Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 37

Monday 6th February 1984

Woke up at 7.50 and got up at 8.05. The first thing we did at school was go in for assembly and when we came out we went into Topic with a new teacher called Mrs Howarth. When we came out I did Topic and at 12.00 I had dinner.

After dinner We went into Maths groups and we had to do a sheet on fractions. I did that then at 3.15 I came home and wrote some of the Guardian of Goblin Grotto. At 3.35 I went down to Doug’s house and Doug and Gazzie were down there.

First we played darts, then we went back to my house and got some sweets from the garage. Then we went back to Doug’s and played Table Tennis. At 6.00 I came home and wrote some more of the Guardian. At 8.00 I played my dad at chess and at 9.30 I went to bed.


There was always a frisson of excitment rippling through the school at the prospect of a new teacher. Would would he or she be like? Cool and sporty like Mr Hirst? Bookish and witty like Mr Millward? A bearded, pipe-smoking psychopath like, erm, Mrs Wilkinson?

As it happens, the answer in this case was that Mrs Howarth was… well, misspelt. She was actually Mrs Haworth, with an ‘a’, and I know this because within seven months I’d be sharing a secondary school form class with her eldest son Jonathan, known to the entire planet as ‘Nobby’. For reasons I’m still unclear about, although knowing the general interests of most 11-year-old boys I can probably make a couple of educated guesses.


Mrs Haworth was nice, though, and I’ve got a vague feeling she patiently guided me through the dreaded FRACTIONS on this fateful afternoon. Fractions were the bane of my school life… I didn’t understand them, I still don’t understand them, I never will. They seemed to belong to a bygone age, to a mythical sepia-tinted 1950s when my parents were dreading their Eleven Plus and arsing around with slide rules and inkpots.

Listen, I had a calculator. It was cool and modern with a trendy cream casing and DIDN’T DO FRACTIONS so therefore fractions were irrelevant in 1984. Although admittedly it didn’t really do anything in my hands other than provide hours of amusement when you typed 5318008 into it and turned it upside down.


Deborah Highfield ran screaming to tell Mrs Keasey the first time I showed her. Good job she didn’t see Glenn Watson’s ballpoint pen – it had a tiny picture of a buxom brunette on the side, and when you turned it upside down her bikini slid away into nothingness. As did Andrew Warren when he first saw it, and it took a whiff of smelling salts in the First Aid room to bring him back to full consciousness.


We were clearly in the middle of a giddy little whirl of social events – I was always at Doug’s house, Doug was always at my house, Gareth had been to my house and met me and Doug, Doug and I had been to Gareth’s house and eaten crisps and been sick behind a barn, now it was time for Gareth to come to Doug’s house and us all to play darts and table tennis. Except Doug didn’t have a table tennis table, so it’s almost certain we were using the wallpaper pasting table in his utility room. You could get a cracking spin on the ball if you deflected it off the dried lump of Solvite a foot this side of the net.

All of this does, of course, mean that it’s high time we had a picture of Gareth ‘Gazzie’ Jones. Here he is in Whitby in 1983, smiling nicely for the camera but inside he’s dreaming about his Philips Videopac G7000…


Anyway, I have an update… you’ll remember (of course) that on Sunday 22nd January 1984 I went to our local moorland beauty spot The Sheepwash and played in the ‘thick snow’ with my Dad. 25 years later I went back to the same spot, but sadly it wasn’t snowing.

It was yesterday, though…. so here’s Take Two!

Still working on the copper pipe and bucket experiment.



  Fiona Tims wrote @

Love the Video, you big kid ;p
Although, shouldn’t you be sledging down and almost landing in the water for true authenticity??

Another one to try on the calculator was: 55378008 (I think)

  bobfischer wrote @

I was running out of memory on my camera! I might do that this weekend if there’s still snow around, just to complete the trilogy. 🙂

You can do ‘BOGIE’ as well. 31608.

  Drew Smith wrote @

58008 0773

  bobfischer wrote @


  Gaz Jones wrote @

This is like therapy, I’m so looking forward to Carlton Camp 🙂

I can remember (vaguely) buying a whoopee cushion from the aladins cave of a joke shop in Whitby. And standing at the bottom of the steps to the abbey, looking up and thinking ‘I’ll wait down here’.

  bobfischer wrote @

Blimey, I remember you buying that whoopee cushion. We messed around with it on the bench that you’re sitting on in that photo, much to Mr Millward’s disquiet.

On the coach on the way to Whitby, Paul Clarke started singing a song that I still give an airing to every time I head towards the seaside. It went…

‘I can see the sea, banana! Banana!
‘I can see the sea, banana! Banana!
‘I can see the sea, banana! Banana!
‘I can see the sea, banana! Banana!’

And… erm… that was it. It’s catchy though, when you know the tune.

  onthetrailofthelionking wrote @

I know its a bit late to be commenting on these but I’ve just stumbled across them and am slowly working my way through them. Fantastic stuff.

Anyway, the reason for commenting, if you are still reading, if to ask how on earth, with everything you needed at hand did you pass up the opportunity to recreate giving poggy doggy the scrubber?

  bobfischer wrote @

Ha! Thanks for reading this stuff, glad you’re enjoying it. To answer your question… Poggy Doggy was a noble and gentle beast, but he died in 1992. If I tried that trick with either of my current dogs, they’d take my hand off at the wrist.

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