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Amersham College, Woodside Road


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#1 Matthew (Admin/MPJ)

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:02 PM

Copy of email received below
----------------------------------

I attended this school (Amersham College, Woodside Road) from 1940 to 1946. There were quite a group of us who
travelled to Amersham by train from Aylesbury,Wendover & Gt Missenden. We wore Black
and Yellow striped caps. This was during the 2nd. W.W. and some of the Sixth-Formers
who left when I first attended, were killed on active service. I would be interested to hear from old members. Noel Reynolds
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#2 Tony E

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:12 PM

Copy of email received below
----------------------------------

I attended this school (Amersham College, Woodside Road) from 1940 to 1946. There were quite a group of us who
travelled to Amersham by train from Aylesbury,Wendover & Gt Missenden. We wore Black
and Yellow striped caps. This was during the 2nd. W.W. and some of the Sixth-Formers
who left when I first attended, were killed on active service. I would be interested to hear from old members. Noel Reynolds


I was at Amersham College for just one term, when the principals of the school were messers Gabb and Gantly, circa 1961, went on to St. Michael's College in Hitchin, Hertfordshire for 2 terms, then Fray's College, Uxbridge for 1 year, before going on to Dr. Challoner's for 3 years for my O's and then Aylesbury College for my A's.

There was a boy - in a year or so above me - with one or two other older brothers, called Rodney Coppins - and I seem to remember that their father had been to the school - so I guess he would have been a contemporary of yours - I am still in touch with a number of old friends from Aylesbury/Amersham and think I can contact Rodney if you remember his father - over to you!

Best regards

Tony Evered

Edited by PaulEden, 09 March 2007 - 07:39 AM.
double post and accidental code tags removed. :)


#3 petersymons

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 03:01 PM

I was at Amersham College for just one term, when the principals of the school were messers Gabb and Gantly, circa 1961, went on to St. Michael's College in Hitchin, Hertfordshire for 2 terms, then Fray's College, Uxbridge for 1 year, before going on to Dr. Challoner's for 3 years for my O's and then Aylesbury College for my A's.

There was a boy - in a year or so above me - with one or two other older brothers, called Rodney Coppins - and I seem to remember that their father had been to the school - so I guess he would have been a contemporary of yours - I am still in touch with a number of old friends from Aylesbury/Amersham and think I can contact Rodney if you remember his father - over to you!

Best regards

Tony Evered


Hi Tony, I went to Amersham College in the early 60's and knew Rod Coppins well (I assume it's the same one!) Rod was an avid and very good guitar player. If I remember correctly (and that's a high risk assumption!), his Dad was a scientist of some sort, associated somehow with the Post Office. His Mother was a short, slightly rotund lady of immense charm. I left the UK in 1966 and have lived in Canada ever since and completely lost touch. If you ever get the chance, I would appreciate you passing my email address (psymons@sympatico.ca) on to Rod.

Regards

Peter Symons

#4 147

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 04:00 PM

Hi Tony, I went to Amersham College in the early 60's and knew Rod Coppins well (I assume it's the same one!) Rod was an avid and very good guitar player. If I remember correctly (and that's a high risk assumption!), his Dad was a scientist of some sort, associated somehow with the Post Office. His Mother was a short, slightly rotund lady of immense charm. I left the UK in 1966 and have lived in Canada ever since and completely lost touch. If you ever get the chance, I would appreciate you passing my email address (psymons@sympatico.ca) on to Rod.

Regards

Peter Symons


I remember from my dim and distant past that Rods father allegedly had something to do with the invention of the Post Code.

Rods nephew runs a succesful local landscaping company,

#5 petersymons

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 04:26 PM

I remember from my dim and distant past that Rods father allegedly had something to do with the invention of the Post Code.

Rods nephew runs a succesful local landscaping company,



Something like that, or possibly the machine that sorts mail by post code (or maybe both) but it was a very long time ago.

P.

#6 Bales

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 08:58 PM

Hi there, my name is John Bailey and I came across this site whilst looking on the internet for my old school and wondered if anybody knew any of my old mates? Perhaps I can bore you to death with some of my school memories first?

