Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Mr Millward and Mr Hirst… Reunited!

Here’s a little treat for all you Levendale Primary School veterans of the 1980s. I’m afraid – for reasons of national security – that I’m unable to reveal the exact date and location of this meeting, but I recently found myself in the same room as our former teachers Mr Millward and Mr Hirst! The first time such a gathering has taken place since July 1984, when I was sent grumbling down to Middle Band to ‘help Mrs Keasey take the staples out of the walls’.

I did indeed comment that our mini-reunion was like seeing John Lennon and Paul McCartney back together again, although this probably means that Mrs Keasey is George Harrison and Mrs Mulhern is Ringo. And I’m not convinced that either of them would be entirely chuffed about that. Anyway, here you go…

I should probably send out a little apology to Glenn Conroy – he was a perfectly pleasant young lad from my school year who just happened to crop up in conversation a couple of times that night! Glenn, if you ever see this, and you require expensive therapy to deal with it, just send the bill to Mr G Millward, c/o Levendale Primary School, Mount Leven Road, Yarm…

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12 Comments»

  Chris Byers wrote @

Bob, what a great video of Mr Millward and Mr Hirst. I have to say though I am somewhat disappointed at your choice of venue. I would have thought that the only place for such an occasion would have been the top of High Force. I’m sure Mr Millward and Mr Hirst would have happily agreed to dangle you over the edge again for old time sake.

  bobfischer wrote @

High Force is my Vietnam. I can never go back there. I still have the occasional flashback and wake up screaming.

Although Mr M denies everything! He says he never went to High School with a school party… in fact, he hardly went on any Levendale trips out (apart from York, because he likes York). They both reckoned it was Mrs Moore that held the other arm, and I think they’re probably right.

  Justin wrote @

Never went to High School… not really what you want to hear about a teacher 😉

  bobfischer wrote @

High School, for crying out loud. High Force is what I meant, of course. That’ll teach me to hurriedly bash out blog material when I should be working hard at the radio station.

Mind you, when I were a lad, there were only two types of school… Primary School and Secondary School. High School was what they had in Happy Days.

  Paul Hewerdine wrote @

This is all v surreal. I get an email via Facebook from Johnny Wynne who I’ve not seen since we were 11 – with a link to this site – a hugely amusing, nostalgia trip.

Great to see Mr M and Mr H out in force. I arrived at Levendale age 10 in 1982 and although I was only there for 18 mths or so, have many fond memories.

From being in some dodgy play called the Ice Maiden, playing footy every afternoon, making spaceships out of some bizarre flat packed boxes to getting Mrs Mulhern’s back up by reflecting the sun off our watches into her eyes during music, happy days.

As for the year we went to Carlton (I think I must have been in the year above you Bob), who could forget Striker puking from the top of his bunk into David Jarrett’s shoes.

Also, remember the Twinners v well. They lived next door to Ian Atkinson in Spell Close. Where are they now?

Top site. I’m buying the book. Cheers

  bobfischer wrote @

Mr Hewerdine! Good to see you around these parts. I’d long since forgotten the art of blinding people with the reflection from your watch… I’ll have to give that a go at work sometime…

Striker… was that Nigel Strike, the caretaker’s son? Nice lad, and I can’t remember him decorating Mr Jarrett’s shoes, so maybe everyone at Carlton that year was sworn to secrecy! The first rule of Carlton Camp is… you do not talk about Carlton Camp…

(If I remember the scary Mr Chapman correctly, the second rule was ‘stop buggering about or I’ll slap the lot of you’)

No idea where the Twinners are these days, sadly… I can’t even remember if they made it all the way to Conyers. Certainly haven’t seen them around for well over 20 years, so I’m guessing they’ve long since moved away. I hope they’re still wearing the same matching red tank tops, though.

Thanks for buying the book – hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  Paul Hewerdine wrote @

Yes Striker was the one and only Nigel Strike – now a serial entrepreneur and the last I heard a weekend DJ down the Keys in Yarm.

