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Discussion in 'Personal' started by TCSC47, Nov 23, 2016.
It happened on occasion.
Learnt by copying off the board, not having a plenary, knowing I'd got something correct by a single tick.
Where do I begin?
1. When I was about seven, I would wait for my Dad to come home from work on his motorbike. He would lift me onto the petrol tank and take me for a ride around the streets. (No helmets, of course! I didn't wear one until they were made compulsory, in 1973).
2. My Dad introducing me to smoking when I was in my early teens.
3. I remember the Red Rover tickets: I think they were half-a-crown if you were under fourteen. I would get the 607 to Shepherd's Bush, then the 94 to Marble Arch and wander around Central London.
4. Going to the Roundhouse to see Roger Chapman and 'The Family', and to the Gaumont to see Jethro Tull and Steeleye Span, when I was 14.
5. Trying to make a rocket engine in the shed, using paraffin and a washing up liquid bottle containing decomposing hydrogen peroxide.
6. Buying booze from Unwin's off licence, at the bottom of South Road, in Southall. The elderly Sikh gentleman who ran it was renowned for serving anyone and asking no questions.
And local girls too. I remember 'playing' this with quite large penknives bought for us by parents. Looking back it was a weird and precarious way to pass the time. And who would send small children out to play with knives today! Ahhh. Those were the days.
That was the other version, but it had a different name.
Horrors! And I bet your teacher didn't have the objectives clearly stated on the board!
We used to be allowed to enjoy learning, knowing the teacher was in charge and free to do pretty much whatever she wanted to and was best for you and we read books at school (as opposed to analysing short sections of them to death).
Those were the days! But in the interest of balance I have to say that I didn't like Maths and was pretty much able to escape doing it at that school. I passed the maths part of my 11 Plus but struggled when I got to Grammar School.
"Split the kipper !!"
Lived in a village from aged 7 to 11. Parents ran the local PO and shop so I had a great deal of freedom. It was down to the River Tame and messing on "stepping stones" or fishing for sticklebacks on the canal; bike rides to the woods and climbing trees..... not seen parentally for upwards of 12 hours. The summer holiday days were soon long too.
We played "knock and run" and then there would be phases of obsession with certain games so it would be hopscotch for a few weeks, then French cricket, that game with knicker elastic held stretched around your ankles..... skipping - wish I could remember all the rhymes.
I can remember being nearly abducted by some farm worker..... being flashed at by some male on the canal towpath - I was a very tall child but at aged about 8 probably looked like a teen though was clueless about what he was doing !! The Moors murderers operated not that far away and I can still remember the horror and effects of what they did - though don't really think it affected what I got up to.
On going to secondary school I had 3 separate bus journeys from our village to central Manchester.We used to pass Belle Vue and I remember my fear of "The Bobs", the old even then, wooden roller coaster which turned on its sides going around corners. I always mentally swore that I would never ever ride on it but aged 18 and off to Belle Vue with friends- the others were all going on it and I was too ashamed to admit to my fear. I was shaking with fear at it as it hadn't looked safe even years before! On one pea-souper day and school released us at 2pm - it took me 3 hours to get home. Oh those fogs where you could not see your hand in front of your face (kids today have no concept of what a fog really is..... they're more the Keats "mellow fruitfulness" mists) I was kerb crawled aged about 12 when we had moved to Blackpool.....
I then moved to sport and swimming and my spare time was filled happily swimming lengths upon lengths 3 times a day. When 14 I was put on a train to London at 9pm by my parents to travel to Dieppe alone..... my parents could not have realised - or maybe didn't care that this journey involved arriving at Euston after 11pm, crossing London to Victoria where I had to wait there till 6 am ish for the Newhaven boat train! I spent a very nervous night guarding my case with nowhere to sit cos the homeless men sleeping on the station benches!
Was speaking with my younger child recently and mentioned the French exchange I dragged her along on aged 10. Was reminiscing fondly (or not) re the Euro Disney trip where the kids had been given free time to go round the park (stipulations of everyone had to be in at least a 3, meet point manned by a member of staff all day in case of a problem had been identified etc ) and she was spluttering that no child would be without a member of staff now and a ratio of 1 staff to 8 pupils. I refrained from telling her about the free time we gave another group of kids in Montmartre Paris where they were on their own for a good few hours.
