Lincoln Christ's Hospital School

Lincoln Christ's Hospital School
Educating in Lincoln since 1090

 

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Twenty-Five Years On

THE FIRST AMERICAN EXCHANGE

Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School History Paper No 6

by

Chris Williams

1. BEGINNINGS

25 years ago, in April 2015, a group of LCHS pupils travelled across to the United States of America on the return leg of the first exchange between Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School in a sequence which lasted until 2000. This was the first out-of-Europe experience for the school although of course there had been journeys to the ‘outer edge’ with the Iceland expeditions and also a Russia trip

The initial link between Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School and Canton High School wasn’t through schools, but through a well-established annual study visit for American educators organized by Professor John Heaps from the Education Department of Mansfield State University  and Bishop Grosseteste University. This led to the suggestion that there should be a school-to-school partnership and exchange

Bill Krause recalls that “The Seely’s were in England with Dr. John Heaps (Mansfield University professor). There was an offer by LCHS to venture into an exchange – more social and cultural. That idea was presented, by the Seely’s, to Canton with some issues to iron out since AFS (American Field Service) not a school sponsored activity. Legal issues concerning liability, time off of classes, etc. were all ironed out and the exchange began.”

“The first effort for an exchange was in 1987-88 with some upper level students desiring to sign on. The cost was an issue with those older students. A meeting was also held in Lincoln that produced a surprising interest from the younger students of LCHS. David Cox offered a November ‘89 visit. He did not want to have his students traveling near Easter ‘88 since it conflicted with preparation for various school tests”.

David Cox: “My recollection is that prior to 1989 we hosted a number of visits(3?) to the School led by John Heaps from Mansfield University, though how he came upon us I do not recall. Eventually we thought we would like something in return and as a USA link fitted our thinking it was contact via John that led to Canton HS being put forward”

2. THE VISIT TO LINCOLN

Monday, 13th November 1989

0720 - Planned arrival at Gatwick

2100 – Actual arrival at Gatwick

Tuesday, 21st November 1989

1200 – Departure from Gatwick

The Newark-Gatwick flights with Virgin cost $299 plus $23 tax

MEMORIES  AND  COMMENTS

Sunday, 12th November 1989

The pioneering group left Canton High School for the UK

 

 1

June Seely: “Sixteen students, Wayne and I boarded a bus at Canton High School on November 12, 1989 for Newark Airport as we looked forward to an exciting trip to Lincoln, England.  Check-in went smoothly but when we got to the gate we were told the flight would be delayed because of a severe thunder and lightning storm. After several hours we were finally allowed to board but we sat on the tarmac another hour before the plane finally took off (with the stormy conditions continuing). Needless to say the students, most of whom had never flown before, were getting a little edgy. However everyone relaxed and even were able to get some “shut eye” because the night flight over the Atlantic was relatively smooth. When we got to the airport we were told that we would have to circle a while because of the dense fog. “A while” turned out to be several hours and we were then told the plane was running out of fuel so we would have to land in Wales. They were going to try to get us another plane better equipped to land in fog. This didn’t happen so we were put on a bus to take us to Gatwick Airport.  When we finally got there it was 12 hours past our scheduled arrival time and we couldn’t find David Cox or Chris Williams, our hosts for the exchange. There was a Burger King on the top floor and we were all hungry so we took turns watching the luggage and going up to eat. When it was my turn I walked in and there was David. I was so happy to see him I gave him a big hug. Apparently there were two arrival areas – a bus terminal and the airport terminal. They were never informed we were coming in by bus so they were waiting at the other gate. We finally piled into the Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School vans and set out for the four hour drive to Lincoln. We arrived there at 2 A.M. and met our host families. We were supposed to go to school the next day but no one came in until the afternoon.“

Chris Williams: Yes, they were scheduled to arrive at Gatwick at 0720 on Monday 13th November 1989, but in reality it was the most frustrating day because the flight was delayed by fog, diverted to Cardiff and so the group finally reached Gatwick at about 2100 if I remember correctly. David had his car, while I had the minibus. Staying awake on the journey to Lincoln was a huge challenge!

They returned to the USA on Tuesday 21st with a flight from Gatwick at, I think, 1200.

My diary tells me nothing else about the group except that I was responsible for them on Friday 17th November, and that Wayne and June came to our house that evening. I haven't been able to look in our cuttings file yet

Jane Harwood (née Curbishley):“I did keep a diary as a teenager but only have an entry for the day Danielle arrived in Lincoln – we got home at 3am and were allowed into school late (obviously a huge treat for me!!). We must have been so busy during the visit that I don’t have any entries for the duration of their stay! The next entry says how much I missed Dan and what great fun we had, along with how much I was looking forward to seeing her and meeting her family.

