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ex-Student Contacts

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Guestbook 2011-14

some entries have been 'adjusted' to retain correct information

flash movie!

Archived Guestbook Entries Archived Guestbook Entries Archived Guestbook Entries Archived Guestbook Entries Archived Guestbook Entries Archived Guestbook Entries Archived Guestbook Entries Guestbook Archive 2011-14 urrent Guestbook Entries
Gerry McFarlane - Brian Dunce +2 - David Alexander - Chris Garratt - Pauline Watts - Betty Holmes - Mike Watson - Stephen Fairbairn +2 +3 +4 - Mike Marsden - Roland Wallis - Heather Haythornthwaite - Sally Newton (nee Pinfield) - Petrina Kent (nee Brawn) - Keith Orange - Jenny Ashcroft (nee Shimell) - Sian Evans - Tony Haase - Lucy Webster - Kim Hinks - Katie Morgan - Sioban Coppinger - re Geoffrey Bocking - Patrick Goff - re Jack Smith - Lesley Passey - Stephen King - Robbie Fry - Richard Nye - Paul Lindt - Jenny Gunn (nee Osborne) - Kay Ara - Peter Jones - Des Crabbe +2 +3 +4 - Jeremy Pugh - Liz Smith (nee Garrod) - David JoyJane Oliver (Lilley) - Steve Keeley - Ros Pritchard - Julia Gurney - Mark Wingrave - Helen Hockin (nee Goldsmith) - Maggie Chadwick (nee Bullivant) Thebe Ringner - Clara Greed (nee Cooper) - Jim Manson - Peter Snadden - Stephen Fairbairn - Peter Bridgens - David Coker - Anita Foot (nee Blamey) - Barry Baldwin - Des Crabbe

Name:
Des Crabbe
Email:
 
Subject:
graphics
Dates:
early '70s
Date:
05 November, 2014

Comments

Hi Bazza, sorry, don't know about sculpture school bods, but good to see a familiar name from my era at Corsham. I think there must have been a glut of Luddites there in the early '70s, as very few post here.

You probably don't remember me. I was one of the Yeadon, etc. crew who, at hostel parties, would swing on the beams and scramble over the roofs down Corsham high street. You may even have stepped-over me, passed-out, on the stairs of Ethelred House. Did you ever descend on the inertia-reel fire escape there? - A leap of faith, on what now seems like Victorian technology !!! Aaaaaaaaah, the innocence (read stupidity) of youth. 'nuff said.
If you don't hear from me 'til then, Happy Holidays for 2014, (Irish) Des

Name:
Barry Baldwin
Email:
 
Subject:
sculpture
Dates:
1970-73
Date:
26 September, 2014

Comments

Whatever happened to Kenneth Hughes, head of sculpture? at the time I was a student..

Name:
Anita (Neetz) Blamey (now Foote)
Email:
  no email submitted
Subject:
Visual Communication
Dates:
1976-1977
Date:
24 August, 2014

Comments

Love this website. Brings back so many memories and familiar names and faces.
Must get into the loft to see if I can find something to contribute.

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Name:
David Coker
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphics
Dates:
1969-1970
Date:
07 June, 2014

Comments

Stumbled across the site searching for something else.

Only managed first year of DipAD before declining Clifford's kind offer to let me repeat it and actually produce something... He banned me and two others (names withheld - one is a known and respected figure in the art world!) from the college hostels after an incident at Ethelred House made the local paper. Thoroughly enjoyed and remember vividly my time in Corsham, but completely abandoned any artistic pretensions since dropping out. (Brushes for painting skirting etc and pencils for doing sums...)

Have had an honest career in the Northamptonshire footwear industry ever since, currently director of Loake Shoemakers; but can't honestly put that down to my time at BAA!

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Name:
Peter Bridgens
Email:
  no email submitted
Subject:
Ceramics
Dates:
65-68
Date:
01 June, 2014

Comments

I remember posing for Jan Craig-Martin in her studio at the top of one of the Weavers cottages in Church Street, must have been sometime 67/68. I remember a very large canvas, me a life size figure - wearing faded Levis, baseball boots, T shirt, blonde crew cut.
If I remember correctly Michael had studio on the ground floor which at that time held a collection of his white boxes - the pink plinths shown in the documentary in the show at Chatsworth brought these to mind.

