I’ve heard that it’s the end of the road for LTC Eastbourne. I haven’t come across an announcement from the school itself (now a Twin Language Centre). I’m only going on contact with staff, past and present.
I joined LTC as a residential teacher/activity leader back in early 2013. It was my first job after returning from a stint on the EPIK scheme in South Korea.
A language school based in a stately home, the summer house of the Duke(s) of Devonshire. Deer skipping around the grounds, resident badgers, King and Queen’s bedrooms, window graffiti by Princess Alix of Hesse, a royal elevator, unbelievable location. Really. What a place.
I’d teach in the morning, walk the kids up and down Seven Sisters in the afternoon, then embarrass myself playing Just Dance in the evening, under the watchful eye of Lady Compton (whose portrait hung in the main gallery).
I loved my job. I loved the house, the activities, the teaching. And the excursions, wow. Taking kids to London, Windsor, Bodiam Castle, Leeds Castle, the Royal Pavilion, Chichester, Oxford, Harry Potter Studios, Canterbury… Brilliant.
Then there was the local area. I spent my Sundays off exploring with my Trust/Heritage passes. I’d take the train to Berwick (Sussex), walk through Alfriston and on to Cuckmere Haven, hopping from pub to pub and taking in the wildlife. Egyptian Geese, Egret and Six-spot Burnet the highlights. And the history. I first learnt about brick tax on those walks. I skipped around the gardens of Herstmonceux just like Mulligan and O’Hare(!). I even went inside a Martello tower.
I also spent a hefty sum getting to lesser-known football grounds in the area. Yeah, it’s not for everyone, but it was great.
250 quid live-in. Food provided. Finish a shift and head off to the Dew Drop or the Bibendum for a Longman Ale. The boss would photocopy the Telegraph cryptic crossword for us, and we’d just about have it done by the time the Champions League kicked off at the Eagle.
The students – awesome. Closed groups from Italy, Spain, Colombia, Czech Rep, all over really. The syllabus? Anything we wanted, anything they wanted. A simulation called Radio Covingham always went down well. We wrote letters to Queen Elizabeth, who responded saying she remembered staying at LTC (Compton Place) as a child. Lessons with Laughter was another favourite, and plenty of experimental practice. Cuisenaire Rod disasters and all.
Our CPD was Sussex DoSA sessions over in Brighton, where local bosses would get drunk and joke about how a talk by Walkley instead of Dellar was like getting Andrew Ridgeley instead of George Michael.
Colleagues – a great bunch. And a classic TEFL mix. Some fresh off the CELTA, some old school grammarians, some chancers, some bitter old-timers, some old-hands, most of us unhinged in some way, all of us at odds but together.
That place. Even if it does come back with Twin next year, it won’t be the same. It was of its time, but it will be missed.
RIP LTC 😦