Once again it’s been a long while since my last post, but not as long ago as the last time I attended Ryefield Junior School in Hillingdon. I was just a little boy called Billy in those days. I attended the school from 1965 until 1970 up until I was 11 years old. I discovered this week that it is Ryefield School’s 50th birthday celebrations this year, I hadn’t appreciated that I was just one year older than the school. One year and three days to be precise as it opened on January 4th 1960. So how did I find out about this auspicious occasion? Well I have mentioned Ryefield in a previous post and the present Headmaster Mr Dodd was doing some research and chanced upon my blog. Serendipity huh?
Anyway it got me thinking about those good old school days and for me Infant and Junior School was so much more fun than Senior School. I will remember Ryefield for many things. But the two that spring to mind immediately are the wonderful headmaster from my days there, Mr Yates. I don’t know much about him other than the fact that to me he was a wonderful man and although I didn’t realise it at the time he was probably my first mentor from outside my family circle. He encouraged me to learn by reading and indeed writing too. I also loved all those mental arithmetic tasks he set. The second thing that is in my mind about those years is my first ever foreign trip. It was a school trip to Paris and it was my first ever flight too. One of the things we were asked to do was write a postcard on the first day to send back to our parents. I did write my postcard, but I left it in my case and gave it to my Mum and Dad when I came home. I can only assume that they weren’t too worried about me
And so on to the music, for that is the purpose of this little blog. And obviously todays choices are all school related, I hope you enjoy them and as usual your school song suggestions would be welcomed
Schools Out – Alice Cooper. OK I know this was an obvious choice, but it is good isn’t it. For me it was one of the defining moments of early 70s music television
Remember The Days Of The Old School Yard – Cat Stevens. Just how talented was this man? Still just as talented these days now he is known as Yusuf. I believe the additional female vocal on this track is Elkie Brooks. Linda Lewis also recorded an excellent cover of this song, although sadly I can’t find it on line
Teacher I Need You – Elton John. A classic slice of Elton and Bernie from the wonderful 1973 album ‘Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player’
Teach Your Children – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This is accompanied by a photo montage that shows the Iraq war through the eyes of children
Don’t Stand So Close To Me – Police. Written by a former teacher, Gordon Sumner aka Sting and probably the only lyric which manages to rhyme cough with Nabokov, albeit it rather clumsily! This is the original version which is so much better than the 1986 remake
Be True To Your School – Beach Boys. This one says it all really doesn’t it and with added cheerleaders too.
“Remember the Days of the Old School Yard” What drew me to this track was the fantastic female vocal by Elkie Brooks.
Thanks for your comment
I love the lyrics and the overall feel of the song and yes Ms Brooks puts in an excellent vocal counterpoint to Cat’s. I also love the Linda Lewis version of the song, I would also have included that in the post but I couldn’t find it on line.
Loving the vocal by Elkie Brooks !!!
the good old days,life was so simple then,yeah i remeber mr yates,and his fish tank outside his office,and mrs hopper the french teacher,and geting free milk,
thanks for the comment mate! Oh boy was life simple then and it never rained in the school holidays either did it?
I remember all you mentioned, but I had forgotten the fish tank, maybe you spent more time than me outside Mr Yates’ office 🙂
I remember John Yates most fondly, It was my first teaching post…Sept 1970. He was brilliant and supportive and I was very inexperienced and young, aged twenty, I can remember all the staff and many of the pupils ,too. They were very happy days and a great school. Richard Southall…..now a retired headteacher.
Richard thanks for the comment. I really loved my time at Ryefield. It’s a pity I missed you, I started at senior school in September 1970. I went to Bishopshalt, it may have been a good school but in my opinion it was never a patch on Ryefield. As for John Yates (I never knew his first name) there will always be a little part of who I am that came from him!
Hi…so many funny stories come back to me and one day I am going to try and call in on the school. Is there any chance that John Yates is still alive…I would love to see him…any ideas? Thanks Richard
Sadly I think he died a while ago. I’ll ask my Mum though, she still lives a stones throw from Ryefield 🙂