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About Centaur

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  1. Centaur

    How's your day?

    No matter which way you voted in the 2016 Brexit Referendum the subsequent negotiations with the EU have clearly shown that our country is run by a bunch of absolute stinkers and talentless wassocks who should not be allowed out unsupervised. It is a great shame that Neville Chamberlain is no longer with us as he may have been able to get a piece of paper from the German Chancellor rather than the five million page handcuff Theresa May was able to secure.
  2. Centaur

    How's your day?

    Hi LizzieM, We did not get to The Mews this year, but stuck with the old favourites like The Tides, Spagos, Zaccios, Sea Cat, Scarlets and several others. I fully appreciate your comments about the speeding buses and the logistics of always needing commodious taxis and agree a five minute stroll is preferable. I would imaging that The Lobster Pot Restaurant was not too far away from where you stayed. Despite it being a very well thought of restaurant it is reputed that this was the place where Michael Winner had the bad oyster that nearly killed him some years before he actually did die.
  3. Centaur

    How's your day?

    I stay in a villa at Sunset Crest in Holetown so we must only have been a couple of miles apart. It is a handy spot for the exorbitant local restaurants, the new excellent ice cream shop and the exorbitant Massy Supermarket. Did you see that Cliff Richard has his villa up for sale, on the market for £28,000,000, or if that is a little too steep four of the six bedrooms can be rented for £4,000.00 a night. Bargain!!! Presumably Cliff stops in the other two rooms and cooks your breakfast.
  4. Centaur

    How's your day?

    Hi LizzieM,, Sunday before last I was also in Barbados, although it now feels as if it was last year. Always dread the red eye flight back which knocks me for six though.
  5. Centaur

    Henry Mellish

    On another thread I spotted an old reference to Dainty s Barber Shop on Highbury Vale and it brought back memories of an incident from 1965 ish when I was fifteen and a pupil at the Henry Mellish. The latest Headmaster, a Mr Strutt, one day decided that singlehandedly he would attempt to hold back The Swinging Sixties and step one of his master plan would be to ensure that all pupils at his school would have military style haircuts. All six hundred or so pupils were inspected from which he selected over a hundred to pay a visit to the Dainty Shop. The lucky hundred included myself, only slightly hirsute, and my best pal with his more flamboyant locks. The mere mention of Jimmy Dainty struck terror into the hearts of cool kids, and it was rumoured that even the basin cut brigade avoided his services lest their hairstyles and pulling power be ruined for ever. By mid morning break the first batches of victims were returning looking like sufferers of ringworm or escapees from a Russian Gulag."Sod that for a game of soldiers" said I, and my pal agreed with my irrevocable decision that we were not going. When the carnage was finished, mid afternoon we were both sent for by the Headmaster, and on our way there decided that if he pushed the issue we would leave the school that afternoon never to return. Since we were both bigger than him, and after five years at the Mellish quite capable of taking on King Kong, he was unable to come to any decision concerning punishment and so we just left him to it, barnets intact. If he had been a pupil at the Mellish, rather than just a Headmaster, he would perhaps have developed a backbone and been able to control the situation. But I doubt it !!!
  6. Centaur

    Henry Mellish

    Benjamin, My motto was always to do everything to the best of my ability, sounds as if it was yours also, Nice one!!! Phil, A 120 yard chocolate log, send it with a card to the EU "A slice for each of you".
  7. Centaur

    Henry Mellish

    In todays world we are almost overwhelmed by exams and qualifications, many of which are of questionable use or purpose. Common sense, that rarest of qualities, is still at a premium. Many years back my late father stated that University Degrees were becoming like arses in that virtually everyone seemed to have one, and the situation is now far worse than then. My father and mother were without formal qualifications, although as an eleven year old my father had won a free scholarship to a minor Public School. Unfortunately, as a poor kid, surrounded by the privileged offspring of professionals, his life was made a misery, which resulted in him leaving to commence work at age thirteen. During my own career I have regularly been amazed by the lack of brain power and nous shown by many highly qualified professionals of all disciplines. "I throw up my hands in total despair" became my comment of choice. So irrelevant of what exams and tests you may or may not have passed, remember that if Jamie Oliver and Richard Branson can become multi millionaires there is hope for everyone to succeed.
  8. Centaur

