One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that always captured my imagination as a boy, was the account of Nebuchadnezzar and the hanging Gardens of Babylon.
He was an administrator, an architect and an engineer. He was also a warlike leader. When one of the provinces revolted in 596 he suppressed the revolt and deported part of the population. There was a further revolt some year later on so he slew the king’s sons before his eyes – in cold blood. He then blinded the king and carried off most of the population into captivity.
The gardens were built on terraces – and rested on great slabs of rocks. An ingenious system of buckets carried water to the different parts of the garden. The beauty of the gardens was so great that they were named as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
I worked with Eleven Plus children today on a large and popular course. The children went out to play in the large grounds of the Hurst Road Community Centre in Sidcup in Kent. There were several large and over hanging trees. Some children were fascinated by the trees – trying to knock down conkers while others played in and around the low vegetation.
Little heads popped out of hiding places as some of the children played an endless game of tag. Football was the predominant game of the boys. Each break time the composition of the teams seemed to change – but the score appeared to start again. While all this frantic activity was going on groups of boys and girls wandered around the grounds.
This could have been a scene from years ago. The games may have changed. The clothes are certainly very different. It is likely, however, that in our group of Eleven Plus children are the future architects, engineers, administrators, doctors, teachers, artists as well as sportsmen and women.
We can but pray that none of them will be drawn to violent acts against man kind but we do hope that at least some of the children will go on to build another wonder of the world.
Our Eleven Plus courses have run this week in Manchester, Southend, Ashford, Gravesend, Sidcup and Salisbury.
Thank you to all our dedicated teachers and assistants.
Thank you to all the parents who have entrusted their children to us.
We wish all the children well in their examinations. Like all their parents we think that they are wonderful.