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11 hours ago, Steve Bowman said:

I attended Fairham 65 to 68. .............Does anyone else remember a music teacher called Miss Bannister?   She was an absolute beauty and if she ever wanted someone to do anything I was a volunteer.   


I started there in 66. At that time there were no female teachers at all. The first appeared a couple of years later and was a music teacher but I don't remember her name. She was fairly young, long-ish fair hair, and wore glasses. Could it have been her ?


Being the first female member of staff in an all-male school she was in a difficult position and received more attention - and perhaps less respect - than she would otherwise have done.

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I was at Fairham from 65 to 73. Fleming house. If you do the maths and notice I was there 8 years. When my fifth year spectacularly failed en masse to achieve the five O levels required to go on to ta

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 pa

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

I was at Fairham from 65 to 73. Fleming house. If you do the maths and notice I was there 8 years. When my fifth year spectacularly failed en masse to achieve the five O levels required to go on to take A levels. 40 plus of us were held back a year and a form 6X was created. We then re-sat our previously failed O levels we all did well and even acquired extra subjects as our timetable had large gaps left by not having to take the subjects we already had O levels in. 

At the end of it many of us ended up with 9 and 10 O levels, which by today’s standards is pretty normal . Mr Thom called us all to the staff room and congratulated us. 

Not until I reached 60 I found out I was Dyslexic but with it came the bonus of a strong memory .


I well remember my school years.


Attending Fairham “comp” after the experience of junior school (Brinkhill) was a terrifying experience. I was in Fleming House and Mr Smart was the housemaster. As I spent most of my first year running off from the school after registration and assembly I got to know him quite well. Not once did he cane or strap me


He would sit me down in his office and patiently talk to me. In the end he found an older boy from Whittle house who lived close to me “Noj” Weightman who would accompany me to school every morning for the whole of my second year


Anyhoo I stopped running away. 
I remember so well being given our Gideon bible . Blue Hymn Book and timetable. Which usually went in and crammed into the top chest pocket of our blazers. They had to be kept there at all times. There would be spot checks by staff and a detention if you couldn’t produce it on demand.


Often they were stolen ( usually when you were doing PE and your jacket was hung up in the changing room) But all you did was steal someone else’s.... you learned quickly.


 I have read some accounts of the teachers. I was surprised to read about Fred Riddell. Yes I know he was a terrifying figure. Many of the teachers were. I remember one winter it had snowed and I had made a snowball. I’d had it for about half an hour and squeezed it to shape it till it was basically a ball of ice. I was looking for a victim until strolling along the covered way alongside the 2nd years playground came Tac Naylor.


 I hurled the snowball after he had passed not expecting it to hit him. I can still see it exploding on the back of his head. I turned back into the playground just as a football passed my feet and I intercepted it and dribbled away with it. 

Someone tackled it away from me and so I stopped to risk a look back. There was Tac lifting two other boys, one in each hand by the scruff of their necks. One of the boys was dropping a snowball as Tac bounced him away with him.


 I was so relieved! And this is the point. I looked across into the maths block opposite and in the window of one of the downstairs rooms was Fred Riddell! He was looking straight at me. My blood ran cold. I thought I was done for. I just froze looking at him. He looked at me for a few seconds, smiled and nodded. Then the whistle went and I went off to my next lesson. I spent the rest of the day and week waiting to be called out. It never happened.


Years later I was in Riddell’s Elliot house sixth form room . The only sixth form room that allowed smoking so it was popular with other houses sixth formers. Fred came in looked around saw me with my packet of 10 No6  He scrounged one and gestured me to light it. I did and as he was turning away he winked and said “Thanks Snowball “


Some may think this story unreal but I had bright ginger curly hair throughout my school days.



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15 minutes ago, Jill Sparrow said:

Welcome, Daicelf. Cliff Ton, I'm sure, will be along to welcome a fellow pupil shortly.  Let's hear more of your memories.

Thanks Jill. I have loads of memories of Comp. I particularly remember that the school went co-Ed in 74 .. the year after I left. I was heartbroken!

