Grange Hill

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simon10011
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by simon10011 »

I got into Grange Hill around 1985, i would have been 11. I remember Gonch and all his schemes, Hollo, Calley and Ronnie. Had a couple of series on tape at the time including a Christmas Special from maybe 86 or 87 which i watched on a loop. It must have been around this time that the storyline with Fay and her affair with a teacher i think called Mr King was on. I wonder had they would handle that these days.
I don't remember at the time having any strong opinions about the quality of storylines and acting although i would now.
I must have watched it till around 95, one of the last characters i remember was Justine played by Rachel Victoria Roberts.
Final thought didn't they also change the titles and theme to a more electronic sound! I think this coincided with the change in Uniform and badge as well.

GarethR
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by GarethR »

Simone "Calley" Hyams was a lodger at my friend's house in the mid-90s, just before the minor kerfuffle over her and Michael Winner. My friend had no idea who she was until I told him.

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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Mike S »

simon10011 wrote: Final thought didn't they also change the titles and theme to a more electronic sound! I think this coincided with the change in Uniform and badge as well.
The original 'Chicken Man' theme (which fits the show/opening titles so well it's hard to believe it wasn't written specifically for the programme) stuck around until 1986 didn't it? They used a rearrangement for a couple of series, but then dropped it completely c1989 in favour of some synth-based plinky-plonkyness.

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Simon36
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Simon36 »

I still think it was astoundingly good from the off up until Just Say No. Then to me it all went t***s up. The Gonch year was when I gave up. An utterly dull bunch, written very childishly, and all such knowing attempts to replicate the stereotypes of money making Arthue Daley type a la Pogo and so on.

Harriet the Donkey. Jesus Christ.

sixpennypiece
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by sixpennypiece »

The original theme was used for the first 10 series . Around 1979 a more naff arrangement of it was being used as the theme to Thames Give Us A Clue.
A similarly naff version was used on GH series 11 and 12 and then the faster theme started with series 13 until the last one or two series where a very short version of the original theme returned.

As for shooting on film - IIRC series 4 was the first to include entire episodes on film . Series 5 had the famous Whipsnade visit episode where Jonah ends up soaked .
The standard studio VT / location 16mm mix of the time was the same for GH although each series from then on seemed to have 1 , sometimes 2 episodes per series entirely on film - usually saved for the school trips although this practice ended by the late 80's presumably due to the improved ease of shooting location footage on VT

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Re: Grange Hill

Post by GarethR »

Looking back at old GH, I'm always struck by how good Michael Cronin was as Baxter. Genuinely believable as a PE teacher, but with the right firm-but-fair edge so that you didn't end up hating him for being, well, a PE teacher.

He's fantastic in Gripper's final scene (look for "The End of Gripper" on YT), which is spoiled only by a spectacularly poor piece of direction which makes Baxter look like he's referring to the wrong people when he says "Say goodbye to your friends".

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Mickey
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Mickey »

Yes, he was good (although if we're talking about the Gripper storyline, I find it's Brian Capron's Mr Hopwood who really impresses). Hopwood was always one of the better teachers, of the 'nice but tough when necessary' category. Another good one was Michael Percival as Mr Mitchell, way back at the beginning.

Actually, one thing that did amuse me when I rewatched the show was how my opinion of Baxter had changed. I watched almost from the beginning, when very young, due to much older siblings, and I used to think that he was terrifying. Cronin certainly was good at delivering a stern line.

Last saw him in series one of the BBC's "Merlin". Stopped watching after series one, so I have no idea if he continued doing it, but it was nice to see him again, if briefly.

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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Mike S »

Yes, it's hard to watch that Baxter/Gripper scene without getting 'something in your eye' (as it were).

I like the way he talks to Roland in that series 5 episode too ('Don't you ever think about your body, lad?'). Plus all his 'No sir, that's right sir' responses to pupils, which always make me laugh.

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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Mike S »

I mentioned this on Roobarb's, but it's easy to forget/not realise how young Gwyneth 'Mrs McCluskey' Powell (I always nearly call her Gwyneth Paltrow) was during her reign. Catherine Tate in Big School is the same age as Powell was when she left in 1991 - ie, 45.

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Simon36
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Simon36 »

Mickey wrote:Yes, he was good (although if we're talking about the Gripper storyline, I find it's Brian Capron's Mr Hopwood who really impresses). Hopwood was always one of the better teachers, of the 'nice but tough when necessary' category. Another good one was Michael Percival as Mr Mitchell, way back at the beginning.

