As a small child I bought two Molesworth books at a jumble sale and thought them to be the funniest thing I had ever read. I grew up in a London overspill council estate and attended a grotty state school that should have had no resemblance to the public school system written about by Willans and Searle, but children are children and the parallels drawn then are still valid (and hilarious) today.
Decades later and I wrote this after a Skool Trip (!). I post it now as an homage to these books that made me laugh out loud and the talent of the two men who created them. I still treasure my battered paperbacks of these almost forgotten classics and would love to see them republished to share again.
NB – names have been changed to protect the (not s0) innocent…….
Why Skool Trips Shud be avoyded.
Firstly it is masters (chiz chiz) wot makes all the rools for skool trips. This meens that all must go on educashunal visits with monotonus regularity as it gives hedmasters an excuse to get other masters out of the building with lots of grubs and to get a quiet day at skool to examine pichers of ladies and smoke cigars.
As if this culd not get worse – then masters aktually even ask parents if they wuld like to cum too! There is the ushual parents who can not help but get involved in there little weeds skooling (fotherington-thomas and his mater who is there with spitty tishues to wipe his snotty nose in case a mummy gives him the willies ect) and then the parents who is so GUILTY about not doing anyfing else with thier ikkle dahlings for the rest of the skool year that they is FORCED by the good-lady-wife to cum along (“but husband” they say “you hav not done anyfing at all since ikkle sprogger 2 was born and so it is your dooty to do someting and in any case you can sleep on the sofa until you do. It is the skool trip or the summer fayr and that is a fayt wurse than death” So with grate reluctanse they go for skool trip wich is reelly bad becos they are angry and bad temperd far more than masters ever are.)
Masters ask parents to get invovled so that they can hopefully sneak off to drink BEER and look at piktures of laydies and have a kwik smoke. This is foolish as all boys (and even gurls) kno that as soon as they arrive at the mooseum (or other educashunal place) they will run around like wild and untamed animals and all masters will be forced to follow around trying to catch them without the aid of a net.
But first there is the jurney there. This is done in a large bus that can safly hold all of the said boys (and gurls). Keen maters and paters run up and down the isle trying to do up safty belts across the ikkle dahlings tummies (even tho masters think that a few loose teeth wuld improve the brats no end). Then, after Murphy 3 decide that she has had enuf hysterics and clingy mater has been removd from bus by fors, we are off to the mooseum.
Sum parents (and masters who hav not learnd anyfing yet about the horors of year five) want to start singing. So driver (who have learnd a grate deal after driving bus for lots of years) put on the radio and insted all grubs sing along. ninety nine bottls of beer on wall replacd with “I see you baby, shaking that ass” much to amusment of all except pater of Watson 2 who is too serius by far. Jurney interuptd twice with Eavis 2 and Hammond 3 being sick down own clothes. Masters roll eyes and pass a blak bin bag backward along seets grateful for the fakt that it is on grubs own cloths and so they dont have to clean seets – keen maters rush up and down like angry trapped wasps with cloth in hand. Eavis 2 has rooined own coat and so it ponk like anthing and and must go into blak bag to stop other grubs from beeing sick with the EXTREEM ponk.
HURRAH – finaly arrive at moosuem and all rush out onto pavement and ask impotant q’s about visit (when can we eat lunch, where is toylet, can we go to shop yet) Masters attempt to prevent ikkle dahlings from being run down by large london taxis – parents look in shok after jurney and need some fresh air and tablets to ease alredy acking brayns.
Long noysy crocodile of grubs led into mooseum by masters (who culd not care less and are looking for eskape root) and by parents who are poynting out intersting things along the way (excpet for Watson snr. who is mayking it all up as he goes to mayke self sound clever and impotant – he is expecting his group of ikkle dahlings to respond to militry rules and march like eeger weeds to his plan – he is so wrong – mor of him later)
Coats hung up in chaos that remind all of the time some brite spark thort it wuld be a gud idea to have jumble sale in hall and started a riot of grannies that is still talked about. Coats and lunch bags stuffed into cuburd that is far too small for purpos and all grubs are hurded like sheep into mooseum.
