Dent Experience, 1981, [Martin Riley]
|My "best" Dent
experience was a field trip organised in I think
1980 or 1981 by Mr Billy Butler for
the British Government and Politics A-Level
It was a small group of about 6 or 7 and we
stayed for a wet weekend in Dent (come to think
of it I never went to Dent when it did not rain?)
which was in retrospect very eventful. Key
Mr Butler when driving the school minibus
side-swiping a stone bridge.
Alan Asy Smith bringing his WWII war
surplus entrenching tool and cape on the
obligatory half-hearted hike up some godforsaken
local hillock (Al invented the concept of
preparedness for a future zombie attack). The
ever stylish Ian Ainsy Ainsworth
almost died with the shame of it all.
An impromptu 5-a-side football match with the
local lads during which Mark
Louty Lautterbugh elbowed and
dislodged the front-teeth of one of the local
kids who then proceeded to spit the teeth out and
carry on playing as if nothing had happened
hard as nails but luckily for us rubbish
The local lads met up with us later in the pub
and started a fight, in this endeavour they were
ably abetted by Ainsy gobbing off the
local lads rather than take out their anger on
Ainsy's perfectly groomed head of hair and his
stylish brogues instead decided to beat me up
(not that difficult a task then or now) which I
thought was grossly unfair at the time (indeed
the passage of time has hardly diminished my
The fact that we did not get kicked out
immediately from the aforementioned pub
highlights a number of issues: a) the leniency of
old time landlords; b) the lack of an alternative
tourist £ in Dent is the early eighties; c) the
stupidity of young Prescotians in not taking the
hint and getting out while we were still ahead.
Sometime later I went to the toilet for a slash
and to spit out some blood only to find 5 local
lads had followed me in to the toilet (to
reacquaint my face with their fists)
luckily swiftly followed by 5 Prescotians
only George Michael would have relished this
situation. Thank god there were no automatic
dryers in those days because if one had gone off
accidentally this stand-off would led to carnage
Later in the evening Mr Butler quite inebriated
by this stage insulted one of the locals (I think
word pleb married with an expletive and the word
off may have been involved - the original
plebgate incident) and ofcourse this re-ignited
tensions with the locals teachers eh!
Shortly afterwards the landlord finally lost
patience with us (or realised we had run out of
money) and asked us to leave the pub, we then ran
around the village bottomless for a dare/bet,
only for me to jump inadvertently into a patch of
nettles to avoid the local lads (to crown off my
evening of total enjoyment) who were still
cruising around the village (either on an oxen or
a tractor I can not recollect which) no
wonder the locals hated us.
Despite this catalogue of misdemeanour's no
locals in those days thought to call the school,
the local paper or the Daily Mail to complain
about what had happened (the good old days).
However the trip did prepare me for the big wide
world and taught me some valuable life lessons!
1. All red haired teachers are quite bonkers.
2. Never leave home without a war surplus cape
and entrenching tool.
3. Never stand next to someone who is far better
looking than you because when a fight starts -
you will always get hit first.
4. The effective reach of the average Yorkshire
farmhand is 72 inches, the IQ of the average
Yorkshire farmhand is 5.2.
5. You always bleed after being punched in the
mouth much longer than you think you will.
6. It is very difficult to apply dock leaves to a
nettle rash on your posterior without the use of
a full length mirror.
7. Never go into a public toilet frequented by
psychopaths unless accompanied by your own small
army of psychopaths.
8. Field trips are more dangerous than base