1952 until 1957 that was the time. I soon realised that no matter, T Craske Rising knew our names, every one of the 400 of us. He could recognise, 'Venables back foot hoofing it around the corner'. It was a time, as I was also very much into Jennings and Billy Bunter on the radio. Mr Rising and I got fairly well acquainted eventually. I continued the tradition of getting into scrapes; I have now remembered an accident of great consequence. Two fellow pupils were thrashing it out violently in the hut. Ernie Guard [Mathematics teacher, genius and good all round guy] was off sorting some equipment. Being the noble idiot that I was, I tried to stop these two from wrecking the place and damaging each other. In the process, my left hand was sliced in the window glass literally as if it had been in a meat wheel. To say it bled was like saying the Niagra flowed. Tom Petters was the man of the moment, tied my wound up, and did all the necessary. My father was called in and he was none to pleased with me ... what do you wanna do that for? Somewhat the way he spoke to my mother when she dropped a plate. I was taken to the Outpatients at the hospital; needless to say they knew me there, very well, no cards, my name date of birth and blood group, common knowledge. Sister McCarthey, what a star she was, sort of a surrogate auntie. C'mon Raymond, what have you done this time? It finally healed after a fashion, and I have the scar now. Isn't it nice to have something to write in that box ... any distinguishing marks? As Tom Petters [Physics Master - also a remarkable man with a good sense of humour] hmmm, stupid boy, with great accent on the 'b'. We had some brilliant teachers who were with two exceptions good people. I do remember Pop Whiteman [geography - he had a perpetual drip on his nose, hence his nickname Drippy, but he was a fine gentleman, knew his stuff, all round knowledge, none of this specialised rubbish], Mr Hogg was our history man, and absolute gentleman and so full of knowledge it dripped down the corridor. Mr Tregenza was a French teacher in my later years [after Jeff Munro, all round good egg and madman], I remember him for his sense of humour and his teaching, as well as his 'think its funny boy? get to the back of the room, eh, eh? we had a system of conduct marks and merit marks. Get ten of the conduct and it was off tosee Mr Rising and select your cane. The swish of that cane was not a welcome sound. As a final insult it was given on The Balcony. For all to see. A smile from the secretary sometimes helped. Bung Waller was not a man easily forgotten. The chemi-lab [Chemistry Laboratory] was fitted with a giant desk and a roll down chalk board, as well as the lengths of desks for us lads. He was always quite upset at the use of words like stopper or cork, insisting 'Bung, boy!!' That is what he became. He was an absolute corker of a bloke. Like a favourite mad uncle. He would set upan experiment in a smoke chamber. It would stop ... hm... not supposed to do that... opens the door and of course the oxygen starts the system going and the room is full of fumes, mass exit stage left followed by a bear .... As for Doffy [Donald Behenna] the poor man was a musical genius and he was lumbered with this band of incompetent recorder players to teach. How he survived us I will never know. Absolute Patience. He never gave up on us. Those men gave me all the tools I needed on top of those I had learned from my grandparents. I feel very lucky. Incidentally my acquaintance with T Craske was not all at the end of a length of bamboo, I got it when it was deserved, admittedly. But I was often accused of being HM's pet, plain fact was he appreciated my help and my search for knowledge.