Photos of Stogs from 1966

I was able to scan these photos from an old Olavian magazine. The quality isn’t great but they give a good idea of how the school looked in the 60s.

This is the west wing of the building, where the gym was located (about my least favorite place!)

This is a partial view of the playground.

This is the main hall, ready for lunch.

This is the balcony and the magnificent organ above the hall

This is the beautiful ceiling of the main hall

This is part of the memorial to Old Boys who died in Britain’s many wars.

One of the staircases.

This is the language laboratory, quite an innovation back then.

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149 Responses to Photos of Stogs from 1966

  1. Colin Wood says:

    As a ‘C’ stream pupil at Stogs from 1947 to 1952, the photo’s bring back great memories of my days there.
    Dr. R C Carrington was disgusted when I said I was gong to sea and suggested that I was worse than a criminal as they at least waited until they got caught.
    I had a fantastic time in the MN getting my FG Master’s Certificate at 25 and gaining command at the age of 29. I went on to be a Harbourmaster, Senior Australian Government Marine Surveyor and still work occassionly as a private Marine Surveyor.
    My wife is very impressed with the view of the ‘Hall’

  2. thebarrowboy says:

    Hi, Colin. Glad you enjoyed the photos. And thank you for your “memories.” You are certainly not alone in having overcome the “handicap” of going to Stogs back then!

  3. Arthur Wood says:

    I was a pupil at St Olaves from 1955-1961.
    The photos bring the memories flooding back.
    It would be great to meet up with guys from that era. Several names come to mind. John Lawrence, Jim Rees, Gordon Love, John Reid, Bunny Warham, Andrew Crozier, Gilmore Kennedy, Dave Pike. Haven’t seen you guys for several decades. Are any of you out there?
    Some of us are pensioners now.
    Of course its unlikely that any of our teachers are still alive —– Anyone remember “Boggy” our latin teacher and “Soapy” our science teacher. Or the flamboyant “Benny” Hill our English teacher, and of course “Miss?” who took us for speech.
    Contact me Arthur Wood on

  4. thebarrowboy says:

    Hi, Arthur. It seems you left the year I began. I imagine the “miss” you are referring to was “Fanny” Robinson?

  5. says:

    I remember Boggy and Fanny Robinson. Anybody recall Dodo? Rizla? “Jet ” Harris? – (another mad latin teacher). I left just after the move to Orpington. Carrington was generally referred to as “Oaf” and was as mad as a bag of monkeys. I heard that he was eventually carted away by nice men in white coats.. Is that true?? Sports ground was miles away in Dulwich or if it was snowing, the luxury of Bermondsey Baths was bestowed upon us. Many a crafty woodbine smoked in Dulwich Park when supposed to be on a “cross Country” run – in Dulwich!

    Before leaving, it was decided that 5th form need no longer wear caps, so we escaped one lunch time and cast them off Tower Bridge into the Thames. I hated the place with a passion and swore that I would go and watch it being demolished – but as you probably know, the dismal edifice is still standing and now protected.

    I can still recall the smell of the brewery when the wind was right..

    Meals were passable but we had to serve each other. Crazy.

    Happy days?

    Nothing good that I recall apart from Swinburne doing his “Dr. Phibes” bit on the splendid organ after morning assembly.

    Hope Carrington is rotting, or at least smouldering, in a very warm place!

    Dreadful waste of such formative years.

  6. thebarrowboy says:

    Your memories are spot on. Carrington did not have a happy end, apparently. I was at Orpington for the first year (Jan – Dec 1968).

  7. David Purcell says:

    I certainly remember Boggy, Fanny Robinson, Fanny Weekes, Presswell and Boot Moon. I certainly remember Dodo Chapman, who seemed at least 100 in the mid-sixties. I also remember the smell of the brewery – I ran the London Marathon in 2001 and there is a photo of me running across Tower Bridge with the brewery building clearly visible.

    Does anyone remember the poor student playing the organ at an assembly and getting it wrong (must have been very nervous. In his usual gentle, loving way, Oaf screamed abuse at him and the poor chap walked away with shoulders hunched as Swinburn took over. I have always felt so sorry for that boy.

    You are absolutely spot on to say that it was a waste of formative years. I still deeply resent what was done to us over those years. May the bxxtard root in hell!!!

  8. Steve Mann says:

    Oh it all comes flooding back! Yuk.. I remember them well! Dodo was my form master for 4P I think, certainly something P. I believe he was already 100 at birth. His wonky leg was considerably older, possibly Neanderthal.

    I know it was always said that LCC food never hurt anyone, but I recall a weed getting wasted by the delivery lorry when I was in the fourth year, or thereabouts, or am I dreaming? It was actually pretty grim, can almost recall his name.. Funny how we can recall school days, but not remember where we parked the car!

