Thursday, 4 August 2011

Novel approach to life as folkie teacher

Colin Andrews has drawn on his long experience as a teacher, folk performer and Morris dancer to produce a novel - all about a trainee teacher, folk-singer and Morris dancer!
Colin, from Crediton in Devon, taught for 28 years before deciding to capture memories of his teaching experiences in a fictionalised format.
''I recalled all the odd and bizarre incidents from my student days and early teaching career and thought they could make the basis for a novel,''  says Colin, who launched the book during Sidmouth Folk Week.

''A Matter of Degree is set in the 1970s at a teacher training college when there were no mobile phones, no internet, no mixed-sex accommodation and definitely no alcohol on Sundays!

''For me, A Matter of Degree is an entertaining, perhaps nostalgic, snapshot of a time now passed, but it is also touches on controversial issues such a racial prejudice, sexual temptation facing young teachers, religious fanaticism and political correctness in a thought-provoking, sensitive way.''

A Matter of Degree follows the comical and dramatic exploits of Robert Kiddecott, a farmer s son from Devon, and Jacob Moses, his folk-singing friend, through the three years to graduation at a fictional teacher training college in mid-Wales. Rob's relationships with women and Jacob's penchant for involving Rob in well-meaning projects lead to bizarre and amusing scenarios. 

Will unexpected turns of fate always thwart Rob's amorous inclinations? Why is Jacob obsessed with an abandoned observatory? What inspires Jake to get Rob and their fellow students involved in the folk traditions of Mumming and Morris dancing? In what other directions does Jacob's persuasive enthusiasm lead his friends?

Colin was born in Dunfermline in 1944. He was educated at Worthing High School and later at Cardiff University. Once qualified, he taught chemistry for 28 years until taking early retirement in 1995. He has lived in Devon since 1973 and is married, with one son. 

Colin has been a folk singer, folk dance caller, Morris dancer and musician for more than 40 years and edits the national Morris Federation Newsletter.
He has his own website here.

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