Old Dartechs’ and Wilmingtonians’ Associatiom

Newsletter No 12  Winter  2000

Life during and after ‘Dartech’  -  Derek Bartrip (1954-59)

Thanks for keeping up the great work with the magazine, the articles bring back plenty of memories. Perhaps the occasional article on life in the school today might make interesting reading and comparisons.


In truth I didn’t greatly enjoy schoolwork. This is not a criticism of the school, it is more about my approach to full time studying which, to be honest, has not changed since! I did though enjoy the friendships and often regretted that none survived beyond those years. I do remember the long journey to and from school (which I now frequently tell my grandchildren about when they complain about their journeys to school) as I then lived on the border between Welling and Plumstead. The misery of 2 buses and a trolleybus (am I really that old) to school was at least offset by the anticipated pleasures of meeting the girls on the ‘401’ from Bexleyheath to Leyton Cross.


My only passion at school was mathematics. I not only enjoyed the subject but I also had an enormous admiration for Mr. French who I found to be the most supportive and equitable of people. I was devastated when he left. I remember he introduced me to chess, which I played throughout my school years and for a short while afterwards with the Bexleyheath club. I can clearly see the classroom next to the Head’s office in the Manor where we took maths and had the chess club. I can also see the old library at the top of the stairs where under Mr. Pearce’s watchful eye I was librarian for a while and also the classroom immediately opposite where we had viola lessons with “De La” Clair! The old science block also remains clear in my memory especially when some boring part of physics was about to happen and someone would ask “Percy” Black about some aspect of his involvement in the war which would immediately have him reminiscing, hopefully until the bell rang.


Christmas parties at school - how did the school survive them with each house taking its turn while the rest of school continued with classes? Every game was designed to cause the maximum disruption to those still working. Games that involved telling a teacher that Mr. Black had asked if he could borrow a blackboard and then asking another teacher if the board could be left with them at Mr. Black’s request. The object was to get as many blackboards as possible left with one teacher before he/she blew a fuse. Seemed like a hoot at the time! Treasure hunts that required animal noises to be made at full volume throughout the school to attract the collector of the objects. One party concluded with someone writing a poem that had the end line that our house motto should be to “Percy..vere.” Who wrote that?


Homework was horrendous in our first year and we complained to our housemaster, Mr. Lewis, that we could not cope with the amount of French that we were given. I remember that there was an almighty row with “Maggie” Mountjoy but we were delighted that our punishment was to never again be given any French homework, Maggie telling us that as a result we shouldn’t be surprised when we failed the subject nor should we blame her. In my case her predictions were perfectly accurate although I am not so sure homework would have made that much difference for me.


I also recall Mr. Pearce trying quietly to persuade me to his views on religion. Something my father was not happy about. However Mr. Pearce’s efforts were not entirely wasted as I spent some years attending church and for a while teaching Sunday school.


Sunny lunch breaks spent on the playing fields (did we ever have wet days) and wet days on cross-country runs that took us through ankle deep mud in a farmyard (did we ever have dry cross-country runs?)


I do still appreciate the efforts the school made to instil good manners and respect. Touching one’s cap to adults, opening doors for others, giving up one’s seat on the bus to an adult (or attractive girl - back to the 401 again) I still try to maintain these standards but it does not sit comfortably with today’s “Me first” approach to life.


What of my life since school? I was convinced that because of my love of maths, the route for me was via accountancy and I took a job in the accounts department at Vickers in Crayford. My failure in English prevented me from getting an apprenticeship in accountancy, which was probably just as well, as I soon discovered that the subject was too dry for me. During this period I briefly went into the Metropolitan Police but was dreadfully homesick being based in the awful Battersea Dogs Home section-house and soon left. About this time I did visit the school and have a long chat with Mr. Lewis and a tour around. 14 years were then spent in production planning, first with British Aluminium in London’s East End and then with ITT at Footscray.


In latter times, some 13 years have been spent with British Telecom, running the warehousing and distribution for the Southeast until I took early retirement in 1996. During my years at BT I returned to school but this time as a governor.

Wanting a retirement job, I recently returned to production planning with a private company in Sittingbourne, FloPlast. However, I find that I am back on another career path as I now run all of the operational areas (I enjoy it really, but don’t let the owners know that as they keep forcing me to take pay rises!)


That’s enough for now. Look forward to seeing you on 6th May,


Ken Rawlinson (1956-62)


Many thanks for the copy of Newsletter Number 10. This certainly made interesting reading and brought memories of the old school days flooding back.


One memory in particular was my very first day at the school back in 1956. I had just travelled over 5 miles on three buses at 11 years old to a new school not knowing anyone at all. I arrived at the school in brand new uniform and with a horrible shiny brown leather satchel and commenced up the slope towards the buildings that might just as well have been a prison camp. Half way up the slope one of the new “inmates” dropped some money and being helpful I put my foot on it to stop it rolling all the way down the hill.


