Newsletter June 2014

The Conlan School Course Guide

The Conlan School Course Guide demonstrates the broad range of study programmes we can offer you and your students. Through our ever growing network of contacts in the business and educational community, our aim is to provide experiences that will expand knowledge and increase confidence within the culture of Wales and the UK. We hope that during your time with us you and your students can progress personally and positively in every aspect of life!

Please, click here to download "The Conlan School Course Guide"!

Coleg Cambria in North East Wales is one of the UK’s largest colleges with over 7000 full-time students and 20,000 part-time learners, with international links covering four continents. The college was created following the merger of Deeside College and Yale College, Wrexham. “Coleg” is the Welsh name for college and “Cambria” is the classical name for Wales, being the Latinised form of the Welsh name Cymru (Wales). Coleg Cambria began operating on the 1st of August 2013. It serves three local authorities with a population of almost 400,000 people which represents more than 12% of the population of Wales. The college works in partnership with over 1000 employers including Airbus, JCB, Kelloggs, Kronospan, Moneypenny, UPM Shotton Paper and Village Bakery. Coleg Cambria has six campuses across North East Wales - Deeside, Yale (Grove Park and Bersham Road in Wrexham), Llysfasi, Northop and Wrexham Training. Facilities include a 1000 acre farm, animal care centre, two restaurants, a centre of excellence for Engineering, a public art gallery and Flintshire County Council Corporate Training Centre. In recent time we had few French group visiting the premises. Mr. Nick Tyson, the Executive Director Engineering & Construction of the college, was great with the students and got them all involved and they all enjoyed it. He gave a tour of a few different departments, mainly looking at practical workshops, where the Cambria students learn how to use various machines. They also went into a garage where the Cambria students rebuild car engines, as well as a welding workshop and an area where they keep old planes for working on, where the our French students were able to climb in and sit in the pilot seats. They also got goody bags at the end, with a brochure of the college and a pen inside. We take this opportunity to thank Coleg Cambria for their hospitality.

Chester’s Midsummer Watch Parade is one of Britain’s oldest festivals – a tradition reflecting 500 years of the city’s history. The Parade depends upon the continued support and involvement of local people to keep this exciting Parade alive, as a major mid-summer spectacle. In Medieval and Tudor times, Chester’s magnificent Midsummer Watch Parade was renowned throughout the country. First held during the mayoralty of Richard Goodman in 1498, it was organised by the City Guilds and took place in the years when the famous Chester Mystery Plays (a spectacular festival presented mainly by members of the local community under professional direction and hold each five years) were not performed. The outstanding features of the show were the Giants – enormous structures made of buckram and pasteboard and carried by two or more men. Giants were a common feature of Tudor pageantry in England and Europe, but Chester was unique in that the city paraded a whole family of Giants – the Father, the Mother and two Daughters. The Giants were accompanied by hobby horses, musicians, guildsmen, fools, children in costume, angels, goblins and green men. There were enormous moving floats called the “Mounts”; the most famous, the Merchants Mount, was in the form of a ship – a reminder that in those days, Chester was an important port. The whole procession was headed by a small boy, chosen each year, and the “Ancient” city drum. The Midsummer Watch Parade survived much longer than the now world-famous Mystery Plays, which were banned in 1575 and not revived until recent times. In 1599, Mayor Henry Hardware prohibited the Parade and ordered the Giants to be broken up. However, so popular was the show that it was revived the next year and continued until the 1670s. The parade takes place on the Saturday and Sunday closest to Midsummer and travels from the Cathedral, down Watergate Street, along the ring road, and then up a steep, narrow backstreet called 'Whitefriars' which leads to Bridge Street, and on to the Town Hall, where the parade ends with juggling, fire breathing and dancing. The most famous attractions are a recreated family of giants and replica of the Merchant's Mount, as well as the Devil and Angel puppets and the flocks of geese, from 'Saint Werburgh's and Columba's Primary School'. Saint Werburgh is the patron saint of Chester, and is often portrayed as a goose.

In addition to taking part to English lessons created according to the needs of the group, Conlan develops customized cultural itineraries. The classic programme, which lasts 1 or 2 weeks, offers a wide range of destinations for cultural trips. The harbour city of Liverpool is one of the most common destination for our groups. Here our students can visit some of its famous museums like the Tate modern, Slavery museum, the Beatles Story or the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Another big city and cultural destination is Manchester, the third city in UK with the most numerous number of foreign tourists after London and Edinburgh. One of the most popular museums are the Mosi (Museum of Science & Industry) and the Manchester Art Gallery. Manchester has also a lively centre which offers a lot of entertainment activities among stalls and street artists. Conlan organizes trips in the cities of Chester, Llandudno and Conwy too. The first is a roman town founded in 70 A.D. famous for its walls still intact, the second is a Victorian Town overlooking the sea, and Conwy is a fortified Town, surrounded by ancient walls. The most famous monument in Conwy is the medieval Castle, together with the close by bridge over the River Conwy. In Conwy you can also find the smallest house of Great Britain. Finally for a trip in the nature, Conlan organizes trips to Snowdonia: a region in North Wales, become national park in 1951.

Having “a chip on your shoulder” means being angry about something that happened in the past or holding a grudge. This relates to working practices in the British Royal Dockyards in the 18th century. In Day and Lunn's The History of Work and Labour Relations in the Royal Dockyards, 1999, the authors report that the standing orders of the [Royal] Navy Board for August 1739 included this ruling: "Shipwrights to be allowed to bring [chips] on their shoulders near to the dock gates, there to be inspected by officers". The permission to remove surplus timber for firewood or building material was a substantial perk of the job for the dock workers. A subsequent standing order, in May 1753, ruled that only chips that could be carried under one arm were allowed to be removed. This limited the amount of timber that could be taken and the shipwrights were not best pleased about the revoking of their previous benefit. Three years later, for this and other reasons, they went on strike. Anyone who might be inclined to doubt that origin can take heart from an alternative theory. Also this other theory goes back to at least the 1800s. Depending on the amount and size, timber can be quite heavy, and oftentimes people carry heavy things on their shoulders. Well, apparently it became a thing for some people to place a chip on their shoulder in order to show that they were looking for a fight, daring others to knock it off. The confrontational challenge to knock a chip of wood off someone's shoulder does after all appear to be the correct derivation. The earliest printed citations that can be found that refer to chips on shoulders are all from America, which the OED states quite firmly to be the source of the phrase, for example in 1830 the New York newspaper The Long Island Telegraph printed this:"When two churlish boys were determined to fight, a chip would be placed on the shoulder of one, and the other demanded to knock it off at his peril." The actual phrase 'chip on his shoulder' appears a little later, in the Weekly Oregonian 1855: "Leland, in his last issue, struts out with a chip on his shoulder, and dares Bush to knock it off."