Slindon figures strongly in our little family's lives.
Jay, my son, went to Slindon College when he was eleven.
Two years later I was going through a divorce and joined the PTA to give myself something to do.
I wound up dating the young, very handsome, (rather wild) sports teacher, Nass.
|I took this photo in our early days.|
Had it blown up as big as a poster.
When I collected it from Bonusprint the shop assistant said,
"Gawd, he's nice, my old man wouldn't let me 'ave that on my wall!"
It made all that divorce stuff worth it when I was able to say,
" That IS my old man"
Jay was mortified, as you can imagine.
"Don't you dare tell the boys at school."
That's Jay and Mr. Nassarian.
Nass had come to school in England from Iran at 10.
I think his parents thought it would calm him down.
( No comment.)
He wound up at Slindon College.
Because of the uprising in Iran and the war with Iraq, he couldn't get home.
In fact, he never returned until he was 30.
Didn't see any of his family for over 20 years.
When he finished his schooling, he had no-where to go.
The school kept him on and trained him to teach PE.
One day he was a "boy," the next day he was on the podium taking the register.
He was understandably nervous.
Didn't know how the boys would react.
Fortunately, he was well-liked.
As he called each name a very clear, "here sir," rang out.
He played for Slindon cricket club.
As a 14-year-old, and a good cricketer even then, he marched into their weekly meeting at The Newburgh Arms.
" If you only pick me when you need an extra man I'm not playing for you. You either pick me for the team or I'm out."
He played for the Slindon Village side until he was 50.
(He also played for the Arundel Castle team for many years.)
As a teacher, Nass lived in what was the old Victorian Primary school.
His front door was 15 paces from The Newburgh Arms front door.
So yes, Slindon. the school and village have been very much part of our lives.
For Nass, it was his family.
The Bignor Walk was a tradition at the end of each term, in both Nass's days as a pupil and Jays.
The Folly was another.
And yes...Nass did eventually get home and was reunited with his family.
But, hey, that's a story for another time.
Here's the Folly Walk.
The Guardian link gives you a route.
during the depression following the Napoleonic Wars.