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Name:
Stephen Fairbairn
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphics
Dates:
1966-'70
Date:
29 May, 2014

Comments

Somehow I never quite caught on to what Mike Craig-Martin was on about. To my way of thinking he was the personification of 60s’ pseud and a very great master of complicating the simple or stating the obvious while making a mystery of it. And apparently he’s still at it. I remember being slightly dazed after his classes and asking myself what the hell the guy had been talking about, being little the wiser even after listening to him intensely for maybe a whole afternoon.
His wife Jan (they got divorced years ago) was a fierce and foxy redhead who taught life-drawing. Between them they ran the hostel at 44 High Street prior to 1968. Getting past them to visit girlfriends required stealth, low cunning and some considerable co-operation on behalf of the girlfriends.

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Name:
peter snadden
Email:
 
Subject:
fine art
Dates:
1975-1978
Date:
26 May, 2014

Comments

I thought the Michael Craig-Martin tv show very good, shame he was not still teaching there when I was a student, such an articulate manner and work underpinned so soundly yet still fun!

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Name:
Jim Manson
Email:
 
Subject:
Fine Art, Painting
Dates:
76-79
Date:
22 May, 2014

Comments

It was interesting to hear Michael Craig-Martin relating his experience of being at BAA in the mid 60s on the BBC 4 What Artists Do All Day profile on him (currently on iPlayer). He tells the programme that was surprised to find himself "at an art school in the middle of the English countryside that was as sophisticated as Yale, where I'd come from". I know what you're thinking – well, done Yale for being every bit as sophisticated as Corsham!

Also viewable in 2 parts on 1/2 : 2/2

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Name:
Clara Greed (nee Cooper)
Email:
  no email submitted
Subject:
Three dimensional design
Dates:
1966-7
Date:
11 May, 2014

Comments

I was at Corsham 1966-7 and studied Three dimensional design on the pre-diploma course, and then went on to Cardiff to university to study town planning and have recently retired as professor of inclusive urban planning at UWE in Bristol and specialised in urban design.
I often went back to walk around the grounds and the peacocks.
So long ago what happened to everyone else?
Clara

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Name:
Thebe Ringner
Email:
 
Subject:
Painted by ?? answer below
Dates:
1968-1974
Date:
01 May, 2014

Comments

Hi, 
My mother Hilary McManus went to Corsham between 1968-1974, she sadly passed in 2010. 
I have a painting that I am looking to find the artist of - mum purchased the work off a lecturer at the college, maybe name Michael? If anyone could help it would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks.

Mystery painting - now solved
...painted by Michael Simpson

Hilary McManus

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Name:
Maggie Chadwick (nee Bullivant)
Email:
 
Subject:
Painting and Pottery
Dates:
1964-1967
Date:
25 April, 2014

Comments

Thanks for organising the reunion on Wednesday. It was great to meet people again after such a long time.

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Name:
Helen Hockin (nee Goldsmith)
Email:
 
Subject:
Fine Art Painting
Dates:
85-88
Date:
11 March, 2014

Comments

Hello all, this is a brilliant idea and there are a few of you on here I remember from the years 
above me. I was one of the last year to actually live in Corsham, I loved it. The idea that you had a gardener and lived in an 18th century house was like something out of a film.

I have seen a few people from BAA since leaving all those years ago, but there are some that just vanished, Stephen Brandes (Ors)? where did you go, I would love to hear from him again. I have seen Mike Grover over the years as he is based in Sussex and so am I. I have a studio in Lewes and had work in a show at LICA last year. Claire Pierce-Williams from ceramics (we are still in touch), but that is it.

Jonty Woolfendon with his Zebra car (the one with the dent in the roof from a student jumping out of a second floor window onto it at Sion Hill) and Louise Birtles, fine art.
I would love to know what happened to everyone after we all scattered around the country.

Corsham was excellent, it's a shame we were the last year who experienced the place.

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Name:
Mark Wingrave
Email:
  no email submitted
Subject:
Painting
Dates:
79-81
Date:
19 February, 2014

Comments

It's fascinating seeing all these photos. It has brought back many memories. My time at Corsham was a really important time for me.

I live in Melbourne, Australia now and am still painting. These are my paintings on whoswho14/Page 4 of 'the painting shows at Monk's Park in 1979'.

I remember many of the people from 2nd year: Duncan Clarke, Lee Newman and Judy Haag. In my year I remember Rachel Govan, Ann Hodgetts, Mark Capper and Phil Inwood.

I spent 2 years at Monks Park and always used to look forward to seeing Michael Kidner. Michael had a way of drawing you out and enabling you to discover things you didn't know.

