is the wrong place to look for the destiny of man and the long- term implications of existence, if there are any. Similarly, the increase in leisure time that science will conceivably create for us will be worse than useless if people make an improper use of it: but it is beyond the power of physics or chemistry or what have you to tell us what is improper. It is at this point that the arts subjects assume their greatest importance. It was Wordsworth who said: "Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; it is the impassioned expression which is in the countenance of all Science." To appreciate the poetry at the heart of the arts subjects is to provide a great part of the satisfaction so needed by men in the era of machines and higher mathematics. A serious understanding of the functions of both scientific and arts studies must provide a balanced synthesis of them if mankind is going to look forward to the time to come.

 

D.L.A.


 

No. 74. Summer, 1959

 

Editor - D. L. ASHTON
Assistant Editor - H. MARCOVITCH

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
Some time ago a splendid Coronation heralded considerable speculation about the destiny of this country. Hopes soared for new Elizabethan age. The skeleton of empire, for a start, could be dressed up a bit and piously presented as the commonwealth. There was life in the old lion yet, even if American banknotes were doing what British bullets would never attempt again. But the initial enthusiasm soon died down, and the inheritors of Merrie England, made weak by time and fate, returned to their armchair world in front of the television. No-one would be so foolish as to suggest that every spark of creative vitality has been extinguished. It is very easy to find examples of success in science and music, as well as sport and motor-car exports, and the movement called Operation Britain could undoubtedly provide a much longer list. On the other hand, it is clear that many of our people have lost their sense of mission in the world. No common faith unites them. And Andrew Shonfield, an outstanding journalist, speaks in addition of "the constant conspiracy to make-do-and-mend which distinguishes our society. It is part of the cultural atmosphere, as pervasive as damp weather. It appears in the exaggerated anxiety not to put a foot wrong: not to cause trouble." Where is that joyful confidence in the future, accompanied by the "will to achievement" that marks great people? Many kinds of explanation have been offered for our situation. and in the welter of conflicting ideologies to be found to- day, people will seek many different solutions, or none at all. The charlatans abound in the era of megalopolitanism, a closing phase in the decline of the west. Perhaps only a severe crisis will destroy the superficial and brassy lure of canned entertainment and rivet our attention on the genuine thrill of life and the hard struggle that is the lesson of Nature. Man is a social animal. This should mean that he finds greater happiness through social organisation. Society is his creation. But it is becoming his master, especially with the powerful aid that modern technology provides. A man is slowly losing his individual consciousness by contact with the massive powers that see him as a consumer, a voter, a reader or, in some cases, one of the so-many per cent, who do not quite make unemployment serious. For who exerts the principal control in megalopolis? Are not the commanding influences in our society coming increasingly from the small men with money-power rather than the great men with creative ability? But we do not live by bread alone and something more than circuses is needed to sustain us. So many years later, and the wind still has to say "Here were decent godless people:
Their only monument the asphalt road And a thousand lost golf balls." Even this seems unworthy of an age which has, one might say, exchanged belief in God for fear of the hydrogen bomb. Our times do present us with serious problems, and no solution will be found in the make-believe world that commercialism can provide if we permit it: rather, we are presented with a stimulating challenge, and if in fact history can be written best in terms of challenge and response, here is a great opportunity for historic action. Repressed by artificiality of our way of life and the sad heritage of two great wars, young vitality can easily be diverted towards squalid crimes, aimlessness and frustration : such, probably, has been the experience of the much criticised "teddy-boy" movement. Instead of hopelessness, we must strive for mastery. The virtues of Beowulf must be revived in the decade of Admass. Robust gaiety and virility should not be mere accompaniments of our civilisation; they should be the driving force behind fresh achievement. Instead of our way of life being played out in the world, as the final contest of spirit between apathy and cynicism ends with the triumph of apathy, we must surmount the torpor and rise again to the heights. Our people in particular can lead, and in place of the decay forecast by Spengler, soon we will march again with firm tread towards a fresh Springtime for the Twilight Lands.

 

 

D.L.A.


 

No. 75 Spring, 1960

 

Editor - H. MARCOVITCH
Assistant Editors: DL Ashton & CJ Martin

NEW YORK cab-drivers have a reputation for do-it-yourself philosophies. A friend of mine told me of a cab driver in New York who did not know the destination she'd asked him for. She told him that in London the taxi driver knew everything. "Lady" he replied. "if I knew everything I wouldn't be cab driver.' Looking back through recent editions of The Monovian, it is fascinating to observe each editor's two-thousand-word cure for civilisation. Generations of Monovian editors, it seems, arc well fitted to be run-of-the-mill cab-drivers. But this particular editor, like the gentleman above, knows his limitations, and can offer no dogmatic solution for the world's problems. In the absence of any ready-made rationale it might he revealing to see how the masterminds of previous years interpreted the knowledge mountained in their hands. In 1954, orthodoxy was the answer.. The next writer sought the panacea in happy planned activity and "enriching'' leisure. In 1955, there was a smug call for "humanity, diligence, self-knowledge, sobriety and an appreciation for the simple things of life." 1957 added "appreciation, advice, and guidance." A plea for education was the next contribution and last year repeated the tone of five years previous in demanding a regulated leisure of "robust gaiety and virility." But a single idea served to unify these differing thoughts: throughout lay a warning against apathy, against aimlessness and against indifferentism. In fact, nowadays it is commonplace to attack these qualities, and any writer who does so is on perfectly safe ground. But there are some still, and I am one, who refuse to accept this hatred of inactivity. It is fair to say, and Lamb said it, that indolence is the true state of man.. And who are we to deny man his original and pure state? He has, unfortunately, fallen from grace, though it must he said that he tries very hard to return : all of us would be idle if we could. And if he were to return, lasting nobility could be attained only through the delightful condition of doing nothing. They are the Devil's advocates who preach the downfall of indo1ence and call idleness a sin. Most of our short lives we spend in doing things which, were man really free, we would not do. And in the perfect world we would not do those things if we did not want to. Intellectual peace can be found in idle dreaming and individuality of thought can be given most rein when not shackled by conventional demands Stevenson seemed to think similarly when he applauded the strong sense of personal identity in the faculty for avoiding extreme busyness. Of course, there are dangers in this, as in other philosophies, if extremism prevails and no obligation to society is recognised. For then there would be a dangerous cramping of mental achievement if not of thought itself. One must strive for more relaxation and for general slowing-down in the pace of everyday affairs so that far more time can be devoted to the pursuit of the blissful visions of the dreaming mind. This is the Opposite of the "planned activity" and "regulated leisure" of the cab-drivers amongst us- this is a plea for unplanned non-activity and liberal, unregu1ated leisure when the time for work is past or not yet reached. If man is to attain the height which it is within him to attain, he must not be forced to think along any one line and indeed he must not even be forced to think. The need is for less discipline of the intellect, not more. This is, as I have said, no five-hundred-word universal solution, but we might come nearer to finding one if we allow our minds to roam freely; and thus perhaps stumble on the Philosophers' Stone to turn the base metal of our existence into a life of golden nobility.

 


H.M.

 

No. 76 Summer, 1960

 

Editor - D. L. ASHTON
Assistant Editor - C. J. MARTIN

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
"Then we are five, we are made for life". Here is a terrifying truth. For our personalities result primarily from heredity and childhood experience. The essential factors in each human character are formed and fixed by nurture as well as nature. According to thorough studies of diverse primitive tribes, the upbringing of youngsters unavoidably affects the culture patterns of whole societies. An indelible impression is left by the way we are reared from birth to late infancy, in the "formative" years. And a grave responsibility is therefore put upon parents, who often do not realise their tremendous power over posterity. The initial training of a child in self-care, sleeping and feeding is completed at home. During this time, also, his basic unique personality is shaped. Parents provide the living material on which the teachers later have to work. At school the thud is prepared for participation in community life. He is encouraged to accept his teacher as a new authority beyond that of his immediate family. The teacher then uses this position in order to instruct the child in things required of him when he grows up. More specialised knowledge is given than would normally be possible in the home. To make the learning process effective, a firm personal contact between teacher and pupil must be established. A careful reward punishment technique controls the interest and effort of the child. To-day it is considered undesirable to prod children too quickly towards maturity, and greater opportunity is allowed for free development. The very methods used to equip children with useful information and abilities have a by-product by influencing their activities in later life. A child may not only be issued with prejudices; his emotions and aptitudes may easily be upset or distorted by the actions of a bad teacher. For example, the slightest ill considered remark may have a surprisingly harmful effect on a sensitive boy or girl. These considerations certainly suggest that teachers, especially those taking very young children, would be mistaken to regard their profession as a mere career, rather than a vocation with the high payment to which, nevertheless, they are entitled. Government should take educational problems far more seriously, and by deliberately providing a greater number of schools and encouraging, with every incentive, qualified and enthusiastic teachers, improve the condition of the people. The need for smaller classes and extensive teacher-training facilities is constantly pointed out, but these priorities still seem largely neglected. Most people cannot hope for success in modern society without some semblance of literacy and general knowledge. Though they could be taught in most homes, schools give future citizens the chance to acquire them. Beyond this, the precise aims (assuming they exist) of "education", even in secondary schools, are hard to ascertain. The broad purpose may be fairly detailed instruction in subjects and skills to assist pupils in finding "suitable jobs in life" which "raise their living standards". If so, heads appear to be filled with much valueless information which is soon forgotten after the G.C.E. But the harsh winds of reality are unlikely to awaken the authorities from their customary somnolence, at least in the immediate future. Meanwhile, we gaze mystified at the curious mixture of chaos and inertia that troubles the British school. Schools have important side-effects that should become intentional, main features. These come into being from the nursery onwards. During games and recreational art periods, for instance, the child is given some grounding for leisure, enjoyment and adding to the beauty of civilisation when he gets older. Children need healthy bodies and minds for other objects than their destiny as industry fodder. Even in this respect, however, technical education has only recently been organised to give youth adequate preparation for selected means of livelihood, and excessively disregards humanist disciplines. Moreover, the attitudes of pupils to their masters, and friendships with companions, mould their outlook, as adults, towards other men. Unfortunately, too, many parents ignore real moral training, and in the secular atmosphere of contemporary life, the authority of Church teachers is not favoured, so that the casually given scraps of moral training left to teachers often prove worse than useless. An executive member of the N.U.T. conference after Easter stressed the difference between the morality taught in schools and the situation outside. It is remarkable that he actually had to state that the moral standards of the nation are not the sole responsibility of the schools, but that of parents and those who run the means of mass communication. But if moral training is required of the schools, sounder planning is demanded. A fresh examination of the theory and practice of education, then, will harm no-one. What, after all, is it for? It must "see that the individual enters society not only generally cultured and technically equipped for the position which he has to fill, but physically and morally developed, endowed with independence, self-respect, sound judgement, civic courage and the ability to command and to obey". This is not the empty rhetoric of a Party manifesto; it is the deliberate statement by a brilliant social psychologist, Lewis Way. If schools do not carry out these sensible aims, should we not remedy the position? We all need a sense of inner worth, which usually comes from the feeling that our achievements benefit our fellows as well as ourselves. We have long been told, quite rightly, that education should fully develop the potentiality for achievement within every one of us. The schools-the principal mechanism of education- must be designed sufficiently to ensure this. Of course, as T. S. Eliot has explained at length, education cannot by itself create a Milton, Schools cannot produce as factories turn out goods, geniuses such as Leonardo, or even the uomo universale like a Renaissance pope. But they can do considerably more to protect and tend the precious personality of each individual, increase opportunities for cultural self-fulfilment, and stamp each person with the qualities enshrined in our own Monoux motto. Many teachers recognise this, and now they must pass the message on to parents, who form such a powerful section of the voting populace, that something might be done even for education.