I went to Amersham College (as it was known then) from 1964 when I was 8 and left in 1967 age 11 when my Dad changed jobs and shipped us all off to the Republic of Ireland for 5 years. We moved to Flackwell Heath in 1962 and I was firstly enrolled at St Augustines near High Wycombe then to Amersham College in 1964, I used to catch the coach to and from school from Loudwater.

Not long after I enrolled the school changed names to Beckets School with a logo of a Bishops Mitre pierced diagonally by a sword, I can’t remember the uniform colours at all, probably because I disliked uniforms. But I have many vivid memories of my time there which I have to say were the happiest schooldays of my life. No school before or since were as good as that one and had I been able to stay, perhaps my life wouldn’t have been the 50year car-crash it has! I won’t say a disaster because I have a lot to be thankful for but given half a chance I have consistently made poor decisions at really important times which have taken their toll.


I came to the school pretty much as the class idiot, if there was any messing about or time-wasting – I would be in the middle of it. Amersham College / Beckets changed all that and for these few short years the school really turned things around for me. So much so that in my first year I won the school prize for academic progress and I still proudly have the four books I won and these are my oldest remaining treasures. The first three haven’t seen much action but the fourth, a schoolboys reference book has been thumbed to death – it really is an absorbing book with everything in it from morse code to the planets and animal tracks to steam engine driving wheel layouts, a real nostalgic read!

Anyway, Mr. Gantly (or Gantley?) and Mr. Gabb were in charge, I think Mr. Gantly ran the lower school and Mr. Gabb the upper. In any event, Mr. Gantly (who scared the living daylights out of me) was taken ill (Coronary Thrombosis I believe) and Mr. Gabb took over sole charge and I found him much easier to relate to. I am not saying Mr. Gantly was scary, just that I was scared of him as I was of most of my headmasters but found Mr. Gabb much more fatherly. I don’t remember too many of the other teachers except Mr. Benson who took science and PT I think. What with Beckets being ‘land-locked’ by houses so to speak, we had no playing field but a short walk up the road brought you to a public playing field or Recreation Ground and we did sports there (I guess that’s gone too). I remember there being a pupil called Hedges and we all thought it was frightfully clever to be able to legitimately say “Benson and Hedges” in conversation. Mr. Rose took us for mathematics (I always thought he was called Mr. Rhodes but I believe it was actually Rose). He lived very locally and walked to school or as he put it – took Shank’s Pony. M. de la Bedoyere took us for French, he was great fun and I remember his lessons with great affection. We all had to greet him when he came in and he would be assailed by a sing-song “Bon – jour Mon – sieur la Prof – fess – eur” Time Team is one of my favourite television programmes and I was intrigued to know if Guy de la Bedoyere, who is a not-so-regular contributor, was related – so I found his e-mail address on the internet and asked him. He said yes, our teacher was his uncle Giles de la Bedoyere, and is happy and healthy but not living in Amersham. I don’t remember any other teachers at all – isn’t that strange? I’d love to be reminded.

The buildings were a mixture of brick and temporary classrooms we called Terrapins. I remember the playground had a square painted upon it and only the juniors were allowed inside, this meant you could taunt older boys and run off to the sanctuary of the painted square the boundary of which was strictly observed. As a rule I disliked winter because a hard snowball in the face is horrible but long slides would be formed in the playground by working on the snow and ice to make a perfect surface. There would be a queue of boys waiting to have a slide but there was an enforcer on hand to examine the soles of your shoes and if you had any sort of grip or pattern, you weren’t allowed on. Tuf shoes were very popular in those days and they had animal tracks moulded into the soles – they weren’t allowed on the slide either.

