Memories of the 1980s
[by Peter Brindley, 1981-1988]
Memories of First Coming to LGS... One Small Step for an Eleven Year Old Boy...
I burst into tears before writing the Loughborough entrance exam. A good sign my Mum thought : "You obviously wanted to go there. You never cried before the Nottingham High exam."
Anyway, somehow I did get in, and six months later in September of 1981, I got on to the bus from Ruddington, Nottingham to the strange distant land of Loughborough, Leicestershire. No tears this time, but I do remember near paralysis setting in as we approached the 'barrier' [the blocked-off bus stop at the north end of Burton Walks]. The barrier now represents great memories of amorous encounters with the girls of either the High School or Convent, or on a good week both. On this day, however, all my concentration was on putting one foot in front of the other and making it to my first assembly with Headmaster Millward.
Our first lesson that day was French, and already the class appeared to be becoming fast friends. These 'snobby prep school kids' actually turned out to be a great bunch of lads just as Dad had prophesied. In fact, by the end of the first day a different eleven year old jumped back off that same bus with his new pals. Gone were the fears, replaced by a beaming freckly red-head ready to tell anyone who would listen to the French words to common kitchen items, and his upcoming social schedule.
Rugby began later that first week. Off we went to Ten Acre Field and met up with Thorpe, Davies and Griffith-the-rugby. Fortunately fluent Welsh never turned out to be a sports pre-requisite. Four years of mini-rugby paid off, and I was made captain, despite the obvious talents of players such as Jim Cruickshank, David Austin and Daniel Naftalin. The first game was against King Henry the VIIIth in Coventry, and we came decidedly second that day. Mr. Thorpe was waiting the following week at Ten Acre, and decided to start training "the under 12 girls" in earnest. We never looked back, and in fact years later under the expert tutoring of Mr. Weitzel, half of that team found themselves representing Leicestershire in Holland, and certainly furthering our education in Amsterdam.
The next five years at Loughborough represent so many good memories. Discos at Hodson Hall led to the first girlfriends, and roller-discos and the barrier kept them going. My first informal lessons in economics are from bulk buying at the Tuck Shop on its one day open per week. I would then turn a profit by selling my bounty back to classmates at ever inflated prices as the week went on. I first drove a car in the LGS parking lot, and the first pub I ever entered was Loughborough's Bitter End. While French with Mr. Dyson, Latin with Mr. Stone and History with Mr. Willson are the strongest memories of the first few years, their hold soon gave way to a love of the sciences, and that has led to a career. It is funny to think back to those first days at Loughborough. They were both formative and fabulous years, and my best wishes go to those now boarding their first bus or crying before their first exam. They certainly have some fun ahead !