Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Alternative Miss World organiser Andrew Logan

'We had prayers in the dorm'

Andrew Logan, 63, has been the "host and hostess" of his Alternative Miss World competition since 1972. This year's event will be held on May 2 at London's Roundhouse. His exhibitions are showing at the Harley Gallery, Nottingham, and City Inn Hotel, London SW1. His book, An Artistic Adventure, was published last year. The Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture is in Berriew, Montgomeryshire.

I do remember dancing round the maypole at St Mary's Infants on Church Green, Witney, Oxfordshire, which is rather appropriate for the founder of the Alternative Miss World. What do I remember of my junior, Batt's C of E school? Painting. It was powder paint on that soggy paper. Everyone else was outside, playing hopscotch and bullying each other. And I remember Mrs Gomm, who was huge, over 6ft with big hands. She'd come up and slap you; it was very peculiar, as we were all pretty quiet little children. I enjoyed work.

At 11 I went to Lord Williams, then to a grammar school in Thame. Boarding was a shock to the system: uniforms, trunks – and the horrible ghost of a headmaster who had murdered the matron one 25 November! The older boys used to re-enact this every year. You'd hear a scream and a thud and something being pulled up the stairs to the dormitory. Then the "ghost" – it must have been one boy sitting on another's shoulders – would attack the weakest, which included me, with a wet flannel which felt like blood.

It was a very rich learning period. I didn't really mix but would be on the sidelines reading. I came across the Greek and Roman myths, which influenced my work now, such as [his flying horse sculpture] Pegasus. I like swimming and came second in the cross-country running, which was real cross-country – over ploughed fields and through rivers. But in rugby, my sister remembers I tackled somebody and said: "Oh, I'm so sorry – did I hurt you?"

We had prayers in the dorm. I don't know if there was actually thunder and lightning but one night, when the net curtains were blowing in the wind, I felt the "spirit descending" on me. That's when I wanted to be a vicar; this lasted until I became a window cleaner. My brothers did window-cleaning and I took over when they left home. One day I was at the top of a ladder when my brother walked past with an architectural student who said: "Why don't you become an architect?" So I did.

The fees at Lord Williams were going up and I went to Burford Grammar, a fascinating change: it was wonderful, a co-ed day school with an agricultural slant: I remember a pig getting loose in the grounds. I started to do quite a few school plays; the Witney Gazette critic said I "overacted", which I thought was fabulous.

The standards had been a lot higher at Thame, where I'd been about 14th out of 30 in the class; now I was second. I got eight or nine O-levels. A-levels (geography, English and history) were my happiest time. There were only three of us. The geography mistress had a funny little bubble car; she'd take us out, point at something and we'd end up in the ditch.

I was at the Oxford School of Architecture, based at Oxford Poly (now Oxford Brookes) for six years. It was excellent. Architecture – and particularly the architectural drawing, done then with a pencil, not by computers – is such a good basis for many things. I was in seventh heaven. I always enjoyed being taught by Mr Townsend, who did plumbing. Sadly, Mr Townsend went up on the roof and jumped over the edge. For anyone else plumbing is awful: human waste. But he made it sound, I suppose, glamorous.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower