Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Keep on Running" A Charles Joyce Cross Country Special!

KEEP ON RUNNING...... Charles Joyce recalls the rigors of Cross Country running at the school with a new display....

Not quite Cross Country Running in this video but it was the mid 60's when Charles and I were at the school and it was the era of Mods and Rockers. Given that some cheated at cross country - ie finding short cuts, maybe (had they been available) some of would have broken the school record using scooters part of the way!! I was in the school team and always stuck to the route but there were times when it was cold and slushy, and a lift might have been preferable! Keep on Running was out at the time and often the beat of pop songs like this kept you going, especially up the embankments!

This song was Charles's choice but it meant something to me too. I sat in the Prep room in the 'new' block in 1966 and, after finishing my homework essay, wrote my second ever lyric to the beat of this song. It was called Revolution. I'd just finished a history essay for Ken Williams on the Industrial Revolution and was thinking about how things were changing at the time (60's) and the pace of life. My lyric began "I can't stand still in the ever changing world, Cos off my feet I may be hurled, Baby today's the season of cheer, maybe tomorrow's the middle of the year - We're in a Revolution..etc" Pretty crass but it was only my second ever lyric. Later on in 1968, the Beatles wrote one called Revolution - I meant to have words with them!!

Around that time Charles taught me my first chords on guitar - Colours by Donovan and the lead part to Legal Matter by the Who.
Charles Joyce - Making the school look Cool - Chordially welcoming newcomers c 1967!

How does Charles always manage to find a relevant bottle of booze to go with his displays!! Here's one called Shropshire!! And where does he do his research? Did he learn his skills at school!! The map reminds me that he was always good at TD (Technical drawing) or should that be Technical Drinking - either way there's not a straight line to be seen!!

Charles - what exactly do you teach at Warwick University?? Are you illustrating molecular structure there?? Oh I see, the balls are colour coded like the routes on the board - so do you mean you juggled as you ran the Cross country course! Charles, we demand an explanation!!

Oh I see, the balls were how you timed yourself before the invention of the clock - very clever. Cleobury lads are very inventive you know!! (That Shropshire Ale must be good!).

How did you feel about the prospects of Cross Country running Charles - oh I see from the board you mention this song - (are you sure about this Charles??)

Ah! I see this what you used to sing when you finally got back to the school and a nice warm shower was in the offing. Maybe the beat helped move our feet - this was the 60's and we had to keep on running, through rain and shine, river and road and muddy puddles.

Many of the lads remember the last leg of the route (if they had any legs left!) running up the Glen from Cleobury and up the steep railway embankment of the Ditton Priors line and down the the other side. Rosemary recalled how the daughters of the staff would wait to watch the lads coming down the mud slide on the other side - such fun but eventually baned as it was very steep and dangerous and the laundry costs ...!

Did the thought of this meet up inspire the lads to break school records in order to have time to have fun down the mud slide and a chat - ? They would have to juggle their time then - Charles was right!!

Maybe they'd share a cigarette - not such a good idea in retrospect
but Coventry was a working class town, and you learnt to juggle and hang around - Tobacco and Cross Country just don't mix!

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner - Alan Sillitoe was out at the time in novel and film form - published 1962. I think we saw the film in the school hall on a Saturday night. Our school wasn't a borstal of course although I'm sure it was approved by the Government!! None the less you could relate to the outsider theme in the novel! Especially after 6 of the best for juggling without a licence! 

Oh Charles, really - this is a serious blog - my reputation rides on that fact!!
And Hey Donald -exactly where are your troosers!

Er - what are you trying to say there Professor? Oh, i see - you are telling me to watch it! Have I annoyed you with my comments?? What's that you say - 

This was the 60's but it could have been the 40's or 50's or 70's - the beat went on and the boys ran - see how the run...

Paul Williamson - getting an award for breaking the school cross country record (which is strange because mostly you got the slipper if broke something belonging to the school!)

Mr Chopping, firing at god - not a good idea - he's got better weapons!!

What's that you say Charles? You've run out of pictures!

Time for quick run then and with any luck Madonna will be there to cheer you on! See how they run!

And that's all for today my dears - and do think of the poor oppressed cross country runners next time you open your purses and wallets.
Bye for now!

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