Coffee-Break Memories : After-school drill practice

Here, in the first article of this brand-new section, which gives us (and you, if you want to tell us your memories) a chance to reminisce about stuff that isn’t solely BMC>MG-related, Mike Humble shares a nostalgic tale about teachers and their cars…

Words: Mike Humble (Tutor Group: 4C)

The dreadful Fiat 126. A very rare sight nowadays but it brings an extra fond smile to my face when I see one rattle past.
The dreadful Fiat 126 –  a very rare sight nowadays but it brings an extra fond smile to
my face when I see one rattle past

My parents used to drum into me those words of legend and wisdom that many of you out there in readerland will remember either with fondness or sorrow: your days at school will be the best years of your life.

Well, for me, they actually were. No responsibilities, mortgage, credit cards etc. and as an extra bonus – pocket money and a few bob here and there for doing a paper round, washing the odd car or some other money spinning idea. I’ve not long come off the ‘phone with a pal and childhood sweetheart, Helen, and as we do when we have a rare catch up chat, we end up giggling at the antics we would get up to at our old comprehensive school.

Despite the fact Helen and I both left school in a very strong academic state as far as qualifications went, had we been nobbled for a fraction of the japes that took place, we would have surely been in deep trouble from both our parents and teachers. During this conversation she mentioned about the fact I was car mad as a pup. She’s quite right, of course, and when most lads my age had Trevor Francis or Kevin Keegan on their bedroom wall, I had whatever car poster I could scrounge from a local dealership.

I used to rate the coolness of a teacher by the car they drove and for most of the time my system worked. One of the most crushingly boring teachers was the Head of English by the name of MacKenzie who wore pullovers and those weird Clarks shoes with the soles that looked like a lemon sponge cake – he drove a green Maxi. However, at the other end of the spectrum, was a Science teacher, Mr. Dobson, who was a complete loon and a riot in the class with his red Audi Coupe Quattro.

Possibly the most loved teacher at my upper school, Mr Hill, drove one of the worlds most loved cars - the SAAB 900.
Possibly the most-loved teacher at my upper school, Mr Hill, drove one of the world’s most
loved cars – the Saab 900

As you can see, for most of the time my ranking system worked. The boring teachers drove boring cars and the cool ones tended to drive something more interesting. There was Mr. Hill – a history teacher who was that forgetful it made us wonder how he managed to dress himself and find his way to work each day. However, he was an utterly wonderful old man, everyone loved him, he had a surreal sense of humour and drove a Saab 900i.

During the summer breaks, I would cycle to his massive house where we would sit in his garden and chat. His pet rabbits would lollop around the lawn while his wife served fresh orange juice and chocolate biscuits. The highlight of the visit would be spin out in his new SAAB round the border lanes of County Durham and North Yorkshire. Now, before you cry out loud “Operation Yewtree,” this was all completely innocent stuff – but just imagine the kerfuffle if this happened nowadays. Sigh!

There were, of course, the teachers I couldn’t stomach – we all knew them I’m sure and one such person in my case taught music. Mr J.N. Kirby was a tall ex-RAF man who, in my view, was so dreary he probably thought charisma was what happens on 25 December. He ran two cars, one of which was a blue Cavalier MkII Antibes – the one with the gaudy colour scheme and deck-chair striped seats. His other chariot I think belonged to his wife and that was a pastel blue Fiat 126.

The sight of this 6ft-plus music teacher heaving in and out of this little box of bolts was a truly one to behold. My friends, Colin Stead, Peter McGann, Dave Turnbull and I would do everything we could to wind the bloke up – that included stealing the stylus (repeatedly) from the Hi-Fi in the music suite, un-tuning the electric and bass guitars or the ritual of hitting the person sitting in front you with a Glockenspiel beater on the back of the head. The ultimate aim was to be thrown out into the corridor – our badge of honour.

He hated me and I hated him but actually loved the fact he seemed to feel that way. I never actually did anything that horrific or bad, all I really wanted to do was wind him up because when he blew, it was side-splittingly funny. The most inspired trick played on him involved this rancid little Fiat.

