Friday, 31 March 2017

The Life and Death of Leon Disco

SATURDAY 1st April 2017

Yesterday 26 people checked out my blog.

HI and THANKS to you all.

The blog found a new friend yesterday - a reader from Jamaica. Lovely part of the world. 

I love The Caribbean.


Before I get stuck in to today's blog can I remind you all of the date !

I am going to hand the blog over now to my persona The Geriatric DJ...............

Yesterday I posted a comment on facebook for my former students. I was then inundated with messages so I thought I would here tell everyone about..............


In January 1975 I joined the staff of Leon School, a large comprehensive school on the Southern tip of the New City of Milton Keynes.

The headmaster was Mr D B Bradshaw, an old fashioned, wonderfully kind man who really cared for all of the pupils and staff members in his school.

Every Tuesday evening Mr Bradshaw ran the school disco and persuaded me to come along and help him. NO, he was not the DJ - he brought in a mobile disco to play the music.

I was then form tutor of 3 Blue and taught English within Integrated Studies in the lower school. Our Year Team Leader was the late Donald Capp, husband of Mrs Daphne Capp - Head of Music. (Daphne Capp, now in her late 80's is still a very close friend of my family.) When Don  moved to become head of music at The Lord Grey School Mr Bradshaw invited me to become Head of Year.  I could not believe the promotion and accepted with much gratitude.

When the mobile disco used for Tuesday evenings packed up and vanished Mr Bradshaw had an idea.  Instead of having an after school disco each Tuesday we could have a lunchtime disco every day in the school hall. He approached me and said the school would buy the equipment needed if I would run it.

Of course I would.  I gathered a group of lads together as DJs and Leon Disco was born. Let me play you some songs from our record collection at the very start of Mr Bradshaw's project.

The lunchtime discos were very popular among the pupils and the staff loved them as I was keeping everyone out of trouble allowing coffee and fags to be consumed in the staff room.

My aging brain can not recall why it was we stopped the lunchtime discos and reverted back to the weekly evening events but that is what happened.

So Headmaster Mr D B Bradshaw ,was the founder of Leon Disco, not myself.  I just did as I was told by my boss.  When new head Mr Bruce Abbott came along he was supportive of the discos although the caretakers were not so keen with the mess left behind and the scrubbing of the floors the next day.  Many a time I had to grovel and apologise.

The death of Leon Disco came following a break in at the school where our record collection was stolen.  Things then just faded away.  Shame !

So my facebook friends tell me the music you remember and I will play it for you on YouTube.

Since I was a young child I have loved music. Wearing now my hat as a Amazon e-book
writer - Max Robison - I tell in my Schoolboy Autobiography how at junior school a useless music teacher thought this was a subject just for girls. IU tooke her on in a battle and won !  Then in secondary school how I passed GCE O Level Music and developed a love for Mozart, Beethoven and Gilbert & Sullivan opera..

I hated my schoolboy years - education was monochrome but it did give me my life-long love of music, soething so central to my life.

Yes, I like pop music - preferably from the 1960's, 70's and 80's - today's stuff is rubbish.  I like classical. I love opera and ballet.

On Thursday evening I went to watch a Royal Opera House production of Madama Butterfly. Sadly not at Covent Garden but at Cineworld, Northampton.

My son-in-law is Operations Manager at Cineworld who take live feed from different places. On Thursday it was Madama Butterfly from The Royal Opera House.

I am listening to this beautiful piece of music as I type this blog. 

On Sunday next week I am going back to Northampton to watch The Bolshoi Ballet.  On my list of things to do before my 100th birthday is to go to Moscow and watch a live performance of the world's finest ballet company.  Tickets at the Bolshoi start at £1,000 !

My oldest grandson is an Alpha Male - look at him, looks as if butter would could not melt in his mouth ! He 
says ballet it girlie !  

Little git !  

My oldest granddaughter, however, goes to ballet classes where she ,lives. She is only five but I look forward to her being old enough for me to take to the ballet - in Moscow perhaps !

For my facebook friends in the Lewis's Department Store Group I am scribbling my memories of the two years I spent there, July 1967 to August 1969, faster than I can type them up.  This week-end I will get my backside into gear and bring The Story Of A Teenage Entrepreneur (FAILED) to the store's January sale in 1968.  That was a major turning point in my career. Staff Manager Mr H E Harris decided I should move to the Soft Furnishing department.

One of my friends at Lewis's was Tony, supervisor in the record department. How we all envied him working there.

This story, when finished, will never be a best seller on Amazon but that is not why I am writing it.

I am partly writing for my own ego trip as a time machine takes me back to those wonderful post-school teenager years
and secondly to fulfill my purpose of being the Thinking Man's Enid Blyton.

More than any author before her or after her, Enid Blyton with her Noddy In Toyland, Famous Five and Secret Seven books inspired children to write their own stories.

That is what I try to do, not children but adults, to get them to write their own stories. As I rfamble through my memories of Lewis's Department Store the writing is rubbish, no other word for it, but I hope I am doing an Enid Blyton and moving the readers to write their own stories.

And with that I guess I had better bring this blog to an end. 

This is David - aka The Gerriatric DJ - aka Writer Max Robinson - aka The Patriotic Pensioner signing off.

Speak again tomorrow.

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