 

D.L.A.


 

No. 77 Spring, 1961

 

Editors: C. J. MARTIN and A. T. GABLE

SPEAKING ED1TORIALI.Y

It is not at all surprising that past editorials of the Monovian should have been concerned with the theory and practice of education. Such is our feeling of inferiority and insecurity as a nation that intellectual and technological advancement are increasingly and urgently sought after through the medium of educational reform. The editorial of the summer, 1958 edition, summed up the position by declaring: "We have passed the stage when education consisted in merely fitting out somebody so that he could perform a certain function required by society". Yet we grope around seeking a new and grandiose conception of supervised education when the precept which should clearly guide us is rejected by educational 'reformers'. The simple morality of education in the 'ragged school' era has been replaced by the agonised heart searchings of the equalitarian society. Ad unum a more general education is demanded. Yet the fundamental misconception of the 'reformers' is the identification of all worthwhile education with 'schooling'. To quote again from the previous editor of this magazine: "to all ages, instead of relying entirely on a child's learning freely and naturally from his surroundings, people have attempted some form of deliberate instruction." The fallacy is to identify this instruction, obtained through the medium of the school, with education. There is a difference, a vital difference, which must be recognised, between education for information and education for understanding. Primitive society was hardly a society at all, since the preoccupation of the individual was with his own survival in the constant struggle for life. No cohesion governed the accident of separate existence. The need for self-sufficiency dictated that education for information should be all-embracing of the skills necessary for staying alive. But, as society took shape, there emerged the principle of the division of labour, the exchange of services, the interdependence of the community. Thus society really came into its own and leisure emerged as a recognisable facet of life. There was time to observe, to speculate, to interpret, and something to observe, speculate and interpret for - the continuing welfare of the community. Self-preservation was still the motivating factor, but it was the preservation of self as a part of society. This education was education of the understanding, and, most important of all, it was primarily self- education, whereas the acquisition of basic skills would obviously be a matter for direct instruction. So, from the beginning, education had this twofold division - between education for information based on the necessity of the individual to live, and education for understanding, based on the necessity for the community to live, but this form of education is largely a matter of personal and intellectual synthesis rather than acquired information not based on actual experience. Both are necessary to each of us in some degree, the one personally, the other as part of society. Matthew Arnold struck a profound truth when he wrote: - "Even if good literature entirely lost currency with the world, it would still be abundantly worthwhile to continue to enjoy it by oneself. But it never will lose currency with the world, in spite of momentary appearances; it never will lose supremacy. Currency and supremacy are ensured to it, not indeed by the world's deliberate and conscious choice, but by something far deeper - by the instinct of self-preservation in humanity." "It would still be abundantly worthwhile to continue to enjoy it by oneself even though humanity as a whole has the instinct for self-preservation." It is vital for the individual to hold his own sacred communion with the great minds of our own and other centuries, to obtain his own synthesis of personal and intellectual experience, without the magisterial bias of an inferior mind placed between the great book or great work of art and the individual. In no other way can the individual make an original contribution to maintaining society. This is education for the understanding, and, save for a certain permissible explanation of superficial technicalities of style by an intermediary teacher, it is largely a personal contact of writer and reader. Wordsworth clearly saw the foolishness of educational authorities who attempted to channelize the student's reading of the great books and to provide him with a secondary bias in viewing their relationship to each other: -

They who have the skill
To manage books, and things, and make them act
On infant minds as surely as the sun
Deals with a flower: the keepers of our time,
The guides and wardens of our faculties.
Sages who in their prescience would control
All accidents, and to the very road
Which they have fashioned confine us down
Like engines."

And this synthesis of intellectual experience is the discovery. the personal discovery, of the relationship of one great understanding to another. One reads what is relevant to one and so educates the understanding. Modern educational theory, however, ignores the differences between the two varieties of education. Lofty schemes are proposed for squeezing out the juice of western civilization and serving it up in forty-five minute packets to provide a more 'general' education. At the annual conference of the Incorporated Association of Headmasters, held in January of this year, a recommendation was made that in the first three years of the grammar-school course, only three subjects should be taught: mathematics, language and "the basis of western Christian civilization." "Western Christian civilization" is not a geographical or a mathematical subject to be explained by one who has mastered its technicalities. We 'teach' artistic and literary appreciation, moulding each mind into a familiar pattern. Yet Aristotle clearly saw that experience, not instruction, is the telling factor in developing the understanding, in relating personal observation to the observation of a great thinker or artist. He opposed the teaching of philosophy to youth: - "One may enquire why a boy, though he may be a mathematician, cannot be a philosopher. Perhaps the answer is that mathematics deals with abstractions whereas the first principles of philosophy are derived from experience: the young can only repeat them without conviction of their truth, whereas the definitions of mathematics are easily understood." The sudden truth, the sudden relevance of a great mind to Everyman is a vital link, as the mainstay of civilization: its purity must not be besmirched by the indoctrination of an intermediary. Who reads the Bible via an explanatory commentary'? And if only we had this attitude to every great book and work of art. Thus education of the understanding is a personal responsibility. The State has the responsibility only for 'fitting out' somebody so that he can perform a certain function required by society. This should be our modest criterion: instruction of the individual in a factual, technical skill, or the faculties whereby to acquire some skill later, that is to say, information whereby the individual may live. The care for the much-condemned 'specialization' is thus apparent, since in an interdependent society, one man does one job. The pleas for an extended 'general' education are a dangerous farrago of pseudo-progressive nonsense, since the 'arts' education of the scientist and vice-versa is both unnecessary and miserably inadequate from the point of view of the amount of information he receives. By all means, let the scientist explore the development of western civilization: let the artist wander in the realms of technology. But let him do it himself, and in communing with the Great Ones, he may stumble on some profound truths: his own synthesis of experience could prove humanity's ideal. But let him not be a state subsidized dilettante, believing that a small pile of general knowledge constitutes a catholic understanding. It is time for a douche of common sense to be applied to educational theorists. Dreams invariably distort reality: and, pleasant as they are, when they are concluded, we must wake up.

 

 

C.J.M.

 

No. 78 Summer. 1961

 


Editors: A. T. GABLE and C. J. MARTIN
Assistant editors: G. C. CASEY and A. J. MOORE

FOR the generation growing up in the sixties the disillusionment of the twenties cannot but seem remote. Our generation refuses to be disillusioned: it faces the constant horror of a nuclear war, and even realises that there can be no panacea. and yet any despair is short-lived. Our susceptibilities have been dulled. Were sudden painful pressure to throw our so-called middleclass off its balance, the result would not be a traumatic revelation of latent disillusionment, nor even a desperate attempt to find stability for the specious comfort of a middle- class existence; it would be a revolt against the utter falseness of our values. It would not deify: it would despise the pseudo'. Such a revolt would mean the cud of the way of life of a nation infatuated by the carefreeing self-abasement in television - a nation vulgarised by the unscrupulousness of hysterical journalism. putrefied by the disastrous success of large-scale advertising. No! It is not a sudden penetration of politicians' solecisms that we need, but a rejection of dustbin dramas and meaningless drivel which abhors page-margins; not the destruction of ephemeral "pop" for vulgarity is inherent in humanity - but the renunciation of this apotheosis of cacophony and of any canvas hit by a messy sponge. for this eats at the very roots of our standard of values. The perpetrators of such horrors are not in themselves iconoclasts they are parasites gnawing away values, not overturning them. They are not even the merest shadow of a Bartok or an Eliot or a Picasso, but, popularised by mass media and greeted by mass hysteria, they prevail. Superficially it may seem that we have no new problem before us. Wordsworth in l800 could write: 'The invaluable works of our elder writers - I had almost said the works of Shakespeare and Milton - are driven into neglect by frantic novels, sickly and stupid German tragedies, and deluges of idle and extravagant stories in verse'. But Wordsworth had no horror to counter comparable to the appeal of mass-advertising or of vulgar gutterpress hysteria. Indeed, our chronic monomania to glorify the individual, even if his standards are repulsive and his morals antipathetic, could not affect Wordsworth. It is new. 'Be tough, be ambitious, develop a trading sense' - this was the sincere tenet of a writer in the Beaverbrook press. But our Christian society does not even regard it as apostasy; and so far is it from condemning such a set of values, that it takes them to its heart; it fosters them in print and on the screen. Wordsworth's fear was lest indifference to greatness should set in, lest the 'instinct for self-preservation' fail. Our fear is far removed from his, for our standard of values can acknowledge established greatness, if not give it its due praise, hut it cannot penetrate and courageously reject hollowness. Wordsworth's position was, all the same, very similar to our own. For him the Revolution of 1789 seemed to open new vistas for humanity. He thought he saw in that upheaval that can only be explained as a radical change in human nature - and human nature does not change. We today have our new vistas: one is called the emancipation (or the annihilation) of mankind: another the conquest of space. Will these, too, end in disillusionment?

 


A.T.G.

 

No. 79 December, 1961

 

Editors:C. J. MARTIN and A. T. GABLE
Assistant editors: G. C. CASEY and A. J. MOORE

