SCHOOL DAYS

Carpworld - - EDITORIAL -

‘This was in June 1961 and shortly af­ter I was brought down to earth with a bang. What was noth­ing more than a mis­chievous prank re­sulted in a teacher al­most be­ing hit on the head with a piece of wood. That sounds a bit stark! Per­haps I should ex­plain. I was top of the class in al­most every­thing at school, but not very good at met­al­work. ‘O’ lev­els were get­ting near, and at the start of one of the met­al­work classes I made some com­ment to the teacher that this wasn’t one of my best sub­jects and I felt I was wast­ing my time. What hap­pened next wouldn’t hap­pen these days! The teacher took it upon him­self to hurl a wooden-backed black­board cleaner in my di­rec­tion. It hit me on the side of the head! I picked it up and threw it back, re­sult­ing in a near-miss as the cleaner slammed against the black­board. The teacher didn’t see the funny side of the ex­change and marched me to the head­mas­ter’s study.

The head­mas­ter was not amused, ei­ther. He didn’t share the same sense of hu­mour as me and in­stantly ex­pelled me as I was over the school­leav­ing age, which was then fif­teen. One mo­ment I was rid­ing to school on my bike, not a care in the world, singing the lat­est pop song: two hours later I was cast out into the big, wide, adult world.

I wasn’t ready for it. I had never given a thought to work­ing for a living. I guess I just ex­pected to drift into be­ing a pro­fes­sional foot­baller as I played for the town’s boys’ team. But then again I didn’t con­sider play­ing foot­ball a job. God, it was so fi­nal: I couldn’t go back. I was still a kid think­ing life was all fun and mess­ing about and there I was be­ing told that I must get out and earn a living.’

BE­LOW ‘I was still a kid think­ing life was all fun and mess­ing about.’ Rod the teenager with mum and dad

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