please empty your brain below

Cosmic Encounter remains a great game and you'd still enjoy playing it, even forty years later. You (pl.) were pretty ahead of your time to have a copy of it in '82 - I wonder if Games Workshop might have been importing it at the time?
Bill had just received Cosmic Encounter Expansion Pack 8 for his birthday, so it can't have been too hard to source.
Your 6th form experience was quite unlike mine (more music, football and boob chat at lunchtimes in North London) but I remember well the discomforting shock I registered on leaving, caused by the knowledge that comforting routine, places and familiar people would never again feature in my day to day life.
I still have the two blue Dinky Toys VW Beetles that I got from sending off coupons on the backs of cereal packets (sorry, too long ago to remember what, although probably Cornflakes, and I never even thought about keeping one in its unopened box with a view to future Antiques Roadshows).

Regrettably I also, at some point, got rid of the books of those cards that used to come with packets of tea (Brooke Bond mainly, I think. According to Wikipedia: 'Many of these card collections are now valuable collectors' items.'. Ho hum).

Like other commenters on your previous post fifteen years ago I don't recall a single 'last day of sixth form', it just seemed to peter out. I met up with a couple of them some time later, but since then I've only had contact with one, through Friends Reunited, but I think he was the only one on there. Most of the other people on there were after my time at the school.

Perhaps I'll have another go at trying to look them up...
I wondered which secondary you attended but mention of Station Approach gave it away. I suspected it might have been the one at the top of Scots Hill but clearly not.

I was head boy when in sixth form (SJA in Ricky) so have been left to sort out our year reunions ever since. The last one was in 2020 - 30 years since we left SJA - but I don't know if I can be bothered any more. Funny how one can spend a lifetime being typecast by others yet it takes that long to work it out.

And 40 years is a hell of a long time but in many ways can still feel like yesterday...
Atilla the Stockbroker does a great poem about the Brighton Manchester United cup final, “And Smith Must Score”

Er, that’s it.
I have no memories of my final "regular" day at school, which was 4 years after yours. I learned to play bridge in the 6th form, the only time I've ever played it. Bridge and darts were the way we relaxed in the common room...

The Conservatives won both the Mock Elections in my school (83,87) matching the result in the local constituency.
You mentioned back in your 2008 retrospective that
"board games were made of cardboard, didn't plug in, didn't flash, didn't move, didn't keep score for you, and didn't cost £49.99"
While the first five points are still true, alas inflation has bitten and Cosmic Encounter is now RRP £69.99!
That was lovely.
I have no recollection of my last day at school, which is a pity.
That was also enlightening; after reading the blog for years, I hadn't worked out you did sciences!
I suspect you won't confirm it, but did you study maths at university?
My son went to your old school, and fortunately his main core of friends is from there, 12 years later; so pretty sure they'll be friends for life!
The lesson moved to the chemistry lab wasn't chemistry.
Funny, I have no real recollection of my last proper day in sixth form. It's the exams and getting the results that stick in my mind.

But I went to a sixth form college (no school sixth forms round here) and maybe leaving an institution after only two years has less of an impact than leaving a high school if you've been there for seven.

Mind you, the only thing I really remember about my last day at high school was people signing shirts and me not seeing the point and thinking it was all a bit of a waste of a white shirt. White shirts that - I think - I ended up wearing not long after when I got a job in a supermarket bakery (said supermarket was hopeless at actually giving you a uniform.)
Aaah, what a wonderful snapshot of school life 40 years ago. Your classmates don't sound as if they were stressing too much over the impending exams!

I don't remember my 'last days (O or A levels) though we probably had some form of 'good luck' assembly. Study leave starts a couple of weeks earlier now.
It always strikes me as odd that today the local school has a big Leavers Do on Friday (complete with 'Sunday Best' and lots of hugs and tears and milling about outside as if they'll never see each other again) and then promptly all meet on Monday morning, back in uniform for the first core subject exam!
Given your university destination I was wondering whether they still had 7th terms entry exams. Presumably not.
I left school fifty years ago this month straight after my CSE physics exam. Never went back, results then came in the post. Lost touch with all those at my school years ago.

Those in the higher stream that year had the chance to stay on in for the sixth form that was going to start in Sept 73. Those in my 5th form year were the last that could have left after the 4th the year before, some left but I can't remember how many.

I am now a Site Manager working at a school, last November as part of the works we have been doing, we demolished the ROSLA Blocks put up due to the increase in 5th year pupils expected from September 73.
Loved today's post, thank you. On that day I was a shortish distance across the treetops in a Harrow comprehensive. I didn't keep a diary with any regularity back then but if I did my account of school life would be quite different. I found most of it hostile, angryand generally quite aggressive. Maybe it was the catchment area and the numbers of ne'er do wells situated in those parts (me included).
Robert: at that time Oxbridge had 4th term or 7th term exams. Pass the 4th term exams and you only needed two E grades to be admitted.
Did you go to Rickmansworth Grammar School. I used to enjoy the bound copies of Punch that they had in the library in the 60s.
Most of this reads as very familiar.

Quite amazing the amount of detail you captured in your diary. There's no way I could remember any of that by now, the timetable of my last ever day of school is a mystery.

I do know that in my day (1997) the game we geeky sixth formers were playing was Magic the Gathering.

We had a general election in 1997 also. That was a good year to turn 18.
Surprised you still had school uniform in the 6th form in 1983. I enetered the 6th Form at my grammar school ten years earlier, and we didn't have to wear uniform (although the 1st to 5th formers did)
Your final paragraph reads like the a great coming of age novel that i would love to read.
The listings for that episode of Top of the Pops also show that it featured Manchester United performing Glory Glory Man United (number 13 in that week's chart).

I have few memories of that day, having been only a few months old.
We requested a radio for the 6th form room and were told that we could as long as it was tuned to Radio 3 and that the the speaker would be in the room and the actual radio in head of 6th form's room next door. We stuck with our pocket transistors.

I departed with a great sense of relief and knowing that after the exams, my whereabouts and activities would entirely be a matter of my own responsibility.

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