Vision – did I just dream that?
When reminiscing about the past I had a flashback that came as a sudden vision. I was in a train of thought about the deputy we shall call Reg Ball. Then I suddenly remembered and I can see the scene still now in my mind.
Reg was a deputy head at a certain West London comprehensive and I had to look for him for some reason during a free period in the summer term. Now after a long search found Reg in the big grounds maintenance garage used to store tractors, trailers, pitch markers etc. It was towards the front of the school next to the playground and not where you would expect to find a senior manager of the school. But this bloke was a bit of a one off.
I still see him now sat there in a deckchair with a rifle in his lap! This was during lesson time. Next to him is the site manager, who is sat in a deckchair too, but he has a fag in his mouth instead of a gun in his hands. The site manager points at something in the rafters and the Reg takes aim and fires the air rifle at it. The shot appears to have missed, the fag is swapped for the gun and the roles are reversed – deputy now spots and drags on the fag, whilst the site manager takes aim and shoots.
“What are you boys up to?” I ask.
“Reducing the pigeon population” says Reg the deputy head as he reaches for the air rifle to take his turn again after another failed attempt.
“Yeah, they’ve been shitting on my gang mower” adds the site manager.
I think that my Reg Ball may be Andy’s Greg Hill, but there again who knows?
This tale is about a deputy head-teacher (Reg Ball) who had taught in the same school for decades and was a well known local character that lived close to the school. This man according to legend always had a “monkey” in his back pocket – the cash was wrapped up in a rubber band within reach in case he saw something he fancied purchasing on his travels. Reg dealt in antiques in a semi professional way, hence the cash was always at the ready. I saw this famous wedge come out in the negotiated settlement over the disbandment of the T-Club xmas meal (see TWTD Part 2)
Another thing he was well known for was his battered, white Volvo estate car. This was a real workhorse that was used to transport his antiques around in.
The real story begins one weekend when a friend of Reg’s borrowed the Volvo to move some furniture. The friend drove the car back to school on Monday morning to drop it off, but decided to stop for a newspaper on the way. He parked up at the parade of shops next to the tube station just before the start of school day. Needless to say there were lots of school kids about.
As a gang of year 11 lads bowled past the shops they noticed the deputy head’s car in the lay by. Nothing strange in that, but what made them stop and think was some random geezer getting into said motor.
They quickly reacted by questioning the bloke in the car. Clearly not satisfied with his response they pulled him out of his seat and then jumped on him. Once on the ground the bewildered man did not resist as the boys phoned police, probably as he was threatened with a “good shoeing” if he caused any mischief!
It all got sorted out in the end, but I think the moral of the story is the loyalty shown by so called rough kids that so say had no respect of authority. As far as they were concerned the Deputy Head was one of their own.