Alcester Grammar School

– Library and Information Centre

Archive for the month “October, 2013”

Dan Freedman Author Competition – become a published author

Dan Freedman is a much appreciated author who visited the Library as part of the Alcester Schools’ Book Award and now we have registered for and have details of a fabulous competition running as regards his latest novel, ‘Final Whistle’.  Dan Freedman will be judging all entries and the winning writer will become a published author!

Also, Freedman will visit the winner’s school and bring along a top football coach; the school will be delivered 30 unique new copies of FINAL WHISTLE, complete with the winning piece of writing included as the ending to the book!

The closing date is Friday 25th October.

See Mrs Beeson for entering.

Library Partnership Project with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

The Library Assistants and Mrs Beeson were delighted to have the opportunity to visit the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which offers so much. It is a place for research from different aspects like the archive sources; the artistic influences; the multicultural sides; its community elements and of course, from the Trust aspect, the wonderful legacy of Shakespeare!

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There were some fantastic research opportunities with the varied range of resources and we were particularly captivated by some of the original texts with the beautiful, intricate image on the page edges, only revealed when the text was at a specific angle – just like appreciating the carefully woven, dramatic and poetic sides of Shakespeare.

From an Art point of view, there were some very impressive images of paintings and stage sets. These were indicative of the way in which some artists had interpreted moods and specific interaction between characters and audience: something that stood out for us was the paintings of John O’Connor’s original, ‘The Tempest’. Whilst as regards local history there were some records of the Stratford District area and the critical reviews of the plays at different times. Particularly special though are some of the Quartos and the First Folio with plays like ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (1600).

On the geographical side, there are some archive maps of the local area giving a clear, pictorial aspect of Stratford- Upon- Avon. Furthermore, from an historical and cultural, as well as dramatic point of view, there were records, critical reviews and recordings of the plays over different time spans. Not forgetting, with 80 languages represented, the diversity and the multi-cultural aspect of Shakespeare and the powerful messages in his plays for all the world!

This visit making us all realise the classic genius of Shakespeare.


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Not long after visiting the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, it was so appropriate for the Library Assistants to be able to see the excavations by the Heritage Trust before the main foundation digging for the new school block.  This is because the area has some protection because of the heritage links of our site with its Roman aspects and the Medieval monastery that still has foundations in the field adjoining the school and of which the remains of an outerpart of the monastery is still under this area of the school site.

The Heritage Trust team are so dedicated and responsive and it was especially good for us to see some primary sources. There has been revealed the original base of a medieval Blacksmith’s area with some definite detail, giving an appreciation of the life and needs of the people at the time and including some of the artefacts that were carefully dug up, like the small, beautifully carved section of a pillar and the fragment of an original pot.

Really useful sites they have recommended to us for further research from a heritage and geographical point of view are: and

Enjoy searching!


3rd Sept 2013 saw the official opening of the new Birmingham Library. Costing £189 million and housing one million books, the stunning building was declared open by Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban.

Mrs Beeson went to visit the facility and was bowled over by the range of books, e books, audio books and computers. Overlooking Centenary Square, with wonderful views over Birmingham, the Library is open 7 days a week with tours available, events, a café and a virtual library online.

We’ve enclosed some of Mrs Beeson’s photographs to give you a flavour of her trip but recommend you visit yourself to fully appreciate how lucky we are to have something so magnificent in the Midlands.

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