In loco parentis

I wonder what the founding fathers of Cheadle Hulme School,  Manchester, England, would have made of this. They adopted in loco parentis as the school’s motto in 1855. Latin for “in the place of a parent”, it refers to the legal responsibility of a person or organization to take on some of the functions and responsibilities of a parent. Originally derived from English common law, it allows institutions such as colleges and schools to act in the best interests of the students as they see fit.

I don’t wish to to labour the point, and I promise not to reinforce it with yet another clip from the film ‘Kes’ but here is another example of the kind of every day lunacy which was typical of my secondary schooldays.

First day at our new secondary school, St. Wilfrid’s. New stiff uniforms, new classes with lots of new faces. Eagerness, trepidation. All our eyes are fixed on our new form teacher Mr. Bradley as he takes the register for the first time.

“William …. William Walsh?”

“I like to be called Billy, Sir.”

Bradley stares at him and begins to froth at the mouth.

“Do you now? Well, I’d like to be called George Best and have all the money and birds he has, but I can’t can I, lad?”

As the Spanish say “Loco comó una moto” which roughly translates as “Mad as a box of frogs”

© Andy Daly 2012

Thanks to Mark for reminding me of this

Trainer Wars: Round One

An old schoolmate has just told me that Mr. O’Riordan, the former Headteacher of St. Wilfrid’s the Middle School we both attended in Rochdale died at the weekend. He’d been suffering from Altzheimer’s for some time.

I must say, I wasn’t over-keen on him, especially since the day in 1972 he ‘slippered’ me with a size 9 Dunlop Green Flash tennis shoe. For once, I was innocent of all charges (That we’d shouted obscenities at the pitch on which a match was being played as we passed one lunchtime) I hadn’t done it. I was out of the sightline of the arresting officer/teacher anyway. I was guilty by association. My only crime was to think it was cool to hang around with a bunch of ne’rdo – wells and villains.

I didn’t realise I was being beaten with a ’70s ‘Design Classic’ at the time. I suppose that in itself was reason enough for a good battering. Come to think of it, this was probably the first ‘muscle-flexing’ of those companies whose battles for superiority in the ‘Great Trainer Wars’ of the 80’s and 90’s took place in every school playground in the country. My guess is that the late John O’Riordan was being paid a tidy sum by Puma to always make sure he ‘leathered’ pupils with a Dunlop Green Flash. The spectacle was organised so that the quaking miscreants were given plenty of opportunity to view their particular instrument of torture (and its distinctive logo) before the prolonged attack. Product-placement in reverse, I suppose. Accordingly the Head at the next school down the road was being paid by Dunlop to always make sure he ‘tanned their little backsides’ with Mitre boots and shoes and so on ….

There’s a lot more to marketing than meets the eye, you know.

© Andy Daly  2010