Thanks to everyone for the contributions.
All the best,
Mark Wingrave

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Name:
Julia Gurney
Email:
 
Subject:
Fine Art
Dates:
1973-76
Date:
10 February, 2014

Comments

I remember you Tessa [Newcomb] (re; your comments) and our inter railing adventures but what happened to Marion Bailey? I have fond memories of Janet Rowlands too. Dan Catsis, Louisa Hutchinson and Mike Monks, Mary Kay, not forgetting sculptor tutor Peter Green and Adrian Heath.
I loved the cycling and living in those quaint cottages, the heaving dances in the Barn and the film nights at the local cinema. Tea in Lacock

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Name:
Ros Pritchard
Email:
 
Subject:
Fine Art (Painting) DipAD
Dates:
1964-67
Date:
06 February, 2014

Comments

It's a surprise to find this site, and I think we might add quite a bit to it. Thanks for all the work of making it. How odd of Clifford to destroy all records when he left.

The DipAD group 1964-7 are meeting up in April at Corsham to mark 50yrs. 
Finding people is difficult. I have looked through your list of names; not all we're searching for appear, but if ex-students add their names themselves, is there any way to contact them?

We'd like to find Terry Baillie. Michael Richards. Viv(ienne) Pinches. Sheila Markham (the email on the Guestbook bounced). Gillyvor Flanagan (nee Rolleston).

My website is here - but don't know how to make that link up.

Hoping you can help us
Ros Pritchard

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Name:
Steve Keeley
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphics
Dates:
1978-79
Date:
22 January, 2014

Comments

I only spent a year at Corsham, I couldn't get over living away from London I'm afraid. Girlfriend at home and mates. Perhaps I should have tried harder, easy when you look back! Got to know some nice people x2 Clares, Cocker and Baxendale they taught me how to cook! I lived at 44 High St. I became friends with Julian Puckett and Steve Gulbis in Graphics, does anyone slightly remember me?

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Name:
Jane Oliver (Lilley)
Email:
 
Subject:
Art Education
Dates:
53-55
Date:
10 January, 2014

Comments

Happy memories being tutored by Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost et al. Wish I'd realised how lucky I was!

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Name:
Steve Fairbairn
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphics
Dates:
1966-70
Date:
31 December, 2013

Comments

Happy New Year to everyone out there who remembers me, to everyone that doesn’t and to everyone who does but prefers not to.

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Name:
David Joy
Email:
  no email submitted
Subject:
As below
Dates:
1965-1967
Date:
14 October, 2013

Comments

I was in the final batch of the "Institute" (teacher training) course - 1965 to 1967 - and studied painting, sculpture, mosaics, art history and - amazingly ...dance! Great memories!

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Name:
Liz Smith nee Garrod
Email:
 
Subject:
Ceramics & 3D Design
Dates:
1968-1971
Date:
08 October, 2013

Comments

Hi, I'm SO happy to have found this site; why haven't I discovered it sooner!!
I have such great memories of my years at Corsham, I have been back on several occasions, once when the courtyard for ceramics was being demolished and the workmen let me 'on site', I found the glaze room, complete with all the bins, really sad and shouldn't have done so. Corsham was such a very unique place.
Hope to return there some day but live mainly in Greece now.
 
I do have 2 prospectii (66-67 and 68-69) which might be of interest to students from then. 
Happy to scan and send in but don't want to duplicate if you have them already.

Thanx Liz, 66-67 prospectus we don't have and would love to include it in the site - email contact for posting

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Name:
Des Crabbe
Email:
 
Subject:
still wondering
Dates:
few, mostly with company, and rarely successful !!
Date:
01 August, 2013

Comments

Hi again.
Just a quick update.
Still here in Arizona.
About a month ago, after a stormy night, going into the garden the next morning found a chick about a week old blown out of it's nest. No mother, no feathers, eyes barely open. Been 'force feeding' it since then with a mixture of ground up sunflower seeds, etc. (my coffee grinder will never be the same again !!) Today it flew across the garden and landed on my shoulder !!
Felt great for me, but it thinks it's human and ignores all the other birds !! From his evolving plumage I think he's a mourning dove. How can I direct him back to his kind, as they seem to be less screwed-up than we advanced creatures !!!??? That's my boy/girl ? how do you tell ? - Des

Update on the above mentioned and pictured bird - 12 March, 2014

Once it got it's full plumage, we identified it as a Sonoran white winged dove - a migratory beast !!!??? .... but that was after the morning in early November, as it was helping de-bug/grub the mulch pile when we were planting the winter tomatoes. We were happily planting them when it must have heard a secret signal that it was time to go and join the others on the power lines. After an hour or so they took-off, and we haven't seen it since. Got attached to the little guy/gal. Now that spring is here, we're hoping it was imprinted enough with the location to return to the fishpond/garden of it's birth .... 
Hey! don't knock it... at our age, this anticipation ranks up there with some primeval urge, or maybe it's just jock itch ??!!!???? 
Will update if it returns.
Bye for now, Des