There were various fads and games that regularly did the rounds. We would often pretend to be cars and ‘drive’ around and have races etc. I was always a Citroen DS because they were the most futuristic car around and had amazing suspension. We would also be aeroplanes and, arms outstretched, we would be Spitfires and Messerschmitts and wheel and scream around the playground having dogfights and bombing each other. Once, and this was the only time I got into serious trouble, we thought it would be really great if instead of having pretend bullets we had some real ‘ammo’. So we all stopped off in the ‘bogs’ and took on board a mouthful of water from the tap. We would then ‘shoot’ each other with small spurts of water – great fun! Until Mr. Benson (I think) saw it and put a stop to it right there and then and sent us off to see Mr. Gabb with the express instruction that we were to say we had been spitting at each other. We knocked at his door “Please sir, we have been told to come and see you and say we have been spitting at each other” “SPITTING?” Roared Mr. Gabb. We all got a couple of hard swipes of the cane on the palm of the hands for that. Thinking about it (as I often have in the intervening years) I think that if we had explained ourselves better, we might have got away with it. As it was, it blemished my spotless record and I think none too kindly of Mr. Benson for insisting I land myself in it! It could have been worse, had Mr. Gantly been there – the cane would have been applied posteriorly.

Another rather odd playground fad that I have never seen since was something we called liquorice wood. These looked like ordinary twigs on the outside but with bright yellow wood and when you chewed it, you were rewarded with a very strong liquorice flavour. Where it came from, whether it was real and how you bought it, I don’t know but it regularly did the rounds. Marbles were another perennial favourite and I once was up against a massive chrome ball bearing which had an impossibly high figure as its win amount. Of course it was virtually unbeatable, how could a oner go up against a hundreder? The owner did have an impressive pocket full of marbles he had conquered. Another playground favourite were the Commando war stories books in ‘comic strip’ style, these would be bought, swapped and traded for all the time. Once someone brought some fake cigarettes to school and sold them to everyone. They were an advertising tool used in the days when dummy packs of cigarettes were placed in shop windows with open lids and the middle cigarettes poking up out of what looked like a full pack. In fact they were all dummy ones of course and were 'filter' all the way through. I remember dummy chocolates were a common sight in shop windows then too, anyway the cigarettes looked genuine enough though and although they would be confiscated if found at school we would delight in pretending to smoke them in the coach on the way home whilst astonished bystanders wondered what kind of school allowed that sort of behaviour. Talking of the coach – once I did a sleepover with one of my friends (only they weren’t called sleepovers then of course). I stayed with him in Amersham one night and the next night he came home with me to Flackwell Heath on the coach. Of course, the next day would have to be a day when the coach was late arriving ay school! I was known for being a ‘coach’ boy but my friend was equally well known for living only a few streets away and was roundly scolded for being late!

I do have another thing to thank Beckets for and that is reading. Before then I did read books but mostly aircraft books and annuals, that sort of thing. For our homework one day we had to take a book off the shelf in our classroom, read it and write a précis of the story. There wasn’t much choice I seem to remember but I chose one and it changed my reading habits instantly. Can you guess what it was? A good Christian school and all? Well it was the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis of course. This captured my imagination on page one and I read it to death. The impact that first read had on me is another vivid memory. I have re-read it many times since as well as others in the series but none grabbed me like that one. I didn’t understand the embedded symbolism then of course but it is a sign of a really good book if it appeals on many levels. I then started to read stories I’d never considered before and discovered Enid Blyton’s Famous Five which was another series of books that really ‘grabbed me’.

I used to love Christmas time when I was a boy (really dislike it now!) and at school it was always special and I particularly remember Mr. Rose’s last class of the year. He told jokes, and I can even remember some of them**, and handed out sweets and played games and altogether we had a great time.

I used to have quite a tight-knit circle of friends and the year I left (1967) was also the year many of them also departed for far flung schools so even if I had stayed, I would have missed them all deeply. David Munro (or Munroe) or “D.M” I know emigrated to Australia or New Zealand with his family. I think the others pretty much all left as well: Derek Jones “D.J”, Simon Bonfield “Bomber”, Mark Gunston (or Gunstone) “Gunner”, Michael Sworder “M.S” and my extra special mate Michael John Lawrence or “Michel” as I always called him after discovering his name in French. He was the local one, I think he may have lived quite close to Mr. Rose actually, certainly only a few streets away and he was the one who was late on the coach with me.