How times change. We regularly used the Linear park adjacent to the school grounds for the kids to run approx 800m minimum along the lengths of the brook. It was an ideal course as the kids couldn't cheat/deviate as the brook was just too wide for even the best long jumper to cross so they had to go down to the bridge.
At the age of about 8 I used to go to the corner shop and get 20 Senior Service (cigarettes)t for my dad. I used to get sixpence for going. It was all ok, the shopkeeper knew me and my dad. It would lead to a prosecution these days.
school cross country route that took us completely unsupervised across the main Paddington to Penance railway line. Do I believe the teachers ensured they had consulted train times? hmmmm.... Oh and though a field of cows.
school trip to London....naive Cornish kids left to wander around central London, go on tube etc , as long as we stayed in groups of 3 or more. Don't think I had ever even used a local bus without my parents at that age....
Unless, like me on a similar course when young, they took off their shoes and socks and waded across.
I have always been essentially lazy and have never believed in expending any more energy than is actually required
These were girls @Didactylos4 and as we all know girls think feet....as in bare feet, are "minging"
For a short while there was a craze for self-induced fainting. A few of us would bob down on our haunches and start hyperventilating before jumping up and blowing hard on our forearms. Blacking out seemed quite fun and harmless until you appreciated the danger of falling to the fground like a sack of potatoes.
I remember being driven in a car boot (a hatchback-type thing, not an actual boot) with about 10 other children. No seat belts, no sense of maybe an accident would happen.
I also remember 'smoking' candy cigarettes. I thought I was so cool. (And a big bag of sweets cost 10p - brilliant! Shrimps, Black Jacks, Fruit Salads, white chocolate mice, Jazzies...ah, my kids don't know the joy of a 10p mix up.
Our stricture was to meet at Place de la Concorde in time for the last metro.
The strangest hazard that I was allowed (encouraged?) to face was in 1963 when I was a 15 yr old air cadet. One of our officers worked at Wisley which was the aerodrome of the Vicker's aircraft company (now BAC) and he arranged an air experience flight for our squadron in one of the Vickers 1-11 passenger aircraft prototypes, short range, 80 seats or so, rear engines and high tail. Bad enough us flying on a prototype on test, but only a month earlier one of the aircraft had crashed killing all crew on board!
About 30 of us arrived at Wisley in a coach and drove past a number of 1-11s with little rocket motors attached to their tails. What had caused the 1-11 crash was that when the 1-11 had been put into its first stall test, the turbulence from the wings not only blanked the tail-plane but also starved airflow to the engines which flamed out. The aircraft was not able to get out of its stall and fell into the ground from several thousand feet. The rocket motors had been attached post crash to push the 1-11s out of the stall when they tried it again.
Not only were us kids going to fly in one of these aircraft but I have since found out that we actually performed some of the same tests that the crashed aircraft had undergone! On the crashed flight they had been moving the centre of gravity into different positions by having water tanks at the front and back of the aircraft and pumping water from front to back to change the trim of the aircraft. The aircraft that had crashed had had the same set up which was used during our flight. Further, the flight test crew gave us something to occupy ourselves with, rather than just have us sitting in the seats. They had us running as a group of 30 (!) up and down the aircraft to augment the change in trim whilst pumping the water!
It was absolutely great fun even though we realised pretty much what we were doing, but then I suppose we were being brought up to face such hazards, a la Ace Rimmer (if you watch Red Dwarf!)
I do remember however wondering about my father who permitted this, whilst at the same time not allowing me to go on school trips if one of the teachers was driving the minibus, because it would be too dangerous. He would have understood exactly what was going on at Wisley because he worked for Hawker Siddeley just down the road at Dunsfold (of Top Gear fame) and was involved with the development of their aircraft.
I did feel however, that I had figured out some of my father's psychology by then. He had gone to public school and hated and despised all school teachers with a vengeance that many here will not have met or could imagine, which I can only assume was engendered by his own teachers. I think the school trip ban was really his desire to put down teachers rather than to look after my health. I don't know what happened to him at public school but as I say he came out of it with such a loathing for his teachers. Over the years I have often wondered if the politicians who have done so much to damage our education system were influenced in the same way. An exception to the rule being Gove who went to a grammar school.
My father died before I entered teaching and I would love to know what he would have said about it! Anyway, I had a high octane extra curricula education and I have to say I loved it, looking back.
Watched the Black and White Minstrel Show.