I’m pretty sure the Twinners made it to Conyers as I have a vague recollection of them knocking around in identical blazers (a little harsh as all the blazers were the same). I also remember them getting into motorbikes aged 16. By motorbikes I mean hardcore 50cc hairdryers.

It was school trips galore back then. I remember going to Beamish for the day out and down a mine. Plus the weekly trips to that 1m deep swimming pool up in Eaglescliffe.
Yep and to come back to Carlton again… The unforgettable Ian Atko putting a piece of dog poo in his mouth for a bet – it’s okay though. It didn’t touch the sides.

  Mark Hirst wrote @

Hi Paul

I’ve dined out on the `puke in the shoes` story for years, it has surfaced at more than a few teacher training inputs and HT’s conferences. Can I just confirm the authenticity of your distant memory, some faint souls might see it as a semi truth, heavily embroided with time. Thanks so much for putting names to faces though, they had eluded me. Nigel Strike and David Jarrett!!
Nigel I remember well, as his Dad Arthur, was school caretaker. David Jarrett took a larger than average suitcase to Carlton from my recollections, his Mum preparing and equipping him for every conceivable eventuality. Little did she know!

The dormitory had settled down for the night, been through the compulsory farting section of the night and entering the individual `free farting` routines, when it all kicked off!
The sound of vomit on carpet is usually enough to stir me from my slumbers, I’ve got two kids of my own. But I was unprepared for the carnage I faced that night. I remember Jarrett laughing heartily when Strike, full of the fruits of the tuck shop, puked from the top bunk. His laughter stopped abruptly when he realised his Reeboks were full of diced carrot, which of course triggered mass hilarity amongst the ranks. I’ve dealt with worse!

The pool at Eaglescliffe was at Durham Lane School and little more than a glorified bath tub. Many children somehow became competent swimmers or complete aquaphobics there. The water splashes rotted more tracky bottoms than Sports Direct could cope with, so I dread to think what you were all swimming in! Happy days indeed!

Your Mum, was an absolute star and supplied me with a Man U v Brighton Cup Final ticket, which to a Brighton fan a long way from home was positive gold dust ! ` ……….and Smith must score! `

Enjoy Bob’s book, it’s a mighty fine read!

  bobfischer wrote @

My earliest memory of Nigel Strike dates back to about a month after I started ‘big school’… aged four, Autumn 1977. I was sitting on one of the reception area toilets in my usual pose (trousers round ankles, clenched fists, sweat pouring down forehead) when Strikey – clearly realising that I hadn’t locked the door – barged in laughing maniacally and pulled the chain.

I jumped up, but too late to stop water cascading all over my nether regions and the floor. I learnt a lot about human nature that day. Mind you, it was his dad that had to clean up the mess.

  Paul Hewerdine wrote @

Blimey Mr H – your memory of the event is highly impressive. Got to say it’s put me off sleeping on a lower bunk for life (or at least, leaving my footwear near by).

My only other recollection of Carlton is Jason Fenton trying to get us all to gel our hair using toothpaste. If needs must.

As for the footy ticket, not entirely sure how my Mum sourced it. Wasn’t that the final that the infamous, headbanded Steve Foster had to miss due to some dodgy incident in the semi?

And btw, Mr H have you still got the legendary trackie?

  Mark Hirst wrote @

Hi Paul

When you have encountered such characters like Jason Fenton in your career it’s beyond memory…. these are emotional scars I carry!

Jason was one of those boys who kept us all on our toes (teachers that is). Top lad though.

In fact I have fond memories of those early teaching days and remember more of that era than my recent years. Must becoming an old cynic!

Steve Foster was indeed banned for the final, but made the replay which Man U won easily. The Utd fans were singing “What a difference you have made!” Pah!

The track suit is long gone I’m afraid, I doubt whether i could still get into it anyway!

  bobfischer wrote @

Steve Foster! Blimey, there’s a name from the past. I remember seeing him playing for Brighton at Ayresome Park long into the 1990s… he must have been virtually pensionable by then. The headband was still present and correct, but matron had to come on and change it for him every 20 minutes.


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