Monday September 3rd My first day at a new school. I’ve only been there five minutes and barely had time to say hello to anyone before we are whisked into a minibus and driven to Sherburn High School, where the nearest swimming baths are. Mum has provided me with a towel and a pair of swimming trunks which I have neatly tucked up in my Bristol City bag. The other kids eye me suspiciously and ask why I support Bristol City rather than Leeds United. I tell them I don’t support Bristol City and only got the bag because it was red, and red is my favourite colour. They think that’s weird. On the bus, I sit next to a boy called Andrew Wall, who asks me what I do like if I don’t like Bristol City. I tell him I like space and he replies, “Yeah, I like space an’ all.” It turns out he likes Star Wars and Doctor Who, just like me. He’s also got blonde hair and blue eyes, just like me. Perhaps he could actually be me, except he’s much more comfortable being here than I am. Just at the point where I think I might have made a friend, the minibus arrives at Sherburn Baths and the nightmare begins. Although I am nearly eight years old, I still cannot swim. Perhaps if I’d listened to Rolf Harris, I would have had a much better time, but this is the first time I have ever been swimming in my life and it terrifies me. In the changing room, I face away from the other children while changing - I’ve never taken my underpants off in front of a room full of strange boys before and it feels really unpleasant. They all start to laugh and tease me: “What’s up wi’ yer? Are yer shy?” I try to tell them I’m not shy but my gleaming red face says otherwise. Somehow I manage to get my new trunks on - they are white with abstract red and blue patterns, and a waist cord which I tie extra- tight in the hope they will not fall down. Then we are led through a pool of disinfectant to an enormous swimming pool which echoes and squeaks and stinks of chlorine. Once it is discovered that I’m not lying, that I really honestly can’t swim and am in danger of drowning even at the shallow end, they let me go and splash about in the little pool with the infants. This is not cool, but at least I’m not drowning. Finally the whistle blows and we are led back to the changing room, whereupon I discover that my waterlogged trunks are impossible to remove. I seem to have tied a triple knot into the waist cord and my feeble fingers can’t undo it. The other kids are dressed already and I don’t know what to do, so like a good boy I ask the teacher for assistance. My earliest memory of this guy is of him undoing the knot on my trunks and unleashing an angry tirade into my face, about how I am clearly going to be trouble: “You’ve only been here five minutes and already it’s ‘Mr Geraghty, I’m too shy to get changed! Mr Geraghty, I can’t swim! Mr Geraghty, I can’t get my trunks off!’” Which can’t have been true because I didn’t know his name till he said it just then. My humiliation complete, Mr Geraghty manages to undo the knot and I get changed before we all pile back into the minibus and drive back to school. After the morning break, we finally end up in the classroom, where I am formally introduced to the class and given my own seat. This being a village school with relatively few pupils, the juniors (7-11 year olds or, in modern terms, Years 3-6) are all taught in one classroom, each year group on a separate table. Having done three years at infant school already, I know very well that I should be sitting with the first years, but for some reason Mr Geraghty puts me on the second year table. I protest that he’s got it wrong, but he just reiterates how much trouble I am and tells me to “sit there for now”. In retrospect, I realise this was an early attempt to bump me up a year. My reputation obviously preceded me - my reading and writing skills were at a higher standard than most kids my age and my parents definitely wanted me to move up to the second year. But I just thought Mr Geraghty was an idiot and, what’s more, it was embarrassing. Being the shy, clumsy, Bristol City bag-carrying new boy was bad enough, without everyone thinking I was getting preferential treatment. I sat at the second year table for several days before it was discovered that, although my reading skills were top notch, I didn’t have the mathematical knowledge to match. So I got moved back to the first year table after all, to my immense relief. 6.45pm: Series 5 of Angels begins (till Dec 17). Can’t find this episode online, but here’s a clip from the very first episode in 1975, and here’s the title sequence, featuring a strong contender for best TV theme tune of all time. Wednesday September 5th Louis Mountbatten’s funeral is held at Westminster Abbey. BBC News coverage (full programme) More film footage Even more footage (but this time without sound) Retrospective dramatisation (from The Crown) Other headlines on BBC News this day: TUC vote not to stage mass protests against the Government’s economic policies Rolf Schild, the British businessman, is released from captivity in Sardinia, but says his kidnappers want £11,000,000 ransom for his wife and daughter Thursday September 6th Star Wars Weekly No 81 Alien released in UK cinemas, according to this site. Top of the Pops - a regular TV fixture, every Thursday evening on BBC 1. Highlights this week include The Crusaders, Racey and Legs & Co dancing with giant teddy bears. You can currently watch the full programme here. This week’s Smash Hits Fortnightly features