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
During its first eight years of existence, the new 'Elizabethan' era, which was gloriously proclaimed for Britain from the summit of Everest in 1953, has measured up pretty poorly to its predecessor. Suppose we make a comparison on the comparatively low level of food. The prevalence today of the scientifically determined 'diet' is justified on two grounds. One of these is feminine aesthetics, for today, for the first time in history, society places the emaciated woman upon a pedestal. The other is the justification afforded on health grounds, immoderate diet being seen as the ruin of a programme of deliberate physical exercise yet as The Monovian observed on the occasion of the simultaneous opening of the School Gymnasium and Tuckshop in 1932: "These two seemingly opposed ideas are easily reconcilable . . . Hunger grows with exercise". Which is a decidedly true observation proving that the present generation cannot indulge in any real exertion, or it would not have the 'diet' craze. Let us set beside these latter-day orgies of lemon juice and lettuce, and beside the 'chop' (0 miserable object!), and the frozen pea hygienic to the point of tastelessness, the sheer poetry of the order placed by Sir George Monoux with victuallers and vintners when he feasted his fellow drapers on becoming master of the Drapers' Company: three boars, twenty-four dozen quail, forty-five pike, poultry, two sacks of flour, a hogshead (fifty-two gallons) each of red wine, white wine and claret, twenty-two gallons of muscatel and thirteen and a half barrels of ale. As late as the eighteenth century, Englishmen were still eating. That famous Norfolk parson, the Rev. James Woodforde, records in his diary a light meal of "boiled Tench, Pea soup, a couple of Boiled Chicken and Pig's Face, hashed Calf's Head, Beans and roasted Rump of Beef with New Potatoes, etc.; 2nd course roasted Duck and green peas, a very fine Leveret roasted, Strawberry Cream, Jelly, Puddings, etc. Dessert - Strawberries, Cherries and year's nonpareils". And if they paid for it occasionally (even Woodforde once notes "Mince Pye rose oft"), then they still saw in evening an enjoyable experience instead of a hurried biological necessity. Not that this editorial is a plea for gluttony. The comparison of ourselves with the Elizabethans and indeed any generation of pre-Industrial Revolution days may be extended on other levels, and the conclusion we must draw is that the Englishman has lost the taste for living. On the level of intellectual capabilities, let us take as an example of past achievements 'Good Queen Bess' herself, able to speak Latin and modern languages at the age of sixteen. The scholar of that type is no longer with us. Nor is the man who comes to books through his own natural instincts and needs, rather than through an imposed syllabus, like Abraham Lincoln, who, as a boy, found his key to life in Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, discovered at the bottom of a barrel of rubbish he bought for fifty cents from a pioneer emigrating west. As Lincoln tells us: "I began to read these famous works Never in my whole life was my mind so thoroughly absorbed. I read until I had devoured them." Let us think on these things as we idly toy with our sixth form books or jot down ready-made opinions straight from the horse's mouth. As The Monovian has pointed out before, digests, commentaries and second-hand education deny the individual ability to think for himself. Again, it was the middle-classes whose patronage enabled Elizabethan and indeed all Renaissance art to bloom, but today there is no corresponding patronage of the arts, society has managed without the artist, and the gifted individual is apart from it and attacking it, not part of it and helping it to develop. As J. B. Priestley has complained, society and the individual are no longer moving in the same direction. It is hardly necessary to mention the decline in spiritual values from the deep-rooted awareness of God, which prevailed in the Elizabethan era. Our religious values today are manifested by laws, which impose virtue, because the evangelists no longer have enough fire in their bellies to persuade men to voluntary virtue. It is fairly evident why all these changes have come about and why the Englishman has lost the ability to express himself on any level whatever with the vitality of his ancestors. The villain of the piece is plainly the Industrial Revolution. This great social upheaval took out of the hands of the Englishman the control of his own destiny through his skill and through the craft of small machines he could personally control, and placed it instead in the hands of the big impersonal machine. And so initiative today has become the prisoner of vast technological knowledge. Yet, and here is the supreme paradox of the situation, not only has industrial advancement brought material prosperity to Everyman, but the contemporaneous medical revolution has increased his life expectation and the possibility of spending the wealth he amasses. This was a pleasure denied to the average Elizabethan, with a life-expectation of forty years. He was hardly likely to be able to spend his money if he saved: and he was scarcely likely to live longer by taking things easily than if he enjoyed himself, what with the constant menace of plagues, famines, fire in highly inflammable towns, sudden death in a dark street with no patrolling policemen to intervene ("Twelve o'clock and all's well! ") and the constant menace of Parma, Spain and their Machiavellian brethren. The effect of the Industrial and Medical Revolutions has been to differentiate life and existence in the Englishman's eyes. With a dismal and meaningless routine imposed upon him by industrial economics, the average Englishman is deeply committed to staying alive whatever the cost, to enjoying his retirement by going carefully in the prime of life, to a deliberate policy of not enjoying himself. He pathetically clings to life as an end in itself, fortified by a new something-will-turn up optimism: who has not heard that ridiculous applause for the contestant on the TV quiz show for no better reason than that he or she is sixty-three? Naturally enough, death is the greatest fear of such a materialist society. The Elizabethan, on the other hand, had no such fear of death, because it was too imminent, far more imminent than is the impersonal threat of the H-Bomb today, for men to walk in constant fear of it. The thinkers and writers, then the leaders of society not as now its cranks, pitted powerful intellects and a profound spirituality against not death itself, but the real enemy, the fear of death. As their French contemporary Montaigne put it  "Let us learne to stand and combat her with a resolute mind . . . Nor alive nor dead it doth concern you nothing. Alive, because you are: Dead because you are no more." He goes on: "The profit of life consists not in the space, but rather in the use" for "life is it selfe neither good nor evill; it is the place of good or evill, according as you purpose it for them." Yet the fault of our society does not lie fundamentally in our materialism itself, but in the lack of purpose underlying that materialism. We have reached the end of what the American scholar Walter Prescott Webb calls 'the age of the Frontier'. This is the term applicable to an age in which a society is still expanding and which consequently offers to man the greatest opportunity for both personal success on a material level and the full fruition of himself as an individual, a fruition that cannot be accomplished without acquisition of some spiritual values. In such ages society has a sense of mission. Thus, in the United States during the last century, the settler, fortified by his belief in the Declaration of Independence as God's latest testament, believed he was extending a civilized and democratic freedom in a land which needed civilization and in a world which needed freedom. As the frontier closed, the sense of mission was lost. President Kennedy has endeavoured to remedy the deficiency with his concept of the 'New Frontier' and although we may laugh at the naïveté of the 'Peace Corps' there is no doubt that in the idea of the civilised voluntarily putting their material prosperity to the service of the underdeveloped, Kennedy has found the remedy to the mortal sickness of the materially prosperous society. The irony of our situation in Britain is that our frontier need never have closed. When the 'White Man's Burden' ceased to be borne on a political level, with the evolution of the Commonwealth, it had scarcely begun to be assumed on the economic and scientific levels, within the framework of that Commonwealth. And unless we recover our sense of mission in these fields, the lack of purpose, the lethargy, the fratricidal strife of our sick society will go on - will go on until we turn outside ourselves. The need grows apparent, therefore, for us to recover something of the zest for life which the Elizabethans had, which even the Victorians had not lost whilst they retained some control of the monster of technology. There is a necessity to eat, drink and be merry 'for tomorrow we die' and it's no good pretending that we won't. But these things are only the superficial level of enjoyment: we must aspire to the higher enjoyment of the subjection of self in the service of others. And if we balk at the hazards of desert and tropical forest, of veldt and slum tenement, if we balk at the one spectre not yet laid by technical Man, Death itself, let us remember Montaigne, smiling at his follies in his tower of contentment, with enough experience behind him and enough soul within him to have the self-knowledge to say 'Some man hath lived long, that hath had a short life."

 

C.J.M.


 

 

No. 80 Summer, 1962

 

 


Editors: A. T. GABLE and C. J. MARTIN
Assistant editors: G. C.Casey, A. J. Moore. B. Hayhow,
and H. Morgan

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

EDITORIAL time again - dead-line, two weeks. Whom shall we indict this time? Scientists. culture-vultures, don't-cares? Whom shall we pour scorn on in these pages which few deign to glance at? Remember, only two weeks to think of all the butts, fourteen days to piece together the random notes stored in expectation of a glorious all-time moan at the wrongs of civilisation. Alternatively, how about a break with tradition? A cosy chat with our readers (probably only proof-readers) about magazine affairs, about the exhilarating existence of Monovian editors? Yes, let's cut the plaintive squeals, the vapid grievances - - skip them everyone else does! Instead, let's . . tell sad stories of the deaths of editors' reputations. Which is the better course: to plague the reader with ineffectual criticism, or to be content with comfortable trivialities? To recognise, or to ignore, priorities? The choice is not difficult: hinc illae lacrimae. How will future generations regard the technical advances of the fifties and sixties? Will they, as we do, deplore the vacuity of Western European ideas? Will they see beneath the veneer of purely scientific advancement and be appalled by the complacency of an age where a government which expends countless millions on aimless and unprofitable scientific ventures, continues to thrive? Will they (which we dare not) get to the root of the trouble and supply an answer? There is, after all, at least one to hand. Extract from A History of English Literature (pub. 1997): "By no means oblivious of this unreasonable, almost incredible bias in educational measures (they) were unable to restore the balance. Hence we find the foundation of a Cambridge college requiring seventy per cent science students. Of course, the happy medium was sought by such physicists as C. P. Snow (also spare-time author of a largely forgotten series 11 novels) who1 with his dogmatic ideas on the Two Cultures, neatly obscured the fallacy of the whole matter. What Snow and his brethren really claimed was that, far from there being a happy medium where extremes could meet, the non- scientific minds were really enjoying a parasitic existence living upon the leaders of social and world affairs." Of course, Snow is very happily situated - the ideal cultured scientist. But he is no more justified in speaking for his brothers in the case (not themselves famous literary men) than in berating a classics master for his ignorance of thermo- nuclear physics.  Where are today's great novelists? We haven't even got any distinguished poets; novelists are successful only if they can get their books dramatised: poets are still blinded by the eclipse of the Eliots and Audens; sculptors and painters rely largely on gimmicks. There is no scope for the talent of an L. P. Hartley or an Iris Murdoch, of a Ted Hughes or a Robert Graves. Their gifts are out of tune with present developments. The intellectual climate doesn't suit them. We are content to be dictated to by machines which masquerade as minds, are content to wallow in our prefabricated mental prophylaxis - - to avoid anything which makes demands on the intellect on original thought in non-scientific spheres. Indeed, we are starved of greatness, and 'fed' on the roughage of 'considerable talent'. We are paying the price of confusing our priorities. But we shall learn - by our mistakes. Thank heaven Tennyson wasn't beating his wings in a void when he said: 'Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change!'

 

A.T. GABLE

 

No. 81 December, 1962

 

Editors G. C. CASEY, A. T. GABLE, C. J. MARTIN, and A. 1. MOORE
Assistant Editors: B. HAYHOW and H. MORGAN.

Some of our readers may recall my predecessor's rcference to "The Two Cultures" in the Summer 1962 edition. I think it may not be impertinent, therefore, to take Sir C. P. Snow's theory one step further and apply it to the intellectual products of our grammar schools - the scientists and literary men of tomorrow. Basically, Snows contention is that there is an increasing separation of interests, which he believes to be dividing intellectual life in western society, and above all, in Britain - or, in a more concrete form, that the arts man and the scientist have no common interest or meeting point. Is Snow justified in this assumption? I believe he is, because it comes about as the natural result, of overspecialisation at an early age; and, furthermore, this overspecialisation is necessary if we are to keep abreast of the major developments in the fields of science and technology. It is a sad, but true, fact that education for education's sake is becoming secondary to the need for more and better scientists and more high-powered business executives. So complex has our world become, that we no longer find a good old-fashioned scientist. We find, instead, specialists in various fields, physicists. geo-physicists. bio-chemists, metallurgists and so on, all of whom rely on the findings of colleagues in other branches of scientia. Thus it is inevitable that the specialisation must begin in our schools if their products are to be of direct use to the universities or industries and it is precisely here that we find a complete paradox. The universities lament the fact that the undergraduates whom they receive arc far too narrow in outlook and that they come up fresh from school, knowing nothing but the three or four academic subjects which they have studied in their curriculum. Yet it is these same universities who determine and regulate the syllabuses which our schools are obliged to follow if matriculation and entrance requirements are to be satisfied. The result, therefore, particularly on the science side, is that sixth-formers are forced to rush through a massive syllabus, pre-determined by the universities, which they arc then often retaught during their first year of varsity life. In consequence, therefore, teaching staff find it simply impossible to provide our scientists with any form of general education, whatsoever. Efforts have been madc at this school to try to overcome this desperately serious problem of overspecialisation by the institution of general and circuit periods. I have made little reference as yet to the arts sixth, but their educational fare is just as limited. For the great majority of sixth form arts men '0' level maths, physics and chemistry were quite sufficient to satisfy their intellectual appetite as far as science was concerned. The question arises, therefore, whether we, as reasonably responsible students, should be allowed to adopt preferences in basic subjects at the tender age of sixteen. Ideally the Whole Man cannot be moulded satisfactorily by a basic education which incorporates some eight subjects and which is covered in a mere five years. Qualification is obviously necessary here. - the operative word and the most intransigent is 'idealy'. Idealism (and I maintain this without a hint of cynicism) is unfortunately almost defunct! In its place we have materialism and the struggle for superiority in science and technology. If we are to participate in this struggle, school curricula must be geared to the needs of the country, rather than the individual. For this reason, therefore. it can he seen that the products of our grammar and public schools will be forced to specialise at an early age to meet the tremendous demands which society is imposing on them. Until the quest for international supremacy ceases, specialisation will be the order of the day. A dispassionate study of the world situation brings me no immediate hope of reversal of the present order of affairs.

