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TITLE
Jim Love - Schooldays (3)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_JIMLOVE_04
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Jim Love
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1720
KEYWORDS
audios

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Jim Love (1943 - 2006) was one of the Highlands' most respected journalists. He joined the 'Inverness Courier' in 1988, becoming editor in 2003. He had previously been an Inverness-based reporter with the 'Press and Journal'. One of Jim's passions was jazz music but he also played a major part in the blossoming of the traditional music scene in the Highlands in the 1990s and 2000s.

In this audio extract from the radio programme 'Moray Firth People' Jim talks to Helen MacPherson about his schooldays.

When I got up to the academy my English teacher there was Eva Mackenzie, who later became Eva Crystal, Mrs Eva Crystal, and she was very interested in drama as well and she decided that she would have a school play in the Christmas concert - the first year would do a school play. And she'd devised this very elaborate script which was supposedly a trailer for a Holywood film and it had got everything in it; it had got a mad scientist, a Russian spy, monsters from outer space, cowboys, bomber pilots. And I had a kind of walk-on part as a bomber pilot - a very minor role in this, this play that 1A did in the academy - and my sole function in this scene was just to spit to show that I was a rather awkward customer and that was all I had to do in the school play. Everybody else had much bigger parts.

But I was soon found to have a particular aptitude as a scene shifter, so I was engaged to shift scenes as well. And the play was a great success. I remember that the big scene, the big climax was the, this young, clean cut scientist, who was played by Gavin Curry - who's now in Canada, I think - he had to pour this white powder into this red liquid and it was supposed to bubble up. And it was just water filled with red ink and the white powder with Andrews Liver Salts. Somebody, I think, must have been overgenerous with the Andrews Liver Salts because as soon as it was added to the water the froth bubbled over out of the bowl onto the table; it frothed over the table onto the floor; it frothed over the floor, off the edge of the stage and threatened to engulf the entire front stalls in the school hall. And of course there was uproar - everybody thought this was hugely funny. And the play was a great success; a roaring success. So successful, in fact, that we were asked to repeat it at Parents' Night.

So, we were all called together after the Christmas holidays to resume rehearsals and we were rather full of ourselves being what - twelve year old and having stardom thrust on us like this, so unexpectedly, and we were very noisy in the classroom when Eva tried to get the rehearsals underway again. So she got rather frustrated and said, 'Right! The first person who talks is out!' And, of course, smart Alex Love sticks up his hand up and says, 'Please, Miss, does that include you?' 'Right' she said, 'Out!' so I was out. So no walk-on part, no spitting, no scene-shifting. And this, I must confess, was not a great disaster or handicap as far as the play was concerned, but for some unknown reason everybody took umbrage to the fact that I had been sacked and the next morning one of the boys announced to the teacher that unless I was reinstated they were not going to perform the school play.

So, she refused of course, she couldn't be seen to relent; it would have been bad for discipline. So they refused to turn up for rehearsals for that evening. So the next morning, the rector of the Academy, DJ MacDonald, who's living up in Abbeyfield House, still, and who I see occasionally in the street, announced to the school at assembly that (quotes), 'because of an outbreak of trade unionism in 1A there will be no play at the Parents' Night this month.' And that was it. And I think I lived with this stigma as being the cause of this industrial dispute in 1A for the rest of my life at the Academy because it was six years before I ever got into another school play.

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Jim Love - Schooldays (3)

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1990s

audios

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Jim Love

Jim Love (1943 - 2006) was one of the Highlands' most respected journalists. He joined the 'Inverness Courier' in 1988, becoming editor in 2003. He had previously been an Inverness-based reporter with the 'Press and Journal'. One of Jim's passions was jazz music but he also played a major part in the blossoming of the traditional music scene in the Highlands in the 1990s and 2000s.<br /> <br /> In this audio extract from the radio programme 'Moray Firth People' Jim talks to Helen MacPherson about his schooldays.<br /> <br /> When I got up to the academy my English teacher there was Eva Mackenzie, who later became Eva Crystal, Mrs Eva Crystal, and she was very interested in drama as well and she decided that she would have a school play in the Christmas concert - the first year would do a school play. And she'd devised this very elaborate script which was supposedly a trailer for a Holywood film and it had got everything in it; it had got a mad scientist, a Russian spy, monsters from outer space, cowboys, bomber pilots. And I had a kind of walk-on part as a bomber pilot - a very minor role in this, this play that 1A did in the academy - and my sole function in this scene was just to spit to show that I was a rather awkward customer and that was all I had to do in the school play. Everybody else had much bigger parts. <br /> <br /> But I was soon found to have a particular aptitude as a scene shifter, so I was engaged to shift scenes as well. And the play was a great success. I remember that the big scene, the big climax was the, this young, clean cut scientist, who was played by Gavin Curry - who's now in Canada, I think - he had to pour this white powder into this red liquid and it was supposed to bubble up. And it was just water filled with red ink and the white powder with Andrews Liver Salts. Somebody, I think, must have been overgenerous with the Andrews Liver Salts because as soon as it was added to the water the froth bubbled over out of the bowl onto the table; it frothed over the table onto the floor; it frothed over the floor, off the edge of the stage and threatened to engulf the entire front stalls in the school hall. And of course there was uproar - everybody thought this was hugely funny. And the play was a great success; a roaring success. So successful, in fact, that we were asked to repeat it at Parents' Night. <br /> <br /> So, we were all called together after the Christmas holidays to resume rehearsals and we were rather full of ourselves being what - twelve year old and having stardom thrust on us like this, so unexpectedly, and we were very noisy in the classroom when Eva tried to get the rehearsals underway again. So she got rather frustrated and said, 'Right! The first person who talks is out!' And, of course, smart Alex Love sticks up his hand up and says, 'Please, Miss, does that include you?' 'Right' she said, 'Out!' so I was out. So no walk-on part, no spitting, no scene-shifting. And this, I must confess, was not a great disaster or handicap as far as the play was concerned, but for some unknown reason everybody took umbrage to the fact that I had been sacked and the next morning one of the boys announced to the teacher that unless I was reinstated they were not going to perform the school play. <br /> <br /> So, she refused of course, she couldn't be seen to relent; it would have been bad for discipline. So they refused to turn up for rehearsals for that evening. So the next morning, the rector of the Academy, DJ MacDonald, who's living up in Abbeyfield House, still, and who I see occasionally in the street, announced to the school at assembly that (quotes), 'because of an outbreak of trade unionism in 1A there will be no play at the Parents' Night this month.' And that was it. And I think I lived with this stigma as being the cause of this industrial dispute in 1A for the rest of my life at the Academy because it was six years before I ever got into another school play.