Saturday Morning Detention

Another brutal tradition, seemingly unique to Salvo was Saturday morning detention. To qualify, you just had to be late three times in the same week and that was it - Report to the library by 9.00 Saturday morning in full school uniform.

A few of us who had to rely on the H1 bus were, through no fault of our own, inveterate latecomers. Having had to attend Saturday morning detention, we decided enough was enough, something had to be done about the f*ck*ng H1 bus, it simply wasn't fair, etc, etc. So the following Monday after school we trooped up to the Harrow Observer to see if they could help us in our crusade.

Four of us arrived and were told that it would only take one to go upstairs and explain the H1 story to a reporter, and you can guess who got shoved up the stairs.

I explained to this thin, earnest, bearded man about how the failures of London transport were getting us into trouble and that if we were late three times, we got Saturday morning detention.

"Oh dear", he sympathised, "but what if you don't turn up?"

"Well, I don't know". I said, having never even considered this, "I suppose we'd get caned".

He thanked me for coming in and promised to do everything he could to get the H1 bus running more frequently.

The next edition of the Harrow Observer had the story splashed across the front page:

I nearly died, the reporter had twisted the story into a corrosive diatribe about the barbaric practices at the Salvatorian College. I don't think the H1 was even mentioned.

When I got to school, I wondered what barbaric practices would be awaiting me and sure enough, I was immediately sent to Crilly's office where the offending article lay spread across his desk.

"I didn't say any of those things" I blurted out, expecting instant expulsion and his reply surprised me.

"I know you didn't", he said "But if a small local paper will do that, can you imagine what the News Of The World would have done. Now always be careful when dealing with journalists."

On the way back to class, I thought that I might have done some good, that having unwittingly brought detail's of the school's brutal regime to a wider audience, they could be shamed into treating us a bit more leniently.

Did it make a blind bit of difference? Were canings and weekend detentions outlawed immediately?

Were they f**k.
(Paul Burke 73-80)

| Memories & Stories | HOME |