Daedalus returns !! - 22 September, 2014

Reference the aforementioned saga of a Sonoran dove. After leaving suddenly in the fall, it returned mid-June, showing-up on the patio step wanting some food after his steerage flight from the Sonoran Desert (Mexico). Instantly recognizable by it's features and behaviour. Beautiful coat and randy behaviour, so it seemed to be in excellent condition. Not surprising as it has a diet of all the nuts and seeds that I don't buy for myself because they're expensive. But she who must be obeyed sees it as one of her children, so nothings too good !! Having lived wild for a few months, it wouldn't come inside and peck on the computer keyboard like it did before, but hopped on the step, and after a week or two would eat out of our hands. Stayed around the garden until a few weeks ago when we started a prolonged period of monsoon rains, when they all assembled on the power lines and said "Screw this, lets go to Mexico where it's dry and the sun is shining !!" and then took off in a southerly direction. Hoping it returns next Spring to continue the cycle.... Bye, Des

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Name:
Jeremy Pugh
Email:
 
Subject:
graphics
Dates:
1980 '83
Date:
25 March, 2013

Comments

Found my union card in attic, am trying to submit it... please advise!

Union card is now in Ray Brooking flash page, any queries email me - Gerry

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Name:
Des Crabbe
Email:
 
Subject:
more
Dates:
'70s
Date:
22 February, 2013

Comments

Long time, no speak ! For only the 2nd time in the 20 years I've b'rrn living here in Tucson, Arizona, it snowed today and yesterday !!! down here in the middle of the valley / town !! .... and it stuck !! Froze my chiletepins !!!!! normally I'm in shorts year round, but only those with tattoos are exposing flesh today, and even they seem to be a little leary of their macho gene !!! Reminded of freezing digs on Bences Lane all those years ago. Just a thought, I thought I'd share, Des

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Name:
Peter Jones
Email:
 
Subject:
re Gwyther Irwin
Dates:
50s-60s
Date:
29 November, 2012

Comments

I am researching the work of the British artist Gwyther Irwin (1931-2008). I understand that he taught at Corsham for periods during the 1950s-60s. I would be interested to hear from anyone who remembers him and was taught by Irwin.

Peter Jones, Southampton Solent University

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Name:
Kay Ara
Email:
 
Subject:
Lettering/lithography
Dates:
1958 - 1962
Date:
02 November, 2012

Comments

I keep on dreaming I'm back at Corsham - only thing is I'm 71 in the dream and all the others are 17 and 18 !

Nuff said.

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Name:
Jenny Gunn nee Osborne
Email:
 
Subject:
Pre dip and Graphic Design
Dates:
1964-68
Date:
16 September, 2012

Comments

Just seen the photos and comment from John Furnival about the limited edition prints 'To Catch a White Man by his Manifestoe'. Went to find my very old folders and found my original copy.
Still in touch with one or two of the other contributors.
I also noticed a comment from someone about the poster for the 'Silver and Gold' dance, I think I have that too. It was designed by Chris Lumgair and Erica Grice. If I can find it I'll send a photo.

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Name:
Paul Lindt
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphic Design
Dates:
1984-86
Date:
14 August, 2012

Comments

I have recently started a blog to enable ex-students/tutors to have the opportunity to share current work or details of upcoming exhibitions. Currently it is made up of posts from my contemporaries from the early to mid eighties but it would be great to feature people from the full 40 years of Corsham. Perhaps some unexpected connections may emerge!

Please visit http://bathacademyofart.blogspot.co.uk/ and it'll give you details of how to contribute.
Very much hope to hear from you.

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Name:
Richard Nye
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphics
Dates:
1970-74
Date:
19 June, 2012
Comments

Had yet another look at the website Gerry - still terrific. Must be getting old (no surprise really) but grazing through all the entries is such a pleasure. Brilliant Corsham.

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Name:
Robbie Fry
Email:
 
Subject:
Foundation
Dates:
1978-1979
Date:
07 May, 2012

Comments

There's barely a sinner from my foundation year here! I have a list with photo-fit pictures from our first term; once I get my act together I'll send them on. I did not have much luck googling them.

My main memories are of hypnotizing Claudia Campbell (for over four hours) + her helping me bake bread with a stack of crushed laxatives (also added to the jam) as a trap for an unsuspecting food thief! Unfortunately for him, he was on the bus to London when the effect of his thieving got the better of him! 'Must have been something I ate!' Must have been something I stole, more like! He used to wander from lodging to lodging with a cardboard box + help himself to a little bit of this and that!
On the subject of food. I used to go to the local butchers + ask for a couple of rashers (bacon) and any odds for the dog! I think she knew who the dog was! 'Allritemylove!'

