The Other Side of the Dale

The Other Side of the Dale

Gervase Phinn

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0140275428

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Gervase Phinn reveals his early experiences as a school inspector in The Other Side of the Dale. As the newly appointed County Inspector of Schools in North Yorkshire, Gervase Phinn reveals in this warm and wonderfully humorous account, the experiences of his first year in the job—and what an education it was! He quickly learns that he must slow his pace and appreciate the beautiful countryside—"Are tha'comin' in then, mester, or are tha' stoppin' out theer all day admirin' t'view?" He encounters some larger-than-life characters, from farmers and lords of the manor to teaching nuns and eccentric caretakers. And, best of all, he discovers the delightful and enchanting qualities of the Dales children, including the small boy, who, when told he's not very talkative, answers: "If I've got owt to say I says it, and if I've got owt to ask I asks it." With his keen ear for the absurd and sharp eye for the ludicrous, Gervase Phinn's stories in The Other Side of the Dale will not fail to make you weep with laughter.

Gustavs Grabb

The Perfect Keg: Sowing, Scything, Malting and Brewing My Way to the Best-Ever Pint of Beer

I Am the Secret Footballer: Lifting the Lid on the Beautiful Game

More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity












that.’ I just hope I prove him right, I thought to myself. The first school we visited on the following Tuesday morning was a small, grey, stone primary school, high on the moors. It was in a folded hollow beneath tall sheltering oak trees and set high above a vast panorama dotted with isolated farms and hillside barns. ‘And we get paid for this, Gervase,’ sighed Harold with a great in-drawing of breath. ‘It’s like being on top of the world up here, isn’t it? Beautiful, beautiful.’ When we

‘You know, I’ve never agreed with old Shakespeare: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I go along with Oscar Wilde: “Names are everything!” I think you can tell a great deal by a person’s name. Have you met Mrs Savage yet by the way?’ I had met Sidney very, very briefly in my first week. He had rushed into the office, puffing and panting, snatched his pile of letters, thrust some documents into Julie’s hands for typing, hurriedly shook my hand

she cried, sniffing and sobbing, her little body shaking in anguish. ‘No, you can’t have a big stick. It’s very dangerous.’ ‘I want a big stick!’ she cried. ‘I want a big stick!’ ‘You could hurt somebody with a big stick,’ I said. ‘But they’ve all got big sticks!’ she howled again. ‘They’ve all got ’em.’ At this point a very attractive young woman appeared from the direction of the playground. ‘Whatever is it, Maxine?’ she asked gently pulling the little body towards her like a hen might

replied, wiping away the little girl’s tears. ‘You weren’t there when I gave everybody one. You don’t think I’d leave you out, Maxine, do you? You come with me and I’ll get you one, a nice big one. How about that? I won’t be a moment, Mr Phinn.’ ‘A big stick?’ I murmured. ‘You’re giving this little girl a big stick?’ The teacher gave a great grin before replying, ‘She means a biscuit.’ The school was a delight: cheerful, optimistic and welcoming and the creative writing of very high quality.

following week, on a sunny but cold late autumn morning, I visited St Helen’s, a tiny Church of England primary school in the depths of the Dale, as part of the reading survey. The small stone building and adjacent chapel had been built in 1788 from the bequest of a wealthy landowner for the education of his estate workers. It had continued over the years to serve the Anglican community in the two villages of Kirby Crighton and Kirby Ruston and one or two children from the nearby United States

Download sample