plantfit

Fairham Comprehensive

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I was 1960-1965 mr thom headmaster mr mullaney deputy head (horrible man) I was in hunt house my best mate was Keith Humber been trying to trace him but no luck

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Did you live near or at the bottom of Summerwood lane Albert and were you in Fleming house (FC)

 

Rog

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Attended Fairham Comp'  September 1960 to July 1964.  Managed to keep my head down for the 4 years. Escaped the floggings though.  Made my first and last theatrical appearance having a two word bit part in the opening scene of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. (1961)

Drama teacher at the time was a Mr Cox, (Penny House) Tall thin bloke as I remember. 

Music Lessons, a  Mr Evans  and a Mr Moore(?) went by the name of "Hiram" due to his resemblance to a character called "Hiram Holiday" in an American series on the TV at the time.  Any way, first or second lesson Hiram and Evans had the whole class singing and walked around the class assessing each pupils vocal capabilities.  There were about six of us out of a class of many who were told to stand and go with Mr Evans.  I suppose pride comes before a fall,. The six of us were deemed to be in need of remedial singing lessons.  It was the Grunters group.

The Eisteddfod: Annual event. The best event in this was the Soap Box Derby.  Start in large Playground. Up the path by the Cook House, down through little playground an return via the covered way. Only remember it lasting a couple of years. Neve took part but great to watch.   I was threatened with death or something similar if I didn't enter one of the other events by Mr Thorpe. As time was tight before entries closed, nipped into Woolies purchased an Airfix kit, quick dab of paint and entered it into the Hobbies section. Didn't win but saved me from an early death.

Diligence: No one escaped, an early version of a Performance review. Held on a monthly basis all competitors would retire to their "Tutor set rooms" and your set Tutor or nominated person would read out the results subject by subject for person by person.  Score 1 if you did very good, +half you did OK, zero, just did enough.  minus half, didn't do enough,  3 Abysmal.

After all the results you added up your score.  Anything on the plus side, breathe again.   Anything with negative score you landed yourself in the laps of those in charge.  On one occasion I qualified for a two week period on a Daily Report.  Could have been worse.

Best Lesson: Automobile Engineering.  Was this run by a Mr Britten (Brittas?) Drove a big American set of wheels.  

Annual Cross Country:   Great if you liked running. best part having to swim across the brook.  This was pulled in later years as the brook was dredged.

Some names: Mr Caborne, Ran the U14 City boys football team, Syd Boulton, Ok once you got to know him. Mr Shelmerdine, PE staff, Ran a Monday evening Football training session.

Fred Ridell, an exponent of psychological terror for the younger person.

All in all it wasn't a bad four years. Was never going  to stay on. Although I did stay an extra term as I hadn't a job sorted. Parents needed my earnings.

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How come everyone remembers their teachers names? I went to five schools, the last being Fairham, did A level at evening classes, have attended two Universities and can recall maybe four names out of that lot - and that's on a good day!

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Mr Meeseeks,you are spot on with your description of the Clifton house of correction,I started there probably in your third or fourth year, like you I enjoyed the engineering with Mr Britten,he was an inspirational teacher and gave encouragement to those who showed an interest ( and those who didn't) in the subject,thats about all I can say about the place,but I did enjoy reading your post,bought back a lot of memories and names from the past,the fear and floggings I try to forget

 

Rog

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The metalwork class (as it was called in my day), was I think, a Mr Mander (although the name Britten rings a bell). We disliked each other intensely. Take a two inch square of mild steel, file it till perfectly square and braze a hook on it, voila! a coat-hook. Wrong!. At least one corner was always out of square by a couple of thou and 'do it again'. A whole term doing nothing but file until it was about half its original size and never completed the project.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Mr Meeseeks said:

Music Lessons, a  Mr Evans   

 

He taught me in my first year at Fairham. Welsh bloke; had a great singing voice (as you'd expect with being welsh). At the end of the first year we all had to play something somehow, to demonstrate an understanding of music. I did the Z-Cars theme on a recorder.  

