I was talking to Ben about the handyman/gardener in my time at Linton, the early 1960’s, who was a big man, I think called Bill. A real character, and always a smile on his face and a cheery word for us boys and girls. But it sounds like the Billy who Ben talks about here, may not be the same Bill I remembered.
This from Ben McKenzie
Billy Wizz was also a big bulky chap but was not your Bill. He was one of George Robson'' lad''s and George always had a tale to tell about him.
The most famous one I knew was about the time he ''borrowed'' a muck spreader from one of the Linton farms and changed the colour scheme of the Fountain Inn from white to a mucky brown. He was supposedly apprehended on the motorway, in the same muck spreader, heading south!
He obviously continued to live in the area after leaving Linton as I often read about his local exploits in the Craven Herald. They usually ended with the local constabulary trying to get him into the back of one of their vans - he was a big strong boy & a lot of damage was done in the effort.
The motorized snow plough brings back memories. A mega snow fall sometime in the 70''s.
I was living then in my house in Grassington, so it must have been after 1974, & was off duty but was on duty the next day.
So much snow, that the walk to school took a lifetime & when I got there we had to tell the children to stay in bed whilst we cleared the paths.
I at last got to use the motorized snow plough!
I had never seen it used as a snow plough as it was usually fitted with the long grass cutter and Raymond Pickles would keep the grass areas tidy with it.
You talk of Dorm 6 and I only knew 4 dorms so there must have been changes to the layout after you left & before I started.
Starting from the greenhouse we had
Dorm 4 - Senior Girls Dorm.
Dorm 3 - A split young boys & girls Dorm
Dorm 2 - Junior Boys Dorm
Dorm 1 - Senior Boys Dorm
There were no set ages for the dorms - it just depended on the numbers & ages of the pupils you had in the school at that time.
The next building housed the art room and a couple of classrooms.
The next building housed the craft room & cookery room and at the end was the Robson''s living accommodation.
Sweeping round was the office & assembly hall.
Next came the dining hall & staff room.
Lastly at this level was the junior classroom - later came the white recreation room.
I think the rest of the buildings have always had the same usage.
Girl''s changing/showers/enuretic room.
Boy''s changing/shower room
Domestic Staff''s accommodation.
Head teachers House.
Many areas of the school were ''out of bounds'' to pupils & it was a term that was still used often in my time.
Tell a child an area is ''out of bounds'' & they immediately want to be there.
I wonder how many were punished for going ''out of bounds''?
Today they would say it was all part of ''risk assessment''
Did we have that at Linton?
As well as Linton having a very diverse set of pupils it also had a diverse set of staff who came to work in a residential school for many different reasons.
Staff got on better with some pupils than others & pupils like some staff more than others, for a variety of reasons.
What Mr & Mrs Barnard & Mr & Mrs Robson ensured was that you always had the child''s welfare up most.
They approached this from different angles but they only wanted the best for the pupil''s & you had to deliver & whoa betide you if you failed.
An angry George Robson or an angry Norman Barnard was not something you wanted to face.
Some children were a bit of a handful then and so many more after. It came with the territory as they say.
If a child had a ''normal'' life. whatever that is, then that child would not have been there but in some school in the neighbourhood.
For a multitude of reasons & there were a multitude of reasons some kids ended up at Linton.
It did, however, put you in a regime where trained professionals, understood where you came from, the difficulties you faced,
and the help & guidance you needed to develop into you.
For that time in your life we took on the huge responsibility & became more than just a teacher/carer but your surrogate parents.
We got it wrong sometimes but in the main I think we succeeded.
Pinewood, which came after Linton, was a day & residential school & the day pupils always complained that they should be allowed to
stay at the school because it was better than being at home.
- Parent Category: Memories from Ben McKenzie
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