CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

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brian walling
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CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by brian walling » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:26 am

I was delighted on reading last weekend's Financial Times (the UK newspaper) to see an iconic picture of CH prominent on the front page of the Life and Arts section.

Those who have not seen the article (which contains a few words about CH besides the photo) and who are interested can probably find it on the Web by referencing Financial Times, 18 June and the article's headline: A Very British Road Trip. In case of difficulty, I can email anybody a clean download copy of the article and image. The article, incidentally, is about an American journalist's recent journey across southern England looking at various characteristics of traditional 'Middle England' — all in the context of the imminent referendum on EU membership for UK. CH seems to me to come out of the article quite well, although I wonder how CH came to be selected as part of the article.

Most interesting to me perhaps was the photo, showing a House marching into Dining Hall. It raised a couple of questions for me:

1. The group of about 29 people is clearly mixed boy and girl. The girls sandwiched between the two front and one rear ranks of boys appear, compared with the boys, to be at the young end of the age range — apart from one girl Button Grecian, probably a House Monitor, marching outside left at the back. What sort of House could this be with this mix of members? (The name on the House flag is not clear). I admit that I'm not up to date on the present configuration of the Houses.

2. The flag bearer is a Button Grecian — the only other Button Grecian visible in the photo after the girl referred to above. Is it now usual for the flag to be carried by such a senior person in the House? In my day (1953-60) this job was typically done by someone lower down, probably GE, below the House Monitor level.

Some feedback would be welcome.
Ma A 53-60

brian walling
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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by brian walling » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:47 pm

It occurs to me that it might be easier for readers if I posted a copy of the photo in question from the Financial Times. Here it is. (It is copyrighted to Harry Mitchell.)

Image
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jhopgood
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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by jhopgood » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:43 pm

I suspect it was a "made up" house for the photo and article.
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HowardH
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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by HowardH » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:04 pm

Nope. It is a direct photo of Grecians East marching recently. The numbers are small due to it being taken during the exam period.

Oliver
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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by Oliver » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:02 pm

It seems surprising to me that the vast majority of the Grecians East house have no buttons and that there is a very small member in the right hand file of the next-to-last row. But perhaps deps are included in this house and for there to be a very small (and young?) dep; why not? I have little knowledge of up to date CH matters, so could someone please explain further about those eligible for a Grecians’ house and how many years one spends there, its facilities, etc?
Last edited by Oliver on Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by sejintenej » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:22 pm

ISTR that button grecians were in the distinct minority. Col A probably had 15 or so in Grecian classes but only one, sometimes two button grecian(s)

As for height compare Ruthven (about 6'4") with someone like Ken Brown who just beat 5' 2" or so.
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Mrs C.
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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by Mrs C. » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:13 pm

All are Grecians I can assure you
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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by seajayuu » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:53 pm

Describe Grecians Houses for them Mrs C. They will be astonished!

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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by J.R. » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:17 pm

seajayuu wrote:Describe Grecians Houses for them Mrs C. They will be astonished!
I can't wait !

They weren't even being considered in my days at CH.
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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by Doctor Smellcroft » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:43 pm

Oliver wrote:It seems surprising to me that the vast majority of the Grecians East house have no buttons
The explanation is that in the CH context the meaning of the word Grecian has changed. By the time I was there in the Seventies, it meant simply "member of the Upper Sixth".

The aristocrats in their spectacularly buttoned coats with velvet collars and cuffs were designated Button Grecians.

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Mrs C.
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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by Mrs C. » Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:34 am

Buttons given to monitors and those who get A grades in all subjects at AS/IB exams in summer of Deps year.

Chrissie, I don't think I could even begin to describe a Grecians House...... People need to come and see for themselves!
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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by Oliver » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:04 am

Thanks for mentioning the criteria for buttons. Things have changed since my days, well over 50 years ago, as they should. Then Grecians were also those in the sixth form. Up to three years could be spent there with designations third, second and first parting Grecians, as one aged. The year before becoming a Grecian was spent as a Deputy Grecian (Dep). Deps and Grecians formed the academic stream, normally destined for university studies. After the GE one either became a Dep, or entered the Fifth Form, if it was decided the pupil should leave after the 16th birthday. The Fifth Form was only in existence for a few years, but the policy it implied (academic and non-academic streams) existed before its introduction and I suspect is still in force. House captains were usually first partings and the Senior Grecian and school monitors always first partings. Buttons were awarded to all Grecians at or after the 16th birthday, hence my surprise at the lack of buttons in the picture.

Today there are so many more universities and tertiary students that possibly CH has many more Grecians than half a century ago. Is this so? Is the term 'parting' used today? I’d be grateful if someone could answer the previously posed questions about Grecians’ houses (not everyone can visit), the leaving policy and Grecians (and correct my recollections of post WW2 Grecian lore if they are wrong.)

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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by michael scuffil » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:04 am

Oliver's memory is slightly wrong. The age for buttons was definitely 17, not 16, and buttons were not awarded to all grecians. Most grecians were 'probationary', and you were made a full grecian (= buttons if you were over 17) if your Head of Department thought you could get an Open Award at Oxford or Cambridge.

Originally most grecians' privileges were confined to button grecians (most grecians until the 1940s were button grecians). But with the arrival of university grants and the ability of poor students to attend university without an Open Award at Oxbridge, the Seaman reforms saw a huge increase in the number of probationary grecians who would never get buttons. Seaman then threw open nearly all grecians' privileges to '2nd year grecians'. (All '2nd partings' were 2nd-year grecians, but not vice versa´.) By the time I was a button grecian, the only privileges we specifically had were using the Grecians' Path and reading grace (big deal). But of course the coat was much better cut, lighter and more comfortable.
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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by Oliver » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:50 pm

Thanks Michael. I am aware that Seaman made big changes and that my memory is not perfect.

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Re: CH featured in London Financial Times newspaper last weekend

Post by J.R. » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:58 pm

Oliver wrote:Thanks Michael. I am aware that Seaman made big changes and that my memory is not perfect.
As has the current Incumbent who thankfully only has just over a year to go.
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