Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Big Society and Social History

In 2010 the UK Prime Minister launched the Big Society initiative  There were five main threads to this:
  1. Give communities more powers.
  2. Encourage people to take an active role in their communities.
  3. Transfer power from central to local government.
  4. Support charities and social enterprises.
  5. Have open and transparent government
The Big Society Network was set up in the same year in order "to generate, develop and showcase new ideas to help people to come together in their neighbourhoods to do good things." but in 2014 the Big Society Network was put into administration owing money to the government and an application was made to the Charity Commission to have the organisation wound up! David Cameron did not use the term "Big Society" in public after 2013 and the phrase is no longer used in government statements.

Critics have concluded that the Big Society was intended primarily as a mechanism for reducing the size of the state and that austerity (in other words withdrawal of central financial support) in combination with the 5 principles of the Big Society would re-invigorated civic society. It didn't.

I would go further - in my role as Chair of Governors at a local school (equivalent to a School Board in the USA) I am finding it harder and harder to attract high quality applicants to serve as governors. It is particularly hard to find Foundation Governors (representatives of the Diocese). In theory we should have 3 such governors but for most of the last 18 months we had only one and there is a very real chance that in September we will have none at all.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Highlights of Great Orme Cemetery

Martin Nicholson's Cemetery Project

Martin Nicholson's Cemetery Project

St Tudno, Great Orme, Llandudno, Conwy, Wales

In the sixth century the young Tudno (pronounced “Tidno”) entered the monastery of Bangor is Coed, near Chester, which was renowned for its learning, patriotism and missionary zeal. In faith, Tudno then came to the ancient rock of the Great Orme and climbed the steep paths of the windswept headland to bring to the little round stone huts the message of Christianity. St. Tudno’s Church, on the Great Orme, is an emblem in stone of the witness of men down the ages to the faith first brought to this part by Tudno, Saint and Confessor. St. Tudno is now the patron saint of Llandudno and his feast day is celebrated on 5th June.

The dam on Llyn Eigiau, Dolgarrog, Gwynedd collapsed killing 16 people.

"Our own world champion".

Joseph Hobson and Thomas Jones were accidentally drowned in Llandudno Bay on Investiture Day in 1911.

The communal grave for a local Order of Nuns.

Brian Digby Cooke died in Singapore while undertaking his National Service.

Killed one month after his wedding day.

Aged 101.

RMS Leinster was a vessel operated by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, served as the Kingstown (now DĂșn Laoghaire)-Holyhead mailboat until she was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UB-123 on 10 October 1918, while bound for Holyhead. She went down just outside Dublin Bay at a point four miles (6 km) east of the Kish light. Over 500 people perished in the sinking – the greatest single loss of life in the Irish Sea.

Sir William Malesbury Letts (1873-1957) was a pioneer of the British Motor Trade and Co-Founder of the Automobile Association.

Aged 101.

Rowland Roberts was killed at the Stafford Road Works Wolverhampton in 1875.

James Lee "was killed by a fall from the Great Ormeshead" in 1871. He was aged 8.

Robert Price was a Gas Engineer.

Harry Van Wart was drowned following the upsetting of a boat.

George Edwards was the Agent of the Llandidno (sic) Copper Mines.

One unusual feature of this cemetery is the large number of interestingly shaped memorials including ones the like of which we have not seen elsewhere.

Martin Nicholson - Daventry, United Kingdom.
This page was last updated on August 19th 2014