Tuesday, 9 February 2010


School and all aspects of improving our fertile young brains has always been a breathtakingly dangerous experiance. Beginning from the ungodly hour we started the long trekto school and our first bad tempered scowling teacher of the day ,until the trek home at the end of the dayafter our last bad tempered scowling teacher of the day .In those days we did a full day educating , none of this finishing about two o'clock in the afternoon. In the morning we had to get a double decker bus laid on esspecially for us. The bus was absolutly 'chokka-Block 'full.....Then at hometime the same scally hoardes were supplied with a single decker bus ,which if you missed ,well!...Tough shit ,basically!...The bell went at 4 o'clock and the bus was full by 30 seconds past. There was no waiting for sir or miss to give you permission this wasn't school discipline this was a fight for survival. I saw lads break bones on that crush in the home bus, absolutly insane it was....None of your health n' safety for the fruit and hopes of the future in them far flung days.
 I went to a really good grammar school and ,basically being a lazy bastard 'Blew it!'....Thats how i became a cartoonist!....It was run by the De La Salle catholic brothers and when we saw them in their full length black smocks with a little card  white brotherly looking collar....Us little snotty kids totally 'bottled it!'
The headmaster was about 6foot 6" tall ,but they called him 'THE SKULL'... And you only had to look at his thin boney face to know why !....There were civilian teachers, some absolute bastards ,but all quite happy to inflict pain in a variety of cunning sneaky , ingenious ways , which even as you were being battered you had to admire the skill and technique only attained through years of practise that was going into the infliction of pain into you !

Fear was the tool by which the knowledge and education was crammed into our totally uninterested boyish brains. Homework was only done if you were afraid of the teacher of that subject, but even then it wasn't done at home. The work was copied off someone on the bus in the morning and finished in the classroom before lessons began. The work was in two , blindingly obvious stages ...Firstly the totally indecipherable writing done while crammed on the moving bouncing  bus. Secondly , the slightly less awful ,but twice as rushed from the fairly stable classroom before the lesson began.

When we had playtime we had 47 -a-side games of 'footy' with a TENNIS BALL'???....Which for obvious reasons resulted in busted toes ;twisted ankles ,but most annoyingly ,for parents causing a pair of shoes to last about a week!

. I've never smoked in my life, but a lot of my mates would go around the back of some sheds and trying to look cool puffing ,gasping n' coughing on some ciggies. The teachers all knew when and where they wer so just took turns to leave the ciggie smoke filled staff room to grab the kiddie smokers and haul them out. Not having had a fag, when i tried to plead my innocence i was told "SHUT UP, LEATHERBARROW!"...But not me ,in my never ending quest for right and justice i would go on and on and in  the end would find myself in front of the BRUCE LEE of the cane....BROTHER DAMIAN....'THE SKULL'....He whizzed that cane like BRUCE LEE'S nunchuka's. If you see any of my old teachers and mention me they will probably be suprised i'm still alive as they thought i was smoking about 70 ciggies a day when i was 12.
Many of you ol' farts out there will remember reading the BEANO, DANDY,SPARKEY, BEEZER, etc,etc full of good ol' tales of kids getting' whacked' by 'teecher'!.....In fact, like me many will remember the various forms of torture and tools of torture that were used in real life. The canes old, new, battered ,thick, thin ,long, short; As were the belts; Pumps ,galloshes and even rugby boots. But the simplest were the unerring accuracy of the piece of chalk or board duster which flew across a class of snotty little schoolboys as if controlled by a form of laser guidance system avoiding the 'innocent'and homing in on the guilty target, normally just above the nose. And of course there was the unarmed torture; Pinching earlobes; Pulling the hair that would one day become your manly sideburns; Various,pinching, prodding, poking, pulling, slapping, etc, etc, all good fun, but i have to admit it did keep us in a form of control and discipline which the snotty little bastards of these more enlightened days have no concept of. Now teachers have no defence against the snotty little monsters they have to face. As we live in more enlightened times and every classroom is filled to the gunnels with all race and creeds; Languages ceremonial dress, etc, etc. But it has turned dangerously insane....

Awhile ago a Sikh judge  decreed that a Sikh boy shouldnt've had his ceremonial dagger taken from him in school one day. So whereas everybody ,in schools, colleges, airports, etc aren't allowed to carry sharp implements of any kind, schoolkids can carry ceremonial daggers into the class. Soon Japanese Samurai schoolkids will go for lessons with their Katana sword; Scottish kids'll have a Dirk down their sock like the children of Gurkhas with their Kukri's. English kids can have a sabre, the welsh can have an axe, the irish have their swords and shelaleoughs(sorry about the spelling). Various other peoples around the world in lots of nice places dont seem to carry swords, but carry AK47 machine pistols or rocket launchers, but i'm not totally sure there for ceremonial reasons......Must be wonderful being a teecher, once all they had to worry about was catapults(yes, i actually made one that worked, it wasn't just Dennis the Menace) and the variety of inky,snotty,flemmy things that could be flicked from a ruler, a ceremonial wooden 12 inch school ruler, before they became ceremonial 30 cm plastic school rulers.


Cathy said...

That's why I'm not a teecher any more, Tim. Yer average acute mental health ward is much saner than yer average school.

They REALLY aren't allowed to have sharp stuff.

Tim Leatherbarrow said...

My god! is there nothing this girl can't or hasn't done?..I bet she'll even try cartooning one day when they let her out of the asylum.
Not as sharp as he was Tim xx