The offficial school magazine at Bishop Wordsworth’s School, Salisbury, in 1970 was banned from being on sale on ‘Founder’s Day’, the open day at the end of the summer term when parents and local dignitaries were invited:


With a fearsome roar a motley collection of leather-jacketed swastika-brandishing Fifth Form Hell’s Angels smash through the school gates astride their emblem-bespangled motor cycles. Out from the changing block emerge fifty or so bovver-booted crop-haired skin-heads. The playground is rapidly turned into a blood-bath.

Number 11lawn is taken over for a hippy love-in: a band of scruffy long-haired musicians beat out a stream of loud and lewd sounds from a stage erected where once was a harmless flower bed. LSD is being handed round for 3d a tab and nakedness is the order of the day.

The Headmaster’s office has long since been occupied by s force of slogan-chanting Maoist thugs, and a number of political filing cabinets hurled bodily out into the streets. Red flags are draped from the language lab and the dining hall. The Art Room has been declared a people’s park.

The remains of the Science Block are still smouldering gently in the breeze. The toilets and washrooms are in the process of being thoroughly vandalised by soccer hooligans. The new classrooms have been torn down to make barricades. Room L has been declared a disaster area.

Bishop Wordsworth’s School is stated by an official to have been “affected by social unrest.”

At this stage it should be pointed out that all this is pure fantasy. BWS has not been pitched into a state of anarchical wreckage, and here is the New Wordsworthian to prove it. Different thoughts and forms of expression have been successfully submerged by blue blazers and GCE examination syllabuses to give the impression of mere “pupils”. All is tranquility.

As the smoke clears slowly on a sunny academic afternoon, the little known words of Tim Daley drift carelessly across the scene:

 Those two fanatic demons of Honesty and Love
Held me against emotion as the sky grew mad above.
I myself determined to see this  mission through,
As the will to free all children from the sins of parents grew.

     Memories of soldiers dead for causes true and just,
Their killing long forgotten, as was the soldiers’ lust:
Then on the night’s horizon my frantic eyes did find
A building almost beautiful, but inside War enshrined …