I can’t believe it’s 16 years ago since I started college.
6th Form college wasn’t something a place I took to, I couldn’t lock in to the tutors teaching methods and while I was likely capable of doing what was asked of me, it wasn’t freeing or interesting enough, and when I’m not interested in something I become impossible. I think that explains my Media & Photography U grades (results so poor they apparently couldn’t be marked).
I moved to Yorkshire Coast College (Westwood) after being told I couldn’t progress at 6th Form. That’s when I took up Photography & Graphic Design. That went mostly well, and my predicted final grades were Distinctions but after the first year, the day before 2nd year started, I decided it wasn’t enough for me and dropped the course and asked to switch to a Music course instead.
That’s where I first met tutors JP, Paul, and Jim. Tutors who got where we were coming from, understood what we wanted to do and kept as much of the typical class bullshit to a minimum, encouraging to get out there and create opportunities for ourselves and giving us a kick up the arse when we needed it. It’s things like this that clicked with us, and I’m sure is why a lot of us considered them to be friends.
Detailed memory of my time at Westwood is relatively hazy. At one point I was in so many bands I burned out, I drank a lot, and I went through a breakup of a pretty long term relationship.
I eventually completed a course and I think I got a distinction… well, that’s what I put on my CV anyway. I thought that would be me done with Westwood, except by the time I was leaving a band I was in was getting pretty serious and the guitarist & drummer were just starting the course. This ensured I hung out behind the scenes for the next 2 or 3 years.
Staff came and went, but JP and Paul were there through it all and for the years after I properly left. I heard of JP leaving on social media, and went along with Nick for a quick catch up. There was a whole mixup online involving a petition to have JP stay at the college, but he seems perfectly going on to do his Beach Hut Theatre Company, writing and directing full time!
There were a few of us there from back when we were students, and some newer faces that I didn’t recognise, but it was great to all be together for a couple of hours in Indigo Alley, chatting, performing songs and getting to hear JP continue to be the keyboard wizard that he always has been.
The crowd slowly died down and after a few ciders, I headed back with Nick to his to record some sounds.
Here’s a few photos!