Saturday, 25 September 2010

Praeludium to Number Seven (posted 22/05/2010)

Before I talk about my next subject, it is worth considering the subject of Public Work at Ushaw.
I was never very good at any form of sport: in Underlow I made the Second Eleven in football - we lost - and I never again made it onto a school team.  In a game of cricket, my idea of defending my wicket against a fast bowler, like Lawrie Lister (Leeds diocese), was to move away from the crease, point the bat at where I thought the ball might be, and hope for the best!  All the same, in the early years, from Underlow until High Figures, playing sports was compulsory.  The year Minor would publish a list of those to play each day in whatever sport was in season, and that was it  - you played, like it or not.
However, I think it was in Big Lads that sport became voluntary.  The alternative was either to go for a walk or to do Public Work.
The concept of Public Work is obvious; I cannot remember which professor was in charge of Public Work, but I did a lot of it.  I did all forms of gardening, bee-keeping, tree-lopping, and so on.  If 'elf-an-safety had been invented in those days, then Public Work would have been banned!  Obviously, those of us who did Public Work took care, but we used ladders, grass-cutters, scythes, and other tools without too much anxiety; I finished up in Divines working on the golf course and did a major job putting a new engine into the tractor - how I got away with that, without hurting myself and destroying the tractor, I am not sure.  Anyway, I enjoyed Public Work!
My next Photo Essay will be coming soon.

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