1972: A life in and out of school.

Saturday 27th May 1972

These photos were taken on the day before this diary entry.

second 7ear rugbyNot the biggest Rugby Team in the world.

Back. Greg Bishop, Steve Williams, Cameron Wilson, Martin Wilson, Chris Reynolds, John McCarthy, Terry Allen, Gary Phillips, Steve Baldwin, Geoff Sargeant

Middle: Trevor Parker, Geoff Dawson, Gavin Madle, Me, Spencer Lee, Geoff Smith, Nicky Saunders,

Front: Chris Studley, Colin Done, John Butler, Neil Catford, Robert Stevens

second year football

Mr Potter

Back: Gary Moore, Steve Williams, Geoff Diamond, Phillip Sage, Leonard Williams, Mark Stone, John McLeod, Gary Phillips,

Middle: Martin Wilson, Me, Gavin Madle, Spencer Lee, Nick Saunders, Adrian Underwood, Gerry Lawrence,

Front: John Evans, Colin Done

second year cricket

And a quick change of kit for this one.

Barry Potter

Back: John Butler, Chris Studley, Colin Thorne, Gavin Madle, Colin Done, Gerald Stedman

Front: Martin Wilson, Adrian Underwood, Me, Gary Phillips, Spencer Lee

My diary entry for the next day.

Up early

Caught train at 9 from Severn Beach to Montpelier. It rained all the way but the forecast was that it would clear later. I was going to the County Ground to watch Gloucestershire Versus Somerset. It was raining when I arrived and they said that they would be no play before lunch so I waited in the stand that had the driving range and watched the rain come down. At lunch they said there would be another inspection at 2 but I decided to go home. I walked back to Montpelier and caught the train home.

Scotland V England was on the television at 3. England won 1-0. It wasn’t very good but at least England won.

It was still raining so we had tea and watched the television.

Dr Who 5.50 Boring

Prisoner of Zenda 7 Boring so I went for a walk along the sea wall, no one around. Back for:-

Two Ronnies 8.35 Good

A Man called Ironside 9.20 Rubbish

Match of the day 10.25 Fell asleep


For the record:-

Gloucestershire v Somerset County Championship 27 -29 May 1972

Day 1  This day. No play

Day 2 Gloucestershire 298 – 7 dec. Mike Proctor 118, Somerset 21 -1

Day 3 Somerset 87 (J Davey 18 – 8 – 24 – 5) and following on, 146 – 4

Match drawn

Gloucestershire team Ron Nicholls, Sadiq Mohammed, Roger Knight, Mike Proctor, David Shepherd, Mike Bissex, Tony Brown, Roy Swetman, David Allen, John Mortimore, Jack Davey.

Thoughts now about this entry.

I was a bit of a loner by the evidence of this diary entry. I’m not that surprised because no one else wanted to watch my cricket heroes at Nevil Road. I watched a lot of rubbish television on wet days like this. I now wonder why I was so bored and alone on this particular day. It was a bank holiday weekend so the village would have been busy with people shouting at the rain coming down when a fair was in the field. Why was I going to cricket when there was a game of football on the television? This strikes me as a bit odd nowadays. It perhaps indicates that I was wanting to do my own thing, a character trait that was fostered by our own holidays and school. I may have been in school teams but I enjoyed my own company and exploring for myself.

At home we were now going on camping holidays around the country.

  • North Wales – I remember clearly the mini-van Dad hired to get to Snowdonia. We kids were in the back when the front window was cracked by loose gravel somewhere near Monmouth. By the time we reached North Wales the hole that he punched in the screen had reduced us all to shivering wrecks among the tents and cooking stuff in the window less back space. Window fixed, it was my role to play Geographer and map reader as we walked via all the castles and waterfalls of Gwynedd, to isolated beaches and up hills. Gerald’s role was to start arguments and get in the way. Derek was there to whinge and gang up on me for being boring when we went to yet another Hill Fort or Round Barrow.
  • South Devon – Beer, Sidmouth, Paignton etc. Mostly beaches and ice creams.
  • North Devon – Lynton, Barnstable, Porlock Hill etc. Mostly beaches and ice creams.
  • West Wales. – Aberporth, St David’s, Pendine etc. Mostly Castles, waterfalls, beaches and ice creams.