I was saddened to see on YouTube videos of the school demolished. I had a cherished ambition to stand on the 2nd bridge that ran between small and  large L blocks . It was out of bounds and never used My tutor set Fg was in the classroom in the small L block that had a glass door that opened on to it but it was always locked. I missed out on all the reunions as I was living out of the area. Had I have gone I would certainly have made a determined effort to get on that bridge.

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On 2/18/2007 at 7:44 PM, plantfit said:

Ayup All,

I see from the lack of replies to this post that no one wants to own up to attending this school, Clifton in the 60s was full of folk from the Meadows and St Anns, and to some extent the close knit community came with them. All right I know that inside toilets and back gardens went to some folks heads but they still worked down the pit or at the gun factory or players, and after all their roots and memories were still of the Meadows era, so Who went to school at Clifton? Go on don't be ashamed to admit it.


Morning Rog At Fairham 65 to 74. I remember the pits . I had a swing in my back garden (Colleymoor Leys Lane) where I spent much of my time daydreaming on. If I swung high enough I could see the colliery towers and the wheels at the top turning. Later I saw them dismantled and then the huge block of flats were built. I had a job collecting newspapers money for the local paper shop Fourbouys every Sunday there. 21 stories ! And the lifts were either never working or were so disgusting ( Number 2’s done)


Its surprising that there are not many stories or memories about comp. Possibly our experiences some years back with a site called School Friends Reunited. There were thousands of entries from comp lads. I remember putting up and replying to some. 

Many were descriptions of staff. Unfortunately they were unpleasant and legally libellous although undoubtedly true . So many  had written of the same experiences. There were some brutes with particular favourite painful punishments. 

Anyhoo the end result was that   absolutely all of the comments were removed one day. Some of the staff were still teaching and could read about them selves. One in particular had moved on to be a new Headmaster at  a large comprehensive. It was also rumoured that relatives of teachers deceased had read comments and threatened legal action.


All the comments, getting on for thousands... some of them heart rending , some funny and loads that triggered memories were deleted in one action.

So that might be why replies might be a bit thin on the ground?

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Yes, School Friends Reunited was a serious loss. Many old photos on there. My memories of school have been peppered with pseudonyms to avoid accusations of libel...though every word is true.


Rog, aka Plantfit, doesn't seem to post now but there are plenty of  Clifton folk on this site, so keep your eyes peeled!

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4 hours ago, Daicelf said:

I was at Fairham from 65 to 73. Fleming house.


There’s a lot to comment on, and I’ll have to start somewhere, so I’ll thrash around at random. Some of this I’ve posted in other threads, but so what…..


You seem to be one year older than me. You were at Brinkhill; I was at Greencroft. At Fairham I was also in Fleming. I always liked Smart; got on ok with him and seemed reasonable and decent.


I’d forgotten about the holy trinity of Gideon Bible, Hymn book, and timetable, but now you mention them I also had the set (at least to begin with).


I was never taught by - or had any involvement with  - Fred Riddell, but in all the years since then, I’ve never seen or heard anyone say a good word for him. Often as people get older, they look back on unpleasant school memories with slightly less anger than they felt at the time. The universal exception is Riddell. People hated him then, and they still hate him now. I almost wish I'd been taught by him, just to see how unpleasant he was.


And I never really liked Naylor either. He always seemed a bit volatile and potentially nasty.


I never went to any reunions because I was never aware of any, or didn’t know where to look to find out about them. I think they happened in the days before ‘Social media’ was invented, because I wouldn’t have missed them now. I used to be on Friends Reunited as well, and was disappointed when it closed. I grabbed a lot of infants and junior school photos from there before they vanished - but there were never any school photos from Fairham. Only photos of sports teams, societies, and prize winnings.   Friends Re also had a section for work places, and I definitely wish that was still around.


 And I know the L-block bridge you’re talking about.

And I remember the flats being built.

And I did a paper round for George Parker’s shop (which you mentioned in the other thread


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