International Peace Day and a new beginning….

Today is my first day of study at Bradford University in the subject of peace. When I look at the timetable, there’s not much there that looks like peace. No flowers in our hair, or guitars, no Woodstock, no holding hands. Instead it looks like this: Fragile States, Framing the Middle East, Political Violence and Terrorism, Security Studies and International Politics and so on. Politics. Economics. Weapons. War. Human Trafficking. In amongst all these are little glimmers of hope in subjects like Gender, Social Movements, Human Rights, Applied Conflict Resolution.
From what I have seen of everyone present last week, there is a lot of emotion and real heart-felt concern. People of all ages, but especially many young people, who want to strive for a peaceful existence. And it is when you are with young people from places like Cambodia, Nigeria, Iran, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Japan, that you know and feel there is hope for peace and stability.
As my lot would say – Naprijet! (Onwards) in peace and please remember every day, that there are a small team of young people busy, working towards a better future, right here on your doorstep.
Today Yorkshire CND are coming for a session, so are the Quakers. Yorkshire, too, has a long history in the desire for equality and peace and that is why the course came about here, the first of its kind, and it’s been around for 40 years.
In the meantime, keep having a good time whenever you can. Mother Earth loves the positive vibes.

Always towards the light…


Books books books…

I’m wending my way through many different kinds – historical, fantasy, sic-fi, poetry, shorts, novels, academic. With thanks to authors, publishers, libraries and folk who have encouraged me through the decades. It’s encouragement, not the opposite, which enables a person, like me, who is a little bit challenged in reading and writing. It can help a person, at any age, to realise their potential and help them feel a part of the literate world around them.  Go gently enable…it’s one of the best things you can do.


61. J.B. at the JBPL: The Opening of the J.B. Priestley Library, 18 October 1975

This is how the library looked when I worked there. You should see it now! Iy has grown so much.

100 Objects

On 18 October 1975, J.B. Priestley opened the Library that bears his name at the University of Bradford.  We know a great deal about the opening ceremony thanks to files in the University Archive and this week’s Object, an album of photographs taken on the day and presented to Priestley as a memento.   This later returned to the University as part of Priestley’s Archive.

Presentation slip in album commemorating opening of J.B. Priestley Library 1975Proceedings began the night before with a small dinner party in “one of the private dining rooms” in the main building.  The menu survives: Florida Cocktail or Spring Vegetable Soup, then sole, lamb, and Cherry Cheese Cake.  Harold Wilson, the University’s first Chancellor and Prime Minister at the time, wrote to Vice-Chancellor Ted Edwards that “the warmth of the occasion surpassed even the high quality of the cuisine”.

Priestley and Harold Wilson looking at book by shelves in new J.B. Priestley Library Priestley and Harold Wilson looking at book by shelves in new J.B. Priestley Library

On the day…

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