We wanted to know what difference it makes to someone, suddenly changing school, perhaps shifting class or modifying accent, in going from state school to boarding at a posh school on a free bursary.

    In this case one of the people was your dispassionate reporter. A surprisingly layered assignment.

    The hardest part of making a radio or TV programme is the beginning. The toughest part of reminiscence - for me going back to the early seventies, but for some in this programme, recalling schooldays in the forties and fifties - is to trick the brain backwards into opening the gates of memory.

    The great Nobel prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing told me a few years ago how she had recalled detailed events from her childhood for a volume of memoirs. Take an object from the past she said, look at it, open it, study the contents.

    For the programme, When Wesley went to Winchester the device, was both simple and to hand. The old canvas and wood trunk, which accompanied me at the start and finish of most terms both to boarding school and Cambridge University was now gathering dust in the shed.

    Tucked inside were years of theatre programmes and correspondence but, at the bottom, and also in an ancient biscuit tin, were documents pertaining to my feeding regime as a baby, old school reports and the unusual story of how a lad from a foster home had found himself part of a unique county bursary scheme which turned out more extensive than we'd imagined.

    Winchester College kindly laid on a reunion with a difference and 33 people who'd mostly never met, but had all benefitted from the same bursaries, funded either by Hampshire or Hertfordshire Council, or in some cases by the school itself after county wide exams, came together.

    We decided to use my trunk, as a way to look into this fascinating social and educational experiment, radical when conceived during World War II, but perhaps with lessons for today.

    County bursaries enabled 13 year old students from ordinary backgrounds to go to elite schools like Winchester and Eton colleges, and Rugby, for little or no fee.

    Did the bursary boys' confidence and schooling benefit? Did we encounter hostility, friendship or both? Did the scheme break down social division? How did I do? Perhaps you'll listen in for the answers in the programme.

    It was emotional to make, and also to meet some of the other Old Wykehamists on a bright Spring day. One was a lad I spent three years singing next to in the choir. Do we sing again? It was great to see former teachers, old friends and people who'd been so kind to me as a teenager. And whatever you think of private education Winchester is one of our most historic, picturesque cities, and a flavour of that is in the programme.

    Wesley Kerr is a broadcaster and journalist

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