Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pay rates can go down...

I was offered some teaching work at a further education college yesterday. This was a "repeat" booking as I was going to be teaching a course I first delivered 2 years ago. However, Personnel decided to cap the hourly rate at £5.90 per hour LESS than I earned in 2008. Guess my response.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

An Aire of Nostalgia

A walk by the river Aire in Leeds.
Spent part of the day on a Ramblers' walk led by my former science teacher along the river Aire from Leeds City centre to Woodlesford.

The route was strewn with memories for me. Starting with the Calls , where I learned to row and sail with the Sea Cadets, we walked past Crown Point Bridge
and the Royal Armouries. Sad to see the former location of the Sea Cadet unit at Leeds Lock Island now abandoned, with weeds poking through the parade ground and the buildings falling into dereliction.

The walk took us on out of the city's waterfront area, under South Accommmodation Road, running parallel to Hunslet Road to Thwaite Mills - and the site of the present location of the Sea Cadets (I carry a permanent reminder of the Bofors gun in the form of a lump above my left ear, where the barrel caught me a blow that needed stitching one summer Sunday afternoon in July 1976).

Lunch at Thwaite Mills allowed me to catch up with John Clark, walk leader and former Science Lecturer at the then Kitson College of Technology. John succeeded in teaching me the rudiments of physics as part of my City and Guilds course in Lithographic Printing in the early 80s. He told me he'd retired in 1992 after 24 years at the College. His quiet manner and assured delivery were still in evidence during the walk as he described the route and places of interest, such as Atkinson's Mill in Hunslet.
Afterwards, I remembered an occasion when John, a strict Methodist and teetotaler, deviated from his planned lesson (how Ofsted would've had disapproved!) to give his class of printing apprentices, who were anything but teetotal, an impromptu lecture on the action of yeast and sugar in producing alcohol and carbon dioxide: proof positive that good teachers are born, not made.

Great day, walking along the river bank and back through time - sweet memories of a landscape that was far removed from the gentrified waterfront, with its mill conversions and purpose built apartments. If any of my former TS Ark Royal shipmates read this, Old Myron's Navy's still pulling, just not by Crown Point anymore.