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The Early Years (0-11) (Last edited 1st Nov.04)

This was to be a new feature of this site and it has proven to be the most difficult to complete, I know that many of the people that visit this site would not be interested in what I have done in the past and many would find it long and boring - well as I have said before this is my site about me and you do not have to look at it if you don't want too.So far I have completed up to when I was about 16 and this is already six pages long so I need to spend a little more time editing what I have already done as well as complete the rest while making it interesting - while not making it up - if you have any comments about these years please contact me.

I was born at Glangwilli hospital in Carmarthen, Wales in 1978 I still live here and can see me dying here as well but not before I travel the world a little. Much of my younger years I cannot remember but my earliest memory was the yellow bus that used to take me to play school. I have found out that I was sent here as I was a very busy child (whatever that means) and my mother was working so it was to give my Great Grandmother (who used to look after me) a break so I would go there for a few hours per week.

Eventually the time came when I had to say bye to the yellow bus and went to the local school ‘Llangunnor’ which is one of many primary schools in the Carmarthen area and the one closest to my house. My mother had been here before me and all my brothers have also been or are still in Llangunnor school, I think it was originally opened in the 1960’s, and I guess it must have about 250 pupils in it.

So I was three when I started at the nursery section of the school, at first I would have only gone for half days and the only things I can ever remember doing are playing on the yard or playing in general (paints and things). I do remember the teachers there; Mrs. Owens and Mrs Eynon and I believe they are still there today!

It was probably at this time when a careless aunt left a mug of tea within my reach and I pulled it on top of me, I still have the scold marks on my chest today.

After two years in the nursery it was time to move up to a whole new section of the school, when I was there it was called the infants now it is called something else all rather confusing to me. When I was in the first year of the infants I can remember having to go into the hospital to have my tonsils removed and grommets placed in my ears because of problems I had been having. Don't ask me what grommets are as I have no idea. I can remember being told to try to blow the balloon up (in fact this was the gas which sent me under) I can remember having to cool my throat with a net bag with ice in and I also got a card off the class and a set of colouring pencils, it seems strange that I can remember this so vividly.

The second year of the infants seems to be more memorable for me maybe because I was getting older and it's not so long ago. Infants two seems fresh in my mind for a number of reasons, the main one was the teacher who was called Mrs. Angela Evans, and I don't think she ever liked me and I don't know why, over the years I have given it some thought but she died a few years ago so I will never really know what her problem with me was. I think it was also around this time that we were able to use the post box and post Christmas cards to each other, up until then you would just exchange cards with each other but now they would empty the post box every few days and sort and deliver the mail. Of course it was easy to see who the popular people in the class were by the amount of cards that they got - needless to say I was not very popular and this trend was to continue until I ended my school career at 19.

Trying to think back I don't think I had any one particular best friend, at that age you tend to be friends with everyone or at least be able to talk to them, and because most of the pupils in the class lived locally you could see them out of school as well. So everyone was always in each others houses, at that time my friends would have been Stuart and Martin as they lived close by and I can remember spending more time with them than others in my class. Those years came and went and so did friends, and it saddens me when I try to remember names and can't, I can remember someone called Walter Barlow - the reason I remember him is that one day after lunch he had filled his pants and the whole class seemed to think it was very funny - Mrs. Evans did not as I seem to remember.

There was also a boy and I cannot for the life of me remember his name (I think that it was Nigel) but he used to have a ‘Knight Rider’ toy car (I loved Knight Rider back then) and I can remember there was a time when everyone used to bring in toy cars to play on the yard (there was a mud bank that was perfect for this) As far as I can remember both of these people had only been in the school for a short time before they left and sometimes I do wonder what ever happened to them but then again that is one of my faults in that I seem to care too much.

I have obtained a class photo (thanks to Andrew) which was taken during the last year of the infants and these people are not in it so they were either off or must have left the school before it was taken – I have been able to identify everyone in the photo except for one girl who's name escapes me.

