All for the best Pete (and Pete)


Pete has sent this from Copnor/USA and says

“To ‘Buckland’ Pete and all the other talented kids that were forced into schools designed to provide the “blue Collar” workers of the future by the 11+ . Thankfully it is recognized now, that kids develop at different ages, some sooner than later, and also that some kids do great but just do not “Test well” on the day. I found this in my Mum’s papers, she left me together with all my old school reports. This letter certainly brings it all back.”




Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

2 thoughts on “All for the best Pete (and Pete)

  1. http://www.aboutmyarea.co.uk/images/imgstore/47_hy8buvzyod.jpg
    what a delightful post from USA Pete and what memories it has brought back. I had a feeling with cardboard in my shoes, regular holes in my sleeveless jumper and constantly told by my ex serviceman teacher at my Buckland Junior school not to worry too much with my school work and too concentrate on keeping the sports kit tidy and regularly grease the footballs as school sports moniter (without a badge) I wasn`t destined for the elusive Southern Grammar with it`s uniform , brylcreem and know it all pupils or the Tech` School at Hilsea for the very clever people. Indeed on the day the 11 plus results were read out we were asked to stand if we had passed- two of us out of 34 remained seated – me with my oily cloth still in hand. It was off to Kingston Secondary Modern with it`s primitive old huts and an annexe in Penhale Road- I was grateful it wasn`t a school in Paulsgrove for future bricklayers. Oh the joys of metalwork making toasting forks and metal hammers with a looped handle- something I`ve never been able to call on in life. An initiation welcome when first attending from the local psycho who would delight in trying to ram your head down a toilet or head butt you – I believe young Barry D……….. is in a padded cell somewhere today. I have still got my science work book and a lot of use all that wasted time achieved- I fully understood most of our future M.P`s, Bosses, Captains of industry etc were way ahead of the likes of me being educated in Grammar Schools or in the Toffs School of learning with regular comfort from Matron with her regular toasted hot muffins and a comforting hand when needed. I left school at fifteen- My Mother insisted I had my hair scrubbed in the kitchen sink with Wrights Coal Tar Soap and off I went for an interview at WH Smiths in Portsmouth Railway Station . All my near four years of education culminated in a written exam – twenty minus six, what is half of eight, if I have twelve eggs and break seven then are given two how many do I have? thank you Kingston Modern for helping me cruise through with top marks. At the station I met the posh High School girls who travelled by train into the City so I learnt , quickly, to punch above my weight. Thankfully at sixteen my work colleague at Smith`s told me about the Birdcage and got me into buying records and dressing in the style of the times and I look back at that period as one of the best times of my life – I even attended the `Cage with Mr Allen himself!! so missing out on a better education wasn`t too bad and I am often grateful for being one of the “common people” who emerged from Buckland able to spell, read and speak properly

  2. Nice Pete. Amazing when you look back over a lifetime isn’t it . Funny enough some of the basics of the metal shop and wood work come into play with hobbies and of course DIY projects around the house. Of course at Copnor we had our fair share of psychos (most of them Teachers) and of course one of my classmates went on to find fame and fortune as MP for Portsmouth. If I remember correctly Mr. Hancock was a prefect and wore the coveted prefects badge. Glad to see he lived up to the Copnor boys traditions in later years. But many of the boys went on to better things like working for the Inland Revenue (Shudder) Of course had I not been at Copnor I would have not got friendly with Ray Baker and embarked on our musical adventures. Interestingly enough nearly all of the Furys went to Copnor Modern although in different years. Glad they canned that whole system and leveled the playing field a bit. (Oh Crap did I mention sports)

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