Sunday 24 February 2008
Scary Hair and Specs from the Sixties...etc.
By around the age of nine I realised that drawing was something I might be good at. And when the time came, I looked forward to classes in the special Art Room when I started at Balshaw's Grammar School ....
Imagine my disappointment when we were expected to spend the long years leading up to the GCE exams meticulously drawing Roman Lettering, designing wall papers (must get the 'drop' to match!) and, worse still, mastering the tedious intricacies of interlacing strapwork. Under-over-under-over-un...."whoops, I fell asleep!" Fortunately our art mistress, the magnificently but frighteningly moustached Miss Whewell retired after a couple of years.
We had a period of being taught by the obviously non-artistic - 'well, it's only Art, so we needn't rush getting someone trained in'. Eventually- happy days- Mr. May came into our lives. He was a rookie, he was naive, he was small and chubby-cheeked and we took the proverbial- but what an excellent teacher he was!
Life in the Art Room took on a new perspective- interesting, experimental, exciting yet instructional, and he even turned a blind eye to our pinching paper from the stockroom!
We drew and sculpted anything and everything- for once someone thought that Art was as important a subject as Science and the Classics, and our abilities were taken seriously .
What an important difference this made- it's a fact that we do better in those subjects where we're fond of the teacher.
Ralph May! What a sweetie! Where is he now??
Pictured here: Photo- Ann Davies, Mr. May, Susan Bennett, Caroline Johnson, Mary Hall, Susan Baxendale. Note boyfriends' initials on workshirts....
Veggie homework, May 1962
View of the artroom, 1964