Strange how you are thrown back in time by a name or photo on Facebook. Erica Cowie put up a picture of a a group of folk on the back stairs of the Hex at Bankhead Academy and then a comment was made about the smell – and I was back there, half my life ago. You know you’re getting old when neither your Primary school or Secondary is still in existence!
When I think back to my school days I honestly don’t remember that much. There are moments but a lot of it is fuzzy. I remember Ricky McKinnon getting a bollocking from Mrs Tyson in English because he kept getting the giggles and was crying with laughter; the Dinodisc where Greigsy, now of Northsound fame, played The Shamen, N-Trance and for some reason the Joseph Megamix on repeat every Friday lunchtime; Mannie Addison hanging out his office window with his pipe even after smoking was banned ad shouting abuse at everyone who passed; Lunchtimes in Music with Junior, Worsley, Lightbulbs and co making up terrible songs and harmonies and getting into trouble from Mannie Ward for the noise and running about – little moments.
Bunkheid was a strange place because it was in three bits: The original granite building, The Hex (a strange piece of 1960s architecture) and the maths block that looked like the most recent part. The Hex was the hub of the school because it had the canteen, the Dinodisc and the library to hang about in. It was a bizarre open plan building which often led to capers aplenty with Mannie Grieves when you were in humanities – running in and out of the upper lecture theatre by the back door as he went round the front way – hours of fun. Not for him the poor sod. I still remember Duncan, Craig and Darren buying him a bag of toiletries for Christmas when were in second year mostly because he didn’t look after himself well and him losing the rag with them – they thought it was nice, if funny, but “greasy” Grieves got Gus the feared Mr Angry from Senior Management up to have a word with the boys. It took all our strength not to kill ourselves laughing that day.
It wasn’t a well off area but we all had a good laugh at the school and Mannies Ward and Addison did a great job of putting on school shows. My favourite one I remember had me and Erica in Wizard of Oz in the first scene as Aunt Em and Uncle someone (memory really is f*cked) before we turned into the good witch and the Wizard in the second half. The lovely Heather was Dorothy, sadly lost to Cancer a few years ago now, and Bryan, Steve and Simon as the three friends she met along the way. We did a few more shows including Gayle, Lisa and Emma’s original “If Only”, Aladdin the Panto with Beefy T as the Dame and Bugsy Malone with splurge gun mayhem. I think they were the highlight of my time at school.
Having gone back there as a teacher it was strange because some of the faces were still the same in the Staff Room – Maltin, Palmer, Bolton, Mitchell, Marvin, Vissochi and Duncan were all still there. The smells and corridors were the same too but it didn’t feel right without the same faces I’d been there with as a pupil. While I was far from popular or cool I did have a good laugh at school and whenever someone posts up a picture from the early 90s with the Hex in the background or of our ill-fated common room that saw the tragic explosion of the settee one afternoon at the hands (and feet) of Chris and Mike as well as constant fights over the music that was played (Nicole always wanting Mariah and Wayne wanting Indie if I remember rightly) a smile comes back as you remember all the faces.
Folk that I’d gone through Primary and Secondary with that I only really hear of on Facebook these days are all doing well by the looks of things – don’t really know how well all the old friendships held up over the last 15/20 years. They say your school days and your teenage years are the best of your life – which I don’t really agree with – but I know that there will always be names and faces like Yvonne, Tracey, Serena, Leanne, Arlene, Emma, Marsha, Hazel, Fiona, Julie, Jacqueline, Karen, Catriona, Ron, Graham, James, Wills, Dunc, Wayne, Steven, Andy, Mike, Alan, Gary, Neil and others that will stay with me from Bucksburn through to Bankhead. Strange how as time passes you spend more time looking back at your younger years almost trying to hold some sense of continuity to things – yet it doesn’t seem like the same person typing this as it was then.
Hope everyone is doing well. Maybe one day someone will pull us together again at a reunion when we’re all grey and old.