The year was 1953 and Chambers Secondary Modern School was a Co-Ed school having a mixture of Boys and Girls between the age of 11 and 15. There were the usual brash types and Joe Lewis was one of them, and he was completely overbearing. He delighted in carrying out practical jokes and annoying people. This included tripping girls and boys up on the stairs, writing notes to girls with the name of boys saying they wanted to date them when they didn’t. Knocking books out of boys and girls hands and then treading on them s they got told off by the teacher for scruffy work, and much more. Rod Timms, who was the quiet type and easily embarrassed by girls, was the complete opposite of Joe. Not surprisingly he was he wasn’t at all pleased when he was made the subject of one of Joe’s pranks.
Rod had always been very shy when it came to girls. He got tongue tied and he blushed so much that he had to cover his face with his hands. But one girl, Rosanne Stuart, liked Rod and told her friend Kate, who had left the school and started work the previous term;
‘He’s really nice Kate. He has a nice face, dresses tidy and he’s kind to everyone he comes into contact with. I just think he’s smashing. I have been trying to get him to date me but he just turns and walks away from me. Is there something wrong with me?’ Kate laughed, and said to Rosanne;
‘I know Rod, he lives in my road. He is a very shy person when it comes to girls.’
But once you get through his shyness you’ll find that he will be ok with you. He wants to get on with girls but doesn’t know how to. He hasn’t got the small talk and banter that most of the other boys have. You will just have to persist. But don’t get involved with that Joe Lewis. He’s a pest and delights in upsetting people.’
Before she left the school, Kate had been pestered by Joe and he had tried unsuccessfully to get a date with her but she had ignored him. She had told him;
‘Go away Joe, I don’t like you so stop pestering Me.’ which had made Joe angry and he retaliated by putting a white mouse in her desk. Kate hated mice and ended up screaming and running out of the classroom. All the boys laughed but the girls in the class remained impassive and angry.
Joe saw that Rod was the quiet shy type, just the type he liked to annoy. The boys in the school each had a locker in the sports ground changing rooms and Joe knew how to open them without the key. Joe said to one of his conies;
‘I want you to delay Rod getting to his locker while I get to it and put a small rip in the seat of his shorts.’ and laughing said; ‘Just watch when bends over.’ and he managed to do it before Rod came into the changing room.
Of course the football match, which was against another schools team, was a disaster that day, as Rod bent to pick up the ball there was the sound of tearing and Rods shorts had split right down from top to bottom at the back. Rod was mortified as the girls from his class were watching the match as well as many from the opposing team’s school. There was a lot of laughter from nearly everyone, and Rod went red in the face and dashed off the Fields trying to stop his shorts from ripping completely. No one owned up to this prank but they all knew who had done it.
When Rosanne, who was a spectator saw it happen she felt really sorry for Rod and told her friend Kate what had happened. Kate thought for a minute and then said to Rosanne;
‘I think that Joe deserves some of his own medicine don’t you. Call the girls together for a meeting I have an idea.’
Joe was a big lad for his age and he really thought he was a charmer. He liked to think that he could get a girlfriend and then act like a man. I think you know what that means. He reckoned he could do mature things with a girl if she was willing so it was no surprise to him when Sheila Long succumbed to him and said she would go on a date.
Prior to this the girls meeting had drawn straws and Sheila had won. ‘Now you know what you have to do Sheila.’ said Rosanne.’ The rest of girls will be close by so don’t worry.’
‘Oh I know what I have to do alright. It will be a pleasure.’ replied Sheila.
Kate’s idea had sounded perfect when she had told the girls, and they were all looking forward to the end result. Joe wouldn’t know what had hit him.
Sheila was an attractive girl and got her date with Joe without any problem. Joe told his mates, who couldn’t believe Joe’s luck at getting a date with her;
‘No I didn’t have a problem getting a date with Sheila; she was putty in my hand. I’ll give her a good time on Saturday. We’re going to the dance at the church hall, why don’t you all come it will be a laugh.’ The school had run dance lessons for them as there was to be a school dance at Christmas
Saturday arrived and Sheila had dressed up in her best dance dress and looked a dream. Joe had a suit and tie on and he had had a Tony Curtis haircut, which was well Brylcreamed. As they walked into the hall Joe was surprised to see girls and boys from his class there, including Rosanne, and she had managed to get a date with Rod who was standing with her. They were playing a waltz so Sheila pulled Joe onto the dance floor. They had a couple more dances and then Sheila pulled Joe to her and without Joe wondering what she was doing she emptied a packet of powder down inside the back of Joe’s trousers together with the packet.
‘Let’s sit down Joe I’m a feeling a bit hot after those dances.’ said Sheila.
As they sat down next to Joe’s mates and chatted Joe started to look distressed. He fidgeted on his chair and started to scratch his pants. Sheila pretended not to notice and as the music started up again she said;
‘Ooh it’s another waltz. Let’s do it again Joe.’
But Joe was now up and jumping about all around the floor trying to stop his itching. That’s when all the room of people including his class started laughing at him. And he disappeared out of the door at speed.
The class and the school never had any more trouble from Joe. A year after Joe and Sheila left school they met by chance one day while out in town. Joe asked her for a date and as she had enjoyed dancing with him so much, and he was quite good looking, she agreed. He took her dancing to Wembley Town Hall and as they took the first waltz Sheila said to him;
‘Don’t worry your quite safe I won’t do the same again Joe.’
All the other dancers wondered why they were laughing so much.