St Saviour's Centre for the Deaf
St Saviour's Centre for the Deaf is a former Anglican church and social centre for deaf people in Acton, England. It was the only purpose-built church for deaf people. St Saviour's was the central location for the London Diocesan Chaplaincy among Deaf and Deafblind people; the church and social centre closed in 2014 following a loss of funding, insufficient financial reserves to maintain the premises. The final church service was held on Wednesday 24 September 2014, at which the Bishop of Willesden officiated; the congregation was first established at a site in Oxford Street, where the original building was constructed from 1870 to 1874. The architect was Arthur Blomfield; the Duke of Westminster had provided the site on a lease for sixty years. The foundation stone was laid by Edward, Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra, who had a hearing impairment; the first service there was held in 1873. The building became a great symbol for deaf people of their rights to play a full part in church and society.
The church moved to a new site in Acton in 1925, when the Oxford Street location was required for redevelopment into the present Selfridge's. The congregation worshipped in the church continuously for 90 years; the building included many features specially designed for the deaf, which included dual pulpits, clear lines of sight, a sloping floor to ensure that those near the back can see the signers. Although St Saviour's Church has now closed, the congregation continues to meet; the Chaplaincy among Deaf and Deafblind people has four other meeting locations, although St Saviour's was the only dedicated premises, the only church with specially designed facilities for the deaf. The closure of St Saviour's corresponds with the appointment of a new full-time Chaplain for the Chaplaincy service. Chaplains are ordained priests appointed to specialist ministries, in this case the provision of worship and social activities for the deaf and deafblind community in London. In September 2014 the Diocese of London announced that St Saviour's Church building had been sold to the Syriac Orthodox Church community in west London, who have developed it for continuing use as a church within their own tradition, reopening it as St Thomas Cathedral in November 2016.
Documents and archives associated with the church are being researched by the History of Place project, will feature as part of a display at the Victoria and Albert Museum during 2018. Image of the Oxford Street church, British Museum
Sign languages are languages that use the visual-manual modality to convey meaning. Language is expressed via the manual signstream in combination with non-manual elements. Sign languages are full-fledged natural languages with their own lexicon; this means that sign languages are not universal and they are not mutually intelligible, although there are striking similarities among sign languages. Linguists consider both spoken and signed communication to be types of natural language, meaning that both emerged through an abstract, protracted aging process and evolved over time without meticulous planning. Sign language should not be confused with a type of nonverbal communication. Wherever communities of deaf people exist, sign languages have developed as handy means of communication and they form the core of local deaf cultures. Although signing is used by the deaf and hard of hearing, it is used by hearing individuals, such as those unable to physically speak, those who have trouble with spoken language due to a disability or condition, or those with deaf family members, such as children of deaf adults.
It is unclear how many sign languages exist worldwide. Each country has its own, native sign language, some have more than one; the 2013 edition of Ethnologue lists 137 sign languages. Some sign languages have obtained some form of legal recognition, while others have no status at all. Linguists distinguish natural sign languages from other systems that are precursors to them or derived from them, such as invented manual codes for spoken languages, home sign, "baby sign", signs learned by non-human primates. Groups of deaf people have used sign languages throughout history. One of the earliest written records of a sign language is from the fifth century BC, in Plato's Cratylus, where Socrates says: "If we hadn't a voice or a tongue, wanted to express things to one another, wouldn't we try to make signs by moving our hands and the rest of our body, just as dumb people do at present?"Until the 19th century, most of what is known about historical sign languages is limited to the manual alphabets that were invented to facilitate transfer of words from a spoken language to a sign language, rather than documentation of the language itself.
Pedro Ponce de León is said to have developed the first manual alphabet. In 1620, Juan Pablo Bonet published Reducción de las letras y arte para enseñar a hablar a los mudos in Madrid, it is considered the first modern treatise of sign language phonetics, setting out a method of oral education for deaf people and a manual alphabet. In Britain, manual alphabets were in use for a number of purposes, such as secret communication, public speaking, or communication by deaf people. In 1648, John Bulwer described "Master Babington", a deaf man proficient in the use of a manual alphabet, "contryved on the joynts of his fingers", whose wife could converse with him even in the dark through the use of tactile signing. In 1680, George Dalgarno published Didascalocophus, or, The deaf and dumb mans tutor, in which he presented his own method of deaf education, including an "arthrological" alphabet, where letters are indicated by pointing to different joints of the fingers and palm of the left hand. Arthrological systems had been in use by hearing people for some time.
