Spotlight on the Highway

Spotlight on the Highway: This month we look at a volume of the Highway from 1958 and find some very contemporary issues

Spotlight on Volume 50; November 1958

Reading The Highway reminds us that the issues that interest WEA members have changed very little. This volume has an interesting evaluation of the “immense social experiment” that is the NHS only ten years after its inception. Whilst there is talk of the size of drugs bills and long waiting lists the article reminds the reader of the impressive achievements of the NHS and that “nobody needs to worry that any more that a major illness may mean ruin”. The four million admissions referred to in the article have grown to over 16 million in 2016.  The WEA has significant projects funded by the NHS such as Tandrustri http://www.wea.org.uk/about-us/our-impact/health-and-wellbeing demonstrating the importance of community education on health outcomes

Cultural education was equally important in 1958, with the magazine featuring articles on science and music and the editor affirming the ambition to “introduce political zealots to archaeology, to convince historians of the importance of literature and to persuade art students that society is worth a little analytical study once in a way”. Surely this is what the WEA still does so brilliantly 114 years on. As indicated in the magazine we still welcome your contributions and encourage you to use the editor’s suggestions to build your local subscriptions. Finally, one lovely link to the contemporary, is demonstrated by the report on a summer school for “Colonial Students in England” which refers to Miss Lalage Bown, then a resident tutor in Uganda. Miss Bown later became Deputy President of the WEA and has recently celebrated her 90th birthday. You may have heard her interview on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04p8pzp earlier in the year.