I also recall going to the weekly jumble sales, cheap cider (15p a glass) + the consequences, Charlie Oldham's very funny painting of a gorilla, looking totally relaxed, in a church, and looking back at the viewer. The only other paintings that made a strong impression on me were by Michael Simpson. I will never forget his exhibition in Bath: colourful fantasy paintings (gymnastic aliens under a pink sky), lovely and flat, on wood. I remember him in my first month and his critique of some pencil drawing I had done of some plant, 'More sensitive Wobbie, more sensitive!' I nicknamed him Boris-the-spy as he wore Graeme Green styled colonial jackets.. I particularly enjoyed printing and Jack Sheriff's support.
Dr Feelgood played at one of the gigs; the parties were great. And 'The Brillig' in Bath.
Getting asked to leave my digs as I nearly set the place alight; my cupboard door swung open against the heater + started up, + the landlady, without her teeth giving me a load of grief, understandably! Ironically I moved into a place above a shop called, 'UltraWarm'! I remember two Northern girls would get into their slippers (+ probably nighties) to watch Coronation Street every day! Michael, one of the tutors, a big woolie man in hippy jumpers, was very decent to myself, Heather Haythornwaite and John Leslie and took us to a Chieftains gig.

Over the years I have done every job under the sun + travelled a lot (worked in 17 countries); but on the creative front done a fair bit of acting in Dublin [home], London and Paris where I also taught art to kids + painted a number of murals.

It's great to see this site and feel privileged to have gone to Corsham; thank you Gerry and all the contributors. I am now a photographer + can be found at Robbie Fry Photography [Facebook] I also write some poetry and am gardening obsessed at present.

http://mepeace.org/profile/RobbieFry

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Name:
Stephen King
Email:
 
Subject:
Fine Art
Dates:
1977-1980
Date:
04 May, 2012

Comments

I spent a whole evening exploring our website.

My three years at Corsham seem like many lifetimes ago. I must admit that I felt a bit of a misfit at Corsham and in 1980 was voted the student most likely to become a serial killer. Today after decades of crisis, trauma and luck I am a changed person.

In looking at the photographs from that time, I recall many pleasant people who I had little time for. Today I regret that I didn't know you all better. 
Unfortunately most of my photographs from that time were lost during a divorce.

Thanks especially to Kevin Parker, Peter Wells, Anna Dutto and Jacqui for your pages.

www.stephenkinggallery.com

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Name:
lesley passey
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphic Design
Dates:
1968-71
Date:
02 May, 2012

Comments

I had a great time and enjoyed a successful career after leaving Corsham.

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Name:
Judith Walsh
Email:
 
Subject:
re Jack Smith
Dates:
50's
Date:
26 January, 2012

Comments

I am writing my PhD on Jack Smith who taught at Corsham in the fifties. I would be very grateful if anyone who recalls being taught by him could get in touch with me.
Many thanks,
Judith Walsh.

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Name:
Patrick Goff
Email:
 
Subject:
Fine Art Painting
Dates:
1967 - 70 (I think)
Date:
12 January, 2012
Comments

Just passing 65. One of what the Times calls 'Wearies'. i.e. still working.
Just want to wish everyone a very happy 2012.
You can find me on Facebook if you want (put A in the middle) or just Google my name - it turns me up.
Happy to hear from anyone who wants to make contact from what were very happy days.

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Name:
Steve Fairbairn
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphics
Dates:
1966-'70
Date:
24 December, 2011
Comments

Yuletide Greetings to everyone and best wishes from me and Margrét.
Snow and blowing a gale up here in the Frozen North.

And if anybody has got Judy Pilcher's (Campbell's) new e-mail address in South Africa it would be much appreciated. I have tried her old Nampak mail several times without luck.

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Name:
Nat Bocking
Email:
 
Subject:
re Geoffrey Bocking
Dates:
??
Date:
29 November, 2011

Comments

My father Geoffrey Bocking 1919-1969 taught at Corsham but I am unsure of the dates. He left there to go to Hammersmith but we kept our home near Gastard until 1977. Apparently his cottage was ‘out of bounds’ to students.

You might be interested in this post The Water Tower Project and others.

Kind regards,
Nat Bocking

Please feel free to 'Post a Comment' on my blog site above if you have recollections of my father at Corsham.

