Full House at the British Council in Madrid
The subject of the British Council and Word War II Spain drew a large audience to the British Council’s main premises in central Madrid on September 28th.
An enthusiastic gathering of BSS expatriate members and Spanish friends listened and watched the young Oxford University academic Marina Perez de Arcos, a BritishSpanish Society scholarship holder, brilliantly deliver her fascinating findings of her research into the British Council’s origins in Spain (1940-41).
She highlighted the important role played by the Anglo-Irish hispanist and founding director of the BC Walter Starkie in setting up the first major English language school in Madrid, and his links with anti-nazi propaganda, and British secrete intelligence.
The BSS chairman Jimmy Burns talked about his father Tom’s friendship with Starkie, and read an extract from Papa Spy, his book on his father’s spying activities. He also paid tribute to Starkie’s elderly daugher Alma, present at the event , giving her a signed copy of his book and naming her an honorary lifetime member of the BSS.
The event was jointly supported as part of their partnership by the BSS and the British Council.