 

 

A.J.Moore


 

No. 82. Summer, 1963


Editors:G. C. Casey, A. J. MOORE, B. HAYHOW. and H. MORGAN.
Assistant Editors.: J. D. BEANSE and B. R. TENNISON.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

THE people of Europe and the Americas are becoming increasingly alarmed at the prospect of unemployment. Many are beginning to recall the black days of the depression which occurred in the 1920's with trembling. Even today, in the British Isles, unemployment figures have reached a new peak, and many people, especially in the North Country, are beginning to feel the effect of unemployment. What will unemployment mean? Hardship will undoubtedly result. There may be lack of food. Those items which were considered by our predecessors to be luxuries and are now considered to be necessities - the car, the television set, the washing machine (the list is unending) will no longer be within the means of many. Hire-purchase payments will not be paid. These will be hard times indeed. Let us think for a while of the millions of people in the world who have not had, and probably never will have, the chance of experiencing any of these "necessities ". I refer, of course, to refugees. A refugee may be one of millions who are homeless; one of the third of the world's population who are under-fed, under-clothed and under-privileged. There is no need for me to amplify their plight. The heart-rending and pathetic photographs published to illustrate the appeals of the " Freedom from Hunger" Campaign and others do that adequately. It is important to realise why the refugees are in the deplorable state that they find themselves. A careful analysis of the situation will reveal that man's greed, pride, selfishness and ignorance are the main contributory factors. Who then are these refugees? The Europeans who fled before Hitler in his demoniac lust for power; others who were victims of the armed conflict between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East; the Chinese fleeing from Mao-Tse-Tung's regime in China, who are making absolutely chaotic the already strained conditions in Hong Kong. These are but a few. The results of the appalling conditions and circumstances in which the refugee finds himself are legion. The refugee has no national heritage; he has no real purpose in being; he is unwanted and uncared for. A large percentage are illiterate and, as is often the case with the poor and uneducated, the birth-rate among them is high. Children are being brought into the world with no hope other than that of obtaining the most frugal existence, destined to remain nonentities - physical frames without personalities. It is universally agreed in theory, even if it is not carried out in practice, that the more fortunate members of the community, whether that fortune has come by chance or by honest endeavour, have a certain responsibility to those less fortunate. What then is our responsibility to the refugee, as a nation, as a school, or as rational, conscientious individuals? Are we to proclaim, as many do, that we are not the direct cause of their plight and can therefore accept no responsibility? Are we to dismiss the situation as a myth, a grossly exaggerated position, or a political gambit, and of no consequence? If we do, we are denying millions of people the fundamental human right of the opportunity to develop their personalities to the full. Can we allow this dreadful scourge of our civiisation to be perpetuated any longer?

G.Casey

 

 

No.83 December, 1963


Editors: G. C. CASEY, A. J. MOORE, B. HAYHOW, and H. MORGAN
Assistant Editors: I. D. BEANSE and B. R. TENNISON

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

On the 25th July, 1963, the peoples of this world gained a great victory. For on that day the representatives of the two major Powers, the United States of America and the United Soviet Socialist Republic,  together with the representative of Great Britain, met in Moscow, and agreed to a treaty banning all nuclear tests, except those held underground. Now this is a victory, for according to the Institute of Strategic Studies those three powers had been testing nuclear bombs at the rate of over five Hiroshima bombs a day, since the first atomic explosion; while reserves had been building up to such great proportions that Mr. Kruschev said that: "if all types of nuclear weapons were used, those who survived would envy the dead." To prevent these killer tests is surely a victory, for up to a few years ago such an agreement would never have been considered possible. Only relatively recently has the public become conscious of the great danger of these tests, and particularly of the fall-out which they produce. The attention of the world has been brought to this danger by the Cuba Crisis, when many considered an atomic war to be a distinct possibility. Here in Britain, the often criticised Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has, if nothing else, focused attention on the danger of the continuance of nuclear testing. Public feeling has thus been aroused; and in the Spiridonovka Palace in Moscow it triumphed over the political cold war, with the signing of the first major international agreement between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union since the Austrian Peace Treaty of 1955. But if we are to celebrate this victory, let us remember that it is only the first step along a very difficult road, but nevertheless it is a step worth celebrating. As Mr. Kennedy said: "All four nuclear Powers have a great obligation . . . to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, to persuade other countries not to test, transfer, acquire, possess, or produce such weapons. This treaty can be the opening wedge to that campaign."

H. Morgan.


 

 

No. 84 June, 1964

 

Editors: B. HAYHOW. H. MORGAN, J. D. BEANSE, R. C. BIGGS
Assistant editors: P. D. AVIS, P. J. THORNE

Without claiming any visionary powers, it would seem unlikely that a mere editor could envisage the state of our society a hundred years hence. Yet what can be determined. and which proves to be the paradox of our modern "affluent society", is the pattern of human behaviour since the beginning of the present century. The gradual reduction of physical hardship has met with the growth of an uneasy discontentment within the community. Homo Sapiens, adapting successfully to a changing environment for thousands of years, has reached the point of no return. At last he controls his own cosy ecological niche. Natural forces are replaced by consumer goods, the elements have given way to weather satellites and snow ploughs. It is unfortunate that emotion is responsible for what we are pleased to call our personality and character, since "logical" man has made intellect the only criterion for man's success. Yet he is bewildered by the complexities of his inventions and bored by the inertia which they force upon him. Unhappily, it seems that man's lot is always to be fighting a battle with his own discontentment, at a time when his store of tenacity is sorely tried by the age-old humbling blocks of fear and suspicion. It is all very well to cushion life with luxury, provided we never allow the artificial to become a reason for living; if we do, man will see his identity dissolve to a messy glue. If he tries to redeem his individualism by rebelling against a society he believes responsible for his lethargy, he may succeed in vomiting the pill - never the sugar coating. Protest is useful; there can be no doubt of this. But protest in excess is puny, for then it becomes not a specific grievance, but an expression of hopelessness. The physical discomforts imposed by his environment on Pithecanthropus are not as hopeless as the mental voids which accompany today's synthetic environment of slick sophistication. Heaven protect us from near-sighted intelligence! It is as easy to denigrate the rebel in "society", as it is hard to absolve those who seek expression for their boredom by belting into old ladies. Whichever side we take, comment is useless. Logical reasoning is foolish since emotions are not logical, nor can they be standardised. The truth of the matter is that so-called "protests" are losing their character and becoming commonplace. To relieve the monotonies and frustrations imposed upon us by the intellectual wizards in their ivory towers, we rebel. We rebel against the environment we created and so enact the ultimate stupidity. Every time mental stagnation is released in violence or disobedience we see the "civilised" man humiliate himself. We are protesting that our latent animal savagery prevents us from accepting the material advances provided by an intelligence uncluttered by a set of emotions which belong to the jungle. There are two courses open to us. We can gratify our emotional immaturity by trying to recapture the atmosphere of the early 1940s, with all their paraphernalia of sentiment and animal gregariousness, or, if our intelligence evolves still further, we may eventually achieve a "brave new world" of maximum efficiency and minimum sentiment. Only this is certain; on the one hand we cannot condone a regression of intellect nor can we become the passive instruments of Huxley's intellectual society. We must learn to compromise it is not enough for us to tolerate sociological advances and soak up their comforts like so many dead sponges; we must adapt. have we forgotten how to? Let us learn to adapt to the changes wrought by man, just as we once adapted to the changes enforced by nature. Perhaps by 2064 man will have wisdom enough to realise that sophistication is merely a symbol of man's intelligence, and that society, although formed emotionally, evolves by intellect and must not be overlooked by the very conditions it is able to generate. If man has this wisdom, then he will be on the threshold of a new era, free at last from the chattels of primeval animalism.


B.H.

 

No. 85 December 1964

 

Editors: I. D. BEANSE, R. L BIGGS, P. D. AVIS, P. J. THORNE
Assistant Edltors: D. STEWART, G. SWAN

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
During the last 200 years the old, traditional way of life and the craftsman system have been shattered, to be replaced by the loose-fitting fragments of the machine-age and the present day mass-society, with its consumer-goods; although something has been gained, something has been lost-perhaps irrevocably so. Standardisation, centralisation, impersonality, and all that they imply, are creeping into our lives. Spontaneity, friendship, warmth and those qualities necessary for the development of individuality and a sense of independent significance are on the ebb. We are becoming increasingly introspective, increasingly withdrawn into ourselves. In a mass-society, where the consumer is king, we are exhorted to increase production, or face stagnation and ruin. That our markets are nearing a saturation point is irrelevant; an increase in production and gross national wealth must be sustained at all costs. Never mind that the costs are measured in terms of an increasing birth rate and an immoral raping, and near exhaustion, of our planet's dwindling resources, landscape and beauty. The consumer is king, and to serve him we have installed a vast juggernaut of machinery, red-tape, factories and men. And yet, what can we do? We are all agreed that materially we are far better off than our grandparents. But should we judge a man, should we judge happiness, by material wealth alone? We are all agreed that we are more literate than our forbears. But is the sole purpose of education an understanding of the three R's, with a string of letters tagged onto our names to prove our competency? We can of course beat our heads against a wall of bureaucracy, or follow the mass-line of least resistance and greatest comfort. Quantity, rather than quality, is becoming the criterion for success in our society. However, we cannot condemn people for a lack of pride in their work and for their lack of respect of the community. It is not their fault that they have not enthusiastically accepted the factory system. They have been marshalled along under the guise of progress. The only difficulty is that progress once started cannot be stopped. No. There seems little that can be done. We are becoming a nation of individuals with no outlet for our individualism; a nation, for the most part, procuring progress for the sake of advance alone. We are advancing, undoubtedly, but whether we are advancing forward is another matter. But there is still hope. The "new morality" has led to a far greater questioning of accepted standards than used to be prevalent. To some extent matters of moral importance are becoming a decision for the conscience rather than for society to decide upon. Most important of all, our system of education has more or less escaped the advances progress has brought. It has been said that if you give me the child till he is seven, then I will give you the man. But education does not stop at seven. It is a continuous process, which manages to distil over, even into adult life. In our schools there still exists a feeling of pride in work; the school still commands the respect which the family is losing. it is still a close-knit, personal society. But for how long will it remain so? Already the tendency towards larger, and hence more efficient, units is apparent. Already the greater fairness and better equality of opportunity that must be present in a larger community-or so the argument goes-is being emphasised. The case for comprehensive schooling, however, has not yet been proved; it is still in its experimental stage. We should, therefore, be wary of the efforts being made to impose this system upon us. The present tripartite system is by no means perfect, particularly in the second-rate teaching that is sometimes present in secondary-modern schools, but who can yet say that comprehensive schooling will be any better? Certainly, it may turn out its products more efficiently and in greater quantities, but something must be sacrificed to obtain this result. Only time will tell whether or not it is just the same end satisfying another means.

R.L.Biggs.


