Bushey Grammar School

Messages and memories

This page started because Mike, alias Mick, Brooks and myself were looking to meet with the other members of our year.Our year was the one which took GCE 'O' levels in June 1961 and GEC 'A' levels in June 1963. It has since grown into a page for ex pupils who were there in the golden years of the school. It may not have been as prestigious an institution as some of the major public schools, but we had a good lot of teachers, many of whom did their best to instil in us the means to think for ourselves coupled with a sense of social responsibility. We were all pretty cynical about this at the time but I like to think they succeeded. When we left, the school had a good old members society. Perhaps we should start one again. Not long after, the school was completely re-organised, and the headmaster died of a heart attack. The school is now known as the Queen's School.

If any of our old mates would like to have a re-union, would they please get in touch either with myself at shelleys@shelleys.demon.co.uk or any or all of those who have posted messages. Other old members may be found at www.friendsreunited.co.uk

School photos sent in by Tony Mason, (tony-m@ihug.co.nz).

1953 Part 1 (188K)....1953 Part 2 (250K)....1953 Part3 (254K)....1953 Part 4 (266K)....1953 Part 5 (211K)

1958 Part 1 (201K)....1958 Part 2 (256K)....1958 Part 3 (250K)....1958 Part 4 (264K)....1958 Part 5 (267K)....1958 Part 6 (184K)

1960 school photo sent in by Roger Brown rbrown@wight365.net (new e-mail address) 

part1 (206K).........part2 (191K)........part3 (211K)........part4 (202K)

Pictures of 1962 venice trip sent in by Frank Trumper

Messages from some old members from our vintage. The most recently received are at the top

* Not sure who I am speaking to but I am Margaret Gosley as you will gather from my email address which is gosleymargaret6@gmail.com  I don't look at the BSG site very often so have only just picked up that you lost my previous contribution.
Just had a look at the site which seems to be much improved tho' sad to see that my Antigone photo no longer seems to be there - only important in as much as it was my only claim to fame at BSG ! In short - I became a librarian (worked at British Film Institute, Royal College of Art and then a school librarian in various schools in Hackney, London) . I carried on doing a bit of acting on the side (took a play to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1963 ! I married once  and with my husband Glenn Thompson (you'll find him on Wikkipedia) we set up a community bookshop called Centerprise in Hackney - it has just closed down forty years on ! I also had one daughter with Glenn and now have two fantastic grandchildren. My grandson Nathaniel Thompson is a film maker and fashion designer (check out his website !)  Since then there have been and still are lots of adventures. After Glenn I had a long term partner David and we set up a housing co-operative in Hackney which is still up and running.   My politics have always been on the left and I guess I have always wanted to change the world just a little !  After I retired from library-ing I moved to Derbyshire and  became an artist my web site is a couple of years out of date but you'll get the idea of me from it www.margaretgosley.com. That's about it really - glad to see the BGS site is still running - you can use any or none of this information as you wish.  Hullo to everyone from the 1951 - 1958 set. Oh yes I was a founding member of the '54 club - Ken Hardacre and Ed Pine were my English teachers. Simon Lee my french teacher who became a friend after school. Does anyone know what happened to Patrick Knight - a much loved friend.   Margaret

* I searched the web for my grandmother Gwen Jones today and found your reference to school days in Bushey.  Gwen is ninety in October and still has a formidable mind and intellect.  I have been able to locate her in the school photos on your website and will surprise her with these on her birthday. Please do let me know if you recall any amusing anecdotes.
With kind regards, matthew.roe@genzyme.com

* Hi I was at BGS from 59-65 and mainly just played football. From what I can remember, I was in Monmouth House which never seemed to win anything.Teachers were really high standard although Sid Caffel could not kick a ball to save his life. I believe though he was once a talented runner as was his daughter who was also a pupil at BGS. Names I remember include: Kenny Littleboy, Kevin Dunne, Andy Pickford,Tiny Sheldon, David Kemp ,Mike Palmer,Vicky Smith. I am now retired and still live in South Oxhey with my wife and son. Angela angela_905@hotmail.com

* I am looking for an old friend, Andy Pearce. He would have been born in 1947 or 48. He went to Bushey Grammar School and Loughborough University. He would have moved from the Grammar school to University in 1968. His friends, Pete Martin, Terry Harris, John Aldwin, Clive Crossley, Brian Dobson and myself have found each other again but we are missing Andy. If you could be of any assistance we would be very grateful Peter Ancell, peter@ancell.eu

* What a lovely surprise to find B.G.S site. I was there from 56 to 60,I would have stayed but was asked to leave as I was bottom of the Zeds and Mr O’Connor thought my desk could be better occupied by someone who was likely to get a GCE.
I’m in the 1960 school photograph the small boy with the big ears sandwiched between Ian Ruff and Danny Moran, who in turn is next to John Jarman or Noj Namraj....we used to reverse our names, ooohhh what hours of fun we had........I’ve grown by the way and my hair (yes I’ve still got lots) covers my ears. Whatever happened to Ian, Danny and John, or Terry Watson the leader of the gang, Michael Woods whose Dad was a Doctor and we used to play tennis near his house, Trevor Livings , Terry O’Connor, Christine Singleton, Teresa Brown and that pretty girl who used to sit at the front, I wish I could remember her name.
The Teachers who left an impression on me were Mr Barham who left me with a love for history, Mr Shapiro who left me with a hate of French and Miss Gillette who taught Geography and just left me with a Love.
What Happened to me? I joined the Royal Navy for 10 years, became a medical rep for 8 and then somehow became a Radio Presenter which has given me a good life in the Midlands and South Wales. Married twice with four children, 2 of mine and 2 stepchildren with 3 {soon to be 4} grandchildren, my second marriage has now lasted 25 years ..I’m pleased to say.
I’d love to hear from anyone who remembers those school days, which were fun but NOT the best days of my life. No offence. Mike George Mikeatthemansion@aol.com

* Hi all
I am writing a history of the former Bushey GS. I have a fair amount of material – including copies of the Quarto, full School photographs 1951-66, uniform circulars, speech day programmes [except 1955 to 1958 and 1968-69], Watford Observer reports, staff meeting minutes, governors’ meetings minutes, play programmes, etc.
I wondered if any of you has anything of interest which I could include in the book. I will of course copy and return anything, as well as acknowledging its source.
Great to hear from you.
David Reidy david.reidy@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

* Good morning (or evening, depending on where you are in the world) one and all. I was going through the alumni page set up by Mick Brooks and Tom Shelley, when it occurred to me that July 2009 will mark the 40th anniversary of the demise of BGS. Are we going to let this pass un-noticed? I have the germ of an idea about a re-union next July to mark the occasion (who knows - possibly in the school itself), but need to test the water to see if there is any interest out there!
I'm going to take the liberty of emailing people on the Alumni to gauge their opinion, if the feedback is positive I'll shell out the incredible sum of 10 and set up a re-union page on Friends Reunited - apparently they email all members of the BGS group to notify them.
For those of you whose children (or grandchildren) have nagged into joining Facebook (as my daughter did to me) I've set up a group "Bushey Grammar School R.I.P" which you should be able to find.
One thing - if we do decide to go for a re-union I will not be able to organise it all by myself - available time does not permit. I'm one of the unfortunate ones who has to work on until either I drop or reach 65, whichever is the sooner! Much as I've grown to hate committees over the years I think it would be best to set one up, so volunteers would be needed!
I left BGS in 1969, so I suppose that make me one of the last "pure" grammar grubs! I still live within a few miles of the school, and pass by it frequently on my way to visit the in-laws. The front hasn't changed at all, but there are new buildings on what used to be the playground.
Hoping this reaches you, John Hodgkins BGS 1962 - 1969 jfhodgkins@yahoo.co.uk

