(*a little bit fact; a bit more fiction; much exaggerated.*)
Monday 10th August 1970 (aged 12 – only just.)
Didn’t finish my Ready Brek this morning – first day at big school, so tummy churning a bit. Been told all sorts of stories of what the 2nd Years would do to welcome us.
Excited about getting a bus to school. (You can read Paul’s wonderful account of this, here.)
Met pals at The Cooperative Shop in the village. Lots of the older boys from the village gang were there. I know several of them so it was ok even though they were a bit boisterous.
Tried to get on the top deck of the bus but seems there is some kind of
hyer highera order about where you are meant to sit. Got bundled down to the lower deck. The conductress seemed a bit stressed.
“Sit down! No standing upstairs! Keep away from the open platform! Have you tickets and bus passes ready! I SAID NO STANDING UPSTAIRS!”
Stood around the main entrance with my pals until we were put into our classes. A few from my primary school are also in 1A. Boys and girls from four other schools are in my class. They look OK.
In class, we have to copy down our timetable. When did I sign up for Latin?! Mum! Dad! What?!
It could be worse, I suppose – double English to start the week on a Monday morning. And double PE on Wednesday afternoon to finish – that’s good.
I am in Endrick House – I have to go to the annex for registration each morning before class.
Break-time and many pals are welcomed into Bearsden Academy by having their heads stuck down the toilet pan which is then flushed. There are some fights. Most just give in. I escape attention until afternoon break for some reason. The suspense is terrible.
Eventually, I’m picked out, but my captors don’t drag me to the toilets. Instead, I’m carried to a drinking fountain and held over it by my arms and legs. I then had my trousers soaked, front and back, before a teacher chased the boys away.
First Latin lesson next – infectum bum I think is the translation.
Trousers still damp when I get home, so place them over the clothes horse in front of the fire.
Pilchards on toast for tea. Blech! Out to play and swap footy cards with pals and tales of first day at big school.
It’ll be alright. I think.