• 28Sep

    Last night I had a dream about people I knew in Chambersbury School. Those in my dream weren’t people I especially got on with or had thought about in years! Then typically I couldn’t get back to sleep, often a problem with my overactive brain, so started remembering all the people I could from junior school days (yes I must have too much time on my hands). I started at Chambersbury School, Hill Common, Hemel Hempstead, in Mrs Trotman’s class in September 1972 and left in 1979. I wonder if anyone will find this page who remembers some of the same people? If so I hope you’ll add your comments.

    I was thinking particularly about Paul Grace who had learning difficulties and used to stay inside doing claywork or similar when we did certain activities. He was a big lad who walked with a limp and had a mass of frizzy hair. I have a feeling I wasn’t nice to him at one time because Jackie and I did a typical girl thing of going round all the class asking if they liked the other of us. We each returned with one person who didn’t – Paul Grace didn’t like me and Paul Joyce her, that has always stayed with me.

    Other fond memories are milk still being delivered and drinking from the small bottles with a straw. We made bread and rock cakes, somehow I’m sure this was at our desks which must have been very messy. The playground had a wall where we used to play kiss chase from a very young age – Robert Poyser was my first “boyfriend” and I held hands with him on a canal walk possibly in the first year… my memory is he left soon after, what did I do?! He was soon replaced by a crush on Paul Warner right through to Longdean but we never really spoke as I was too shy, ha ha. There was the famous green sofa in the window of Mrs Maslen’s classroom which previously belonged to Robert’s famiily – at story time it was always a race to get a seat on that which felt really comfortable after the little wooden chairs. Stephen was my country dancing partner which was a laugh, I much preferred that to “aparatus” (was it really called that!) where we had to climb up smelly ropes and over scary frames all over a hard wooden floor in the assembly hall.

    As an aside, I was just looking for a photo to add to this but couldn’t find one, instead I found the house I lived in for the first 16 years of my life! It has just been sold on a property site, really very weird to look through the full colour brochure of somewhere you lived 23 years ago.

    The teachers I can remember are:-

    Colin T. Westlake (Headmaster) Very old school but always seemed to be smiling, I liked him. Retired whilst I was there.

    Mr Buxton (Deputy Head I think)

    Mrs Jenny Farrant (Deputy Head then later Head I think?)

    Mrs Wheatcroft (1st year) I think she was quite short and very kind… but then I was very short and quite scared!

    Mrs Trotman (2nd year?) I don’t remember her, just her name. I do remember the wendy house, coloured tables in the lower school covered in objects usually orange, having to guess what objects were inside a stocking and also guessing smells and tastes whilst blindfolded.

    Miss Grace – remember her teaching us the words to “Waltzing Matilda”! She came from Oz, wore her white hair in a high bun and was a lot of fun, possibly a supply teacher.

    Mr Lightowler – Una almost remembered his name as Lighthouse [thanks Una] – found his name under Pancake Lane School but he must also have taught at Chambersbury.

    Mrs White – didn’t teach me but organised our great production of “Carnival of the Animals” in the Lower School, the first play I was in – I played a fossil!! Lee gave a very memorable ballet performance as the dying swan in the same play.

    Mrs Gilmartin – I remember her name but not much else.

    Mrs Hall – lovely lady who was still living in Hill Common last I heard and in her 90’s.

    Mrs Davison – very keen on spelling tests, improved my spelling no end because I always wanted the chocolate ladybird prizes.

    Norman Carter – many great memories of him, particularly playing the piano and us all singing along to “Lily the Pink” and Beatles songs like “Yellow Submarine”. Instead of saying our names in registration we had to call out our number in french, mine was quatorze (14). He also taught us some french with his rabbit puppet called Pierre and a board with velcro object stickers which we had to say in French, ahh. We also had guinea pigs in his year called Samson and Delilah.

    Rose Maslen – maybe she is the reason I listen to classical music although no doubt it put some off it! We had to sit on the floor for “music appreciation” trying to imagine what the music was about, I recall “Peter & the Wolf” and “In the Hall of the Mountain King” most clearly. She was also keen on history and wanted us all to write in our best handwriting – unfortunately being left handed I made a complete mess with the italic fountain pen we had to use for that! Had a great time on our trips to Wales with her and Mr Rees – did they have a bit of a thing going.. we thought so??

