Mrs Slack was an evil witch. She had a pointy witches nose, a pointy witches hat, fires of hate in her eyes and a really stern approach to children. I think she was one of the last vestiges of an educational age long passed. Rumours were abound that she kept her husband in a cupboard in the bathroom and she shat ice cubes. Mrs Slack's task was to teach cursive writing and to ensure our reading was well and truly up to scratch. Her class room had a greening fishtank with the school goldfish in and a two little doors. One which lead into the haunted class room and the other into the "corridor-that-nobody-must-enter" (ctnme). What was in the CTNME was anyones guess but Guy McCauley swore blind he saw people go in and never come back.
My age as golden boy had faded. Mrs Slack saw that I would become brown lumpy poo boy before the end of her spell as form teacher. She fiercely would not accept any of my work as excellent and 90% of my work books had not only nice blue cursive writing but the nasty red pen scratchings of Mrs Slack. My work was not good enough for her. It wasn't long before anything that went wrong in class was pointed out to be my fault. Anything at all. It was me that fed the goldfish Karla Smiths lunch; It was me that had taken her pens; I was the one that couldnt keep quiet in class. Me. Only it wasnt me. Unless I'd changed my name to David "My Dad is a School Governor so the sun shines out of my fucking arse" Griffiths. Ok I admit it was me that scribbled candle wax all over one of my maths books in a fit of rage for being sent to the haunted classroom for something I hadnt done. But anything else. It was not me.
My parents were concerned about my standard of work and why I was constantly getting bad marks. They would often pop in to see Mr McBride and Mrs Slack to discuss, behind closed doors, my attitude to work and behaviour. What wicked lies Mrs Slack made up about me I have no idea but I do know that Mrs Slack would put on the "I'm a lovely teacher really" act in other peoples presence thus making me out to be the liar she said I was. Nasty bitch.
Of course the other kids also picked up on this and used it to the full. I can recall no break or lunch time that didn't involve some sort of incident. As if to rub salt in the wounds, one break time I was quietly crossing the playground when Peter McBride (the youngest son of the headmaster) "accidentally" threw a jam jar lid in my direction. The jam jar lid flew straight into my right eye. Of course nobody would believe me and a cover up took place; but I knew what had happened. Years later people were to ask me "Why didn't I do anything about it?" and "Why don't you try and get compensation?" but with no "willing" witnesses and a false reputation as being a tall story teller I doubted anything would have happened if I had tried. Furthermore, an incident with one of the dinner ladies where I was accused of assaulting the old dear and my fiery and violent orange colouring induced temper would darken that reputation.
So when July approached and with it the promise of moving to a new building, I was more than glad to see the back of the evil witch that, for no reason other than spite, set me up for a further 7 years of torment. Moreover, that summer also brought with it a school trip to the Isle of Man with the kids from the year above. It was there that further bullying took place and I made several abortive attempts at trying to escape back to the mainland on my own. I was starting to hate school.
Next issue:- Mr "I cannot control these children" Poland and the trip to the Treak Cliffe Caverns.