1976 to 1977

This year the teacher was known eccentric and probably psychopathic, we thought, famous for losing it during caning sessions - and it was true - I was to see it with my own eyes. He was a real relic from the past. Anyone who saw that reality TV Show called something like 1950s school will recognise the type. He was close to retirement age by then. I reckon in his 60s.

He made us say the Lord's Prayer everyday and wouldn't let us get away with miming. His political views were to the right of atilla the hun, referred to the Soviet "threat" as being between the devil and the deep blue sea. It was a good year for my political awareness as every piece of BS he told me, I went home and told my mum, and she put me straight. He supported apartheid too, hard to believe thses days. Even harder to believe that he was allowed to share these views with his pupils who didn't know enough to argue at age 10.

He had his canes on display and any caning would be done in front of the class. I never got caned by him myself but was witness to a multiple caning session at some point in the year.

On his desk he grew a potted strawberry plant, and we dared each other to steal the strawberries growing on it. I have a vague recollection that someone actually did do this and he went mental - and I'm sure it was all over one missing strawberry. Well, it wasn't me.

Jeffrey's was considered to be the top stream - so I did well - sat next to Gavin Smith - a posh kid who lived in a big house at the top of the hill. I visited and stayed the night once - during my serial killer kid phase which I understand all boys go through at this age where Gavin and I would draw out our fantasies of bloody massacres, inspired by great historical events, we filled out books and books of these horrific drawings of people being mutiliated, skewered, crushed and beheaded, and at Gavin's house we delighted in murdering snails...something that left me waking in the middle of the night sweating and engulfed in guilt feelings.

Around this time too my sister became quite seriously ill and had to go to hospital. While she was in my parents decideed to buy a dog. A Jack Russell puppy from a farm in Horrabridge. I went with my dad to pick him out and collect him. One puppy was a particular nuisance and the farmer was pleased to have him go - he was bullying the others and too demanding on the mother.

We took him, he could sit on my hand, and I held him in the car for the journey home. The poor little bugger whined and cried to be left on his own, at first, but soon settled down....so began dog walks, dog training, and all the other doggy stuff....and I think the cat was a bit put out at first...but he stuck around and mad eit clear to the dog who was boss.

At the end of November 1976, the band and members of the Bromley Contingent created a storm of publicity by swearing during an early evening live broadcast of Thames Television's Todayprogramme. Appearing as last-minute replacements for fellow EMI artists Queen, band and entourage were offered drinks as they waited to go on air. During the interview, Jones said the band had "fucking spent" its label advance and Rotten used the word "shit." Host Bill Grundy, who had earlier claimed to be drunk, engaged in repartee with Siouxsie Sioux, who declared that she had "always wanted to meet" him. Grundy responded, "Did you really? We'll meet afterwards, shall we?" - Wikipedia
So it was in the wake of this that I remember listening to a phone in show with biddy after biddy phoning in to complain about the "disgusting" punks. I remeber several calls giving the defintion of punk - "it's rubbish" or "it's a fungus that grow on rotten wood". and so on.

Multi-Coloured Swap Shop started - which ran from 1976 until 1982. I was an avid viewer though the swapping art of the whole thing was complete shite, I was more into the music videos, guests, funny bits etc.

At the end of 1976 The Sex Pistols came to Plymouth. I was oblivious to this landmark in music history, however.

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