 

 

 

No. 86 July 1965

 


Editors: J. D. BEANSE, R. L. BIGOS, P. D. AVIS, P. J. THORNE
Assistant Editors: D. STEWART, O. SWAN

 

"Our Father by whose servant....."
Though in theory only a unit in the country's educational system, a school is much more than a building where young people of a certain age range are taught academic subjects with a view to obtaining examination successes, A grammar school, in particular, has its own history and traditions, and often its own character and atmosphere too. In the daily life of the school, this heritage may easily be overlooked or forgotten, but our own school is particularly well endowed in this respect. The badge and motto, the names of the houses give but an indication of the school's long history since its founding in 1527. Each year we commemorate the founding of the school on "Founder's Day", and every function within the school which has become a regular feature of school life, from the Allpass Verse-Speaking Festival to the Christmas Rag Concert is an example of the traditions at Monoux. The implications of the heritage of a school extend much further. We speak of "the good name of the school" and of "the Monoux family". On our first day at the school we were charged with the personal responsibility of upholding the school's good name; and we are urged to consider ourselves members of the Monoux family, a much larger community which includes old boys, staff past and present, and all intimately connected with the school in any way. Yet the centre and the most important part of the family is the present school, of which we are privileged to be members. I used above the word "community", and our school might well be described as a community to which we belong, and to which we owe therefore duty and allegiance. It is a pity that in a school of our kind, duty and allegiance have to be preached to us so often, instead of their being our natural response as members. The article, "Apathy at Monoux?', published in the last edition of the magazine, provided a most needed exposure of the sad effects of a malady which too often appears to take a hold on us. It is not very easy to trace the root of this malady, for, in spite of the assertions to the contrary of some, I do not find that enthusiasm, co-operation and cheerfulness are lacking in our school. I feel bound to remark, however, that a healthy spirit can frequently be observed more readily in the lower school, and that if the upper school were to awake to its responsibility in setting a stirring example, there would be no place for even accusations of a spirit of apathy, let alone its presence. It is as well to remind ourselves of the heritage and traditions we have inherited as members of the school, and of the name we have to uphold. If the Monoux of today appears to us to fall short of the standards these imply, it is perhaps because we are not prepared to give as much as we have been ready to take. Perhaps too often we underestimate our privilege in being members of the family of Monoux.

JD Beanse.

 

 

 

No. 87 December 1965

 


Editors: J. D. BEANSE, P. J. THORNE. G. SWAN

 

A national daily newspaper recently carried a quiz designed to test the degree to which its readers were "with-it" (or whatever is the current phrase used to describe a state of being in the forefront of fashion), and it appeared. from the quiz, that nowadays those people who go for the "conventional" things in life are thought of, not as narrow-minded traditionalists, but as individualists.. The argument here, presumably, is that so many people are now influenced by the desire to be in fashion that those people who ignore fashion are the odd ones out. Apparently, so many parents now burden their children with exotic names that to christen one's child "John" is a very offbeat thing to do. The father who spends his off duty hours attired in ancient shirt and flannel bags is becoming a rarer animal: parents, egged on by their fashion conscious children, are smartening-up. The situation has thus completely reversed from that of, say, ten years ago, when only a minority of the population could afford to follow fashion. Now, the tremendous increase in the general level of wages has made it possible for almost everyone to wear the latest clothes, and do the latest things. and it is only a minority (commonly called "rebels") who have the strength of character to act and dress, not as someone else wants them to. but as they themselves want to. Incidentally, I am using the word "fashion" in its broadest sense: my dictionary defines fashion as 'a prevailing custom, manner, or appearance'. Fashionable may therefore be taken as being roughly synonymous with "conventional", which is defined as "customary, not spontaneous". Now it is obvious that everyone has a right to do those things which give him most pleasure, provided that no one else is harmed in the process. And if girls obtain pleasure from wearing anoraks and carrying transistor radios wherever they go. then they are quite entitled to go on doing so. But surely there is more pleasure to be obtained from following one's own desires than from following those of other people. It is certainly true that many conventions are extremely sound: thc nonconformist would not he advised to drive on the right-hand side of the road in Britain. But it is ridiculous that no candidate has a chance of gaining admission to a university unless lie attends his interview wearing a suit and tie, and with his hair cut short. In any case, his appearance after the interview is not likely to bear much resemblance to his appearance at the interview, hut quite apart from that the best candidates are not neces~ari1y those who wear the smartest suits and the shortest hair. What it boils down to is that the interview board are rejecting all those who have different tastes in dress and hairstyles to their own, and this is surely wrong, for who is to say which school of thought has the correct view ? The trouble is that it is largely the conventionalists who have the power to sack or expel: it is consequently those who reject conformity who suffer the most. Fortunately for the world as a whole, the attempts of society to crush every individual into "glorious conformity" are not always successful. History books are littered with the names of men and women who thought things out for themselves in such fields as science and philosophy, rather than blindly accepting the prevailing ideas of their times. Sometimes, of course, conventions are ignored. not necessarily because they are disliked in themselves, but as a protest against existing standards. The result, however, is still the same-progress. rather than stagnation, which is the inevitable result of general conformity.


P.J. Thorne, VI 3M.


 

No. 88 Summer 1966

 


Editor: G. A. SWAN

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
The day of June 11th saw one of the most important events in the recent history of the school take place. With the opening of the Swimming Pool a new era has commenced at Monoux. It means that no longer do first and second formers have a fifteen minute walk up to the Technical College baths for a swimming lesson, and that all the school can take advantage of the pool. What else has the opening of the pool meant to the life of the school? In the future its use as an added facility for the school is quite plainly seen, because as well as swimming, new activities such as canoeing can be taught. In the past, however, it has meant five years of very hard work for all sections of the Monoux Family, and even before its construction had started, the pool had been a part of school life. It has seemed that any event held in the school has been held in aid of the Swimming Pool Fund, and even though there has been a great amount of effort at all times, it has, sometimes, appeared that the building of the pool was receding further rather than approaching. The pool had meant more than the basic fact that we would be able to have unlimited swimming. It meant that when the big plunge was taken five years ago to go ahead with plans to build a pool, a goal had been set, and with this in front of everybody, it has led to the completion of it. Many of the people in the upper school who have worked hard for it will never be able to have the use of the pool. This has already happened with the building of the Pavilion, because many of the boys who put effort into that have never used it. Therefore it could be considered that the boys that have had use of this but not of the pool were, in their effort for the pool, repaying previous Monovians for the use of the Pavilion. All the work that has been done for the pool has been done without any thought of self, and the realisation that they were doing it for the good of the school was the only reason they needed for helping. With the great amount of destruction today, it is difficult to see man's aim to better himself and his conditions but, albeit on a small scale, the Monoux Family over the past five years have striven to do just that, and they have succeeded against odds, which at first might have seemed, to some people, too great. In an effort such as this basic human responsibilities have been felt at Monoux. The major one is that of bettering one's conditions, and this has now been done here. Just as in a family it is not only the present generation that is thought of, so in the Monoux Family the future generations are being considered. All the work put into the raising of money and such projects as building the filter house have been done with a completely unselfish outlook, and ingenuity has had to be employed to think of new ways to obtain money. Also because of the great effort required in a venture such as this, the Monoux Family has been strengthened, each part becoming more reliant on the others, and thus becoming a closer knit body. This knitting together has also brought the Drapers Company into even closer association with the school after its extremely generous gift to the fund. The opening of the pool therefore is an event which should be a proud occasion and one of self-congratulation to all members of the Family

G. A. Swan

 

No. 89 Winter 1966

 


Editor: G. A. SWAN

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
Snobs! This is what the Minister for Education and Science recently implied about the grammar school pupils. This kind of generalisation is exceptionally dangerous to make, as welt as the fact that the word snob has many different meanings to different people. The one general impression that it leaves on most people is one of unpleasantness. It is one of the most important things in life that one must avoid; one can become socially better than someone else, but on no account must one become a snob. The Minister's exact words were "We know that the grammar schools do inculcate into their pupils the moral altitude that encourages snobbery?' Never in my seven years at this school has anyone ever even suggested that as a pupil here I was better than someone who went to a non-grammar school. The suggestion of snobbishness does not come from within the school, but from outside sources. Parents whose children have reached the age of eleven place far too much emphasis on what the neighbours will say when their child goes to a certain school. The selection at this age is to give the form of education that will best suit the particular child. It is not out to make a child feel socially inferior. The only thought that should be in parents' minds when they make the selection, of schools that they would like their child to go to, is what school will give their child the best education. This does not always mean that this will be the school with the best name locally. On the first day of the new school year the first formers are told, and the rest of the school reminded, that they have in their possession the good name of the school, and that their deeds and actions will reflect upon this good name. This is where the word pride has to take the fore. It is the sense of pride that one has in the school and its academic and sporting achievements that is the important thing. Unfortunately, this sense of pride can be interpreted as snobbery when viewed by an outsider. If a person is not proud of his school, there must be something radically wrong with either the child or the schools, with our school I can say without any shadow of doubt, that the wrong would lie with the child. To summarise what the Head master said on Speech Day, it is not the moral attitudes that encourage snobbery that are inculcated into us, but the attitudes that encourage the condemnation of the cheap, the nasty and the shoddy, whether of morality, courtesy, graciousness, sportsmanship or learning, and those in public lire who accept low standards, or by their silence condone them. I find it very difficult to understand why this sense of pride is changed into one of snobbery. However, in the eyes of certain politicians, snobbery is equated with grammar schools, and thus since snobbery is to be condemned, so too are the grammar schools. At the same time the Minister did not wish to say anything against the academic achievements of the grammar school. Snobbery is what is thought by some people to accompany the good academic records of this type of school, then it must be considered as one of those unfortunate secondary factors, comparable with the fact that radiation is a by-product of an atomic reaction. If as he said, he wishes to extend "the conditions of the grammar schools to the benefit of the many who have been previously denied these privileges." they cannot be considered a bad thing. As long as the school continues to achieve its high academic record, and attainment in sport, as well at teaching its pupils the highest moral values, the problem of the "side effects" must be considered of little import.