I then bent down to pick the coin up when smack, a fist hit me firmly in the face. I was not prepared to stand for that and, with a large crowd of spectators, a fight ensued following which my new clothes looked very second hand and I then dreaded the rest of the day let alone the next five years. I will not mention the other boy’s name but the good thing that came out of this was that I do not remember being picked on again.


Other memories of the school are:

-    The dismantling of Mr. Swarbrick’s bike and putting it on top of the flat roof of one of the buildings (I was not guilty).


-   When we used to put our rulers in our desks and pull them out one after the other causing a great machine gun affect - and Mr Swarbrick never used to say a word! Neither did he when someone used to put red matches in the end of his blackboard rubber.


-   When during a chemistry lesson with “Desperate Dan” someone set off a stink bomb causing a mass evacuation. This made a change from the evacuations when Dan allowed the phosphorous to catch fire.


-   Of “Potty” Pearce, the English teacher who had more hold on the classroom than “Dan” ever did with his wallops with a ruler, his pulling of your hair and his attempting to lift boys off the ground by their ears (what is all this about child abuse nowadays?)


-   Of Mr. “Doberman” (not his real name) the games master, and the new boy (I do not know who) who had not met him and was told to go into the pavilion and address him as Mister Doberman which he did.


-    Of the “illegal” short cuts during the cross country runs which reduced the run from 5 miles to about half a mile.


-    Of the violin lessons given by Mr. Clare (Jake). Although a small group had applied to play the violin we later decided that we would prefer to play football so we used to grow our finger nails extra long so that the violin strings would break. Mr. Clare got over this by bringing in a pair of scissors and cutting our nails before each lesson.

-    Of the times when should anyone not be wearing a cap on arrival at school they would get reported by the prefects and be given a detention. Boy’s who had forgotten their caps used to get their mates to go in, nip round by the cycle sheds and throw their caps over the very high perimeter wall.


With reference to June Braxton’s letter the English teacher who went to Australia may have been the aforementioned “Potty” Pearce. Other names not on June’s list are Mr Matthews (games & English? master), Mr. Swarbrick (maths), “Desperate” Dan and “Doberman” (I cannot remember either of their proper names). There was also a very pleasant grey haired teacher who drove a white Ford Anglia - I think his name was Mr. Amos.


I remember Percy Black as being an excellent teacher, although I believe he only taught us the once. Our physics master was the aforesaid “Desperate Dan” and everyone had failed the mock exam as we were always messing about during the lessons. From what I can remember everyone had marks below 40 and one lad was given a total of 1 mark for spelling his name right. Percy was furious and gave the class a right ticking off saying that no oneshould really be put in for the GCSE. He then said that he would be taking us for the next three months and that we would all be taking the exam. What a difference, I believe that 75% managed to pass the physic’s examination, even me.


I am very much looking forward to the reunion and meeting up with “old” school friends. Keep up the good work.


Terry Genese - (1957(9)-1962)

I regret to have to advise you I will be unable to attend the above events scheduled to take place on the 06 May 2000.


I shall be grateful if you will register my apologies.


Whilst writing I thought I would take the opportunity of advising you of what has happened to me since leaving Dartford Tech. in the summer of 1962. I spent the next ten years in the Insurance business in the City. In 1972 feeling rather fed up and in a rut I applied for a job running an Insurance Agency in the West Indies and much to my surprise found myself winging my way to Antigua in the June of that year. One of the first things I did their was contribute towards the sponsorship of two young Antiguans who were going to Alf Govers Cricket School. Their names? If my memory serves me well they were called Andy Roberts & Viv Richards!!!!


I married a Scottish teacher, working on contract in Antigua and we returned to the UK in 1975 and set up home in Stirling, where I stayed for the next nine years working still in Insurance. During that time my wife and I divorced and at the end of ’85 I remarried. At the beginning of that year I was promoted and moved to Newcastle. I joined a new company during 1986 and in 1990 was again promoted and moved to the Midlands, settling in South Shropshire. Following the takeover of my employers I was made redundant in 1996, but I am now working for a Friendly Society (Ancient Order of Foresters).


I must admit reading Trevor Rigg’s missive in the last Newsletter brought back a lot of memories as did reading the 1957 names on the Website.


Other memories were recalled on reading of Maggie Mountjoy’s demise. The flowing red cape for one.


