Miner's Blackout

Mrs McMahon , a 6'13'' Jean Brodie look-a-like, complete with cardigan and very sensible shoes. I think she taught English and 'French', though generally I didn't associate teachers with particular subjects (it didn't seem relevant at the time!).

Are you sitting comfortably? Good, I shall begin ...

During the Miners dispute, when the whole country was at the mercy of lightning strikes and blackouts, the lads (not noted for their interest in current affairs) suggested we (collectively) should have our own blackout. This involved throwing the four 'black' lads in our class 'out' the window on the first floor. Not as bad as it first seems as it left them 4 - 5 foot of canteen roof to stand on before they were in any danger of plummeting to the ground. This happened with such regular monotony while waiting for an R.E. lesson, that Fr. Eric on entering the class would see the four shadowy figures outside, through the frosted glass, and just say ... "let them in".

Well one day it started to rain very heavily and as their classmates ignored their pleas to open the windows and let them in they decided to walk along the canteen roof, to the next classroom, and try their luck there. Mrs McMahon opened the window and when asked if they could come in replied, "go away I am in the middle of a class" and promptly shut the window.

It beggars belief that a teacher wouldn't wonder why 4 young boys were standing on a narrow section of the canteen roof in the pouring rain!!!! I guess I knew then that all teachers weren't smart and all boys who passed their 11+ weren't angels.

Thank you for getting to the end.

P.S. For the politically correct, I doubt if there was an ounce of racist intention ... as we all know, at that age it just seemed funny.
(Colm Foley 71-78)

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