Music Played13 items
Jona Lewie Stop The Cavalry
The Ivor Novello Winners, EMI
Blue October The Feel Again (Stay)
(CD Single), Edel Records, 1
Average White Band Pick Up The Pieces
The Best Of The Average White Band, Hit Label
Greg Lake I Believe In Father Christmas
The Best Christmas Album In The World, Virgin
Carole Bayer Sager You're Moving Out Today
Cee Lo Green Anyway
Ladykiller: Platinum Edition, Warner Bros, 1
The Kinks The Village Green Preservation Society
The Jam Going Underground
Fantastic 80's Disc 2 (Various Artis, Columbia
Amy Winehouse Our Day Will Come
Lioness: Hidden Treasures, Island, 1
The Pogues Dirty Old Town
Alternative Eighties (Various Artists), Sony TV, 119
Smith & Burrows When the Thames Froze
CD Single (Promo), B-UNIQUE, 1
Paul Carrack Thinking About You (This Christmas)
(CD Single), Carrack UK, 1
Spyro Gyra Morning Dance
Morning Dance, MCA
Dear Father Simon, Brother Matt, Mother Superior and the recently-ordained Brother Nigel
My confession dates back to the early-80s, when I was a teenager at school and discovering the joys of acid wash jeans, leg warmers and Haircut 100.
I was a diligent pupil, who got decent grades and - in most cases - excellent school reports. The teachers liked me, and I was not generally seen as one of the trouble-makers.
However, it being a boarding school, it was often hard, even for the most law-abiding of students, not to entertain the occasional rebellious thought. One day, to relieve the monotony of lessons, study periods, canteen meals and lights-out, I hatched a plan.
I put it to some friends – and they agreed it would be a lot of fun - to disrupt the annual Christmas assembly, which was due to take place the following morning. Everyone would have to donate an alarm clock, and be willing to sneak out of the girls' dormitory building in the middle of the night.
All having agreed to the plan, we went to bed as usual and pretended - in the various dormitories that we shared with other unsuspecting girls - to go to sleep.
At two in the morning, I was still awake, having spent the time finessing the plan in my head. I pulled some clothes over my nightie and woke up the other girls. We tied sheets to one of the beds and lowered ourselves one by one onto the ground below.
Then came the most difficult part. We needed a tall ladder, and the only place we knew there was one was in a huge shed quite a way from where we needed to take it. It was a ridiculous scene: half a dozen strangely-dressed teenage girls carrying a ladder through the grounds of the school on a freezing December night.
Finally we arrived in the assembly hall, where we began the key part of the operation. We climbed up the ladder and placed the alarm clocks evenly-spaced, high up in the rafters. One was set to go off at one minute past nine, the next at nine 0 one and 15 seconds, the next at nine 0 one and thirty seconds and so on, until all six clocks were set.
Giggling excitedly, we returned the ladder to the shed, climbed up a drainpipe into the dormitory building and went to sleep. We arrived at assembly especially early the next morning so we could get the best seats for the spectacle to come.
At precisely nine 0 clock, our headmaster stood up to address the school. He beamed at us and told us what a wonderful term we had had. How everyone had really come together to show what we could achieve... When... The unmistakable sound of an alarm clock ringing loudly and persistently stopped him in his tracks.
His face was a picture: a combination of panic, confusion and fury. We suppressed our guffaws. And to his credit, he ploughed on. Until... 15 seconds later, the second alarm when off - this one an electronic beeping sound. Everyone in the school was laughing openly by now and the headmaster had turned puce. His expression had lost its look of confusion and was now one of unadulterated fury. He remained on his feet until the third alarm went off and the whole school was shrieking in hysterics. The noise of the alarm clocks was extraordinary, and by the time all six were going off there was no rescuing the assembly. Grim-faced, the headmaster marched out of the hall, followed by the teachers. After about ten minutes of uncontrollable laughter, the rest of us trooped out to our lessons.
The event was the talk of the school for the rest of that day, and for the first few days of the school holidays, which started shortly afterwards.
But although it was one of those moments that people who were there will always remember with fondness, I do need to ask the collective for forgiveness. Not just for the poor students who had to climb up to the rafters and remove the clocks afterwards. But also from the headmaster and the rest of the teachers, who remained under the illusion that I was a model pupil. So much so that they appointed me Head Girl a few years later. Had they known that I was the ringleader on that particular night, I doubt they would have done something so foolish!