‘Patrick Moore of his day’ honoured

CEM Joad in his Brains Trust heyday
CEM Joad in his Brains Trust heyday

A SPECIAL day to mark the 60th anniversary of the death of a South Downs philosopher, attracted fans and enthusiasts from all around the area.

‘Professor’ Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad was a broadcaster and philosopher, made famous for his appearance on The Brain’s Trust during the second world war.

Start of the Joan trail through Stedham

Start of the Joan trail through Stedham

The Stedham Exhibition of Philosophy and Brain’s Trust held a day of remembrance and celebration for the philosopher, who has been described as the ‘Patrick Moore of his day’.

The event was organised by Richard William Symonds, from the Joad society, who said he woke up on the morning of the exhibition with a ‘good feeling about the day’.

The exhibition started with the midday arrival of CEMJ’s grand-daughter Ruth.

“Her attendance added that sense of living presence of a man who made Stedham his final home,” said Richard.

“A steady flow of people from near and far perused the life and work of this ill-remembered, near-forgotten South Downs philosopher.

“But, the icing on the cake for this 60th-anniversary celebration was to hear that the Joad Archive Collection – on full display within Stedham’s Memorial Hall – was to have a permanent home within the soon-to-be-opened new Arundel Museum.”

Richard thanked Chris and Mary Clarke from South Stoke for the relocation, as the hamlet has been the ‘unofficial home’ of the Joad collection and also hosted the anniverary celebrations in 2003. By the afternoon, Stedham residents had arrived for the Jodian Trail, which included a jaunt along the river, passing Joad’s former home, Meadow Hills.

The walk, which was led by Sue Payne, was added to with details from Stedham residents who shared the history of the village.

Tea was provided by parishioners and Bruce Middleton from the South Downs National Park Authority.

Choral Evensong was led by The Rev Roger Williamson, who based his sermon on Joad’s last book Recovery of Belief – A Restatement of Christian Philosophy, which he wrote while living in the village.

He then acted as question master in an informal, re-enactment of The Brains Trust where the ‘professor’ became a national celebrity.

“The six panellists answered the searching questions with enthusiasm, wit and touches of profound wisdom,” said Richard.

“Judging by the reaction of those present by the end of the day, it had indeed been a good day.

“If Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad was looking down from above, celestial pleasure might well have shone more brightly last Sunday.”