The vowels of this alphabet have survived in the contemporary alphabets used in British Sign Language and New Zealand Sign Language. The earliest known printed pictures of consonants of the modern two-handed alphabet appeared in 1698 with Digiti Lingua, a pamphlet by an anonymous author, himself unable to speak, he suggested that the manual alphabet could be used by mutes, for silence and secrecy, or purely for entertainment. Nine of its letters can be traced to earlier alphabets, 17 letters of the modern two-handed alphabet can be found among the two sets of 26 handshapes depicted. Charles de La Fin published a book in 1692 describing an alphabetic system where pointing to a body part represented the first letter of the part, vowels were located on the fingertips as with the other British systems, he described such codes for both Latin. By 1720, the British manual alphabet had found less its present form. Descendants of this alphabet have been used by deaf communities in former British colonies India, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as the republics and provinces of the former Yugoslavia, Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean, Norway and the United States.
Frenchman Charles-Michel de l'Épée published his manual alphabet in the 18th century, which has survived unchanged in France and North America until the present time. In 1755, Abbé de l'Épée founded the first school for deaf children in Paris. Clerc went to the United States with Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet to found the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1817. Gallaudet's son, Edward Miner Gallaudet, founded a school for the deaf in 1857 in Washington, D. C. which in 1864 became the National Deaf-Mute College. Now called Gallaudet University, it is still the only liberal arts university for deaf people in the world. Sign languages do not have any linguistic relation to the spoken languages of the lands in which they arise; the correlation between sign and spoken languages is complex and varies depending on the country more than the spoke
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, it employs over 20,950 staff in total. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time and fixed-contract staff are included; the BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, charged to all British households and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up; the fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has funded the BBC World Service, which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, online services in Arabic and Persian.
Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd, which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. From its inception, through the Second World War, to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture, it is known colloquially as "The Beeb", "Auntie", or a combination of both. Britain's first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920, it was sponsored by the Daily Mail's Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The Melba broadcast caught the people's imagination and marked a turning point in the British public's attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications. By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office, was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts.
But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests and moved to rescind its ban in the wake of a petition by 63 wireless societies with over 3,000 members. Anxious to avoid the same chaotic expansion experienced in the United States, the GPO proposed that it would issue a single broadcasting licence to a company jointly owned by a consortium of leading wireless receiver manufactures, to be known as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast; the company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved domestic manufacturers. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform and entertain"; the financial arrangements soon proved inadequate. Set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee.
The Committee recommended a short term reorganisation of licence fees with improved enforcement in order to address the BBC's immediate financial distress, an increased share of the licence revenue split between it and the GPO. This was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired; the BBC's broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, as was the prohibition on advertising. The BBC was banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00 and was required to source all news from external wire services. Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee. By now, the BBC, under Reith's leadership, had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a public service rather than a commercial enterprise.
The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production, with restrictions on news bulletins waived, the BBC became the primary source of news for the duration of the crisis; the crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position. On one hand Reith was acutely aware that the Government might exercise its right to commandeer the BBC at any time as a mouthpiece of the Government if the BBC were to step out of line, but on the other he was anxious to maintain public trust by appearing to be acting independently; the Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PM's own. Thus the BBC was granted sufficient leeway to pursue the Government's objectives in a manner of its own choosing; the resulting coverage of both striker and government viewpoints impressed millions of listeners who were unaware that the PM had broadcast to the nation from Reith's home, using one of Reith's sound bites inserted at the last moment
British Sign Language
British Sign Language is a sign language used in the United Kingdom, is the first or preferred language of some deaf people in the UK. There are 125,000 deaf adults in the UK who use an estimated 20,000 children. In 2011, 15,000 people living in England and Wales reported themselves using BSL as their main language; the language makes use of space and involves movement of the hands, body and head. Many thousands of people who are not deaf use BSL, as hearing relatives of deaf people, sign language interpreters or as a result of other contact with the British deaf community. History records the existence of a sign language within deaf communities in England as far back as 1570. British Sign Language has evolved, as all languages do, from these origins by modification and importation. Thomas Braidwood, an Edinburgh teacher, founded'Braidwood's Academy for the Deaf and Dumb' in 1760, recognised as the first school for the deaf in Britain, his pupils were the sons of the well-to-do. His early use of a form of sign language, the combined system, was the first codification of what was to become British Sign Language.
