March 11th 1975

“Got elected onto committee. Passed Economics O-Level. packed up Vivienne”

What a day……..

Barton Peveril had a Sixth Form society – colloquially known as the “Coffee Club” – responsible for arranging the entertainment aspects of the students.

With the year-end exams looming – well 3 months distant – I suppose it felt prudent for the college to induct the new organising committee in advance of the 2nd year 6th students hunkering down to their (supposedly more important) educational matters?

I originally ran for President of the society, drawing up ‘vote for me’ posters based on famous album sleeves (one was based on David Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane” cover, with the tagline “A Lad Insane Enough to be running for President“) and gave a speech on stage during which time I tried to bribe the audience (voters) by tossing blackjacks and fruit salads (popular 4-for-a-penny sweets of the time made by Bassetts) into the crowd.

My competitor was a certain John Sweeney, a name who media fanatics may recognise as someone who worked for the Guardian newspaper before becoming one of the BBC’s top investigative journalists.

Other people may recognise him as the unfortunate reporter who – somewhat fired up – went apeshit ballistic on Tommy Davis, a representative of the Church of Scientology during a BBC “Panorama” documentary about the odious religious cult.

A piece of television history that went ‘viral’ (as they say in internet speak) attracting squillions of online hits.

John Sweeney, trying to look happier

Anyway, back to the election…. John was blessed with an ‘actor’s voice’ and thus gave a pleasing oratory to the hundreds of students hanging on his every word. I then followed him in my ‘Ampshire ‘Og accent with a speech packed with jokes rather than any substance. (I was, if you like, the Palin to his Obama)

Votes were duly cast…. and as I state somewhere else on the internet, “John Sweeney prevailed. He went on to present programmes for the BBC, and I went on to watch them

By way of a runners-up prize I was offered a place on the organising committee. My good friends Nobby, Neville, Tony & Nigel all ended up with representative nods too, so it looked like a fun time was ahead…

However, it appears it’s all over for me and the illustrious Vivienne? I have “packed her up” apparently. Maybe it became the case that I got glandular fever from her, but precious little else? Ouch!!

Oh, and there’s confirmation that I nabbed another GCE O-Level.

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