Ah what a wonderful place - avoided when you're in the second year in case those sixth formers get you, but you reach those hallowed heights what a great place. The sixth formers could be kind occasionally though - I remember Wendy Walker being thrown out of lessons next door on a regular basis when she was in the second year and while she was supposedly standing in the corridor she was being treated to cups of coffee from the common room kettle.

It had a record player....you could bring in albums like the Moody Blues - Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, or T Rex, or Alice Coopers Killer album and play them. And a radio....although it looked like a cooker. It is the metal object which Sally is sitting above on the right - I think she saw it as a chance to be on the radio.

We used to rush down to dinner and back to the common room to listen to the lunchtime broadcast of I'm sorry I'll read that again. This honed the sense of humour of a particular type of lunatic like Geoff Hunt, Brains and Steve Cross, (shown below decapitating a first year) and prepared us in some small way for the advent of Monty Python which took over all our lives for a while!

There's nothing funny about teapots???

And remember the craze for poker dice? It was like Las Vegas for a while and I found a set of very worn poker dice a while back - the coffee mugs were more often than not upside down covering dice rather than full of coffee. And then we were all barred from gambling and had to go back to playing bridge again, which was seen as relatively civilised compared with poker dice.

Tats remembers that famous cry of "Ooooohhhh laaads"! from Gren Gutteridge (whose job it was to stamp out this gambling craze) whenever he caught us in mid game. And I still remember upping people, which meant calling their bluff by "upping" the mug to expose what they'd got, so to speak! Tats had a good winning streak one week, much to Berts disgust. Bert showed his appreciation of such skilful play by lobbing a mug with a broken handle at him - he skill has the scar!

He also still has a scar caused by tripping over a car park chain outside my flat in the Victoria Centre around Christmas 1980/81 but that's another story!

And the radiator outside was where we sat to stare down the corridor and survey our territory, during lunch breaks. Pete Smith and I sat there for hours, mainly to see which girls would come wandering along as they always knew we'd be there. At the reunion a few years ago we sat on the hallowed spot again.....just to see which girls would come wandering along, and it felt just the same!

Yes, finally it was the last day of our school lives. It all ended very quietly of course. Just another working day. Well, apart from Hodgie, Hank and Mart sneaking into the teachers places in assembly dressed up as Misses Hodge, Hancock and Culley! They can be spotted trying to hide in the crowd below...I believe they have all grown up relatively normal so there was no harm done!

Also below are the sixth form hard at work in the common room preparing for their last day celebrations. As you can see they have obviously concentrated in their balloon work and funny hats classes!

Remember that this was the last year of the grammar school. I'm not quite sure what prompted the change to comprehensive when the grammar school system was producing such fine hardworking students as these. For example one of the specimens in the picture above obtained a first in Maths from Manchester University....luckily I believe we have now exported him to Belgium!

And a big thanks to Dave Matthews and Kath Clark for sending me these pictures.....if anyone else out there has any lurking around please send them to me!