Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 122

Tuesday 1st May 1984

Woke up at 7.50 and got up at 8.10. Got the bus at 8.30 and Ollie the Wally did a Wuckie. Then we got to school and it was assembly, and after that I did my safety poster. At 12.00 I had dinner, and when we came in it was maths groups.

Did my maths with Stan, then I read with Doug till we came home at 3.15. At 3.45 I rode down to Levendale on my own because Doug had swimming tonight and was already tired. Went to the VG and met Stan and Tweddall, then we went to the green where me, Stan, Whacky, Tinkler, Clarkie and Tweddall had a geedy muck on.

Came home at 5.00 and had tea, then after a race around outside me and dad took Pog on Conyers. When we came back I went out again, and went to bed at 9.30.

‘Ollie the Wally did a Wuckie’!!! Unbelievable. I’d forgotten all about this. Ollie the Wally was, indeed, a tiny kid called Ollie who caught our school bus every morning from the sleepy village of Worsall all the way to the Levendale estate. As such, we had about fifteen minutes every morning to wind him up, get him going, and gently persuade him to… erm, do a Wuckie.


It wasn’t anything nasty, and it was all of his own invention. Ollie was in his first year at Levendale Primary School, so he can’t have been more than five years old. But, one morning (possibly this one), he asked us (ahem) more mature nutters the eternal philosophical question ‘Would you like to see me do a Wuckie?’.

When we nodded uncertainly, he scrunched his face up into an amazing, distorted mess, emitted a high-pitched whining noise, and started slapping his head repeatedly with his open palms. Me, Philip Slack, Nicholas Nibbs and probably even Gordon the bus driver fell about into the isle, shaking with uncontrollable laughter and wiping tears and snot from our faces. It was HILARIOUS. From then on, getting Ollie the Wally to do a Wuckie became an essential part of our morning routine.


He would also, if you threw the names of Star Wars characters at him, offer back his impressions of them as well, all of which seemed to involved a lot of… well, scrunching his face up, whining, and slapping his head. ‘Luke Skywalker! (MNNGHGH) Darth Vader! (NNNGHGH) Tessek of the Mon Calamari! (RRRGHGHGHGH)’. Ah, what a time to be alive. 

I know what you’re thinking. Was there anything… erm, ‘wrong’ with Ollie? Well no, there wasn’t. Honest. He was a perfectly ordinary, intelligent little lad who just liked playing up and making us laugh. I’ve never heard hide nor hair of him since I left Levendale Primary School ten weeks after this event, but I guess (yikes!) he’ll be about 30 now. If anyone knows a hilarious 30-year-old called Ollie, from the Yarm/Worsall area, tell him to get in touch. I really hope he’s well and happy and still making everyone who comes into contact with him with fall about laughing and wipe snot from their faces.

Good to see a morning spent designing my ‘safety poster’ for the regional schools competition. Being an airy-fairy arty type, I’d been ‘volunteered’ (thanks Mr Hirst) to enter this, and had to draw a poster to spread the word about the importance of road safety. Mine featured the imposing legend ‘LOOK OUT FOR ANIMALS – THEY’RE DEADLY ON THE ROAD!!!!’, beneath which was a cartoon red car containing a startled-looking driver (complete with protruding tongue and sticky-up hair) slamming on the brakes to avoid hitting a strange gaggle of happy-looking dogs, sheep and cows standing in a huddle in the road ahead of him.

‘Deadly for who? Drivers or animals?’ asked a concerned Paul Clarke, our school’s acknowledged animal rights campaigner. ‘Both,’ I replied, diplomatically. I knew Clarkie was designing his own road safety poster in competition with me, and I didn’t want things to escalate into a full-blown nuclear stand-off.  

It looked like my tactic worked as well, considering he quickly joined me for a ‘geedy muck on’ at the green that evening. It was rare that I ventured out to these sophisticated social occasions without Doug by my side, but Doug’s swimming exploits (he was a proper, county standard, one-mile-at-a-time swimmer, as opposed to my hapless flailing about in the shallow end) occasionally took him away from (ahem) the action.


I know for a fact that our ‘geedy muck on’, on this particular occasion consisted of carrying our bikes up the steps of the playground slide and then riding down the slope full pelt, shouting ‘BARRY SHEEEEEEEEENE’ before collapsing in a heap of tangled metal and limbs at the bottom. At which point, lanky white-haired nutcase Carl Tinkler would pin you down and hammer the required Barry Sheene nuts and bolts into your legs with his fists.

Incidentally, he also became the subject one of my favourite ever theological debates a few years before this. Sitting round the dinner table one day in 1980, we were discussing over spam fritters the ‘type of people that would actually GO TO HELL when they died’.

At which point Debbie Fishburn nodded sagely and said ‘Adolf Hitler (pause)… and Carl Tinkler’. Oddly enough, nobody disagreed…


The green, in case you were wondering, looked like this…

Bit sad, really…


1 Comment»

  Mark Hirst wrote @

You’ve got me thinking now Bob, there is a probably some mileage in using album covers (well CDs, to bring it up to speed!) in the primary curriculum. I shall `trial` something and get back to you.

You will be delighted to hear that one unfortunate class of mine (at another school), were forced into creating a wall display based on The Glass Spider (Bowie). It was a mighty fine piece of collaborative art, made even better when the legendary Mr Millward ,(my Headteacher at the time!), told me to stop being so “self indulgent” . Priceless!

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