Kirby would run instrument tuition classes during lunch or after school, so quite often the Fiat would be parked alongside the music suite long after the bell rang and the other teachers cars had gone. Creeping up to the back of the car I opened the boot and swapped the plug leads round – being a 650cc twin this was a simple and quick process. Then we would hide waiting for him to leave when the car would fart, pop and bang like you couldn’t imagine – we laughed and laughed until we cried!

Early 126's didn't even have the added security of a boot lock. Switching round the plug leads had a spectacular comedic effect when trying to start it and took all of a few seconds.
Early 126s didn’t even have the added security of a boot lock. Switching round the plug
leads had a spectacularly comedic effect when trying to fire up the engine – and took all
of a few seconds

This was done a few times over the next few weeks until I was rumbled…

Walking past the technical block on my way home one day around half past three, I was beckoned inside by Mr. McCann – my CDT and motor vehicle studies teacher who was standing by the workshop doors. Following him inside, he closed the door behind me and there was Kirby’s little blue Fiat holding centre stage in the workshop.

With a fixed stare he quietly said, ‘Have you been p*ssing around with Mr, Kirby’s car?’ Being the honest good boy I was, I flatly denied it, of course, only to have the charge sheet read out once more – again I refuted his claim. McCann then changed tack by saying, ‘Look Son, you know he’s a dick, I know he’s a dick, but it’s dicks like me that have to fix this.’

I entered the plea of guilty as charged and noted the drill equipment and extension cable lying neatly on a bench.

You see, Mr. Kirby was not only disliked by me, but also by quite a few of the other members of staff too. Despite this, I had to be punished and it came in the form of fitting the biggest hasp, staple and padlock you have ever seen to the engine lid under McCann’s watchful supervision.

This task in a time scale equalled a 30 minute detention period and I have to say looking back – it was a decent job. I asked how he knew it was me to be told that he reckoned I was the only lad in the school who would know how to do it or think of it and, besides, the last two times he’d actually watched me from his office window. I never did get grassed upon to Mr. Kirby – we opted to keep it between us but McCann did use that once or twice as a threat by a stare alone if I ever tried to play up during one of his lessons.

Halcyon times, indeed!


Mike Humble


  1. More great anecdotes from Mike. I also was more keen on cars at that age than footy, rugby etc. I used to collect a range of brochures from most manufacturers, still have a few favourites at home, particularly Vauxhall.

    I do remember the Antibes special editions of the Nova, Astra & Cavalier, (1986?)though didn’t care for the gaudy colour schemes either.

    Keep the stories coming Mike…

  2. “look Son, you know he’s a d1ck, I know he’s a d1ck but its d1cks like me that have to fix this.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cried with laughter when I read that! Brilliant.

  3. I suspect car/teacher ranking has gone on for as long as cars have been around. In my case (1950’s) the Physics teacher (lazy sod) and his Jaguar Mk2 was the coolest (he wrecked it one weekend–we never did find out how but he bought another). On the other hand the assorted Minor 1000’s, A35s etc were held in great distain–as were their owners! The ultra cool was the Head of Maths–he rode (wearing an ex RAF flying suit) a 650cc Matchless twin with great verve. I got a lift on it once- frightened me half to death!
    Happy days!

    • Great piece by Mike Humble. Made me laugh out loud and took me back more years than I care to remember…..
      Coolest teachers wheels at my school(late 60s/early 70s)were the mark 1 Mini Cooper S driven by the craft teacher, the 2 door Ford Corsair GT driven by the maths teacher who all us lads fancied like mad, and the Austin A105 Vanden Plas that belonged to the PE master. The headmaster drove a grey Arrow shape Humber Sceptre which says it all really….

      • I also remember the 2 door Corsair GT, but they were fairly rare back then… most Corsairs were 4 door. Actually nice looking cars in retrospect.

    • You know him then Adam?

      He was indeed one of the teaching professions BEST characters. When he arranged our trip to the ’86 motor show at the NEC, he drove the coach as he used to do the odd bit of part time coach driving with Stirks Coaches… I think they were based in Staindrop???

