by Dylan Morgan
I have written this as a meditation of sorts on what it was all about.
But I hope that it may be a trunk on which branches and leaves may grow. Perhaps
it will stimulate other ex-pupils to send in little anecdotes or thoughts.
Note that although I mention the round figure of 500 boys for the school
Colin tells me that the true figure was more like 430 to 440.
Above the school we see four-faced Time standing, commanding the tides
of boys to rise and fall, to come and go. Time, the greatest mystery and most
inexorable force of all, that unites and separates youth and age, past and
future, and pulls them as the moon pulls the seas. Up and down the valley
it pulls from their beds five hundred faces: sleepy or sullen or smiling.
It pulls on grey trousers. Short trousers for the younger boys whose torn
knees heal cheaply while cloth is still dear. Long trousers for mature youths
to suggest the adults they are being groomed by time to be. It pulls on shoes
football-scuffed or Mam-polished. It draws bread and jam or cereal or bacon
and eggs from larders and cupboards in cold or coal-fired kitchens.
Time pulls open five hundred doors of mostly terraced houses and with clockwork
precision orchestrates the convergence of boys and buses. Time watches indulgently
as boys jostle and push for those seats deemed best, as it simultaneously
sees them doing later as men. For time sees the boy in the man and the man
in the boy.