However, the mind turned to the Easter of 1962 and the school trip to Konigsee. The ultimate threat being that if we did not behave we would be banned from sitting our GCE’s in the summer. They also banned the partaking of alcohol. The school party was led by Percy & Mrs Perce plus Pinhead and Maggie who took her daughter with her. We shared the hotel with some other boys from the East End and some rather posh birds from Hertfordshire (I think). Anyway the other lads were allowed to drink. One night I was sitting talking to them in the Hotel restaurant and reading the label of a beer bottle (honest, officer) when Percy plus entourage walked past. I was summoned and given the appropriate b......ing and told a decision would be made about what to do with me including the possibility of sending me home. A council of war was held that night and when I was summoned the following morning I was accompanied by a colleague whose name I cannot recall, but I do remember he could do some peculiar things with his eyes. The decision was to send me home. However, they had not realised that this meant one of them would have to come with me. A hurried discussion ensued and the sentence was reduced to another b......ing. I wonder why.


Finally, I wish you a very successful Reunion Dinner and hopefully I will be able to make it next year.


Hello from West Australia  -  Rod Cronin (1955-60)

I don’t know what made me look up the old school name on the web; maybe it’s a spin off of the recent visit by The Queen. But I’m glad that I did.


Having left the UK in 1965 I have lost touch with everybody that I knew and now feel quite lost.


I am sorry to read about the passing of Maggie Mountjoy, I must admit not my favourite French teacher or any teacher, but we did have a few amusing times in class due to my non ability at French.


My attendance at the school covered the years 1955 - 1960 and my departure was probably looked upon with favour by both Froggy and L.V., I certainly don’t think I left my mark.


Living in Sevenoaks I did not have many friends at school, because most of my year seemed to live in the other direction, never the other direction to meet outside of school hours.

Duncan Langford-Allen, Colin James Taylor, Spud or P J Taylor and the surname Eaton (can’t remember the Christian name), Richard Fearns, are cohorts of distraction who come to mind. If you hear of the misdeeds of any of these characters it would be nice to hear from you.


My name is Roderick John Cronin (Rod). I am not married and I live in Serpentine, Western Australia. I am a musician, playing guitar in a local band called “The Antiques Roadshow”, currently working up a tour of WA’s Performing Arts Centres. I also help my sister Cecily run a Kumon Centre, supplying much needed after hours maths and English tuition to the young rebels of today.


My real job was, in the past, an electro mechanical technician for The National Cash Register Company, unfortunately some character invented the computer. Bastards weren’t they.


Oh well, I’ll just have to keep rockin’ I suppose. It would be good to hear from you.


and following my response


I am really quite excited to have found a link to my murky past and as for Keith, I was a little disappointed when they came to Aus. a few months, well it’s probably a couple of years ago, that they surrounded themselves with anonymity and security, which of course eliminated any chance for a chat. Another name, from your year this time was a chap who was always friendly to us youngers, he lived in Otford, Kent and was called Michael Harrington. If you can track him down, I would certainly like to find out what he is doing now. I will email Duncan immediately. I’ll bet he’ll get a shock when he finds out I’m in the convict country and making a living from rock-n-roll.


Thanks for the fast return email and once again I must say that I don’t often feel excitement anymore, but I feel it now. Sincerely Rod


PS.     As you’re up there and I’m down here there’s probably not much that I can do. But if you feel that I can help with my memories of things please do not hesitate in mailing me. Thanks for the newsletter.


Michael Parkinson  -  (1956-1962)

Thank you for E Mailing the newsletter No 10 to me which I am happy to say I had no problems reading. Over the last month I have been quite overwhelmed by memories of my school days at Dartford Tech


As you know I have been in New Zealand for 30 years. The only school friend I have always kept in touch with is Trevor Stevens and I believe that is how you got my em address.


The nostalgia trip was started by an em I received on a Monday morning (9th August) from Brian Hyland. To say I was blown away by contact with someone who I had not seen or heard from since 1962 was an understatement. After a flurry of em’s over the next couple of days he then delivered another major jolt to the system when he sent to me the addresses of those he had contacted from our year. ‘There was the address of Robin Pitman, it rang alarm bells!! Here I was in NZ just organising a visit to London in early September, I had just been given the use of a flat for the week on the 15th floor of a tower block in the Barbican and there was Robin residing on the 11th floor of the same tower block!! After 37 years I was going to meet up with one of my best friends from Dartech - it was just an unbelievable coincidence. Needless to say we had a great reunion, with Nigel Bourne also coming up to join us for a meal. It was a very nostalgic trip into my school days for me and many great memories came flooding back. Both Robin & Nigel have been involved in helping Brian trace members of our class so they brought me up to date with what had happened to many of my old friends, the teachers and the school. It was a marvellous evening.


Unfortunately I cannot get back to the class reunion lunch in November but my wife and I are looking forward to returning for the annual dinner in May 2000 and meeting everyone. Certainly it was the highlight of my trip to London.


So Dennis please put me down for 2 tickets to the dinner.


