Not a Single Excuse

Ward, Alan

Published by A & P W Consultants Ltd
ISBN 10: 0957205201 / ISBN 13: 9780957205208
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2012. Paperback. This book is both a family history and a personal memoir. It spans roughly 200 years from 1800 to 2000. The early chapters are a social history of the Ward family through the 19th and early 20th centuries and personal reflections on seven decades from 1930 to 2000, by a politician who has seen politics from the front line. Num Pages: 248 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: BG. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 158 x 235 x 22. Weight in Grams: 490. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: The first part of this book is essentially a family history which attempts to indicate conditions at the time of, and background to, events surrounding it. It may be of interest, therefore both to those interested in ancestry research and those interested in social history, particularly of the 19th and early 20th Century. Some of the characters were military people and their adventures in many ways epitomise the Britain of the 19th Century. We follow William Ward for example from his birth place in Colchester through to the plains of India, the Crimean Peninsula and finally via Ireland to his death in Canada as a member of the 16th Regiment of Foot. We also meet his son, William James; who finds himself in a school for orphans at the age of seven and becomes an Army schoolmaster, ending his days as a Warrant Officer Class One with the 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards at Wellington Barracks in London. During his service he had two spells in the Indian sub-continent with his wife Ellen Jane, who gave birth to nine children, two of which were born on the Northwest frontier on the borders of Afghanistan. The second part of the book is a personal memoir of the author reflecting on his life from the time of the outbreak of the Second World War to the Millennium and the advent of New Labour. This gives us a feeling for a school boy living through the momentous events of the war and traumatic decade that followed it. It gives us some personal insights into education in the post war decades from the perspective of a schoolmaster and as a result of a teacher exchange programme some views of America in the dramatic year of 1969-70 when he taught in Chicago and travelled extensively throughout the continental USA. We then move to the author's experiences as a local politician and a council leader in the last decades of the century. These include his involvement in the development of Bracknell Forest Borough as it emerged from the time when Bracknell itself was a new town to a fully fledged unitary authority. This gives us insights into the workings of politics at the absolute grassroots level and gives us a view of the degree to which individuals can influence what happens and similarly to why they often cannot!

About the Author: Having qualified as a teacher of Physics and Maths in 1959, Alan became a Schoolmaster initially at the County Grammar School for Boys in Wallington which at that time was in the County of Surrey. His career there progressed from a newly qualified teacher to a senior housemaster by the end of his first decade as a teacher. Apart from his academic teaching he was heavily involved in coaching the boys in rugby and to a lesser extent in cricket. Towards the end of this decade he joined the London Society of Rugby Union Referees and eventually progressed from their area lists to their intermediate lists where he refereed matches between the first teams of second level clubs and the second teams of the top London clubs. The top match of his career being, possibly the occasion when he refereed a match between the second team of the Harlequins and the London Irish. He also refereed the preliminary rounds of the prestigious Middlesex Sevens and on one occasion refereed a match at Grant Park in the middle of Chicago between two local teams in Northern Illinois. In 1969/70 he became a Fulbright exchange teacher to the United States. This involved him teaching in an American High School in the Southwest suburbs of the city of Chicago and gave him a lifetime interest in American affairs. He has visited or travelled through over thirty of the fifty states of the USA and has considerable knowledge of the country having read extensively over the years its history, politics and geography. After his American experience he moved to a Comprehensive School in Berkshire where he remained throughout the remaining twenty five years of his career being initially a Housemaster then Head of the Upper School and retiring with the title of Senior Master. During that period he became active in local politics joining Bracknell District Council in 1979. For many years he was Leader for the Council and during this time was instrumental in it becoming a Borough Council. More significantly he played an active role in the completion of a number of major projects in that borough, notably the redevelopment of the Peel Centre, the building of the Wilde Theatre at South Hill Park, the Coral Reef and The Look Out. Other projects in which he was significantly involved include the Marks and Spencer/Tesco development at the Meadows, the construction of the Sandhurst/ Crowthorne bypass and the construction of the housing estates at Forest Park. After relinquishing the role of Leader, he became the Mayor of the Borough and believed that his active years in politics had probably come to a natural end. The advent of Bracknell becoming a Unitary Authority with the demise of Berkshire County Council enabled him to take on the new challenge of Chairman of Education for the new authority a post which he occupied successfully for ten years establishing the phrase 'all schools will be good schools' as the Borough's philosophy for education. Currently, he has taken on the challenging role of managing the Council's budgets at a time of national financial crisis.

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Title: Not a Single Excuse
Publisher: A & P W Consultants Ltd
Book Condition: New

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Leterman, Elmer G. And Foreword By Eric Johnston , in Collaboration with Edward Sagarin and Pictures By Dave Pascal
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