1980: Ten days as a graduate and time to think about a job.

Sunday 20th July 1980

degree ceremony

Our day of gown and mortar boards was Thursday the 10th of July 1980. I was more than happy with a 2:2. As you can see most of the course gained this degree though curiously those doing exactly the same course but with a Science degree label appear to have done slightly better. Three people managed a first in Geography at Southampton that year. Andrew Brookes, Gareth Evans and Hal Pawson no doubt deserved and subsequently used, their results to the full.

 A week later I was contemplating my next move.

 Diary Entry

Sunday 20th July 198

Writing this on the train home to Bristol on the 21st.

Final day in Derby Road, packed up and Dad arrived around 12. He didn’t have much to take home. A few cases of clothes, three boxes of books and that’s about it. I am riding home on the train with my bike.. I have given Mark Dodd’s brother my Subbuteo Rugby set.

Lunch –. Took them out to the Cowherds for a final lunch. It seems most of Southampton University students had the same idea so we gave up and went to the Masons in Wide Lane instead.

Packed car by 3.

Went to the Glebe for a final beer with the rest of the house. We had a bit of a leaving party in number 8. Ended up very late, (or should that be very early?) as I went home at 6 to collect together my stuff and ride my bike to the station. Said a goodbye to the girls, hope they stay friends. Doddsy is off to work with M and S, John to make some drugs with Bayer or someone like that near his new home in Bagshot. He will hopefully get his RAF place soon and be flying Tornados rather than finding an anti-arthritis drug. Phil will still be in the basement, he did emerge last weekend for an hour and perhaps he might move upstairs when we are gone.

My list of people to keep in touch with:

John Butler

Louise, Annette and Jacquie

Rose S

Jo Z Seddon

Helen B-G

Liz Newbold

Sally Walden

Martin McMahon

Mark Dodds

All the Geog Soc. Football team – get them together to play at Pilning at Christmas.

Dave Jeffries

Laureen Canessa

Linda Marshall

Cathy Kirk


Alan Brumpton

Ann Miller

Helen Deverson

I failed miserably with that list. We did get together to play football as a Geog. Soc. revisited but until the age of friends reunited I lost touch with most of them.

 rose mum and dad

Rose with my Mum and Dad Graduation Day 1980


 And me at the same event

I had one interview for a real world job. Seriously, I did have one real job interview from one real application.

Graduate Market Research Assistant. British Market Research Bureau. Baker Street London.

I attended in suit and tie, chatted with the interviewers for an hour or so and then was relieved to get a letter that wished me luck in finding a job elsewhere in the future. In all honestly a job in London would have been a disaster for me. Wearing a suit and commuting would have quickly produced a very grumpy young Stedders. Counting sales of baked beans was more likely to be my role rather than developing the U.K. record charts for which they were famous at the time. I needed more time to decide what I really wanted to do. A move from Southampton would focus my mind. A year in Birmingham would give me some space to get work focused. So it was that I spent the weekend completing the details for my next accommodation and a year of Teacher Training at Birmingham University.

The thought process.

Where to live?

I will be on my own so I decided to go up the next week to look for board and lodging. As I was doing a P.G.C.E it was important to be on a bus route to anywhere in Birmingham but still close to University. Space enough to shut myself away and work. Close enough to a pub for a bit of social life. I found digs at Woodlands Road Sparkhill. The Fighting Cocks in Moseley was to be my local. I managed about a month before I lost patience with constant requests for me to come and join the family to watch television. I moved on to Pritchatts Road Hall of Residence. This post graduate block was perfect. I had a ground floor flat on a corridor shared with Karl-Heinz, Andy Scott, Jean-Paul Labrue and Omatoyo Oyebanji. I could walk to the education department or go in the opposite direction to good pubs in Harbourne. Karl-Heinz researched something scientific. Andy lived in a world of train and bus timetables.

pritchats road chaps

 Jean-Paul, Banji and Andy


I knew one person at Birmingham. Lewis Clifford, from home, was in his third year as a P.E. Student. He could at least be relied upon for some insider knowledge. In reality we met for five minutes after he had played rugby for the Uni. and I never saw him again. My teaching course also had two Geographers from Southampton. Laureen was a really good friend. Madly attached to Mick, she lived along the road in Southampton and often had to put up with my drunken chats on my way home from the pub. She and Mick set up home in Bourneville, handy as a bolt hole and a chat when needed. And then there was the Linda. Linda Marshall was on a Stedman-created high pedestal. She liked football, albeit Derby County, was funny, hard-working and most of all, well out of my league. At Birmingham she became the centre of a small gang of four. Linda and I became good friends in the confusion of our becoming competent teachers. The other two in our group of teaching mates were Andy Howe and Ian Mellor. Andy was a laid back Wolves fan, good for a beer and common sense. Ian was the opposite. He didn’t really get football, was up tight and angry and amusing in his quirky rage. I haven’t kept in touch with them. It was unfortunate that Andy and I were at the same interview when I got my first job so he might well have been a bit annoyed with me. Ian, I understand, now teaches in Hull. Linda is a valued facebook friend and head teacher who I really must get to meet again soon. ull


P.G.C.E. Geography with P.E. as a second subject. Tutor David Boardman. Structure: Lectures and class visits in first term. Short placement; Highgate School in Balsall Heath. Long placement; Park Hall School Chelmsley Wood. It was good to have some tough schools. My thinking was that if I can teach in Balsall Heath I could teach anywhere. I learned masses there about basic classroom control, especially the whispering style of Tony, the head of department. Out at Park Hall I was given a good time by teaching colleagues perhaps because this ringer won a few games in the competitive inter school five a side sessions played once a week. I can’t say I taught a single good lesson but I survived and the staff were complementary enough to not rate me as incompetent.

Social Life?

Watching Birmingham and Wolves when possible. It was more Birmingham in the end, with Andy as companion. At the weekend I would hitch a lift home from Frankley Services and play football for Redwick for the season. I would need to be picked up from the bus or train station on a regular basis. Tony often picked me up and I had to take a name, often Selwyn Findlay, should I be booked. I never knew exactly who I was playing for until I was picked up and went to the game. It was almost always an away game because I would often need to get dropped off at the station after the game so as to get home.


I would enjoy the P.E. bit. Teaching, i.e. standing up in front of 30 youngsters would be a real challenge for someone who had never done so with any form of success. I was confident of my knowledge of Geography. I was not confident in the discipline bit of classroom control. I was one of a rare breed who actually enjoyed the theoretical background to the course. Our tutor was a dull man, very straight and insistent on detailed record keeping. My teaching experiences were a sure sign of my future teaching career. I was described as competent rather than interesting or inspirational. That would do for me. I could survive and never wanted to be a showman anyway. The best bit was taking half a year P.E. lessons in a park near Pebble Mill. We arrived on a series of buses, quickly set up goal posts, ran around for half an hour or so and then climbed back on the bus and back to school within the hour. The lesson would have failed any Ofsted inspection but what could they do when the school had no playing fields or changing rooms? The kids enjoyed the bus ride as much as the football. I learned quite a bit of street Bangladeshi.

hereford as teaching student

The first signs of a teacher? In Hereford on a field trip training session.


1973       Blagdon W

1991       Gt Horwood A W 0

1994       Great Brickhill A L 19 2c

1996       Witney A 8-1

2001       Birmingham H 2-1

2002       Sheffield United H 0-0

2011       Kent

2012       Worcestershire

2014       Essex

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