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Rosamund Gilbert (Osbourn) is now (one of) the earliest contributors to the site and has provided us with photos, term reports and her recollections of Corsham from the early 50's.

"Having studied at Bath Academy of Art from 1951 to 1953, I must be amongst the oldest group of ex-students… a somewhat doubtful honour! Only recently have I made a first return visit to Corsham Court after a gap of almost fifty years. This prompted an Internet search which, much to my delight and surprise, led to this site.
As a result, many very happy memories were revived of people, places and events:
the wonderful house and its setting, the cycle rides from Monks Hall and the army huts in which we lived, the library full of fantastic art books, tutors such as Peter Lanyon, William Scott, Litz Pisk, Isabelle Symons, Helen Binyon, James Kirkup, Colin Thompson, Peter Potworowska and, of course, Clifford and Rosemary Ellis.
Particularly vivid memories include tea-time Marmite sandwiches at Corsham Court, stretching and dancing in black leotards on the lawns at Monks Hall and sketching each other according to Litz Pisk's directions. I also remember waiting on the platform of Bath railway station, for a train home to the north of England, and hearing an announcement of the death of Stalin.
Coming from a northern city and a wartime school background, the experience of Corsham was one of immense stimulation and freedom. People from that era, with whom I have been in touch, are all filled with an intense enthusiasm for art which seems to have been generated within us in such a way that it has motivated and sustained us over a lifetime… quite an achievement! At that time the staff-student relationships as well as the whole educational ethos were quite revolutionary with most art schools being still stuck in a rigid and traditional, highly academic approach.
I retired from a Senior Lectureship at Manchester Polytechnic some ten years ago after a lifetime in a variety of teaching posts, ranging from Primary to Higher Education, and ultimately obtaining a Ph.D from Exeter University. As well as this I also married and raised a family.
Very recently I have met up again with two fellow students: Janet Harrison and Pamela Pebworth.
Looking through the site it saddened me to think that an institution with such vitality should have been closed down although, even had it survived a little longer, I doubt that it would have stood much chance in today's educational environment of curricula design, rigorous assessment and economic pressure. Its successes were achieved by far more subtle and ineffable processes, through quiet and patient contact, which, in the end, proved remarkably long lasting. I feel very lucky to have been part of it at its best."
Probably taken at Beechfield - 1951
 L to R:- Back row : unknown : unknown : Fred Haley : Janet Harrison
Rosamund Gilbert
(me) : Denis Holden (first year only)
Front row : unknown : Doreen Heaton (later Mrs Potworowska)
Anne Harris
: Irena Heard : unknown
Outside the army huts at Monk's Park
L to R:- Rosamund Gilbert : Anne Harris : Irena Heard : Ruth Herbert-Smith
Monk's Park
L to R:- Rosamund Gilbert : Barbara Whitney : Jean Webster :
Janet Harrison : unknown
First end-of-term report
"so full of old-fashioned politeness..
I can't think of anyone even dreaming of going to such trouble today!"

'a roomful of large Secondary Modern boys' - must have been over 6ft at least!
Reference given at the end of 2nd year course.
"I was given the option of staying on for a third year but my parents thought it was time for me to
start earning my own living. I have spent a lifetime regretting that lost opportunity."
"I went camping on the continent with Rosemary Farrington shortly after leaving Corsham but later lost touch. She worked in Paris for a time and I understand that she is still alive and living in Australia. Derek Ellwood, I believe, made a name for himself as a sculptor but is now, I think, passed away.
Doreen Heaton married Peter Potworowska. Irena Heard was of white Russian extraction. I met her once in Nice and went to the Greek Orthodox Church with her. Also stayed with her in London. Anne Harris was ex WAAF and was nine years older than me. Denis Holden stayed for only one year but just didn't return for second year. Kate Nicholson... I did my teaching practice at Chippenham with her. Janet Harrison moved from Art to English and did a Master's and Ph.D in America. Her interest is oral poetry but she also does tapestry work. Pamela Pebworth stopped teaching and moved into furniture restoration and then into wood-cutting, a craft she still pursues. I am still in touch with Janet Harrison & Pamela Pebworth."

Rosamund Gilbert died 2013

Top of the page 1950 Provisional Prospectus - was this the first? Pam Pebworth 51-54