      When I was shown the piece in the Northern Echo about his up coming retirement in 2006 I think, I wrote him a short thank you letter, placed it inside a good luck card and posted it off to the school. I heard nowt back and thought “S0d you mush”

      Fast forward a short while later… I received a Christmas card from him with a letter inside… I actually did shed a tear. It was written in his unique scrawl that was borderline unreadable possibly partly like this owing to one of his fingers got lost in the bandsaw in the woodwork workshop!!!!

      If you are reading this Dave McCann of the Staindrop / Barnard Castle parish….we salute you!

  4. My sympathies are entirely with Mr Kirby. His attitude to you seems well thought out and highly commendable

  5. Nothing that exciting to report from my schooldays in the early eighties, except to say my housemaster had the most interesting car in the car park, a ten year old Wolseley Six in mustard yellow that was immaculate. Otherwise it was the usual selection of Fords, lesser British Leyland cars and Vauxhalls, with a smattering of imports.
    Most interesting choice of car was one driven by the German master, Mr Moss, who was always keen to extol the virtues of West Germany and German efficiency. Instead of a Volkswagen, his choice of car was a Morris Marina and later a Morris Ital. When asked, he said Volkswagens were very good cars, but he preferred to support the British car industry and had no trouble with the Morrises he had driven since the fifties.

  6. My secondary school teachers mostly drove the normal cars you would see around in the early 1990s.

    Of most interest was a drama teacher with a very tidy P4 Rover.

    One of the Art teacher had a Citroen Visa convertable, Jersey registered to add to the mix of oddness.

  7. The Early Eighties was a great time to be at comprehensive.

    BL cars dominated my school’s car park:
    Miss Greaves Maths -Rover P5B saloon (G) in grey getting a bit scabby around the door bottoms by this time but a sound track to die for as she burbled in the gates.
    Mrs Mills English Triumph 2500TC (R) in dark green and always impeccably clean.
    Mrs Moffat English Triumph TR7 (W) Monza Red, never one to hang about.
    Mr Gullen T.D. (always drunk) lift from father in MGB GT (P) yellow
    Mr Hewitoson Physics Metro 1.3 HLE (Y) dark red.
    Mr Redman Head-master Vanden Plas 1500 (T) Green
    Mr Baker Caretaker Maxi 1750 (T) orange with obligatory towbar!
    Also rans.
    Mr Carter Geography 1977 (R) Granada mk1 (top spec?) blue met.
    Miss Parsons Biology 1976 (P) Imp Caledonian??? red.

    Not a german car on the campus!

      • Could well have been a Caledonian on a 1976 ‘P’ reg – the name they gave to the last run-out editions of Imps, with almost every factory ‘extra’ fitted to clear the stocks of parts that were never going to be needed again.

        • You could be right Carroll… The IMP “Californian” was a coupe style version without the opening rear hatch window. The same bodyshell was used for the Sunbeam Stiletto

  8. There was a widely disliked housemaster in my first secondary school, who amid the acres of British cars, had a first generation Toyota Celica, about the only decent thing about him was his alternative choice of car. After this developed the usual rust, he traded it in for an original Audi Coupe and after I left, his retirement present was an Audi Quattro.
    Now I know teachers then, as now, always moaned hard up, but could usually afford a new car every three years, but a new Audi then was beyond reach of a teacher’s salary. I found out how he could afford such good cars, he was also a director of a local rugby league club and this boosted his income substantially. Also an Audi Coupe would probably look more sporting and made him look more important than turning up in an Austin Allegro.

    • The pottery teacher at my school had the coolest cars, cos he had a sideline as a motor trader. Various Porsche 911s and 924s came and went, but the very best was an original Lotus Élan in that white/red/gold stripe livery.

  9. One of my Tutors at college had a Porsche 924 (2nd hand, low spec with steel wheels) but didn’t often take it into college.