* How many memories finding the BSG site has aroused. When my son set me up with a computer and told me I was now a silver surfer I didn't even know what he meant! I was a pupil from 1951-1954 with Mr. O'Connor as the most wonderful headmaster and Norman Sidney Asbridge teaching me English in a way that has stayed with me for the last 53years. Yes I'm approaching 70! (How did that happen?). Two people actually broke my heart back then, the aforesaid Norman Sidney and, dare I say the name - both of my husbands (that is past and present!) - know it, Basil Human who left with me a love of red hair I have never got over. I thought I would recognise everyone in the '53 photo but despite remembering names the only face I recognised was my own. Since my son saw it first (he was 'talking me through' on the telephone from his house) and said I hadn't changed at all I didn't know whether to be flattered or sad. You see in those days I was Fatty Phillips and I haven't been her since 1970 when I learned the word 'diet' In fact I still weigh less than she did. I moved to Swindon, where I still happily live, and joined the GPO as a telephonist at Swindon Exchange. Talking to a workmate one day about school she told me Mr. O'Connor was her History teacher until he took the post at Bushey. He really must have been special because no-one wanted him to leave Swindon. I have 2 children having lost a number in pregnancy and feel I have been truly blessed. I have 6 gorgeous grandchildren ranging in age from 22 - 10. My first marriage lasted 30 years and for the last 10 years I have been married to my 'toy boy' (18 years my junior). Who would have thought it of Fatty Phillips! I've had my ups and downs but my greatest hope is that all the people I was at school with have known the happiness I have. God Bless those who may have liked me and God Bless those who definitely didn't! Keep up the good work, and if anybody who remembers me would like to e-mail me they can at kevwilliams559@btinternet.com Kathy Williams

* Glad to discover this site – I was seeking information of an old friend who died a while ago – Bobby Deacon. Apart from appearing on a Top of the Pops type programme on BBC in about 1957 (with Peter Barrett) I heard little about him until his picture appeared in the papers as he was a doorman at Freddie Mills’ nightclub when the boxer got shot. I started at BGS in 1953 with Miss Sobell as the first teacher, then Eddie Pine, who had great stories of intelligence work in the war, mainly in Greece. My particular contemporaries were ladies first, Hilary Fox,Julie Henderson, Susan Watts, Janet Richardson, Joan Pearce, Brenda Bell, and Susan Lee (Leigh?).Then there were Peter Barrett, Jimmy Buckingham, Robert Gilligan, Brian Wilimott, Brian Hogarth, Dennis Parrott (married at 16!), Bop Harris, Doug Brew, Andrew Smith, Richard Brown, D. Massie, Rutherford, Rolls, Nash, Freemantle, Timson, Whybrew and of course the three who died very young, Brian Hetherington (road) Pottinger (drowned) and Barry Hill who fell off a ledge of a restaurant in Dublin whilst in the RAF, I believe. It was during the 6 weeks’ national press strike of 1958 so it was never recorded at the time. Like all other contributors, if you can add anything to the above I would love to hear from you. Tony Roberts at antroberts100@hotmail.com .

* Hi, my name is Alan Hemley (one of the terrible twins of years 50-56). I was talking about the Old Boys football team with my Brother-in-Law, Bari Mitchell, about having a re-union of those who played for the Old Boys in the London Old Boys League, and later the West Herts League, roughly between 1965 and 75. Also I would like to contact anyone who still remembers me from the early fifties.Thanks for the web site, it has brought back some fond memories.
Alan Hemley at panda.hemley@tiscali.co.uk

* Hi there from down under.

I have just discovered your web-site, and reading it brought tears to my eyes. How sad to read the news about Mr O’Connor. I remember him with great fondness – a kind man with a great deal of understanding for the youth of our day. I even managed to find myself on the 1953 school photo! Those 3 years or so at BGS were indeed happy days for me.

In 1953, I was one of the four fifth-formers chosen to be a prefect to make up the necessary numbers, as there were insufficient sixth formers in those days. I can’t put many names to faces in the photos now, and sadly I lost touch with my former class mates after my great friend, Ann Luckett, was killed in a road accident with her husband on returning from their honeymoon around 1957 or 58.

I transferred to BGS after the school had already started and just about all the building was completed. Starting in the third form, I then went through to do my O levels in 1953. I then did one term in the lower sixth form before migrating with my family to Australia. My name then was Sylvia Edgington, but I am now Sylvia York. A few years later I was to marry an Aussie and now have three very grown up, married sons and two grand-daughters. Since retiring, my husband and I have been living in Mildura, which is in the very north-west corner of the state of Victoria, and is 600 km from Melbourne and 450 km from Adelaide. The sun is always shining here and the sky always blue, in fact we often wish we could have a few more rainy days as we have had several years of drought. It is a hot, dry, and arid part of the state but we love it. Our home is close to the Murray River which provides irrigation water to the entire district and on the other side of the river is New South Wales. Oranges, lemons, avocados, grapes, and a variety of vegetables (including asparagus) are grown here, and the area has several large wineries.

I have never returned to England since leaving on the S.S.Orcades in February 1954, but often think of my early years there. A few months before migrating, I was lucky enough to be one of the pupils representing BGS at the Coronation. Our group of about 20 or so was amongst the 10,000 school children waving and cheering on the Embankment – I remember it as if it were yesterday!

In Mildura, we have a very active University of the Third Age (U3A) and so I am still learning, although I am nearly 70 now. Occasionally, I correspond by e-mail with your nearby Harrow U3A and was informed that BGS is still up and running, although I gather from your web-site that it has had a name change.

Kind regards to all of my old friends, and if anyone wants to e-mail me I would love to hear from you. Our address is york@myaccess.com.au

Sylvia York

* I have all editions of the Bushey Grammar magazine "Quarto" from the first in 1954 up to the last in 1969, together with many other BGS ephemera such as press reports and school event programs etc.. They are all scanned and copied onto a Compact Disk. If anyone would like a copy please feel free to E-mail me on reed.jmr@btinternet.com Regards, Martin Reed.

* Just discovered your BGS page. Excellent stuff. I was at the school from 1957 to 1960. I have tried to contact Doug Brew to learn more about the Barry Hill he mentioned (mutual friend I think) but his Hotmail address is defunct. Does anyone have a current address for Doug or know anything about Barry?   Regards,   Terry Day t.h.day@ntlworld.com

* Hi there I'm trying to locate Robin Harle. Last time I knew, he was living in Hillside Road Bushey. My name is Nigel Smith. I am his illegitimate son. I am 40 years old and would love to at least see a photograph of him. It is something I have got to do.This year I am getting over cancer and it brings things into prospective. I live in Abbots Langley and I can be contacted on nigelgrumpybear@btinternet.com or on my  mobile 07909975979. Many thanks, Nigel

* I am not sure to which Shelley I writing, but I discovered your BGS website today.
Fascinating information, I had no idea of the history of the school or that Mr O'Connor had died so soon after I left.  I was at BGS from 1965 to 1967 (third to fifth form) as the son of an RAAF officer on exchange to the RAF at Northwood.  Returned to Australia in 1967 and have lived in Melbourne ever since.  I visited the school on a Sunday afternoon in November 1984 when I was in the UK on business.  Not a sign of life, but it was interesting to see the buildings again (not
much seemed to have changed).
The names I remember are:  Nigel Goffin, Robert Hine, Alan Thomas, Dave Fordham, John East, Helen King, Susan Parry, Gillian Tomblin, Carol Buttery.  I still have the 1966 school photo with some additional names on the back that I can no longer associate with faces.  You are welcome to a scanned image for your website if you are interested.
Regards, Trevor Jordan trevor@jordan.name

