Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 103

Thursday 12th April 1984

Woke up at 7.50 and got up at 8.00. Got the bus at 8.30 and first we had assembly. After that I did some of the letter work. At 10.00 We went into the end room and watched an absolutely **** film about some gegs living in the mountains.

At 12.00 I had dinner and after that I came in and got a number crossword but couldn’t be bothered to finish it so I just hung around until I came home at 3.15. At 3.50 Doug came round and we went for a ride. We went on the kebble estate, then went to Clockwood gardens and met Ramsey.

We cycled down to the cut then went to Moxham’s old house. Then we called for Stan and after a trip to the VG we went to Valley drive and went home. After tea I set up a course for the bike and at 9.00 I watched Mike Harding. 9.30 went to bed

‘Gegs’ was a brilliant and strange word from my childhood. It definitely originally just meant ‘specs’, as in ‘let me put my gegs on before I read that’, and was used by everyone (including my parents) without a hint of malice.

In the hands of we kids, of course, it became much more of a term of abuse… ‘Ahahahahahahah look at Wardy in his gegs, the geggy get, ahahahahahah,’ that kind of thing. And then it came to refer to the actual people who wore glasses (‘Have you seen Wardy? He’s a right geg these days’) and then that was inevitably extended to include anyone who we vaguely disapproved of, regardless of whether they wore glasses or not.

Isn’t the English language a gorgeous, constantly evolving thing of beauty? Which is more than you could say for any of us horrible lot.


(By the way, years ago I postulated a theory that there wasn’t a single school in the country that, in 1984, didn’t boast a round-faced lad in glasses with the unwelcome nickname ‘Gandhi’. I’m still waiting to hear any evidence to the contrary…)

So the film that we watched – complete with ‘some gegs living in the mountains’ – sadly wasn’t a blockbusting motion picture depicting a race of sentient horn-rimmed bifocals building a strange Society Of The Spectacle People in the foothills of the Himalayas. Actually, it was this…


Yes, a slice of vintage 1960 Disney, no doubt taped from BBC2 one afternoon by Mrs Keasey and brought in to keep us quiet with one day to go before the Easter holidays brought our teachers a fortnight’s worth of much-needed sanity.

I daresay some of the Milly-Molly-Mandy brigade found it enchanting, but I’d been raised on Star Wars and Doctor Who, and – without an X-Wing Fighter in sight – I was bored senseless.

Two hours as well, so it looks like we watched the whole lot. I’m amazed our school’s antique TV-with-wooden-doors was up to it without the tube exploding and the left hand side of the screen turning green.


At 12.00 I had dinner and after that I came in and got a number crossword but couldn’t be bothered to finish it so I just hung around until I came home at 3.15.

I’ve never been so ashamed of anything in my life as I am of this entry. I could at least have made a half-hearted map of The Citadel Of Chaos, or something. What a geggy get.

Good to see Doug and I out on a bike ride, anyway… our first together as equal bike owners, providing you can equate Doug’s brand new, state-of-the-art Mongoose BMX with my ageing, clanking Raleigh Chopper. But it was lovely to hare around Yarm together, and strange to note that we visited ‘Moxham’s old house’.


Richard Moxham (as mentioned extensively in Wiffle Lever To Full!, and seen above) had been one of my best friends a few years earlier, before his family had upped sticks and moved to Canada. We’d kept in touch since, but I think 1984 was the first time in my life that I started to experience the phenomenon of nostalgia.

The summer of 1981 was a belter. I was eight, It was incredibly hot and sunny, the charts were full of ace pop music (Shaky, Adam and the Ants), the Red Hand Gang was on telly every morning and I had tons of bestest ever mates and we all repeatedly piled up to Paul Frank’s farm and spent weeks on end messing about on bikes, in barns, on haystacks and in the river. Richard Moxham had been a big part of that, and I loved him to bits.


He was the first friend I ever had who moved away, and by 1984 I was starting to get all misty-eyed about my distant childhood, even though (I think) I knew that my current antics with Doug and Gazzie et al were bloody great times as well. For years, I held a theory that my life moved in tri-annual cycles, and I had a ‘classic’ summer exactly every three years. 1981, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1993 and 1996 were all belters, but everything fell apart when I spent the summer of 1999 skint, unhealthy and depressed.

I’ve stopped counting since then.  

Anyway, nice to see we hooked up with Andrew ‘Stan’ Henry again, and the VG – of course – was the friendly corner shop next to Levendale Primary School, where we’d relentlessly annoy Jo Spayne’s mum behind the counter by wandering in to buy a half-penny chew each.

And ‘a course for the bike’! Fantastic. Undoubtedly inspired by Peter Purves and Junior Kick Start, I’d constructed a terrifying assault course from planks and old bricks, and was attempting to speed, skitter and bump my Chopper (stop giggling) relentlessly across the top.

One day, this would be me…



  Fiona Tims wrote @

My God-we’d never get a show like on tv today! We were so much tougher back then! ;p

  bobfischer wrote @

I wasn’t, I was a pasty weakling. I just watched other kids being brave on the telly. 😉

  Drew Smith wrote @

If you get the chance give Swiss Family another go, it’s really good! How can you not like a film where a child climbs on an ostrich and races his brother who is on a donkey?

  bobfischer wrote @

Do any spaceships or lazer guns appear in the latter stages?

  Drew Smith wrote @

No, but pirates and coconut guns do!

  bobfischer wrote @


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