From: Dr Graeme Maidment  -  (1978-83) School of Engineering Systems & Design

I have pleasure in informing you, that Alex Hill (1988-1995) has recently been awarded a 1st Class honours degree in energy engineering, from South Bank University, London. As his tutor for his final dissertation I personally found him to be a creative, hardworking, ingenuitive and well presented student who is a great credit to our School. I wish his every success in his future career.


Graham Knight  -  (1960-1966)

I was absolutely thrilled to receive a copy of the last newsletter from O.D. & W.A. which brought back many, mostly happy memories from over 30 years ago! I had lost touch with all of my former school colleagues long before I retired from the Kent Constabulary and moved out to the sunny climes of the Costa Blanca where I am employed by our local town hall as, would you believe, ‘adviser to the mayor’. I am probably the only ‘foreigner’ in all Spain to be employed as such, and my work is principally to act as a liaison between the local authority and the substantial foreign community which live here.


Last year, I returned to the U.K. to attend my parents golden wedding anniversary and, unbeknown to me, they had invited Rob Webb, who was a close schoolfriend. (Actually, we remained friends for some time after, but had lost contact). Rob had tried, through my parents, to renew acquaintances and hence had been invited to the party. You can imagine what a great pleasure and surprise it was to meet up again after so much time!


We have remained in contact, and will continue to do so, and he and his wife have been over to visit us here. This summer, on another U.K. visit, I went to stay with them at Dartford, and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit the old school. The current caretaker, Brian Knight, looked after us very well and gave us an extremely inclusive conducted tour. Fond memories came flooding back and it was a somewhat emotional visit. What a great pity that they have demolished the old Wilmington Hall! However, amongst the new, there were many ‘recognisable’ parts of the school and Rob and I spent the morning trying to piece together those parts which we identified. Whilst there, of course, I took the opportunity of joining (or should I say re-joining) the association. It is wonderful to know that, after so long, there are so many who have such fond memories of the school and that it retains such proud traditions. Keep up your good work!


The only teacher who had lasted out since my days at the ‘tech’ was Len Hollingsworth, but he had just retired the month before my visit. I very much remember his classes of British Economic History in the classroom on the ground floor of the old Wilmington Hall. His was one of the subjects that I obtained at ‘O level during my 5th year, so he must have made the classes reasonably interesting! I also have fond memories of Mr. ‘Percy’ Black (even if he did cane me!), Mr. ‘Potty’ Pearce, who taught English, of Maggie’ Mountjoy, (french), Jim Austen (TD), Mr. ‘Jake’ Clare (Music), ‘Pip’ Cartwright (geography), Paul Parker (maths), and several others.


Unfortunately, I shall be unable to make the millennium dinner on 6th May. By chance, I will actually be in England on that day, but I will be attending my youngest daughter’s wedding down in Thanet in Kent. (I am already a grandfather twice over!) However, I shall raise a glass or two to you all and look forward to, perhaps another opportunity of renewing old acquaintances.


Further to your foot note, yes, I am the Graham Knight who lived at Top Dartford Road in Hextable and I did play football for the Old Boys in the Late 60’s and early 70’s. In fact, we were near neighbours up until I was posted away upon taking up my police career. Incidentally, my footballing days are long over!


With my kind regards to other former students and staff who may remember me.



Angus Gilbert  -  (1977-81)

A letter for the newsletter, although to be honest I am not sure what to say. I wanted to write though, to contribute now, as I hope to be emigrating to the USA very soon.


I can tell of how I have neither bad or good memories of the school. The newsletter has made me think upon those times, and I realise that I am grateful for two things.


1. The school, or it’s system never tried to break or really mould me. I don’t feel I was encouraged to find myself, but I was never stopped either.


2. A few outstanding teachers; the Woodwork teacher (Mr Gough?), the Physics teacher, the R.E. teacher and the Music teacher (Mr Newberry). All of whom made a real impact, then and now.


So why write? To give you a contribution for the next newsletter; to enclose £25 towards costs; to say as I am emigrating it is difficult to commit to attending the AGM; and to hopefully encourage other ‘young’ old boys to make contact.


The only suggestion I have for improving the magazine maybe to theme issues, well in advance to encourage contributions, e.g. School trips (I recall a difficult trip to Brugge), What are they (we) doing now, etc.


I will keep in touch.

Ray King (1951-55)

Many thanks for your letter enclosing the latest copy of the Newsletter and intend to attend the Reunion in May. This will be my first as I only heard about the Association last year, and although I booked for last year I was taken ill while on business in Heidelberg that week.

I note from the attendance list that I would have been the third oldest! My main claim to fame was in soccer, I captained the School team in 1954/55,  sprinting and hurdling, I still have a good collection of medals from Sports Days. With Bill Finn, David Sturt and Dave Franklin we were an unbeaten 4 x 110yd relay team against other Schools, we whipped the Grammar twice.

