STARTING school, moving to secondary school, then further education or employment were major changes in our lives and for many of us September was the month when these mighty events happened.

Looking back it is easy to pick the good days and also for some of us the bad.

I enjoyed school, first at Sheepscombe and then Filkins.

Secondary school started at Burford.

But then came a major change.

“How would you like to go to the school Wally Hammond went to said my father.

There was only one answer to that, so November 1951 saw me start at Cirencester Grammar School.

Guided by head John Barnett I subsequently moved on to Thameside academia followed by work.

There were challenges, delights and mistakes.

The first challenge was getting the all-important balance right.

Study and leisure both made demands and I was better at meeting the demands of both at school.

University provided too many opportunities or perhaps distractions.

Without the guidance of school or home I got it wrong.

On leaving I headed immediately into a job.

This was the biggest mistake of my life, National Service had ended and gap years were unheard of.

I got on a conveyor belt at sixteen that led to O-levels, A-levels, a degree and then work.

I should have jumped off before or after university.

There were so many lessons I needed to learn and denied myself the chance.

Young people now have realised the need to do something different.

To our young people, and all evidence is that they are a pretty good bunch, some advice may be helpful.

The first is get that all important balance right.

Secondly, make the most of you opportunities.

They may not come around again but most of all back you own judgement.

My children did and all three got it right.

Mrs Light and I were wrong.

It is not easy for parents to stand back as for all the right reasons they want the best for their children.

It must be accepted children have ideas of their own, with hopes and ambitions that they wish to strive for.

Give them their heads!

Not easy I know but Liz, Sue and actor John all got it right but I wish I had known it at the time!