Western Morning News

Colston made the school that made me

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THANK you, Mrs A. Earl, for your letter about Edward Colston. Everything in it was true and there are too many people nowadays that wish to sweep “do-gooders” of yesteryear under the carpet. Every time I see the film of the toppling of the statue, I weep, and talking to other of my contempora­ries they too weep.

You see, we had a very good education at a school that was built by money made by Colston and others of his ilk. We were not the top school in Bristol for the girls, but we came very near. Those of us there between the 1920s and the 1950s (my cousin was there before me) had a good grounding and many went to Oxbridge.

I do wish in general the folk of today would look to our history and not try to rewrite it. What is going to happen to the memories people have of things 100 years ago when we are 100 and more? We remembered WW1 not many years ago and people still living had grandparen­ts and other relatives fighting then. I can remember 193945 and we carried on going to school with daylight raids and mothers at home were frightened for their children. Are future people going to say “that did not happen” and take down our revered war-time leader?

We must remember Edward Colston for all the good he did for the Bristol people and made it a city and county it is today. He was by no means the only man to do what he did and we must not forget them. Perhaps his statue should have been removed from the centre of Bristol and put with others in the museum, several years ago, at least it would have been safe there. But I do not agree with the present Head of Colston’s Girls School taking away the statue from just inside the front door. There would not have been a school with the history that it has without him.

One last thing. In the days I was at the school, we all had respect for our teachers, our uniform, and the school itself. We treasured the history of past pupils and we remembered our Benefactor in November every year with a service at the Cathedral when we wore our bronze chrysanthe­mums with pride.

Again, thank you, Mrs Earl, for all your wonderful comments.

Gwen Hewlett,

Gloucester

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