My generation was brought to mind by June Braxtons letter mentioning teachers who I well remember. I can add:- Dowling - History; Kneeshaw - Geography; Harris - English and Bickerstaff who took Sports for a year.

My class was the second of the Ag. stream, joining one year before Jack Hughes joined and opened the farm. For Handicraft and P.E. we used to walk to Lowfield Street, in the town, a great opportunity for mischief!!

I served as a Prefect for 2 years. Many will surely remember my bad stutter, when reading the lesson at morning assembly, it took a very long time.

I stayed with Agriculture for only one year farm experience in Herefordshire. Then I took an A-level course at N.W. Kent College, where I met my wife Val. I then started my 40 years in the Ink and Paint Industry joining Coates Brothers at St. Mary Cray. We came to the Midlands in 1969 and have 3 sons of 35,32 and 27. I finished my career as a Director of one of the worlds largest ink companies, having run operations in U.K., U.S.A., Canada, Netherlands and Germany.

Please excuse the ramblings on an old man and feel free to use any useful bits in the next Newsletter.


Peter (Scratcher) Minch (1952-56)

I was saddened to hear of the death of Mrs Mountjoy and it has prompted me to write to you at long last. If there is one teacher who stands out in my memory it is Mrs M. and without doubt she had a decisive influence on my life. Due to her aggressive methods of teaching and total commitment French was the one subject that I thought I was good at, and it gave me a false impression that I had a talent for languages. My attempts to learn German at night classes after I had left school soon showed me what a lot I had to thank her for. As a schoolboy I assumed that the hours that she put in during her lunch breaks were officially part of her job but since taking up teaching myself I am only too aware of the sacrifice. Although I followed a career in engineering I kept up learning languages as a hobby eventually learning another seven languages and largely forgetting five of them. If anyone is interested it is my opinion that Dutch is the easiest foreign language to learn with Spanish a close second.


I can honestly say that my schooldays at Dartford Tech were the happiest days of my life, paradise compared to the grotesque secondary school from which I had come. I remember Mr Lewis (chemistry and Christian Union), Mr Black (physics), Mr Austen (drawing) and Mr French (maths) with great affection. The only really dud teacher was an English master whose name escapes me. I don’t remember ever having an actual English lesson, as I recall only four boys in my year passed English at the first attempt, and all the new books in the library seemed to be about cricket. Personally I could not stand organised sport and I remember Mr Wall, the head, making it absolutely clear that anyone who could not run 100 yards in 10 seconds was destined to be a greasy rag in the outer darkness called Engineering.


In my final year I went on an exchange visit to France and stayed in Boulogne for three weeks in the family of an electronics engineer with a workshop in his loft. AS a consequence I switched from chemistry to instrument engineering as a chosen career and took an apprenticeship at Elliotts in Lewisham. So in a way I had Mrs M to thank for that too, and I don’t regret one day of the years I spent with Instrumentation and Control. I am still in contact with my French exchange pupil after 45 years and we have visited each other in the last year or so.


The only boys I can remember from my class were David Middleton, Keith Merritt, Swanton, Mills and Wells (or Wills?). My father was a gardening teacher at Dartford West Hill School and as he was known to several of the boys I acquired his nickname ‘scratcher’.


As for my career, if I can call it that, after my apprenticeship I was a service engineer for many years working in England, Russia and Poland and in Queen Marys Hospital at Sidcup. I taught instrumentation for twenty-four years in a training centre and at Lewisham College from where I took early retirement in 1995. It took me three attempts to pass my Higher National, ten years to get an Open University honours degree and finally reached the dizzy heights of a part time MSc in Digital Systems Design from South Bank just before I retired. So as you can see I am a slow learner.


As to my home life I was married for twenty years, not at all happily, divorced and have two grown up children, both boys. I have been with my ‘new’ partner for twenty-seven years so it is looking a bit permanent. Since taking early retirement I have had a gall bladder and a hernia operation and survived cancer and a dreadful year of chemotherapy. To add insult to injury it was all in my own time, not having a day off sick from work in thirty years.


Now I spend most of my time in the garden or at Erith Yacht Club and have taken the RYA Courses up to Yachtmaster and the Sailing Instructors certificate. So I still do a little teaching on sailing courses at Erith and Thamesmead, in between sailing and canoeing trips abroad and on my own small yacht. I do miss technical teaching quite a lot but I don’t want to be tied to the College year as a part timer as it would interfere with my holidays, and anyway I am now so busy how could I possibly fit it in!


If I look back on my life the high point I remember is being given a class of Algerian apprentices and teaching the electronics, instrumentation and control for four weeks entirely in French without an interpreter. So I guess this brings me full circle back to Mrs Mountjoy and so if you are up there looking down, Maggie, I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.






Terrence George Hill (1955-58)  passed away August 1998


Maurice Fitzsimmons (1944-47)  passed away after a long battle with Cancer June 1999.


