Sunday Sevens #week2


1. Our Pupil Premium award in London was a big part of my week so I guess this is why I have chosen it.  Our school gets £50000 so we were happy.


2.  I took some pictures with my new lens and I am very excited about taking pictures using it.


3.  I liked the roof of Kings Cross so decided to take a snap.  I love it.


4.  Just after the award thing in London and I was enjoying myself a bit.


5.  The 24 hour blogging event in school was a big part of the week.  Great for the kids.


6.  I liked the light in this picture so I chose it.


7.  One of our students completed her placement.  She worked hard and I am sure she will be a big success in her career.

If you want to take part in Sunday Sevens find out more from Nat’s Blog here.  It’s a great way to blog about your week in pictures when you don’t want to write a full post




Basic Military Training circa 1988

Following on from my last post I have decided to write about basic training.  Our early experience was around medical check ups and then being issued with uniform.  We then were taught how to iron our various items of uniform.  It would be fair to say we were clueless about ironing but we soon found out that our instructors cut us no slack when it came to presentation of our kit.

I had never seen a bed block before in my life and I found it amusing that the blankets and sheets had to be arranged in a particular fashion, in reality it did not matter how well we did the bed block, we all, at some point were subjected to our bedding being flung out of the window from our third floor rooms.

It would be fair to say over the first 4 weeks we were treated to a gruelling regime of gymnasium work, running and a severe lack of sleep.  I bulled my boots and they were never good enough.  These items would be flung out of the window on regular occasions.

At the end of the first four weeks we were allowed home for a weekend.  I enjoyed the break as my section leader had taken a particular dislike to me, this led to me being kicked between the legs and punched for another misdemeanour.  I decided when I got back from leave I was going to leave the army as I was sickened by it.

I had a chat with a guy called Corporal Venables and he talked me into sticking with it and the Troop Commander moved me out of Jolly’s section and put me with a decent gaffer named Smith.  I recovered from a twisted ankle and made it to the final exercise and combat fitness test.

The Combat fitness thing was forced marching for 8 miles, running with your mate and his kit over your shoulder for 90 metres and then going over the assault course.  I was 7stone wet through and this nearly killed me.  I managed to pass mainly because we had been beasted for weeks by repeatedly running up a sand hill.  This was hell and the best part was none of it.

I was proud of my passing out parade but I had no idea about the abuse to come on 11th week training. The. Fun just kept on coming.




In The Army Now…

I was working at the carpet factory in Durham after I had being given a contract to stay their full time.  I simply did not see my life being about carpet manufacturing so I decided to try to join the army. ( I had previously failed to join the junior leader regiment because of being under-weight.  I weighed 7.5 stones when I was 16 years old.)

I had been advised that I needed to put on 4lb to be able to pass the medical entrance.  The recruitment sergeant gave me some sound advice.  He told me to drink 2 pints of milk and to consume a large pork pie.  He told me this would work as long as I did it just before I went in to be weighed.  I did as I was told and made the weight by a quarter pound.

I was informed I would be attending a selection weekend for assessment and if I passed I would be given a unit to join.  My dad bought me a new track suit courtesy of Sunderland market.  It was bright yellow with black stripes and I looked like a half-ripe banana.  I ran a basic fitness test and took various tests.  I passed and I was told I was joining the Royal Corps of Transport.  I was going to be a lorry driver and went home feeling pleased with myself.

I was summoned a week before I was to go to Buller Barracks in Aldershot to swear my oath of allegiance.  I did this and was duly presented with a days wage.  This used to be known as the Queen’s shilling in days gone by.

I was given a travel warrant, which was a voucher for a train ticket and I had my date for departure.  I got taken to the train station by my mum, who ran alongside the train as it left, blowing me kisses through the window.

I arrived in London and transferred to a train that would take me to Colchester.  I was collected by two soldiers in uniform and driven to Buller Barracks.  I was terrified and noticed how strong these lads looked, whilst I was a runt.  I was not filled with confidence.

We were taken to the parade square to watch the troops enjoy the passing out parade.  They were completing the training and moving to Leconfield near Hull to start driver training.  We were Met by Lt Gartside and he informed us we were all now Stoke fans as he was.  He also told us we were the lowest of the low and described us as tarts.  I don’t think he meant this in a good way.

We were given lessons in ironing and issued with kit.  My head was massive and they could not supply me with my number 2 dress hat.  They ordered me one to fit.  It was noted that I had a large head and the staff also noted I was skinny.  The Geordie Javelin was a name that would be used over the coming weeks.

The staff included a bloke called Cpl Jolly, Smith, Ingalia, Venebales and Brown.  The troop sergeant was Sgt Ingrey.  The troopy was Gartside.  These blokes were tough on us but it was their job.  The only one that I couldn’t stand was Jolly.  I would enjoy a reunion with him.  The rest were good blokes who gave us grief but were always fair.  Cpl Venables enjoyed singing to us at night while he played guitar.

Over the next ten weeks we trained hard and had some interesting experiences.  I will share some of these in my next post.

Buller Barracks

Sunday Sevens #2 A Top Week


1. To some this may not be that interesting but to me it is.  I love seeing the moon and it was a beautiful evening so out came my camera.  Not the best quality image but I like it.


2. It’s not every day you get Stephen Tetlow MBE, chief executive of the institute of mechanical engineers and Susan Scurlock, chief executive of Primary Engineer come to visit so this is part of our big news.  They came to see some of our children testing vehicles they had built and to talk to the children about being an engineer. A great day for us!


3.  I found out a little bit more about Steiff bears this week and about their value.  A very interesting hobby for some people and you need money to collect this type of thing.  They are not cheap!


4.  This reminded me of my time in the army.  This is a vintage pin badge of the Royal signals.


5. It was World Book Day and I wore my Peppa Pig hat, caused a stir!


6. Mr Dougil entertained our VIP this week.  He is an inspiration to us all.  I think he slept well after the visit!



7.  As usual my dog, Ruby played a big part in my week and kept me company on my walks.

Sunday Sevens is a way of blogging about your week in pictures and sharing it.  Find out more by clicking here and look at Nat’s Blog.  Thanks for looking and spread the word.