Nobby Clarke's Sense of Humour

Dave Littlewood remembers that Nobby had a sense of humour, even if he was a strict disciplinarian.  

Nobby in 1963

Reading Dave Thornycroft's story of flying rubbers in Nobby Clarke's lesson brings to mind a similar incident when we were in the 5th form (1964 I think).  The funny thing about old Nobby is that, although he was such a strict disciplinarian, all hell was let loose in class the moment he walked out the room.  I remember kids attacking each other with files and saws when he went missing for a few minutes during metalwork -- it was just like the battle of Hastings!  I think we must have been working off the ultimate oppression of his lessons!  Of course, dire retribution followed anyone who was caught if Nobby came back unexpectedly.

However, this particular occasion was Technical Drawing (a much hated subject by many) and he had gone out for (what rumour deemed) a coffee break and the rubbers started to fly.  I remember being hit in the eye by one by some particularly loathsome individual whose face I threatened to re-arrange.  Unfortunately, one sailed high and landed behind the tall storage cupboard and Nobby re-appeared before it could be retrieved.  At the end of the lesson all the rubbers were meticulously counted as was Nobby's custom and, of course, one was missing.  Nobby said we would stay there until it were found.  Knowing him, we might still have been there now!  There was an uneasy silence until one brave (or suicidal!) lad shakily volunteered that the missing eraser might be behind the cupboard.  To which Nobby demanded, "How did it get there!"  We all expected a double form detention or worse!

Then, amazingly, the humour of the situation got to him - he actually grinned and said, "Well, find it quickly!"  So the rubber was quickly retrieved and we all beat it before he changed his mind.

Yes, Nobby had a sense of humour.  I remember him grinning broadly when Pete and Dud's 'Goodbye' was played as Buzzer bounced out of assembly!  They don't make 'em like that anymore!

Dave Littlewood
(Alias 'Forest')

The Tower Revisited  - The website for former Pupils of the Technical High School, Trinity High School & Trinity Grammar School, Northampton