The Specials on its front cover. An exception to the ‘one week ahead’ rule of comic and magazine dating, it specifies the range of dates it’s supposed to be available for. It’s essentially a lyric mag full of words to your favourite pop songs, with the occasional feature (David Hepworth writes enthusiastically about The B-52s), bits of news (Jimmy Pursey and The Sex Pistols have apparently discovered they are not compatible, either as artists or as people, putting paid to the idea that he might join as lead singer) and a bunch of record reviews I can’t quite believe. Yellow Magic Orchestra’s brilliant debut album (released a year prior, but never mind) is described as “a mindless hotchpotch without a single memorable moment,” while Talking Heads’ adventurous Fear of Music is accused of “ploughing a disappointing musical rut.” Joy Division’s universally- loved Unknown Pleasures (released back in June) gets a slightly better write- up as “a grower and a goodie but don’t expect too much.” Friday September 7th BBC 1 shows this trailer for The Generation Game Saturday September 8th Doctor Who: Destiny of the Daleks Part Two 2000 AD Prog 130 Sunday September 9th OFFICIAL UK SINGLES CHART No 1: We Don’t Talk Anymore Cliff Richard No 33: Since You’ve Been Gone - Rainbow No 35: Kate Bush on Stage EP - Kate Bush No 51: Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson OFFICIAL UK ALBUMS CHART No 1: In Through the Out Door - Led Zeppelin No 33: Fear of Music - Talking Heads
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Monday September 3rd - Sunday September 9th, 1979
TERM 1: Week 1
TERM 1 (Sept - Dec 1979) Week 0 (Aug 25 - Sep 2, 1979) Week 1 (Sep 3 - Sep 9, 1979) Week 2 (Sep 10 - Sep 16, 1979) Week 3 (Sep 17 - Sep 23, 1979) Week 4 (Sep 24 - Sep 30, 1979) Week 5 (Oct 1 - Oct 7, 1979) Week 6 (Oct 8 - Oct 14, 1979) Week 7 (Oct 15 - Oct 21, 1979) Half Term (Oct 22 - Oct 28, 1979) Week 8 (Oct 29 - Nov 4, 1979) Week 9 (Nov 5 - Nov 11, 1979) Week 10 (Nov 12 - Nov 18, 1979) Week 11 (Nov 19 - Nov 25, 1979) Week 12 (Nov 26 - Dec 2, 1979) Week 13 (Dec 3 - Dec 9, 1979) Week 14 (Dec 10 - Dec 16, 1979) Week 15 (Dec 17 - Dec 23, 1979) Christmas (Dec 24 - Dec 30, 1979) New Year’s Eve (Dec 31, 1979)
TERM 1 IN LINK FORM
Destiny of the Daleks Sep 1, 1979
Cars Gary Numan
ITV Returns Oct 24,1979
The Path of Least Resistance The Human League
Iran Hostage Crisis Nov 4, 1979
Life of Brian Debate Nov 9, 1979
Monday September 3rd My first day at a new school. I’ve only been there five minutes and barely had time to say hello to anyone before we are whisked into a minibus and driven to Sherburn High School, where the nearest swimming baths are. Mum has provided me with a towel and a pair of swimming trunks which I have neatly tucked up in my Bristol City bag. The other kids eye me suspiciously and ask why I support Bristol City rather than Leeds United. I tell them I don’t support Bristol City and only got the bag because it was red, and red is my favourite colour. They think that’s weird. On the bus, I sit next to a boy called Andrew Wall, who asks me what I do like if I don’t like Bristol City. I tell him I like space and he replies, “Yeah, I like space an’ all.” It turns out he likes Star Wars and Doctor Who, just like me. He’s also got blonde hair and blue eyes, just like me. Perhaps he could actually be me, except he’s much more comfortable being here than I am. Just at the point where I think I might have made a friend, the minibus arrives at Sherburn Baths and the nightmare begins. Although I am nearly eight years old, I still cannot swim. Perhaps if I’d listened to Rolf Harris, I would have had a much better time, but this is the first time I have ever been swimming in my life and it terrifies me. In the changing room, I face away from the other children while changing - I’ve never taken my underpants off in front of a room full of strange boys before and it feels really unpleasant. They all start to laugh and tease me: “What’s up wi’ yer? Are yer shy?” I try to tell them I’m not shy but my gleaming red face says otherwise. Somehow I manage to get my new trunks on - they are white with abstract red and blue patterns, and a waist cord which I tie extra-tight in the hope they will not fall down. Then we are led through a pool of disinfectant to an enormous swimming pool which echoes and squeaks and stinks of chlorine. Once it is discovered that I’m not lying, that I really honestly can’t swim and am in danger of drowning even at the shallow end, they let me go and splash about in the little pool with the infants. This is not cool, but at least I’m not drowning. Finally the whistle blows and we are led back to the changing room, whereupon I discover that my waterlogged trunks are impossible to remove. I seem to have tied a triple knot into the waist cord and my feeble fingers can’t undo it. The other kids are dressed already and I don’t know what to do, so like a good boy I ask the teacher for assistance. My earliest memory of this guy is of him undoing the knot on my trunks and unleashing an angry tirade into my face, about how I am clearly going to be trouble: “You’ve only been here five minutes and already it’s ‘Mr Geraghty, I’m too shy to get changed! Mr Geraghty, I can’t swim! Mr Geraghty, I can’t get my trunks off!’” Which can’t have been true because I didn’t know his name till he said it just then. My humiliation complete, Mr Geraghty manages to undo the knot and I get changed before we all pile back into the minibus and drive back to school.