    Names you like and don't like

    I have always thought that the like or dislike of a name relies heavily upon who you have previously known with that appellation. What, in the intervening years, has become of Miranda, Celia, Delia, Hilary, Wendy, Priscilla and Prudence to name but a few of my favourite female names. The amusing comment from Staverton Girl concerning "Anne with the runny nose" reminds me of a Henry Mellish lad who never seemed to get the hang of blowing his nose, and who after putting away his handkerchief, would regularly have a "banjo string" attaching his nose to his ear. To this day I have disliked the name Marcus. Over the years, and these are genuine examples, I have lamented the thoughtless stupidity of parents in naming their offspring :- R C Bottoms, a teacher at the Henry Mellish. Fred Hall, who always signed his full name rather than just the initial. Tom Bowler, who did not get to open many fetes. Richard Head, never known as Dick. Peter Rick, who fully embraced the title and always signed with the name of an appendage. Surname Pungent, first name 5 letters beginning with F, can anyone guess ? Like many things today some names are corrupted, a child called Jacob, a fine name, is called by his mother Jay Cob. Still, if he has any more brothers she can perhaps call them Ham cob and Cheese Cob. Names come in and out of favour, but although some like Lillian, Mabel and even Ada are back in, the return of others are still awaited. Prior to the popularity of names like Maureen, Doreen, Christine and Marlene etc, children were working looms or sweeping chimneys. These names may not come back until todays children put down their tablets and phones and again play outside. If this should happen , these names will again be needed as mum will again be able to utilise a rising inflection on the een to call the offspring in from a much greater distance. Why do people cherish awful surnames? Some years ago, working at a Merchant Bank in London a certain Ron Bog, supervisor of that parish, had problems with his name being treated disrespectfully, He therefore changed his name by Deed Poll to that of Hewlett, being the maiden name of his wife. From day one no-one ever went again to the bog, everyone went to the Hewlett, and I believe this is still the case today despite Ron retiring many years ago. A belated "Happy New Year" To everyone. .
  9. Centaur

    Barber Walker & Co and Major Barber

    In or around 1961 I remember the property known as Newthorpe Grange coming to the market, and along with my mother and much older brother, viewing the house with the agent. Subsequently, I again attended a second viewing with my father and mother. Such large properties, with high upkeep costs, were not really in vogue at the time, many buyers being more likely to seek compact modern homes. At the time of the initial viewings the property was generally in good condition with panelling and original features in abundance, and I recall the music room, the library, with a mass of fitted bookshelves, and what particularly interested me as an eleven year old keen shooter, the gun room with its many racks for rifles and shotguns and cabinets for handguns and ammunition. The kitchen and bathroom fittings were of another era, and even the wash basins were three or four times the volume of todays equipment. The baths were immense and must have taken an age to fill. Not surprisingly the heating system was coal fired and the boiler room to the rear of the property not only heated the house but also the very large greenhouses located in the ample grounds. Despite the written warning that planning consent would not become available for the land ( it just goes to show that you should not believe all that is written or spoken for that matter) the £5,000, or thereabouts asking price was fair if you had viable plans for the premises. Our offer was left on the table, however, still unsold some three months later when I returned with my brother, despite having no agent with us we were able to enter the property. This was through one of the tall broken windows to the front of the house where we discovered that what could not be stolen had been smashed. A shameful end to a fine house. Somewhere I believe I still have the paperwork for the sale but where is the question.
  10. Centaur


    What is your most amusing holiday memory ? Some years ago I was in Menorca and following an overnight storm, I was the following day swimming in a very choppy Mediterranean. Talking to my brother in law as we swam, I suddenly said to him "Gott Im Himmel" or words to that effect as six feet from his shoulder a world war two mine complete with spikes had just surfaced. Distancing ourselves at a rate of knots we returned to the beach whereupon I pointed out to sea and advised a nearby German that it was his responsibility to sort it out. "Achtung Minen" he shouted and in true Teutonic fashion, took control and cleared the sea of bathers. When my relative by marriage had ceased goose stepping up and down the beach he stated "Ve build zem good in Deutschland, 6 to 4 it could still have sunk a pedalo ". The crew of the Spanish gunboat which subsequently arrived, in true Spanish style, attempted to locate the mine by jabbing a boat hook into the murky waters, but perhaps fortunately for them the mine had already travelled onwards, and thus prevented them from blowing off the bow of their own boat. Nowadays if they had sunk their boat the EU would have bought them a new one out of our contributions, but that is another matter altogether.
  11. Hi Mouthvet, It would appear that we were both at the "Cowsheds" until 1961, and if I am not mistaken you are Chris P. If this assumption is correct, and you again google this site, then I claim my £5 pronto. The school was a delight, I liked the headmaster, all the teachers and the education received was of a good standard . I do however recall my mother attending an open day and addressing the headmaster as Mr Daft (who was our gardener) and realising her mistake then adding on Mann. After that I never felt that he held me in the same esteem. Good old mum. Best regards to you and yours.
  12. Centaur