* Hi Tom, I've just found the website.  I was at BGS 1952 to 1957 (the 2nd year it opened).  I was then Joyce Arnold - now Bates. I now live in Folkestone, and have four children, and six grandchildren. I remember many of the names on your messages, some others like Shirley Robinson, Anne Wardle, Pat Evans, Irene Graham, Eric Fox, Chris Edwards, Eileen Barrett. Sally Coombs. Eileen and I used to travel to school by bike  - down the famous Finch Lane. Does anyone remember the first grey felt riding hats the girls had to wear (straw ones in Summer)!  I spent many a detention for being caught without my hat!  Those detentions were a bit of a laugh. I found it very convenient as I usually arrived early, found a seat at the back, and got to do most of my homework on my lap before going home.  Best wishes to anyone who remembers me.  Thanks for organising the website. Joyce Bates  ernie@bates5727.freeserve.co.uk

* If you find English a Hardacre to plough, don't Pine, you'll Rumble it.  Love the website.   Best regards   Chris chris_prentice@lineone.net

* I was so thrilled to find the Bushey Grammar School site which brought back a flood of memories to me. I was a student there in the period 1951-53 in forms 1x, 2y,and 3z, (does this say something about my academic skill) and I would dearly love to contact any one from this period or these grades.
Prior to Bushey Grammar, I had been to a large number of primary schools due to constant moving, and the almost three years I spent there was the longest I had in one location to that point, and it gave me my first chance to really know and have friends.
I noted Tony Mason’s (Hogg as I knew him) letter, and the names really jogged my memory of my class friends, Brian Pender, John Crisp, Dennis Gardiner, Elaine Ponder, Joy Rodgers, Joy Wilson, Anne Farmer, Anne Williams, Paulene Williams, Eileen Rodgers, and the Hosier brothers. There are doubtless many more that I can recall by sight, but alas the passing of time has left its mark in retaining all the names.
I was particularly drawn to the 53 photo on the page, I well remember the day it was taken.
I will take the liberty of letting you know what happened after I left Bushey. I went to the Frimley and Camberley Grammar School after moving to Farnborough in 53, (dad was in the RAF) where I stayed until Nov 55, when we left for Australia as dad was posted to Woomera for guided missile trials.
I stayed in Aussi, joining the army in Jan 57 for a 12 year stint, I missed out on Vietnam, but spent a short time at the atomic test range at Maralinga, which was interesting. Following the army, I had my own business for a while and studied management, which led me into positions with Volvo, International and Fiat. I became distributor manager for a farm machinery company with ties to the USSR, where I travelled three times. The past 6 years have been with Scania, and in 2000 – when in Sweden I took the chance to have a week in the UK, the first time since 55. This was quite emotional for me, but I had limited time to do everything I would have liked.
My travels are now only local as I have taken an admin position with our local coach company in Sunbury, 40km north of Melbourne.
I would dearly love to here how any of you are that I would have known, and request that you contact me by either e-mail or snail mail.
I could prattle on about many things, but hope I can enjoy memories with some of you.
My congratulations to the Shelleys for their efforts with the web site- well done
Kindest regards to all
Roy Vincent roy.v@aapt.net.au Phone: Australia  03  97441801 5 Rigby Place, Sunbury, Victoria Australia 3429

* Hi Tom, I've been reading the letters on your great site for the past few weeks and was motivated to dig out photographs that I took on the 1962 (I think) school trip to Venice. Apart from being aghast at the awful photography I was nonetheless tempted to try to put them into digital format. Until I spring for a real slide digitizer, I had to project the slides and take photos of them with my digital camera. After a lot of stretching, pushing, and colour correcting they are almost passable. In any event they may be some of the only photos of that trip. Two are of Ed Pine, one is of almost everyone outside the hotel, and there are beach photos (!). Happily, as I took the photos, I am absent from any of them.
I have 13 photos (jpgs) zipped in a 2Mb file. I can email them to anyone who cares.
Thanks for putting your site together - as I have lived outside the UK for over half my life, I have had no contact with anyone except Jo and Ken Frith (and that was at least 17 years ago). This is a trip down a long Memory Lane. As time permits I plan to dredge my memory with respect to our teachers and write again.
Best Regards, Frank.Trumper@email.moore.com

* Hi. Have so enjoyed reading all the news of Bushey Grammar pupils.  I left in 1961 in the middle of my 'O' level course in the fourth year to go to Berkshire as my father was in The Met Office.  I was delighted to see the 1960 school photo.  I recognise a lot of the faces but can't put names to them!  I recently contacted Madeline Woods and Lousie Poole who married Martin Harrison but my memory is hopeless and can hardly remember anybody. I was reminded by Madeline that we were in the school orchestra together. I have been married 34 years and have one daughter Bethany who is 30 this year.  I have sold antiques and other rubbish for over 25 years and do paint with a fantastic group in Eversley.  We have just had an exhibition and I managed to sell seven paintings.  Success at last!  A lot of them are better than me and much more dedicated.  Mr Kirk said I was slapdash when at Bushey.  Not much changes!   Bushey Grammar days are so far away - it's fascinating to look back a little.     All the best  Melodie Hart (Thornton) mel.hart@btinternet.com

*Greetings and Salutations to all Bushey Grammar Grubs out there! This is Adrienne Kiellor-Edwards, but you may remember me as Adrienne Huggett. I was at BGS, and Queens School in its early days, leaving after A levels in 1971. Well, I had my little fling of seeing the world when I left school (can't say as I saw very much of it) and finally settled here in Germany.  I'm married to a great guy named Perry and have two grown-up daughters.  Now you may remember, that when you started at BGS you did a couple of years of French, followed by (groan) Latin if you happened to be good at French, German if you were not so good at French and just French if you very lousy at French.  This kid got stuck with years of Latin - and all she wanted to do was learn German!  I reckon, after a quarter of a century living in Germany, I could ace the O level now!
Do you remember the Mr Knobbly Knees contest in 1968?   "Mr Jones for Mr Knobbly Knees Knineteen sixty Knine!"  Oh the delights of the school plays! Remember Sweeny Todd?  The poetry reading contest?  Eddie Pine would pay half a crown to anyone in his class getting through to the finals. Mr Lewis used to advocate watching Star Trek as a lesson in civilizations - and 30 years later I'm still following that piece of advice.If old friends would like to contact me, I can be reached on adriennekiellor@hotmail.com

* My name is Alan Harper.  I was at Bushey and left 1962.  Did you know John Hamilton or Duffy?  By the way my own company has been featured in Eureka a few years back, company at www.plastech.co.uk.   My e mail is rtmharper@aol.com

*I was Carole Walker at BGS - started in September 1958 and left in July 1964. I am in Roger Brown's photo, part 4, sitting on the ground in the front row, 5 from the end. This photo has brought back many happy memories.
I live in Surrey and would be interested to hear about any plans for a reunion.
Regards, Carole.Fogg@tao.sainsburys.co.uk

