A Tragic Event
Can someone out there illuminate me as to an incident that
I "remember" from about 1978? The story goes that the
caretaker(name long since forgotten) was, one late afternoon,
doing his usual rounds. Upon entering the toilets (those situated
in the corridor adjacent to the 6th form block) he was struck on
the head by a cistern lid which had been balanced on top of the
partly open door, causing him considerable injury.
This tragic incident happened after my time so information is not first hand.
I have been told in good faith:
1. The caretaker's wife was the victim
2. She was permanently disabled as a result.
3. No compensation may have been available as she was not a MEC employee.
4. The incident was apparently not treated as criminal so compensation (nor justice)were available through this channel.
Part of the reason why there was not an adequate follow-up to this was that Spike - in his infinite wisdom - believed that he had identified the culprits.
I know, I was one of the accused along with two others. I will state categorically that I had no involvement, or any knowledge either before or after the fact as to who was responsible.
The incident happened in the toilets next to Room 10 on the first floor. Room 10 was my form room at the time.
Spike decided to get the guilty to own up by placing the whole of the form on detention permanently. During this time he had me and the two others in his office together and separately for interrogation. He accused me to my face and stated that he 'knew' I was responsible.
I freely admit that I was no model pupil and had a wild streak - but I was not violent and did not indulge in pranks of that type - nor did my two friends (I will not name them - they went through enough back then).
After a few days of this abuse, the whole form signed a petition asking for the police to be called in to investigate and objecting to the mass punishment of the form.
The detentions stopped, but the police were never called in and, to the best of my knowledge, Spike went to his grave believing I was responsible.
I have always had the deepest sympathy for Mrs Tiernan and her family - her son was in my year.
I still feel a deep sense of injustice over what happened. I can't begin to understand how the Tiernan's felt or must feel.
BTW: I would love to get my hands on the bastard responsible - I have some unresolved rage to offload before I turn hom over to the police.
The webmasters points are all accurate, including the one that no compensation was ever given out. It was mentioned at intervals on the local news for months afterwards (Granada Tonight, or some such programme).
If I remember rightly, the caretakers wife received a cervical fracture and was essentially a paraplegic after the incident.
I also remember that it was blamed on some pupils fron Sharston school who has supposedly broken in to sabotage the toilet. This may have been wishful thinking from those in charge at St Augustines though!
If I remember rightly it would be around 1976, and the caretake's wife was also Steve Tiernan's mother who came to our class (either 3T or 4W at that time)in third year.Returning to other themes of casual violence by boys, this must surely have be amongst the worst examples. No-one was ever caught from what I remember.
I think the incident/accident happened in the toilets near the changing rooms & the rumour, at the time, was that it was just a prank that had gone awry.
Does anyone remember another incident possibly around 1970
where an assassination attempt was made on the caretaker. This
bloke whose name escapes me would go about his duties wearing a
multi-pocketed green coat stuffed with toilet rolls, ready for
action like the Zapata of the caretaking world. He would usually
have a fag hanging out of the corner of his mouth. On the
occasion of the assassination attempt someone had, after the end
of the day filled one of the labs-Physics I think with gas by
turning on every gas tap and shutting the doors. It was suggested
by Spike that the hit mans plan involved the caretakers
predictable fag igniting the gas when he opened the lab door
thereby blowing himself away together with the top floor of the
school. Fortunately the caretaker had put his fag out just prior
to entering the lab and lived to tell the tale. As far as I know
the culprit was never found - could he be hiding in caves