I remember vague snippets such as saying good bye outside school very early on a very cold morning, and having Geography lessons with Dan in the classroom near the (then disused) swimming pool. New Kids on the Block were in the charts! No doubt we did a castle and cathedral tour but I can’t remember them if we did.

2

The other (photo) is at the Robin Hood Experience so Nottingham must have been on the itinerary for the UK trip.  I also vaguely remember shopping in Nottingham. My diary also mentions that I got a camera that Christmas, after the UK visit, which might explain why I only have the one photo from York”

June Seely: “The rest of the trip and the flight home were wonderful I might add. We enjoyed the trip to London on the “fast” train, the visit with the mayor and the tour of the cathedral. It was a memorable trip.”

Twenty-five years on the changes in the communications technology have been remarkable.  There were no mobile phones, no digital cameras and no internet When the incoming American group was diverted to Cardiff, communications between the welcoming party and hosts waiting in Lincoln used public phone-boxes in the airport concourse. The photographic record was limited to snaps ptaken on film which had to be developed and printed. There was the occasional Polaroid picture.  At the time of publishing this first version of the November 1989 first leg of the exchange, we only seem to have one photograph and one newspaper cutting. Hopefully this article will provoke participants to looking in the back of a cupboard or in the roof space for more

3. THE VISIT TO CANTON

The return visit was in April 1990

CHS host students: Angie Ameigh, Melony Cohick, Zeke Downy, Eary Feiock, Travis Fitch, Tanya Hamm, Danielle Krause, Carrie May, Jennifer Pepper, Stacy Reed, Misty Scott, Stacey Segur, Jeremy Spencer, Pam Stiner, Tracy Woodward, Stephanie Wooster, Sharla Wright

LCHS students: Colin Alexander, Sally Bullimore, Jonathan Cox, Jane Curbishley, Tina Davis, Fraser Dingley, Lynne Howden, Jonathan Hughes, Roger Hutchison, Treena Lambert, Joanne Lloyd, Tom Reeve, Fleur Richardson, Fiona Robinson, Nicola Turner, Nicola J Turner and Ann Wilkinson

LCHS staff: Mr.D.J.Cox  and Mr.C.R.Williams

The trip in outline

Chris Williams started an exercise-book diary by putting down the headings on a daily basis with the intention of writing the narrative during the quieter moments. There weren’t any, and so the ‘diary’ remains a series of bullet points which do at least provide a chronology. Times have been standardized to 24 hour clock and a couple of details ‘redacted’ to use a twenty-first century term, but otherwise the narrative is as written in the diary. Others have provided particular memories in the next section

Tuesday, 17th April 1990: Lincoln to Canton

             Meeting at Lincoln station

             The train trip south: Lincoln-Newark-Lincoln-Victoria Line-Gatwick

             The flight – VS001 – 747 ‘Maiden Japan’ - Captain Michael Herberts

             Inflight movie – ‘War of the Roses’

             Arrival in the USA

o             Immigration

o             Customs

             Bill Krause and the bus journey

             McDonald’s in Williamsport

             Arrival in Canton. First impressions

             First (and my only) night at the Seely’s

Wednesday, 18th April 1990: Day in school

             The school – Canton High School – ‘Warriors’

             First impressions – buildings, students, atmosphere

             The administrators

o             Mr.Jannone, Principal;

o             Mr.Krause, Vice-Principal;

o             Mr.Neff, Superintendent, Canton Area Schools District

             Some lessons – content and style

o             Business Education

o             History (United Nations)

o             History (American Education in the nineteenth century

             The faculty room (staff room)

o             Facilities

o             Smoking and ‘the cave’

o             Lunch and the cafeteria

             The elementary school

o             Principal

o             The tour – building, staffing and curriculum matters

             My hosts

o             Donna and Richard Packard

o             First introduction

             Evening at Mansfield University

o             Dr,John Heaps and the journey through the wilderness

o             Drinks with the Superintendant

o             The dinner

o             The concert at 7.30pm “in honour of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors”, program:

             “The Telephone” … Gian Carlo Menotti, an opera in one act

             “Façade” … William Walton, an entertainment with poems by Edith Sitwell and music by William Walton

3

From the Canton Independent Sentinel:

Heads flanked by Deputies, L to R:

