Like I mentioned in the previous episode I went to bed and knew I had avoided a serious beating from the deputy head, Phil.
I went straight to sleep when I got into bed despite the noise and confusion from the dorm room.
I think a big part of this was the adrenaline leaving my body. What had happened to the other boys and the hiding out in the cold had all come to an end and my body was forcing me to sleep.
I woke up in the morning feeling fully rested and feeling like I could run a marathon.
Then a huge thought of dread popped up in the back of my mind regarding Phil.
Phil was a proper vindictive horrible little weasel and there was not a chance in hell that he would let something like this go.
This was especially true after he had given the four boys a beating the night before.
People like Phil make me sick and I honestly believe that they get a kick out of hurting children.
Many people who are complete failures in life take on the role of a teacher as they feel it is an easy option.
My suspicions were right and something told me to look out the window.
My classmates were still fast asleep and I was the only one looking out of the billet window and right on cue, I saw Phil leaving the teachers accommodation.
He was striding towards my billet full of purpose and had probably been lying in bed fuming that he hadn’t beat me like the others.
Vermin like this never think what they are doing is wrong they see it as a personal insult towards them and they have to feel in control again.
This is likely why people like Phil have difficulty maintaining an erection so they look at less conventional methods.
Soon enough he’s meters away from the billet and he sees me looking out the window
He was smiling at me but not in a positive manner and I had a fair idea of what was coming and it was nothing good.
He was level with the door and about to open it and then a miracle happened.
Just before Phil burst into the accommodation Miss Hughes slipped into the dormitory about one second before him.
Phil was surprised and tried to get rid of Miss Hughes insisting that it was his turn to wake up the boys.
Miss Hughes told him how excited the boys were for today and that’s why she was here in person to wake us up.
I was watching them chat for a few minutes and one thing became clear and that was Phil hadn’t told anyone about what had happened the night before.
This was a good thing as all I had to do now was avoid him for the next couple of days or not be in a position where I am alone with him and then I will be safe.
We all got up and went to breakfast and I sat at a table away from the teachers.
Then before we were to start our day’s activities we were told we were all in for a treat.
We would be in charge of the Colomendy weather station.
We all got to this fenced-off area excited as this had been built up more than the Star Wars prequels.
We were let in and given special notepads and within a minute we were all bored to tears.
The same guy who gave us our welcome briefing showed us around with the same enthusiasm as if he was showing off the Mars Rover.
It’s hard to describe how awful this was and there was nothing technical about this weather station whatsoever.
There were tubs out with measurements on the side so we could measure rainfall and there was a weather vane so we could see what direction the wind was blowing.
There were a lot of other devices but I feel that describing them all in detail is a good way for me to lose readers.
Even the best of writers couldn’t make this sound exciting.
As we were leaving and recording the data I thanked Miss Hughes for showing me and she answered me very excited saying oh we are going to come here every day.
Yayy lucky me the gods were really looking out for me this week.
Later picked up our gear as we were going horse riding that day and I made sure that I was in a separate group from Phil.
The lads who had been given the beating were still a little shaken up and they were keeping their distance from him as well.
Phil was bouncing around the teachers like Vic Makey as it’s not every day you get to lay down a beating like this and maybe tonight he would have the courage to talk to a real girl.
We all got on our horses and I remember mine was called Korky and we went along this long trail.
We spent most of the day out on the horses and stopped halfway to have our packed lunch.
The packed lunch wasn’t anything special like the food but up in the mountains I seemed to be hungry all the time and there was not a lot of choice in the days before the internet or mobile phones.
We made our way back to camp and handed in our gear and I had avoided all contact with Phil.
I marked this down as another victory and after watching a video in the break room we all went to bed exhausted from the day’s activities.
The next day would be an absolute nightmare but on the schedule, it sounded very innocent.
We would be going on a nature ramble and we would be out for the day.
It was a ten-mile hike through the mountains and when you’re born in the city and used to driving everywhere you’re not used to this especially at nine.
We got our packed lunches and as normal nobody wanted the fruit and Colin Griffiths for some reason took everyone’s oranges off them.
He must have been carrying at least twenty oranges as well as his own gear and we all thought he was crazy.
Colin became everyone’s best mate on the hike as we all started to die.
The genius in charge of the packed lunches had given us a can of Rola Cola each and the day was quite warm.
Anyone old enough to remember Rola cola was either born in the 80s or has spent time in the Infantry.
If you were not given range stew and they brought you sandwiches instead on a range day they always would have cans of Rola Cola for the lads.
Now in my earlier blogs, I spoke in detail about Wimpy burger and how it tasted like disappointment.
Well, it’s like the creator of Wimpy wanted the drink equivalent of this and put all his effort into Rola.
You cant even buy Rola in service stations anymore unlike Wimpy but one mile in and we had all demolished our cans and we were slowly walking up this nature pass.
We would then walk up a mountain called Moel Famau and then walk back which all in was a total of ten miles.
Three miles in and everyone was suffering and nobody was happy.
If we had sufficient water it wouldn’t have been so bad but the whole operation was planned by idiots so we were suffering big time.
Colin Griffiths saved the say and I must have had 4 oranges off him.
Many of the lads were suffering but didn’t like fruit I was happy to take what I could get.