Graham A. Swan


 

No. 90 Summer 1967

 

 

Editors: G. A. SWAN, C. C. POND
Sub-Editors:
School Notes-S. J. BREAME School Visits-T. W. HUTCHINGS

School Societies-D. GILMORE

Sports Section-A. D. CLARK, R. MANN Literary Section-C. C. POND

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

Change, it would seem, is the only constancy of our time; a paradox one might say, but nonetheless true. Change, provoked not only by the forces of circumstance, but the result of the labour of vast numbers of planners, or perhaps, the fulfilment of mere wild hope, affects all of our lives to an unprecedented degree. it is, seemingly, always for the good. and never regressive. We are given the impression that reaction is always evil, that there is some great inherent virtue in making changes and innovations, despite the very valid evidence of tradition and experience. We of the generation which has grown up under the uneasy peace of the 'fifties know of change only as a word. We have no first-hand knowledge of the period before that decade, and therefore can have no means of adjudging the violence of the effects of the changes that characterised those years. Yet we have lived through a time which has seen momentous upsurges of the previously-accepted order, on a world basis, nationally and to the personal lives of us all. Evolution rather than revolution has been typical of our time but evolution is by no means the less potent agent of change. Our lifetimes have contained the appearance of nations, cast from the still firmly-established colonial order of fifteen years ago. A new great power, in the form of China, has risen to prominence. Europe, so long dominant in world affairs, has diminished in importance to the status of "having certain aspects of its security" discussed by an American and an Asian power at a Summit Conference. The Britain of today differs radically from that even I can remember. We dispensed with ration-books, identity-cards and clothing-coupons. We entered a period of affluence, to use the description of the times. We magnanimously gave our colonies their independence. Affluence merged into national impecuniosity, The rest of our colonies took their independence, perhaps rather more with malevolence than in servile gratitude. And why shall I remember the 'fifties and early 'sixties? The first two decades of one's life are always reckoned to be the most formative, and thus, in common with most others, I shall remember childhood becoming gradually replaced under the mass of problems that could be no longer accepted without question, or glossed-over in blind trust. I shall remember the long years at school, perhaps with nostalgia, perhaps with mild contempt for my own personality at that time. I shall remember. That is certain. Whether I shall regret, approve or remain indifferent to the changes that will have altered my life, and my environment-only the future can tell. Wild progressivism may be my attitude, or just as  likely, total reaction. But whatever one's standpoint, change must be accepted. A Russian says "Why not ?" while the British ask "Why ?" we are told. But on occasions and this decade is one of them-this attitude is not the mood of the vast majority. It seems as if the British public, having gained a standard in a particular field by one means has now decided to seek to improve it by another. It is therefore pointless to resist planned change when it is so considerable a part of the pattern of things, and when the overwhelming mood of the many is inclined to search for betterment in the unknown. So, the individual must if his views do not happen to concur with those of that majority, adapt to that which is inevitable. There is little room for continued resistance or to merely sustain the injury to the pride of one's own philosophy by sulking petulantly and bemoaning the harshness of fate. Internationally, it is useless to think that Britain's former status of an Imperial power will ever return. We cannot hope to witness the decline of the new powers, as events stand. In years to come, membership of, and perhaps union with, the Common Market will be accepted just as the concept of the United Kingdom is now. Impending internal reforms - decimal currency, criminal justice, law amendment, revision of county boundaries, the law on abortion-may seen unnecessary, inappropriate or otherwise distasteful now. But they are, in their context, much less revolutionary than many that are now accepted as a normal part of life. They will change the pattern of life of the nation to an extent, but their effect will not be drastic. And we must not ourselves forget that changes must take place. We have twelve months before a semi-comprehensive educational system replaces that we have known. We must use these months, not in remembering our past pride and achievement, but in preparation for what is to come, It must be the duty of every Monovian-from the First Former to the School Captain, to ensure that the transition is effected as efficiently and dispassionately as possible. Given this co-operation due to it, the new system will not fail. Just as in the nineteenth century, the school was reorganised for boys only, just as in this century, it accepted the rule of the County authorities, in place of its previously-independent status, just as it developed from a village school in one room to an urban establishment in a dozen acres, so will its spirit, its traditions and its standards accept this change-a change which is much less radical than George Monoux's original decision, four hundred and forty years ago, to provide for the education of the children of Walthamstow-itself an innovation, which, after all, was the start of it all. Why, therefore, must we be bound to distrust change . . .?

C.C.P.

 

 

No. 91 WINTER 1967

 

 

Editor: C. C. POND Sub-Editors : School Notes-S. J. BREAME School Visits-T. W. HUTCHINGS School Societies-D. GIL'MORE Sports

Section-A. D. CLARK, R. MANN Literary Section-C. C. POND
SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
The Sixth Form, most would agree, provides a very different sort of education from the lower school. Especially, I think, at Monoux, enthusiasm replaces a certain apathy, choice succeeds compulsion, and the relationship between master and pupil develops into more of a fellowship than the "superior-subordinate" position which is adhered to strongly, at least from the pupil's point of view, in the first three or four years. Our Sixth Form attitudes and traditions, whilst giving rise upon rare occasions to petty incidents, on the whole produce re-sponsible and mature young men, and provide a good introduction to the next step, which for the many is University or College, and, for a diminishing number, employment. The size of the majority which does progress to full-time further education is an effective proof of the School's high academic standards. Yet I think the way in which these results are attained gives rise to some concern within the Sixth. The problem is "specialisation"; not merely the segregation of "Arts" and "Sciences", which remains very apparent, but the almost apathetic attitude with which subjects other than one's own are generally viewed. On the Arts side, the groups of subjects most often taken fall into three categories: languages; economics, geography, history; and literature, art, music. The numbers taking an admixture of the three is reasonably large, but almost certainly two subjects for these people will be in one group and constitute their main interest, and the other in a different one. This "third subject" is very often regarded as definitely subordinate. Moreover, in languages, one not rarely hears the comment, "Oh, I'm not interested in the literature. You have to read it to pass the exams". And this comes from so-called "specialists" and even from those who are contemplating reading languages at Oxford or Cambridge. This state of affairs is coupled with a widespread indifference to matters of more general and even practical interest. Politics usually form a topic in which most have some interest, yet even here there are those who cannot "be bothered". I am sure the majority of the Sixth do not read an intelligent newspaper, nor at all widely outside their particular subjects. The lack of general knowledge is very noticeable. I was asked a few days ago, "What is the postal district of Leyton?" and this from someone who has spent every one of his eighteen years not two miles from that town. If that is the sort of uninterest that prevails, is it any won-der that the attitude to General Studies, which are meant to broaden the Sixth Form outlook, is so cold? Time and time again one hears the familiar comments, "What has Anglo-Saxon poetry for me ? I'm a biologist." "Computers? I'm going to spend the next five years reading English." "Why do I need the history of world religions? I'm an economist, and an atheist besides." And there is some point to this argument. There is very little purpose in going through "Beowulf" if the class has never heard of Shelley or Chaucer or Eliot, and in computer -programming if one failed O-level mathematics. General Studies would, I think, be of infinitely greater value if the tendency to impart thirteen weeks of specialist knowledge in a confined field were replaced by one of broader scope. The greater comparative success of Psychology, which covers many studies, than of the Sumerian civilisation, which is restricted, is an indication of this. But no amount of general work in the Sixth will rectify the shortcomings of the system. A scientist can reach the Lower Sixth and never have been introduced to a Shakespeare play, an "artist" without encountering the mild logical discipline inherent in even lower-school physics or chemistry. He may have chosen the wrong language in the First Form, may have dropped the wrong subject at the end of the Third, and may have lost immeasurably as a result. I wonder if the French do not have something to teach us, with their more flexible system. Yet every year the requirements of employers and universities become more stringent, more specialised, and more narrow in outlook. The situation is becoming worse. It is a forlorn hope to imagine that liberality and univer-sality will reappear in our curricula, when this is considered. We shall continue to produce highly-trained specialists: to this we must become reconciled. The world has reached a stage when narrowness is inevitable. Yet I think that this inward turning must eventually have its reaction, and when it does it will be essentially personal and not imposed from outside. We should not forget that the School includes voluntary societies where indi-viduals quench their enthusiastic thirst in topics ranging from stamp-collecting to the Investigation of Ferroequenological An-tiquity. The narrowness of the curricula will tend to expand this enthusiasm into something of real value. Eventually, I am sure, the numbers of students who try to embrace a wider philosophy will increase. Already, or, para- doxically, I might say, still-there exists a small number, even in the detail-infested realms of Advanced Level constriction. Let us encourage wide and general reading, in literature, science and the intermediary subjects, right up to the Fifth; make the valuable library-work topics less specialised, and ensure that nobody comes into the Sixth without at least a skeleton knowledge of every sub-ject. And if this encourages the individual to broaden his outlook, might not education become again a "drawing-out"-and a prep-aration for the purposes of life. In the Hellenist and Renaissance fashion, could not knowledge become wisdom, by preserving spec-ialist knowledge, but at the same time, and no less importantly, by fostering a general philosophy? It is, I think, the only way we shall dispel the bitter, arrogant insularity which is so much a factor of modern life.

C.C.C.P.


 

No. 92 SUMMER 1968

 


 

Editor: IAN BARNET
Sub-Editors:
School Notes-PS V. LEACH Society Notices-G. M. CARPENTER Sports Section-A. BERRIMAN Literary Section-D. BOOTLE

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

It is, I imagine, inevitable that the job of supervising the School magazine and writing an Editorial for it should fall to a member of the Arts Sixth. Besides conforming with the general notion that scientists, despite Use of English, still emerge semiliterate from their school education; a notion, I would hasten to add, that is substantially false, it allows at least one Arts student to put his studies to some practical use. Perhaps if I take this opportunity to discuss generally the role of the artist in society, I will be excused by my scientist colleagues. With the advent of the modern commercial and materialist state the standards by which artistic values are judged have changed radically. The present day debate over the advisability of government subsidies to the Arts in this country is an indication of this: if it costs money and produces none in return, then it is not an investment that can be considered sane or safe. This appears to be the maxim. The never-ending battle between the Sunday papers and some of the more working-class dailies over the grants to the Arts Council proves the existence of a strong body of opinion that refuses to help subsidise art for the enjoyment of a small minority. It is unfortunate that the appreciation of art has indeed become the preserve of a minority in our society today. For its existence, art relies upon communication, and where its audience dwindles it will surely fade too. Although the audience for established music remains comparatively large there is still a tendency for anything later than Debussy to be treated with the utmost suspicion and for Webern, Bartok and Schoenberg amongst others to be condemned by reputation alone amongst the majority. It would be foolish to pretend that the audience for poetry, particularly of the moment, is larger than a section of the under-thirties, or that modern art is taken seriously by any but a few. Television, the universal hallucogenic, has taken away a large section of the theatre's potential patrons; although it is true that reputable productions rarely lack good attendances, theatres hold a very small section of the community indeed and the notion of art for the whole people, not as a piece of Socialist ethics, but as a fundamental of life appears to be quite extinct. In a mass, materialistic society, the only effective way of restoring art and giving it the relevance to contemporary life it so badly needs is by transferring it to the mass media, television, radio or record. During the last few years a minor revolution has taken place within the realms of "pop" music and the activities of the Underground have succeeded in breaking the shackles of commercialism and expressing some of the feelings that motivate modern society in a manner relevant to it. As a result, standards have tended to rise. It would be untrue to suggest that there is no longer a very strong element of commercialism behind the record industry, naturally there is, but the influence of the music of other cultures together with the natural maturing of the "originals" has produced a music, a sub-culture almost, concerned with life and its purpose that has attracted those who were despairing of such considerations ever reaching a substantial number of people. In poetry, too, there is a sense of revival; many would decry the Beat Poets and many more the Liverpool Group, but it cannot be denied that more interest is being generated in the new poetry than before. In the visual arts the activities of Warhol and his group remain accessible, indeed comprehensible to the select few, but the recent craze for the appallingly named "Psychedelia" and light shows, as well as the rise in the sale of posters that offer a dazzling association of line and colour, are symptoms of a growing demand for a closer integration of visual art and life. The problem that remains is that the burst of popular culture in the middle 1960s has taken place amongst the young, the themes that it deals with concern the attitude of a young mind to life and those who create and present it are generally held in contempt by the older element. Different generations with outlooks upon life that their differing experiences have all helped to forge make different demands on life and react to it in ways that are incomprehensible to outsiders. There is suspicion of the young and mistrust because they question the standards their elders have fought hard to uphold, and in their cynical, almost insolent outlook, they seem to want to wage war upon those who have brought them up. If there is to be a reconciliation between art and our modern lives, it must come at all levels of society and be confined to no particular group, social or ethnic. The artist is fundamentally an individual similar in physical and psychological structure to all those around him, yet differing in one respect: his reactions to his emotions and to the environment he finds himself in are sufficiently strong to seek expression. In Classical society the artist was revered and elevated; largely as a result of the Romantic movement. The mystique around the process of artistic creation still persists. An artist is not someone to be set apart and considered as outside the real experience of life, on the contrary, he is to be accepted as fulfilling a function within society as vital, but as normal as the most menial of operatives. Poems are not pieces of delicate writing that are to be considered as entities for a period and then forgotten; music is not a succession of sounds to be appreciated and then cast aside; visual art is not an attractive arrangement of pattern and colour to provoke idle conversation for an hour or two. In a materialistically minded society such as ours we cannot afford to allow the role of art to become merely that of a pleasant. but rather irrelevant, entertainment. Art entertains, this is undeniable, but it does more than this. A society may amass great wealth, it may conquer the moon, it may pierce the deepest mysteries of the origins of life hut unless it uses its artists as living vital interpreters of its own relationship to its natural environment, its own reaction to the world it is obliged to live in, it own internal relationships, its own personal set of aspirations, it will remain fundamentally deficient. The movement towards self-expression amongst the young has been given a bad reputation by those who prefer to take an easier way to Nirvana, via drugs. The initiative has to come from those of our generation and if we could end the prejudices that our elders by instinct bear towards us the struggle would be half-won. Whilst youth remains outside society, its art cannot benefit the whole, rebelling will achieve nothing, yet integration will be difficult: to restore art to its proper position in our materialist society will require a minor miracle. Meanwhile, we can only ensure that the standards by which we judge art remain high enough to escape general condemnation and try to bridge "the space between us all".

