Nick Sweet 1956-60

Having the privilege of being a Stalwart (another term for slave labour) I recall the following incident very vividly, as you will see, for obvious reasons.

It was a Saturday afternoon and a group of us, with J.H.M., were laying a concrete floor for the new battery shed. I can't exactly remember who else was there, but I think it may have included Archard, Dickenson 2, and Walmesly. Having filled the cement mixer with dry material I grabbed the starter rope and proceeded to go through the process of starting the machine by putting my foot on the wheel to get more leverage, and pulling the rope with as much strength as I could muster. The rope slipped on the starter wheel, the engine didn't start,and there was suddenly a deadly hush with all helpers staring aghast behind me. It was then I heard the heavy gasping noise!

On turning around I saw J.H.M., who had been standing directly behind me, totally doubled up and gasping for air, for I had hit him fair and square in the stomach with my elbow. (I can say to this day I never felt a thing). It goes without saying that I was more than a little concerned that I was about to endure his wrath as he began to recover. It was, therefore, with considerable relief to us all, but particularly me, when between less desperate gasps for air he started to laugh. I was of course very apologetic, and his immediate remark was something like: "Don't worry about it Sweet, it was an accident and you can boast that you are the first boy to ever lay me out".

Ironically on the Monday he gave me the cane for some minor misdemeanour, throwing stones I think, and he did mutter something about revenge being sweet and making up for Saturday's incident!

Is there anyone else out there who can recall this occurance?

I think the female teacher with the red hair that only lasted a term was Miss Green. I remember when she was on swimming pool duty she would wear a green plastic/pvc coat for protection. Someone in the shallow end would call and distract her and the ace bombers, Merret and Hawkins, would come off the top board landing perilously near to the edge of the pool where she was standing and soak her. On reflection I am surprised she lasted a full term!

[Also] Mr. Dennis was the Maths teacher at that time ... Peter Thomas was English Laguage and Litrature. I can only think that [Miss Green] taught Pr'ecis and so would have been succeeded by Bob Wellings.

John Haymes anecdote about Mr. Shrewsbury, science teacher (I think his nickname was Blobble), brought back the memory of being caned by him the last night of my first term, Christmas 1956, for talking after lights out. Welch, Dassu 2 and myself in that order. Welch went in and his screaming was horrendous and had the two of trembling. He came out grinning and whispered "Make lots of noise he won't hit so hard". It didn't work for us two we both came out very much in tears.

The next morning my backside was litrally black and blue with three white streaks though it. When I got home and showed my Mother and Father, my Father went berserk and wanted to phone JHM and complain. My mother stopped him by saying that I just bruised easily like she did.

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