Peter Burrows

Pete Burrows took me for physics and maths in Lower Five Three. He was a great guy, an all round sportsman and occasionally took us for football. As a result of his recommendation I played for a cricket team  called The Crusaders based round the Longsight area for a short period until we had a disagreement about not turning up when it was pouring down.

He was married to a lovely lady and they lived not far away on the other side of Victoria Park. However, I think even he would agree, maths was not his strong point and physics not a lot better. When we had been at Xaverian for a year we were selected for the level of class that would last for the rest of our time until A levels. The top class had consistently good teachers where ours were patchy to say the least. I know that Pete Burrows was not entirely happy with his experience of teaching at the college and left while I was there to teach at Pope Pius X school, I think. When my parents realised that I was going to fail my maths O level, they decided a maths tutor was needed. I duly used to go every Sunday morning to a flat just off Middleton Road, Rhodes, where a youngish graduate would run me through all the things I should have learnt during the week in between cleaning up from the parties the night before. Unfortunately the damage was done and I failed. It was 1983 at the age of 35 that I managed to get a B grade which became extremely important for my future academic career.

One day our class were encouraged to bring in caged pets (don’t ask me why). One boy, Gregory Esplin, brought in his pet mouse. Another boy brought in his pet rat. Now I am not clear why this happened, but it was decided that it would be a good idea to introduce the two into the same cage during Mr Burrows’ lesson. There was an inevitable result. Someone shouted out from the back of the classroom “What’s it doing?” to  which the class wag replied “Its S***ing it!” . It’s funny the things you remember. Not so funny for Esplin who was heartbroken.

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