Passed the 11 plus from SACRED HEART in Thornton and was subsequently bussed into the Jailhouse as a 'bright back-street kid'. Made the 'A' form in year 1 with the likes of Phillip Hilton, and several other very bright boys. Engineered my demotion to the 'B'  form post-haste for years 2+3 with the likes of Ainsworth, Al Gratton, Millington etc, Had a great time getting the better of Freddy Freeborough, Pierre Lavin, etc. Got seriously into racketeering selling ice buns from the cake shop by the Convent (running the dinner-time gauntlet with animal cunning), cigarettes etc. Wonderful days!!!. Fought my own corner pulling the pee at every opportunity culminating in Lavin losing his rag and giving me and Millington 26 each on the wrist. His parents made a hoo-ha, my old man laughed!!. Made a terrible error of judgement at the end of year 3 and came top, instead of my usual 4th,Oh bollocks, back with the swots!!!. and Sod's law was that year the 4th form were taking O levels (an ill-fated experiment). That year I was give 6 on the backside in the school hall for sign writing the school mural, the one that went on display for the open week. It was a coal merchant's yard and I painted the name of the coal merchant 'B. Ugger and Sons. In retrospect not my cleverest move, but what surprised me was nobody noticed until half way through the week. Also thrown out of art, received another public flogging for stuffing a cake down the oboe in the music room (grassed up by whom I never discovered). Threw Jimmy Melia with help over the wall into the Convent's sand pit only to learn later he broke his collarbone and lay there for hours. Finally in that fateful year represented the school in the inter-college cross country race by default. If you can remember for all non-sporties cross country was the answer, so every week I trudged out with 50+ likewise souls plus a few sporties and we would do the run around the park. As a past master of deceit I would get in the main group run until the park gates, quick left thro the park, enjoy an Embassy or Woodbine and rejoin the stragglers at the other side. Over the course of months you knew who would be in that group. I always was on the look out for O'Sullivan on his bike. Normal operations were in place on the fateful Wednesday when from my hole in the hedge I saw O'Sullivan peddling at a rate of knots. O Hell I must be late!!! Then I saw a well known non sporty, Julian Ward, running like the clappers of Hell, so I JOINED HIM. Well as you know to a non-sporty running up the hill was enough to raise a sweat!!! Through my sweat filled eyes as I approached the bottom on the hill I made a startling observation. Where the bank should have been filled with prostate bodies, there where none. Came 3rd, and because of my seemingly change of attitude was promptly picked for the school team. I think I spat blood after 1/2 a mile and died at 1 mile.

Finally because of a clerical cock-up having passed my O levels and looking forward to a life of wine, women and song, I discovered my old man had signed papers that stated I stayed at Joe's till I was 16 (that was their story). Sadly I had done everything I had to do by 15 so I had to go back to the Lower Sixth where Joe Snow was form teacher. To say me and Joe didn't hit it off would be an understatement. We actually had a fight over my parka jacket and as the 1st year 6th form was drawing to a close, he gave the whole class a careers talk. As he went through the register telling one after the other Oxford or Manchester Uni beckoned he finally got to me. His careers advice was as follows: "Melody you float through the day like a butterfly without a care in the world. Nothing seems to bother you. I think you would make a very good tramp." BEST ADVISE A MAN CAN GET!!!!!

Back to memories page.