    Philip Rees – don’t think he ever taught our year but came on both Wales trips.
    Miss Spinks – supply teacher who went to Wales with us in 1978 when we got snowed in! Somewhere I still have both years writings from those trips which I shall dig out sometime.

    I have another teacher’s name in my mind, Mrs Twelftree, but no idea where she fits in!

    Not sure how full a list this is but the classmates I remember are:

    Tony Ashton
    Nicola Austin
    Jackie Bannister
    Shane Bolam
    Una Chapman
    Bruce Cooper
    David Coote
    Sara Clark
    Ashley Edwards
    Sharon Feander
    Sally Fitzgerald
    Lee Friston
    Samantha Glynn
    Paul Grace
    Kenny Gronert
    Lisa Hammond
    Sarah Hurst
    Paul Joyce
    Peter Luck
    Michael Miles
    Steven Moisan
    Daniel O’Connor
    Stephen Rayner
    Jeffrey Rollings
    Tony Smith
    Suzanne Taylor (me!)
    Robert Taylor
    Jayshiree Thakrar
    Tommy Thompson
    Chris Walters
    Clare Walters
    Paul Warner
    Peter Watts
    Clive Whitehead
    Shirley Wilson

    Left before end of the last year

    Meredith Brose
    Paulina Markovich
    Louise Saddler
    Helen Thompson
    Debra Watts
    Colin Wilson

7 Responses

  • una Says:

    hi sue,
    well what can i say fancy deaming about ashley edwards and bruce cooper (i can think of a lot better to dream about)hahaha. what more can i say but i do remember after reading this a couple off times most if not all the names you have mentioned. i did get intouch with lisa hammond and hopefully we are meeting up soon,so i will tell her to have a look at your web pages. also read about your page about hemel in the 60’s 70’s,my goodness what a memory. it was nice to remember the old hemel.
    going bsck to the infant playground do you remeber at the top off it was a load of logs cut up that you could jump from one to the other,well sort off i think i fell off them more then jumping on them. also remeber climbing on the frame and singing mud songs “tiger feet” with claire batton and some one else who i can not remember. i remeber in the play which i think was the carnival of the animals i think, i was the lady womble madam sho-lay? (not sure on the spelling off that).i had to dance with louise saddler who i think was a tortoise?. and yes i think mr rees and mrs malsen had a thing for each other. if i can think off anything else then i will email some more.
    love una x
    ps: i always thought that robert poyser’s name was robert poison. oh well no i know.haha

  • Rob Taylor Says:

    Sue, oddly enough I mentioned to somebody only yesterday about the strange phone arrangement we had at our respective houses (245) and yours (239 I think). we both had the same surname – Taylor – although we have never been related and for reasons never explained we seemed to share the same phone line. If we wanted to make a call we lifted the receiver and pressed a button, likewise the same for youselves. In practice how did this work if we received a call for Mr Taylor – was it for my dad or your dad! What did we do press another button or run down the street! This seems such a bizarre arrangement surely it can’t be true!

    As for green sofas at school I remember none of it. Apparatus yes, and the strange climbing frame with the big drop definately yes! You have such extraordinary memories!

  • sue Says:

    Thanks Rob, good to hear from you. Yes I remember the “party line” phone arrangement well but not exactly how it worked – Mark used to leave the phone off the hook by mistake sometimes and we’d pick it up and be able to hear the goings on in your house (very voyeuristic!!) Dad would have to run up the road to let you know to replace the receiver so we could make a call.

    I also remember your cat (Sooty?) sitting on our bay windowsill outside – causing our dog to knock both phone and Dad’s painstakingly made model ship flying in an effort to jump through the window after him. Happy memories!

  • Rose Maslen Says:

    I’ve just found your site and it brought back memories.
    No, Mr. Rees and I never did “have a bit of a thing going”(!) but we loved taking the annual field trip to the Brecon Beacons. I remember the year we were snowed in and slid down the field on the tin trays from the kitchen…

    I still meet once a year with some of the staff I taught with although I left in 1990.
    I now live in Somerset and am great friends with Mrs. Davison, who lives in Derbyshire. I shall tell her about your site when I visit her next month.
    Mrs. Twelftree taught in the Infant Department, by the way.

  • Lena Warner Says:

    I am now married to Paul Warner !!! lol x

  • sue Says:

    Lol, hello Lena! x

  • Paul Ludlow Says:

    Hey Sue.
    Great to see the old pics again! loved the old videos of Hemel…my youngest didn’t recognize me in the France pic!

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