Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Naughty Schoolboys.



In a recent book written about my specific era up at school, these two paragraphs brought back wonderful memories. The (Bill Hunt) mentioned in para 2 was my partner in crime.

Yes, we brewed beer, we certainly ran a radio station, and the making (and igniting) of small bombs was a particular pleasure. 

I remember one particular bomb that we designed to separate a smallish tree from its mooring (which it eventually did very efficiently). We dug around the roots, placed the device inside the hole, laid about two yards of 'Jetex' fuse, lit it, ran like bloody hell, and hid behind a large tree. The noise was deafening (we were informed later that it could be heard over 5 miles away). Our return to school was by way of a highly meandering woodland route, in order to avoid any over-zealous nosy policemen.

The grave robbing was conducted by a friend. The Cathedral authorities had decided to make their rather bedraggled graveyard into a modern 'Garden of Peace'. All the ancient headstones were moved to against the Cathedral's walls, and the ground was ploughed rotovated and levelled before being re-sowed. During this work all sorts of bits and pieces came to the surface, and my friend went out each night with his torch to see what had appeared. His collection was impressive, and rather ghoulish; not my cup of tea at all. 

There was not only a 'secret motorbike' at school, but also several secret cars. Another of my good friends ('G' was later sacked) owned a Morgan 3 wheeler, and an Austin Healey 100/6, which he kept in a secretive distant car park. I would occasionally take the Austin Healey for a drive; a fabulous car. This was probably my most reckless activity; thank goodness I was never caught.

Some of these 'hobbies' might sound a tad irresponsible, but what else would you expect from several hundred boys in their teens?




22 comments:

  1. Teenage boys with some intelligence. You were very clever, or lucky, not to get caught!

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    Replies
    1. 'Devious' is the word you were looking for!

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    2. Reminded me of 'Just William', though I think he was younger and it was set in more innocent days
      Devious, yes

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    3. He just put Frogs in girls' toy prams; no real sense of adventure.

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  2. Bombs huh. What would happen now if boys made bombs. We all did naughty things and it is mostly not if but a matter of degree.

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    1. It just goes to prove what a handful we were.

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  3. Times have changed to naughty/irresponsible/dangerous deeds.
    These days we cannot pick our teams by 'Eeny, meeney, miney, mo etc.' The etc would get you suspended.

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    1. As in the recent case of a lady Conservative MP!

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  4. Sounds like a very interesting boyhood to have had....better than being stuck in front of a TV / computer screen / ipod / etc.... playing games or texting or just social media-ing like they do nowadays.

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    1. I do look back on some of it with horror. Some things we did could have gone horribly wrong.

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  5. My brothers went to a rather liberal private school that had weekly boarders, termly boarders and day boys. The boys did not concentrate on conventional learning but on inventing things such as you describe, in particular things originating from chemistry sets and dynamos. I don't remember hearing about anyone being expelled and the masters seemingly turned a blind eye to it all or actively encouraged it. My eldest brother in particular was well in with the boarders and our house used to fill at the weekends when some of the weekly's used to come and stay at our house.

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    1. 'G' was expelled after he lied about me being him, after he was caught up to no good. I wrote about the event some time ago (School days: A Question of Identity). Anyway, he did have two great cars.

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  6. Those were wonderful days, before bomb-making would get you expelled for terrorism.

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    1. We were lucky not to blow ourselves up, although they probably sounded much worse than they really were.

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    2. Do you remember my bomb at Farnham which almost killed a woman walking her dog, and which also was heard (by Tim and Sally) 5 miles away? My fuse was better than Jetex, but it went out with an inch left.

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    3. No, I don't remember it, but my imagination is still well honed.

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  7. I was a bit naughty but nothing like you .... you naughty boys !!!
    I just put candle grease on the slide and smoked at a young age !!!

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    1. I don't suppose we were any worse than most others!

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  8. Boys will be boys. My husband and brother were bomb makers also. It was a perfectly innocent hobby of the 50's and 60's and what harm could come from it.

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    1. Exactly. All innocent, harmless, fun.

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  9. I don't think it is as easy to get away with this sort of stuff today at Boarding School Cro. This is the stuff of the old comics isn't it and yet I bet you all turned out alright in the end.

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    1. I'm very straight-laced and concentric these days.

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