Dot Wilkinson’s Calligraphic Journey
Whilst teaching a poster went up on the noticeboard advertising a course in Calligraphy for Teachers. It was for a five-day residential course at Woolley Hall near Wakefield where I lived. It was difficult to get permission to be away from school for a whole week, but I made it.
The tutor was Donald Jackson – I had never heard of him! [He is/was the official calligrapher to the Queen] (Donald Jackson had agreed to come to Yorkshire because as a young boy he came to Scout Camp at Woolley Hall and wanted to return and see it.) I met him again at a Lay Members Day he remembered coming to Yorkshire in the early 80s and enjoyed himself.
It was magic. Since then it has been so interesting. Donald Jackson was magnificent and he fired quite a number of us with deep interest.
I found an evening class in calligraphy at a school at Crofton, Wakefield and learned the basics and more from Brian Walker, who, sadly died last year. He was a head teacher near Wakefield, and was a marvellous calligrapher as well as an excellent teacher. I learnt a lot from him.
I retired from teaching soon after. I wanted to go on courses and spend more time doing what I liked. Eventually I became a member of SSI, went to Lay Members' day exhibitions.
In 1994 when CLAS was formed I became a member, and have been ever since.
I booked a place on one of Gaynor’s workshops at Flatford Mill. It was supposed to be a mini holiday but it turned out to be hard work! I went again the following year it was so good. She is a wonderful teacher, the courses were magnificent. A correspondence course followed which lasted some years. She became my tutor, she saw me through three CLAS diplomas and Tutor Accreditation. I couldn’t have done any of it without Gaynor’s guidance.
I can’t thank Gaynor enough for all her help. Other Fellows who came to York have also been very helpful. I joined classes in York, Darlington and Sheffield, met some very good teachers and learnt a lot. Travelling to and teaching other groups in the North east has been a real challenge but I have enjoyed it all.
I started a class in Filey in the nineties and had a steady flow of budding calligraphers-- you learn a lot when teaching adults. Learning together is a bonus. One or two are on the ladder of progress and doing well.
They helped me to get through the "accredited tutor". which led to teaching other groups in and around the York area. Travelling to and teaching other groups in the North East has been a challenge, but I have enjoyed it all.
Doing the Advanced Diploma just about finished studying for me. Arthritis set in and my fingers are affected. After 20 years, one of my colleagues has taken over. She is a qualified teacher and a very good calligrapher. So calligraphy continues in Filey.
I have met some well-known professional calligraphers from SSI and CLAS. I do wish they would sort out their differences. There is a place for both national bodies.
Mary Jackman's project: 2018
The Centenary of the end of the first world war meant that many places were looking at their own history, and they wanted to acknowledge the involvement of local families. Representatives from St Mary’s Church in Marton in the Forest wanted a list of the names of Marton men who fought in WW1 to be written to display in the church as part of the commemorations. They found York Scribes on our website and two members came to our next meeting asking for our help. I offered to have a look at it for them. They undertook considerable research in order to establish the names for this list, even including one man who had emigrated to Canada then enlisted from there. They also established, for those who died, the place of death and the memorials where their names are recorded– the Menin Gate – Tyne Cot – Loos. We decided that a simple list in gothic script, with a cross for those who died, suited their request. Mary Jackman