There is no avoiding HIST as we all kno it is all around us and in the mooseum that is partikularly the case. All grubs have clip boards (or clip round the hed boards as master who thinks he is funny japes – chiz chiz – he do not larf when Hammond 2 bang own head over and over again until the noyse make master shout). Here is the HIST of the aynshunt egipshuns – which wuld be amayzing and brilliant if grubs were alowed to just look at mummies with bone sticking out but the educashun rools say that all must make good with clip boards and make (the wurse thing of all) NOTES. King 2 sa that this is not good and use paper insted to draw bone sticking out of mummy and point out in loud voyse that lady mummy has had lady bits painted onto the bandages and if he did that he wuld have been in SERIUS TRUBBLE and not have it put in a mooseum. Watson Snr is keen that his TEEM shuld finish all notes before everyon else and so is attempting to march grubs around as if is in army. (“stop here, we shall make notes from this exzibit, now this one ” ect) This meens that his TEEM (ahem) are in total disaray and are bored to TEARS – quite literaly as Hammond 2 hav already cryed twice and after beeing told to GROW-UP hav become inconsolabul (this is a wurd that wet parents lik very much as thier ikkle dahlings are inconsolabul about all manner of things from the seat in the skool toylet being a bit loos to the fakt that they is SCARED by the straynge gurl who sit on a table near to them in geog, div, eng ect – it is totally wet and most grubs are only inconsolable as long as mater is looking).
Watson Snr. is trying to remayn calm but have removed jacket and rolled up sleevs and has gone as pale as fag ash on masters jumper so all kno that he is heading for the bottle as soon as the day is over and will never come along to such things again (“I do not care wife” he will sa when he get home “these grubs are evil incarnat and I am never going near that plac again even if I hav to sleep on the sofa for ever. Pass me that gin.”)
After much listening to very keen master who kno all about aynshunt egipshuns and talk lots about stachues and the like – it is time for the wurs horror of all – the talk in the lektur theatre. Grubs all troop in and sit in first available seat like skool rools say – but mooseum lady hav other ideas and want to sho that she and not masters is in charge. All grubs stand up, chaynge seets, sit down again. Ten more mins waysted, masters still thinking about BEER. Lekture begin and is far wurs than all grubs (and masters) expected. Starts with some slides of mooseum ladys holiday in egipt and her trip on boat that can aparently tip up easily (altho no piktures of this happening – chiz) Then slides of very impresiv looking mummy that is heading for the x-ray all expose with bones. Grub from other skool rushed out of door to be sick as is delicate likkle flower and not tuff like us. Rest of lekture is spent with our grubs snapping heds backwards to see if any other weeds are sick each time somefing exciting shown on slides. One master fall asleep and hav to be prodded by other master each time hed roll forward and glasses slip off.
Then is time for the best thing of all – LUNCH. Now all can examine most intersting thing in the mooseum – other grubs lunches. Patel 1 has best lunch of all – three choc bars, bag of crisps and large bottl of fizzy pop. Masters stop him then find out he is on other bus and let him go ahead as is “not-my-problem”. (masters hav already had row about one master who shuld be in charg but is not reely interestd and so hav gon off with small group and left others to tidy up mess – this meen that masters are not talkin to eech other)
Then, even better if poss than lunch, SHOP. For many this is wot they came here for in 1st place. Smyth 1 hav trouble as hav thrown money away with end of lunch. Keen parent go and serch through bin bags until realize that Smyth 1 had money in pocket all along and is in shop with other grubs. Keen parent now less keen and go very quiet whilst go and find toylet to wash bin-ponk off hands.
All grubs hav spent money on choc and small models of mummies with bones stickin out and have been kicked out of the shop for mayking far too much noyse and for making mess on the shelves. Back in noysy crocodile and marched out to bus to hed back to skool (chiz chiz for grubs – lowd hurrah from masters) All keen parents now much more quiet and happier to allow grubs to sing “I see you baby, shakin that ass” rather than hav anyfing more to say to them. No grubs sick, despite twice needing keen parents to run around again with week looking paper bags and tishus. One satsuma fly hole lenth of bus and strike driver in bak of hed. Driver barely notices due to long experiense of driving grubs. Masters stand up and showt loud until all other grubs turn and all point at Martin 2 who hav thrown it. Martin 2 blub like weed and masters can not be bothered any more so he stop and sit down with smug face having got away with it.
Masters sit at front of noysy bus and eat choc pretending not to hear noyse anymore as BEER is almost within reach.
Arrive bak at skool – no one is missing and so masters think that this is a gud thing, grubs less sure as hav always wanted to kno what wuld happen if someone went missing. Parents of weeds are alredy waiting in HUGE cars that look like small tank with too much crome. They stand and wayve at ikkle dahlings as if they have been away for MONTHS and not just the day – even tho they wuld not have seen them all day anyway. 2 parents look sad, hoping that thier grub wuld hav been lost.
All are marched in noysy crocodile to the classroom where clip bords are piled in messy heep on the floor, bags are picked up by grubs and then pushed out of the dor into wayting arms of mater who hav been inconsolabul all day wondring if her ikkle dahling was sayfe on such a dangerus day out (!).
Masters retire kwikly to staff room in hope to avoid all wet parents who want to come and MOAN about somefing or other. All masters run home very fast to open BEER and lit smokes and look thru job pages of local paper in hope of eskape root from horror that is SKOOL TRIP.
This is wot all skool trips are like and so they shuld be avoyded at all costs…….