John William Bailey (1957-61)  died in an accident at work Summer 2000.


Leonard Vernon Wall - Headmaster from 1941 - 1963. We can now confirm that after retiring Mr. Wall returned to his native Northumberland and passed away in 1978 in his 76th year.


Mrs. Margaret (Maggie) Mountjoy - 1914-2000. Staff 1942-1979, Relief teaching until 1984.


Many tributes were received following the announcement in the last Newsletter of her passing away, of which a selection follows:


Very sorry to hear about Maggie Mountjoy. She made a significant difference to my own academic progress and I would have liked to have met her once more. John McCaffery (1947-51).


I was very sorry to learn of the death of Maggie Mountjoy, like many pupils I will remember her for her strict ways, but then it is often the strictest of teachers who you remember in the fondest ways. I have mentioned puppet theatres before, when we worked together with the art department in Year One (1962/3), to produce papier mache puppets and write a script in French. Maggie had also started to write school text books at this time and would often be checking pages and adding new items whilst she had set us work. Richard Short (1962-69).


Very sorry to hear about Maggie Mountjoy. She and I never got along, for unlike Trevor Rigg languages were never my strong point. Ken Howton (Illinois, USA) (1955-61).


Regret to read in the latest Newsletter of the sad demise of Mrs. Mountjoy, someone I remembered over the years with a great affection. Please pass my condolences to her family. Terry Genese (1957(9)-62).


Very sorry to hear the news about Maggie Mountjoy, a great influence on many of us throughout the years. Reginald Pierce (1949-53)


Very sorry to hear about “Maggie” Mountjoy. She was a first class French teacher, I still remember enough to “get by”, even after 30 years. It was good to chat with her at the Reunion in 1997. My condolences to her family. Richard Ogilvy (1962-66).


It is with some sadness that I read of the death of Mrs. Mountjoy (Maggie). As a pupil between 1980 and 1985 - I was taught by her and the instant memory I have of her was one hot summers day when she took charge of us in Thames Class - not sure which year - but I recall it was in what was Mr. Hodgsons class room looking out onto the craft & technology block and the adjoining Wilmington High School - as I say it was a stifling day and none of us could be bothered to settle to any work - but Maggie - and I can still hear her saying it now - bellowed out “Hot we may be - but bothered we are not”. She immediately gained our attention - like some Margaret Rutherford school mistress. Graham Long (1980-85).


Sorry to hear about the death of Maggie, sorry I did not get to the reunions which she attended. The picture on the back page of the Newsletter was a good reminder of what she looked like.  Tony Clark 1956-63).


Terrible shame to hear about Maggie - WHAT A WOMAN, and a good teacher to.  Bruce Timms (1954-59).


I was saddened to read about the passing on Mrs. Mountjoy, or “Maggie” as we all used to call her. She taught with great enthusiasm and one of her favourite lines was “it’s good for you sonny”. This was usually after some bright spark came up with the answer to a problem in class. One of my clearest memories was possibly of an English class she took where somehow Mrs. M got on to the topic of Alsace and Lorraine, two areas in France that she seemed to know a lot about. A fellow pupil Andrew Chedzoy, well known for his mischievous behaviour during these classes, answered a question correctly during class, before Maggie could respond “Chedders” publicly stated “and it’s good for me sonny”! Needless to say he was asked to leave the class.  Matthew Coxall (1982-89)


I was sorry to hear “Maggie” Mountjoy had passed away. She was our History teacher and always was ‘fair, firm and friendly’ and was an enthusiastic teacher..  John Edmunds (1945-48).

John proposed a toast to Mrs. M. during this years Dinner.


I feel I should send my condolences following the death of Maggie Mountjoy. As I read the obituary, so many memories flooded back and I am so sad that I did not have the pleasure of meeting up with her again during her latter years. To the friends I made during the fifties, and myself, Maggie was not only a very capable tutor, but a very sexy lady. My main memory of her, was trying to get into class first to obtain one of the few seats situated in front of her desk, and together with others drool at her remarkable figure, at all other lessons we invariably tried to sit out of the way at the back. She was very fair, but very strict, and I lost count of the times she sent me on my way to stand outside Mr. Wall’s study for the usual punishment. God Bless Her and may she still look down upon us and forgive us for our discrepancies.  Tony Tipple (1951-54)


It was with sadness that I read about the demise of “Maggie”.  Norman Vincett  (1955-60)


I remember Maggie Mountjoy well. During the time I was there I believe she retired (and returned) “Three” times and received a gift every time.  Nigel Anscombe (1975-82)


Class of ’57 Reunion 10th September 2000

The real “Class of ’57”, i.e. those that joined in ’57 (or went through that stream of years) as opposed to those that left that year, had a reunion on September 10th at the Horse and Groom, Leyton Cross. Owing to conflicts with holidays and prior arrangements, and in common with the initial gatherings of other such reunions, our number was small - 13 former pupils and 2 very brave wives. With more notice we hope to increase that number next time. Trevor John had insisted on meeting a couple of us the previous day (so I count him as there) as he was winging it to Spain on the Sunday.

