End-of-Year Hootenanny

Recently, I was invited by members of staff to attend the end-of-year buffet. After serving thirty eight years hard labour at the school, I could hardly refuse.  Given my disabilities, though, I thought it best to treat it as a pop concert. There should be a continuous medical presence, preferably with pessimistic posters…
These are the people who really run the place. Today they will judge the acts…
You will need a fabulous sound system and an expert to run it…
And will you need reliable security…
The first two acts were real blasts from the past…

A critical audience prepared their ammunition…

B1Expectations were high, after that wonderful food and the odd snifter, all on offer at prices to suit the teachers’ pocket….
First, a familiar warm-up act…
…introduced the most cultured man I have ever met…
He spoke wise words for those with power over education at a national level…

By now, a slight shuffling feet of the audience betrayed their desire for something a little lighter, perhaps. A country-and-western singer?
Or perhaps a stand-up comedian?
Reactions were varied. Some seemed not to really like that kind of thing…

Others were even more disapproving…
Simon’s disappearing microphone trick was completely lost without trace…
But thank goodness, though, not before he remembered to introduce, in the most moving terms, Jim, one of nature’s true gentlemen, and a man who lives up to his faith every single second of the day…
Finally found the microphone though…
Just in time to bring on the star turn, Old Whispering Jim…
The inventor of the paper aeroplane…
“Order!! Order!! Order!! Quieten down please!! You’ve all seen a paper aeroplane before!!
And then the familiar music echoed forth, as we awaited some death defying stunt…
Next it was Paul, with the prototype of his recently invented self-camouflaging tie…
An Everton supporter then suddenly rushed on stage, trying to re-enact the events of the 1966 F.A.Cup Final, attempting vainly to gate-crash the whole event…..
The jury were by now ready for the “Best Dressed” contest. Their empty flying bottles of Budweiser, however, would not be allowed to affect the result…
Would it be the same winner for the previous six years?? A lucky seventh triumph?? And would she want a croquet set as first prize??
But no, controversy then ensued! Professor Major’s hat took all the votes, but should he have been wearing it inside in the first place??

Still, at least Everton Mcgibbon can give us a song…

It hasn’t been easy to turn all these different photographs into a coherent story. I hope nobody has been offended. Let’s finish with a slide show of the others that didn’t quite make the cut. There were quite a few suggestions to explain away the occasional blurring. A room that was surprisingly dark for photography? A lens which had to be open for as long as one eighth of a second? Or just a camera with beer goggles?

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Happy retirement, everybody. You have more than earned it.





Filed under Nottingham, Personal, The High School

4 responses to “End-of-Year Hootenanny


    Hi John,

    Quite a hoot!

    Best wishes,



    Hi again,

    Helen was most amused (unlike Queen Victoria) but thought you’d missed a trick; she thought you should have inserted Statler and Waldorf (the Muppets’ Two Grumpy Old Men) alongside Simon and myself!

    Best wishes,


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