Monday September 3rd - Sunday September 9th, 1979
TERM 1: Week 1
Wednesday September 5th Louis Mountbatten’s funeral is held at Westminster Abbey. BBC News coverage (full programme) More film footage Even more footage (but this time without sound) Retrospective dramatisation (from The Crown) Other headlines on BBC News this day: TUC vote not to stage mass protests against the Government’s economic policies Rolf Schild, the British businessman, is released from captivity in Sardinia, but says his kidnappers want £11m ransom for his wife and daughter
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Sunday September 9th OFFICIAL UK SINGLES CHART No 1: We Don’t Talk Anymore Cliff Richard No 33: Since You’ve Been Gone - Rainbow No 35: Kate Bush on Stage EP - Kate Bush No 51: Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson OFFICIAL UK ALBUMS CHART No 1: In Through the Out Door - Led Zeppelin No 33: Fear of Music - Talking Heads
6.45pm: Series 5 of Angels begins (till Dec 17). Can’t find this episode online, but here’s a clip from the very first episode in 1975, and here’s the title sequence, featuring a strong contender for best TV theme tune of all time.
After the morning break, we finally end up in the classroom, where I am formally introduced to the class and given my own seat. This being a village school with relatively few pupils, the juniors (7-11 year olds or, in modern terms, Years 3-6) are all taught in one classroom, each year group on a separate table. Having done three years at infant school already, I know very well that I should be sitting with the first years, but for some reason Mr Geraghty puts me on the second year table. I protest that he’s got it wrong, but he just reiterates how much trouble I am and tells me to “sit there for now”. In retrospect, I realise this was an early attempt to bump me up a year. My reputation obviously preceded me - my reading and writing skills were at a higher standard than most kids my age and my parents definitely wanted me to move up to the second year. But I just thought Mr Geraghty was an idiot and, what’s more, it was embarrassing. Being the shy, clumsy, Bristol City bag-carrying new boy was bad enough, without everyone thinking I was getting preferential treatment. I sat at the second year table for several days before it was discovered that, although my reading skills were top notch, I didn’t have the mathematical knowledge to match. So I got moved back to the first year table after all, to my immense relief.
Thursday September 6th Star Wars Weekly No 81 Alien released in UK cinemas, according to this site. Top of the Pops - a regular TV fixture, every Thursday evening on BBC 1. Highlights this week include The Crusaders, Racey and Legs & Co dancing with giant teddy bears. You can currently watch the full programme here.
TERM 1 IN LINK FORM
Destiny of the Daleks Sep 1, 1979
Cars Gary Numan
ITV Returns Oct 24,1979
Iran Hostage Crisis Nov 4, 1979
Life of Brian Debate Nov 9, 1979
This week’s Smash Hits Fortnightly features The Specials on its front cover. An exception to the ‘one week ahead’ rule of comic and magazine dating, it specifies the range of dates it’s supposed to be available for. It’s essentially a lyric mag full of words to your favourite pop songs, with the occasional feature (David Hepworth writes enthusiastically about The B-52s), bits of news (Jimmy Pursey and The Sex Pistols have apparently discovered they are not compatible, either as artists or as people, putting paid to the idea that he might join as lead singer) and a bunch of record reviews I can’t quite believe. Yellow Magic Orchestra’s brilliant debut album (released a year prior, but never mind) is described as “a mindless hotchpotch without a single memorable moment,” while Talking Heads’ adventurous Fear of Music is accused of “ploughing a disappointing musical rut.” Joy Division’s universally-loved Unknown Pleasures (released back in June) gets a slightly better write-up as “a grower and a goodie but don’t expect too much.”
Friday September 7th BBC 1 shows this trailer for The Generation Game Saturday September 8th Doctor Who: Destiny of the Daleks Part Two 2000 AD Prog 130