There were 80 new students starting on 28th September 1960. I shared accommodation with David Donkin and 'Thatch' Leighton-Mathews at the Old Parsonage, Pickwick. Next day, the new intake were divided into NDD and Teacher training groups and shown round the whole site, including studios, State rooms, grounds etc. We were then sent down to the cellars to purchase a basic kit of materials from Bernard Wilcox at the Shop.
I met other students in my group, there was Wendy Shotter, Janet Williams, Vicky Field, Judy Meakin, Caroline, Marianne, Maureen,
(their surnames allude me at the moment) Pat Knight, Rosemary Knight, John Lloyd-Hughes, Vera Brice, Pat McGrath, Margaret Hampshire, Joy Maudling and some from other groups like
Muter? (Who was she? proper name? a sculptor with Anthea
Alley), Anne le Rendu, (did you stay with the college when it returned to
Bath?), Kay le Seelleur, Josh Partridge (a friend of Lord
Methuen). From the following entry, I particularly remember Janet Prosser and Anne Russell
('grand daughter' of Bertrand Russell) they had been to school at Dartington together. The relationship between Dartington and Corsham was a very special one with students and tutors regularly moving between them. There must be many other names; there are certainly faces that pop up from time to time!
Clifford was often referred to as a 'benevolent autocrat'; indeed he was, and a most inspired one at that. Here, I quote James Tower who taught Ceramics and Three Dimensional design for eighteen years.
'Clifford's philosophy was entirely an aesthetic one; to him the major values of life were aesthetic in nature, all that was beautiful and good to look at or to listen to was the justification of life, and it was the duty of the artist and teacher to spread these values throughout life.' Clifford had in the early days associated with the Arts & Craft Movement which might well have instilled in him the virtues of aestheticism as did his association with Walter Sickert in the 1940's. Sickert was in turn associated with Degas and the Impressionists.