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My biggest and my smallest audience - at the same time!

When I was at school I never won a prize for anything. Had there been an award for the longest hair-style I’d have been in with a chance (it was the 1970’s remember) but incredible as it seems the teaching staff somehow failed to spot my brilliance in all the years I was at school.

The only thing I remember about school prize-days was that there was always a speech from a visiting dignitary who, unless he was the mayor, none of the pupils had ever heard of. After shaking hands with the dozens of prize winners it was his duty to make a rousing speech to the boys, capped of with a request to ‘the head’ to give us boys an extra day’s holiday.

The teaching staff somehow failed to spot my brilliance in all the years I was at school!

Luckily I remembered all this when I was asked to perform the duty of ‘visiting dignitary’ at SWB Academy’s prize awards recently.. Of course I am in no way an important person, but the academy’s problem was that the local MP who they’d booked was detained in Westminster, there was no time to find another VIP and … well let’s just say they had reached the bottom of their guest speaker barrel.

In the end my speech went quite well - the students even laughed when they were supposed to - and nobody threw anything at the stage. Best of all, I came away with a prize; well, a gift at least! (Thank you to organiser Hazel Oliver).

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