Joseph Watson was trained as a teacher of the deaf under Thomas Braidwood and he left in 1792 to become the headmaster of the first public school for the deaf in Britain, the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Bermondsey. In 1815, an American Protestant minister, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, travelled to Europe to research teaching of the deaf, he was rebuffed by both the Braidwood schools. Gallaudet travelled to Paris and learned the educational methods of the French Royal Institution for the Deaf, a combination of Old French Sign Language and the signs developed by Abbé de l’Épée; as a consequence American Sign Language today has a 60% similarity to modern French Sign Language and is unintelligible to users of British Sign Language. Until the 1940s sign language skills were passed on unofficially between deaf people living in residential institutions. Signing was discouraged in schools by punishment and the emphasis in education was on forcing deaf children to learn to lip read and finger spell.
From the 1970s there has been an increasing instruction in BSL in schools. The language continues to evolve as older signs such as alms and pawnbroker have fallen out of use and new signs such as internet and laser have been coined; the evolution of the language and its changing level of acceptance means that older users tend to rely on finger spelling while younger ones make use of a wider range of signs. On 18 March 2003 the UK government formally recognised. Linguistics are an integral component to any language because this allows for languages to be understood in a more efficient manner when taught. In general, sign languages have their own ` words'. How one language signs a certain number would be different than how another language signs it. British Sign Language is described as a'spatial language' as it "moves signs in space." Like many other sign languages, BSL phonology is defined by elements such as handshape, location and non-manual features. There are phonological components to sign language that have no meaning alone but work together to create a meaning of a signed word: hand shape, location and facial expression.
The meanings of words differ. Signs can be identical in certain components but different in others, giving each a different meaning. Facial expression falls under the'non-manual features' component of phonology; these include "eyebrow height, eye gaze, head movement, torso rotation." In common with other languages, whether spoken or signed, BSL has its own grammar which govern how phrases are signed.. BSL has a particular syntax. One important component of BSL is its use proforms. A proform is “...any form that stands in the place of, or does the job of, some other form.” Sentences are composed in order: the subject and the predicate. The subject is the topic of the sentence. BSL uses a topic–comment structure. Topic-comment means that the topic of the signed conversation is first established, followed by an elaboration of the topic, being the ‘comment’ component; the canonical word order outside of the topic–comment structure is object-subject-verb, noun phrases are head-initial. Although the United Kingdom and the United States share English as the predominant oral language, British Sign Language is quite distinct from American Sign Language - having only 31% signs identical, or 44% cognate.
BSL is distinct from Irish Sign Language, more related to French Sign Language and ASL. It is distinct from Signed English, a manually coded method expressed to represent the English language; the sign languages used in Australia and New Zealand and New Zealand Sign Language evolved from 19th century BSL, all retain the same manual alphabet and grammar and possess similar lexicons. These three languages may technically be considered dialects of a single language due to their use of the same grammar and manual alphabet and the high degree of lexical sharing; the term BANZSL was coined by Adam Schembri. In Australia deaf schools were established by educated deaf people from London and Dublin; this introduced the London and Edinburgh dialects of BSL to Melbourne and Sydney and Irish Sign Language to Sydney in Roman Catholic schools for the deaf. The language contact post secondary
Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, running from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch via Oxford Circus. It is Europe's busiest shopping street, with around half a million daily visitors, as of 2012 had 300 shops, it is designated as part of the A40, a major road between London and Fishguard, though it is not signed as such, traffic is restricted to buses and taxis. The road was part of the Via Trinobantina, a Roman road between Essex and Hampshire via London, it was known as Tyburn Road through the Middle Ages when it was notorious for public hangings of prisoners in Newgate Prison. It became known as Oxford Road and Oxford Street in the 18th century, began to change from residential to commercial and retail purposes by the late 19th century, attracting street traders, confidence tricksters and prostitution; the first department stores in Britain opened in the early 20th century, including Selfridges, John Lewis and HMV. Unlike nearby shopping streets such as Bond Street, it has retained an element of downmarket trading alongside more prestigious retail stores.
