We’re A Long Way From Whitchurch High School

by | Sep 2, 2017 | Poetry

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You see, long before Gareth Bale, Geraint Thomas & Sam Warburton raised the profile of Whitchurch High School there was us — the forgotten generation of forty-somethings who spent the best part of the 1980s (and early 90s) navigating their way through the corridors, stairwells and quads of Wales largest high school — trying to avoid the taxing of trainers, the sideburn pinch of Snag, the hurling objects of Mr Brazel and the general threat posed by a mass populace of hormonal teenagers.

And, so — taking more than a smidgen of inspiration from Billy Joel (whose famous song has been parodied almost as much as the Hitler bunker scene in Downfall) I pay tribute to those for whom those school days seep further and further into the distance.

We’re A Long Way From Whitchurch High School

Piggy Williams, History,
Games, Swimming, P.E.
White socks, Toni’s Van, Wear your trainers if you can
Llandaff North, Birchgrove, Eat your heart out Michael Gove
Rhiw-bina, Eglwys Wen, Robin Hood’s Merry Men

We’re a long way from Whitchurch High School
But we never miss
A chance to reminisce.
It’s a long time since we were in school
And it keeps the rage
Away from middle age.

Dangermouse, Rent-A-Ghost, 3–2–1, Ted Rogers Host
Jim’ll Fix It, It’s a Knockout, Oh My Fucking God!
Kick Start, Take Hart, Li’lo Lil, a tart
Button Moon, The Wombles and of course, Bod.

Tiswas, Saturday — a real mad-hatter day
Frank Spencer, Michael Knight, Michael Barrymore Aw’wight.
Look In magazine, Why Don’t You, Just 17
Murdoch, Face, Hale & Pace, Freddie Mercury & Queen

We’re a long way from Whitchurch High School…

Mr Nichols, CDT, Mrs Oram in RE
School Tie, Mrs Guy, Breaking up in mid-July
Mr Winters, Mr Waream,
Shout at Kids, try to scare’em.
Finish school half past three
Man that subway stinks of pee.

Registration, Assembly, Homework Diary,
After school, after dark, outside tops Caedelyn Park.
Pugh, Pugh, and Macgrew, Cuthbert, Dibble too
Dudley Jones, Mr Wadsworth and a Ford Sierra Cosworth.

We’re a long way from Whitchurch High School…

Mr T, Mrs T, Neil Kinnock, Rocky 3
6th Form, Party, Groove is in the heart
Chips from Victoria, Saturday Superstore
Home Time, Ride Bus, The opening of Toys R Us
Lower Quad, Mod Ex, Constant thoughts about Sex
Any more I can say?
Mallet’s Mallet, Wac-A-Day.


Mr Williams in his sandals, bullies, brawlers, common vandals
Nike Top, LaCoste, Reebok daps at quite a cost
Brazel, Griselle, Panda, Snag, to the trees, crafty fag
Sausage Roll and a can, Beastie Boys, Duran Duran
Date nights in the Monico, snogging, youth club disco
6th form, common room, growing stress, exams loom
Revision is such a chore, Berlin Wall & The Cold War
Wish I was in standard 4, I can’t think of anymore…

Chorus x2

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