* Hi Tom,
I don't know if you remember me, but I have been spending some time browsing the Friendsreunited website (displacement activity from completing my Tax Return).
We were in the same year in sixth form - physics, maths and chemistry. Rob Morley also did the same subjects. You obviously pursued an academic career whilst Rob and I went into business. I think Rob stayed in business, but took fairly early retirement. I am in touch with Roger Day who has certainly maintained contact with Rob. Rob's sister Tina Morley married a US serviceman but I don't know what has happened to her. Roger Day taught at the Open University but has now taken early retirement through ill health. I am also a close friend of Tina Day who is Roger's twin. She worked in various public sector areas and spent much time in the parliamentary lobbies. She has now taken early retirement (who hasn't).I also maintain contact with Jenny and Tony Hughes (Tony was also known as Art Hughes and I forget Jenny's maiden name) - they were both in our year. Jenny became a professional pianist and now teaches in Worcester. Tony has just taken early retirement from teaching art history in Leeds University. My main themes of work have been systems engineering and marketing. I tried university lecturing as a break from business (management and maths for surveyors and contract managers), but it didn't suit me. I became self-employed at 50 and had some very successful years helping large companies with their Y2K preparations - mostly survival strategies, marketing and PR. Now my consulting is very sporadic and I look forward to much more leisure time living in Sidmouth, East Devon. I also have a house in the Wye Valley that I am trying to sell - details on http://www.wyevalleyhouse.freeservers.com I have enjoyed a lot of outdoor things such as hill-walking (leading trecking holidays in Iceland), cross-country ski touring, off-road cycling and swimming. I used to play piano and viola at the Watford School of Music and Drama. I took the viola up again in Reading and played for a while with the Arion orchestra. I mean to restart the viola fairly soon.Well done with your website. Fascinating to think back over those times but I am appalled at how little I remember.
Best regards, Jo Frith, jo.frith@btopenworld.com (new address, please note!)

* Tom, thanks for posting this on the website and for updating my e-mail address which is: mikebrooks@gatehouse10.demon.co.uk
My memories of BGS are mostly good – perhaps this is just the rose coloured spectacle effect of impending middle age, but I recall the old place with considerable affection. Here are some of them:
Eddie Pine: An inspirational teacher. I transferred from Harrow Weald GS and had to wear my old blazer and cap for a couple of weeks while my parents saved up for the new ones. I was very embarrassed by this but he told me it was character forming! Eddie sitting on the window sill reading us stories by Saki.
School plays: I only joined in for the parties – I remember one at the British Legion Hall in Bushey Mill Lane. My first pint of beer. Norman Isaacs has a lot to answer for – I hope he had brewery shares. Also remember painting ourselves with potassium permanganate so as to have the appropriate skin tone for my maiden stage appearance in "Caesar’s Friend". Also doing the sounds effects for "An Italian Straw Hat" and enjoying Peter Barnett’s unauthorised version of "La Donna e Mobile".
Talking of Peter Barnett, who else remembers his revues at the end of term parties? Chris Prentice and I once performed his great comic song "Men Only". And the sketches - we understood the plots and fell about laughing during rehearsals, but the audience usually had to have them explained afterwards, I recall.
And talking of Chris Prentice – for a while he and I were given the responsibility for playing the music as everyone trooped into assembly until we "abused our position of trust" and played the Temperance Seven rendition of the Eton Boating Song. Years of collecting brownie points down the drain in ten minutes flat.
Long summer lunchtimes followed by "free" periods spent at the far corner of the playing fields. They seemed bigger then – I went back to the school a couple of years ago and they have definitely shrunk. Used to play Buddy Holly records on Pete White’s wind up gramophone while he enjoyed the occasional cigarette, using a cigarette holder – very stylish! Peter Walker wore suede shoes which was definitely against the rules – how did he get away with that?
So, whom else do I remember from UVIScA, who did "A" levels in 1963 – Rich Hinkley, Don Richardson, Pete Rowe, Bert Smith, Tony Chant, John Rob Morley, Monica Muller, Jo Frith, Dave Jackson – where are you all?
Mike Brooks.

* Hi Tom, Many thanks for posting my contribution on your web site. A while ago, I mentioned the Watford Observer Nostalgia page and how it came about that twenty odd letters from ex pupils were published therein.  I have now established a web site  www.btinternet.com/~reed.jmr/startletterswo.htm which gives everyone a second chance to read them. Cheers, Martin Reed. Reed.Jmr@BTInternet.com

* Hello Tom,
My thanks and appreciation to you for setting up the BGS webpage and thanks also to all the contributors who have brought back so many fond memories.
I started at BGS in September 1951 and left in July 1958. I kept in touch with many friends well into the 60's but sadly as the years rolled by, contact was lost. A few names from my 5th form year - Ken O' Grady, John Crisp, Dennis Gardener, Brian Pender, Mick Poore, John Hogan, Mike Fitzgerald, Terry Ward, Tony Goss, Alan Ruff, Greg Moffatt and John Hayward. Not forgetting the girls - Joy Rogers, Joy Wilson, Sally Cockburn, Elaine Ponder, Christine Hodges, Anne Farmer, Anne Williams, Ann Barnard, etc.
Alan Ruff, John Hayward, Greg Moffatt and I formed the 5th Form Geographic Team which travelled to the Lake District with Mr Chappell over the Easter Holiday in 1956. The field trip was a joint venture with Kings Lynn Grammar School and we were embarrassingly outnumbered, with their party numbering at least 30. We checked into the Hassness Hotel at Buttermere, much to the shock and horror of Miss Armstrong, our English teacher, who had unwittingly booked a quiet "getaway" week at the same hotel.  Much to our surprise and delight, party of girls from Colne Grammar School were also booked in on a field trip - many a romance developed over that week.
It is a great pity that in the 50's, apart from the obligatory biannual mass assembled school photograph, so few shots were taken at school events  - camera ownership by students was certainly a rarity. I have managed find a couple of photos of the 1957 production of Antigone and also the prefects of 1957/58. The production starred Michael Cadman and the delightful Margaret Gosley. As we all know, Mike had a very successful career as a film and TV actor, but what happened to Margaret? - her performance as Antigone was outstanding. Other members of the cast were Jennifer Anderson as the Queen, Christine Thrower as the Queen's Maid, with Patrick Knight, John Davies and Horace ??? (back to camera) as the guards.
I clearly remember the occasion of the prefects photograph. In the interest of photographic balance, I was invited to perch precariously on the end of the bench. I can recall most of the names, but would welcome help with the missing few (from the Lower Sixth). Standing (left to right): Brian Wheatley, Pete Rees, William Davis, Chris Kay, Terry Harris, Geoff Curme, ? Fern, ? Clifton, Chris Edwards, Jennifer Linsdell, Margaret Thomas, Annabelle Leaney, Pat Hacon, ??, ??, Joy Collinge, ?? Seated: Tony Mason (then Tony Hogg), Brian Crafer, Vince Hodgson, Richard Mitchell, David Hancock, Mr Smith, Mr F J P O'Connor, Miss Dunster, Sally Coombes, Elaine Brown, Leslie Hewson, Jennifer Chaston, Val Shannon, Carol Higham.
My last visit to BGS was in 1964, when I received an invitation to the 10th Anniversary Meeting of the 54 Club. It also happened  to be the 100th Meeting, but as Ken Hardacre confessed, with a twinkle in his eye, the 99th was an extraordinary "corridor meeting" held the day before, with a very limited agenda.
Of previous writers, I remember Ted Messenger, Ted Vicars, Doug Brew, Margaret Lemarie (so sad to hear that Martin had passed away) and, as mentioned in an earlier message, David Ayre. He and I have kept in regular contact over the years and although I now live in New Zealand, we do manage to meet up when I make the occasionally UK trip.
I have often driven past the old school on my way to Vicarage Road (in recent years, vs Leeds in the Premiership and vs Tranmere - Graham Taylor's home farewell to the Watford fans). As everyone else remarks, the place still looks the same, except for the name - perhaps one day I will stop and have a good look around.
I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me.
Regards, Tony Mason, (tony-m@ihug.co.nz).

