Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Red Rose Primary School...and Red Rose Speedway

It started with a coincidence: Keith was listening to a very old Paul McCartney LP (yes, one of those vinyl things from the last century) entitled Red Rose Speedway when he received an email from the head teacher at Red Rose Primary School in Chester-le-Street. Someone was trying to tell us something!

That 'someone' wasn't Paul McCartney, but Mrs Bainbridge. And, when we met her a week later, the sun was shining brightly in Chester-le-Street, so we were relieved. It had been chucking it down and blowing a gale when we'd left Scotland. The sun was shining almost as brightly as Mrs Bainbridge. What a lovely, friendly woman.

It was Day 1 of Book Week and we were helping to kick it off. Keith had already scoffed an All Day Breakfast sandwich on the way there, but I forgave him - he'd been up since 0530, so 1030 was...lunchtime. Ish.

250 pupils were packed into the dining hall and they'd brought their laughing heads. Brilliant. It's what I love and Keith loves. Loads of laughter. And yes, regular viewers, they chose the funny and disgusting bit when given the choice. Well, don't all pupils (and most teachers)?

Then they saved Keith's life.


What? Saved his life? Really?

Kind of. There Keith was, talking away...talk, talk, talk, talk, talk...when a gust of wind blew over his pull-up poster. (Just to be clear, that's a poster than you pull up...not a poster of pull-up pants, the sort you wear when you're learning to use toilets instead of nappies. It's an important difference.) Keith was in front of it so he had no idea it was happening until 'WATCH OUT' was yelled in perfect Geordie by 250 pupils. Keith turned. The pull-up poster (which still wasn't a poster of pull-up pants) hurtle towards him and...

...missed. Shame. It was only light and it really would have been funny if it had caught him on the noggin.

When that session was over we headed over to the Year 6 outbuildings. That makes them sound like converted stables, where year 6 lounge about in sofas. And they do.


No, they work hard. And in this case they worked hard inventing a story plot in 5 minutes, displaying tremendous imagination. For once it wasn't a story about the end of the world or zombies.  It involved 2 youngsters racing up a tree. The loser (Oscar) wasn't happy, so he called his dad, who worked for secret services. He set trip wires so that his son would win the re-run race, however his dasterdly plan backfired.

By the time the school bell went (it sounds like an alarm...at least in year 6's room) it was 1515 and we set off home. We'd had a wondeful time with brilliant pupils and equally brilliant teachers.

We took a different route home and ended up in Consett. It's on the top of a hill. Which is fine, expect that it's not where you want to be in a strong wind. And it was VERY strong. Shoppers exiting a supermarket had to hold on to the contents of their trollies for fear of their pizzas flying off like doughy frisbies.

On the way back along the A69 we were hit by rain so heavy that even with the windscreen wipers on superfast Keith was forced to drive in 2nd gear. That's heavy. You could tell we were nearing Scotland again...!