Under the headline: ‘Feeling a bit liverish?’ in today’s ‘T2’ Times supplement I read: ‘Nausea, headaches, fatigue and an inability to enjoy a drink may be signs of Gilbert’s Syndrome’.
Memories came flooding-back instantly. Not of the ‘syndrome’ but Gilbert [Swift].
My main problem was that whilst rugby was OK, I preferred running; anywhere, everywhere and distance was no object. His [Gilbert’s] problem was that if you didn’t like rugby then he (and his henchmen Allinson and Wellock) made sure that you would like it, by whatever means it took.
The other problem was that I realised that I did like rugby (brainwashed?) after 6 years at KBGS, but by then it was too late and my efforts in the inter-house and school Cross Country competitions became too difficult and I resorted to the sprints.
Remember the days when Greenhead playing fields were waterlogged (snow was OK as it acted as a cushion) and ‘Plan B’ was implemented? 'PLan B' being a cross-country over Jubilee Tower down into Steeton and back along Skipton Road pursued by Gilbert and the other masters on their bikes. When his first car (a white Ford Anglia) came along, they all plied in and, with GSS driving and the windows open, they drove around at the pace of the slowest runner at the back of the field shouting whatever words of encouragement they felt appropriate.
When you hear of schools of today needing to introduce ‘more physical exercise’ I always think of the days when Gilbert was in charge (and how) and what he would have thought about life at whatever KBGS is called now?