"So, what did you get up to during the half-term break?"

via Instagram http://instagr.am/p/WFkMq2Dzpd/
Well, it began with the trip to London mentioned a couple of posts below. After the highs experienced at the Band Night in school the previous night (I must congratulate the pupils on their performances. For such a small secondary school we have an amazing bunch of talented, enthusiastic young musician performers), it was nice to be able to reward those that came with us the next day to London for the energy and enthusiasm with which they entertained parents, staff and fellow pupils the night before. Special mention, by the way, to the Head, Mr. Lickley, and all the other staff who at the last moment decided to join the staff "Ukelele Orchestra" on stage as backing vocalists for their renditions of "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Bad Moon Rising".
I hope to put up a few photos from the event once we get back to school and I get hold of them from our pupil photographer. For now, here's a pic of our musicians aged 14-16 yrs. that we took to London (British Music Experience -history of British popular music at the O2 arena - ex-Millenium Dome, and London Philharmonic Orchestra concert at the Royal Festival Hall).
After being helped on the Monday of half-term by some volunteer pupils to clear the Hall where we had the Band Night and bring equipment back to the Music Block, it was time to attack the 22 bedrooms and 4 floors of our community house which we need to prepare for our departure and the closure of our community this coming July/August (and our move to our Liverpool community).
So, a skip was hired and a scrap metal trader contacted. 3 days later, the top floor rooms were cleared of unwanted old furniture, accumulated junk, etc... and the skip was nearly full. Today (Saturday) we finally filled the skip with more stuff from the top floor and a few other rooms. Yesterday, I went to visit an old friend in Bristol, but that will be for another post...
During this clear out I came across photos, documents, journals and other archive material belonging to Brothers whom I had known as a pupil at the school back in the 80s and as a young Brother n the 90s: Bros. Gregory Casey ("Grogs"), Austin O'Donnell ("Golf ball") and Paul O'Brien ("Crippen") in particular. All were tremendous characters, indeed mavericks, and would be lost in today's red tape/assessment/accountability-obsessed world of teaching. Fortunately, the mavericks still exist. They just have make sure they also do the necessary jumping-through-hoops and box-ticking to keep the Ofsted inspectors happy.
I've already scanned in a few photos of Bro. Gregory (about whom I've already written on here - a hero of mine) and intend to share a few with some other archive photos I've come across that show Brothers and pupils together going back 50, 60, 70 or more years ago.
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