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Name:
Sioban Coppinger
Email:
 
Subject:
Sculpture
Dates:
1973 - 1977
Date:
09 November, 2011

Comments

What a time we all had ... It would be great to hear from people from those days ...

workshop number is 01488 73978
email is above
website is
www.siobancoppinger.co.uk

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Name:
Katie Morgan
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphics
Dates:
1982-1985
Date:
06 November, 2011

Comments

Great to see photo's of Corsham and fellow students.... It really was a wonderful time... I must sort some pictures out.
Thank you for running this site.

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Name:
Kim Hinks now Bloomfield-Garland
Email:
 
Subject:
Ceramics
Dates:
83-86
Date:
27 October, 2011

Comments

Oh the halcyon days of freezin' me butt off or boilin' me 'ead!!! (B26 hut) but it was soooo well worth it. I can't wait to catch up with bods I ain't seen in donkeys years. Unfortunately I am disabled now and it has put a stop to a lot of what I want to do but I do get art psychotherapy each week.
Yeup really did go totally bonkers in the end.

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Name:
lucy webster
Email:
 
Subject:
painting
Dates:
74-77
Date:
17 October, 2011

Comments

what became of Peter Sokoloff Edwards

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Name:
Tony Haase
Email:
  no email submitted
Subject:
Fine Art
Dates:
1975-79
Date:
05 October, 2011

Comments

I would like to point out that the Mr Bath Academy Competition was masterminded by Suzanne Hutchinson, who was a foundation student and one of the judges was tutor - Elaine Johnson.

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Name:
sian evans
Email:
 
Subject:
painting
Dates:
1980-1983
Date:
23 September, 2011

Comments

That's so funny to see the cabaret! I'm sure our band the Melting Moments were worst though.
I remember coming up under the stage and out through a fridge, popped a balloon painted like an eye full of porridge (how???) and started throwing it out at the audience only to start getting slapped back by dead fish being thrown back at me by . . . was he called Martin??? After that all a blur .. . 
Still trying to end civilisation as we know it with fellow Corsham people Kay and Cristel - painting qualifications handy for banners against the cuts!

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Name:
Jenny Shimell
Email:
 
Subject:
Ceramics
Dates:
1981 to 1984
Date:
21 September, 2011

Comments

Wonderful to look at all the comments and pictures, they bring back many memories.

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Name:
Keith Orange
Email:
 
Subject:
Foundation, Vis Comm : [Day1]
Dates:
1973 - 1977
Date:
24 August, 2011

Comments

The recollections of first days at Corsham are intriguing – and make me wonder whether our respective experiences were really that different, or if it's all in the telling..

I have to confess that, rather like Roland, my application for Foundation was based almost entirely on an aerial photograph of the Court found in an old prospectus. That image, along with the word ‘Academy’, seemed to offer a working-class seventeen year-old from a northern railway town an opportunity to experience something entirely unfamiliar. To those used to wealth and privilege (and lets face it, there were quite a few) it may have seemed unremarkable, but to some of us it was an extraordinary Alice-like experience which, as it turned out, entirely lived up to expectation. Of course it wasn’t to everyone’s taste, but then neither is winning the lottery.

My only recollection of the first day is meeting en masse with Derek Pope in the Barn to listen to the house rules, but I do remember later that week my first glimpse of Bath with nose pressed against the coach window, and Stephen Russ somewhere behind me declaring it ‘the most beautiful city on earth’.
And I also have a vivid recollection of first setting foot in the sculpture school to the smell of welding and epoxy resin, and being overwhelmed by the sense of creative opportunity.
Of course I didn’t make the most of it - which of us did - but I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that for me the experience was profound and life-changing.

Perhaps I was naïve, and perhaps I still am, but having spent twenty-odd years in higher education taking on the spreadsheet junkies in an attempt to cultivate an environment which could begin to approach what we had at Corsham, I can only observe that we were indeed fortunate.
For what its worth, I loved every last minute, and can’t quite believe it all really happened.

As Joni famously said, ‘you don’t know what you got ‘til its gone’.

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Name:
Petrina Brawn
Email:
 
Subject:
Fine art
Dates:
1976-1978
Date:
29 July, 2011

Comments

Lovely to read all the comments, the party pictures at number 40 were mine, what a surprise to see them again.

I too would like to track down Geoffrey Glover who drove the Citroen and sported a very strong aftershave. Also Adrian Hicken Art History extraordinaire, still tracking down the impressionists hideouts and the latest lush chick, no doubt! Alison Coath is still teaching and potting I think, Ian Allen, I'm not sure about but Jane Strother is working well, teaching, painting and exhibiting great work.
I've got an exhibition on at the moment so at least some of us are doing 'it' still.

It was said 'How many of you will be painting in ten years?' a challenge I well remember. Well it's over thirty years now!! And some of us are indeed 'still at it'.

