TV writer McCrery: You can't let dyslexia hold you back
"I'M sure there used to be gun turrets on the gate there," Silent Witness screenwriter Nigel McCrery says, pointing at his old school gates.
A lot may have changed since Mr McCrery started at George Spencer School (now Academy) 47 years ago, but memories of his schooldays are still relatively fresh.
"There weren't actually any turrets there," he adds quickly, spotting his comments being noted down.
Mr McCrery's career has seen him work with household names like Dennis Waterman, Amanda Redman and David Jason.
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It all seems faraway from the school, where he opened a new centre for pupils with dyslexia and other special educational needs yesterday.
The writer, who is dyslexic, said: "They were difficult times, difficult and different – there were some teachers who really had passion for their subject and I enjoyed learning what they had to teach, but the majority of it wasn't fun.
"In fact, I'm pretty sure I only got my job in the police because I was big and ugly and they wanted me to deal with rowdy people.
"I left school destined not to do very much – people with dyslexia weren't treated very well and just left to finish and get on with their lives outside the school. I'm glad things are much much different now."
The Nigel McCrery Learning and Inclusion Centre cost £1.2 million. It has classrooms and meeting rooms for one-to-one tuition and discussions for children who need help and advice away from the school. The money came from the Department for Education.
Despite years away from Notts, Mr McCrery still has a soft spot for the area.
"It's home. I can remember going to places like the Bell in Beeston and playing darts. Or going to town and having to walk back from Beeston because the buses had finished.
"They always used to stop at around 11pm at night and it always seemed such a long walk back, with the drink not helping."
But Mr McCrery's trip to Stapleford wasn't all about nostalgia. He was keen to see better support for dyslexic people.
He said: "You can't let it hold you back – you better note this down and tell everyone – you can still achieve if you have dyslexia. Everyone should be aware of this.
"There is help available and spaces like this shows how support has moved on."
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