Ian Barnett.

 

 

No. 93 Winter 1968

Editor: IAN BARNETT
Sub-Editors:
Society Notices-C. M. CARPENTER
Sports Section-A. BERRIMAN Literary Section- BOOTLE

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

Towards Revolution?
A letter which appeared in the November 15th issue of "International Times" nicely points the fundamental conflict of ideas within the thinking, idealistic young, at the end of a violent and confusing year: "Peace and love are just the dream worlds of a tender mind while our society is kept in its state of competitive and acquisitive barbarism . . . we have to change the society that's messing everyone up . . . this involves a Revolution. The question of violence is not in our hands; if you are prepared to effect this kind of change you must be prepared to defend yourself from the backlash of those with vested interests in exploitation, authoritarian structures, injustice, inequality and controlled ignorance". In 1967, with its love-ins, its Haight-Ashburys, its gospel of love and universal warmth, such a message would have been quite inconceivable. It is clear that the events of 1968 have brought into the open a new breed of forceful, articulate and violent revolutionaries who are prepared to actively change the society they condemn rather than follow what they consider to be an irrelevant course towards peace, love and self-realisation. For it has been a momentous year. From France in the spring to Mexico in the autumn students have stood in opposition to the established forces of authority and it is now quite clear that any educational grievances merely provided an easy initial outlet for far more radical and wide-sweeping views on the nature of society itself. The Western democracies are merely repressive autocracies masquerading as free societies; they argue. Liberty of the individual is suppressed by totalitarian regimes in countries where the constitution has finally broken down and abandoned its democratic principles. Their Marxist leanings urge them to point out the exploitation of the many by the few to the ultimate disadvantage of all. In France the alliance between students and workers seen in May, although short lived, was hailed as the precursor of the new Socialist Revolution. Everywhere, democracy has failed. In France, where even the most Conservative observer could hardly describe the Gaullist regime as anything less than Fascist; in America, where the backstage political manoeuverings at the Democratic Convention brought the real issues to light and showed the Chicago police at least in their true colours; in Mexico, where the fifty years cycle of revolution seems to be repeating itself yet again, and even in Britain, where the sense of frustration at a government that relentlessly pursues policies directly contrary to the wishes of much of the electorate has led more to a total loss of interest in politics than to any militant campaigns for action; we have our national character to blame for that. Even the severest critics of the militants would acknowledge the fundamental injustices that are features of the society we live in. A country that is prepared to court its own economic ruin in order to maintain a distant military campaign unpopular amongst its own people and becoming increasingly less justifiable to the world at large, for a principle which it has taken to be honourable, is at fault. Any society that can offer a racialist its foremost office of power and support him on a platform of universal hatred. violence and separation, is essentially corrupt. A government that can spend heavily on defence and leave insufficient money for the execution of educational reform it feels bound to implement, if only for the sake of Socialism, or fail to adequately house its indigenous population, is following an inexcusable policy. There is no doubt that a very real case for Reform exists. Yet it is extremely unlikely that the militants offer the solutions. They draw parallels between 1968 and 1789, without realising that the French Revolution actually began in the hands of the aristocracy and was continued by the middle-classes: it was not a working-class revolt against the misuse of absolutist power by the monarchy. They talk of Russia without appreciating the state of the nation in 1917, defeated and humiliated at war, crying out for food, or the nature of the Bolshevik coup, which ushered in the new regime before the mass of the population knew Tzardoni had even collapsed. They are well-versed in Marxist theory, yet not even their most articulate spokesmen can suggest what they hope to replace the overthrown society with. Indeed they categorically refuse to be drawn into discussion of the subject, events must take their course, we are told, whatever emerges will be better than what is destroyed. Presumably a Communist absolutism in Russia is preferable to a Tsarist, although the distinction seems ridiculously fine and the condition of the people of the country, taking into account natural social evolution, probably little changed. Unless the extremists win the support of a majority of the people, they will merely replace the system they oppose with a new system opposed by a large proportion of the nation: they will be obliged to impose their divine, idealistic revolution by force and ultimately to create an absolutism very similar to the one they destroyed. If they are sincerely concerned about the society in which they live, they must be sure they are acting on behalf of those who will make up the society they propose to establish in its place. The only alternative is wholesale elimination of opposition and the ironic transformation of the fervour of revolutionary Marxism into the cold, sober realism of military Fascism. If a system is not accepted by the majority, its success relies upon its being imposed by sheer force. This is the intractable problem that defeats cries for militant revolution and indeed means that such violence will never achieve anything. Since there are those still who hold faith with the view that the sanctity of human life is worth more than political dogma on a purely ethical plane, it is doubly certain that, defeated practically and doubted morally, violence cannot hope for permanent success. Force perpetuates itself by force, and the regime that establishes itself violently must be prepared to defend itself from future attack. War is a spiral that never ceases to grow, militancy is a policy that never offers an end to struggle. The only hope is for further violence, the only certainty is the destruction of human beings en route. The alternative is constitutionalism, a process that has operated in Britain for 300 years; yet today, this must scarcely seem a viable policy at all, when the channels for constitutional reform are clogged and the governments are operated by forces that would stand opposed to such changes in society. But all regimes come to an end: de Gaulle must die; there must be a General Election eventually and some alterations must be wrought. Obviously the whole solution does not lie there; pressure must be brought to bear for the reforms that are so necessary, but violence will earn for the vociferous minority the contempt of the majority whose support they need if they are to be at all successful. Would the intractable government still persist in ignoring the wishes of its people if an alliance of middle-class, students and workers managed to stage some kind of co-ordinated activity, a general strike for instance? Could any Western regime still maintain its authority faced with the mass insubordination of all its people? It is all too easy for a government to condemn and put down the actions of a few if the many remain uninvolved, but less simple to apply force to an entire population. These are all necessarily vague solutions to the problems that must be tackled: the only certainty is that violence will succeed only in replacing one dictatorship with another and alienating a large section of the population in the process. It is easy to see how the Hippie movement has earned the contempt of those who feel involved in the fate of society at large. However pleasant it is to make love quite freely, take drugs quite liberally and generally practise universal benevolence within a restricted, enclosed environment such as Haight-Ashbury undeniably was, it is essentially unhelpful and impractical to "drop out". If the entire population followed suit, the same social tensions would appear within the new society and if a large proportion chose to remain as they were, the Hippies would still be faced with a cold, inhospitable world outside their fantasy lives, a world they would eventually be obliged to return to, or die, having altered nothing. It is so terribly easy to shut oneself off from the world; religious devouts have been doing it for centuries, but it is all so terribly unhelpful. The Hippies despise the society they have been born into but are prepared to do nothing towards making it more  acceptable, preferring to leave it slowly stagnating while they trip off happily to their communal beds. This is no fault of their philosophy, rather a defect in the implementation of it. For the Hippies have contributed much that is of real and permanent value to modern society. Out of the uneasy tensions of a world brooding over two devastating wars and the everlasting prospects of a third they have moulded the first real twentieth century philosophy of life, calling upon many religious concepts and a deep sense of the innate dignity of the individual as their precedents. "Love" in its widest sense is the most valued, the most precious human emotion, and although it may sometimes include bizarre sexual experimentation, it also embraces religious ideas of universal brotherhood and international fraternity. "Peace" is the ultimate aim of all, government and people, peace to live, think and act freely, peace simply to "be". There are vague suggestions that the pursuit of material gain is somehow less relevant than the achievement of personal serenity, and many concepts of Eastern mysticism are brought into the very unspiritual world of the West. Violence is rejected completely as something alien to the human personality; pacifism becomes a fervent principle, not a belief that can sometimes be swayed, but a passionate creed to be applied under all circumstances. All this is remarkable from a generation nurtured on codes of violence and force and represents an idealised, but infinitely desirable approach to life. There will be love and friendship in the world, existing alongside respect for the individual: "Men may blend, but still be what they are".
In their art too the Hippies have contributed much. The search for perception has been a recurrent theme in world literature: Timothy Leary stands in a long line of distinguished drug takers. Attempts to expand consciousness by means of hallucenogenics have not always been successful, but music particularly has moved closer towards an expression of the feelings of the society it takes its being from. It is unfortunate that many of the leaders in this field last year have been proved less artistically involved in the search for relevance than at first appeared, and it is difficult to name more than a few who have not returned sheepishly to the crude, vulgar and unintelligible mires from whence they came. Neither the Hippies nor the student militants provide all the answers. "Dropping out" solves as little as inciting violent revolution even though it causes less suffering. It is the philosophy of the Underground, voiced a little pretentiously by IT and its fellows, that has more to offer than the rather predictable Marxism uttered by Tariq Ali and his associates. To destroy a social structure without any real idea of what to replace it with is as useless as being permanently under the influence of LSD and unable to think coherently at all. In such a confrontation of equally impotent extremes, each party has something to offer to the other, something to give and something to learn. The Hippies can teach love, pacifism and the realisation of self as the chief aims of the individual; the student can demand that these qualities are taken out into the world and used for the betterment of all, for we could all benefit from them. The wisdom of experience has proved illusory, the young can teach society how to organise itself in a better way, provided they set about it in the correct manner. Do not withdraw and earn the scorn of those whose support is needed: do not react with violence and alienate the mass of the population. Rather teach the world that it needs reform, reform that will have to take place constitutionally, prove to it that "peace" and "love" are not simply convenient platitudes behind which to hide from reality. Until we can achieve this within our own generation, it is foolish to hope to have any sound basis from which to dictate terms to society as a whole. The key lies in ourselves: "And the time will come when you see we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you".

