Search This Blog

Monday, April 08, 2013

Ball Point Pens and The Eleven Plus

Will writing ever came back to mean something in the world of the eleven plus?

The earliest kind of writing was done by carving ideographs or pictures, each representing an idea, on stone, bone or any other hard material. As far as we know this form of writing has been inexistence for thousands of years.

The Assyrians and Egyptians used cuneiform and hieroglyphic writing but when man started using papyrus then writing became easier. Many of the present European alphabets were derived from the Phoenicians. In time capital letters were used and cursive writing spread over Europe. Steel pens supplanted quill pens – and, in time, more and more people learnt to write.

The biro then made a big impact on writing. Our next door neighbour in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, was Baron Hercules Robinson who lived, with his wife Janet, next door to us. `Herkey’, as he was known, `won’ the agency for biros for large parts of Southern Africa. He was also very good at backgammon and bridge. We were told that he made more money playing bridge than he did as a regular worker! He inherited a castle up in Scotland from his Aunt – and then had to work very hard to develop and maintain the castle. Culcreuch Castle is near Fintry in Stirlingshire.

When I watched a child pick up a biro pen today to work on some eleven plus work – I suddenly thought of the Robinsons and how their dog used to fight with our dog. Will any of today’s eleven plus children end up as Barons and Baronesses? Will any eleven plus children make more money playing bridge than working for a living? Can a child be successful even if he or she does not pass the eleven plus?

No comments: