I’ve been hunting around for good Dickens quotes, as I wanted to write this column about the ridiculousness of changing Charles Dickens Primary School to Ark Dickens Primary School, just because the Ark group is taking it over.
Who, precisely, is Ark Dickens?
Let’s face it, Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth but only lived here for a year, so his connection with the city is relatively slight.
But removing the ‘Charles’ to crowbar the ‘Ark’ into the school’s title just makes the school sound, as I’ve mentioned, ridiculous.
So there I was, quote hunting, when I found this one, from David Copperfield: ‘The most important thing in life is to stop saying “I wish” and start saying “I will.” Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.’
And that gave me pause.
Last Monday I was at Fratton Park for the unveiling of the Pompey Pals tribute plaques – honouring the battalions of men from the city who went to fight, and die, in the Great War.
The driving force behind the tributes was Bob Beech, who worked tirelessly to ensure those men were honoured on the centenary of the outbreak of World War One.
At times, I suspect, he thought it impossible. But with an indomitable spirit, and help from other, similarly determined people, it was done.
Now let’s stay with Pompey, and have a look at how the fan funding is going to build training pitches for the academy.
The club and Tifosy, which is running the scheme, gave a deadline of 62 days to raise £250,000. It was done with three days to spare, hitting the target late on Friday night, and thanks to people like Mike Shipp the money was still coming in until it closed last night.
When we put our minds to something – saving a football club, saving the Hilsea Lido, honouring the fallen in countless conflicts, working together to save pubs, minimise flooding, help our neighbours – we are unbeatable.
Charles Dickens may only have been here a year, but that passage from David Copperfield is what Pompey people are all about.
He got it, and that’s why the school’s name should stay as it is.