Actually, one thing that did amuse me when I rewatched the show was how my opinion of Baxter had changed. I watched almost from the beginning, when very young, due to much older siblings, and I used to think that he was terrifying. Cronin certainly was good at delivering a stern line.
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Absolutely agree. And Capron was superb. I always thought that class featuring Stewpot etc that Hopwood was form tutor to was a really great ensemble too

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Mickey
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Mickey »

Yes, they always were my favourite group. The year that Stewpot joined the cast (just looked it up, and it was January '81), is the first series of the show that I remember watching properly. The vandalism outbreak, Tucker getting in trouble with Booger Benson, and Stewpot getting knocked about by the PE teacher - not big, showy storylines perhaps, but effective ones. Although it was Robbie and Ziggy and co who were more or less the same age as me, Stewpot's year were my year. Probably biased in their favour, in that case, but I'd still argue that theirs were the best years of the show.

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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Mickey wrote:Hopwood was always one of the better teachers, of the 'nice but tough when necessary' category.
IIRC, Hopwood was the object of Claire Scott's schoolgirl crush, manifesting itself in her fantasising about him in her diary, which led to far less trouble that it would today, when her mother found it. In fact, it's probably a storyline that wouldn't be touched with a barge-pole these days, because it sends the "wrong message."
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

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Re: Grange Hill

Post by GarethR »

Hopwood was always the type of teacher whose class you wanted to be in, but these days it doesn't ring true for me that his subject is woodwork. He ought to be teaching one of the trad academic subjects, ideally English.

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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Mike S »

Whereas there's a part of me that refuses to believe Michael Cronin isn't a PE teacher in real life.

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Mickey
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Mickey »

I think Claire's father burst into the woodwork room and punched Hopwood, but it was all cleared up relatively painlessly, yes. Claire even jokes about it in later years. No tabloid hate campaign, or vigilantes spraying graffiti.

As to whether they'd do something similar now; that probably depends on what sort of platform they have available to do it on. Since Children's TV got relegated to its own channel, it doesn't really pass across my radar anymore. Presumably they do still have drama series? They seemed to be abandoning older children, the last time I took a look at anything on Children's BBC, in which case it probably wouldn't be appropriate now, no.

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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Mickey wrote:I think Claire's father burst into the woodwork room and punched Hopwood, but it was all cleared up relatively painlessly, yes. Claire even jokes about it in later years. No tabloid hate campaign, or vigilantes spraying graffiti.
Indeed. These days, there would be no such quick resolution. Hopwood would be suspended, possibly for months, while the local authorties and social services "investigated." Even though false accusations greatly outnumber real ones, the official mantra is that they are all treated as real, with the child's word given primacy over the teacher's by default, and even if the accusation can be shown to be false, they shouldn't be punished for potentially ruining a teacher's career, because it may well be evidence of abuse elsewhere (i.e. someone completely unconnected with the accused teacher, or even the school). The whole system is underpinned by a dangerously naive assumption that children are incapable of malice, lying, or even gross exaggeration.
As to whether they'd do something similar now; that probably depends on what sort of platform they have available to do it on. Since Children's TV got relegated to its own channel, it doesn't really pass across my radar anymore. Presumably they do still have drama series? They seemed to be abandoning older children, the last time I took a look at anything on Children's BBC, in which case it probably wouldn't be appropriate now, no.
It's been noted previously that GH ultimately fell foul of the dictat that all CBBC programme should be aimed at a maximum age of 12. This leaves anyone older essentially at the mercy of fantasy nonce-fodder like Skins.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Mike S »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote:Even though false accusations greatly outnumber real ones
Citation needed, I think. Are unproven ones being filed under 'false' here?
the official mantra is that they are all treated as real, with the child's word given primacy over the teacher's by default
Well, it's a difficult line to tread, because the alternative is that victims are greeted with a sceptical raised eyebrow, which then disencourages others from coming forward.

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Simon36
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Simon36 »

Steering rapidly away from all that, a word I think for just how damn good vintage Grange Hill was at depicting grown ups. McClusky's scenes with Keating being a case in point.

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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Mike S wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote:Even though false accusations greatly outnumber real ones
Citation needed, I think. Are unproven ones being filed under 'false' here?
TES: Half of claims made against staff found to be baseless

The above is about cases dealt with by local authorities, i.e. those escalated outside the school, so doesn't include accusations that weren't referred up (think back to the girl who accused a techer of pushing her in a corridor in Eductaing Essex, which the school CCTV showed was a complete lie).

The Independent: Why are pupils making so many false allegations against teachers?

