Opinion: Our Mischief Night prank on school head

Tin of treacle, for Mischief Night.
Tin of treacle, for Mischief Night.

As a school girl I loathed the autumn term, it seemed to drag on forever with Christmas a lifetime away.

However, there was always bonfire night to look forward to, but more importantly mischief night.



Apparently on the November 4, Guy Fawkes was moving gunpowder into position ready to blow up Parliament the following day.

On mischief night a gang of us would congregate on the village green to discuss tactics.

This usually consisted of removing gates, knocking on doors then running away or smearing the public phone box and the door handle of the pub with treacle.

All helped by the village policeman, after all this was the era when every village had one.

He was there to oversee the correct way of removing gates, or preventing mischief to those inhabitants bedridden or very elderly.

It was all very good humoured and we thought great fun.

The agreement was we cleaned our mess up and put all the gates back the next day.

This didn’t go down well the night we found a clutch of rotting eggs and deposited them in someone’s porch, it stank for months if not years afterwards.

By the age of 13 my family moved to another area and I had made a new best friend.

Both of us were always in trouble with the headmaster.

He had been a high ranking officer in the war and thought he was still in it as he ran the school like an army camp.

He was the only teacher I ever knew who wore a cloak and mortarboard all day, I suppose he had substituted one uniform for another. We thought he looked a twit but nowadays because of Harry Potter it would be considered really cool.

One mischief night we decided to do something about him.

We had recruited a recent school leaver into our gang thinking he would sound more mature when making the call.

About five of us squeezed into the phone box as he rang the headmaster’s home.

He pretended to be a reporter from the Daily Express looking into allegations that bullying was rife in the school and that all pupils were subjected to rigorous army type training.

Well, you could see the steam coming out from the hand set as we listened to his ranting, how we stifled our giggles I’ll never know as we fell out of the phone box in hysterics.

After morning assembly the following day my friend and I were summoned to the headmaster’s office.

He was seething about our prank, and just like Guy Fawkes we had been rumbled, by whom we never found out.

When he’d calmed down he wanted to know our opinions about things so we didn’t hold back about our grievances and were in his office for over an hour.

The funny thing about that mischief night is, I went through the rest of my education at that school without any more trouble from the headmaster.