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1960s Chris TINKER: message 10.06.03 contact ChrisgtinkaATaol.com

I think (?) that I left Therfield in the early sixties. I do remember Max Bygraves' son Anthony was around and I have already made contact with a couple of fellow pupils through Friends Reunited. I also remember the headmaster Mr Claytor and the metal work teacher Mr Bedford.

I have been married to June for 34 years and have two daughters and two grandchildren and live in Worthing, West Sussex. I work around Europe for a couple of large IT companies as a freelance Programme Director responsilbe for managing some fairly high level, high risk IT programmes. I'd like to here from any one who remembers me.

1960 James DORÉ: message 11.08.02: contact James.DoreATtesco.net

I left school (V Tech) in 1960 to go to Ewell Tech with David Cooper and Johnny Edmonds with whom I had been at school since 11. I remember well Mr Featherstone and Mr Bedford (Woodwork and Metalwork respectively) both of whom taught me at Kingston Rd and at Dilston Rd.

I have married twice, have 4 children, aged 35/34/13/7, and five grandchildren, aged 12/10/6/5/4. I live with wife Lynn in Loxwood in West Sussex and am Export Director of a Cosmetic Company in Hampton. I have been lucky enough to travel the world in my job for the the last thirty years and still get a thrill getting on a plane. I'd love to hear from any old friends.

1960 Mike (Mick) HYDE: message logged 11.08.01: contact: candmhydeAToptusnet.com.au

I started my schooling in 1950 at Kingston Road Infants School [All Saints] and progressed along the road to Kingston Road Senior school [now Woodville] next to the chish and fip shop. At 13 years of age I think we moved to Therfield (or Dilston Road as it was known then) with Mr Claytor as head master. My memory is fading with time but I remember cold afternoons on the football field playing for Green House, always losing and being taught to throw the javelin by Mr Marier, a frightening German.  

I finished my time in 4T. I should have stayed another year but left to take up an engineering apprenticeship at Wildts in Great Bookham where I lived. I married a Bookham girl, Chris Montague, moved to Leicester with my job and then to Sydney, Australia for the last 20 years. I still keep in touch with Colin Hydes in Beare Green and Dave Harrison in Brisbane, both ex-Dilston Road of about that time.   I would be interested to hear from anybody that might remember me from that time and of any reunions that might be organised.

1961 Nancy POND (now Sayers): message 17.01.13: contact chaosATskymesh.com.au

I attended Dilston Road Secondary School from 1958-1961, leaving earlier than projected, as I was offered an apprenticeship which would not have come available again, for another four years.

I am in contact with a friend with whom I was at school, in what I believe was the first year that the “Streams” system was introduced. i.e. Grammar, Secondary, Secretarial, and I can’t recall what the final stream was called, but was for the trades, etc.

I went into 1 Grammar 1, and continued till 4 Grammar 1, when I began my apprenticeship. The rest of my class went on to succeed well in their chosen professions, most of them continuing to universities, and from comments I have received from those with whom I am still in contact, we all feel that our schooling ensured our success. We had a marvellous set of teachers, who really made it their aim in life to push us to our full potential. I remember them with great affection and respect, but since I am now 67 the memory isn’t so great with names anymore!

A great favourite was Mr Helmut Maurier, who taught French. He also designed the school badge, of a swan on a book over blue and white waves. He subsequently married, some years later, one of my classmates, with whom I still correspond.

I would love to find others from that first 'Grammar 1' class - there was Grammar 1, Grammar 2. It was an excellent system, I felt, which allowed the children who wanted to succeed to forge ahead.

I have been in contact with various others from my class, some of whom are on your listing - Ken Pickworth and Gillian Samler - and some who are not, Gwen Merritt (now Maurier), Trevor Syms and Edward Lyon. Sadly, Ann Banks and Dawn Cole have died.

1963 BEAUMONT, Shirley (now Sarah) Ann: message 06.02.05: contact sabeaumontATnetspace.net.au

I now live in Melbourne, Australia and have for the past 30 years. I have such wonderful memories of my old school - some teachers in particular who taught me more than just the subject they were teaching! It was terrific to find your website.