The best thing that Patchway High School gave to me was the field trips that were many and regular. I can’t think many schools were quite so generous in allocating curriculum time to trips. During our school years we had the following excursions.

  • Coach trip to Dan-yr-Ogof caves via the Merthyr Valley and Brecon Beacons. I was furious with Mrs. Rivers who asked me to write a report of the trip for the school magazine. I did it with an obvious mistake that couldn’t be corrected when I realised the error. I had misnamed the river that flowed through the caves. I was mortified but apparently no one would notice the error. I did and it hurt.
  • Weymouth residential – Chesil Beach – Durdle Door etc. We stayed in a hotel in the middle of town and the evenings spent hours wandering around keeping ourselves out of trouble. Chris Studley brought apple pies and club biscuits. I had my first thermos flask that was broken before we had even taken a seat  on the coach  Of course ratings were made of all the girls, in the dorm, late at night. Curiously, those I rated highly were not on their “hit” list.
  • North Wales residential – Snowdonia, Castles, Slate Quarries etc. We didn’t meet with the imagined Llandudno Junction Boot Boys near the Youth Hostel in Bangor. We did again talk late in to the night in the room about the usual topics. I now kept the scores to myself, no one was to know who was on my non-existent radar.
  • Cricket Coaching courses at Cowley Manor. Graham Wiltshire was the coach, the older boys at the weekend would be potential county players. Andy Stovold and the like would be getting the attention while we also joined in as young net fodder and go fetch players. We went year after year and it felt good to be part of the course.  In the dorms Darren Angell would win the farting competitions for sound, length and smellability. In the main hall as I lost my grip I was hurling my bat against the hall curtains that protected the large windows. I got some attention after that I can tell you.
  • France Residential. The rest of my year went to Northern France. I know because, on their return, I had a week or so when they told me all about it. We had to pay for the trip in instalments in the months before hand. I didn’t even give my parents the letter. It was, I decided, too expensive and I wasn’t going. I had a week in school in special classes with the other kids who couldn’t stump up the cash.
  • Youth Hostelling
    • Lake District – Via Appleby, climbing mountains, measuring streams, doing cross sections of valleys etc. Loads of Geology which seemed to be Larry Whites speciality. Larry was a top geezer of a teacher. In school he was given a really hard time. On the trips he was our Geography Guru and respected to the max. I never knew his real forename. He was just Larry after Mr Grayson.
    • Pennines – More of the above including the first of so many visits to Tan Hill pub.
    • Brecon Beacons – Climbing Pen y Fan and spotting glacial overflow channels etc.
  • Science Museum and curiously Heathrow Airport. The whole year went in a long fleet of coaches and we swamped the Queens Building on the way home. Chris Studley brought apple pies and club biscuits.
  • General Studies Industrial Archaeology trips – an excuse to get out on Wednesday afternoons and walk across the Suspension Bridge or walk around the docks looking at beam engines.
  • Arran – A level field trip. Simply the best trip. Climbing mountains, walking in the footsteps of Hutton and newly discovered masters of Geomorphology, late night swimming in the pool at the Kinloch hotel. Late night confessions of lust towards the untouchables of the sixth form. We had a lot of those. It seemed by now that everyone was paired up and destined to be in love for ever. I had obviously missed that boat in my ignorance and lack of evening social awareness. I now make public apologies to Liz Gully and Denise Sheppard. I just didn’t know what to do in the company of girls and I ran away as soon as I could. As for Jackie Cash and Muriel Smith. You could at least have let me know what to do when you were so obviously well catered for.
  • Pre A level relaxation weekend. The week before exams started we went camping in the Brecon Beacons. Led by Bob Janes there didn’t appear to be a purpose other than to get us to enjoy a time of not revising. The group had established couples, old mates who had been part of the Patchway School thing and new friendships were made at a very late hour of that school life. Of course we ended up in a pub. Bob encouraged us to sing “Blackbird” to the locals. We didn’t really meet up again after this. There was one school reunion a few years later but that went the way of all organised reunions and is best forgotten.

On this day

1987       Milton Keynes City Colts A W 3-0-23-1

1989       Portway A L 0 1c

1990       Cheltenham Saracens A L 19

1992       Stony Stratford H L

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