Michael Baron remembers the class behaviour and expectations of the NSM.
Michael: The only dissenting child ever was in that room with us and he was called David something other and he played the violin or the viola and he was quiet— he wasn’t young but he was big, I remember him as a big child, but he was so naughty and he crawled - and this was so unusual for the Northern - he crawled under the chair while we were working, he took his pencil and wrote ‘rubbish’ on your— while you were doing work. And because it wasn’t school… I don’t think Mrs Robinson really knew what to do with him, you know, because I mean at school you say well you know, ‘Get outside and go and visit the Headmaster’, or whatever. But there wasn’t anything he could say you see, anyway… Matters got really bad maybe 3 or 4 weeks with this nonsense and one— the very last time he was being naughty he pulled a chair up to the door and it had these patent closers, you know, but the old style had a big thing on and it was a drain full of oily fluid.
And what happened was as you opened it there was a big hole and all the fluid went in one side and then the little hole so the hydraulic fluid took its time.
Heather: Oh I see!
M: Yeah hydraulic springs.
And he started to undo it and it started to, you know, started to drip and Mrs Robinson really was very disappointed and I… I was quite frightened and I didn’t think it was funny at all. Anyway, the following week we were in the lesson upstairs and he was in there and he was just about hatching something when who should appear at the door but Mr Griffiths. And he caught him doing something and he picked him up by the collar and the boy threw himself on the floor, as it were, sat down and protested, ‘You can’t touch me’ and ‘I didn’t do anything’ and ‘I’m not a naughty boy’. And Griff said, ‘I don’t want to hear anymore of your nonsense’. And he dragged him out on his bottom by his collar and took him outside and dragged him down the stairs and we never saw him again. And I have no idea who he was.
But I was so grateful.
You know, that somebody had done something like that because he really was spoiling it for people and we weren’t sort of averse to fun but there was a time and a place, you know.
Part of the #NSM2020 project "A 20/20 Legacy: the centenary of the Northern School of Music" supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.