1963 Pamela GEORGE (now Hitchens) : message 2.12.01 : contact: hitch.coATvirgin.net

I have very happy memories of my time at Therfield. In my first year we had Mr Fitter as our form teacher, second year we had Miss Staff, who was married that year and we went to her wedding. Then we had Miss Powell for two years, a wonderful French teacher and finally Mr Biggs in our fifth year. He, too, was a fantastic teacher and I still remember so much of what he taught me regarding English grammar. I went back to his retirement party in, I think, 1973, and it was fantastic to see so many old faces. Of course Mr Claytor is strong in my memory too, a truly wonderful headmaster. Other teachers I recall are Miss Wilson (Music), Mr Du Mont (Latin), Miss Kew (History) and Miss Bowhill who was then Deputy Head.

I have been married for 33 years to David, we live in Fleet, Hampshire and have two children, a daughter 27 and a son of 25. Our daughter has two small sons aged 4 and 1 so I am a Granny! I am in regular contact with Brenda Taylor (we went on to Wimbledon Tech together) and write to Marion Backhurst and Sue Hammond at Christmas. I would love to hear from any of my other old classmates or indeed anyone who remembers me. I am delighted to see that Therfield is doing so well in the league tables - it is obviously still the great school I remember.

1964 Robert EAMES : message 31.07.01 : contact: bobATpcparts.co.uk

Then: I finished my last year in 4 General Boys under the supervision of Mr Stan Lane.   He told us we were going to do now 'what you will be doing for most of your working life' - with that we started digging trenches for the drainage on one of the football pitches and we had the greatest time.   I have great regard for Mr Lane and hope he's still teaching somewhere.

4 General Boys were a tough bunch and it was all for one and one for all.  Some of the names: Brian Chapman, Chris Staples, Steve Elliott; Some guy I used to cycle with to the cafe for dinner by the Bus Depot; Pam Crooks (4 General Girls, one of my best mates).  

Nowadays: I live in Sussex now with my wife. I have a son and daughter and two grandchildren. I own a computer shop and drive fast motorcycles, fly aeroplanes and occasionally dig holes.   I would love to have a class reunion and would like to see some pics of the teachers of my time. If only we'd had digital cameras and computers in those days.

1964 Trevor PANNELL (Jonathan) : message 2.05.01 : contact: tpannellATtampabay.rr.com

I was in the Technical Stream (4 tech 1 & 5 tech 1). I left Therfield 1964 aged 16.

My fondest memories are of Mr Claytor our headmaster, Mr  Miraeur(?) my form master, School Lunches (yes, they were good back then), Mr Bedford for metalwork, Mr Featherstone for woodwork (we made solid body electric guitars, Fender Strat style), 1963 school trip to Calella, Spain.

Fellow pupils were, to name a few: John Bauckham (who I think went to Australia), Graham Banks, Peter Stevens (we stayed home at his house whenever it rained).

Therfield gave me an excellent grounding to go onto further education. B.Sc Electrical Engineering, Member IEEE. Have worked in Amsterdam and Istanbul.

Where am I now? Married (since 1970), two children (ages 23 & 27). Emigrated to USA in 1982. Now living in Tampa, Florida. Employed as Chief Electrical Engineer for a major power company.

1964 Ken PICKWORTH : message 21.09.00 : contact: PickworthK(AT)AWA-CPO.com

Happy memories of my time at Therfield.  Our year was the first in the school to have a grammar stream so we were pioneers in a way - we got our places by passing the 11+ and eventually we were the first pupils to go on to university. 

There was a lot of building work and the size of the school more or less doubled during the time I was there.

I'm an IT manager for an international paper company - sounds boring but I can assure you there are more than enough challenges in industry to keep life interesting.

1965 Mavis BEADLE : message 6.11.01 : contact: john.chapmanATthe-sidings.fsnet.co.6uk

I left Therfield after 'O' levels.   My fondest memories are of Mr Biggs, a superb English teacher, who was also my form teacher.  He was strict, fair and possessed a great sense of humour.  I still remember things he taught me today as I now work in a secondary school as a learning mentor, having spent the last 7 years working alongside students with special educational needs in the classroom.  As you can imagine, my experiences of school are often in my mind.   I also remember Mr Claytor as being terrifying and Anthony Bygraves, son of Max being a pupil for a while whilst I was there.

I would particularly like to contact Mary Pargeter and Christine Hillier, who were both in my form and extremely artistic. I think at least one of them went on to art college. (They were the sickening types who paid little attention in lessons but managed to sail through the exams with no problems!).  I went to Greece on a school trip with them in 1963 on the Devonia.

1965 David SMITH : message 8.2.02 : contact: Wickham_HouseATbtinternet.com

I was a student at Therfield between 1960 and 1965 under the strong hand of Mr Claytor, a great role model for any pupil.  My overwhelming memories of Therfield were of always being happy there and the fact that all of my fellow pupils seemed to be such an amiable bunch. In fact I was so happy that I was a little lazy, my exam results were not too sparkling and I didn't put in the effort I should have, something I regret now despite the fact life has treated me so well!  