  10. Going back to the early sixties (the BEST time of all!) quite a few of the masters at my school didn’t even drive – you were as likely to hear the tick of a Sturmey Archer bicycle gear as the burble of a V8, but there were some notable automotive choices. Top had to be our Art master, Charles Viner. Great chap, he organised school coach trips to interesting places like Rover Solihull (to see P6s being built), and Rootes Coventry (Alpines and Rapiers). One specialised trip to Salford Art Gallery was small enough for all of us to cram into his vast 1954, 4 litre Humber Super Snipe – the one with truck-size wheels and an SUV-like eye-level. It did barely 18 mpg so I hope the school reimbursed him. Another master who took us on an educational trip in his own car was Ken Parker, English master. He had a FA mkII Vauxhall Victor, and was keen on continental touring, so he’d got a Heath-Robinson horizontal periscope affair of mirrors arranged to help him overtake. On a trip to Lincoln Cathedral he seemed to use the mirrors even when driving on the left, and pulled off a load of really hairy overtakes. (The roads East from the Midlands were even worse in the 1960s than they are now!).

    French master T. Nolan, appropriately enough, had a Big 15 Citroen and I once had a lift in the cavernous rear seat of that – he even drove like a Frenchman negotiating Paris traffic – you had to really hang on ! Another rear seat that I sampled (no, not like that) was that of the PE master’s Wolseley 6/80 – nice six cylinder noises and tasteful trim.
    One car that featured both at primary and secondary school was the Triumph Herald – both sexy Miss Roberts at the primary school and Maths master Trevor Whitehouse at the big boys’ school had identical blue and white Heralds, which I always thought of a very ‘summery’ cars.
    In the sixth form, one or two lads who lived a long way away were given special dispensation to drive to school – one had a new Austin 1100, the other making the occasional riotous appearance in a 1930s Aero Morgan 3 wheeler. Great days…

  11. The most interesting car any of my teachers had was that of my once form teacher, Mr Hogarth. He drove an NSU ro80.

    The only BLARG cars I recall are Mr Perry’s Allegro Estate and the music teacher’s Mini. Can’t recall any M cars or Sd3s or 800s.

  12. From my later Comprehensive schooldays, I can’t remember most Teacher’s cars except two of them. A PE teacher & my History teacher both owned Triumph MK 1 Spitfires.

    From my Infant schooldays (1960’s), the Headmistress had a Frogeye Austin Sprite which I thought was rather cool for her profession!

  13. The headmistress of my primary school, the Shirley Williams lookalike Mrs Bonner, had a really interesting choice of car, an early seventies Lancia in black, very rare on the mostly British car roads of Cumbria in the late seventies. I don’t know how she got it serviced or what she did when it broke down, which was quite frequent for these Italian cars, as there were no dealers locally.
    The head’s liking for Italian cars rubbed off on my fourth form teacher, Mr Henderson, who was a Fiat man and for years owned 127s and Unos. I did ask him years after I left why he chose cars which were notorious rusters and weren’t very well made and he told me that he could always get a good deal from his local Fiat dealer( probably Keswick Motor Co) and they never minded that the cars were becoming rotten after two or three years as they did them up and flogged them on.
    The young deputy head, Mr Lockwood, came up from Leeds with a real banger, though, a 1965 grey Ford Anglia estate. As he was struggling with a young family, he couldn’t afford anything else and you could hear his car about 100 yards before you saw him and the car was literally falling to pieces, with the bodywork covered in rust and the interior held together with chewing gum. Yet it always got him to work, sometimes with some kids pushing him the last couple of hundreds of yards, and he hung on to it until the car was beyond repair.

    • The fact the 127 was probably the best-driving ‘supermini’ of the era would be reason enough to choose one – even if it did rust as fast as a Pug 104, Mini and some others back then.

      Likewise the Uno was widely considered one of the best all-rounders, (along with the 205 and later Renault Super5)- and had neat styling/packaging a good few years ahead of it’s time…

  14. When I was at York Sixth Form College (1990-92) the engineering master, Mr Simons, drove a Rover 2200TC Panelcraft Estate. Can’t believe there were many of those. After about a year he started turning up in a rather tidy SD1 2600S instead. Actually, thinking on this, several of the students had interesting cars – many Chevettes, but also at least 3 with Vanden Plas ADO16s, and a bloke called Keith who had an A35.

