Past Histories

A good few years ago I worked in a SEBN school which had day and residential pupils who were all boys. They were 12-18 years old and what most Glaswegians would have referred to as ‘neds’. They probably were, but they were for the most part pretty good fun and it was definitely the best job I have ever had. I cherish memories of working there. I was a general classroom assistant with emphasis on English and literacy though I helped out a lot in the Art department too. I helped a lot of the boys draw pictures, sometimes more than helped and though you might like to see a few of the collaborations. Some on the pictures were done on canvases with permanent markers which made them difficult to get right but we did our best.

I have blurred the boys’ faces obviously – it’s not some weird Insidious / Sinister thing going on.





As you can see gangsta rap, Celtic Football Club and Scarface were the usual preoccupations and I can’t tell you how many times I had to draw this trifecta over and over again.


There was also a day when the boys decided that instead of chibbing each other with Berol Markers pens, they could ask me to draw tattoos on them. Arms only! I tried my best and these hardened boys showed off their felt tip tattoos all day long.

Glossary – ‘chibbing’ – running at each other, using a permanent marker to make marks on each other’s person, usually faces. A trend that occurs in most Glasgow schools to this day.

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