Ah Geography - Fred Lee and Alan Ward of course...and if my memory serves me correctly didn't Miss Beecroft teach us geography in our early years?

How could you fail at geography with such perfect specimens of teachers behind you!! Fred is showing his trick of levitating the globe.....and I've no idea what Mr Ward is doing!!

The geography room was our form room for a while and in a perfect position for keeping an eye on everyone coming in and out for games. And it was a great method of communication - while we were supposed to be deciphering ordnance survey symbols we'd be writing messages to each other on an atlas in the desk and reading the messages which had been left for us....click on the small atlas's here to read our secrets.....

And who could forget the geography field course - High Close Field studies centre at Elterwater in the Lake District, 20th July 1972. Take a group of adolescent blokes, (mainly - with apologies to Sally and Kath who had to put up with us) and put them in a study centre where the intake of adolescent youth hostelling girls changes every two days, and see what happens! Below is the account of the trip which was published in the school magazine, written by Sally Withers and Kathleen Kirtley.

Let us begin by stating the fact that whatever motivation Mr Ward intended for this field course it was certainly not geography. Surprising phenomenons were revealed - Mr Ward's obsessions for milk (3 pints a day's the well balanced way) and porridge to satisfy his delicate stomach, for rainfall figures which he quoted gaily, and sadistic tendencies. Female superiority was clearly illustrated by the two girls present being the only members of the party to take advantage of the cold waters, despite horrified exclamations from the male community.

The hostel provided varying attractions ranging from the hostel warden to the quick turnover of female talent. These were indulged in with varying success. Food was never in demand as the more devious male members enjoyed numerous tactics to obtain disturbingly large quantities.

Langdale Pikes proved precipitous; thanks to Mr Wards delight in unusual routeways grappling for life on a 3,000 foot slope our zest for geography was stretched to the limit.

Saturday followed the route to Grasmere, which had already been insisted on by the two "keenos" (notably female) and where a geographical survey was carried out in the rain. All you sixth form walkers don't know the meaning of dampness!

Hellvellyn sorted the men from the boys. The pause rate averaged five minutes rest for every twenty steps and this was further handicapped by Dibbo, Lewy and Greg.

Stickle Tarn had many unforeseen occurrences - a common factor being Uncle Al. Firstly rebellion broke out in the footsore followers. Having been asked to inspect yet another tarn, we refused. Later Mr Ward insisted the quickest route was the low road, and the lads took the high road, and they got to Stickle Tarn half an hour afore us (much drier). Yet another attraction was provided by Swede (we are not prepared to reveal his true identity or his actions).

The Borrowdale volcanic system gave way to softer Silurian slates as we approached Hawkshead, heralded by such melodies as Barnacle Bill, The Frenchman went to the Lavatory, Dan Dan the Sanny Man, and Carolina, censored by our protective supervisor. He later took advantage of a 10 course meal while his compatriots indulged in their "sammies".

An incredible unprecedented discovery was made near Lake Windermere - graptolites and trilobules galore on our last day of research.

The sun came out to celebrate our departure, and with tear stained faces we made our last ever visit to Elterwater. Swede hobbled his last mile courageously, having been injured the day before, and we mounted the train undaunted. Although the journey was boring it was punctuated by snippets of information from our geographical genius, and cups of coffee from his endless generosity (females only).

Disembarking from the train feeling healthy and exuberant we could truthfully claim improved knowledge, particularly in the fields of rugby songs and personalities.

We would like to thank Mr Ward for this enlightening visit, which, in spite of our comments, helped our understanding of geography, and we sincerely hope we haven't dampened his enthusiasm for future field courses.

Of course speaking from personal experience I'm sure there weren't that many girls there. Although a list I found in an old diary did mention Susan and Maxine from Leeds, Gaye Caroline Johnson from Slough, June and Janet from Newcastle, Leeds Lulus(!),Mandy and Judy from Barrow, Penny and Alison of course, from Casterton school, Jo and Bernie from Manchester, Julie and Lea, the girl with the blue tinted sunglasses, Jill, Elaine, Diane, Slade and Island of Love (presumably that's what they had on their t shirt's not their names!), Kathy and Jane from North Wales, Donald Duck and her friend from London, Lea Moira and Deborah from London, Julie and June from Bury, Susan and Maxine......hmmm...OK maybe it was a good week after all!

The nicest of all these of course was Penny Harris from Casterton school (and sometimes Munich) who I wrote to for years afterwards...if you're out there Penny get in touch! Although Tats may vote for Alison from Blackpool who was hitching around the lakes with Penny, and Gaye Caroline Johnson gave Mop a shock when she popped up on national TV a few years ago!

Oh and Tats if you've still got that photo Alison sent you, post it to me so I can scan it in. I'll do you a deal and send back your copy of "Tears began to fall" which I've just found in my record collection after 25 years!