Early Education Part 4

April 17, 2007 at 12:52 pm 3 comments


Grammar School – the Teenage Years

The Grammar School for Boys which I attended was a very different world from that of Junior School. Apart from one or two of the teachers and staff it was a male dominated environment. A world of boys and of men. Situated between Birmingham’s Asian quarter of Soho and the West Indian quarter of Handsworth, the school was still strangely dominated by a white, middle-class teaching and pupil population. But for sure, black and Asian kids were a lot more prevalent than they had been back in  Erdington.

Grammar School was a world of strict discipline, rules, detentions, being sent to the Headmaster, the cane, and of Prefects. In the ranking of punishments, Prefects were the most feared and second only to being expelled.

Grammar was a world of sports and of academic excellence, good manners, and of tradition. It was a time of selection and streaming (putting the brightest kids in the best classes). It was a time of school uniform and of standing when a teacher entered the room and of placing chairs on top of desks at the end of the day. Grammar was a world which displayed prefect stripes, and coloured sporting badges. A world with a House System, school colours, bullying, fighting, and testosterone. It was a world where boys were men, or, they were failures and victims. Like the public schools of old, it was a place which produced leaders (of industry at least). Many a Middle Manager came from its ranks.

Testosterone. Fill a school with 700 boys aged between 11 and 18 and you get a heady mix of flatulence, pimples, acne and hormones. There was just a handful of female teachers, the school secretary, and one lab assistant, the occasional student teacher (usually French!). Some of these were past it or downright ugly. The others were the subject of many a hormonal schoolboy’s infatuation and frantic masturbation at some point. And, do you know, I suspect they knew it…..and, some of them probably enjoyed that knowledge.

A number of these “femmes fatales” had a distinct sexual mythology built or constructed around them. Take Miss M, the art mistress. Many would have like to. She was pretty, with a good figure, and a wardrobe full of tight-fitting and short outfits. There was a rumour that she never wore any knickers. That she went commando and would lure young boys into her storeroom cupboard. I spent many an art lesson with my eyes locked on Miss M’s crossed legs, hoping for an uncrossing of Kenny Everet proportions. None ever came. On one occasion she did actually call me into the storeroom. I was very excited. I was 11 (or 12, or 13) and I was terrified. I was in Miss M’s infamous storeroom. Gulp.

She stood on a chair and leaned up somewhere high to pass something down to me. She did this in a “suggestive” manner. She had really great legs and a good body. It did cross my mind that this might be a come on and that I was supposed to slide my hand up that leg and touch a trembling thigh. But I didn’t, thankfully. I was all too aware of the growing erection in my trousers. Trousers which all too soon would have to return to the classroom and the attentive eyes of boys who knew the goings-on in Miss M’s storeroom.

Another probable urban myth about Miss M involved a homework which she set to “draw your favourite teacher”. The story goes that one boy submitted a headless cut-out torso of a topless page-3 model onto which he had sketched a passing resemblance of Miss M’s head and for which he received a mark of 10 out of 10……and what else we wondered.

Another Miss M myth involved sightings of Miss M in a lesbian clinch with Ms T (note the “Ms”!). This took place during a sports day. They were sat together in Ms T’s mini-cooper. But, I must admit I do have a recollection of seeing this with my own eyes. I am not sure if the memory is real, but it remains a memory nonetheless. Happy days…happy thoughts…..happy nights.

Ms T taught biology. She was one of the younger teachers. She was blonde, buxom, very buxom, with a tendency towards erectile nipples that would protrude through button-stretching tight tops, and skirts that would ride up sufficiently to expose a firm, shapely thigh when seated. She was sexy! I used to sit front right whenever I could in biology, being at the best angle to admire a thigh and catch a glimpse of bra, always hopeful that an over-worked button would succumb, pop, and yield even more treasures. It never did, unfortunately. Sigh.

Testosterone. Christ, I even used to think Frau W, veritable witch, teacher of German and my fifth form mistress, had great legs, and she must have been 50 if she was a day. Max Mosely would have liked her. Maybe it was the way she insisted we called her “Frau” with its clearly sado-masochistic undertones. More likely it something to do with the fact that double German last thing on a Friday afternoon usually involved the secret passing around of pocket-sized porno books and not much German reading……….although some were in German. Actually, it was as simple as being 16, sex-obsessed, she was female, there……and she did have good legs.

In fact, Frau W was the closest I got to having sex with a teacher. Twice. There was one clear near miss when I must have been taken ill at school and for some reason Frau W took me home. This is probably completely against the rules of today when teachers are advised not to be alone with pupils for fear of accusations and legal cases. She had a sporty little two-seater and a short skirt and I stared at those two legs all the way home and felt much better for it. The closest was when she kissed me. I was 18. She actually kissed me. She took my head in her hands and kissed me on the lips. She did this in the middle of Quadrangle (no playground in a man’s school), in front of everyone. Yeeucchh! But this was not sex. This was a “reward” for gaining my place at Oxford…..and maybe an apology for having accused me of cheating in my German mock “O” level exam. Co-incidentally, I had used the previous year’s O-Level paper to revise for my mock exam the following Christmas. Consequently, I got a very high mark and much higher than my term work would have indicated. She accused me of having cheated. I thought I was just showing initiative. No worries. I got my A in the real thing in any case…….


Entry filed under: childhood memories, middleman, School. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Early Education Fighting

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Home Improvement Land  |  August 17, 2007 at 4:50 am

    This is very nice and informative post. I have bookmarked your site in order to find out your post in the future.


  • 2. Home Improvement Journal  |  August 17, 2007 at 8:16 am

    Thanks for sharing this information. Really is pack with new knowledge. Keep them coming.


  • 3. AC  |  December 16, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you for bringing back the memmories. I used to live in Handworth (Victoria Road) and was very familiar with the school. My brother went there (I went to a comprehensive school in Balsall Heath). My vice headmaster – Mr. Robert Fulton – then moved on to become the Principle of Handsworth Grammer School. Prior to him – I believe it was Mr. Gegenheim (spelling?).

    Thank you for bringing back the memmories.



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