My mates would all remember me as “Bales” or Mark because I used my middle name then. I reverted to my proper first name only a few years ago when I got fed up with explaining for the umpteenth time why my first name was John but I called myself Mark. Well, it was all my parents’ idea so that’s why. Anyway I finally figured if I could happily respond to “Bales” or any number of other nicknames I have enjoyed since without any problem, why not go back to being John? It was something I always wanted because I never liked the name Mark anyway. So the next time I changed jobs I called myself John and hey presto! It worked!

Anyway that’s it; those are most of my Beckets reminiscences trapped in time in the memory of an eleven-year-old. Anybody out there know anything of my old mates?

** What did the broken window say to the branch? Tree mend us (Tremendous) that was one!

#7 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 03:06 PM

Thanks for the post, very interesting.

I must admit to not realising that Amersham College turned into Beckets, I will put that on the site.

My father actually taught with David Gabb before he went to Beckets, David Gabb passed away some years ago.

You mentioned a Michael John Lawrence. I am pretty sure I knew him. If I am correct, he lived in Highfield Close, just a couple of streets away. If you remember his house, it was at the end of the close next to an ally way to Woodside Road, there was a large green in the middle of the close. no idea where he is now as the Lawrence family moved out of the close about 30 years ago!
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#8 Bales

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:43 PM

Thanks for the post, very interesting.

I must admit to not realising that Amersham College turned into Beckets, I will put that on the site.

My father actually taught with David Gabb before he went to Beckets, David Gabb passed away some years ago.

You mentioned a Michael John Lawrence. I am pretty sure I knew him. If I am correct, he lived in Highfield Close, just a couple of streets away. If you remember his house, it was at the end of the close next to an ally way to Woodside Road, there was a large green in the middle of the close. no idea where he is now as the Lawrence family moved out of the close about 30 years ago!


Hi Matthew,

It is a long time ago now and even my mates who lived in Amersham at the time will most probably have all moved away. Just look at me, I have lived all over the place since then! I joined Friends Reunited in 2000 right at the beginning of the explosion of interest in the site and even added one of my schools that wasn't listed on there but for some reason (must be me!) none of my mates have joined so hoped that perhaps a local site such as your lovely website might get a response.

Still it is interesting that you knew Michael. I read on F/R that Mr Gabb passed away from Leukemia on 6th Nov 2000 which is very sad because he was a great man and the only Head I have had that didn't scare me witless! I can only hope that someone, somewhere knows of them. I am hoping that Beckets had more success with them than it did me!

Bye!

#9 Bam

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:02 AM

Copy of email received below
----------------------------------

I attended this school (Amersham College, Woodside Road) from 1940 to 1946. This was during the 2nd. W.W. and some of the Sixth-Formers
who left when I first attended, were killed on active service. I would be interested to hear from old members. Noel Reynolds


I apologise that I have just found this old posting after I had posted under "schools". I am a forum new boy and still finding my feet. My recent post says:

I wonder if anyone can please throw any light on a reference I have to a W.P.Watts, shown in a 1940 Kelly's Directory for the Southend district, as being "Principal of Amersham College", with an address at Leigh on Sea Essex. He may have connections with my late Grandmother, who lived at the same address.

I wonder it it might still be possible to pass my query onto Noel Reynolds?

#10 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 04:39 PM

Copy of email I have received -

--------------------------------------------------------------
Brian J. Dooley wrote:

I do remember. Went there in the late '60s, and it was called,
impressively, "Amersham College of St. Thomas a Beckett." The colours
were black, purple and white. I still have the tie, and I think my
sister has the old cap. I was only there about two years. Classes were
in a prefabricated block, and there was an out building that served as
a library, and I think another one that served as a hall, and also had
a toilet block. One could trumpet a most outrageous moaning sound into
the abandoned plumbing through an external pipe, The school was run by
Mr. Gabb; Mr. Sheffield was Science and Maths, I believe; Mr. Gantley
was Proctor of Discipline, and therfore responsible for the caning.
There was a "fives" court built at one point, which got plent of high
velocity use. The prefabrication was such that when Jeremy (Stick)
threw his father's bayonet into the wall it collapsed into the next
classroom.
Cheers,
BJ Dooley


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#11 Bam

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:57 PM

Copy of email I have received -

--------------------------------------------------------------
Brian J. Dooley wrote:

Classes were in a prefabricated block, ......There was a "fives" court built at one point, which got plent of high
velocity use. The prefabrication was such that when Jeremy (Stick) threw his father's bayonet into the wall it collapsed into the next
classroom.
Cheers,
BJ Dooley


Thanks, B.J.Dooley, for writing this email and thanks to Mathew for posting it.

