Quiz night enthusiasts compete for charity

2nd May 2008 at 01:00
Anyone who thinks teachers are comatose in front of Coronation Street with a glass of wine most evenings should think again
Anyone who thinks teachers are comatose in front of Coronation Street with a glass of wine most evenings should think again.

A significant number of Aberdeen's teachers are regularly crammed into Dizzy's bar in the city's west end, engaged in intellectual activity.

The man responsible for their enthusiasm is Alan Millar, 33, a learning support teacher at Torry Academy, who started running Dizzy's fortnightly quiz seven years ago.

Since then, teachers from Dyce Academy, Walker Road School, Victoria Road Primary, St Machar Academy and his own Torry Academy have fielded teams and joined Alan and the regulars in raising an astonishing sum for charity.

Over the years, around pound;25,000 has gone to a range of charities from the events at Dizzy's and from ad hoc quiz nights Alan has staged elsewhere. Contestants pay pound;1.50 to take part, and the winning team gets the total to donate to their chosen charity with a raffle held to boost the takings.

Alan thinks people are enthusiastic because they know proceeds go to charity: "I think people like to feel clever, too," he says. His most recent quiz attracted 100 people, and on one occasion there were 275 people in 55 teams.

Normally, his wife Elizabeth assists with marking, but for particularly large events he drafts in a few maths teachers he knows.

"The age group for the regular Monday session is from 18 up to 80-plus," says Alan, who checks out other quiz nights to get new ideas when he goes on holiday.

He says there can be a lot at stake for teams of secondary teachers when their subject comes up. "They're under incredible pressure as soon as there's a history round, and any team with a history teacher in it - everybody looks at them, as if they know everything there is to know."

And there are always the overgrown schoolboys who like to give the quizmaster a showing up: "The team name I read out for 18 months, deadpan without realising it was a play on words, was Drew Peacock and Friends," he said.

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