Hi Degs again,
Just been away on the south coast for a few days, but now back to the grind stone. It reminds me of Mirfield, mucking out pigs, collecting hens’ eggs and even killing chickens for feast days.
Who can remember preparations for Parents’ Day? All the corridors had to be cleaned, polished with big concrete bumpers, even hanging out three stories up with rag in one pocket and bottle of windowlene in the other!
Speaking of Parents’ Days, there was always that sense of excitement when families would come to visit, but also on some occasions a sense of disappointment when boys whose parents couldn’t make it would have to serve high tea to the lads with their families, as I did on several occasions. Then there was always the joy of helping father Wade with the vegetable garden, or when he was made bursar and, on his return from one of his several shopping trips, helping him unload his little van full of either food supplies or such strange, miscellaneous pieces of equipment as ex- MOD boxing gloves, javelins, medicine balls and gymnastics horses etc! The following few weeks would then be taken up with groups of boys practicing boxing, but not quite with the marquis of Queensbury rules, resulting in several epic bouts! One that sticks in my mind would be me and Brian Gardner.
The javelins were surplus to requirement as I can remember manufacturing spears out of kitchen knives and broom shanks, which resulted in Nicki Wilson getting a six inch carving knife through his leg! A trip to the infirmary followed with Nicki screaming, “He’s hit an artery, I’m going to die!”
Hope this stirs a few memories, I will write a bit more when I get a bit of time.
Hi, to those who know me I’m Degs to those who don’t I’m Kevin Deignan, ex seminarian old boy of Mirfield junior seminary. Having attended several reunions in the past I feel that it is time that I begin to put some thoughts and memories down in writing. These can be added to, criticised, commented on and if need be corrected, but hopefully enjoyed.
What I am hoping to achieve from this blog is to find out why our experiences at Mirfield created such a unique bond that year after year people who have not met for several decades come from the four corners of the UK, and even further afield, to reminisce and catch up. I am especially interested in people’s experiences from outside my year group and the experiences of those who were there at the last gasps of Mirfield.
I was recruited from St Patrick’s Parish in Felling, Gateshead in 1966/67. The promise of endless games of football, Duke of Edinburgh award schemes and a display of shields and spears persuaded me that this would be a good life choice. On receiving the vast list of things that I should be supplied with including: 12 pairs of underpants, several pairs of socks, sheets, pillow cases, plimsolls, football boots, scores of handkerchiefs etc. my Mother dispatched me with a least half the required amount!
My years at Mirfield were the transitional years from strict dress code and crocodile lines up to Hearts head post office and Robertstown shops where we were made to stand outside and enter two at a time to spend our weekly allowance to disappearing to Bradford ice rink on a Saturday night or hitch hiking to Bolton Abbey for the weekend. For those of us who occupied Mirfield at this time we will remember what a weird and wonderful, if sometimes slightly scary, experience this was. Academia was not my strong point and my 3 O’Levels of English, Biology and of course Religious Knowledge will testify to this. However, the life skills that I acquired whilst there have stood me in good stead. The teaching methods at times could be unorthodox but were always entertaining, who could forget Rory Hicks burning the skin off the palms of his hands whilst demonstrating that phosphorus will burn in oxygen, which is a chemical change and not a physical change! (Phosphorus once burnt forms phosphorus oxide). Mirfield made Hogwarts look quite tame if I think back at some of the things we used to get up to. It would be nice to hear from any ex old boys to share our tales of Mirfield. P.S. the film and book rights belong to me.