The Higgledy-Piggledy House

Little Moreton Hall is a higgledy-piggledy house in Cheshire. I visited it with my parents when we first moved to Salford a couple of decades ago (I can’t remember it at all) and recently revisited it.

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Little Moreton Hall and grounds

Higgledy-piggeldy is the only way to describe it. ‘Wonky’ could work for some of it in isolation but to apply it to the whole would be assigning a kind of uniformity to it. It suggests that all of it is leaning or sinking in the same direction or all at once.

Not so with Little Moreton Hall. Each wall, timber frame and floor board seem tired by themselves, independent of the others, and wishes to go to sleep in completely different dens. It is higgledy-piggledy.

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Cosmopolitan responsibility

Can we, through mere conversation, come to tolerate and accept every other human being on this planet? Do we have a practical and positive responsibility to every single human being on this planet by the nature of our shared humanity? What are our basic responsibilities to every other human on the planet?

I read Cosmopolitanism by K.A. Appiah over Christmas. It took a couple of goes and lots of jotting down to figure out his argument but I think I’ve got the basics. The questions above were raised by Appiah and answered in a sort of philosophical/anthropological/sociological/economical way. It went something like:

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Curriculum + archives = education

This is the last idea I’d like to share with you from the Being Young During WW1 conference. It was discussed in Peter Yeandle’s talk on pacifism and the changing curriculum of wartime to post-war. The idea pokes at the relationship between truth and the curriculum in schools.

Yeandle explained that during the war the curriculum in this country was engineered to inspire patriotism. It was to serve the purpose of the national propaganda, not to guide children’s minds and abilities to their full potential.

The move sort of backfired however, as many teachers were enlisted in the war and therefore unavailable to teach and many children were truant or had joined the war effort.

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Surprisingly insightful

Following on from my previous post about the Being Young During WW1 conference I attended in November 2015, I’ve another insight to pay forward.

Carolyn Kay shared her brilliant research into what young children thought about the war, through the medium of German children’s drawings. It was surprisingly insightful!

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A violent scene from a child’s imagination. Kind of reminds me of the Bayeux Tapestry.

Art had only relatively recently been added to the German curriculum when the war broke out and teachers, Kay explained, encouraged young children represent in drawings what they thought the war was like.

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What stories have we missed?

Back in November 2015 I went to a conference hosted by the Manchester Centre for Regional History. Its purpose was to present and discuss research undertaken on young people’s lives in World War One and it raised some really interesting points and questions.

In the next few posts, I’ll be exploring some of the ones that have kept on popping up in my head over the last couple of months.

What stories have we missed?

Now. This is an age-old query and it’s not just one about general knowledge (although the amount of that which has been lost over time due to lack of sufficient records is excruciating to think about).

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