Although it does not help with my quest for a much earlier Principal, It brings back childhood memories for me, a boarder at Berkhamsted School for Boys, not so far away. We also played 5's, which I really enjoyed but did not then realise that this would be of little use when I left , because few people have heard of the game outside of a small handful of private and "Public" schools.

The incident with the bayonet recalls a similar incident, when a boy in my class, brought his father's ex Service revolver into a pre-fab classroom, intending to fire it through the ceiling in the middle of one of our very boring maths lessons. It certainly would have livened things up. However, during tests in break, it failed to fire in a horizontal direction, which was just as well, when it was pointed out that had someone been standing in the classroom next door, with the walls being only of studding and insulation board, they could surely have been killed.

Kids might be dangerous now but they always were !

#12 ukasp

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:25 PM

I found this Forum on Amersham College some time ago. The posted comments stirred memories of my time at that establishment.

I actually joined the School in 1957 when it was run as a mixed private school with both Boys and Girls taught in the main School Block and a Cedar outbuilding at the back.
My first Teacher there in the junior class was Miss Newman, a good teacher but with a habit of boxing one’s ears for any lack of attention.
The Headmaster and owner at that time was a jolly soul with a liking for teaching languages mainly Latin, German, French and Russian and went at speed from class to class with a cloud of chalk dust flowing from his traditional Headmaster’s cap and gown.

Mr Gabb and Mr Gantly took over the running of Amersham College about 1960. Their aim was to make it an all Boys Catholic school and so the girls were encouraged to leave and so too non Catholics. In fact there was an article and photos in a national newspaper about the last Sixth Form Girl left at the school amongst 160 boys!
I and a few other ‘old boys’ who were non Catholics were tolerated but segregated when it came to religious instruction. At that time the new prefabricated classrooms were built at the top end of the old grassed area (field) that up till then served as our playground, excellent for a game of Bulldog (sort of Rugby without a ball). A new tarmac playground was provided, excellent for roller-skating.

Of the two new Headmasters there, Mr Gabb was a larger than life character, an excellent teacher who, however could be easily sidetracked from a boring subject to stories of daring dos with a few well placed red herring questions. He lived in a fantastic pre war house off Amersham Hill. With a large garden where on occasions the Summer School Fate would be held.

Mr Gantly was out of a different mould altogether. He was a quietly spoken, unsmiling, always immaculately dressed in a dark suit and glided into the classroom with an air of menace to be greeted with an instant deathly hush from all boys present. (A modern comparison would be, if you can imagine Darth Vader in a suit) The class would stand, he would say sit and proceed to the teacher’s desk and lay his personal, and favourite, long thin and very whippy cane on the desk in front of him. To say that cane was applied liberally is an understatement, or perhaps it was just when I happened to be about. Above three spelling mistakes in presented homework would merit a beating, as did many other misdemeanours.

Discipline was firm at the school; a boy would be sent to the heads office for punishment and there was often a line of victims waiting outside his office after morning assembly. However, politeness and a respect for your elders was the norm, a far cry from the situation most schools find themselves in today.
It did not thankfully prevent the usual school boy pranks, adventures, fights and games that could be had at the school

Other Teachers that I recall were Mr De-La-Bedoyere, who taught French and was never seen, summer or winter, inside or out, without wearing his old brown gabardine raincoat.
Mr Rhodes, my favourite teacher, he was elderly, with a terrific sense of humour and mad on Cricket.

