Tag Archives: bus

diary of a pimply kid: memories of the late 60s & 70s – ‘Big’ School.

(*a little bit fact; a bit more fiction; much exaggerated.*)

Diary

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.

Bus – Alexander Midland

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.

Bearsden Academy

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.

School toilet

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.

Electric fire
Clothes horse.
Pilchards

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.  

________________

ye canny shove yer grannie …

Colin Jackson: Glasgow, April 2021

Ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus

Naw ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus

Naw ye canny shove yer grannie

Cause she’s yer mammie’s mammie

Ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus

Ye can shove yer other grannie aff a bus PUSH PUSH

Ye can shove yer other grannie aff a bus PUSH PUSH

Ye can shove yer other grannie

Cause she’s just yer daddie’s mammie

Shove yer other grannie aff a bus PUSH PUSH

**********

CLAP! CLAP!

Can I have your attention, boys and girls!

Ok – so who remembers singing this little ditty when they were young?

Scandalous, isn’t it?

We can certainly do without that kind of criminal incitement in today’s society. 😉

Yeah, ok, so it’s kind of catchy – but even so, in these post music hall and woke days, I’m surprised The Singing Kettle and nursery schools all over the land are allowed to get away with it.

I suppose the first question to be asked, is did anyone actually take the lyrics literally, and second, did your Granny ever again share her Werthers Originals with you?

On the basis that the answer to question number one was a resounding ‘no,’ then my next question would be: who would even consider such a thing? Not me, for sure – I knew when I was onto a good thing, me.

I do wonder though, what effect this song may have had on one side of the Granny equation.

My two Grans were Gran Mary (my mum’s mother) and Gran Jackson (my dad’s mother.) They were both pretty similar characters, although being more sporty and having married a champion professional boxer, the former had more of an active and competitive nature.

My sister and I genuinely had no favourite and loved going to visit both as each would each spoil us with the decadent treats not on offer at home. I’m talking Creamola Foam, Tunnocks Tea Cakes and Oddfellows sweets. (Did you like me, break off the chocolate from the mallow dome before devouring the biscuit, flattening the foil wrapper and then folding it into as small a square as possible?)

As I grew older though, I did begin to notice one difference between the two Grans: Gran Mary would take me places. It was her and my Grandpa that took me to my first ever football match. The number fifteen Corporation bus took us directly from their home in Knightswood, Glasgow to Ibrox Stadium, for a League match between Rangers and Hibs.

They took me to many more matches before my Dad managed to get out of working on Saturdays and could take me himself. Each time, we travelled by bus.

My Gran was always so happy on the way across town. I had thought it was excitement at going to the match. On reflection though, there was a certain smugness about her contentment.

She was my ‘mammie’s mammie’ after all.

“In your face, Mrs J! Travelling with my darling grandson … on a bus! I’m even sitting on the seat that looks out onto the open platform. Look! I’m going to stand up. No hands! Woo hoo! Yep – still here!

My Gran Jackson, on the other hand …. well.

Occasionally, my parents would go to one of those ‘classy’ dinner dances at The Albany Hotel. Rather than ask a babysitter wait into the wee small hours for their return, we would be dropped at Gran Jackson’s for the bulk of the weekend.

We went through the same ritual each time:

“What shall we do this afternoon?” Gran Jackson would ask.
“Can we get the bus to go watch the football, please?”

My Gran was like:

Casanrdra on being awakened by young Damien, in ‘Only Fools & Horses

Wiping beads of sweat from her forehead with a shaking hand, she would suggest:

“Why don’t we stay home and watch the Wrestling on TV. I’ve got you some Creamola Foam and a Tunnocks tea Cake? And a packet of Oddfellows.”

Five miles away, in Knightswood and from behind a satisfied smile, the hushed words ‘one nil to the Mammie’s Mammie’ escaped into the ether.

Oh yeah – and so who was it taught me this song as a nipper? Why, of course, it was Gran Mary!

Aye – as those darned kids said, ‘There’s No One Quite Like Grandma.’

Especially a competitive one.

(Don’t fret, I’ve subjected you to enough – anyway St Winifred’s School Choir’s big hit was in 1980 and therefore disqualified from this blog.)