Thanks for your great web site.
Petrina

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Name:
sally pinfield
Email:
 
Subject:
graphics
Dates:
1972-1976
Date:
9 July, 2011

Comments

hello everyone.
miss Benno Zehnder, miss Bob Grieg ...

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Name:
heather haythornthwaite
Email:
 
Subject:
Foundation, then Graphics
Dates:
1977-1981
Date:
29 June, 2011

Comments

I have more photos and some names for you too. How can I get them to you, or when/where could we meet to sift through them?

message sent to your email - Gerry

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Name:
Roland Wallis
Email:
 
Subject:
Illustration : [Day1]
Dates:
1978-1982
Date:
23 June, 2011

Comments

What a shock the first day on the fine art course was, only applied to Corsham because it looked like the nearest thing to being in Brideshead revisited; ended up sharing a room with a football fan because we both came from the north.
We divided the room down the middle; football pictures one side objet d'art the other. The room was in the gatehouse at the end of the drive to Corsham Court and was where Lord Methuens ex nurse had retired to. She kept a tight ship and so all dreams of wild college days sitting around drinking, smoking and discussing the meaning of life seemed to be evaporating. I remember looking out through the leaded windows and thinking this was going to be more Mike Leigh than Evelyn Waugh.
By term two I moved in to Bath and joined the line of students hitching in each morning. I can't remember one piece of work from that first year but the experiences where fab.

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Name:
Steve Fairbairn
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphics : [Day1]
Dates:
1966 - 1970
Date:
13 June, 2011
Comments

The first visit of the select Pre Dip graphics 1-in-20 to Mr. Wilcox's subterranean emporium at the Court. He was that 'white-haired old guy that ran the shop'. Probably only about sixtyish then, but he seemed very old to us.

Twenty sheets of Bockingford cartridge, a T-square (that turned out to be defective), the blade wobbled and no amount of tightening the screws helped. And that awful clattering plywood box on a rubber shoulder-strap which never kept things in order and had the nasty habit of opening unexpectedly and disgorging its contents.
After 45 years mine has still never served the purpose it was 'specially designed' for, nor any other for that matter. The rubber strap has completely disintegrated and it had some broken 
Christmas decorations in it. Sadly now gathering dust on a top shelf in our studio.


Waiting on the gravel in front of the Court for our transport to Sydney Place.
Rosemary Ellis
strutting round like an over-stuffed pigeon shrieking orders at everyone.
Being scrambled aboard the coaches – there were two of them.
Christ-I know-that-guy-from prep-school (Richard 'Rosebud' Williamson) hope-he-doesn't-remember-me.

Falling head over heels in lech-at-first-sight with that buxom blonde in Pre Dip painting.
She gave me her T-square. (and I still have it, occasionally use it, has her name on it).

Learning for a whole morning how to stick a drawing pin into a drawing board. Yes, Andrew Wilson gave himself time to explain the niceties of fastening paper to board, punctuated by long silences and hushed moments of inner panic in the hearts of those who had not previously experienced that cold Wilsonian stare and whose attempts to comprehend were thwarted by that fearful Scottish accent. In fact he was from Northern Ireland and educated in Edinburgh, so the accent was a strange and, for some, barely comprehensible potpourri.

A rather insipid fish lunch with Clive Adams at a second-rate restaurant on Milsom Street because we hadn't discovered a decent pub yet.

The afternoon spent learning how to sharpen a pencil and how to make a gadget out of corrugated cardboard for holding delicate paintbrushes.

Beginning to understand Andrew Wilson.

That blonde agreed to sit beside me on the bus back to Corsham. Got to know her better later :-) wonder what happened to her?

Yep, Mike's got it pretty much right.

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Name:
Mike Marsden
Email:
 
Subject:
Sculpture : [Day1]
Dates:
1965 - 69
Date:
08 June, 2011
Comments

Chatting the other day with a couple of colleagues as one does . . . we ended up recalling what we could of our very first day at art college . . . and whether it was that great elevating step we supposed it to be . . . . (back then someone had told me that in 1965 for the Pre Dip course at Corsham there were over twenty applicants for every place . . . r e a l l y???)

Now I start thinking how reliable is my memory . . . . 
anyway back to that first day in 1965 (probably Wednesday 22nd September), which started off in the morning in the Barn at the Court . . . . all the new 1st year Fine Art Degree students and we new Fine Art Pre-Dip students were there and maybe the new Institute students plus a few others too?. . . . Telfer Stokes and Malcolm Hughes (other lecturers popped in from time to time) were on duty trying to organise us so we got drawing and in turn went to the shop in the cellar to buy all we needed to be artists – later in the day, the image of all we new Fine Art Pre-Dippers walking down the drive each carrying one of those pristine wooden paint boxes slung over our shoulders has stayed with me to this day – not quite nightmare material but . . . . close. 

