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Seventies Memories
School Fights
Malcolm Stark

Posts: 22
Joined: 17 July 2013

Jul 20, 2013 14:26  Trackback URL

Seventies Memories
As a postie of nearly twenty-five years, you know I deliver to a lot of schools and stuff, and I just noticed over the past fifteen years especially, how well-behaved they all are, nowadays. I never hear any mass fights on school fields, anymore, nor any all-in games of British bulldog. I just hear cries of joy and peace nowadays.

Of course you do get cyber-bullying. You gotta have some stability and links with the past, haven't you. My kind of adopted step grand-daughter, ie the step-daughter of my partner's son, did have some girls say that she's getting a bit fat. She isn't of course, she's got the figure of a rake. But they took pictures of her mid-riff area on their mobiles, and sent them around all the school on their convoy type of network. So she goes to the headmistress and Naomi, her mum, is called out of work to go down and sort things out.

I have to admit, when Nessie first told me, I laughed.

There's just no school fights anymore. Everything is underhand and devious, and bullying is when someone unfriends you on facebook.

When I were a lad, as many of you on here were, especially growing up in a city like Leeds, which is very similar in its passions, in its anger, in its pride, to Newcastle, things were very different.

There were fights every week, and some weeks, every single day of the week, proper fights and all.

Of course back in the years 1974-77, which was when I had the absolute joy of going to West Denton Middle School, a school identical to that in the film Kes. Well identical in every way, except the girls were better looking, and there wasn't a kid with a pet kestrel. we didn't have any sensitive Colin Welland type of teacher either. Sorry, anyway back in 1974-77, the fights were all fought by lads who all looked like they were in The Sweet. Fights would go, with all the school forming a huge ring around the combatants so as not to attract suspension, yelling and screaming FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT.

The winner was usually the one with the slightly shorter hair, as he'd just grab the hair of Andy Scott and start wellying his boots into the face of the loser. Of course, the fact everyone wore massive platform boots back then, and high-waisted flared trousers, usually meant the aim was a bit shit, and the kicks would land on the forehead or on the ear. No noses were ever broken, to my recollection.

Thing is, there was even an unwritten league table, where everyone knew where they were!!! So you had the top two, who you never ever messed with, or attempted to tackle at football. I once tripped up Ure, the number three hardest in our year, accidentally, then laughed, very nervously, but it was a laugh.

He booted me so hard in the balls, I had to spend a night at Newcastle General Hospital to have my testicle lowered. Of course, I also had to suffer the song "Jeepers has only got One Ball" to the Colonel Bogey tune for the rest of my time at school in Newcastle.

Anyway, I was always second or third bottom of this league table. I was soft, but not the softest. I made sure of that by starting a fight with one of my best friends once, just to make sure I had some air below me. McFadden was one of the nicest lads I ever met, and he never even tried to hit me. He just stood there crying, taking my punches, saying you don't have to do this.

There's proof for you that some boys mature a lot quicker than others at school. I was a real tit for many of my days at school, but that day ranks as high as any. I was a complete c--t, to be precise. But that was what the peer pressure did to you at times.

The top two in our year were, as I say, untouchables. You had the number two, who captained the school team, playing centre-half, and was extremely tall, with a huge bouffon of blonde hair. Cool, and sharp-witted, he resembled Gordon McQueen greatly.

The top kid in our year, was more rugged, came to school with no shirt or jumper on some of the time, went to Spain for holidays during term-time, and he got away with it. Wildly long haired, he looked like Vic Halom, and he was centre forward in the school team. As the months and years went by, people actually started to wonder, could Hunter (Gordon McQueen) have Steve (Vic Halom) in a fight? The curiosity turned into a belief that he actually could. Of course, they'd never fight, cos they were best mates. But suddenly, the top two swapped places in the table.

Until one day, in about October 1976. Newcastle had just lost 7-2 to Man United in the League Cup, and someone was going to suffer. It was the World Championship Heavyweight fight of WDMS, and it lasted all of twenty-five seconds. Few of us even got the chance to gather round. It just happened, and finished, snap, just like that. Only one or two saw it.

Vic Halom absolutely kicked the s&it out of Gordon McQueen. He was never going to be number two, even if it killed his friendship, which it didn't.

The funniest thing is, there was a load of middle-grounders, just sitting in mid-table, comfortably, like Coventry City, Norwich or West Ham. They'd never even had a fight, ever, but if you asked them, they'd say, oh I'm number fourteen. Okay. It was just written in stone. They had the girlfriends, you see, so afforded some sort of respectability.

They were great days, and I really don't see how I have the problem round here when every time I hear Albert Hammond's Free Electric Band, I get the deep urge to stick me nine inch soles on, get hold of some long-haired prog rocker's locks and boot away for the good times.

But I just send him a text saying "tw*t."  

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Posts: 988
Joined: 24 January 2012
Location: maidenhead berkshire
Jul 20, 2013 21:33  Trackback URL

At school in Liverpool (late 1940's) there were lots of fights. The worst were against the teachers, they used to fight dirty.  

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