As someone with absolutely no interest in sport whatsoever, I’m very surprised at how much sport-related content there is in my Fairburn work. This is the first piece I wrote about my own life at Fairburn and it’s about a football match between our school and another school in one of the neighbouring villages. These games were quite frequent, taking place at least once a half-term between ourselves and the junior schools of either Burton Salmon or Brotherton. Not only is this the first such match I ever played, it’s also probably the first proper football match I ever played, full stop. Prior to this, it hadn’t ever really occurred to me to do it. I’m sure some kids probably played football at my previous school but I certainly wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t averse to kicking a ball about every now and again with my mates, but I had no real understanding of the rules of football and had never been interested in it as a spectator sport. Oh yes, I loved watching the football results at the end of Grandstand, but only because it meant Doctor Who was about to start. At Fairburn, however, liking football was mandatory. Playtimes (there were three daily - mid- morning, lunchtime and mid-afternoon) were dominated by the sport. The L-shaped junior playground was basically a big concrete football pitch, a game being held virtually every single break in the main section of the yard. Girls weren’t allowed to play, of course, meaning they were relegated to the tiny area round the side of the school by the toilets. As far as the boys were concerned, if you didn’t play football, you were a girl. Over time, I would come to hate this and eventually rebelled against it (and sport in general), but when I first moved to Fairburn, all I wanted was to be accepted. Though occasionally I would stare enviously into the infants playground, where they were allowed to run around making silly noises and mess about on the climbing frame. Fitting in was an uphill struggle. I was marked out as a freak straight away because of my Bristol City bag. The other boys all supported Leeds United without question, so a bag proclaiming support for Bristol City clearly wouldn’t be tolerated. What made it worse was that I didn’t support Bristol City anyway - I just liked the bag because it was red (I really, really liked red) and of the three bags available in Thourgood’s sweet shop that day, it was definitely the most visually appealing. Since I was new, the other kids gave me the benefit of the doubt and tutored me in the ways of Fairburn. By the end of the year, I had a Leeds United bag instead, plus a Leeds United away strip (yellow shirt and blue shorts), a Leeds United towel and a pair of football boots. After which, I was fully accepted. This match against Burton Salmon was a test. Though I’d played football in the playground, when it came to a proper match against another school, I was an unknown quantity. Hence sitting on the substitute bench for the first half. When it came to my position as “defender” - well, I didn’t have the passion to be a striker and I hated being in goal (didn’t like having balls kicked at me, to be frank), so defence was a good place for me. As I remember, to my surprise, the other boys all agreed I performed quite admirably - we won this match after all, despite the opposing team being “up our end” for most of the match, so I probably did something right. Before long, I had a reputation amongst my peers as a “good defender”. The real man of the match though was obviously Wayne Kelsey. Even though he was only in the second year, Wayne had a reputation for being the hardest kid in Fairburn - or, as we would call him, “the cock of the school”. In all my time there, I don’t recall him ever hitting anyone, but the threat of it was enough, and this reputation obviously spread to Burton Salmon, where the players would rather pass him the ball than tackle him. Even Mr Geraghty called him “Danger Man Kelsey”. It was always best to stay out of his way on the pitch. Four last things to say: I don’t remember Mrs Milner but we often had supply teachers, especially when the class was split into groups; I appear to have forgotten how to spell “and”; this is the earliest surviving example of me writing about my own life; and this is one of several examples of me being a tell-tale tit - but I’ll talk more about that later.
Fairburn v Burton Salmon
Fairburn v Burton Salmon
TERM 1 Sept-Dec 1979
TOPIC 1 Sept-Dec 1979
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
WAEN SHEPHERD Who was this strange little boy?