Ian Barnett, 6ii


 

 

No. 94 Summer 1969

 

 

Editor: IAN BARNETT
Sub-Editors:
Society Notices-G. M. CARPENTER
Sports Section-A. BERRIMAN Literary Section-D. BOOTLE
27 July 1969

PER ARDUA AD ASTRA

This week thoughts have very definitely been celestial. Those who endured a sleepless weekend will find certain images permanently engraved on the memory: the tension of the lunar touchdown, the long preparation for the moonwalk. the two astronauts cavorting clumsily over an alien planet. Man's first tentative steps on another world resembled uncannily the prophecies of countless science-fiction epics, yet the sense of actuality, of the events being real and instantaneous never vanished, aided perhaps by the Americans' almost obsessive preoccupation with being prosaic. It was probably the first occasion which carried a sense of the historic, without the mass media needing to convince their audience that it was. Perhaps because Aldrin and Armstrong were not poets, the mission seemed inevitable, fated to succeed and never unreal. Yet there remained a sense of awe; actually being presented with television pictures "live from the moon" would move all but the really cynical. The entire venture stands as a tribute, not only to the American programme and the achievements of its technology, nor to the courage and cool-mindedness of the three pioneers themselves, but also to the superb world communications that allowed so many to take part in the great adventure. And with the lunar landing we entered the era of science fiction. Suddenly even the most startling visions of the future no longer seem so remote or unlikely, particularly since developments can take place so rapidly. The world of "2001" is closer this weekend than ever before. After the completion of the Apollo programme, which involves a further nine moon landings, and may culminate in the establishment of a permanent laboratory on the moon, the target is almost certainly Mars, fifty million miles and nine months' journey away. The real importance of the moon landing lies in the tremendous boost it has given those who work to reach the planets. There no longer seems to be any real reason why men should not travel anywhere in the Solar System and beyond, bearing in mind the old adage that "to mankind nothing is impossible, given time and money". Dates cannot be predicted with any accuracy, the future is totally fluid. All that is certain is that space exploration and discovery will continue with increasing speed and success for a very long time ahead. Those who criticise the expenditure of the space programme on moral grounds are deceiving themselves. All must agree that it would be fine and noble to use these vast resources in putting the miseries and evils of this fraught and profligate planet to rights. None would deny that, in real terms, bringing a million people back above starvation level would be of more human value than landing on the planets, particularly since we know human life could not exist, except under very special conditions, anywhere else in the solar system and the ultimate end of the space programme cannot therefore be to alleviate the population pressures on Earth. Yet it is pure speculation to suggest that money saved by curtailing space exploration would be used to aid directly the poor of the world. More aid could well be given by the privileged world to help the underprivileged, but to demand more of America, whose contribution is by far the most generous already, is to be prejudiced in the execution of idealism. The pillorying of the United States is, unfortunately, another example of humanitarianism masking anti-Americanism, the hypocrisy that has defeated youth demonstrations throughout this dying decade. The world would be a beautiful planet if people were not as they are, but no amount of money will change human nature. Since America has a perfect right to dispose of her resources as she sees fit and has never been torn between continuing the space programme or aiding the poor of the world, the arguments opposing travel to the planets, are, in a sense, irrelevant. Man as a creature has an aspiration towards the discovery of the unknown, which must be satisfied once the circumstances are fully apprehended. Perhaps the near future will see the ridiculous race into space abandoned and a new era of international co-operation arise, putting together technical expertise and financial resources in order to speed up the exploration of space. Life in the solar system is, in terms of the entire universe, spectacularly young and soon doomed to extinction. We have reached our own moon, yet when we attain the remotest planet in the sun's orbit we will scarcely have scratched the surface. Other suns are so immensely distant; the nearest would only be reached after four years' travel at the speed of light. Even then the dark mysteries of the universe call further on; if the coming of the 'seventies is a time to applaud our technical achievements, it is also a time to appreciate the squabbles of our planet in their true perspective. As we clumsily reach out for the stars, let us not miss the opportunity to end irrevocably the rifts in civilisation. The plaque on the moon reads:

"We came in peace for all mankind".

Let it not be a hollow victory.


Ian Barnett.


 

 

No. 95 Spring 1970


 

Editorial

School, it will he realised, is the epitome of society, yet should it mirror true society, or attempt to produce a better system? Certainly, if Monoux is supposed to be mirroring the world it epitomises, the reflection it gives is not a true one: we have no vehement disagreements ending in violence of any considerable magnitude, and all differences are resolved in a civilised fashion in the belief that the tongue is the most powerful weapon of civilisation. The vehicles of expression which exist within the school, although not always utilised to the full, are never abused. The principle that public opinion and majority assent are the prime motivation of change and innovation is adhered to naturally in Monoux, and all ideas are duly considered by various bodies in the school and if they are practical and an improvement to the welfare of this Monoux community, then all possible efforts are made to ensure their introduction in a tangible form. All matters are resolved finally, without abuse or anger, a far cry it would seem, from the world around us. Where civility prevails, progress is a natural condition- perhaps this is the crack in the mirror.

P.J.S.

 

No. 96 December 1970


Editorial

The present volume of "the Monovian" welcomes its readers and wishes them pleasant reading. Its new appearance is an intentional development: the ommissions made, however, are not, and for these I apologise. For the record, 1969 will go down in Monoux history as a year sans soccer, unless anyone can unearth a record of that activity! I feel that I should mention speech day 1969 - again, "For the record" F.Sylvester M.P. kindly visited the school and spoke to both the afternoon and the evening congregations, even contriving to deliver different speeches. Notable points mentioned during the Headmasters speech were the (it was then thought) imminent addition of the science and engineering blocks to the school's facilities, and the phenomenal number of boys entering Universities from the school that year. This issue of our magazine is in some ways experimental: it went to press so fast that a number of contributions were left behind. I ask readers to bear with us and, please; if any critics are there who consider that they could help to revitalise the Monovian - step forward! Wanted - An editorial team.


 

 

No. 97 1971

 

 


SPEAKING EDITORIALLY,
This is the first issue of  the Monovian for a year, and it seems to us that the difficulties encountered in producing the magazine, reflect the way the life of the school has deteriorated lately. A former editor of this magazine wrote in his editorial "The school includes voluntary societies where individuals quench their enthusiastic thirst in topics ranging from Stamp Collection to the investigation of Ferroequenological Activity". Who would believe that the author was referring to Monoux in 1967? In four years that range of topics has lessened immensely; the Ferroequeno-logists however still continue to meet, albeit merely as the Railway Society. Moreover, who could possibly describe anything or anybody at Monoux in 1971 as "enthusiastic". The lack of interest in the school outside of the 35 periods of a week (and possibly within them as well) is such that the only desire people seem to have is to leave the premises as soon as possible each day. A school is more than just a building of classrooms and the activities taking place within it should not, therefore, be limited to lessons. The life of the school, however, only exists as a result of constructive effort by everyone within it. If this effort was made we are sure that everyone would find their time at the school far more interesting and satisfying than at present. We can but hope that the few people who have been so active of late will increase in number and find more outlets for their energy. In the end though, it is up to all of us to interest ourselves in what is happening around us, otherwise our future is nothing but a "set grey life and apathetic end".

 

M.B. and d.M.B.


 

No. 98 1973

 

 

EDITORIAL
As Monoux moves out of the period of transition from Grammar to Comprehensive, so too does the school move away from the difficulties that have arisen during this period of change. Without the barrier that existed at the integration of, mainly, Warwick and Chapel End boys into a school where they were naturally regarded as "outsiders" by Monoux grammar school boys, the school can settle down once more to the unity it has previously enjoyed. Signs of this unity have already been seen as Monoux emerges as a progression from the lower schools, rather than as the lesser of two evils. Similarly, in the upper school, the revival of many clubs and societies signifies the general move away from the apathy, which the transition period had bred. As an example of this, the revival of an old Monoux tradition, the Rag Concert, serves well. Hailed as "the best ever", the revived Rag Concert brought the whole school together in a way too long absent. Engineered by the Upper Sixth and enjoyed by the rest of the school, this event must surely be continued in future years. With unity of purpose must inevitably come the strength of success, both academic and sporting, that has been enjoyed by Monovians last year, and must stand as the ultimate assessment when judging the standard attained within the school in 1973.


 

 

 

No. 99 April, 1975

 


Foreward
For a host of reasons this edition of The Monovian has suffered serious delay., and inevitably will recall events and personalities of previous years rather than the usual reflection of the present. We trust, however, that the next issue will remedy this situation, Commercial production has been taken beyond our pocket by the effects of inflation. Rather than allow circumstances to defeat us it was felt that we should attempt to mobilise and utilise our own resources. This we have done with the able contribution of many with their time and talents. To all who have assisted must go our gratitude and thanks. Our experiences have shown that we can in the future expect quicker production. We hope too that we can expect to attract a greater number of contributors.

 

A.T.Brockman


 

No. 100 1977

FOREWORD

It is no accident that has delayed this hundredth edition to our anniversary year. The coincidence of anniversaries was too great to ignore. In doing so, however, I am conscious of the extra burdens that have had to be borne by contributors, the Editors, and all associated with its publication. To them, and to those Old Monovians without whose practical aid this edition could not have materialised, go my thanks.

A.T.B.

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY

In preparing this 100th edition of The Monovian in the 450th year of the School's foundation your editors could not fail to be impressed by the greatness that surrounds the name of Monoux. We have realised how much the School has meant to so many of those who have learned and taught in its precincts; we have been aware of the great reputation which the School has built for itself over many years, its traditions, its scholarships. Your editors must confess to some yearnings of nostalgia but Monoux, our School, is a living body. It has a past; it also has a future. That future will be what we and those who come after us want it to be and make it be. Let us rejoice in our achievements; let us aspire for the future; let us all play our part so that indeed the name of Monoux "will live for aye".

P.T.H.
I.E.A.

 

No. 101 1977-9

 

 

FOREWORD

The magazine appears again - our tradition is maintained. To the contributors and Editors we extend our appreciation and congratulation. The combination of their endeavours has given a record and a commentary of contemporary Monoux well in the tradition of former years. Although produced by unconventional means, it loses nothing by that, and serves to demonstrate that spirit of determination which is essentially Monoux. This year it serves also to indicate the bond between present and past Monovians. The assistance and co-operation of the Old Monovians Association has greatly eased the burden of production. May that spirit and that bond continue to grow.

A.T.B.


Editors Kevin S. Stephens and Ian E. Abbey
Speaking editorially

Now that the grandeur of our anniversary year is over, both staff and pupils can resume the long climb towards academic achievement. The essence of success should not be confined to examination attainments alone, however, for the quality of school life is enhanced also by its social offerings. It is these facilities that can be enjoyed by every Monovian regardless of his academic abilities, and sadly it is these once ubiquitous activities that are in decline. One only has to wander the silent, musty corridors at lunchtime or after school to realise that most of the school societies have unobtrusively passed into limbo. Gone seem the days when much of the headmaster's assemblies were devoted to a calendar of forthcoming intra-school activities. In fact there seems to be little mention at all of extra-curricular activity. Monovians tend to be an apathetic lot at the best of times, and this has proved a large problem in producing the "MONOVIAN"; hence this could be the last edition. If interest is shown by both staff and pupils in re-establishing a strong social hierarchy, then the resultant cumulative causality may restore the long lost pride and respect for Sir George Monoux School. If this can be achieved then perhaps there will be less desire to abuse school property whilst indeed there should be more zest for attaining social and academic goals.

Kevin.S.Stephens.

THANKS
The Editor would like to thank the following people without whose assistance this magazine would not have appeared :

Ian Rathbone, Peter Couch, Mrs D. Eley, Mrs Bobbins and Mr Lundy.

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