Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 123

Wednesday 2nd May 1984

Woke up at 7.55 and got up at 8.15. Got the  bus at 8.30, and first at school we had assembly, then we came out and had registration groups and we had to do a piece of work on light. Me and Doug did that together, then after a read we had dinner at 12.00.

When we came back in we read some more. Then I started a picture but all the boys had to go out and play cricket. We lost – Poo! Came home at 3.15 and me and Dougie rode to Huggy’s house. We rode around for a bit, then I went to the green and had a muck on with Jonno.

After a go on a bike ramp outside Hug’s I came home and had tea, then I went out and did Wheelies on the Strika. Came in and had some biccies and at 9.30 I went to bed.*

*Shortest day so far this year for writing

Can you tell I was getting a bit bored with diary-writing and wanted to play with the format? I think I finished scribbling this while sprawled across my yellow bedspread (no doubt with my tongue hanging out and a vacant expression on my face) and then thought ‘Ooooh… I haven’t written much today’. The devastating discovery that it was my shortest diary entry of the year then led, over the next few days, to increasingly desperate attempts to squeeze my day’s activities into as small a space as possible. So consider that a cliffhanger. Albeit an absolutely rubbish one (although still slightly better than Episode One of ‘Warriors Of The Deep’)

The ‘piece of work on light’ that we did consisted, I think, of Mr Millward showing us how rays of light are refracted, reflected and… erm.. whatever the other one is (sorry Mr Millward… I was paying attention, honest. When I wasn’t thinking about Doctor Who or Debbie Jarvis. Or Debbie Jarvis and Doctor Who. And me. In the TARDIS together. Having adventures. And snogs. Me and Debbie that is, not me and the Doctor. Or Debbie and the Doctor, that would be amazingly wrong on so many levels. Blimey, maybe I was paying attention even less than I remember…)


Anyway, the conclusion of our ‘piece of work on light’ was us drawing endless ‘paths of light rays’ diagrams with our Berol Handwriter pens and Shatterproof rulers, all of which – I discovered many years later – bore a startling resemblance to the cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’.


I don’t know how much of a reflection (ho ho) this was on Mr Millward’s music taste, but I can’t help but think the lesson would have been more of a challange if Mr Hirst had taken charge, and we’d attempted to recreate the cover of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ with isosceles triangles.

(‘Isosceles’, incidentally, was a word that I just COULD NOT master at school to save my life, and right up to the end of my Levendale Primary School career I was still referring vaguely to ‘isausages triangles’)


Clearly another sunny day, so Mr Hirst decided to abandon academic pursuits for the afternoon, and march us onto the school pitch to recreate the cover of Simple Minds’ ‘Sparkle In The Rain’ via the medium of cricket. Our fielding positions (with Doug making a sensational silly-mid off) roughly resembled the famous Simple Minds coat of arms, with Paul ‘Frankie’ Frank and James ‘Placie’ Place in the middle, thwacking anything my limp wrist threw in their direction somewhere in the direction of Northallerton.  

We lost – Poo!

Huggy, for newcomers, was Paul Huggins, a funny but enormously strapping lad who’d become a good friend of Doug and me. I remember really distinctly building the ‘ramp’… basically a two-foot pile of bricks with a plank balanced on the top, occupying the entire end of Paul’s cul-de-sac and causing an impressive tailback of frustrated Dads unable to negotiate past us in their Vauxhall Astra Estates.


We’d start off at the opposite end of the street, pedal furiously, mount the plank at top speed and then fly off the raised end into Paul’s Mum’s prized geraniums. You got bonus points if you could whistle the theme from ET in mid-flight.


Jonno, meanwhile, was Jonathan Copeland, a cheeky lad a couple of years our junior. On this very night, at ‘the green’, he taught me the following charming ditty…

We have joy, we have fun
Flicking bogies at the sun
But the sun gets too hot
And the bogies turn to snot

It’s what Jaques Brel would have wanted.



  Mark Hirst wrote @

Posting this again, in a more appropriate place.

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!

  bobfischer wrote @

Brilliant idea! Keep us posted! If you want a nice easy start, you could always kick them off with The Beatles’ White Albun. And then Metallica’s Black Album. And then…

I can just imagine Mr Millward saying that as well. Mind you, some of us have built a career on shameless self-indulgence… 😉

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