As it was, a good four plus hours were spent catching up on the news of old friends, some of whom hadn’t seen one another for at least 36 years. Most attendees were instantly recognizable from school days despite thinning or graying hair and/or whiskers and glasses. A few paunches were evident but a couple obviously keep themselves fit or away from the temptations of a beer barrel! It is surprising how time flies when you are discussing past and present work experiences and family matters even in such a small group. It was also good to hear that some are still in contact with other former pupils who couldn’t be present so we were able to catch up on their lives as well. I think that Mr. Amess would have been surprised at the number of accountants (or those in related financial occupations) that he turned out from our year since, if my memory serves me correct, for most mathematics was not a hot subject – worrying.


On a sad note, we heard that John Bailey had passed away earlier this year in an accident at his haulage firm. Many will remember John as a cheeky little chap with a good sense of humour, a trait that he carried with him throughout his life.


Our next gathering will be at 3pm on Saturday, 12th May 2001, at the same location and prior to the annual ODWA dinner – to give those who want some extra reunion time an opportunity to meet. If anyone wants to be added to my address list please email me at: dcatchpole@bigfoot.com (it will be cheaper than trying to phone me in Alaska).   Dave Catchpole (1957-64)


Bookings for this years Dinner to date include:


Graham Nicholls                      Guest of Honour                       Staff             1970

Brian Titterington                   Headmaster                              1992

Ken Evans                               Chairman of Governors           

Dennis Wells                            Chairman                                 1954            1959

Peter Gee                                                                                 1942            1945

Roy Warman                                                                           1942            1944

David Meredith                                                                        1945            1948

John Edmonds                                                                          1945            1948

John McCaffrey                                                                       1947            1951

Reginald Pierce                                                                        1949            1953

Ray King                                                                                  1951            1955

Adrian Hatley                                                                          1954            1960

David French                                                                           1954            1959

David Laken                                                                            1954            1959

Derek Bartrip                           + one                                       1954            1959

Jim Austen                                                       Staff                 1954            1974

John Beresford                         + one                                       1954            1959

Ken Prebble                                                                             1954            1961

Neil McKay                                                                             1954            1959

Paul Dudley                                                                              1954            1960

Terry Whiffen                                                                         1954            1959

Trevor Stevens                                                                        1954            1959

John Mummery                                                                        1955            1961

John Nunn                               + one                                       1955            1961

Ken Howton                            + one                                       1955            1961

Anthony Carpenter                                                                  1956            1963

Bob Salmon                                                                              1956            1962

Brian Hyland                                                                            1956            1963

Chris Taylor                                                                            1956            1962

Clifford Langridge                                                                    1956            1963

Colin Wise                                                                               1956            1961

Innes Simpson                          + one                                       1956            1962

John Read                                                                                1956            1962

John Woodard                                                                          1956            1960

Michael Ashpool                                                                      1956            1962

Michael Lyons                                                                         1956            1962

Michael Parkinson                   + one                                       1956            1962

Ralph Smith                                                                             1956            1962

Michael Samuel                        + one                                       1956            1963

Nigel Bourne                                                                            1956            1963

Paul Oakley                                                                             1956            1963

Robert Crighton                                                                       1956            1963

Robin Pitman                                                                           1956            1963

Roger (Wally) Hammond                                                         1956            1961

Tony Carpenter                                                                       1956            1963

Tony Clarke                                                                            1956            1963

Michael Sutton                                                                         1956            1962

Christopher Portwine                                                               1957            1965

David Catchpole                                                                      1957            1964

Frank Pearson                                                                          1957            1964

Grahame Mole                                                                         1957            1963

John Robins                                                                             1957            1962

Jonathan Sheffield                                                                    1957            1961

Ken Rawlinson                                                                         1957            1963

Martin Goddard                                                                        1957            1962

Richard Button                         + one                                       1957            1962

Malcolm Green                                                                        1957            1963

Michael Watts                                                                         1957            1962

Paul Tully                                                                                1957            1963

Peter Liddle                                                                             1957            1961

Robert Silver                                                                            1957            1962

Stuart Hall                                                                                1957            1963

Wally James                                                     Staff                 1957            1989

Cyril Fitzpatrick                                                                      1957            1962

John Bradford                                                                          1957            1963

David Harrison                                                                         1958            1960

John Congdon                                                                          1958            1965

Colin Fradd                                                                              1959            1966

Nicholas Crutchfield                                         1959                1966

Len Hollingsworth                                           Staff                 1960            1999

Terry Rooke                            + one                                       1961            1966