Bill Krause, Robert Jannone, David Cox, Chris Williams

Thursday, 19th April 1990: Day in school

             0645 Shower and breakfast

             0745 Dropped off in the town centre for a walk while Donna went to school early, preparing for the visit of state legislators

             Temperature: 30F at the bank

             Shop windows

             House and streets:

o             The grid

o             Building materials and features

             Squirrels

             0830 Arrived at school – the yellow buses

             0831 Photo call for the weekly Canton Independent Sentinel

o             State senator Madigan

o             Representative Chadwick

o             The Principal, The Mayor and the visiting group

             0840 Team meeting …..

             0930 FFA Contest (Future Farmers of America

             Observation

o             Music – Junior Band (7th and 8th grade)

o             Maths (8th grade)

o             Computers (8th grade)

o             Phys.Ed. – the mile trial (7th grade)

             1515 Press Interview – presentation of medals to DJC and CRW – “Principal’s Award for Excellence” (see Appendix A )

             1530 Reception for the legislators – the food, the drink, the speeches and presentation

             1600 Dinner at Dr.Jannone’s

             The house – design and history, decoration, snacks, the meal

             The first after-dinner visit – Lamb’s Look-out

             The start of the second after-dinner visit

o             Teddy black bear

             The second after-dinner visit

o             1. The Red Run Rod and Gin Club, Ralston

             entrance

             rules “Vulgarity is now allowed”. “No minors at the bar”

             clientele

             décor

             gambling and hunting

o             2. The Wheel Inn, Roaring Branch

o             3. The Moose, Canton

             Conversation points in the afternoon and evening

o             Legal liability

o             Management structures

o             Salary – local negotiations – Superintendant $50,000; Principal $49,200

o             Pupil issues

             49% on free or assisted meals

             Alcohol

             Drugs and AIDS not a problem

             14/15 pregnancies per annum in school of 621

o             Self-esteem programmes

             2200 Home and bed

Friday, 20th April 1990:

             The school bus – driven by Beth Stiner

             The saw-mill – Kaminsky’s

             Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, N.Y.

             Lunch at McDonald’s

             Rockwell Museum, Corning, N.Y. – collection of western (American) art, Steuben glass and toys

             The journey home – Elmira and Troy

             An eventful evening – dinner at ‘Our House’

             The Fire Service I

             The Fire Service II  (n.b. CRW’s hosts, the Packards, were Fire-Police volunteers)

Saturday, 21st  April 1990: Niagara visit

             The car-load – DJC, CRW, Fiona Robinson, Joanne Lloyd, Ann Wilkinson, Sally Bullimore

             The journey

             The Falls

             Incident on the border

             Salad Bar – Ponderosa, Corning

Sunday, 22nd April 1990: family day – local visits with Rich and Donna

             Jogging! Dropped in a forest and navigated 8kms downhill to home

             On the shores of Lake Nepahwin – fish eggs. Jetties, ownership, maple syrup

             The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

             Trailer Park

             Mister Donut in Wellsboro

             CRW hunting tally – seen alive – black bear (captured), deer (at night), woodchuck, whooping crane, heron, buzzards, rabbits, squirrels

             CRW hunting tally – road-kill – skunk, deer, woodchunk

             Dinner and slides of Lincolnshire

Monday, 23rd April 1990: Visit to Troy

             Local politics

             The day c/o Paul Ulrich and Charlie Fox. Bus provided by Troy School District

             72F by midday

             Arrival – Library briefing. Donuts. Students in class

             CRW day

o             two lessons with slides of Lincolnshire

o             commercial television in classrooms discussion

o             lunch at the hospital!

o             Meeting the Superintendant

o             Another lesson

o             Scheduling (trans. timetabling) with Leonard

o             The Commons building

             Evening at the Ulrich’s

Tuesday, 24th April 1990: Day in and around Canton

             0900 Shopping

             1000-1130 – Future Farmers of America Round 2

             Lunch in the cafeteria

             Temperature: 74F at the bank

             Visit to Milky Way Farm

o             60 cows (Holsteins / Friesians); 750 gallons per week

o             the milk shake outlet

             Swayze’s Boxes - $8m annual turnover

             Eastern Best Presents

             Track Meet – Fleur Richardson’s runaway triumph

             A quiet evening at home

o             Lasagna; frozen fruit salad ice-cream with crème de menthe

o             World News – only British story concerned a sex change hearing the Strasbourg court

             2232 Bed

Wednesday, 25th April 1990: Last day in school

             A very hot night – why so hot at this time of year ?

