Allan Ahlberg - a life in writing | Culture | The Guardian

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Allan Ahlberg - A Life In Writing: The Guardian

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He was 22 and working as a grave-digger when he had what he calls his second big stroke of luck. The head of Oldbury's parks and cemeteries, a somewhat paternalistic "officer class" boss who had been a squadron leader in the RAF and still treated all his employees as "his men", discovered that the quiet young man he employed to dig graves had left school with some A-levels. "He came to the cemetery one day, stood over the grave I was digging and told me that he had decided that I should become a teacher," says Ahlberg. "I didn't think it was such a good idea. I was very shy - I found it embarrassing to buy a bus ticket. But he got me to put my suit on and have a wash and a clean-up, and he took me to one or two schools, just to visit, just to get the feel of it. It was great: in those days you could go into a school and effectively be a teacher with no qualifications at all."

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on April 30, 2011 9:38 AM.

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