    Annoying Phrases

    My pet hate is the phrase "Gob Smacked", I cringe whenever I hear it. Cilla Black may be gone but she has left a dreadful blight on the English Language. Rog highlighted the word Shtoopid and similarly I would put forward the word Shtewdent which seems to have grown in popularity. I must question the efficacy of the almost universally availability of degree courses, if the end result, in so many cases, is an inability to even speak English properly. Did this change in pronunciation come about at the same time that university became uni ?. Little, bottle, metal , hospital etc etc are all pronounced in the manner that little children were taught to sound out the letters and Dominic Littlewood with his "Conshumer" should be in line for rule 303. The written word is similarly abused, in the last few months I have received correspondence to tell me that a "Burdala" had entered a home and secondly that a lady had not been able to reply earlier as she had been working erotic hours. This second point could be correct and I may be unfairly critical of her language skills. Television is similarly challenged, the man who was shouting we are all prawns in their hands, the travel show host who suggested we should visit a certain Archie Pelago and even Susie Dent on Countdown does not appear to pronounce medieval in the way she should. Moan over !!!
  13. Centaur

    The last tailor in Nottingham?

    I well remember Harry Silverman on Goldsmith Street who tailored my first handmade suit and several others thereafter. Attired in my school uniform, having bunked off one afternoon, I was fifteen years of age when I first entered his premises. Clutched in my hand was a Burtons advert, cut from the newspaper, featuring a picture of John Steed from the Avengers, dressed in a very smart suit. "Would you be able to make me a suit like this" I asked Mr Silverman, placing the advert into his hands. "No", said he, "We would only be able to make one of a much superior quality and style". He had sold himself to me. Clearly not wanting to embarrass a possibly impecunious schoolboy he whispered to me "You do realise we are a rather expensive tailor". When he had given me their range of prices, I was quite happy, but nevertheless I gave a sharp intake of breath, put a disappointed look on my face , and got five guineas knocked off a suit as a reward. The quality of his suits were paramount and I still remember the brilliant fit and give of that first dark blue, three piece, medium weight wool worsted. Times have changed, and so have I. The 1960 s were another world where suits were the preferred attire for half of the male population and warm hearted, witty, skilled characters like Harry Silverman seemed more abundant.
  14. Centaur

    Henry Mellish

    I have enjoyed the various postings about the Henry Mellish Grammar School which have brought back many memories, both good, bad and amusing. In 1961 I was sentenced to five years at this noble institution, where bullying and violence were endemic, both from older pupils and some members of staff. I dread to think what todays ofsted would have made of it all. Does anyone recall school dinners and queueing to take back the used pots and plates?. By the time you had been prodded and nudged by the tray behind, there was often more custard and gravy on the back of your black blazer than you had had on your lunch. I recall the experiment of bringing in a lady teacher for the first time since the war, I believe she was a Mrs Reid if I remember correctly. A very nice lady, probably too nice, and I still recall her plaintive cry of "Put Out That Homework" which had been set alight by a lad from Hucknall. ( why were they always from Hucknall ?). Having been told one day a very funny story she laughed so much that her dentures fell out onto her desk. After that there was no coming back and the experiment was over. I am a man who prefers to remember the good such as Danny Mac, who was a scholar, a gentleman and a truly nice chap. The amusing, such as Sooty Sutherland ( not such a nice chap) who smoked so much that I declared a tap on his temple could bring about a fall of soot. However, no history of the Mellish could be complete without reference to Pig Hutchinson, who I am sure blighted the geography lessons of generations of pupils, with his highly unpleasant manner, dislike of young people and total unsuitability for teaching.