Monday 25 January 2016

From the Archive (1)

Leaving education in the 1980s wasn't ideal. As the old joke had it: ''America have Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope and Stevie Wonder. We, on the other hand, have Margaret Thatcher, no hope, wonder.'' 

Norman Tebbit's inferred advice to ''get on your bike and look for work'' was worthless to me (I never did learn how to ride one).

So I started teaching chess in schools, with the plan of doing that until something more permanent came along. That was back in 1988, the very year this photograph was taken (October, I think). The location is Greatham Primary School. I ran a Saturday morning club there for many years too.

As can be seen, the world was in black and white back then. Schools didn't have computers, security fences (or, indeed, any kind of security) or even safety cups with rubber lids in which to hold one's cup of tea. ''Hey! Watch where you are going!'' was a reasonable response to anyone bashing into a tea-carrier. Nobody was sued.

1988 also brought the introduction of inset days (IN-SErvice Training days) but back then they were called Baker Days. I honestly thought schools had special days dedicated to making pies and cakes until someone pointed out they were named after Kenneth Baker, the minister who introduced the concept.

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