* Hi   I recently had an e-mail from a guy I was at Bushey with. His surname is Clements and (I think) fore-name Martin. Anyway, due to my total incompetence with the computer age I lost it before I could save it, or his e-mail address, anywhere.I am writing to ask if you could, please post a request for him to write again to either: eddy2508@cwcom.net or eddy2508@hotmail.com   Many thanks   Ted Messenger (BGS 1952/59)

* By pure chance I happened to see Peter Bellamy's letter in the Nostalgia page of a recent issue of the Watford Observer  drawing readers' attention to the Bushey Grammar School website.
The website brought the memories flooding back of those distant, pre-computer, pre-Macdonalds, almost pre-pop music days!
Did you know that the School was due to be opened in the autumn of 1940 as the Watford & Bushey Modern School (replacing the Central School in Derby Road) but the War put paid to this and from 1940 45 it was used as an emergency food store by the Ministry of Food.
My name is David Reidy. I was at BGS from 16 September 1957 until 23 July 1964.I then went to Exeter University to read Government. I am a research officer with the Inland Revenue.
Grammar school was initially something of a culture shock, coming as I did from working class South Oxhey. Both of my parents had left school at fourteen. Only two of us in a class of 48 at Woodhall Primary School passed the 11+. I still remember the interview during which I was asked the meaning of the word disembarkation.
Several names stick in the memory: The Headmaster Mr O'Connor, a lovely self-effacing man who died so tragically young in 1971. He used to ride a bike and spent an exchange year in Boston I remember. Fred Bareham, history. He used to terrify me until he actually taught me. Margaret Dunster, maths. Alan Smith, deputy head. Sid Caffell, who taught me to hate anything sporting!. Jasper Steel, technical snoring and handicraft. To this day I am completely unable to mend a fuse or put a screw in a wall!. Doris Pulsford, chemistry. Was she really a red-hot socialist?. Ken Hardacre, Mr italic handwriting. Eddie Pine, were the rumours true?. Colin Reeve, art. Although I was and am totally unartistic, his history of art classes opened my eyes to a new world. Wilbur Wright, maths. Incredibly he got the whole class through 'O' level in 1962!. Moira Gillett, she always insisted on windows being open - even in winter!. Miss Pollard, de mortuis nil nisi bonum. Tom Proctor, geography. Dick Lumb, French. Roy Abrams, music. William Hart, French. He retired in 1960, having taught at the BGS predecessor Watford Central School from 1920!. Janet Cooper, French & German. Bob Kirk, Latin & art. Stuart Smith, a brilliant French teacher. Barbara Worthy, biology. Norman Isaacs, French & German. Derek Haslam, geography. John Ellis, chemistry. Gwen Jones, English - so posh!. Trevor Bennetts, geography. Bob Annetts, Maths. He had a lovely Bristol accent!. John Rumble, English. Sheila Westell, English. Don Truss, maths & a former Central School pupil from 1928 to 1935. Gordon Radford, History.  I am sure there were others I have forgotten.
i. school dinners. A prefect would sit at the head of each table and would allocate the food. Pupils would take it in turn weekly to take away the dirty crockery. It was a terribly messy job! I hated it!
ii. school photos. These were taken every other year. I remember it took the best part of 30-45 minutes before everyone was in place. I still have them for 1958-60-62 -64. The school magazine the Quarto. I have a full set from 1953 to 1966.
iii. sock and shoe checks after morning assembly. And uniform inspections at the end of school. I can still see undignified fifth formers being forced to put on caps before being allowed to leave. It was usual for boys to wear shorts in the first year and sometimes beyond. Bus queues were supervised by prefects. It always seemed unfair that teachers could go to the front of the
iv. I have memories of school plays - Tiger at the Gates, the Italian Straw Hat, The Lady's Not for Burning, Antigone, etc. In about 1960 there was what was called a Gaffe by the Staff. It was incredibly funny! 
v. Speech days were very colourful occasions. The staff all wore full academic dress, less mortarboards. I suppose that these have now ceased in our more democratic times. It was the same people being rewarded each time. School life was one of exams and tests. Quite often we would see examination in progress signs.
vi. Detentions were held after school for an hour. You just sat there. And you missed the school special bus. In retrospect they were quite useless deterrents as the same individuals were given them all the time.
vii. Some of the textbooks we used were pre-war. I remember in particular a biology book by Maud Jepson and a mechanics book of the same vintage. It was only in the early 1960s that new books began to appear.
viii. We were constantly on the move. Most periods were a mere 40 minutes. I'm amazed we got through anything. Our school day revolved around bells. You were lucky to have a locker - even luckier if it had a key!
ix. the library was terrible. Full of incredibly old and dry books. However, there was always a rush for Punch and History Today.
x. There were several clubs  - the 54 Club, the Debating Society, the Chess Club, the History-Geography Society, etc.
xi. Only sixth formers were allowed to use the centre staircase. I always felt so important when I was allowed to use it!
xii. I remember being allowed to use the playing field in the summer. The American High School was behind us. The secretary was called the bursar. We had swimming at the Caledonian School. I still have my 25 yard certificate proudly framed at home! I was in Clarendon house, although houses, unlike in Queens School today, were only really important for games purposes.
xiii. I was in the bulge year. From 1957 onwards it became a four form entry. A new geography/domestic science block was added in about 1960 and later additional accommodation was placed above the boys and girls cloakrooms. But there was no 6th form common room, no public telephones and very primitive electronic equipment. I can remember a tape recorder in
French - but certainly no television.
xiv. I remember a Lake District Field Trip in about 1963, the school's first alumnus PhD (Spiers 1960), the school caretaker a Mr Chamberlain who never stopped complaining, the Queen Mother opening the Hall of the Clans at the Caledonian School. We all lined Aldenham Road to greet her. In those days I was a royalist!. A colleague bringing to school the first ballpoint pen I had seen, verse speaking competitions. I think someone called Nigel Bennet would always come first.
xv. I have memories of end of year assemblies when the Headmaster would announce the names of staff who were leaving. In some cases there would be a loud aaah!. All of us would then sing God be with you till we meet again. Finch Lane being off bounds to girls. Alan Smith announcing to the whole assembly on 14 February 1959 that he had a card for me David (Romeo) Reidy. I still have the card!
xvi. I remember one Saturday having to go to Hemel Hempstead to act as linesman for an away football match. To this day I have absolutely no idea what the offside rule is!
xvii. I remember the star pupil Lucy Goodison who won the Ashdown Scholarship, gained four distinctions at A Level Greek after only one year, and a First at Newnham, followed by a PhD. I wonder what became of her?
Several names stick in my memory. I would love to hear from any of them. Gerry Bunce, Bryan Fisher, John Askew, Helen Vale, Ann Copple, Martin Harrison, Peter Cundill, Annette Debenham, Alan Piercy, Pamela Howard, Nicola Souter, Mary Stead, Denis Beebe, Colin Clayton, Jeoff Edwards, Rod Page, Richard Wallen. Ian Leslie, Neil Shave, Ted West, Gillian Manwaring, Helen Paine.
David Reidy, 61 Deepfield Way, Coulsdon, Surrey CR5 2SR David.Reidy@ir.gsi.gov.uk