HISTORY 1 Sept 1979 - Oct 1981
SCIENCE 1 Sept 1979 - Mar 1980
GEOGRAPHY 1 Sept 1979 - Feb 1981
Clarke Hall Old Houses Fairburn v Burton Salmon The Forgotten World String Orchestra Sheet Lightning Grezelda the Witch Bonfire Night Metropolitan Police Christmas 1979 Great Space Battles Luddenden The Hat’s Adventure Sleeping Beauty What I Do On Monday Waen Shepherd 2 Waen Shepherd in: Green Squids Ward’s 7: Move of the Galaxy Ward’s 7: Alpha Centauri Ward’s 7: Escape to Mother Ship Ward’s 7: Death Planet Blake’s 7 Ward’s 7: The Hunt Ward’s 7: Rescue The Flame in the Desert The Fugitive British Skiing Events Fiends of the Eastern Front Apeth (from Outer Space!) Tedosaurus (from Prehistoric Time!) A Walk in Our Village The Mountain Called Tyrannosaurus Rex Florence Nightingale War of the Worlds The Micronauts in: Supersilver
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Bonfire Night Waen’s first time at the annual village fireworks display
String Orchestra A visit from the North Yorkshire County Council Orchestra
As someone with absolutely no interest in sport whatsoever, I’m very surprised at how much sport-related content there is in my Fairburn work. This is the first piece I wrote about my own life at Fairburn and it’s about a football match between our school and another school in one of the neighbouring villages. These games were quite frequent, taking place at least once a half-term between ourselves and the junior schools of either Burton Salmon or Brotherton. Not only is this the first such match I ever played, it’s also probably the first proper football match I ever played, full stop. Prior to this, it hadn’t ever really occurred to me to do it. I’m sure some kids probably played football at my previous school but I certainly wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t averse to kicking a ball about every now and again with my mates, but I had no real understanding of the rules of football and had never been interested in it as a spectator sport. Oh yes, I loved watching the football results at the end of Grandstand, but only because it meant Doctor Who was about to start. At Fairburn, however, liking football was mandatory. Playtimes (there were three daily - mid-morning, lunchtime and mid- afternoon) were dominated by the sport. The L-shaped junior playground was basically a big concrete football pitch, a game being held virtually every single break in the main section of the yard. Girls weren’t allowed to play, of course, meaning they were relegated to the tiny area round the side of the school by the toilets. As far as the boys were concerned, if you didn’t play football, you were a girl. Over time, I would come to hate this and eventually rebelled against it (and sport in general), but when I first moved to Fairburn, all I wanted was to be accepted. Though occasionally I would stare enviously into the infants playground, where they were allowed to run around making silly noises and mess about on the climbing frame. Fitting in was an uphill struggle. I was marked out as a freak straight away because of my Bristol City bag. The other boys all supported Leeds United without question, so a bag proclaiming support for Bristol City clearly wouldn’t be tolerated. What made it worse was that I didn’t support Bristol City anyway - I just liked the bag because it was red (I really, really liked red) and of the three bags available in Thourgood’s sweet shop that day, it was definitely the most visually appealing. Since I was new, the other kids gave me the benefit of the doubt and tutored me in the ways of Fairburn. By the end of the year, I had a Leeds United bag instead, plus a Leeds United away strip (yellow shirt and blue shorts), a Leeds United towel and a pair of football boots. After which, I was fully accepted. This match against Burton Salmon was a test. Though I’d played football in the playground, when it came to a proper match against another school, I was an unknown quantity. Hence sitting on the substitute bench for the first half. When it came to my position as “defender” - well, I didn’t have the passion to be a striker and I hated being in goal (didn’t like having balls kicked at me, to be frank), so defence was a good place for me. As I remember, to my surprise, the other boys all agreed I performed quite admirably - we won this match after all, despite the opposing team being “up our end” for most of the match, so I probably did something right. Before long, I had a reputation amongst my peers as a “good defender”. The real man of the match though was obviously Wayne Kelsey. Even though he was only in the second year, Wayne had a reputation for being the hardest kid in Fairburn - or, as we would call him, “the cock of the school”. In all my time there, I don’t recall him ever hitting anyone, but the threat of it was enough, and this reputation obviously spread to Burton Salmon, where the players would rather pass him the ball than tackle him. Even Mr Geraghty called him “Danger Man Kelsey”. It was always best to stay out of his way on the pitch. Four last things to say: I don’t remember Mrs Milner but we often had supply teachers, especially when the class was split into groups; I appear to have forgotten how to spell “and”; this is the earliest surviving example of me writing about my own life; and this is one of several examples of me being a tell-tale tit - but I’ll talk more about that later.
Fairburn v Burton Salmon
Fairburn v Burton Salmon
TERM 1 Sept-Dec 1979
TOPIC 1 Sept-Dec 1979
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
WAEN SHEPHERD Who was this strange little boy?
HISTORY 1 Sept 1979 - Oct 1981
SCIENCE 1 Sept 1979 - Mar 1980
GEOGRAPHY 1 Sept 1979 - Feb 1981
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Bonfire Night Waen’s first time at the annual village fireworks display
String Orchestra A visit from the North Yorkshire County Council Orchestra