 

You had to be there.

 

The other music teacher at the time was Stephenson, and possibly (might be wrong) Mr Holt.

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We made such useless things in metalwork. I remember making an ornate shelf bracket with a forged, twisted cross support but we made only one so it was bugger all use to support a shelf!

There were three or four lathes but nobody was allowed to use them. I’ve no idea what they were there for.

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Brew, did you have to put a quarter inch chamfer around the edge of the square key hook, we had to rivet the hook for the coat hook project,

Phil, I think I've got the other shelf bracket,

The lathes were there to fill in empty spaces in the room,

Funny thing about filing Brew,I spent many,many hours at work filing cast steel plates to fit into a die with only one thou clearance all round,so in a way it came in useful for me

 

Rog

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4 hours ago, plantfit said:

did you have to put a quarter inch chamfer around the edge of the square key hook

Never got as far as that PF. All I has was a flat piece of mild steel. Didn't even get as far as making the hook. I really did spend the whole term filing just that one piece of metal'

The lathes were as you say for decoration only, never saw one running all the time I was there.

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I used one of the lathes,made a signet ring out of aluminium bar stock, had to shape it by filing, my finger turned black when I wore it,

 

Rog

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I think they were afraid, quite rightly I would say, that some would start it with the chuck key still in it. Never seen it done but led to believe it can be a bit spectacular and quite damaging, specially to people.

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Cheers Plantfit,

How about memories of the Careers Master?  No idea who he was at the time, only his mini lecture which started along the lines of..."If you want to be a Typewriter mechanic (For those thinking access to the typing pool), Television repair man or Train driver please leave now. If not walk round the room and pick up some leaflets; the addresses to write to are on the leaflets."  That was it, one career meeting.  Picked up a leaflet to become a Junior Fireman, seemed a lively occupation, wrote off got a quick interview, had a medical, bounced out because I'm colourblind. 

That was it. Finished up staying on for another term. Should have left at Easter stayed on till the end of July.   That entailed another careers lecture, same guy, same speech.  Finished up with a job at Boots that my Dad sorted for me.

 

Made a fire rake in metal work, had to use the forge for this task which was great at the time. Think it was a chap called Smedley who took the class. Kept on about raking out your clinker from the coke in the forge.   Woodwork, made a coffee table, (as did the rest of the class) it lasted for a few years, pride of place in our front room.  Used for standing the bird cage on. Never saw a coffee pot.  Probably because the legs were loose.

 

1960, anyone go on the flight in a Derby Airways Dakota from Burnaston Airfield?   Think it was organised as a House trip (no idea which one) but thrown open to all to make the numbers up.

 

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Our careers master at Mellish was a French teacher called Freddie White. He was a real countryman who lived on a  smallholding at Hickling Pastures. He spoke with a strong west country accent and this followed through into his French pronunciation. That probably explained the reason why the French had difficulty in understanding me! He had a rack full of leaflets on different careers. Sadly none of them were particularly useful in real life. If you wanted to be a yack groomer or a potato inspector he would have a leaflet for it. If you opted for medicine or law there was nothing. He didn't get many visitors in the lunch hour!

 

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My careers advice - "Have you considered knitting?" The mental image that conjures up with a 14 yr old needs little explanation. Had he mentioned big machines...

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2 hours ago, philmayfield said:

Our careers master at Mellish was a French teacher called Freddie White. He was a real countryman who lived on a  smallholding at Hickling Pastures. He spoke with a strong west country accent and this followed through into his French pronunciation. That probably explained the reason why the French had difficulty in understanding me! He had a rack full of leaflets on different careers. Sadly none of them were particularly useful in real life. If you wanted to be a yack groomer or a potato inspector he would have a leaflet for it. If you opted for medicine or law there was nothing. He didn't get many visitors in the lunch hour!

 

 

Sounds like your 'Careers Master' was as useless as mine at High Pavement.  Sadly, there is a long tradition of useless Careers Masters who simply took on the role in exchange for an extra point or so on their salary.  They can be forgiven a bit, because they rarely had any training or even much time to do the job properly.  Even more sadly this situation continued throughout my 30 years as a proper Careers Adviser. I'd say about 80% of the 'Careers Masters' I encountered were pretty hopeless.  The best,  including one who sadly left us far too young, worked to facilitiate and support the activities of the properly qualified Adviser who was assigned to each school by the local Careers Service. I had two years Post Grad training followed by 30 years 'in post' and retired still not knowing it all. 

Not 'knowing it all', is , in my view, the mark of a true professional.

 

Even even more sadly, a certain M. Gove, decided that schools could do all of this stuff without the aid of an independent, impartial outside agency, so that now, school leavers are left floundering.

Never mind.. there's always the workhouse........

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I don’t think a school careers master (or mistress) has many qualifications for such a post.  Most Senior school teachers have been in ‘education’ all their lives, well from the age of 5 anyway.  They don’t have enough experience of life outside of education and in my opinion they are only qualified to persuade suitable children to go into the teaching profession,  like themselves.  

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1 hour ago, Brew said:

My careers advice - "Have you considered knitting?" The mental image that conjures up with a 14 yr old needs little explanation. Had he mentioned big machines...

 

I did a bit of that at a place intrigueingly called 'United Rubber' down near the top of Drury Hill somewhere. (Fletchergate?)  Hand operated industrial knitting machines making surgical stockings.  No proper training and the whole business defeated me. I didn't last long...

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41 minutes ago, LizzieM said:

I don’t think a school careers master (or mistress) has many qualifications for such a post.  Most Senior school teachers have been in ‘education’ all their lives, well from the age of 5 anyway.  They don’t have enough experience of life outside of education and in my opinion they are only qualified to persuade suitable children to go into the teaching profession,  like themselves.  

 

You're right of course Lizzie.. but it goes deeper... much deeper.  I spent months just learning how to interview young people.. to assess their ideas, ambitions, motivations, capabilities etc. ,and to put these into some sort of context against the current employment and educational scene. Then.. to agree some sort of plan with them.. Their plan.. not mine. My role was really only to get them to consider all the issues, understand their capabilities and match them to available educational routes.. opportunities etc.  Of course.. everything kept changing. Qualifications, employment opportunities, . governments....

 

It was hard work, but it was also fun and very satisfying. 

 

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It's very rare to find someone who left school & ended up doing the job or career they fancied at 14/15. 

 

So that was a total waste of time :crazy:

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Mr Meeseeks, the careers master when I was there was a little fella called Sturtivant or similar, the careers "room" was a vacant room at the bottom of the "M" block we attended a "careers morning" in there to discuss which type of job/career we would be best suited to,my turn came and the careers master said "Ah C---------,you sir are a cabbage and that is what you will always be" real confidence booster that was, anyway towards the end of the class I went to the front and said to him " Sir with respect I couldn't find any leaflets for cabbages do you have any behind the desk?" at this he had a duck fit and all the boys in the room went crazy, got my own job after trawling through the evening post each night

 

Rog

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Albert, I think you are so wrong about Mr. Mullaney.  He was one of the kindest teachers I knew there.

I once told him I didn't understand the point he was making in maths and he got the lad next to me

to stand up and Mr. Mullaney sat down at the side of me and worked it through with me until I

understood.  Few teachers would do that.

He was as bald then as I am now 60 years later, and one Christmas our class bought him a joke

giant comb and a dispenser of brilliantine.  You wouldn't do that for a bad teacher.  And he took it

in good stead.

 

Now Fred Riddell..................

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Please don't mention Fred Riddell  thumbsdown

 

Rog

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