It’s only been a month since I last wrote about my own life in this English book, but so much has happened, it feels a lot longer. Virtually everything in the first term was a piece of journalistic reportage. Now it’s a rarity. Thankfully, this piece makes the most of its brief length and ends up being one of the weirdest pieces I wrote in the whole time I was there. It’s just a quick circuit of the main part of Fairburn, starting at the school then taking a left down Gauk Street, another left down Silver Street, stopping to look at the church and graveyard, then back across the field to the Great North Road and you’re back to school again. You could probably walk it in five or ten minutes. But that’d slow down considerably with a bunch of 7-11-year-olds in tow. I expect we stopped quite a few times, to talk about various things on the way, but I clearly only started paying attention when we got to the graveyard, where I obviously got very excited. The names I picked out on the gravestones are the names of some of the boys in my class, proving Fairburn as their ancestral seat: David Bramley was in the fourth year; Wayne Kelsey in the second; Shane Cotterill in the first with me. I don’t remember Bill from our street, but that’s presumably because he died before I got there (the new grave from May 16th obviously isn’t his). The rest of the story is very odd. Andrew Wall - mentioned for a second time here after his first heroic appearance in British Skiing Events - comes running up to me and shows me a bunch of stuff he’s found, which all turns out to be marginally disturbing. It’s too badly written to be able to picture exactly what’s going on, but there’s talk of ‘some holes in the bottom of the church.’ I’m not sure what this means, whether they’re in the walls or the ground, but apparently there were bones in them, which explains why we’d find them interesting. But bones of what? A cat goes in one of the holes, so does it mean they were bird bones? Chicken bones? Dog bones? Who knows? Did we ask an adult? Before long, we’ve been joined by Jason Bastow and Mark Hudson and find ourselves exploring ‘a very small barn’ behind the church, if there can actually be such a thing. I’ve no memory of the barn, nor of the ‘bird’s fossil’ we came across. Did I mean a bird skeleton? Or an actual fossil, just lying there in the tiny barn? Was it a sparrow or something larger like a crow or a chicken? Was it killed by the cat, or was it sacrificed by Satanists when the dog bones proved unworthy? Was the barn owned by a demonic leprechaun? Was it him that killed the birds? Or was it just a large kennel for a very vicious cat? Mercifully, that’s the end of the grand tour and we soon set off back to school to write it all up in our English books. And then, out of nowhere, I suddenly announce, “On the way back, we saw some cow’s ribs in the football field!” The what now? Cow’s ribs? The actual ribs of a huge massive cow? Not just a gnawed T-bone or a half-eaten rump steak but some actual massive ribs from an actual real life size frigging cow?? In the middle of the football field??? WHAT KIND OF HELL HOLE IS THIS??!?! Sadly, I have no memories to back any of this up. I’m at the mercy of the page, just like you, wondering what the hell this kid’s on about. I’ve got a few photos I took when I went back there in 2007 (see above), but no sign of any cow’s ribs or any fossilised ostriches. So unless you know anything about the infamous 1980 Fairburn Cow Murders, it will all have to remain a mystery.
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
A Walk in Our Village
A Walk in Our Village
VISIONS OF FAIRBURN
19th century Bramley Family headstone, taken 2007 The cricket/football field, 2007. The swings I fell off had disappeared and the village hall appeared to have been rebuilt, but otherwise it was just as I remembered it The Wildgoose Gallery on the corner of Gauk Street and Silver Street, 2007
Captain Carnivore Gary Shepherd is hunted down by a deadly flying meteor
HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Bonfire Night Waen’s first time at the annual village fireworks display
TOPIC 2 The one where it all kicks off
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
Great Space Battles Three mighty empires take their first steps into outer space
Waen Shepherd 2 Waen’s heroic antics in the far-flung future of 2007 AD!
The Flame in the Desert An evil fire threatens the safety of the world
A Walk in
Our Village
A Walk in Our Village
It’s only been a month since I last wrote about my own life in this English book, but so much has happened, it feels a lot longer. Virtually everything in the first term was a piece of journalistic reportage. Now it’s a rarity. Thankfully, this piece makes the most of its brief length and ends up being one of the weirdest pieces I wrote in the whole time I was there. It’s just a quick circuit of the main part of Fairburn, starting at the school then taking a left down Gauk Street, another left down Silver Street, stopping to look at the church and graveyard, then back across the field to the Great North Road and you’re back to school again. You could probably walk it in five or ten minutes. But that’d slow down considerably with a bunch of 7-11-year-olds in tow. I expect we stopped quite a few times, to talk about various things on the way, but I clearly only started paying attention when we got to the graveyard, where I obviously got very excited. The names I picked out on the gravestones are the names of some of the boys in my class, proving Fairburn as their ancestral seat: David Bramley was in the fourth year; Wayne Kelsey in the second; Shane Cotterill in the first with me. I don’t remember Bill from our street, but that’s presumably because he died before I got there (the new grave from May 16th obviously isn’t his). The rest of the story is very odd. Andrew Wall - mentioned for a second time here after his first heroic appearance in British Skiing Events - comes running up to me and shows me a bunch of stuff he’s found, which all turns out to be marginally disturbing. It’s too badly written to be able to picture exactly what’s going on, but there’s talk of ‘some holes in the bottom of the church.’ I’m not sure what this means, whether they’re in the walls or the ground, but apparently there were bones in them, which explains why we’d find them interesting. But bones of what? A cat goes in one of the holes, so does it mean they were bird bones? Chicken bones? Dog bones? Who knows? Did we ask an adult? Before long, we’ve been joined by Jason Bastow and Mark Hudson and find ourselves exploring ‘a very small barn’ behind the church, if there can actually be such a thing. I’ve no memory of the barn, nor of the ‘bird’s fossil’ we came across. Did I mean a bird skeleton? Or an actual fossil, just lying there in the tiny barn? Was it a sparrow or something larger like a crow or a chicken? Was it killed by the cat, or was it sacrificed by Satanists when the dog bones proved unworthy? Was the barn owned by a demonic leprechaun? Was it him that killed the birds? Or was it just a large kennel for a very vicious cat? Mercifully, that’s the end of the grand tour and we soon set off back to school to write it all up in our English books. And then, out of nowhere, I suddenly announce, “On the way back, we saw some cow’s ribs in the football field!” The what now? Cow’s ribs? The actual ribs of a huge massive cow? Not just a gnawed T-bone or a half-eaten rump steak but some actual massive ribs from an actual real life size frigging cow?? In the middle of the football field??? WHAT KIND OF HELL HOLE IS THIS??!?! Sadly, I have no memories to back any of this up. I’m at the mercy of the page, just like you, wondering what the hell this kid’s on about. I’ve got a few photos I took when I went back there in 2007 (see above), but no sign of any cow’s ribs or any fossilised ostriches. So unless you know anything about the infamous 1980 Fairburn Cow Murders, it will all have to remain a mystery.
VISIONS OF FAIRBURN
19th century Bramley Family headstone, taken 2007 The cricket/football field, 2007. The swings I fell off had disappeared and the village hall appeared to have been rebuilt, but otherwise it was just as I remembered it The Wildgoose Gallery on the corner of Gauk Street and Silver Street, 2007 HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE