School Days- John Harvard Secondary School, Union Street, Borough, 1953-57.
I recently posted a picture in the Searles Road Topic (Paragon School) and to my surprise my Headmaster, at John Harvard (1953/57) Mr Osmon was in one of the photos. This reminded me of the things we use to do in school. Mr Osmon liked his sport and we got on ok when we done that, but he was also the Wood-work teacher and that was another story.
I was rubbish at wood-work and still am come to that, over the years myself and Mr Osmon had many clashes, out would come the cane, which he always seemed to enjoy using and looking back now he probably had good reason, once again this would end the argument? Or so he thought.
One day he decided to teach us all to make a toast -rack, (everything comes to those that wait) two ends with canes in between to hold the bread (toast). I decided to give it a good go but couldn’t resist when he went out the room, I took his cane from the desk and made a toast-rack with it. The look on his face when he called me up to have a look at it and recognised his cane, (PRICELESS) I thought his head was going to explode.
Needless to say, he smashed the toast- rack to pieces on the edge of the table and once again I got the cane, (he must have been a boy-scout as he came prepared) but it was worth it, no sense of humour these teachers.
Remembering what went on, though and it wasn’t only me, like gluing his matches to the desk and watching him try to pick them up, pouring glue in his pipe and seeing him try to light it. Yes, you can see why he got annoyed but at the time to us it was just funny.
Of course, there were other things we use to do at school, like putting dry-ice in the ink well and see it froth up, dip the blotting paper into the ink-well, till it was soggy, then with an elastic band fire it around the class room. We would also fire it up, so it stuck to the ceiling above the teachers’ desk, then wait for it to dry out and fall-down, on or near to the teacher. Then we had the old pens, which basically was a bit of wood with a nib on the end. We would sharpen the nib to a point and throw them around, the look on the teachers face when he walk in the class-room to see all these pens stuck all over the place, walls, blackboard, even the ceiling, which he would not notice until they fell down, looking back it was just fun but for the teachers we must have been a night-mare.
A little bit about yourself growing up in Bermondsey
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I was at john Harvard 1954-58 and was subjected to "sir" Osman's bowling in the cricket nets , a sort of initiation test for new boys. My first lesson was with Mr Mann who addressed us all with the definition of woman " Woe-unto-Man" off course we didn't know what he meant at the time (ha ha) . I remember making an expanding bookrack using canes which survived "sirs" quality testing ,but my mate Brian Allen's coffee table didn't when "sir" jumped on it. I think it was a Mr Hemans who was metalwork teacher ,a big bloke who gave me what for when we put a starter cartridge (blank) in the braising furnace and when it was lit we laughed at the panic it caused . Although one morning on the way to school I witnessed this teacher rescue a lady from a car crash along the road by the post office depot using his strength to wrench open the drivers door. Mr Thomas was maths and enjoyed making lumps on your arms with his knuckles because he couldn't reach your head. Writing this has opened up lots of memories about this school but I don't want to crash the website so I'll stop here. Happy days.
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