Memories can play tricks

20th May 2005 at 01:00
Stephen Jones is right: never go back. It does things to the memory. He recalls Garnett college in 1976 as housed in a decidedly ordinary 1960s building on the edge of a council estate. Whereas when I was a student-governor at Garnett college the year before, we had governors'

meetings in a delightful former stately home, and lessons in a marble Georgian structure.

At that time it was not on the edge of a council estate, but the award-winning Alton estate, in Roehampton, had been built on the open spaces around the old stately homes.

The lectures were more suited to mature students who had left school early.

I was 34 when I went, and had left school at 16.

Since in a three-term course one term was teaching practice, and I was already teaching part-time evening classes, the theory was new and invaluable to me.

I especially recall Bernstein's elaborated code stuff being relevant to me since I grew up on a council estate - obviously a depressing place to be.

The Roehampton council estate has had the usual social problems since, but is still in open fields.

But Mr Jones might recall that Thames polytechnic pupated and came out of the chrysalis as Greenwich university.

If he ever really went back, he could look on a map first, as... have done, and find that the dire environment he remembers is now used by Greenwich university.

I was driving round there a few weeks ago. Delightful.

D J Nicholson

21 Albert Street

Windsor, Berks

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