Sixsister go to Kirkley High
Sixsister go to Kirkley High (without the lashings and lashings of ginger beer)
Polling Day. What better way to spend it that trotting down to your local friendly rock stars’ high school? So that’s what I did. It was Thursday afternoon, and I’d spent the morning teaching Year 4 how to do a forward roll without breaking their necks, so light relief was in order. Let’s see how Lowestoft’s finest repay their debts to their educators.
I arrived. Some of you are rather more familiar with high schools than I am. I haven’t been in one for nearly 20 years, and mine only went from 14-18, so I was totally unprepared for how big it was… It took me ten minutes to follow the signs and get down to the Vocational Centre. The children are all so big.. but then I’m a titch.
A couple of minutes or so on the comfy seats, and the delightful Phil Spencer came to whisk me off. You’ll remember his name.. Justin’s said before what an inspiration he was, as a teacher. He’s been namechecked at gigs too, I was there! We’d all like that.. I was swept of to the Music Suite. Are all secondary schools like this? There were code-locked doors and ones opening automatically for us.. very Enterprise. We didn’t have the technology in my day. You had to open it yourself.
And there we were. In the room where The Darkness opened the school’s new Music Suite, a year ago, after Hazel Johnson’s invitation. It was all very hush-hush, with staff and pupils alike startled to find the lads in their midst. There’s a very nice plaque (see?). The piano Justin tinkled on is there (no, I didn’t. I’m obsessed, not sad). The donated drum kit and guitars were there. Amps and keyboards.
It was a very busy day that day. Justin had also been to see his namesake baby giraffe, and some of the South Bank Show was recorded at The Swan too.
This is fantastic. It was all refurbished and updated to provide soundproof rock and recital rooms. The school uses it for the usual Music curriculum, and specialist musicians have one to one tuition here.
It was Dan that wanted a rock music school built, and it looks like it will all slot into place… The Darkness have shown to their school that dreams DO come true, and you CAN make it to the big time. The band have given resources and recognition back to the school which had such an influence on them. We’ll let you know if anything else wonderful comes from Kirkley High.
Oh, and when I left, it was by a different door.. thankfully nearer the school gates. Lost, or what?
Many thanks to Julie Jones for arranging for me to pop in, to Hazel Johnson for the extra information, and to Phil Spencer for showing me round and chatting..
Let it be a lesson to you. Follow your dreams, and one day, your high school might let you back in for the day. Without having you arrested.