  15. At Cardinal Langley Grammar in the late 70’s we had a technical drawing instructor, Master Bates, (I kid you not!), who drove a Lancia Fulvia, one of two in the same same dark purple on the staff car park at one point.
    His greatest claim to fame was to have designed the rotating rear gunner seat in the Boulton Paul Defiant fighter plane.
    Very cool.

  16. One of my old French teachers had a mk2 Volkswagen Golf GTi, his wit and even the sound of his voice almost reminded me and a few others of Rowan Atkinson and enjoyed trying to get on his nerves as well as laughed at the way he pronounced French words.

    The only other notable teachers and cars I can recall are:

    my old headmistress – who was middle-aged bespectacled over 6ft tall and despite the neck length hair looked masculine enough to have resembled a man and her mk2 Vauxhall Astra GTE cabriolet in a rather gaudy metallic purple or pinkish-red color.

    my old maths teacher – who owned an E90 Toyota Corolla 5-door liftback and to me is forever remembered for her opera-like yet gravelly voice-breaking shouting as if she were possessed by a poltergeist or a denizen of another dimension.

  17. At my college there were 2 Mk1 Toyota Starlets that were often parked together, both had alloys but I’m not sure if they had been modded, but would have been good as drift racers being RWD.

    Someone had a Mk1 VW Polo about the time they started to become rare.

    There were 2 buildings & a walk between the 2 meant passing some lock-ups, where someone was stripping down a 1960s Vauxhall Cresta.

    The shell of it hung around in the corner of a car park for some time until it vanished.

  18. At grammar school in the fifties very few teachers had cars, so it did not go down well when I turned up in my Austin 7 shortly having passed the driving test. There was a couple of Morris Minors one of which was a convertible, a Standard 8, an Austin A30 and that was about it until the art teacher turned up in an Allard of all things, sporting ‘L’ plates. Insurance then wasn’t the same problem as it is now.
    Although useless at art and no longer in my studies, I got on well with ‘Sherlock’ Holmes and got roped in to sit in on his practice runs as his qualified passenger. Second time out he drove over a halt sign at about 40 mph. I’ve never been frightened in a car since!
    He was a real eccentric with long hair well before it became fashionable, wild ideas and greatly missed.

  19. EPIC, Mike! Many thanks for that most enjoyable recollection, which also made me laugh out loud.
    I’ve also got my own Austin-Rover old form-teacher story …..

    I actually happened to be a far more conformist and reasonably well-behaved Grammar School pupil for 7 years, 5 of which were under the tutelage of a wonderful form teacher – a Mr Derrick A. Lack.
    Fortunately I still occasionally meet up with our former form teacher/Geography teacher for a pint or 2, together with my other form teacher (for the remaining 2 years) and also a small, motley crew of other old Grammar School teachers!

    I’d already been passed-out as a qualified trainspotter/gricer shortly before commencing Year 1L at school.
    My affliction turned out to be contageous though, as slowly a group of other young spotters began to grow (even a “spotteress” joined the trendy pastime, no less!), influenced by Yours Truly.
    In response, Mr Lack kindly volunteered to take a select band of us young anoraks-in-the-making on various “Technical Visits” far and wide [again, in a somewhat Mr Hill’esque fashion – I sadly suspect it wouldn’t even get past the ‘spontaneous, hair-brained ideas’ stage, these days].
    I came up with the ideas, Mr Lack came up with some of the necessary permits/passes and transportation.

    The 1st memorable outing was to the Glasgow area, including St Rollox Works and Eastfield Depot.
    Very early that morning, he’d left his gold-coloured Hillman Hunter in a regular parking-space outside the main-line Inter-City station, at which we kids piled into the Scotland-bound express.
    These were the days well before any “amber-level terror alerts” yet our local Police Force was very suspicious of his car being there all day long and had been urgently trying to get in touch with him (but those were the days BEFORE mobile-phones!).
    He was then very quickly tracked down upon his return in a strange, yet innocent kerfuffle-about-nothing.