Anyway back to the barn . . . . 
it was pretty crowded in there, drawing-boards jostling drawing-boards as we did drawings from observation of a female nude . . . . and probably in the evening it was glasses jostling glasses in the Pack Horse too. One of my colleagues remembered the clothing fashions, with some of the staff at his college dressed like peacocks, I told him we were lucky because we had the real things parading around manicured gardens! Nevertheless we each agreed that no matter what we did on the first day, starting off at art college was bloody exciting, even though it might have left the majority of us “feeling like potholers trying to navigate by the stars.”

Now I think again, how reliable is my memory.
Let it be . . . .

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Name:
Stephen Fairbairn
Email:
 
Subject:
Graphics
Dates:
1966 - 1970
Date:
26 May, 2011
Comments

It has sadly come to my notice that my friend Wendy McLerie (Pre Dip Graphics 1966-'67) passed away in January 2011.
I had been in touch with her not so long ago and knew that she was struggling with cancer, although she made light of it. Wendy was always ready for a giggle. May the gods giggle with her.

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Name:
Mike Watson
Email:
 
Subject:
Old Times
Dates:
65-67
Date:
7 May, 2011

Comments

I was photo technician from 65 to 67 under Richard Morling and married Wendi Thairs from the graphic design students of that time.

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Name:
Betty Holmes
Email:
 
Subject:
Art Education/Teaching
Dates:
1954-57
Date:
5 May, 2011

Comments

I like many other BAA students, have many many happy memories of my time at Corsham 
Court and Monks Park, and would love to hear from any old friends who remember me.

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Name:
Pauline Watts
Email:
 
Subject:
Sculpture
Dates:
1965-1969
Date:
20 February, 2011
Comments

I suppose this is a continuation of my previous contributions!

Really enjoyed the reunion last year and remade lovely friendships. Also spurred me on to re enter the 'artworld' by seriously moving on my painting. This has resulted in a very productive and creative year for me. Thank you Corsham! you are still influencing after all these years.

Pauline or Paddy Allen as I was known then.

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Name:
Chris Garratt
Email:
 
Subject:
Fine Art - Painting
Dates:
1963-66
Date:
15 February, 2011

Comments

Good to read Paddy "Kansas City" Adamson's reminiscences about the ever changing personnel of the Big T Band, sometime house band at impresario Roy Forgan's "cheaper by the Double" Royal Oak. .... and Lest we forget drummers John Punt, Michael Albert and church organist Chris Hall who lent a special Baroque feel to Paul Deacon's murdering of James Brown's "I'll Go Crazy". I still think we should have done more Rolling Stones numbers, Tony.
And apologies to the local guy who lent us his amp which we ruined with a spilt pint of 6x. As he complained "it's only made of pressed cardboard." Keep on rockin'.

I am, playing tenor sax in a soul band. And Deeks is still murdering James Brown songs.

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Name:
David Alexander
Email:
 
Subject:
teacher training
Dates:
56-59
Date:
16 January, 2011

Comments

The glory years of Corsham!
Lots of us men had come straight from all male National Service and suddenly we were outnumbered by women. What wonderful years, great teaching, lovely place; we were very privileged. And all for free! We hid from Rosemary Ellis and threw our call up papers for the Suez Crisis in the bin. We had a film society in the barn and some great visiting lecturers like Nicholas Pevsner.

Wanda Szalinska are you out there somewhere?

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Name:
Brian Dunce
Email:
 
Subject:
Head of Graphics
Dates:
1980-85
Date:
09 January, 2011

Comments

Going through my files of 35mm slides, there are some general shots which I think must have been for use in promoting the course and campus. They may be the work of Helen Harris who was often doing photographic work for the Course. They will date from 81 or 82, and will be of interest to all who were there then. As I said above, they are 35mm colour transparencies. Being a dinosaur I have no reader!
Still meaning to put the vhs onto dvd, I have bought the machine.

Best wishes and love from Brian

17 March, 2011
Peter Lanyon exhibition at Tate St Ives, reminded me about how vital the teaching was by practitioners not bound up with masses of red-tape. Has the experience for students now been greatly reduced?

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Name:
Gerry McFarlane
Email:
 
Subject:
Ceramics
Dates:
74-78
Date:
01 January, 2011

Comments

GUESTBOOK TEST ... hope everyone has a good 2011 year to remember!!!

from an ecard sent by Graham Day

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