|Clives Messruthers Fond Memories|
|My time at school I remember with affection and humour. Graham Sea Training School if not leaving me with a first class education did at least leave me with some of the best memories of my life. Even today 30 years later I can still laugh at the antics that both the students and teachers got up to.
Some things about that great school will be with me till the day I die.
Those hats that lasted a day before they were confiscated by the older boys. Because according to them we looked like dickheads.
The wall. The implement of torture used once again by the older boys usually to get our dinner money to fall from our pockets while we dangled upside down with only the drop into the stinging nettles to look forward too.
Who could forget the challenge of stuffing the whole of the year below us into a small toilet. All twenty five boys in one small toilet then the fun of watching every one of them getting a slap around the head as they came out from a teacher that called them idiots for being subjected to this. As if they had any choice.
The teachers that could only be described as the biggest bunch of excentric miss fits that ever accumulated under one roof. Loved them all.
As I remember.
Mr Ken Millward. Metalwork, technical drawing, physics, Was at Graham Sea training school when my brother was there 10 years previously. My brother always called him Chalky Millward and anyone who saw him at the black board would know why. How did he manage to get more chalk on himself than on the board? In later years when I was working as tool maker I realised what a fantastic engineer he was. Ken told me once he used to work for rolls Royce. Anyone remember who it was that sent the two thousand cream cakes to his home and the limo taxis to pick him up in the morning?
Mr Rippon, Known as Jack Skull to us because of his bald head. Left the school for a while but came back, a year or so later. Never really left that big an impression on me as I suppose he was one of the least excentric members of staff. Nice bloke as I remember.
Mr Feather. Or Just plain Vince. The only guy I have ever met that was a member of all the armed forces. Took two weeks sick leave every year due to recurring malaria caught while in Burma during the war. One of my fondest memories was trying to help him after school with about twenty other kids that he conned into trying to extricate this boat he had built in his back garden. Wouldn't have been such a problem but he had made it from concrete and the damn thing must have been twenty tons in weight. Never learned if it floated or not. I can still hear Vince's famous words, You Blithering Idiot.
Mr Grant. BIG G, to the boys, very smart gentleman who thought it best to hit first and ask questions later. Guilty until proved innocent. The classic was during the cricket season. Ok Lads he would say at the beginning of the English period. Ill give you a choice, we can do English or go and watch the cricket in the library. God help anyone who chose English.
Mr Hayes, The maths teacher. I know we had a name for him too but cant remember it?? A typical maths lesson would be to work out how to get to the Nags head Pub in Scalby by the shortest route.
Mr Herbert the Head. Here was a guy who had served on sailing ships before the introduction of steam power. How old was he anyway? He was complete with wooden leg that we used to tap with a pen while he was checking our books. I can still hear him now "Who's Tapping?" He spent the remainder of the time when not teaching fighting with Kenny Milward over some trivial matter.
With teachers like these it's a wonder any of us made anything of ourselves, but we did, so they cant have been all bad. They did leave me with a loving for the eccentric though.
Now a few memories that still amuse me anyway.
Good friend Raymond Goodall proudly showing me his school report that had the comments from Mr Milward on Raymond's metalwork achievement. The comments read " Useless, Menace to workshop safety"
Michael Wollie and the set square. Kenny was going to hit wollie about some trivial matter and wollie had a set square in his hand and as he tried to protect his head. Kenny accidentally hit the set square into woollies head. Kenny of course claimed that it was all Wollie's fault as he was holding it. All Kenny did was hammer it in. I can see his point, well I couldn't as it was stuck in my fellow pupils head. Very funny, for us anyway.
David Winters, Running to and from school everyday from Seamer. That kid was a nut, but a great cross country runner. Refused to run for the school after going comprehensive as inter school comps were being held on a Saturday. He wanted paying. hahaha
Martin Crosby and David Renshaw, Swimming around the castle foot in the
middle of winter before coming to school. They had to be nuts.
Brian Marley, the yokel farmer. Wonder if the farm is still doing well.
Neil Kay, or yak as we called him. One day he was stuffed under the stage before assembly. During assembly there is this knocking from under the stage and the teachers find him. Then proceed to beat the shit out of him for being there. It was always the victim that got beaten by the teachers. Another time John Stewart was hanging Yak out of the window and swinging him from side to side, then Big G storms into the room and John let him go.
As he fell from the first floor he broke a dining room window on the way
down. He got the cane if i remember right for breaking the window. Poor Neil but very good sport. He used to be able to wrap his legs around his head in some sort of contortionist manner. One day while his legs were around his head we grabbed him and stuck him in a waste paper bin then placed this waste paper bin on the teachers desk just before the teacher came in to take the lesson. It was Big G I think who on entry just pushed poor Neil off the desk onto the floor. Mumbling something about bloody idiot.
Crosby and Renshaw come to mind again when we had to take one of the whalers down to the harbour? It had been in the boat yard for its annual fifty coats of varnish. There was so much varnish on those whalers that no one was sure if there was any wood under it all. After painstakingly manoeuvring the boat to the harbour where it would launched for the summer rowing lessons. We noticed that the drain plugs were missing from the bottom of the boat. Word quickly spread around except to the teachers of course who were blissfully unaware of the impending disaster. The boat was launched into the harbour with a bigger than usual push. It was about 30 foot from the harbour side when there is this shout from one of the boys in the boat. "Sir we are sinking" At this Jack Skull jumps in his car and sets off up the hill like a formula one driver to fetch the plugs. We were all helping the situation by falling around in hysterical fits of laughter.
One last thing i have been trying to remember and maybe someone can help me. During our last year at school, Did we actually do any school work? I sort of remember no bus company would take us anymore to the School at woodlands, and it used to take us hours to walk there. We usually arrived at finishing time. No one seemed to care and just let us do whatever we wanted.
Who can blame them?
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