    Another trip with Mr Lack – but one to which he drove us in the 1725cc Hillman Hunter – was to Longbridge works (with the intention of tracking down some ex-BR industrial shunters within the works complex – “Orroyt, now pass – now chence, matey!” retorted Mr British Leyland Security-Man), the Lickey Incline, Severn Valley Railway and abortive attempts to see Motive Power Depots at Bescot, Saltley and Tyseley.

    The only other successful school-gricing-trip-courtesy-of-a-wonderful-teacher was a proper guided tour of Horwich Works, near Bolton. [Thanks, Mr Moore !].

    Additionally, there was a very strange-looking, tall, and ever-so-slightly eccentric CofE Vicar – Rev. P.E. Coulton in the school, who specialised in numerous trips to anywhere – incl. York, London, Edinburgh, Basel & Interlaken as well as to the (final) Earls Court Motor Show. The latter certainly DID have a very profound influence on fuelling my passion for the motoring world and anything automotive.

    Great childhood memories of super school-years, mechanical engineering and genuine fascination with automobiles, trains and railways – all of which have stayed with me and have shaped me into who I am. Hoorah! 😉

  20. I had an engineering teacher the ran a blue Scimitar. We all thought he was cool as he was nonconformist and loved mucking about with cars and sharing the stories with us. He didn’t stay at the school long but before he left he donated and an Alfa twin-cam which he had previously transplanted into something more mundane but due to his overenthusiasm it snapped a con-rod. A group of us spent every lunchtime striping, cleaning, rebuilding and sectioning the Alfa engine to create a static display. This is probably where my love of Alfas began.

    After that one of our art teachers donated his old Austin Cambridge for similar treatment so we set about removing the engine- but after the twin cam we had no enthusiasm for the pushrod B-series and soon lost interest in it.

    My geography teacher was probably the most unlikely driver of an Elan Sprint. After a chance meeting with her many years later I asked her about it and she confessed to being a complete petrolhead.

    Many of the cars my teachers drove fitted the stereotypes- the hippie CND supporters running Dyanes and Renault 4s, the young male teachers that thought they were trendy MGBs, female ones who sometimes were trendy in Minis and 126s.

    Other slightly unusual ones I remember were my maths teachers’ lhd Fiat 125, a DAF44 and a number of Peugeot 504 Estates and Citroen CX Safaris.

  21. The only teacher’s car I can remember was a yellow Ford Escort RS Mexico owned by our very young maths teacher Mr. Dinnage. This was 1980/81 I don’t recall any of the content of his lessons, but I recall the number plate – XMX 9X. That was also his password on the school computer.

    Every morning he’d come roaring up the drive like he was Lewis Collins with kids jumping out of the way. I always expected him to leap out and jump over the bonnet but he never did.

  22. My own school days in the 90s were a little more boring, the Geography teachers had new Honda Civic and Rover 45 HHR – it dawned on me that they looked similar because they were basically the same car.

    Headmaster traded his E36 in for one of the then new Audi A4s.

    Passats were popular, the IT teacher had one of the “aero” models, while the French teacher had one of the then-new rounded roof models.

    A maths teacher with a Saab GM 900 cabrio.

    PE teacher who hated me, drove a mk3 Golf GTi.

    The quirky science teacher who swore by Sierra Sapphires, even though he seemed to get through 2 of them in a year…

    Mondeo estates, mk3 Cavaliers etc. the usual 90s fodder.

    I actually thought that university was the best days of my life. Some of the lecturers had stereotypical cars – GM Saab 900s, Xantias and the likes. Computer Science lecturer had a nice MGF, his wife had a Galaxy which she reversed into a bollard in front of the new CS building.

    Most interesting cars was from one of the post-grads, who had an Alfa 155, Caterham 7 and Calibra in quick succession.