Wednesday afternoon was reserved for Football in winter and Cricket in the summer months. The school was too small to have its own sports field so every Wednesday boys from the school would make their way to the public playing field in Amersham High Town for a very pleasant afternoon Cricket match usually organised by Mr Rhodes.
I would then cycle home in my cricket whites via Chesham Bois, stopping off to buy an iced bun at the local shop for 3d (old pence).

During the summer of 1963 the making of the film 633 Squadron was located at RAF Bovingdon, not too far from Amersham. Often Mosquito aircraft that featured in the film would fly over the school much to the delight of the pupils. I would cycle over to Bovingdon to watch from the perimeter fence the activity on the airfield.

I cannot honestly say I fully enjoyed my schooldays. I left the school in 1964 and moved away, but I have some fond memories of the school I knew.

Hope this may be of interest to others who were there.

P.S. during my last few terms there were only 3 boys left at the school from the days before Gabb / Gantly.
Myself, my old friend Lawrence Thomas (who I have contact with) and a chap named Richard King. He lived in Chesham, I cannot find any trace of him from that time, if anyone knows what happened to him it would be of interest.

Peter Aspinall.
constat@btconnect.com

#13 BobPickering

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:08 PM

Have really enjoyed reading through these posts... especially Bales who seems to have some very similar memories to me.,.. Great times even though they seemed very disciplinarian by today's standards. I seem to remember being caned on a number of occasions, once in front of the school with 4 other boys because we were in class too early!! (There was snow outside and it was about 5 below).

Anyway, thought I would share this photo of the school from 1968... the teachers that I remember in the pic are Mr Rhodes, Mr Gantley, Mr Gabb, Mr De La Bedoyere (loved that man)... then Mr Schofield and Mr Benson on the right... I am sure (like Bales) that Mr Benson also sent me to explain some other perfectly innocent activity that I was engaged in to Mr Gantley in a manner which ensured that I was caned once again... I also have to say, and I don't remember this at the time, the 'boys' behind the teachers look more like nightclub bouncers than students... not sure what was going on there!

I have had to reduce the quality of this pic to fit it in the upload window... If anybody wants a better quality (even though it is ripped a little) image then please feel free to pm me at bobpickering@hotmail.co.uk

I am in the front row towards the right and know a lot of the names in that area... let me know if you are interested...

As our blazers used to say.... finis coronat opus :)

Bob

Attached File  Beckets.jpg   66.65KB   92 downloads

#14 BobPickering

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:19 PM

Should add that one of the posters was asking about Michael John Lawrence... I too used to live in Highfield Close near the Lawrences and one of them is in the picture above sitting in front of Mr Rhodes... I think it is Michael John but could be a brother.

#15 Bales

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:10 PM

Hi Bob!

Thanks for your rply and kind comments of my meandering memories. Seeing your picture with your blazer with the outrageously huge badge really brough one heck of a lump to my throat! It pains me to say how much I loved that school!
I read this above from Peter Aspinall that my maths teacher was called Rhodes, not Rose. I always thought it was Rhodes but were there two teachers? A Rhodes and Rose? Also Peter mentions the total scariness of Mr. Gantly - I agree wholeheartedly but as a 'good' boy I managed never to experience his particular skill ('good' as in - not being caught). Peter also mentions the summer fete in Mr. Gabb's back garden. I vividly remember going to one with my family and I discovered that, unlike normally where I was restricted to just my 1/- pocket money, if I asked, my Dad would give me another sixpence 'to spend on one of the fete stalls. Well, I desperately wanted an Airfix Series six lancaster model which was about 19s 6d from memory. I had saved a bit towards it but saving wasn't my strong point and I realised this might be a great oppotunity to boost my lancaster fund. So I regularly came back to Dad and asked for some more pennies and another sixpence would come my way. By the end of the afternoon I was well on my way until I was rumbled and the money was demanded back - curses! The lancaster would have to wait for a birthday or 'yikes!' Christmas! I also remember me and my mates congregating under a tiny weeping willow in his back garden and having a 'show me yours and I'll show you mine' dare but I chickened out at the last minute!
Reading the account about 'fives', I don't remember that at all but I do have fond memories now of another game we played in the playground. It was called Chainee or Chainey? Anyway, someone was 'it' and would try to tag another player. When someone was tagged they would join hands and the two of them would try and tag someone. As the chain grew, it became more and more unwieldy but increasingly difficult to avoid. I was proud of my agility and was always one of the last to be caught. I aimed to not be the very last though even though I could easily have been because the last one caught started the next game and it was not as much fun catching as it was dodging!
I don't remember religous classes either and that is strange because it was the cornerstone of the school.
Oh well, that is about it from me for now. Perhaps some more posts will jog my memory.
Thanks for reading,
John (Mark) or Bales!
P.S. Yes please Bob, I will e-mail you, the photo looks fabulous. Sadly there are virtually no pics of me as a nipper (just as well maybe!)

