Author Topic: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?  (Read 1349 times)

Creaky

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 406

There has been a lot said on here about how violent and so on the teachers at the Boy's Model were. And I whole-heartedly agree that they were. But was it all really so bad? My problems started early in life. I was born during June 1955 and started primary school at the ripe old age of 4yrs and 2mths. I was always the youngest in class and struggled to keep up especially in maths. I struggled through and finally arrived at the Boy's Model where my Form 1 maths teacher was none other than Ivan Black. He was only interested in playing his piano and his dopey wee show band. He screamed and roared at me and convinced me that I was a stupid no hoper. However I managed to get through to do O levels where I met Dennis Johnston. (The Jaunt). He was a man who displayed more frustration than anger and violence, but whatever he did, he must've done it right for I developed a real liking for maths. After 2 years with him, I got a grade 1 maths O level. On the day I picked up my results, I met him in the school. He had a massive smile on his face as he congratulated me on a "magnificent achievement" and stated that he always knew I had it in me. That was the best day of my life at The Model. Not just because it was the last time I would set foot in the place but it was probably the first time I had ever received real praise and encouragement from a teacher there. The last time I heard anything about The Jaunt, he was in a care home somewhere, and that was quite some time ago so I suspect that he may no longer be with us. In any event I thank him for what he did for me and wish him well - where ever he is.

Does anyone else have good experiences of The Model to write about?
Love will always  change to sorrow, but everyone must play the game. We're here today and gone tomorrow, but the world goes on the same.

hathaway

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 239
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2017, 09:52:45 PM »
They had a good football team

dougie boy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 348
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2017, 08:31:06 PM »
It has been demolished
If this is old age I hope I die young

Creaky

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2017, 10:58:55 AM »
It also had a good rugby team I suppose, but sadly it was re-built bigger and better(?)
Love will always  change to sorrow, but everyone must play the game. We're here today and gone tomorrow, but the world goes on the same.

Sachs

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 147
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 07:32:43 PM »
I suppose it could be considered good that no teachers from my era were charged with assault

hathaway

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 239
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 10:07:34 PM »
Any “ Hard “ pupils go to the Model?

toadstool999

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4123
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 05:02:52 PM »
I suppose it could be considered good that no teachers from my era were charged with assault

If any teacher did those things today they'd definitely be eligible for some serious time in the big house. I spent two miserable years there being slapped and caned on a regular basis for minor offences like talking in class or being 5 minutes late for school etc. Mc Neilly, Ernie, Alexander,Hutch, Boyner etc. were sadists who used any excuse to inflict physical punishment on young boys. Makes you wonder sometimes if they got some kind of sick enjoyment from it.

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity

Bigali

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17440
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 05:14:32 PM »

If any teacher did those things today they'd definitely be eligible for some serious time in the big house. I spent two miserable years there being slapped and caned on a regular basis for minor offences like talking in class or being 5 minutes late for school etc. Mc Neilly, Ernie, Alexander,Hutch, Boyner etc. were sadists who used any excuse to inflict physical punishment on young boys. Makes you wonder sometimes if they got some kind of sick enjoyment from it.

I didn't go to the Boys Model but I've posted on this forum before about sadistic teachers at my own old school and I have to agree some of them today would be guilty of Actual Bodily Harm particularly my headmaster who seemed to take pleasure out of inflicting pain. I saw him one day in his office knock a boy to the floor after hitting him across the face with a rolled up copy  of a National Geographic magazine , it was just the same as if he'd hit him with his fist  >:D
Support Soldier F Support Soldier B

The courageous deeds and sacrifices of the RUC and UDR must never be airbrushed from history .

Creaky

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 07:36:35 PM »

I feel as though I have proved a point here. I had read so much on here about the violence in that place and previously on the old Friends Reunited site that I had to ask the question "Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boys Model School"?  And look at the replies. One states "They knocked it down". And here we are back once again talking about the sadistic teachers and what they got up to. It is my belief though that they weren't all happy with the situation. I believe that it came down from the top and that at least some of them felt that they had to emulate McNeilly and Davis in order to maintain some sort of status with them. See my previous posting on the subject.

http://www.belfastforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,44238.msg2005727.html#msg2005727
Love will always  change to sorrow, but everyone must play the game. We're here today and gone tomorrow, but the world goes on the same.