             The storm

             Teaching classes – Lincolnshire slides and reactions

             Observing a French class

             Lunch at the Seely’s

             Conversation with a ‘sub’

             Dr.Jannone’s farewell

             Picture in the paper (again)

             Party at the Krause house

             2200 Temperature at the bank: 75F at 10PM!!

             More food

Thursday, 26th April 1990: Canton to New York

             0700 Departure. The American host students travelled with us

             The long drive back down Route 80

             Arriving in New York

o             Football stadiums

o             Lincoln tunnel

o             South end of Manhattan Island

o             World Trade Centre (107 floors)

o             The Museum of Modern Art

o             Hard Rock Café and Broadway

o             Times Square

             Newark  Airport

o             Farewell to the American hosts

o             A major passport problem (See ‘Memories’ below)

o             The flight – food, videos

Friday, 27th April 1990:

             Flying home – great views of Somerset

             0700 Arrival at Gatwick  - immigration, customs

             The Thameslink flyer, and Express from King’s Cross

             1458 Arrival at Lincoln Station – a warm afternoon

MEMORIES  AND  COMMENTS

4

Jane Harwood (née Curbishley): “One of the scanned photos I’ve attached was taken in Canton. It features Danielle Krause, Jane Curbishley and Trisha Krause, and the 1986 Chrysler New Yorker auto. I do have lots more from the return trip to Canton , let me know if you want more of these.

I also have a scrap book with an entry ticket to the World Trade Centre Towers – sadly, probably a collector’s item now.”

Sunday 22nd  April 1990 - Press coverage in “The Sunday Review”

The news coverage tended to be recycled, the attached cutting in Appendix A having the main content of a conversation between Principal Jannone and the visiting British staff.  It would be fair to say that not everything was written as it was said in the interview with the remarks reshaped for the Pennsylvanian Northern Tier readership, an approach not unique to Canton. Also some of the content stands the test of time better than others.  For this current paper, the writer has selected a small number of comments and reflected on them:

A.            ‘Freedom’ : RJ (Robert Jannone) observed “One thing we have to remember is that they [the visiting students] are used to an open campus and have a little more freedom as compared to American school”.  This was brought home to the Lincoln group leaders when they were asked why some of our students had left the high school buildings and walked into the centre of Canton i.e. LCHS Sixth Formers doing what is allowed when not in class or supervised private study. Apparently curtains had been twitching all down Main Street and there had been several phone calls complaining about this. On a later trip three smartly dressed members of the LCHS staff were followed all the way into town by the local police patrol cruiser because it was feared that Mrs Blyth, Miss Boyland and Miss Rutherford were up to no good. They were strangers and, perhaps even worse, they were on foot

B.            ‘What is taught’: “According to Cox, the present curriculum in England is chosen by each school, although the country will soon be taking steps to follow a more standardized curriculum”.  Twenty-five years later and after many changes of emphasis the UK curriculum is anything but standardized. However, there are strong expectations about outcomes and performance e.g. inspection is the responsibility of OFSTED – the Office for Standards in Education

C.            ‘Values’: “Cox added, “We’ve got to get some kind of value schedule into the school, because of the amount of social problems, especially the disintegration of the family unit”. “ A quarter of a century later this need remains in most western countries, the challenge often being contrasting and conflicting values rather than their absence.

D.            Bradford County: The interviewer also reported words of appreciation from the British staff members for the mountains and beautiful scenery, and their hope that LCHS would have the opportunity “to visit in the fall when the leaves are changing”. A few years the first band exchange took place in the spring of 1996, but on the next two the British crossed over for Halloween (October 1997) and the Apple and Cheese festival (September 1999), the latter with ten musicians from the German partner school as well.  Now, from the perspective of 2015, it would be interesting to see how a landscape and town dominated by forests and lush pastures for diary and veal farming have been changed by the onset of new employment in windfarms and fracking.

Bill Krause comments “One of the major employers (Schrader Bellows Valve Plant – now is occupied by CUDD Inc. – major player in the gas industry. Thirty miles to the east an 800 megawatt electric generating plant is under construction and will be fuelled by natural gas piped directly from wells located nearby. This is just one of the many changes coming to Bradford County. Fracking is another. The issue is the tainting of the water supply.” This is now a very live debate in the United Kingdom as well.

