Monday, November 26, 2007

Goodbye St. Andrews

This is difficult to swallow... so many memories, so many children, so many good times (and some bad times) I stood looking at the gutted heart of St Andrews school just five days before St Andrews Day! By Friday (St Andrews Day) all will be gone.

You can see the hall and stage, the staffroom, the door to Orange Class...still with displays on the windows, PE Cupboard. Nursery and Reception classes gone, just a pile of rubble.

Melissa was in Nursery, I wonder if she will remember?

My classroom next, still untouched, but 15 years working in the same classroom takes some swallowing!
But the top my tree...planted as a little twig twelve years ago!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


It never rains, but it pours! This man needs a yellow umbrella!

An eventful day...

St. Andrews, my old school has now reached the end of the road and the demolition crew have moved in. It was sad seeing Nursery and Reception building lying in a pile of rubble. The beautiful Ash tree that I planted at the front of the building about 12 years ago now gone. I stopped outside tonight and looked in awe, then shouted out of the window "Where is my tree!"

I was on my way to Focus in Horwich where Kath works, it too has reached the end of the road. On Friday the store closes as a Focus store, brought back some momentos in the final 90% off sale!! When I got home I watched the craziest ever game... England and Croatia on a new Wembley pitch that looked like a peat bog! The most important game for years, England had to win or draw to qualify for Euro 2008. Guess what?

Goodbye Euro 2008!

Lost 3 -2!!

and to think that I was going to buy a Digi Box for my new classroom so that we could watch Euro 2006 on TV....Humbug!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Goodbye VCR!

Well, the end is nigh...after a major battle with Philips and Sony Betamax, the VHS Video Recorder has finally reached the end of the road. Digital technology has taken over! I remember it well, the Ferguson Video Star top loader with its piano key buttons! A wonderful piece of engineering with a hint of digital control technology. I know this superb machine inside - out... Servos, Digital - to - Analogue convertors, chips, chips and more chips! I've lost count of the number of Video Heads i've cleaned with a chamois leather and isopropil alcohol. Video Heads were expensive, so you tried everything before replacing it. (remember the 'put it on pause for two minutes to unblock the head' then charge the customer £30 for the repair?)
When I went to University training as a teacher, one of my placements was at Bolton College where I taught students about the Video Star!

Philips and Grundig were non-starters, mechanically too complex, but electronically brilliant. They both had servos that physically moved the head position to track the signal from the tape. The BetaMax had a more simple mechanical system, but complex electronic system, playback quality was good, tapes smaller. I must admit I didn't really like BetaMax, it was difficult to find faults.

"Now VHS was...just right!" (said Daddy Bear!) A good combination of both digital and analogue technology for the time and a straight forward mechanical system. Easy to fault find and cheap to replace parts.

I bought my first VCR from Hitchins, my Mum got it for £80, A brand new Hitachi with big buttons on the front! A super machine that lasted for years!