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Safety First? I didn't see the point!

David reminisces about a memorable athletics lesson with javelins

I remember many moons ago (pre 1960) we were doing athletics one Wednesday afternoon on the old sports field on the far side of the railway.

Our group were throwing the javelin: you threw it, you had to go and fetch it, and then take it back. One lad did a good throw then ran after the javelin to take it back.

However someone had picked up the other javelin and threw it. We saw it coming and shouted to the guy picking up his javelin, but he ignored us. The javelin flew through the air, passed through his thigh and impaled him to the ground.

Someone rushed to the pavilion and fetched one of the masters who came to the rescue in his car.

We picked up the lad, placed him on the back seat on his side with the javelin sticking out of the window. Another lad held it steady on the way to hospital.

Fortunately the javelin had missed all the vital things like arteries and veins. It was a simple job to remove it. They stitched him up and he was back in school after 2-3 days.

This was in the days before mobile phones and most houses didn't have a phone.