* Hi!   I have just looked at the 1960 school photo.   My late husband Martin Lemarie was Head Boy at the time and I, Margaret Weeks was a prefect. I am third along from the staff between Pauline Combley & Jackie Ray.   Martin & I were married in 1965. We were in the same year group at school. We started in 1953 and left in 1960. He sadly died in October 1999. mlemarie@39base.fsnet.co.uk

* Hello folks my name is Martin Reed and I  have just discovered this excellent web page from a brief note in a recent Nostalgia column in the Watford Observer.   The school photo sent in by Roger Brown when compared with my own copy is most interesting as it shows me the evolution of the school staff over some10 years.  So far no one seems to have mentioned our school's origin, so here is a little history lesson which may have been omitted from your curriculum at the time:-
In the beginning there was this dark Victorian establishment known as The Watford Central School. Now in the '40s the eleven plus selection system was in full swing and the pinnacle of achievement was to win a place at the Watford boys or girls Grammar School.  For this one first had to pass the main written exam. and then pass the headmaster's or headmistress's selection interview. Those who failed this interview were deemed not to be suitable Grammar School material, but were given a last chance to redeem themselves with an interview for the Central School. One day in 1950 the Central suddenly closed and all the pupils were transferred en bloc to the new school in Aldenham Road that we all know so well.  Construction of the main building was started just before the war and reached first floor level before being put on hold for the duration of hostilities.  A temporary flat roof was fitted and the inside used as a food store. In 1948/49 construction resumed and was almost finished in time for day one in Sept. 1950. Only a few of the staff moved across, from memory they were Miss Rice, Mrs. Richards, Mr. Steel and Mr. Hart, the rest were either re-deployed or retired.   I believe that Syd Caffell had been a pupil at the Central School.   End of history lesson. Amazingly, from the move, we found ourselves  "promoted" to the status of
Grammar School without having to struggle with any entrance exam or selection interview. I never did understand how the bureaucrats could let that pass without demanding some special effort on our part.  I imagine most of us capitalised on
this later when writing job application CVs and such like.  My first year at the Central was 1947 and we moved to BG in Sept. 1950 to start our fourth year.
I wonder how many of you have been reading the Watford Observer Nostalgia
columns over the last few years?  In May '98 someone wrote in asking "what happened to the old Central School?"  This invoked a steady flow of contributions, about 22 to date, regaling us with tales, mostly humorous, few serious, from ex pupils of both schools.  Although most of them relate only to the CS some are from the early  BG era and together fill many column inches, I have collected all the cuttings and would welcome suggestions as to how best to make them available via this Internet medium.
Naturally  practical jokes at the new school got under way almost immediately, the first fire drill giving us the chance to prove that with delicate control of the nozzle one could soak the windows on the far side of the quadrangle with the fire hose. Later at the inquisition some windows were stated to have been open at the time...naturally our not too successful defence plea hinged on a fine balance of ignorance and innocence.  Also just after the new ornamental pond had been built in the quad. and filled with water for the first time, someone almost immediately lobbed a phial of chemical dye into it. By the next morning it had assumed a strong iridescent green hue and had to be drained immediately at great expense.  Apparently Mr. O'Connor was not amused.  I won't name the perpetrator in case he's reading this, but he knows who he was.
There is another web site   http://www.oldschoolmates.co.uk/  which is worth looking at, but although Bushey Grammar is on the list it contains few contributions at the present time.
Cheers, Martin Reed. Reed.Jmr@BTInternet.com

* It was wonderful to find the Bushey Grammar School web site. My sister and Ann and Jill Girling are babes of BGS as I started in 1961 and left as it became Queens' and Jill started in 1966.We were in Monmouth and especially remember Eddy Pine.I am still in contact with a few oldies, Linda Haisman, Carol Buttery, Irene Bagnall to name a few, but I would love to hear from others.
Although the only names I recognise so far on the site are Helen Humphreys and Peter Mould, I shall keep looking for other names from the past. Peter,our paths still cross occasionally and my husband still hasn't got over you turning up at our wedding in police uniform.
As with the other entries I remember BGS with fondness and teachers' names bring back all sorts of memories.  Miss Gearing and the excuses to get out of swimming at the Cale. Mr. Teague, especially when we missed the boat back from a French exchange. Miss Dunster and how she told me I could wear a different skirt when I spilt chemicals down the front of me in a GCE chemistry practical. Miss Alley and my abysmal attempts at dressmaking, Miss Worthy in the 1st year at the Cale. Mr. Annetts guiding me through 'A' level maths and Mr. Patterson telling me I should be a Surveyor which was unusual for a girl in those days, but after a few career changes that's the area I ended up in.
I also have two well thumbed, more modern versions of the school photo. There are so many more memories.I was also a Cliff Richard fan in those days & remember as a highlight when he came to speak to a RE debate. It is especially interesting at present with the 50 year anniversary coming up in October. I have stayed in Watford, my own children went to Queens and
I am now a Governor. When I started there were still four members of staff from my day, Mr Patterson, Mr Brindle, Mr Clifford and Mrs.Williams but sadly they have all died or retired now but some staff are still ex pupils - Carol Buttery, John Asquith.
I'm not sure what Jackie means when she says never again to a reunion but for my sins I organised the Queens 25th reunion and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The school are very supportive of a 50th reunion for BGS and as I am still there if anyone else is interested in the school as a focus for a get together - let me know.
Once I start reminiscing all sorts of memories come back but enough for now. I look forward to more messages.
Ann Taylor (nee Girling) ann_girling_taylor@hotmail.com

* Fancy that, I heard about your web site from my brother and found my name in print ! I was at BGS from 1959 (I remember the long summer holiday because they were still building the new Geography and Domestic Science building) until 1966, so many of the names on the site so far are not familiar to me.
Apart from homework my most vivid memories are:- Getting Shirley Eaton's autograph during the opening of the cricket pavilion. The winter of 1963 when we had to do cross country running every week in the snow.  We used to take a short cut but were caught one week by Sid Caffel on his bike because he heard the 'music' from my mouth organ. Setting fire to a tree stump one lunchtime by testing a magnifying glass. The fire brigade had to come and put it out. Running lunchtime discos in the hall and being asked to play records by people I had never heard of (then) like Muddy Waters.  We liked Cliff and the Shadows ! Putting a mixture of ferrous sulphide and hydrochloric acid (hopefully correct, my Chemistry was never that good) in a cupboard in the Chemistry lab just before lunch.  Dot Pulsford had to evacuate the area in the afternoon. Getting 0% for Latin 'O' Level (which I assume is still a record). Sitting on the pillion of Stuart Lee's motorbike when we went past the school at (quite a bit) more than 30mph.  As luck would have it Mr Teague (not my favourite teacher as you might guess from the previous item) was just about to cross the road.
Other teachers I remember are Mr Annetts for Maths and Messers Finch and Brindle for Physics. Other fellow pupils names I remember are Gerry Rees, Barry Wallis and John Cliff. I now live in Crawley and run a company installing and maintaining window cleaning cradles and gantries on offices and shopping centres.  You can find us at www.power-access.org.uk It would be nice to hear from ex pupils and teachers who know me.
Best wishes to all from Allan Porthouse. allan@aporthouse.fsworld.co.uk