Specific memories: cross country where we used to sneak off half way round to visit the tramp who lived in the wood; playing in the old cars behind the bike sheds that were 'out of bounds'; hot Summer days on the sports field!   I left Therfield in 1965 not really knowing what I wanted to do and went to work for a firm of auditors for a year and then spotted the bright lights of Gatwick Airport.

Either I was lucky or this was the life destined for me but after a few years I found myself a Director of an aircraft charter and leasing company which purchased a (then) litte holiday operator called Unijet. Unijet grew to being the UK's fourth biggest tour operator and was sold to First Choice Holidays for just under £60 million. I started an aircraft leasing company in 1990 having gained experience of operating aircraft. This career has taken me all over the world and I have worked in the USA, USSR, Africa, Australia, Malaysia and just about every European country except Luxembourg!   A lot of my work has involved starting new airlines and supplying the first aircraft (with other peoples money). I worked a lot with Stelios Haji-Iannou on starting easyjet amongst others.

I retired at the Millennium at the ripe old age of 50. My children Samantha and Russell have a great start in life and I have been happily married to Liz for nearly thirty years.   We presently have a house in Poynings, Sussex but we are shortly selling this and moving to another home in Pembrokeshire to while away our time on the beach and spend some time sailing and generally enjoying life.

I would love to contact some of my old friends - I think I have found some but where are all those lovely girls ... I especially remember Christine Ranger and Jennifer Saxton, why were they always top of the class?   Thanks to all at Therfield for starting me off in the right direction and best wishes to all in the future.

1966 Susan LEONI-SMITH (now Cornell) : message 15.11.01 : contact: susanATmbox301.swipnet.se

What fun to see the letters.  I do hope more people will write in.

I must have left Therfield school in 1966 having completed my A levels.  I came into the school in the newly created grammar stream and had Mr Biggs as class teacher my first year.  I remember the headmaster, Mr Claytor, very well.  One year I was involved in a production of the Firebird ballet, put on at Christmas time. Our PT teacher was the choreographer behind the scenes and she also took the lead role and played the firebird.  I can't remember her name though - she got married shortly afterwards. 

I have kept up Christmas card correspondence with Lesley Holmes, who for a long time lived in Hong Kong, but has now moved back to London, and with Penny Woolley (I've forgotten her maiden name).  I have no idea what the rest of my classmates are doing today - Geraldine Andrews, Graham Wyatt, Christopher Herbert, Patricia Meech, Gavin Plews, Juliet Jeeter to name a few.

I married a South African and lived in Stellenbosch and Westville for about 20 years.  We moved to Sweden about 8 years ago and I have been working for AstraZeneca as Documentation Assistant for the past 4 years.

1967 Michael BROWN : message logged 9.04.02 : contact: MjbrownATtesco.net

I left in 1967 after taking A levels. I have fond memories of Therfield School. Form Teacher Mr Biggs was the most memorable. He made use the short time after registration to go through English Grammar. I still remember split infinitives and never ending sentences with a pronoun.   I also recall the PE teacher nickname Taffy who sent us out onto the field in the depth of winter and then moaned when he came out 15 minutes later for not getting on with a game.   I was in Juniper House (Green) but I can't remember the other houses. Maybe Polesden but the other houses I've forgotten.

I have contacted old school friends recently through Friends Reunited and would like to contact others if possible. I can be contacted by email. Contacts re-established are Simon Baldwin and Roger Redgrave. I would like to contact Margaret Tyrell if possible and talk over old times.   What was the name of the Geography teacher who took A level students and the sixth form teacher who took chemistry? Mr Kriess?

1967 Jim REYNOLDS : message 26.01.01 : contact: james.reynoldsAThome.com

Memories of Therfield: dedicated teachers (especially Mr. DuMont and Mr. Tomlinson), good friends, sports (especially cross country running across the brook at the bottom of the sports field into the woods and then back to the school soaked in mud): change of name from Dilston Road Secondary and, above all, an opportunity to learn and establish a solid foundation for future education.

I enjoyed my visit last year when Mr. Reddin very kindly showed my sister, Evelyn also a former pupil, and my two Canadian born sons around the School.  The highlight of the visit for them was being shown the records kept of the canings and other punishments of the 1950s and 1960s. They were disappointed to learn that, fortunately for me, there were no records from my years at the School!