Wednesday 25th April 1990 - Bill Krause – Farewell Party

“We held the going away or farewell picnic/party at our place (Krause’s) and students were playing baseball in our lower lot across the road. There was a minor issue on the mountain later in the evening – you may have a better recollection of that gathering.”

Thursday 26th April 1990 A major passport problem

Chris Williams: “We reached Gatwick at 0700 on Friday 27th April, after a very tense time on the American side because one of our group had mislaid her key travel document, the passport! During the tour of New York, the passport had been stored in the back-pack of her American host for safe-keeping, but they both forgot about this in the excitement of the hurried farewells at the airport. The bus had disappeared into the distance when minutes later at check-in the student realized what had happened. This was not a good moment. There were no mobiles to facilitate situations like this in those days. There was no way of contacting the people on the bus heading back to Canton”

David Cox: “Once the enormity of the student’s passport mistake dawned we had a real problem. I remember having to leave you i/c the group while I entered the back offices, and I met a number of very unco-operative and rude Americans, those in uniform particularly so. Plan B turned out to be my raising my voice and starting to complain about all and everything to do with Virgin Customer care – eventually, and it was some time, I was heard by an executive who turned out to be British and eventually we came to an agreement that the student could fly, if I took responsibility. They said they would inform Gatwick (?) but when we arrived Immigration, of course, had no idea we were coming. The student had to prove her identity and at the bottom of her bag, and many minutes on, she found a Lincoln Library ticket with her name etc. What a performance for us all!”

Twenty-five years on we have mobiles and internet. It is also more than unlikely that a Lincoln Library card would be sufficient to allow someone to return to the UK!

4. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT ?

The next five years were quiet. David Cox did do a week of lectures/seminars at Mansfield University which he found to be ‘a rather small and introverted institution for someone from the UK’. Bob Jannone left the post of Principal of Canton High School to accept a position as Superintendent in New Hope, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1992. He was succeeded by Vice-Principal, William E. Krause, who recalls:

“After the first exchange there was a gap of time and during that period I became Principal – David or you (Chris) contacted me to begin again but under a themed exchange, hence the music. I was delighted to pick up the baton”

This led to a rapid-fire trio of band exchanges between February 1996 and Spring 2000 in which the late Ed Korolyk was the central musical figure while Chris Williams acted as tour manager. The final pair of band activities was a remarkable ‘Magic Triangle’ linking Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School, Canton High School and the Gymnasium Waldstrasse with concerts to school audiences in Canton and Lincoln, but also ‘on the road’ in the National Railway Museum in York and the Niagara Falls Visitors Centre.

The period saw a rapid shift in communications. In 1989-1990 and indeed February and April 1996, the main channel was air-letters. By the time of the second band exchange in 1997-1998, fax machines were the focal point, but by 1999-2000 email had become the preferred technology. Smart phones and effective conference calling were still a few years away.

Things changed at the start of the new millennium with Bill Krause’s retirement and other staff changes in Canton. Wayne and June Seely moved away. The election of George W.Bush and then 9/11 brought a sharply altered set of priorities. And after one low-key visit to Troy led by LCHS Deputy Head, Freddie White, the link went quiet.

The story of those five golden years from 1996 to 2000 will be told in a future history paper.

THE ARCHIVIST’S ANGLES

Writing recent school history is exhilarating. The participants and often their parents can add extra information and details to enhance the central narrative. They will sometimes have their own interpretations of events, which might be different from the official version if there is one. Also, it is important to remember that a generation after the events occurred, the audience might include the participants’ own children. Therefore, as a key principle, in writing for the Archive and the LCHS website, we will follow the general rule that “what happens on the trip stays on the trip” and leave most of the more embarrassing stories, if any, for later generations to discover for themselves.

Acknowledgements

For version one David Cox, Jane Curbishley, Bill Krause, Jane Seely and Chris Williams

Sources:

Bill Krause: documents from the 1989 visit to the UK

Canton Independent Sentinel

Chris Williams: personal travel diary

Garton Archive – post 1974 collection. A series of folders will be created and stored containing cuttings, photos etc from the whole series of Canton-Lincoln events

About the Writer

Chris Williams was a teacher of history and Deputy Headteacher at LCHS from 1986 to 2007 with two three month periods as Headteacher. He now works for the school and a number of organisations on a consultancy basis. He has been Honorary Archivist since 2005. In April 2014 he was appointed to a post with specific responsibility for the Archives of Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School since the reorganisation of 1974.

APPENDIX 1

ARTICLE FROM ‘THE SUNDAY REVIEW’ – Sunday, 22nd April 1990