Thursday, 9 February 2012

From Saffron Walden Training College to Bell Language School to Ludus

Since reactivating this blog I heard from Jackie that the college the 10 of us spent 3 years at, and which became the Bell Language School, is no more. It's been demolished (in part) and converted into residential apartments.

Curious to find out what had happened, I did a web search and what I've gleaned will bring you up to date. The apartments have been named Ludus, and curious to find out exactly what this means, I did another search and discovered (courtesy of Wikipedia) the following (links left in for follow optional up):

In ancient Roman culture, the Latin word ludus (plural ludi) has several meanings within the semantic field of "play, game, sport, training". An elementary or primary school attended by boys and girls up to the age of 11 was a ludus.

In spite of a slight jolt when I realised that the old buildings, as we knew them, had gone, I thought the choice of Ludus for the new apartments was appropriate. Mind out, the word ludus was mostly used to describe a training school for gladiators!

Here, to the left, is the college as it was, and to the right, as it is now in its reincarnation as Ludus. Actually recognisable!

I wonder if they incorporated the Foundation Stone into the rebuild? It was located to the right of the main door, on the wall of the right hand wing.

I also found a picture of boarded-up Butler Hall - still recognisable! But a far cry from the 1960's when it was built as this photo from 1966 shows. Those boarded up ground floor windows could propbably tell a tale or two from the days when students got back late from a night out and climbed in through them!

11 comments:

Jackie Hutchison said...

I am glad that they have converted the building rather than pull it down, so that the outside is still recognisable.

As Joyce said, in an email to me, I am glad we had a reunion in Saffron Walden and visited the college while we could still go into the buildings, even though they had been altered a bit.

Mellow Yellow said...

I'll maybe go & dig out some of the photos from when we had the reunion in Saffron Walden!

Kahveci said...

Actually sad to hear that . I took a teacher training course in that building, my room was on the east wing. I have beautiful pictures of the building. Why can't they keep places, such nice buildings as they are?

Mellow Yellow said...

I agree - it was a historic old buidling and there are a lot of people like you with a lot of memories of the place. I hope your memories are good ones.

Nice to hear from you - good to know there are other people in the world who enjoyed life while training at Saffron Walden college

Allister Hardiman said...

I am glad the building has survived. I discovered your page on the Bell College after a long line of research looking for what had become of Saffron Walden Training College. I am researching some details on the first principal there, a Miss Frances Anne Steele (died 1910) and her companion Miss Jane Stoker. It seems I am some years too late to find its archives. I think Miss Steele and Miss Stoker, two early locomotives of women's education would be struck by the building that is still standing and that it spent the entire 20th century in education's hands.

Mellow Yellow said...

Thanks Allister. I've wondered if that foundation stone I've posted on the blog is still there - and I hope so. The British & Foreign School's Society did a great job in founding training establishments - but I must say that when I was there 1965-68, it might almost have been 1910 because of the rules that were imposed upon us. I'm sure the Misses Steele & Stoker would be proud of the generations of students who trained there. It may have been strict (by today's standards) in the mid-60's but I and my peers received an excellent grounding which enabled us to go into teaching, be good teachers, and rise through the ranks to be Heads of Departments, Deputy Heads and Head Teachers.

Allister Hardiman said...

The two ladies, Frances A. Steele and Jane Stoker wrote two books based on their areas of teaching, one on 'Oral Teaching' and the other on 'Domestic Economy'. They certainly took no prisoners with their writing and looking at the Training College daily timetable - what the girls were taught puts modern teaching to shame. Your site is delightful and it's always a pleasure to read someone else's affection for time and place.

Mellow Yellow said...

That's interesting stuff - thanks very much for that. Are you writing a book about these ladies, or is your research personal? I imagine these 2 pioneering ladies were part of the suffrage movement too - fascinating stuff. How about writing a guest post for the blog? I know several people I trained with would be interested - and many thanks for your kind words about the blog. I started it as a forum for my own group of friends I made at the college, but it's changed & evolved a bit since then.

Allister Hardiman said...

I am writing a biography of a theatrical man named Robert Sparrow Smythe 1833-1917 and he had moved among a close circle of friends in the 1840s and early 1850s. Among them were the siblings Edward and Francis A. Steele. As part of that research I found that the Lambeth School Master John Horrocks was an inspiration to his students, male and female alike. In fleshing out the characters I encountered "Fanny" and resolved to feature her in the early life of R.S.Smythe since she was so driven. At this moment the Saffron Walden Library have found a cameo portrait of her and I am writing up my notes regarding her for them, which I shall also send to you shortly so that you can edit it for a guest posting or rewrite it into a more appropriate blog entry form since the details will be dryly chronological but a perfect basis for a blog entry. I shall reply soon. Cheers!

Mellow Yellow said...

Thanks so much Allister. It sounds an interesting bit of sleuthing and research into a period when things were so different, but have, nonetheless, had an impact on where things are today. Look forward to hearing from you when you're ready - good luck with the biography. You've whetted my appetite....!

Danuta Antas said...

I am so sad to hear that Bell school in Saffron Walden does not exist any more. I've been there on a teacher training course in 2002. It's been one of the best ever courses I have attended. Such a wonderful memories I have with that stay :) People were so friendly! It's really a pitty.