David Brenchley                                                                      1962            1967

David Ferguson                                                                        1962            1968

Ken Morez                               + one                                       1962            1967

Robert Richardson                                                                    1962            1967

Chris Laker                                                      Staff                 1963            1970

Ian Bell                                                                                    1963            1970

John Daley                                                       Staff                 1963            1992

John Wakeford                                                                        1963            1970

Perry Scoffield                                                                         1963            1970

John Drury                                                                               1963            1969

Christopher Morrison                                                              1964            1971

John Hazeldine                         + one                                       1964            1971

Terrence Cole                                                                          1964            1971

John Jarvis                                                                               1964            1971

Paul Swinscoe                                                                           1964            1972

David Munford                                                                         1965            1973

Fausto Fabi                                                                               1965            1973

John Walker                                                                            1965            1970

Steven Marsh                                                                           1965            1972

Trevor Watkins                                                                       1965            1972

Philip Moor                                                                             1966            1973

John Peters                                                                              1966            1973

Chris Smith                                                                              1967            1974

Paul Munford                                                                           1967            1974

Peter Day                                                                                1967            1974

Stephen Thompson                                                                  1967            1974

John Fahy                                                                                1968            1975

Michael Warren                                                                       1968            1975

Paul Sparks                                                                              1968            1973

John Strudwick                                                                         1968            1973

Alan Begg                                                                                1968            1973

Andrew Suter                                                                            1969            1975

Bill Leavens                                                                             1969            1976

Ian Dennis                                                                               1969            1975

Jamie Hillman                                                                          1969            1974

Nicholas Facey                                                                         1969            1975

Wade Nash                                                                               1969            1976

Sheila Holden                                                   Staff                 1969            1996

Adrian Smith                                                                            1970            1975

Alan Beal                                                                                 1970            1975

Alan Hamerschlag                                            Staff                 1970            1984

Allan Webster                                                                          1970            1976

Clive Stringer                                                                           1970            1977

Colin Usher                                                                              1970            1975

Glen Powling                                                                            1970            1975

Graham Hillman                                                                       1970            1975

Paul Fahy                                                                                 1970            1977

Peter Sulway                            + two                                       1970            1977

Russell Bridge                                                                           1970            1976

Stephen Moffat                                                                        1970            1977

Martin Smith                                                                           1970            1976

Peter Stern                                                                               1970            1976

Mark Robertson                                                                       1970            1975

Michael Lane                                                                           1970            1975

John Hunt                                                                                1970            1976

Tony Dodd                                                                              1970            1975

Nick Waller                             + one                                       1970            1975

Raymond Sampson-Chambers                                                  1970            1975

Marian Miller                           + one               Staff                 1971            1990

Janet Webb                                                      Staff                 1972            1978

Alan Costar                                                      Staff                 197?

John Hampton                                                                         1972            1977

Keith Jackson                                                                          1972            1977

Paul Britton                                                                             1972            1979

Peter Thomas                                                                          1972            1979

Bah Mohamed                          + one               Staff                 1972            1987

David French                                                                           1972            1979

Paul Chenery                           + one                                       1973            1978

Gary Haines                                                                             1975            1980

Mark Cooper                                                                           1975            1982

Stuart Message                                                 Staff                 1975            1986

Joan Barrett                                                     Staff                 1976            1986

Neil Worbey                                                                            1976            1981

Jean McKay                                                     Staff                 1977           

Andrew Davies                         + one                                       1978            1983

Mary Frankton                                                Staff                 1978           

Keith White                                                     Staff                 1978

Pat Howell                               + one               Staff                 1981            1986

Tony Martin                                                                            1983            1989

Philip Kick                                                                              1983            1989

Derek Durrant                                                                          1983            1990

Alex Taylor                                                                             1991            1998


Neil Davies wishes to contact any former members of the 1st XV Rugby Team of 1966/67

email:  lloydbramwell@lineone.net






on Saturday, 12th May, 2001

Mr. Allan Hamerschlag (Member of Staff 1970-84)

will be our Guest of Honour.


Menu and Booking Form with next Newsletter






Mrs. M (Maggie) Mountjoy                  Mr. P. (Percy) Black                        Mr. L. V. (Charlie) Wall

Staff 1942-79(84)                                Staff 1947-81                                  Headmaster 1941-63


Check out our web site www.odwa.freeserve.co.uk


Your next Newsletter is due to be published in January/February for which I need articles and correspondence. Comments with regard to your memories while at the School or details of your own life since leaving will be greatly appreciated. I would like to add a section to the Website with details of the Staff and their nicknames and any News of them since leaving the School, so any lists or details will help.

Please contact Dennis Wells, 3 Millbro, Victoria Hill Road,

Hextable, Swanley, Kent BR8 7LF.  email: tartwells@aol.com