We were told there was a fish and chip shop at the top of Moel Famau and without realising I was being fucked over I remember thinking to myself
I wonder where the profit would be having a chip shop at the top of a mountain.
We pressed on and all you could hear was groaning and the occasional scream.
Many of the children had ended up ankle-deep in cow shit and there were a few who had fallen in it. We were all close to snapping and everyone was having a serious sense of humour failure.
I remember about halfway up I was talking to my teacher Peter Gribbon and he went flying headfirst. I grabbed him quickly and luckily it took most of the impact of the fall away.
He was putting a brave face on things and even he was starting to get pissed off with it as well.
We got to the top and the way we were acting you would think we had just taken Mount Tumbledown.
Then after a couple of minutes we all realised we had been fucked over as there was no chip shop there was fuck all for us and we were all more disappointed in ourselves for being fucked over in this way.
After about twenty minutes of rest and another orange off Colin we started to make our way down the hill and back to the accommodation and none of us wanted to be outside anymore.
We walked back and we stopped about 2 miles away from camp and we were next to a pub named We Three Loggerheads.
We stopped for ages and all of us started to seize up from both dehydration and not being used to walking like this.
Chris Farmakis, Peter Rowe, Andy Edgar, Trev Steel, a couple of others, and I ventured into the pub.
We figured that after the walk we had earned a glass of coke each and we all got off the hill and went inside.
We got our cokes and sat down on some comfy chairs and started to relax and I heard a load of shouting and screaming from outside.
Phil had come inside going ballistic because we were drinking glasses of coke.
He turned his attention to me and I got the brunt of his bollocking but what made it worse is none of us could see what the problem was.
We were ten meters away from our classmates we were tired and wanted a glass of coke.
The way he was acting it was as if he had just caught us with balaclavas and a rape kit.
He couldn’t stress enough how it was all down to me and he couldn’t trust me and nobody was arsed which made it a lot worse.
At this point, I was too tired to care and he was too tired as he couldn’t run a bath let alone walk up a mountain and he was still exhausted from beating up the kids the night before.
We got back to camp and had an evening meal and everyone slept like dead men that night. Including Phil.
He never tried to get me alone again as he had calmed down but anytime there was a school trip he would make me get off the bus last and tell everyone it’s because he couldn’t trust me.
Oddly enough he didn’t turn any kids against me and he was mind blown by this.
A couple of days later we all went canoeing together and like many of my classmates, I was running out of clothes to wear.
I was assured that we would be ok and just wear the same clothes that I was going to wear for the disco that night.
We all got into the river and within an hour most of us had ended up in the water.
I was fuming as I had nothing to wear for the disco that night now.
We all came back in after a good day on the river but I had to improvise something to wear tonight and fast.
I went through my dirty clothes which were luckily not wet and when I had finished I looked like I worked in an Eastern European car wash.
Luckily the disco was right up there with Wimpy and Rola Cola and was disappointing at best.
I was a bit gutted though as I thought I could have a slow dance with Phil.
The next day we all climbed on the coaches and made our way home.
Overall it was a good trip for me and I knew I was on Phil’s shit list but I had lived to fight another day.
When the lads got home they all reported Phil to the headmaster Mr. Owen and every one of them brought their parents up to the school to complain about what happened.
Apparently, four independent witnesses all saying a teacher had assaulted them and backing up each other’s story was not enough to warrant an investigation.
Mr. Owen went out of his way to cover for Phil and even told the parents that the boys were always telling lies in school and this was just the tip of the iceberg.
Many of the parents sided with Mr. Owen and came to the conclusion well they must have done something.
Phil never learned from his mistakes and he physically assaulted many other children in his time.
Michael Kerfoot and Peter Keen were both punched in the stomach full force by him in the library and then he slapped them both hard across the back of the legs.
What’s more worrying is that Mr. Owen was always ready to cover for him which makes me wonder what kind of dirt they had on each other.
Then next year Phil was awarded teacher of the year and was all of the newspapers.
He also was awarded a cheque for about twenty grand which went a lot further back then.
He was not content with this and noticed that Woolton was winning all of the football competitions and it wasn’t right because the girls didn’t have a team.
None of the other schools could generate enough interest for a girls team and neither could ours.
So in all his wisdom, he took out half of the seasoned players who were winning titles and put girls into their positions.
None of the girls had played before and none of the other teams copied him so within a few months Woolton was at the bottom of all the leagues.
Then most of the lads got tired of losing and left the team as well.
This all happened a couple of years after we left and Phil was seen as a Visionary for destroying a winning team.
Phil left Woolton a few years later finished off his career in St Helens where he was from and finally got a Headmaster position.
In his last year, he faced criminal charges for large-scale fraud for misappropriation of the school’s money and funds.
He was suspended for a year on full pay and then unfortunately there was not sufficient evidence to charge him with any crime.
He retired in 2013 at 60 years old and still lives in the St Helens area.
I wish he had been convicted and that he had put his hands on me as then I would be happy to put his real name and the newspaper article to his investigation and it could not happen to a nicer guy.
The buses pulled into Woolton and mum was there ready to pick me up.
I was so pleased to be home and even more pleased when I found out we were having lamb chops for tea.
It had been an interesting trip but I was glad to be home as were all of the other kids.