The street suffered heavy bombing during World War II, several longstanding stores including John Lewis were destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. Despite competition from other shopping centres such as Westfield Stratford City and the Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Oxford Street remains in high demand as a retail location, with several chains hosting their flagship stores on the street, has a number of listed buildings; the annual switching on of Christmas lights by a celebrity has been a popular event since 1959. As a popular retail area and main thoroughfare for London buses and taxis, Oxford Street has suffered from traffic congestion, a poor safety record and pollution. Various traffic management schemes have been implemented by Transport for London, including a ban on private vehicles during daytime hours on weekdays and Saturdays, improved pedestrian crossings. Oxford Street runs for 1.2 miles. It is within the City of Westminster; the road begins at St Giles Circus as a westward continuation of New Oxford Street, meeting Charing Cross Road, Tottenham Court Road.
It runs past Great Portland Street, Wardour Street and Rathbone Place to Oxford Circus, where it meets Regent Street. From there it continues past New Bond Street, Bond Street station and Vere Street, ending on Marble Arch; the road is within the London Congestion Charging Zone. It is part of the A40, most of, a trunk road running from London to Fishguard. Like many roads in Central London that are no longer through routes, it is not signposted with that number. Numerous bus routes run along Oxford Street, including 10, 25, 55, 73, 98, 390 and Night Buses N8, N55, N73, N98 and N207. Oxford Street follows the route of a Roman road, the Via Trinobantina, which linked Calleva Atrebatum with Camulodunum via London and became one of the major routes in and out of the city. Between the 12th century and 1782, it was variously known as Tyburn Road, Uxbridge Road, Worcester Road and Oxford Road. On Ralph Aggas' "Plan of London", published in the 16th century, the road is described as "The Waye to Uxbridge" followed by "Oxford Road", showing rural farmland where the junction of Oxford Street and Rathbone Place now is.
Though a major coaching route, there were several obstacles along it, including the bridge over the Tyburn. A turnpike trust was established in the 1730s to improve upkeep of the road, it became notorious as the route taken by prisoners on their final journey from Newgate Prison to the gallows at Tyburn near Marble Arch. Spectators jeered as the prisoners were carted along the road, could buy rope used in the executions from the hangman in taverns. By about 1729, the road had become known as Oxford Street. Development began in the 18th century after many surrounding fields were purchased by the Earl of Oxford. In 1739, a local gardener, Thomas Huddle, built property on the north side. John Rocque's Map of London, published in 1746, shows urban buildings as far as North Audley Street, but only intermittent rural property beyond. Buildings were erected on Davies Street in the 1750s. Further development occurred between 1763 and 1793; the Pantheon, a place for public entertainment, opened at No. 173 in 1772.
The street became popular for entertainment including bear-baiters and public houses. However, it was not attractive to the middle and upper classes due to the nearby Tyburn gallows and the notorious St Giles rookery, or slum; the gallows were removed in 1783, by the end of the century, Oxford Street was built up from St Giles Circus to Park Lane, containing a mix of residential houses and entertainment. The site of the Princess's Theatre that opened in 1840 is now occupied by Oxford Walk shopping area. Oxford Circus was designed as part of the development of Regent Street by the architect John Nash in 1810; the four quadrants of the circus were designed by Sir Henry Tanner and constructed between 1913 and 1928. Oxford Street changed in character from residential to retail towards the end of the 19th century. Drapers and furniture stores opened shops on the street, some expanded into the first department stores. Street vendors sold tourist souvenirs during this time. A plan in Tallis's London Street Views, published in the late 1830s, remarks that all the street, save for the far western end, was retail.
John Lewis started in 1864 in small shop at No. 132, wh