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A Certain Image

April 16, 2009 Leave a comment

I imagine that memories section bloggers have a certain image. Maybe some people think that we look back because there is little to look forward to. Expletive. We look back, live for now, and anticipate the future. But what sort of future? I love that last sentence. I went years making sure that I never started a sentence with And or But. But I no longer worry about it. Finer writers than me are at it all the time. Rebels together!

 

If I am lucky enough to be in an old peoples’ home in 2032, with marbles in place, I will ensure that the place is not boring. I will need help of course but I will no doubt get that from a friend that I have yet to meet.  

 

WB

Categories: Memories

Let’s Get Physical

April 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Much of the information within this article is already spread around the site so it is just a case of pulling these experiences of mine together. They do not reflect particularly well on me but I do not mind playing the clown for a while in the hope that another author turns up on site:

 

C1952  New Brancepeth Primary School 50 yard dash – winning at the 40 yard post but thinking that was the finishing line – I finished unplaced.

 

1958 In dreadful pain on the hallowed [!] Bracken Court turf attempting a run against a Stoddart/Ferguson team I stumbled and somehow my bat dug into my knee. A nice couple on the corner of the semi circle – if you like coming from the Whitehouse Court area – heard my scream and patched me up. I still have the scar. Semi circle? Is it a semi circle?

 

1958 During a game of rounders I ran down the hillock at Ushaw Moor Sec Mod, like a pill…. and dived full length to catch the ball. Not really knowing the rules of rounders the brilliant catch – for that is what it was – meant nothing. I felt like, and was, an idiot.

 

1968 Hit in the testi…., whilst playing at second slip in a Tyneside Senior League cricket match. I nevertheless held on to the ball and called for a handkerchief to wipe my eyes as well as a drink of water. The batsman was given out caught while I lay there feeling quite ill.

 

1969 Two events that year. I smashed my head against a bath tap when attempting to get out of the bath – very lucky actually – some people die in such instances. In the same year, outside a pub whilst talking to a friend, I suffered an unprovoked attack by a coward.He had hit me on the head from behind. I spun round to challenge what was probably a drunken idiot but my friend, and opening bowler, pointed out that it was, I think, five to two against. I went and bought some fish and chips.

 

C1998 While on holiday my young son accidentally hit me on the head with a golf club. I was taken to hospital by ambulance and it seems that I again got away with it.

 

WB

 

 

 

 

Categories: Memories

Education Education Education?

April 16, 2009 Leave a comment

I get the distinct impression that for many decades after the beginning of the 20th century employers were almost invariably disorganized and dim in their approach to motivating employees. Take the National Coal Board’s wages department in Workington as an example. When I joined it in 1961 there was no induction worth talking about. There was no encouragement to improve my education. There were no performance reviews. Training was no more than a smattering of the ‘hands on’ variety. I suppose management theory was in its infancy. The National Examinations Board for Supervisory Studies [Nebss] came in as late as c1964 and was perhaps recognition of the need to treat workers in a more professional manner. It seemed to dawn on many employers that if they treated staff properly they could improve output and hopefully profits.

 

Whilst Nebss was a promising innovation further education seemed very poor in the 60s. They were not the days of lifelong learning. GCE teaching of ‘second chancers’ in local colleges was often second rate; it was unnecessarily dull.

 

Going further back – our English teacher at Ushaw Moor could have, and ought to have, lit up ‘Lord of the Flies’. He had an opportunity to catch our imagination. After all there were a lot of bright pupils in our class but they were somewhat short changed. Harry Barlow was an exceptionally good teacher but even so it seems we were not trusted to learn mathematics, other than its arithmetical content.

 

But where is this article leading us? I am so positive about the provision for youngsters these days. The facilities for advancement are plentiful but sadly not all are grasping the available opportunities. I imagine that the current crop of Deerness Valley youngsters is a very mixed bunch. Some will be literate and confident whilst others might be struggling to form many coherent sentences. I am not an educationalist but could it be that some parents have low aspirations for their children? Does Ushaw Moor need a Mr/Mrs Motivator in order to maximize the potential of ALL of its children? David Beckham and Co have their place but so does a well chosen book that is read with insight and enthusiasm.  Good Book 2 Beckham 1.

 

WB

Categories: Memories