* Have just discovered the web page- had a great time identifying some of the faces in the 1960 photograph.  Many thanks. Although I remember you I doubt whether my face would be familiar - one never remembers those lower down the school!  I still live in Bushey (sad!) and see some old pupils from time to time - strange how old some of them look!  I started in 1957 ''A' levels in 1964.  Hope to read more interesting pieces at a later stage. Regards Jackie Wilson (Smith whilst at school) P.S. Been to one reunion - never again! Jackiewilson@sandess.sagehost.co.uk

* Thanks for the BGS site, and what nostalgic memories it evokes! My name is Peter Mould; I joined in 1962 and left after 'A' levels in 1969. After all these years I still have fond memories of taking part in house and school plays, as well as sports days. Over the years I have lost touch with all my fellow students, although I recently made contact with my old Latin teacher,
Don Gulliver. I still live and work in the area, and as part of my job in the police service I occasionally have to visit Queens School in uniform - I always have to look in to my old form room and at the quad (with the pond) where we used to have water fights with hoses during fire drills! Happy days!
The school seems much smaller than it did when I was there - I guess that's just age though! The main difference is that half of the the back playground has been built on to extend the classroom capacity. There certainly doesn't seem to be the strict discipline that existed when you and I were there. But that's the way of the world nowadays.
There was an open day a few years ago, and an advert appeared in the Watford Observer for anyone with old memorabilia to contact the school. I lent them my old house tie (Clarendon) and my school athletics vest which I still have. It was an interesting day! peter.mould@herts.police.uk

* Hello - my name is Dave Evans and I attended Bushey Grammar School between September 1954 and July 1959 following 'O' levels.  I have been fascinated by the contributors to the web site although I don't really remember any of you personally.  Most are after my time, although I have e-mailed Doug Brew as he mentioned names that are very familiar to me.   I would like to know whatever happened to Tom Watts, Walter Shelton, Dick Sabbatt, Geoff Seal, Geoff Smith, Robin Harle, Bob Salthouse, Dave Needham Barbara Payne and Caroline Draper - all of whom were in my year.   I remember with affection all the teachers - some have been mentioned before - J P O'Connor (who died whilst holiday in Nottingham) Mr Smith and Miss Dunster.  Others include Bob Annetts and Messrs Holden, Bareham, Radford, Hardacre, Caffall, Pine and Reeves - not forgetting Miss (or was it Mrs Guillette) with whom we were all in love. I have very sharp memories of BGS.  I am probably not well-remembered as I was one of the quiet ones (that's my story) but I did keep goal for the 2nd XI football team in my final year. Before I really wax lyrical, I guess I ought to find out if any of my contemporaries are tuned in (?)  I would love to reminisce. They were - despite all - great days!!.   If anyone would like to contact me personally my address is dave.wdevans@btinternet.com

* Hi   I think I was a touch b4 you as I left in 1959. However, I remember a lot of names you mentioned and recognised many faces in the photos. My era was 1952 to 9. Eddy Pine recognised me straight away when I worked in Lloyds Bank some 10 years after I left school. He was certainly one of the good guys and I was so sad when I heard he had gone.   Mention of Syd Caffell the games teacher. I went to primary school with his eldest daughter Maureen. No mean athlete I remember.   Sad to say I saw at least 2 names in  the Watford Observer of people no longer with us. Roy 'Bunny' Norman and Martin Lemarie. I remember Bob Keen (who has just retired from the police) and Richard Brudenell, as I was in scouts with them. I go to the football at Watford with Keith Bonnieman every week. In January I visited Dave Kent, in Melbourne. Keith and Dave are the only people I am still in touch with regularly. I stayed in touch with Ron Wells for many years but seem to have lost him in Vancouver about 5 years ago. Phil Tolchard I used to see around regularly.   If anybody wants to contact me I make a hobby of e-mailing people and would be pleased to hear from them. It is a great medium for this sort of friendship. I was in 1x, 2z, 3z, 4z, 5g & 6g from September 1952 to July 1959.   Ted Messenger eddy2508@cwcom.net

* Hi the BGS site has brought back so many memories and I was amazed to find my brothers name on the first page. I started two years after my brother, in '61. The culture shock of going up from Watford  Fields JMI, after being "nurtured" by Mr Savage, was quite dramatic and my earliest memories seem to revolve around the bus queue, after school. We were kept strictly in line and got a clip round the ear if we were not wearing our school caps properly and one of sixth formers actually had a car! It was a pale yellow Austin 7 with intricate murals on all of the major panels. Who was that man? Loads of other memories but I am trying to recall names like Grillo's ice cream, carved from the slab, on summer days in the playground, history with Mrs Gillette, some contrast to Fred and why was Mr Steel's nickname "Jasper"? Worn out my time and mother's knitted tops, more to tell: Dave Porthouse  porthouse@tesco.net

* My name is Helen Rankin (nee Humphrey) and I was at Bushey grammar 1962-1969. Anyone who recognises the name will see I married another 'old boy' Robert Rankin (1967-1968). If anyone remembers us and would like to get in touch I can be contacted at h.m.rankin@lboro.ac.uk. By the way I was part of Cassio House and was usually involved in swimming, sports etc. I can remember that the year I started the dreaded beret was no longer official school uniform.....

* Hi! I’m Peter Bellamy, pupil at BGS 1959-1966. Thanks for a terrific site that brings back some really good memories. The school photo is a real bonus for me - even if I did have trouble identifying myself at first! Better still, many of the faces are gradually taking shape again in my memory and I’m now struggling to match names to them. Porthouse, Wicks, Rundle and Irons are the earliest to surface. At least I have copies of the 1964, 1966 and 1967 Speech Day booklets that list the 'O'level and 'A'level results, together with Degree courses started and results of past pupils. If these are of any interest to anyone I will happily put up a file or respond directly to an e-mail request. After 'A' levels I spent 10 years in Accountancy, both auditing and later working for two large property companies. Then I took a sabbatical, going back to college to train as a teacher for three years. I began teaching in 1979 and have been Head of Geography at three schools, taught Environmental Studies briefly, been a Design & Technology Co-ordinator and am currently Head of Business Studies and ICT as well as ICT Co-ordinater at a school in Beaconsfield, Bucks. I met one of our old teachers in 1982 at the end of my second year in teaching – Trevor Bennetts (Geography). He was then an HMI. He told me that Lewis, another Geog teacher at BGS, had become a Head Teacher somewhere. Other staff not yet mentioned on your site include, Hardacre (English) and Bareham (or Bearham!) (Economics and History). I also seem to remember a Radford who was Head of History before Bareham took over (very keen on showing us how to spin bowl!). Others will no doubt come to mind soon. Yes, I have very fond memories of BGS including trips to Switzerland (skiing), the Benelux countries (Geog field trip) and Slapton Lea (Biology field trip). I also joined the ATC for a short time – mainly to go on their annual camp I seem to recall! My sister, Christine, was also at the school from 1962-1969. I’m sure other ex-pupils will soon find the site and make a contribution. More photos of the era would be great! Thanks again. Peter peter@be31.freeserve.co.uk

* Hi,   I have just gone through your website but your contact post dates my connection with Bushey Grammar School. I started grammar school education with the School as it were, when it opened in 1950. This therefore is the 50th anniversary of its establishment. Do you know if there is still a Bushey Grammar Old Members Society and if so how I contact it.   I am visiting the UK, from South Africa where I now live, to celebrate my mother's 90th birthday. I shall be there from the 22 May for 3 weeks and thought it might be interesting to see if any reunion or celebrations had been arranged. However with the School having a relatively short existence I suppose not many people have kept contact. I have made contact with Queens School but imagine they really have no association with the old Bushey other than the actual site.   For your interest I was born in Watford and my father, Howard Vickers, was headmaster of Parkgate Primary School where I went before going to Bushey.   With regards Ted Vickers (Mr EJ)vickht@iafrica.com  P O Box 2961, Durban 4000, South Africa.         