My first experience of being sent to the headmaster's office came when I was in the infants, apparently a few people in the class had been sent there as we had been running around the class and knocked some paint over - chasing the girls. Standing outside the headmaster’s office was not something that I liked, not because of the row that you would get but the fact that everyone would have to walk past you when they came in from the yard and they would always say something to you.
I liked the headmaster, Mr. Davies I saw him a few years ago, He came in to the shop with his wife who was had also taught me while at Llangunnor, I did not recognise him or her as he had left the school a few years before I had (so it must have been at least 1986 since he had last seen me, but he recognised me) That year soon past and I moved into a whole new section of the school called the juniors, and the class of Miss Ann Vaughan-Jones, she was the music teacher at the school and we always used to have music lessons with her, I can remember using the recorder in the class and that after every practice I would be one of the people that had to clean all the school recorders. We also had the opportunity to use other musical instruments and each week a different table would have a different set of instruments, it seemed that the table I was on would always be the one that got the rubbish instruments such as the wood block or triangle while the other tables had all the better ones, it seemed that the class swots which all sat together would get the glockenspiels and xylophones. A bad experience I have of Miss Ann Vaughan-Jones was when I tried out for the choir, in front of everyone she told me that I was hopeless and out of tune

I was quite adventurous at this age and would have been out for hours with my friends for most of the day when school was closed, there was a lot of open spaces nearby and I am sure that back then things were a lot safer that they are today (that makes me sound old). Close by there was a place that we all called the ‘Building site’ it sounds dangerous but it was only waste ground where they had never finished building houses on and someone over time the mounts of earth seemed to have formed a crude BMX track there and there was also a lot of hedges there that we used to play such games as chase and hide and seek. (Now it has been developed and sadly the youngsters today will never get to play there)The headmaster Mr Davies must have left sometime during my first year in the juniors I can remember that they had some party and he was there, I cannot be sure if my memories are getting mixed up or if he left close to Christmas but I can remember some sort of event in the school hall, there were rumours of course that the old headmaster had gone nuts and that is why he had to leave, of course this was most likely not true . The job of head master eventually went to my least favourite teacher and I did have to get told off by Mrs. Angela Evans a few more times before I left the school, but I will go into that later.
At the time it seemed that we were in Miss. Vaughan-Jones class forever but it was only a year and we soon moved up to junior 2 (we still used to go back to our old class for music lessons) and Mrs Page, I was very unlucky to get her as a teacher as she normally taught in the Welsh section of the school but was on a change with another teacher and they used to swap classes every year and it was Mrs. Page’s turn to teach this part of the school. She was another teacher who did not like me, and I can’t think why!

It was during my time in Mrs Page's class that I first met Edwin and we soon became friends, I am sure he must have been at the school before then but maybe he was not in my circle of friends. I can remember that he was a great swimmer; in fact all his family were. He was also the cause of me getting told off an all the time by the teacher but it was also because of this that I was able to control my laughter and facial expressions.
The funniest time was when one of my cats followed me in to school, (it was not a very well cat and had been rescued, we did not have it for very long when it disappeared) and spent an hour and a half outside the class meowing - we all thought it was hilarious, Mrs page did not and as soon as it was break time she got some one from the top class to take me and the cat home, as it happens the person they sent was my next door neighbour so it was a chance to miss a little school and call into the shop on the way back.The third year in the juniors saw the class in an outside portable cabin and this is one of the years that I find impossible to remember the only thing of note would be this is when the famous ‘Whatley’ joke was first introduced - the teacher would ask me something when I would replied I would get the ‘What Lee – say that again?’ (Whatley - very original)I think it was about this time that the film ‘Ghostbusters’ came out and this was when I got interested in ghosts and the supernatural, Edwin also shared this interest and we found a book on the supernatural in the school library and Edwin copied down the ways to find and catch a ghost, I remember this as I had this and buried it, I really don't know why I did this maybe there was a childish part of me that did it as Edwin asked for it back and never got it. I did once look for it but could not find it again, I still know where it should be but I think that after all this time it will have rotted away and I think it is better for me to remember it as it was. Edwin was also very good at drawing and I can remember us spending a few lunch times making comics - well he did I am not very artistic.

