Tag Archives: Coffee Club

September 12th 1975

“Intro dance, group were great!! Got off with Holly C – really nice girl”

So, the Coffee Club committee were good for something then?

In this instance putting together an introductory dance (disco!) for the newbie sixth formers.

During which it seems I used my influence – perhaps with a promise of a ‘behind the scenes’ tour? – to ‘get off with’ (i.e. embarrassingly talk to and slow dance with) “Holly C”

Not her real name.

And I will repeat that she was a really nice girl, deserving of someone far better than me.

Which I think eventually panned out?


Leave a comment

Filed under 1975 Diary Entries

July 1st 1975

“INDUCTION – Cum-c-us great! Had to do speech – Q.Funny. New birds ain’t bad”

I should start by saying that “political correctness” was nothing but a twinkle in most people’s eyes in 1975.

I should continue by pointing out that I was a hormonal 17-year-old boy.

Furthermore there were some very attractive young birds ladies amongst the prospective new students for the following school year.

John Sweeney - still angry at being far less funny all those years ago

Looks like my unrequited stand-up career took further root, as I doubtless undermined all the good work that John Sweeney – Coffee Club President-elect if you remember – had done on stage before me. That would generally be the tone of things: John would stand up at the lectern and be all serious and grown-up about what Barton Peveril would be offering its students for the next few months, whilst I would follow him, generally being juvenile, taking the piss and mocking my peers, the tutors and (occasionally) the headmaster.

It goes without saying that the apparent coffee club promotional tagline of “cum-c-usis somewhat embarrassing and indefensible 35 years later.

1 Comment

Filed under 1975 Diary Entries

June 30th 1975

“Did bumph for induction week”

Induction week consisted of prospective students ‘trying out’ Barton Peveril.

There would be talks from the headmaster, the tutors and the sports & entertainment/arts representatives. The Coffee Club, at the forefront of student activities for the forthcoming college year, would also do presentations and hand out promotional “bumph” to the ‘newbies’ telling them what to expect and how to get involved.

I must have been put in charge of something.

That was their mistake, right there.


Filed under 1975 Diary Entries

June 27th 1975

“Got glasses fixed. Leavers dance – went well”

The current second year 6th have all done their A-Level exams and are all set to head off to university/work/a life of crime.

To send them on the way, the first year 6th – and specifically the Coffee Club committee (of which, as some of you may remember, I was a member) – arranged a massive leaver’s dance complete with music, dancing, buffet food and (illicit) alcoholic beverages.

Maybe, if my glasses looked OK, I got lucky on the dancefloor?

Leave a comment

Filed under 1975 Diary Entries

April 18th 1975

“Went to A Home of Your Own – RUBBISH! – walked out half way through

Later in life I would become a fully-fledged film reviewer for various magazines and publications.

I would like to think that my later critiques extended to hyperbole beyond a succinct “RUBBISH!

“A Home of Your Own” was a British comedy film, made back in the mid-60’s, starring the (then) ‘cream’ of comedy actors including Ronnie Barker, Richard Briers, Peter Butterworth, Bernard Cribbins, Bill Fraser and Fred Emney.

Its run-time was a mere 45 minutes (which means I abandoned it around the 22-minute mark) and was a comedy of errors about the building of a young couple’s dream home.

It was remarkable (?!) inasmuch that it featured no dialogue whatsoever, just music and noise.

Are you intrigued? Here’s a trailer to show you what unbridled hilarity you’ve been missing out on…

It was a screened at college courtesy of the newly inducted Coffee Club “film committee” and shown – via a roll-up screen and dodgy film projector – in the main hall of Barton Peveril.

Quite the thrilling night out for hormonal teenagers I’m sure you will agree?

1 Comment

Filed under 1975 Diary Entries

March 24th / 25th / 26th 1975

● No lessons – helping with Barn Dance Decorations
● No lessons – helping with Barn Dance Decorations
● No lessons – clearing up Barn Dance Decos / Break-Up

I think it’s fair to say that whatever concept YOU might have in your head about a “barn dance”, it will be about as far away as you can get from a 1975 barn dance at Barton Peveril College.

As I recall, intentions were all good. A few worthy souls probably banded together and suggested that a bunch of folk or country songs could be played by a DJ and people would somehow move together in that strange unholy unison now referred too more popularly as “line dancing”

To prepare the students for this ‘attrocity to human kind’, a handful of Coffee Club (myself included) reps prepped the hall with decorations, most likely along the lines of paintings of a pig or two, some hastily built fencing and sundry other themed elements. Who knows, maybe we deposited straw all over the dance floor too?

My memory of the evening however suggests that (lets just say) more modern music ruled the proverbial roost and any conservative line dancing quickly descended into the far more familiar ‘erection section’ smooches and hapless ‘dancing around the handbags’ routines.

I wonder if my DJ friend Nobby was at all responsible for the musical divergence? I’d like to think so.

1 Comment

Filed under 1975 Diary Entries

March 17th 1975

“First committee meeting, Was put in charge of records – great!”

Uh-oh…. this could either turn out great…. or fantastic!

The coffee club ‘common room’ featured a small hi-fi on which students could play their music. It was my job to make sure everyone got a chance to hear and share their stuff, although I am sure I often favoured the material I liked?!

I was also in charge of sourcing, arranging, recommending and storing music that might get played at dance nights, or for any of our 6th form stage ‘spectaculars’

I think you could describe me as that proverbial pig… knee deep.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1975 Diary Entries

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, Niles, 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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1975 Diary Entries