Fifty years ago today I went to Secondary School.
The school was Newbold Green Secondary Modern and it was a life-maker. My Junior Schools had been hell-holes with teachers who were either nonentities who I cannot now recall or out and out sadists who I recall all too well, even today.
Newbold Green was not like that. It was a nice school, in modern buildings (probably crammed with asbestos) with lots of windows and pleasant fields surrounding it.
Better yet it had some inspired and inspirational teachers who lit the fires in me and several of my friends.
I had only been at the school a few months when I wrote a story from the point of view of a Guy on a bonfire and decided that I wanted to be a writer.
Later on I decided that I wanted to be a teacher. I have achieved both of these ambitions and was pleased that my first teaching practice was at my old school where I was reintroduced to many of my old teachers.
The great ones were great, the mad ones still mad.
In particular, I thank Mr Johnson, Mr Dunkley and Miss Hobson, my English teachers. And there were others who were as important.
Best of all I met many new friends who coloured and shaped my life. I blame a couple in particular for what I have become!
To commemorate this anniversary I’m making my collection of short stories The Big School free this week. I forgot to do it for today but it will be available tomorrow. Which is kind of nice because I started school on a Monday.
The stories in it are a mixture of fact and fiction, reality and morbid legend. I hope you enjoy them. You can find them here: