While in St Peter’s and St Dominic’s Open-Air School, I had no education and lost nine months of learning. So, when I went back to Stepgates I had fallen even further behind the rest of the class, and I was dropped to the lowest stream. This probably helped me though, as I had also lost the distraction of my mates and had to concentrate on my lessons.
I still had some problems from the football incident and had what my mum called a weak bladder—it turned out later to be a double hernia. I was able to manage the ‘weak bladder’ quite well most of the time considering I was always shy of asking to go to the lavatory during a lesson.
. One day, in the carpentry class, I was looking anxiously at the clock around dinnertime for a chance to rush to the lav’. Then, Mr. Woodhead—a good name for a woodwork teacher—picked me to sweep the floor of shavings and sawdust. Normally I was never asked to do anything such as this. The teacher and all the boys left the classroom, leaving me trying to sweep the floor with my legs crossed.
Of course I could hold out no longer, and I wet myself. I quickly swept all the shavings and dust over the spreading pool of piddle just as Mr. Woodhead came back into the classroom. He looked at the pile shavings in the middle of the pool for quite a time, and then said, well done Alan, that’s the way to keep the dust down. Looking back at that moment I now think he knew what I had done and being the nice teacher that he was, spared my shame.
By the way I came top of the class for the fist time ever, and went up to the middle stream with my mates for the last term at school. Needless to say I was near the bottom of the class again. My previous school reports would all say; Alan is easily led—how right they were.