The plaque marks the rededication of Impington Village College in 1989. It was made by the Kindersley Workshop in Cambridge to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the College and was addressed by Sylvia West in the presence of Mr Bevan, Lord Lieutenant.
Address by Sylvia West, Warden of Impington Village College, 18 September 1989
Extract from 'The Henry Morris Collection'. Edited by Harry Ree CUP 1984 - On occasion of rededication of College
Mr. and Mrs. Bevan, Bishop, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am pleased to respond to the unveiling of this impressive and festive plaque; pleased, too, to have been encouraged to choose the inscription.
It seems to me right that David and Lida Kindersley should have been commissioned to do this for the college’s jubilee. Not only did David design and cut out the plaque in the Carnegie Room, which acknowledges the Chivers gift for the Adult Wing, and the school sign, but I know that David links with Henry Morris’ era and shares similar views on education and the place of the arts/ works of arts in the emotional and intellectual development of the young.
The lines I have chosen are from Meredith as were those of the first plaque when the College was opened:
“Full lasting is the song, though he,
The singer, passes; lasting too,
For souls not lent in usury,
The rapture of the forward view.”
(The Thrush in February)
The lines of today’s plaque come from “The Empty Purse” and were also favourites of Henry Morris. He used the whole stanza in a festival programme in 1931:
“Thou under stress of the strife
Shalt hear for sustainment supreme
The cry of the conscience of life:
Keep the young generation in hail
And bequeath them no tumbled house.”
Looking at the rich orange against the gold, David’s design gives marvellous weight to the lines; it is a work of art and a marker in our history.
Certainly we are not quite the ‘tumbled house’ in a literal sense thanks to our County Property Department which over the last three years has worked with us to bring fabric and spaces up to date and quality.
I share Morris’ conviction that the future of education and its attendant administration is safest with artists, philosophers and thinkers who can realise their ideas. Today, I fear, so much bureaucracy is concerned with means not ends.
Thus I am delighted to have this fusion of craftsmanship, art and poetry to encourage us on our way.
Both the Meredith quotes refer to the future and the need for vision to look beyond the limits of finance or moment. Dipping into Morris’ writings recently I feel we are attuned to his thinking here at IVC and are forming the plans needed for the 21st century, following vision with realisation.
We shall go as far as we can see and see how far we can go, conscious always of future generations and the hope in the young (of course, 0 – 90 years!).
We can consider our past today with confidence and pride, but more of all we must look forward.
The siting of the plaque (like the first) around a corner was a deliberate decision. Not only does the light here fall across the slate but it is better to come upon such things. It will be there for a long time (araldite permitting), and rather like an ancient building or church might reveal its riches gradually and from many angles, the plaque and inscription will continue to seep into our consciousness.
Perhaps I could finish with reference to Harry Ree on Morris and thoughts of the future:
“Each age is a dream that is dying, and one that is coming to birth. We have raised the school leaving age to 90. Where every single being is significated in the economic and cultural order… where every local community becomes an educational society, and where education becomes not merely a consequence of good government, but good government a consequence of education.”