  23. I’ve driven a Fiat 126. No comment.

    we had a strange art teacher at out school in the early 1970s. He’d personally imported an old 2CV from New Zealand(!) My that was a strange thing to see in Birmingham at that time. Matt grey (which people pay a fortune for these days!).


  24. One of my IT teachers had a very early base model red Ford Sierra with a black plasic grille. I used to think he had damaged the original grille & had bought a replacement from a scrap yard.

  25. My Dad was at boarding school before the war. One of the masters had a 1920’s Austin parked in the school quad. One dark evening my Dad and his chum pushed it out of the quad and got it going. They went off on a jaunt, but beforelong it boiled. Luckily they found a pail of water outside a house and poured it in the rad. They set off back for the school but got a puncture. They were in the process of trying to change the wheel when a bicycle light approached and to their horror a policeman dismounted. My Dad’s chum adopted a mature manner and convinced the PC they were road legal. He gave them a hand to change the wheel. They got back to the school, switched off and pushed the car into the quad. Next morning a group of boys stood around the front of the Austin looking at the radiator. The pail had been full of ash as well as rain water and it had cemented itself to the rad!

  26. My secondary schooling was early 1980s.. Motor memories over the years include an engineering teacher who built and used a Dutton Sierra, hippy lady art teacher with a couple of Jowett Javelins, a chemistry teacher with a very rusty Rapier H120 and a Mk1 Escort Dormobile, two new 2CVs – maths red Special and art yellow/black Charleston, biology Daf 44, maths Wartburg Knight Tourist, English VW 1600 fastback, biology Land Rover S2A (TTA952H! how the heck have I remembered that!!) ..and lots of forgettable average stuff too.
    My only BL teacher memory is back at primary, where the formidable Mrs Murphy had a growly Marina TC in that slightly mauvey pale grey.

  27. My form tutor from years 9-11 (2000-2003) had a Sierra until the cambelt broke, then an old Mazda 626. Other teachers at the school had a Mk1 Golf, Suzuki Jimny, Saab 900, Mk3 Astra, Volvo 850 T5, an old Mini and a new Fiesta Zetec S amongst others

  28. I was at high school in the early 90s and remember mr Houston (technology teacher) nice guy, I chiefly remember him because he used to drive his pale orange reliant robin like a man possessed everywhere you saw it

  29. I can recall a TD teacher at school owning a 1966 Rover 2000 TC as late as 1985, when he retired. He said he bought the car when it was only a few years old and liked it so much he decided to hang on to it. Obviously a good advert for the P6 as it was in excellent condition after 19 years.
    As for the lefty type teachers, no surprises one had a Renault 4 covered in CND and left wing stickers and another owned a black and purple 2CV.

    • The 2CV Charleston was the black and purple retro-coloured model. This or the flower-stickered ‘Dolly’ seemed to be the preferred transport of liberal teachers.

      Given starting secondary school at age 11, an 8 year old car at the time seemed old, you thought that the teacher had no money. However now an 8 year old car – a 2008 car – seems perfectly respectable, a Jag XF of that era – other than the pre-facelift headlights – still looks modern.

  30. @ Will M, this was the model favoured by a progressive head who took over just before I left, and for someone on a salary where he could afford something far better, it must have been some kind of radical statement, as his predecessor on similar money bought a new Sierra just before he left.

  31. At my first primary school one teacher had a Hillman Hunter which by the early – mid 1980s looked very old fashioned. The Head had a VW Polo, being a bit modest.

    At the next school I went to one teacher had a VW Beetle then an MG Midget.

    At my Secondary school one Teacher had a Rover P4, not sure which exact model.

    Another had a very early base model Sierra with a dark grey plasic grille, at the time I though he had replaced it with one from a scrapyard & didn’t bother about matching colours.

  32. Additional secondary school teachers cars were a Citroen Visa convertible registered in Jersey owned by one of the Art teachers.

    Another had a C reg Mk2 Granada estate which must have been a very late one.

    I’m sure there are a few others that don’t come to mind at the moment.

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