Nowadays: I now live in Vancouver, Canada where I practice law.

1967 Jim WARWOOD (James Herbert Warwood) : message 26.03.01 : contact: jimATrobernmenz.com.au

To all at Therfield : Congratulations on the web site, I should expect it from the school, especially from my experiences of an excellent school, much I felt due to Mr Claytor who, I think, all the students liked and respected.

Memories: I do not know if it is the same now but in my time the school drew its pupils from a wide area. To the South, Dorking Grammar was the only other choice and was always over-subscribed so it chose only the best 11+ marks, as did several of the other local grammar schools. Thus only people who knew Therfield chose it then (and few knew of the grammar stream), otherwise it got the overflow.

I lived 14 miles away, South of Dorking on the back lane through to Newdigate. It was a two mile walk to the bus at South Holmwood, 4 mile bus trip to Dorking station and 10 minute train journey followed by a 15-20 minute walk to the school.

For interest the walk to Leatherhead Station was through the back gate of the school and round the lanes. Just down from the school was a farm which then still had a working blacksmiths. Alternatively, we cut across the research centre, if we could, to save a few minutes.

Sometimes my journey would be cut because my father, a Major in the army, was based at the then Epsom School of Civil Defence and dropped me off at the station on his Lambretta Scooter  (both cars and motorbikes were not as widespread then, in fact I know of no student who owned one even when they left school).

This geographic scatter meant that some close friendships never got further than the meeting at school (although others were maintained with the help of parents or lengthy cycle rides) and with the onward spread after school to different universities and colleges, or into work, we tended to lose contact to all but the closest friends, so names go fuzzy after 34 years.

I left in 1967, with one A level from sixth year - unfortunately I was bored with the then limited choice and didn't put in the effort. I went on to a Business degree, Accounting qualification and postgraduate distinctions in Management & Marketing.

Currently: I'm Chief Financial Officer of a confectionery business, Junior coordinator of a strong local cricket club and have been the CEO of a company manufacturing metal spectacle frames. Not dull in any way.

By the way I live in Adelaide, Australia now (since 1984), married with a nearly 16 year old son in year 11 (nearly the same as my old lower sixth) at the Adelaide equivalent of Therfield, Marryatville High School, probably the top state school in South Australia. Good luck to all the students at Therfield - I hope you hear from some more of the old students.

update 12.07.02: Rita William's message brought memories back very strongly including the people. Yes, I missed many of the bus journeys courtesy of my Father who after retiring from the army worked for Dorking Council or my Mother who worked in the Dorking Sainsbury's. I rarely missed the train but the group I was with up to year 4 (Rita's year 2) tended to take chances on being late to school and blaming the trains. It was a mixed group - I understand one ended in prison and another in the SAS knowing the people involved it was quite likely. We didn't get civilised until 4th form.

I remember David Christmas well - I think he helped me when I was the Communist candidate in a mock election. I wish all the people registered on Friends Reunited had written to the Alumni as there are 46 from 1967, 47 from 1968 and 50 from 1969. Even so a number of my friends are still absent from this list: Brian Tedman who was head boy in 1967, David Lush probably the brightest guy in Maths, Brian Carvill, Tony Slade probably my best friend in the sixth form (we went on to play cricket & table tennis together for Westcott), Graham Webster who I am still in contact with at times, Andrew Platt plus many more.

1969 Mary TIDMARSH (now WHITE) : message 22.1.02 : contact: maryATlemmies.fsnet.co.uk

When I left school I went to work at a bank, it didn't last long as I left after 10 months to have a baby.  I have 8 children and as you can imagine this didn't leave any time for a career.  I have been involved with owning, controlling and driving taxis for the last 20 years.

I have very fond memories of Therfield especially Miss Nicholson, who gave me my first job working in the school library. She gave me an award for conscientous co-operation for doing it - sorry Miss Nicholson, it just happened to be warmer in the library than it was in the playground! 

Mrs Hack, was the teacher I had in my last year and she taught me more than just school work, like why you don't stick bits of paper on other people and to treat them with the same respect you expect to get back.  I also liked Mrs Pitter but not being very good at French I couldn't always understand her!

My only regret is that I didn't stay on at school. Unfortunately I didn't find out until it was too late that I could have. Linda Collins and myself are at present trying to contact old class mates, and if anyone can tell me if it is possible to get a copy of the school register (1969 Mrs Hack's and Mr Flaskett's class), any help would be greatly appreciated.

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