Wednesday, 1 March 2017


The incident described occurred just to the left
(and out of sight) beyond the closed fire door

When I was at primary school, there was a boy in
my class called Euan (maybe Ewan) Sheperd, who
giggled like a girl and was slightly effete.  I never realised
it back then, but looking back many years later, it struck
me that such was the case.  Euan may well be a big manly
man now, but it would come as no great surprise to me
to learn that he made the journey to Denmark at the
earliest opportunity after leaving school.

But Euan isn't the star of this post - his is nothing
more than a cameo role in this true tale from the dim
and distant days of my childhood, when I was only about
8 years old.  Euan and myself were part of the double line
of pupils waiting at the foot of the stairs one day, ready to
ascend to the rooms above.  One of us accidentally tripped
as the line started to move, placing us slightly out-of-step
with our fellows, and Euan emitted a giggle.  Suddenly,
Mr. Halliburton, descended upon us and
violently yanked us from the ranks.

Pushing us against a wall, he started to shout at
us, and was either going to belt us or give us 'lines'.
(Can't recall with certainty after so many years - it was
one or the other.)  I'd had an encounter with Halliburton
before (see here) and was determined not to let him intim-
idate me.  "I'm going to tell my dad about you!" I declared,
and started to move towards the door leading to the play-
ground.  (I lived at the top of the road, so my house was
nearby.)  He grabbed me by the lapels and pushed me
back against the wall, glaring at me menacingly.

  At this point Euan burst into tears, eliciting a look
of contempt from Mr. Halliburton, who then eyed us
while he deliberated his next move.  An internal struggle
seemed to be taking place - then he ordered "Get to your
class!"  As Euan moved off, Halliburton pulled me back,
lowered his voice and muttered "Don't ever threaten me
with your father again."  Yeah, that'd be right - adults
wouldn't put up with his p*sh, but kids could be
easily intimidated.  Except for me that is.

I caught up with Euan as he dabbed his tears
away with the back of his hands.  He forced out a
giggle - "Hee hee - that always works" he whimpered,
sheepishly and unconvincingly.  Yeah, sure - but even
 so it was no excuse to abandon dignity and self-respect.
However, Mr. Halliburton never tried to bully me or
lay his hands on me again in all my remaining time
at primary.  That's what I call a result!

Next:  Another tale about the tears of Euan.


John Pitt said...

Sometimes, telling your parents is the best thing to do, - if you recall, over on your other blog, I told you of an instance where a particular brutal junior school teacher, Mr. Avery got the sack after the Head got a visit from my parents! Plus, old Avery would have gotten a punch on the nose from my Dad, had my Mum not have held him back! ( I was SO proud of my Dad, there! )
Now, that WAS a result! - The whole class was happy!
I was later to meet old Avery's son at the secondary school. We never liked each other, but I couldn't give a shit!

Arfon Jones said...

I think I was a little of both

Kid said...

Were you ever tempted to punch his lights out, JP, because of your dislike of his father? Or did he ever try to bully you as an act of revenge?


Teachers, AJ - nutters or what? Of course, the pendulum has swung too far the other way these days.

paul Mcscotty said...

That was a point I was going to make the pendulum does seem inmany ways to have swung too far the other way - maybe some were being strict for good reasons (not these sadistic bullies in your story just good strict teachers)

Kid said...

Yup, nothing wrong with good strict teachers, PM - we probably need more of them. Of course, as you know, there's a difference between strictness and tyranny, and some of the teachers back in our day were sadistic tyrants. We also need more strict parents, as too many of them want to be their kids' pals these days, not their parents. They won't properly discipline their kids (and I'm not necessarily talking about smacking) because they don't want to be unpopular with them.

Phil S said...

Not only do I find that kid Ewan very funny it appears from the photo as if you went to the school those kids from the Shining went to as well. Oh we do remember the tyrant teachers don't we. Never learnt anything from them.

Kid said...

I'm sure I've got a clearer, later, photo somewhere, PS, but can't find it at the moment. The one I've used was taken around 1984 on a 110mm camera, so not great quality. (Never seen The Shining.)

John Pitt said...

I know that I disliked him, soley because of his father and I now know that that is unfair, but that's human nature for you! I suspect it was exactly the same for him. Once we had ascertained who each other, we just tended not to have much ( if anything? ) to say to each other. We were both pretty evenly matched, size-wise and there was no unpleasantness from either side. Who knows, if it he hadn't been Avery's son, we may well have gotten on all right?

Kid said...

Yeah, you never know, JP, you could've been the best of friends. 'Sliding Doors', eh?

Colin Jones said...

When I was around five or six I used to get cramp in my legs from sitting cross-legged on the floor so my father phoned up the school and demanded I must sit on a chair not on the floor. I recall my teacher, Mrs. Peddler, grumbling about it but she had no choice - my father had spoken and he knew his rights !!

Kid said...

More importantly, CJ, he knew YOUR rights. Were you the only pupil to get a chair, or did the others each get one too?

Colin Jones said...

No, only me Kid - because I was special :) But those cramps didn't last long and as I got a bit older I was able to sit cross-legged without any problems.

Kid said...

Which is more than Action Man's rival, Tommy Gunn, could do.

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