This notes that 50% of accusations against ATL members were dismissed immediately - these will be by definition cases not escalated to the local authority. If of those that were, 47% were false, then it follows that something like three-quarters of all accusations are.
the official mantra is that they are all treated as real, with the child's word given primacy over the teacher's by default
Well, it's a difficult line to tread, because the alternative is that victims are greeted with a sceptical raised eyebrow, which then disencourages others from coming forward.
The problem is that the opposite can be the case, with "investigations" taking place and reaching conclusions without the tecaher is question actually being asked for their side of the story, or at least not until long after the child's version has become firmly established (since until then it is the only one heard). Even when teachers are exonerrated, some schools would still rather get rid of them, e.g. from the Independent piece:

"One secondary schoolteacher said: "Two work colleagues have recently been suspended: one was dismissed despite a police investigation proving innocence." A primary teacher from Wales added: "The police were notified but no action was taken as the child who assaulted me was under the required age. Following this, the child's parent accused me of hitting her child. I have not returned towork in a school place since. I had post traumatic stress and a period of long-term sick." " [added emphasis for context]
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

ayrshireman
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by ayrshireman »

Simon36 wrote:

Harriet the Donkey. Jesus Christ.
Intentional or ironic use of phrase?. LOL

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Mickey
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Mickey »

Simon36 wrote:Steering rapidly away from all that, a word I think for just how damn good vintage Grange Hill was at depicting grown ups. McClusky's scenes with Keating being a case in point.
That's true. There's a good scene during the vandalism storyline in around season four, when McCluskey, Keating and the caretaker are discussing what to do. Seeing them airing their thoughts adds to the storyline. There are quite a few scenes in those earlier years - from 1980 to about 1986, perhaps - when it really was a proper drama, that could easily be enjoyed by any age group.

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Simon36
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Simon36 »

It was so damned well observed. The third ever episode, the Judi Preston bullying one, contains a marvellous moment where Trisha steps in to help Judi when Tucker and his mates are annoying her, and then at break Judi stands by the entrance waiting for trisha to appear hoping to strike up her first friendship, only for Trisha to then walk past oblivious, deep in conversation. I always remember that so clearly from childhood, very accurate stuff and very touching.

SgtPepper
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by SgtPepper »

One story which at the time I found absolutely incredulous was about Simon Shaw not being able to read. The school system that I went through it would have been absolutely 100% impossible to reach the age of 11/12 with no one noticing that you couldn't read. In fact I can't imagine anyone even getting through the first week. People I've spoken to since have said they came across it at their schools but I still find it hard to conceive how it could be possible.

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Ross
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Ross »

A friend of mine with dyslexia dropped out of high school at the age of thirteen in favour of home-schooling. He says that at that point he couldn't read.

It does seem astonishing, but he swears it's true.

JezR
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by JezR »

A friend of mine couldn't read or write when he left school, who basically had given up on him. He was taught how to though by his wife, who has no teaching background.

rachel leah
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by rachel leah »

I did not learn to read until age 8 when my parents noticed that the school wasn't doing it. They taught me then. I learned from them within 1 year. We are talking circa 1983-4. I wasn't a low IQ child.
I can imagine a child of lower intelligence getting left behind in the chaos or lack of seriousness.

I don't know when that Grange Hill story line is from but definitely during my time the way they taught you to read was to leave you with a book on your own and then 2 minutes with a teacher. They used a lot of "modern teaching methods". A bit pathetic really.

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Ross
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by Ross »

The Simon Shaw illiteracy (dyslexia?) storyline is in series two from 1979.

ayrshireman
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Re: Grange Hill

Post by ayrshireman »

rachel leah wrote:I did not learn to read until age 8 when my parents noticed that the school wasn't doing it. They taught me then. I learned from them within 1 year. We are talking circa 1983-4. I wasn't a low IQ child.
I can imagine a child of lower intelligence getting left behind in the chaos or lack of seriousness.

I don't know when that Grange Hill story line is from but definitely during my time the way they taught you to read was to leave you with a book on your own and then 2 minutes with a teacher. They used a lot of "modern teaching methods". A bit pathetic really.
No offence, but didn't your parents teach you to read BEFORE you started school at age 5?. As they are supposed to do, as your parents.

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Re: Grange Hill

Post by GarethR »

ayrshireman wrote: No offence, but didn't your parents teach you to read BEFORE you started school at age 5?. As they are supposed to do, as your parents.
Some parents do choose to hothouse their children as far as reading goes, but really, the idea that children should be able to read before they go to school is bollocks. It's just not necessary to rush it. Look at the rest of Europe, where children typically don't even start school till age 6, and in some cases don't begin formal reading lessons till age 7.

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Re: Grange Hill

Post by JWG »

GarethR wrote:
ayrshireman wrote: No offence, but didn't your parents teach you to read BEFORE you started school at age 5?. As they are supposed to do, as your parents.
Some parents do choose to hothouse their children as far as reading goes, but really, the idea that children should be able to read before they go to school is bollocks. It's just not necessary to rush it. Look at the rest of Europe, where children typically don't even start school till age 6, and in some cases don't begin formal reading lessons till age 7.
But what connection is there in each case between starting school and having formal reading lessons on the one hand,and learning to read?

I'm pretty sure that all the kids who started school when I did could read fairly well,for their age.

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