Dressed to impress in Bellshill
With the puckish consultant Bill Laar as one of the speakers, the occasion could well have been re-entitled the "Raising the Roof" conference. Yer man (he is from Skibbereen) began by congratulating his audience for being "the most handsomely turned out teachers in Europe", a circumstance which he put down to their "massive salaries".
They were, however, merely smart - not trendy.
Making a point about the recyling of idea, Laar told of an advertisement in his home town newspaper, the Skibbereen Eagle - the paper that grandly pronounced in the early 1900s: "The Eagle warns the Tsar of Russia, we've got our eye on you." The item that caught his eye was in the second-hand ads column for "One used headstone - would suit a family named O'Grady".
Talking of recycling, we fondly recall Laar's story from last year when he telephoned a Church of England school to arrange an appointment, to be greeted with: "Good morning, this is the head of John the Baptist speaking."