Thursday, February 09, 2006


From the age of eleven to sixteen, I attended Oakmead Senior School. Initially, this was an all-boys school known as Oakmead School For Boys (sounds terribly Dickensian, doesn't it!?) and sat slap-bang next to Oakmead School For Girls. In September 1985, the two schools merged and we became co-ed.

Oh, poor Mr Valentine, my English master. He'd taught in an all-boys environment for forty years and really didn't know how to handle girls.

One of the very first English lessons after we'd mixed went like this... Should I change the names to protect those involved from the intrusion of the press? What...!?!? Um, anyway, Juliet put her hand up and asked to go to the toilet. Mr Valentine never let anyone go to the toilet during a lesson and Juliet was no exception. "But, sir," she began, "I've got to go, girls' problems. Do you want me to explain?"

"Certainly not!" was Mr Valentine's response. He let her go.

Next, Nicola put her hand up, needing the loo. In order to escape embarrassment, he let her go, too. Within a minute, Justine wanted to go as well - and she did.

This was at the beginning of the thirty five minute lesson. After half an hour, another girl called Kerry put her hand up. Mr Valentine asked what she wanted. She told him that those three girls had been gone for half an hour and asked if she should go and see what's happened to them. Mr Valentine agreed, and off she went. It wasn't too long before she was back. What a drama! She flew open the classroom door and stood there, agog. The whole class drew in breath, adding to the drama. Everyone was staring at her, waiting for what she was about to say. Then she began:

"Well, you won't believe what I've seen," she said. "The three of them, stood around the toilet bowl. Pencils. Discharge all over the floor!"

Then the lesson bell rang as everyone began to laugh hysterically and pack up their things. Mr Valentine looked like he'd been turned to stone. Our sedate English lessons would never be the same again.


Blog Off said...

Oakmead School for Boys? In Bournemouth?

Isn't that where Ruth Kelly hides all of her peado teachers these days? You must be so embarrassed!

Minge said...

No, that's Porchester school. It's as rough as hell.