Thursday, 1 June 2017


Me and David in primary school in 1967, though the
following tale happened in secondary circa '72/'73

It was in one of the annexed huts at the far end of the school one day that the following event occurred.  The subject was music and this particular hut was used as the 'music hut' on a permanent basis.  As we took our seats, the teacher decided to 'take' the register, and began calling out each pupil's name and ticking them off in turn upon receipt of a "here" in response to the announced appellation.

Jimmy Riddle - "here".  Billy Bigballs - "here".  Johnny Jumpstart - "here".  And so it went, until she got to DAVID DRUMMOND's name.  Now, I should mention that David was a quiet, studious boy, who never got into any kind of trouble as far as I was aware.  The teacher must have known this, so her reaction to what happened next was completely unjustified in regard to poor Davey.

When she called his name - David Drummond - David replied "here", but he wasn't the only pupil to do so.  As his "here" ended, suddenly another one sounded from somewhere in the room - "here" - and then another - and another - until it was echoing all around the class.  It went like this - David Drummond - "here", "here", "here", "here", "here""here" - about a dozen or more times from various points of the room in a 'living stereo surround- sound' effect that was truly impressive.

Teacher was furious.  "Drummond - you're the ringleader - get out here now!"  Bewildered, Davey trudged out to her desk, whereupon, if I recall correctly, she belted him with the tawse and sent him back to his seat in abject shame for something he hadn't done.  Naturally, we felt bad for him - his fate was utterly undeserved - but it'd been funny to hear the word "here" bounce around the room and to see the teacher take an apoplectic fit over it, even if she had belted an innocent boy.

I thought the result of each individual "here" in close succession to one another sounded extremely musical - very King's Singers in effect, so I'm not sure why Teacher reacted in the way she did.  You'd think she'd have been proud of our daring initiative in forming a class 'band' - even if it was only for a short, one-off performance.

Teachers, eh?!  I just hope David can look back and laugh about it now.  It was a classic moment that deserves to be remembered, though I guess you had to actually be there to appreciate it in the same way that I do.  (Which I probably wouldn't had I been the one belted.) 


Colin Jones said...

Tonight's 'Front Row' on Radio 4 includes an interview with Salma Hayek - try to keep calm, Kid :D

John Pitt said...

When you're a kid, especially if you're a bit of a rascal, often belted, it's always funny in a sadistic way when you see quiet "nice" boys getting belted, especially if they cry! I have previously told you on an earlier scandal about the time our head, Billy The Pig caned two such boys and I confess that I found it hysterical to see two "softies" return, crying.
But, in later years, I felt sorry for them and it only reinforces my belief of what utter and complete cruel B@$T@®D$ a lot of my old masters were!

Kid said...

I'll listen to it on iplayer, CJ, because I was otherwise detained for most of the day. Just back.


That was the way of things, alas, in those days, JP. Teachers would be jailed nowadays for that sort of behaviour.

Peter Pedant said...

My memories of school music lessons at the same school are those of the Head of Music being deeply concerned that his pupils could spell Tchaikovsky correctly and not go down the erroneous path of Tschaikowsky, Chaikovsky, or worse Chaikovskii.
This was guaranteed to put one off "Swan Lake" and the Sugar Plum Fairy for life.

Kid said...

What was his name again, PP, as I can't recall it at the moment? He used to pretend you had a coo's lick on your hair then slap you on top of the head, making your head spin (internally). Old git that he was.

Peter Pedant said...

That was Mr McRae, who in another capacity was organist at his church in Strathaven.
The "old git" would not be any younger than us now.

Kid said...

Ah, McRae, of course. I mentioned him by name in a comment on another post, but my memory disappears when I'm tired. I guess he's dead these days. I remember him slapping me on top of the head in his own classroom one day and I nearly passed out from the impact. Sadistic old git.

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