" 1965 - Ivor Jones
Does anyone in Form 2B of 64/65 (or was it Form 3B of the following
year?) remember that extraordinary gym lesson we had with him when, arriving late and finding us all engaging in a
mini-riot in the
changing room, he decided to punish us all
by making us each stand motionless in the gym with our arms outstretched
for what remained of the lesson, while he berated us one by one,
as our increasingly aching arms drooped and then fell to our sides
with exhaustion? It's just as well the school inspectors didn't
pay a sudden visit, or they would have wondered
what on earth was going on! I don't think telling them we were pretending
to be trees would have sufficed. We weren't in the infants anymore!
Still, beats being whacked across the arse with a dap, something he appears to have done with an earlier class some years previously (see an earlier 'school memory').
Did he mellow in his old age, or was he warned off ? I suspect the latter.
I have fond memories of many of the teachers at the school, even of those that punished me on occasions. None, I'm afraid, of Ivor Jones. He gave 'short-arses'
like me a bad name. A real nasty piece of work; a man whose blatant
hostility to boys was genuine. Sorry, but that's the way I see it,
and I bet I'm not alone. Had a look at his 1968 photo the other
day - or what little of him could be seen behind the boy in front
of him. I realised with horror that I now
look more like him than the teenage boy I was then, sitting
in the front row, second from the right. Mother nature can be so cruel! "
Anyway, I put that on mid February 2002. It stayed on for about three weeks then suddenly vanished. So I
issued this challenge to whoever was responsible for its deletion, on the FriendsReunited 'Message Board':-
" FROM RAYMOND ALDRIDGE (1968 listing)
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:-
Will the person who complained to FriendsReunited about the 'teacher memory' I recently put
on about Ivor Jones (PE teacher) resulting in its removal, please have the common courtesy and decency to contact me and tell
me exactly what your objection is, and the grounds for it. (And your identity, come to that. After all, I've been quite open.
So should you, whoever you are.) I won't bite, honest! I am quite a nice person really, and I don't have a vindictive bone
in my body, but I write (and speak) as I find, always have done, which does seem to put people off sometimes.
I'm not an unreasonable person either. I may be prepared to modify the text of what I originally
wrote in the light of any objection(s) this person(s) unknown may have (but not the general tone, I'm afraid), but he/she/(it?)
has got to be upfront first by supplying me with these details.
I don't hold a grudge against anyone, but let's not pretend every teacher was of the 'Goodbye Mr
Chips' variety (only 'Ollie Goldthorpe' qualified there anyway!) Let's not cover these things up!
Ray Aldridge "
That brought an indignant response from Mr Bryn Richards, the art master at the school at the time, a few days later.
I'd print it out, but unfortunately, he has now deleted it from the site, but my own response to it was:-
" To Mr Bryn Richards:
Thanks for your message. I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but as I said, I speak as I found. Sometimes in the
real world, the truth hurts, as here.
The circumstances of my (and the rest of us boys come to that) relationship with Mr Jones were very different
ones from yours and that of his immediate family, and it was in the pupil/teacher context that I spoke.
But then you weren't an 11-year-old boy pupil of his, were you, so you wouldn't know anything about what I spoke
of. Ignorance is always a dangerous position to argue from.
'Disciplinarian'? Well, if it's spelt B-U-L-L-Y then
certainly. I could elaborate, and no doubt would be accused of causing further offence, but I don't think
any purpose could now be served by so doing, ALTHOUGH I WILL IF I'M PUSHED.
So now we've both had our say, I propose, with everyone's agreement, to close this correspondence forthwith.
I have much more pleasant things to do with my time, like recording some very nice memories of 'Doug' Riddell.
Now there was a master I have great affection for (despite the dictation speed!).
P.S. Nice to see you're still around. May you continue to have a long and happy retirement. "
I think I'll take my own earlier advice, and let the matter rest now, as, indeed, is Ivor Jones - the eternal rest that
comes to us all that is. Despite everything, I was genuinely saddened to hear he is no longer with us. It was a pity we didn't
get a chance to meet again later in different, less hostile, circumstances (I had no further contact with him at the school
after I had just turned fourteen, when he disappered for a year on a teachers' retraining course and came back to teach
maths.) We might have been able to repair some broken fences so to speak.
Mr Price. History
The third example of 'FriendsReunited' censorship of my memories occurred in January 2003. I put the following memory
of Mr Price on:
" 1967 - Mr Price. History.
One of the 'wallop across the face' brigade, as I can painfully recall. There was a lot of that sort of thing going
on at Cardiff High School at the time - almost a daily occurrence. All against the rules and highly illegal.
Mr Price was apparently known as 'Spiv". I say 'apparently' as I never called him that, nor knew of anyone else calling
him that while I was there. His idea of a 'history' lesson was to turn up fifteen minutes late, then say to us " Copy
down what I'm writing on the board. " as he proceeded to chalk up on the blackboard some tome all in block
capitals at a truly phenomenal rate (must have been the only person in the school who could have kept up with 'Doug'
Riddell's dictation speed!) for about ten minutes, and then leaving us to copy it down in our notebooks while he went back
to the staff room, presumably to resume his 'fag' (more likely a small cigar in his case, I think) and cup of tea.
Some years later, I underwent some training as a telegraphist. I ended up transcribing reams and reams of five letter
code groups being sent at 20 'words' a minute in morse code, which is quite fast. I suddenly experienced a distinct case of
'deja vu' as I did so, as here I was, writing block capitals at a phenominal rate, just as Mr Price did! I found out
later that he won a DFC in the war. I wonder if he was a radio operator on a bomber or similar at some stage? That might
explain things! "
So the moral of all this is :
Don't try and censor me! It'll only make matters worse!
For the record:
I enjoyed my five years at Cardiff High School immensely. I was happy there, and I look back 'forty years on', misty
eyed, with immense nostalgia. But there were some 'dark areas' there that should not be ignored.
22nd January 2003