The last year at Llangunnor saw me in the ‘Top Class’ this was the last class before secondary school and it saw two members of the class leave, Edwin was the first to leave, and left after only a few weeks so was never really a part of the ‘Top Class’ as he was leaving so soon into the new term that he was given a desk to himself and the teacher (Mr. L Davies) did not think it would be worth giving him an exercise book. The time soon came and Edwin left to go and live down in Devon. Again I have often wondered how his life turned out did he fall into a bad crowd at secondary school, what does he do now? The second member of the class to leave was a girl called Sian, I never really knew her but can remember going around her house a few times during the holidays as I knew her younger brother, Funnily enough I can remember Sian's last moments at the school as Andrew who really liked her had bought her a leaving present, some earrings I think.
During my time at Llangunnor school I don't think I really stood out all that much, and if I am honest it was during my last year that I did. I took part in the swimming gala and won a race and was asked to play Santa in a school play, this was the first time I had ever been given the chance to do anything at school. I was not athletic so would never get picked for any teams and I did think I was offered the part as they needed someone who would not need much padding but I think everyone was shocked at my acting abilities - especially my sneezing!
Being in the ‘Top Class’ everyone became prefects and were given a badge, this was soon stripped off me over a misunderstanding with a dinner lady, basically what had happened is that Martin had taken and eaten my bread roll I swore at the person who had taken it and Gareth told the dinner lady that I had sworn at her, I was marched straight down to the headmistresses office and told that I was no longer a prefect. That was a pretty bad time for me as I was the odd one out and everyone used to make fun of the fact that I had been demoted, a few weeks later the dinner lady came to see me at lunch time and told me to keep the badge well polished, as I was getting it back and kept it for the rest of my time in school and boy did I polish that badge.

After that I was also asked to star in another play, this was going to be produced at a competition and was going to be in Welsh, I only had a small part and can only ever remember one meeting when it all seemed to fall through.

During this time my friends had all remained the same of course over the years people came and people left but during my last year at Llangunnor my friends included Stuart H, Martin N, Jason T, Chris D, Neil E, James D, Gareth B, and David U. The whole of the class went on a camp to Pendine – about four other local primary schools were also going and unknown to me at that time. That was the first time we were to meet future friends. A few of us were unlucky in the fact that all the dorms got filled up very quickly and a few of us had to share the teachers dorm - they had a separate room of two so I was sharing with one of my friends but being where we were it was impossible to have any fun, the others were getting up to all sorts in the large dorms.

I can remember that in the information we had before the trip it had promised all sorts of activities, in reality we did not do much, in fact I can only ever remember going on a cliff side walk, planting some daffodils and exploring a cave.

Meal times at the camp were funny, I can remember sitting on a table with David, Stuart and Jason and girls from another school. I can remember Stuart being a bit of a bully and he annoyed this rather timid girl who was at our table and she had to move to another table and they sent someone else who was bossy and strong willed and she promised that she would not be run off the table - well before the week was finished she had left the table and our table had gained a reputation.

There was also the jelly incident, one night we were having jelly as a desert and by this time all the people on the table were getting along with each other and having a laugh and a joke, and one of the girls dropped some jelly on to the floor and the teacher came to find out what was so funny and slipped on it (she did not hurt herself just slightly lost her footing). That was also the night when one of the teachers offered me there jelly and I was the last one in the hall and they were all watching me stuff my face.

The rest of the year soon went and then it time to spend a day at the local secondary school which we would all be attending in September and I can remember that we were taken to various classes and met many teachers who all had something to tell us about what to expect when we started in September, so we left there with our lists of stationary that we would be required to have. Out of all the pupils who had come and gone during my time at Llangunnor most of the class, with the exception of one girl (Katherine) would be going on to the same secondary school - Queen Elizabeth Cambria.