* Many thanks for your inspiration in starting a BG Home page . I'm Dave Patrick. I transferred into 5M1 from Alexandra Secondary Modern in 1962 to retake some 'O' levels in 1963 and my 'A' levels in 1965.

Your page has certainly brought back some memories. Margaret Evans taking Maths , Peter Finch for Physics, Jim  and Gran for Chemistry, Mr. Reeves for Art, with his wonky knee, leading out in the dash across the playing fields at the start of the annual cross country. I used to run faster than most were willing and for that reason, more than any spark of leadership potential, finished up Cassio House CC and Athletics Captain. for the 1964/65 yr.

Some of my contemporaries were Ewan Mcfee, Dave Malinson, Geoff (Ned)Coombes, Ron Haines, Hayden Webb and, yes , I do remember Mick Beeby.  The rest of you, I'm just trying to coax back names to fit your faces. I remember the Radio telescope and "Shelley" building the amplifier in Peter Finch's lab during Physics.

Perhaps I was inspiration given by that window into the mysterious world of vacuum tube electronics that  has had me with one large foot in the electronics world all my working life . I'm currently at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research , Brisbane, Australia with responsibility for the repair and , maintenance of the equipment in the laboratories. A daunting job with over 400 Scientists here.

I attach the only photo I have that may be of interest . The 1963/64 Cross Country team .I hope you can include my letter on your page and I look forward to hearing from any staff (They can't all be dead) and fellow students.

Dave Patrick daveapatrick@hotmail.com

* You might be interested to know that Bushey Museum ( www.busheymuseum.org ) have a collection of material relating to local schools. They would also be interested in acquiring or copying any older photographs of the school. In addition, from your web pages there seem to have been celebrities amongst your contemporaries. The curator, Bryan Wood, is currently trying to compile a list of local famous residents/celebrities...
Michael Pritchard mike@lightwave.demon.co.uk

* Hi, I started Bushey G in 1957. I don't recall your name. I would love  to contact some of the gang I hung around with. Mick Powis, Peter Hicks, Tim Jackson, Barry Adams, Rodney Lee, ? Higginbotham, Fred Lyons et al. Do you recall  any of these names?   I'm Roger Brown, my brother (3 years older) is Richard Brown. Mr O'Conner was head whilst I was there and Mr Smith Deputy. Roger Brown rogerbrown48@hotmail.com.

* I'm still recovering from the shock of coming across the names and antics of people I last saw over forty years ago.In particular that great Jerry Lee Lewis impressionist Cliff Williams.I can still see him now rocking back and forth with his rendering of Great Balls of Fire. I also remember Bobby Deacon well but have forgotten the name of his inseparable sidekick. I left in 1959 while I was in the lower sixth so I must have been a year or two older.The guys I hung with in those days were Barry Hill [tragically deceased at aged 21],Andy Smith,Tom Fermentable and Jim Buckingham are names which come readily to mind. I now live in Sacramento,California and work in the Property Management business.As a matter of fact,Garry Davis, one of the properties I'm associated with has a couple of blues musicians living here as you mention that you are one yourself.
I would love to hear from anyone who might remember me and I'll be checking out the site on a regular basis. Regards,Doug Brew, dougbrew@Hotmail.com

* Here I am in my new school uniform sporting compulsory cap be worn at all times.With me is my brother in his Watford Grammar ATC uniform.The guys I hung around with were Chris Aston, Neill Vernon (his father ran a pub at Kings Langley).Tony Hughes was very artistic, Bobby Deacon appeared on Boy meets girl and Oh Boy! Chris Broster,Cliff Williams(brilliant Jerry Lee Lewis type pianist). I sang with some of the guys who formed a group for the 59 Xmas dance.and Bobby guested.I won the annual verse speaking contest 3 years running and a guy called Cadman came second who later in life became an actor and married Donald Pleasance's daughter. Another friend was Jimmy Riley who would never wear school uniform and even tried to dye his hair yellow. I started work at Benskins and formed a group called Lee Davis and the Reverbs and later moved to Ipswich where I was a founder member of Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band.Today I live in Maidstone deep in Kent where I collect guitars,sing the blues and am vice chairman of governors for a special needs school.All that missing is a Bushey Grammar School Old Boys Assoc. Kindest regards, Garry Davis, Bluesmaster@btinternet.com

* Have just visited your website whilst surfing the net. I too was at Bushey Grammar from 1959 - 66 and did O levels in '63. Thanks for the pictures. Finch Lane is where I used to smoke during cross country running (I represented Essex House). The names are coming back to me Sid Caffal, Tom Proctor and good old Eddy Pine! Have given up smoking and running and  now lecture instead on Organisational Behaviour at Bristol Business School , University of the West of England. Did you have a reunion? Is there a former pupils association? Regards Mick Beeby Mick.Beeby@btinternet.com

* Dear Tom,
I live in North Yorkshire and work from home writing computer software. While in the sixth form I remember that we had a jazz band. Well, it started out as a skiffle group but progressed into a jazz band. We used to practise at lunch times. It consisted of myself, Tony Mason (then Hogg) who became a chemical engineer and emigrated to New Zealand, Mitch (Richard Mitchell) who joined the Fleet Air Arm, Dave Hancock who later married Francis Mead (also in our class) and emigrated to Tasmania, and Jeff Box who was always in trouble for not playing his violin and wasting his time playing the double base in a jazz band. He later became lead double base player in the Hale Orchestra.

I can remember most of the names from my year, but I won't list them all now. As I said before, Tony Mason is the only one I'm still in touch with and we both would like to know what happened to all the others.I would imagine that you would have been in the first form when we left so I don't suppose that you would remember anyone in the upper school at that time. Mind you, I expect that you would remember many of the teachers that I knew.

The software I write is windows base applications for various industries. I have written a programme for bakers, which has proved very popular, one for a firm of accountants with many offices, and I am at present writing one for the printing industry. Prior to all this I wrote technical software for the electronics industry and a lot of machine control software etc. I was more involved with electronics then. I run my own company and we used to have a factory and manufacture electronic measuring equipment and control gear. However, we found that neither the government nor the banks were very helpful to manufacturers so I packed that in about 5 years ago and went full time on the software writing. I work from home, which is very nice and I work my own hours. Costs are down and income is up, so I can't complain. Also, all the hype about the Millennium Bug has been a godsend.

For recreation, I swim several times a week with my grandson and take him on bike rides. My wife, Muriel, and I sing. we do quite a lot of charity concerts, etc. and I use quite a lot of music software to create backing tracks for our concerts. I also paint quite a lot; water colours and acrylics in particular. It fits in quite well with software writing. I also run a painting class once a week which is a great way of relaxing. My wife and I also do quite bit of writing (for the stage) and have had two pantomimes published. We produce one each year to try them out. To look at me in the school photo, you wouldn't think I was the one who master minded the end of year prank (1959) when the school bell sounded for three hours.
All the best
David Ayre DavidCAyre@aol.com

In case any of you have forgotten what the place looked like, I have scanned in a few more pictures on the next page

Shelley family home page