An Insight Talk at Gordon’s School by Jeremy Paxman

Gordon’s School in West End host occasional Insight Talks, which they describe as,

giving students, parents, and staff the opportunity to meet, listen to, and ask questions of experienced professionals.

It’s to the school’s credit that they’ve attracted such impressive past speaker’s. As a Friend of Gordon’s School, we can be in the audience for these talks. And so it was that we listened to Jeremy Paxman’s talk yesterday evening, Nice camel, but was Charles Gordon really a hero?

Having described the exploits of General Gordon within his documentary series on the history of the British Empire. His talk was a deeper examination of General Gordon’s career, character and actions.

In typical Paxman style he surmised that while brave, and being an outstanding leader, Gordon was a deeply flawed character, and was involved in some of Great Britain’s more shameful wars and actions. Jeremy concluded that Gordon is part of our national past, and we should not expunge him from our history, but should reflect on the good and the bad of the man. Here are a few photos from the evening – click on images to expand.

Butterfly watching in a group led by experts

We could have spent Sunday afternoon TV viewing, watching the Wimbledon men’s tennis final, the British F1 Grand Prix, or stage 15 of the Tour de France, instead we went butterfly watching in Horsell Common.

The butterfly watching event, organised by the Friends of Gordon’s School, was led by two lepidopterists, Lee Slatter and Geoff Eaton from the Surrey Branch of the Butterfly Conservation Society. 

Though not far from us in Surrey Heath, we’ve never previously been to Horsell Common. It’s not as open as the heathland in Surrey Heath, being more wooded, and with narrower paths. Here are photos of butterflies we saw.

Gordon’s School Insight Talk on the relevancy of the High Sheriff, Lord Lieutenant, and Police & Crime Commissioner

This looks like a fascinating evening, where Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner, High Sheriff, and Lord-Lieutenant discuss the relevancy of their roles. You can apply HERE to be a Friend of the School, and then apply to join the audience for the evening Insight Talk.


Having fun baking with Jack

bake-with-jackThe Friends of Gordon’s School organised a Saturday afternoon baking class in the school food technology laboratory. It was a Bake with Jack class.

If you’re thinking that I’d learned bread making, you’d be wrong. My dear wife joined the class, and I turned up near the end to see the results.

Luckily I was there in time to watch Jack slice up some bread, sprinkle olive oil over the bread and heat it in the oven. Out of the oven, Jack added beetroot relish and feta cheese, and then popped it back in the oven. Before serving, I think he sprinkled nuts on top. Whatever, it was delicious. Such a simple idea.

He followed this with another topping, again heated in the oven – this one with with tomatoes and, oh, I don’t know what. Scrummy again. Maybe I should’ve have baked with Jack.

The RHS at Wisley offer the delights of tasting old apple varieties

We joined a group of Friends of Gordon’s School visiting the Royal Horticultural Society at Wisley. We were guided by Bernard Boardman, who led us through the grounds, the Glasshouse, and to the orchards where we tasted some of their 700 apple varieties.

I’m still not sure if it was in Bernard’s plan when we stopped by apple trees of Pitmaston Pineapple variety. They are small apples with a mottled dull yellow skin. They have a succulent taste with a hint of pineapple – simply scrumptiously delicious, as were Autumn Pearmain and Bowden’s Seedling. There’s a special fruit tasting weekend at Wisley on the weekend of 24th and 25th October, it’s well worth attending for the apple tasting. I was pleased to interview Bernard after the visit, listening to him describe his affection for the fruit trees.