ulstermarine

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2020, 02:13:31 PM »
Afraid not.  I attended 1953/4 when Ernie Davis was PT teacher and we used Cliftonvilles playing fields across Cliftonville Road behind the advertising hoardings.  I was not much of a runner but had an interest in throwing the javelin and so Ernie took it upon himself to train me.  One day after a bout of heavy rain and in order to avoid puddles I loosed the javelin from a point rather closer to the hoardings than usual with the result it passed between two adjacent hoardings and lodged in the side of a double deck bus.  Fetched before McNeilly, I was 10/11 years old, and caned till both hands bled copiously. On my bus home that day from Manor Street the conductor remarked, 'you'd best get that cleaned up son and don't bother looking for a fare.'  That ended my love of the javelin. I learned nothing except fear in that so called school. Sorry I wasn't around to witness McNeillys day of giving an account to St Peter!  Left school to go to the Tech, and in 1958/9 off to sea as a midshipman eventually graduating as master mariner from Southampton (Warsash) university. Anyone of that era remember a young chap, Peres, who spent a term or two with us during renovations at his school, the Jaffa, across the road from BRA.  His interest in life was anything to do with atomics! The only other pupil I can remember was a chap Simmonds/Symonds from the upper Shankill Road near Ainsworth Avenue who was also caned many times, until one day his shipyard father arrived at school. That ended his punishments.  Owing to my occupation, I have been fortunate to have travelled worldwide, met many interesting folk, served in two war zones, and kept notes religiously, turning them into books many years later.  Anyone remember me please respond.  Mike A.     

Den123

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 229
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2020, 08:07:26 PM »
If any teacher did those things today they'd definitely be eligible for some serious time in the big house. I spent two miserable years there being slapped and caned on a regular basis for minor offences like talking in class or being 5 minutes late for school etc. Mc Neilly, Ernie, Alexander,Hutch, Boyner etc. were sadists who used any excuse to inflict physical punishment on young boys. Makes you wonder sometimes if they got some kind of sick enjoyment from it.

Most of the Teachers at any school in that era were appalling sadists. They had the power to do as they pleased and they often did as they pleased. If a guy in civvy street had have inflicted the same sadistic acts upon kids as so called 'teachers' did, they would have been arrested and jailed. 'Teachers' knew they could get away with it within the school setting and boy did they play on that. Scum, pure scum.

Lost Login

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
Re: Does anyone have anything good to say about the Boy's Model School?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2020, 11:07:09 AM »
Do I have anything good to say about the Boys’ Model School?  Personal preferences are what they are. But I still think that English teacher, Denis Russell was the best teacher in the school. I first encountered him in Third Year – specifically in Room 15. He picked up a book and began reading from it. Within seconds, I realized that this teacher was somehow different to all the rest in the school.

He had a gift. If you gave him any fictitious book, his expressive powers were such that he could make the characters come to life. For the next three years he would have us read through Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Kes by Barry Hines, A Kind Of Loving by Stan Barstow as well as other works like The Long, The Short and The Tall and Fair Stood the Wind For France.  When we embarked on the CSE English Literature syllabus, that’s when the lessons really took off. He taught us that there was more to English than boring old English literature classics. His lessons had a kind of “media studies” theme to them. But that didn’t mean that they were any less appreciated.  He taught us how advertisers get their message across, the thinking behind quiz shows and news broadcasts. We were also given the opportunities to watch movies such as Cool hand Luke and Kelly’s Heroes.

Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Russell could be a very stern disciplinarian when he wanted or needed to be.  I remember him telling us that he and his wife had been “bantered” by some of my classmates when he and his wife were out shopping in town on Saturdays. “ Now I don’t mind if you say ‘What about ye!’ But if you say anything about my wife…I will put you on your back!” One of my classmates said, “You can’t do that, sir. We could sue you.” “We’ll see whose word stands up in a court of law”, he said tersely. The bantering ceased after that.

In 1978, the Gallaher Building had been opened, which made a great change from being stuck in a 1950’s time-warped building. Among these changes was the largest classroom in the school – G10. From it’s layout, I’ve always thought that it was originally meant to be the sixth form centre. But nevertheless, during the 1978-1979 term it was the venue for two periods of English, last thing on Friday afternoons. It really was the best class all week. We were all getting ready for the weekend – and he knew it. His classes then were fun. We always had a laugh.

But no matter how much we bantered him, he was always able to bat it back. I think there was only one occasion when we managed to get one over on him. After a play by a visiting theatrical group, one of my class mates asked him, “Sir, we saw you at the play. You were getting excited, weren’t you?” He replied “Yes, at that girl in the  low-cut top”. The reply came, “No sir. At that bloke dropping his trousers!”
Thanks to his tuition, I passed the English Literature exam. I think it’s a matter for regret that he never taught me English to O Level standard instead of the boring Mrs. Fowler. Not that he could because he left the school to embark upon post grad studies. Indeed there were sometimes when he was absent from the popular Friday afternoon in G10 classes.

To sum up, did all this make my time at the Model enjoyable? If you gave me ten teachers of the same capability as Denis Russell, I’d have been a lot happier, especially if I’d never had to endure a certain Geography teacher who deliberately tried to set me up for an after school beating by the rest of the class. At present, I could name on the fingers of one hand five teachers who’ve shaped my life – two of them from the Model. The other one being History teacher Alan Anderson. Past, present and future Denis Russell deserves a big hand for being the best teacher that the Model ever saw.
Not available in Northern Ireland.