#16 Bales

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:25 PM

I just remembered something else funny! As I said before I lived in Flackwell Heath and every day I and a few others would walk down Treadaway Hill over the level crossing (approx where the M40 crosses now) and down through Loudwater to the junction with the main road where we would wait for the coach. The coach drivers were a cheery bunch and we were unruly but not abusive. One afternoon we were creeping towards Beaconsfield in heavy traffic when our driver asked if anybody fancied getting off the coach and walking alongside? Of course a few did and he opened the door and off they got and started walking alongside the coach. When the traffic cleared slightly the driver speeded up and the few broke into a run to keep up. Of course it came time to let them back on and he (predictably) kept the door shut and pretended to drive off much to their consternation. He let them back on of course but can you imagine this happening nowadays? Uproar, there would be.

#17 BobPickering

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:09 AM

Hi John

Good to hear from you. I was a few years after you from 67 to 70 being around 10 when I left. I had previously been at St Mary’s Convent in Chesham Bois with some of Mr Gabb’s children. In fact, I even used to be an altar boy in the church opposite... I remember the fete’s in Mr Gabb’s garden in Clifton Road… and playing guess the number of spots on the Dalmatian… Not sure who’s dog it was, but funny the things which stick in your mind!

I was very proud of that uniform although I do remember pining for long trousers… and I remember being under strict instruction to raise my cap whenever I passed a lady on my walk to school… times have changed quite a bit in regards to manners, discipline and as you say… health a safety in these days of political correctness, but I don’t personally feel that I suffered much for having manners and respect beaten into me from time to time, or risking my personal safety out on the streets… we were just sent out with the stern instructions… don’t talk to strangers… and that seemed enough in those days.

Anyway… I will send the better quality picture via your email… hope you see some familiar faces.

All the best. Bob.

#18 Cmajor

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 06:19 PM

My parents, Mr Nick Middleton and Mlle Danielle Guilly, met when they were both working at Amersham College in 1961. They were married on 1 September 1962 and are now about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Does anyone remember my parents and have any specific memories of them? Also, does anyone have any contact information for Giles de la Bedoyere who was my father's best man. I can be contacted directly at clairem.middleton@sky.com and would really love to be able to tell some stories at their party.

#19 graham h

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:52 AM

That school photograph brings back some memories! I was at the school from 61 to 68 and had a pretty good time there, sharing others' good memories of David Gabb, an all round good bloke. I took my fair share of canings & remember poor old Denis G as a rather insecure fellah, masking his insecurity with that stern exterior.

Giles D La B was a top, top teacher in my view. Really made history live for us kids.

The "night club bouncers" were my classmates, trying to look well 'ard for the camera. Must have been in '68, I think; my last year.They weren't (hard at all) but in my early days there were some seriously hard cases at the school. David G got rid over time.

Rubbish education but fabulous prep for the real world; happpy days, indeed.

#20 PeterDavies

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:04 AM

I attended Amersham College from 1957 to 1961, this period covered the transition from Amersham College to Amersham College of St. Thomas a Beckett.

 

For many of us Mr Gabb was the good guy and had a good sense of humor but Mr Gantly was serious and somewhat less tolerant to those that strayed from the straight and narrow, there was no room for maneuver. I received my share of "detentions and lines" .

