Friday 12 June 2009

Another Day at Hillcroft

This is the cover of a book written by the Principal of Hillcroft College when I was there as a student in the 1970s. The college still looks exactly like this. I was there again yesterday, to join in their annual Celebration of Achievement Day. I last wrote about Hillcroft in March 2008, in my second ever post here. That time I had been to the AGM, and I didn’t get to the celebration day last year, because it clashed with helping out a friend in need.

It’s always great to go back and catch up with other people doing the same as me. Because I was once a Chair of Governors, I am treated as something of a VIP, and have to be included in the photographs. No doubt I will be featuring in the local press as I was placed next to the new mayor of Kingston. I didn’t mind as he is something of a dish (but don’t tell my hubby). I also discovered that he likes to be called Ian, rather than His Worship.

But in one respect, this time the day was rather a disappointment. It was originally instigated as a Graduation Day, when the students of the year receive their certificates of achievement in front of their proud families. This year, only one exceptional student was singled out for that honour, and said to be representative of her year.

The achievement that was truly celebrated seemed to be winning a bid to the national lottery for some very necessary cash. The local Waitrose also sent a representative to present a cheque from their token collections. It’s a sad day when fund-raising success in a supposedly government funded college takes precedence over what the students, who are all educationally disadvantaged women, have managed to achieve.

Hillcroft is a very special place. I described my own experiences there in my previous post, and mentioned plans for an additional building on the present site to bring the premises into the 21st century. But, despite the cash spent on the grand plans and on project managers to deal with it, the promised government funding has not arrived, nor is it likely to. Everything is still on the drawing board, more or less where it was when I last wrote about it. And the lottery money won’t help that project as it is ring-fenced for other work. You can find out more about Hillcroft on the college web site.

However, it was still an enjoyable day for me, catching up with old friends. And I had the pleasure of meeting the guest speaker, Alison Baverstock, writer and broadcaster of note, who chose to speak about writing, something else dear to my heart.


Jena Isle said...

That's wonderful Jean. I have never gone back to my school. It has been more than 30 years? It's found in the middle of the mountain provinces that's why. But I would like to go back one day and visit.

My highschool days were full of "firsts"...he he he.

Have a pleasant day!

Unknown said...

Thanks Jena. I hope you are able to make that trip sometime.

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