Widening Participation Talk at Sir John Talbot's Comprehensive School, Whitchurch, Shropshire
On October 1st 2019 I was invited back once again to my old school to talk to the Sixth Form Forum. I provided them with a Whitchurch-specific and a school-specific talk to try to spark their interest in our Colonial Hangover project. It was entitled, 'Sir John Talbot's and Clive of India'. The link is really rather straightforward: when I was at the school, one of the houses was named after Robert Clive, who was treated as something of a local celebrity. I began by asking them whether me and my classmates should regret our passivity in the face of one of our school houses being named after someone who by today's system of public morals would be considered a war criminal. This then became a prelude to asking them to reflect on whether the Clive name should be removed from various locations in North Shropshire and what they would do about the fact that Clive's statue still stands proudly in the main market square in the county town of Shrewsbury. Sixty-seven sixth-formers were in attendance.