After much research and plotting Mr Gantlys  weakness was found, he knew little about motor cars,  I recall placing a couple of small stones  in one hub cap of Mr Gantlys car, at walking pace the there was a delightful clattering sound,  the car was gingerly driven to the garage for repairs. We had no sympathy.

My school reports were not well received at home, after 4 years of learning French I could just about translate "the pen of my aunt"  BUT thanks to Mr Gantlys car affair and one or two other devious school activities  Amersham College had taught me how to be resourceful, think outside of the box. plan and achieve an objective. Mr Gabs school report said it all "If Peter spent as much time doing his school work as he does planning to avoid it he would go far!"

Peter  

 

With the help of :

Steve Morris 

David Austin

Peter Symonds

Peter Aspinall

Michael More

 

I have managed to generate the following list of students and teachersnames I can recall.

Staff

36  Mr Gabb

37  Mr Gantly

3 The English Teacher that lived in GK Chesterton’s House in Amersham.

4  Mr Hollands

5  Mr Rhodes

6 Mr Middleton and Miss Guily, French. (Celebrated their 50th Wedding anniversary last year)

7 Miss Guily

 

Students Recalled attending the school between 1957 and 1961

18  Nigel Dando

20 John Moss

19  Margo Moss and her brother John

26  Stewart Broach

27  Steve Morris

28  Tim Schofied

29  David Austin

33 Susan Howe

34  Ivor McCorkindale

11  Lawrence Tooth

 

1  Michael Moore

2  Christine Allison

8   Elizabeth Howell

9   Sylvia something or other Friend of Elizabeth Howel

10  Pauline Bennet later married Lawrence Tooth

12  Sandra Wakefild.

15  Nicholas Turner.

16  Bruce Evans

17  Pat Buckwater USA

20  Paul Hazel

24  John Dryden

25  Simon- a bit of a boffin!

30  Pat Scribans

31  Peter Davies

32  Ian Mc Alpine

33  Michael Mathewson

38 Tina Cockerall

 

13  Susan King.

14  Stewart something or other

21 John Plumeridge

22  Cynthia Phewsey & John Bishop.(they later married)

23  Rodney Coppins



#21 DaveA1944

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:51 PM

Hi,
Just joined up.
Hi to anyone who remembers me from 1957 to 1961.
Pete Davies, another ex ac. Is trying to find Bruce Evans and Ian McAlpine to create an up to date one that was taken of us in '61.
Don't know much about Ian, but Bruce was going to be a photographer. Did you ever succeed Bruce? If anyone knows of their whereabouts, love to hear from you!
Cannot upload the picture to this site, but, if anyone is interested, just mail me. I'll send you one.

#22 PeterDavies

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 07:03 PM

This is the photo David is refering to.

 

PeterAttached File  AmershamS1chool Football team..jpg   129.37KB   0 downloads



#23 Chris Burgess

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 02:47 PM

Hi guys,

 

I'm new to the site and came across this forum, I curretly work at Amersham & Wycombe College on Stanley Hill in Amersham, I have always wondered what was on the Amersham & Wycombe College site before the college building was built. Does anyone know the answer to this?

 

Love all your stories by the way :rolleyes:



#24 PeterDavies

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 04:40 PM

Chris

I am afraid I do not have a clue!

 

But I recall bus rides up and down stanley hill in the late 1950's and I am sure it was farm land.

 

I also notice the school was opened officialy by Margaret Thatcher in 26th October 1973  having opened previousle in September 1972. and the local houses appear to be the same vintage.

 

1851. North east of the college was Bendrose farm (Purchased by the Radio Chemical now GE Health Care) of  176 acres. The 6'' OS map of the 1870's shows ths farm and several other farms south of the Amersham- Rickmansworth Road in the Amersham Common area, each surrounded by an orchard.The building now named Bendroes Farm is not the original farm house and in a differnt position.

 

I strongly suspect the College was built on  virgin farm land belonging to one of the farms mentioned above.  

 

Bucks CC archive nots there have beem no archailogical digs in the aera occupied by the college.

 

Something but nothig I am afraid. You could confirm my thoughts if you have a look at an O/S map printed in the 1960's

 

Peter