Anne and I are currently exploring the links between the College and the Channel Islands. Salisbury was the ‘college of choice’ for many island students from the 1900s onwards and unpicking the reasons is a fascinating business. BBC Radio Jersey interviewed us a couple of weeks ago – no, they didn’t pay for us to fly over – nothing as prestigious as that, but we switched one of our mobs onto ‘speaker phone’, sat at the kitchen table and talked … (we’re getting quite good at that!). Our next port of call was the JEP (Jersey Evening Post) a daily paper that is almost compulsory reading for islanders. Good news there is that Inspired to Teach will be featured in an issue in a week’s time. As you can see, we’re doing our very best to reach out to people whose forebears took the big step of leaving their island homes, crossing the sea and training at Salisbury.
Don’t under estimate this step. If you live on a small island, it becomes your world and the sea that divides you from the mainland is a huge barrier. This still remains true today and in the past was even more so. One develops an island mentality. My family and I lived in Jersey for 15 years and by the end of our time there we even thought twice before going to St Ouen, all of 5 miles away, for the afternoon. For students whose families were deeply rooted in the island, going to college in England was (and still is for some, even today) a significant challenge. Anne and I want to contact people who had relatives in Jersey (or Guernsey) who trained at Salisbury and to discover more about their experiences. When we arrived in Jersey in 1977 I went to some of the Jersey Club meetings and met other former Salisbury students. How I wish I’d written down their memories! (Memo – record things before they are lost!)