The Prescotian Webzine

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Googel Alert has thrown up articles about two former Prescotians in education. Colin Howard teaches at King Edward's School, Birmingham and David Martlew is a governor at Rainford High School
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Part of an interview with Colin Howard [King Edward's School, Birmingham, Chronicle Magazine, 1994]
Could you tell us about your past?
Well, I was born in a place called Whiston outside Liverpool and from there passed into the usual Infant and Junior school system. I took the 11-plus and went on lo Prescot Grammar School and did the standard 8 'O' levels and 3 'A' levels. Then I went to train in Creative Design at Loughborough College and moved to Birmingham 19 years ago.

Have you always wanted to be teacher?
At school I was a woodwork specialist and saw the life a woodwork teacher had. He seemed to be drinking lots of tea, walking around a lot and enjoying himself, and (smiling wryly) it seemed like a good job to me. That mainly attracted me to the job. but the subject obviously did as well.

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Part of an interview with David Martlew [Rainford High School Magazine, 2010]
Did you attend Rainford High Technology College?
No, when I was a student I'm afraid I attended Prescot Grammar School which was then erm a nice school but it was in temporary buildings that had been erected about four hundred years ago I think, well they looked it anyway, it looked like a sort of wooden chicken farm and at times that’s just how we felt!

Did you enjoy school?
I enjoyed some parts of it and didn't like others, I enjoyed learning, I enjoyed finding out new things, reading books, listening to lessons, asking questions, sometimes answering questions. The things that I didn't like about school, I didn't like being bullied, I think that’s one of the things which sticks out in my mind, I think there is no excuse for somebody to either trying to intimidate or hurt or disadvantage someone else, for whatever reason and usually there are no good reasons. I think bullies are people who are doing damage to themselves, as well as to the people who are their victims. The other thing I didn't like was being told what to do all the time, I'm not very good at obeying instructions and following rules, so, but overall it was good.

What were you like at school?
Oh dear, I suspect I was an absolute pain at school! for example, I can remember one very young member of staff who came giving us some General Studies lectures and so on and he was dire, so I was talking to a friend of mine and we were chattering as he was giving his lesson, he got very exasperated about this and he shouted at me and said Martlew come out and continue the lesson, so I did, he was most upset!

Can you describe a memorable experience at school?
Oh yes! I studied Chemistry at school and my chemistry teacher was an amiable man with a beard and er, he had a real gift for teaching Chemistry but he was teaching people about prosperous, now I don't know whether you know about phosperous, its a yellow, sort of waxy solid and given half a chance it bursts into flames. Well he finished his lesson and walked away to his next lesson, but he hadn't realised that a bit of phosperous had dropped into the turn up of his trousers, so he was observed running down the corridor with his legs in flames running into a laboratory jumping in a sink and turning the tap on very athletic! He went away again and half an hour later the same thing occurred and I saw him then with one trouser leg much shorter than the other and a pair of scissors in his hand! Wonderful!


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