For WEA's 120th birthday, we are looking back at some of our rich history. Take a look below at this learner story, written by an anonymous individual, for a 1947 edition of WEA's Highway Magazine.
"I am a worker, and in that sphere which is so often overlooked - the home. I am also an educated worker, and because of my two sons, to say nothing of my innate love of learning. I wish to remain so, or at least to do my utmost in that direction. Many will appreciate the fact that, for a wife and a mother, there is very little finance to spare or extras which, of course, education, or indeed relaxation of any kind, must be deemed at this stage in one's life. I would find no joy in depriving my children of opportunities by selfish spending, therefore I naturally turn to WEA for my outlet.
This all sounds very serious, but I am coming to the lighter side. For my class, I have chosen economics. I have a friend in an important post in a banking firm - she goes to a cookery class in her free time. The mere thought of a make-do-and-mend or cookery class makes me turn pale. Thus, I presume, does instinct balance our lives!
In preparation, I spend every evening (towards midnight!) in the perusal of world affairs with added concentration, in order to digest the matter well, over the weekend. All is, however, continually thrust to the back of my mind by the fact that I must remember that there will be oranges on Monday, and if I fail to be there in time I shall miss the allocation, the same direct uncertainty hangs over the baby's eggs. What are my husband and schoolboy son to take for their lunch as the joint has petered to? I must not forget to open the back gate, or the dustman, already a fortnight overdue, will not be able to get in - and so on ad infinitum.
In the bus I try to relax and to collect my thoughts. Then I am there, and in my element for two hours, though the world would say, I suppose, that I had left my proper element behind me. The return bus I generally catch with my face burning with the fire of interest. Once within my own front door again, I immediately carry on where I left off, at the same time arguing the evening's topics with my husband. First I dash upstairs to see two sleeping boys, the elder of whom sometimes opens eyes and lips just wide enough to ask 'How did Ekkers (schoolboy slang) go, Mummie?'
It is a lovely feeling to have got away from household ties for a time, and to know that the 'family' is interested too, even if my husband does sometimes sarcastically suggest that I should take some sock mending along with me! It is good to know that, as the boys grow up, they perhaps will not consider their mother such a nonentity after all, even if she does spend much of her time at the kitchen sink. When I was at school many years ago I enjoyed books by 'The Gentleman with a Duster'; I sign myself very humbly and apologetically, and, I feel sure, much more truthfully, as his female prototype."