Best Days of Your Life my A...
Oh dear, time for the school photographs...I seem to be missing a bunch of these. The other sad thing is that not only do I have no idea any more who the people in the pictures are, I'm not even sure I can spot myself half the time. If you come across yourself in these pictures, please drop me a quick email to let me know who else you remember so I can update them. If you know me from school (and will admit to it...) and have a picture I don't have, I would really appreciate a copy.
Before real school...
Don't remember much, most of this is covered under Do You Remember the 60s? I know I went to Sunday School, amazingly enough, up at Stockwood Free Church at least once, maybe more, but only have dim memories of being in a small room with lots of wooden chairs. Maybe they shoved me in the closet...
Mum was stuck with and my sister so went wherever she did. Visited someone who had a Bar shaped like the front of a ship once, very 60's, playing in that was fun...
Waycroft Infants School
The local school in Stockwood, a short walk away up the lane between Ladman Road and Selden Road, next to our neighbors house. You can still set your clock by the tidal noise of kids up and down the lane and chatting mum's waiting at the opening. There was a Lollipop lady too, who's name I can't remember...
I can't say I remember my first day at Waycroft. I was in the Infants, the side that had the big concrete Cat face climbing structure. I've got a feeling that wasn't there when I first started but I know it was a feature for many years. I remember there always being a lot of old tires around on the field to play with. They always had water stuck inside the rims, oddly hard to get out and would splosh out on you. Playgrounds had lots of concrete structures and exposed metal workings, none of this protect your kids with bark and rubber nonsense.
One of my first fight memories was in the Infants playground. Not sure what happened but I know I ended up with a big tuft of hair and a matting of scalp clutched in my hand at the end of it. I never was good at fighting, I would lose my temper and become pretty mindless until it was all over. The other guy was usually in pretty bad shape when I got all my marbles back but then again so was I, shaking uncontrollably and sobbing like a big girls blouse but never with any actual physical damage to myself. It would take me a long time to come down from the experience, which would confuse the intervening authority figure. They didn't know who to look after and who to tell off. The blubbering but intact kid or blubbering and leaking gore one.
I didn't get picked on much because pathetic as my flailing fighting style was, I would so lose it mentally it just wasn't worth it. The other guy could never count on walking away with all his hair that's for sure. Reminds me of another one; no idea how old I was but they were building the Bowmead Old People's Home opposite the shops and had an impressive mountain of dirt piling up. I'd say it was about 15 feet high but this is in remembering in 8-yearoldorama vision. King of the castle was played, a dispute and a fight inevitably broke out, then some kid was launched off the top by me. He bounced a long way down on his back with impressive loss of skin. I would have been in a lot more trouble when his parents tracked mine down if he wasn't twice my size and a lot older.
I was way, way behind at school, I couldn't even write my own name and was singled out for "special" attention. I had one to one sessions to try to teach me to read and write, conducted in the privacy of the Coat Peg area. It didn't work, I wouldn't be able to read until I was moved to the front of the class (where my glasses could cope better), by Ms Davies in 3rd year of Junior school. I had two things going against me; I couldn't see very well and I was too shy to tell anyone. My kids have been told not to write like Daddy because to this day I still do it all backwards. Keyboards, thank you. I hated Art because I could never get what they wanted me to do, I couldn't do free expression, I needed to be told. Plus I couldn't write my name on my work. I spent most of my time looking out the window imagining towers that could be built with all those old tires and wondering when we were ever going to use the wooden construction kits on the shelves over the windows. Apparently they were decorative only because we never did get our hands on them.
These days kids would use aprons in art, we all had one of your dad's white shirts, worn backwards. Tobacco boxes were everywhere, used to hold crayons or other art supplies and we made cars by gluing bottle tops on old cigarette packets. Most of the crappy old keep them quiet for five minutes art we did was on Computer Paper; drawing or painting on the side that didn't have stripes and numbers printed all over it. This was the old line printer paper with perforated edges that came in reams and reams. I never liked it because it was the wrong size for real paper. It felt worthless and was. You knew nobody expected you to be producing anything worthwhile when they gave you computer paper to work on. Only the talented were given Sugar paper to sue.
I remember making a couple of Toby Jugs from jam jars and papier mache that my mum still has.
I think my friends (yeah, singular...) name was Mark Thomas. He lived in Chestnut Close, at end of Ladman Road. I used to go with him after school to hang out at his house. The the first thing he would do on arrival is go for a poo. He'd been in there for ever and I'd wait like a lemon at the top of his stairs. He was probably hiding from me.
Waycroft Primary School
I think my first teacher was Mrs Moore, folowed by a guitar playing hippie whose name I can't remember, then Mrs Davies who finally taught me to read. Mrs Outhwaite was my last teacher and seemed to quite like me for some reason, I won the miniature garden contest at the school fete by her efforts. Really, really vague on the names of just about everyone though.
The headmaster was Mr Burley and Deputy Head was Mr James. I am cheating here because the names come from the friendsreunited contributions of others. Mr Burley presided over assembly in the morning and encouraged kids to bring in interesting objects which he would talk about. After our trip to Lloret De Mar in 1968 he talked about my souvenir Toledo steel letter opener. We sat cross legged and fidgeting on the floor for assembly in the main hall. Hymns, prayers and all the usual dire warnings. Mr Burley had a pond outside hsi office, I got into trouble with his secretary for launching my home made balsa boat in it one day, she yanked it out and broke it which I was not happy about. The pond would freeze over and we would throw stuff to try to crack the ice.
There were monitors for things; the milk monitor kept the holy nail for making an opening in the foil top of the Government milk bottle through which a special short Government straw was inserted. Plunging the nail through a crate full's worth of milk bottles seemed a lot of fun and responsibility. The was also a coat peg monitor but I can't remember what their duties were exactly. A coat peg was the only territory you could call your own. Hanging from it would be your coat (duh) and your PE kit. PE Kit was a pair of Plimsoles (all Plimsoles were identical, no fancy trainers or sneakers). Plimsoles were kept in a drawstring bag made from an old pillowcase or some other material sewn by your mum. Mine was light blue.
Brislington Comprehensive School
|Do You Remember the 60s?||Do You Remember the 70s?|
|Do You Remember the 80s?||Vroom, Brummm and Whee!|
|Happiest Days of Your Life, My A...||Wish You Were here?|
|Toil and Trouble||Bars, Clubs and Dives Still Too Good for the Likes of Me|