Saturday, 22 October 2011
My good friend from Aberdeen, Colleen, sent me the above photograph which, initially, induced a fair degree of sadness in my heart. Colleen and I attended Linksfield Academy in Aberdeen in the mid 1970s. The school was built in 1974 but, typically of the council, it wasn't fully ready for the influx of unruly pupils until the summer of 1975. This meant spending my first year at secondary school travelling to a much older building, the now long since departed Middle School - so called because it was situated in the heart of the Granite City.
When we eventually headed to the newly built Linksfield in 1975 it still wasn't finished, meaning we had to trek about half a mile to Old Aberdeen school for certain activities such as physical education. The swimming pool still hadn't been completed by the time I left school altogether in 1978.
Despite the shambolic organisation of Grampian Regional Council (as it was at the time), I spent some happy days at Linksfield - as well as some not so happy ones but I won't dwell on those. However, the only school chums I still keep in touch with are Graham Baxter, who I still share a few beers with on the occasions I'm in Aberdeen to watch the famous Heart of Midlothian, Gary Adams, who was best man at my wedding but who I haven't seen in over 20 years (but Facebook has meant we are still in touch) and the lovely Colleen. Oh, and someone called Patricia Williamson who still gives me grief on a regular basis. Mind you, she's been doing that since we got married in 1982...
It's nearly 22 years since I left Aberdeen for the magnificence that is Edinburgh and I had no idea my old school was being pulled down. Some people say your schooldays are the happiest of your life. I don't particularly subscribe to that theory but nevertheless it's still sad to see part of my childhood disappear for good. All that is left is memories. Of the maths teacher throwing chalk at me as I gazed out the window; of the French teacher not particularly bothered if I learnt a foreign language; of a physical education teacher who looked at me in a strange and quite unnerving way; of dancing to dreadful cheesy 70s music at the infamous school discos; of falling in love for the first time...
...aye, go on then, flatten the place!