Bridget Kendall, MBE, former BBC Diplomatic Correspondent and now Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, will visit Winchester College on Thursday 28 March at 7pm to give a talk about the Cold War.
Bridget is a recipient of the James Cameron Award for journalism in 1992 for reports on events in the former Soviet Union, and winner of the Bronze Sony Radio Award for Reporter of the Year (1992). Her recent book The Cold War, with its focus on the personal experiences of the men and women who lived through this period of history, has been highly acclaimed.
Bridget Kendall, long-time BBC diplomatic correspondent, journalist on Russia, and now Master of Peterhouse Cambridge, gave a fantastic lecture on Thursday 28th March on her experiences of the Cold War. She is in a unique position to do so, having personally witnessed the effects of the Cold War on the people of Russia.
She first talked about how her life was, from its outset, tied to Russia. Her childhood home was littered with old Russian dictionaries, left over from when her mother had been a Wren, and was always present when her father hosted mathematical guests at the family home. From fourteen she began to learn Russian and everything else about Russia she could manage.
When she was at Oxford, she jumped at the opportunity to spend a year in Russia. With her passports and visas finally approved, she left in 1977. She went to a provincial town with about one million people. Among the inhabitants, only 12 were English. As soon as she arrived she could feel an atmosphere of suppression; no one talked about politics or had “honest and interesting conversations” for fear of KGB and informer retributions. The people were ignorant and loyal to an extent but beneath this there was a simmering anger at the surveillance, poverty and inequality they dealt with.
She returned to Russia in 1982. By then things were happening and through her network of contacts, built up for her research, she understood that Brezhnev, the leader of Communist Russia, was going to die. Once he did Russia would change for ever because, after two more appointments, Mikhail Gorbachev was elected. He had new ideas on the economy, censorship and elections – all of which he made more liberal. By this time Bridget Kendall had switched from academia to journalism and worked for the BBC. She stayed with Russia though the fall of the Berlin Wall to the very end of the USSR.
Even after this, when she was reposted to America and England, she kept an interest in Russia. She ended her lecture by wondering if we were in a Second Cold War. Our relations with Russia are not brilliant after Ukraine, the Skripal poisonings and the alleged US election meddling. But she reminded the audience that Russia and America are no longer as significant global players as they once were – there are other centres of global power such as China - and ideological lines are far less clear – Russia is no longer isolated from the rest of the world and feels far freer.
It was incredibly interesting to hear such a personal a view of Russia today and of the past and we are grateful to Ms Kendall for her lecture.
15th March 2019
On Tuesday 12th March 2019, Winchester College’s Natural History Society welcomed Dr Jane Goodall, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace for the annual Duncan Stewart Lecture where she addressed an audience of more than 450 people.
27th February 2020
During February half term, the Treasury ran a family fun day for local families to come and explore the museum and make their own amazing animal crafts, inspired by the collections.
13th January 2020
The latest exhibition in Treasury looks at Winchester's significant contribution to British Art, particularly that of artists and scholars Rendall, Gleadowe and Clark.
11th December 2019
Pupils regularly visit elderly people in local care homes and hospitals for conversation and to perform music but the annual Christmas Tea Party is an opportunity to host them at the school.
21st November 2019
The Primary Maths Challenge is a national competition that helps young people develop a love of mathematics, encourages enthusiasm and boosts confidence. Winchester College mentors pupils from local schools to help prepare for the Challenge and this week celebrated their success in the competition.
20th November 2019
As part of a Week of Wonder at Winchester, 50 pupils from a local primary witnessed the impact of liquid nitrogen on everyday objects.