  9. david watkinson says:

    No you are correct, a weed did get killed by the food delivery lorry imagine the fuss if that happened today , we would have all been made to wear reflective jackets, purchased at the school outfitters only Thompsons at london Bridge.At the time I apart from being told not to run around the corner from the new block nothing was said?, Was there from September 59 to Dec 1964 with my twin brother, when I went to RC then and asked if I could leave as I had been offered an apprenticeship, he smiled and said ” get out, ” such a lovely caring man, had a mirror by the chair so he could see our dear faces and know how much pain he was inflicting when caning you, any one else open their eyes, I did
    remember Basil and mad Sid Taylor, Rowdy Yates, Kirkby, jack Hawkins met him some years later in a dentists at Dulwich , lovely man, , fanny Robinson, Moon , Hunt, Renshaw , Peters, Anno domini Joe Davis , Hated the place, went back to the school a few years back and walked in the hall, still gave me the shivers, My wife said it was a scary place as well

  10. Steve Mann says:

    Glad I’m not imagining it. Was his name Kenny Ripper?? No,..Maybe not..
    Glad someone else hated it the place
    My first year was the bloody record freezing winter – was it ’63. Anyway, I was in the first intake from Orpington. Only a handful of us and you can imagine what the travelling was like!
    I also recall the smogs, when from the back of the hall you could hardly see Oaf at the front.
    I recall one day it took hours to get there, almost groping my way along Tooley Street, only to be sent straight home cos it was foo foggy! Spent all day on the flippin train/s..
    Anybody recall the lovely smells of alcohol from the various vintners or whatever under those arches??
    We all thought Oaf had a “Crown Topper”.. Any other opinions on that? Bloody funny hairdo if it was real.

  11. thebarrowboy says:

    I saw Kenny Ripper a few years back.

    My family worked on the docks so I was used to the smells and loved them.

    A couple of weeks ago, the new season of the police show New Tricks started in front of the school building in Tooley St.

  12. David Hollingworth says:

    I was there 60 to 67. I think the lad who messed up the organ playing was David “Mousy” Webber. Mark Shackleton got a similar reaction from Oafie when he fluffed the ending of the Last Post at a Remembrance Day service. Lots of bad memories of Stogs (the many thrashings, weeks of scavenging, Daily Report) but also some very funny ones. I still get a laugh out of the brilliant ordering system the kids had invented for school dinners – stodge everyfink, stodge only, fruit everyfink, fruit only, custard only. Same system for main course. Brilliant economy. I also enjoyed some classes roaring out the hymns at assembly in response to being told to sing louder. Sounded dreadful!

    Anyone know what happened to pervy Presswell – I heard some rumours he was sent down for interfering with little boys but I have no idea if that’s true.

  13. Steve Mann says:

    Laws of defamation being what they are, I need to be careful what I say.
    Regarding “Arthur” Presswell – (Was his first name really Arthur?), I am 99 % certain that there was bit in the local paper in Orpington, whereby he was at least suspected of, if not charged with being what we all suspected. Say no more, wink wink etc… ad nauseam..
    Now that got me interested so I Gogled the bastard and got this.. Looks like it is him in the back row..
    Small world.
    What fun!
    There was another teacher suspected of being of a similar persuasion, still with the school when it moved to Orpington. Can’t remember the name but pretty sure he took maths.. sandy hair, fairly young, nasty piece of work, had a stupid grin most of the time. I will recall as soon as I log off! Can anyone help me out?

  14. Steve Mann says:

    Have just looked at the photos which did not open before!
    Send a shudder down my spine,..
    Couldn’t somebody blow the place up please?
    Do you think Oaf haunts the site?

  15. thebarrowboy says:

    Don’t remember who that was, Steve. I left in Dec 68, after one year in Orpington. I hope to go inside the Tooley St building next year, when it reopens as a hotel. Being in the Oaf’s office again (in 2010) was pretty spooky.

  16. David Hollingworth says:

    Maybe it was the German teacher Lynch – definitely creepy, sandy hair, also had that reputation.

  17. Steve Mann says:

    I think you may well be right! Yuk
    I too left after about a term or more in Orpington.
    I recall there was no swimming pool, just a large hole, which I suspected was for a mass gave..

  18. david watkinson says:

    Not sure that is the same Presswell as I remember him at STOGS in 1961, remember going to a colts rugby match on a coach from the school one Saturday morning and we all sang ” my name is Presswell I live in Leicester square song , he was not impressed when the coach driver burst out laughing!
    The strange things at that school, first years flogged for uttering one word during meal times ( yes I opened my mouth as he walked by once), had a tap of his magic wand for my trouble, not allowed to cycle to school even on a Saturday for detention,, Saturday morning detention, the cane if you were in the dreaded book twice and then had to get through 2 more weeks without getting another mention. oh happy days! I think not!

  19. David Hollingworth says:

    I’m pretty sure that picture is of Presswell, he was form teacher for the arts/humanities tutor group in the second year sixth so I can recall him quite clearly. He was generally loathed by all and sundry.

  20. david watkinson says:

    All I remember was that the Beatles ” she loves you ” was out as we sung it on the coach and Presswell was the teacher who took us to the game so that must have been 1963, as he did not teach me I have no idea when he came to the school, perhaps he came from there to STOGS ?
    One teacher i liked was Dudman ( physics teacher) one of the few down to earth teachers

  21. Mark Shackleton says:

    That’s definitely Preswell in the photo. The nickname (Elvis) is also a giveaway. Thanks for remembering my fluffed “Last Post”, Dave. I haven’t forgotten it either. What I find coming up time and time again in the responses is how much we all hated school. And that was largely due to the appalling atmosphere created by the Head. I can’t imagine what it was also like for decent teachers (Wiseman, Renshaw, Hawkins) to live under such a regime.

  22. David Hollingworth says:

    Hi Mark – quite a surprise to see your name! Are you still in Helsinki? I left Finland back in the 90’s and did a bit of globetrotting thereafter, settled in deepest Somerset now. My email is if you want to get in touch and catch up

  23. Mark Shackleton says:

    There’s a 30-minute film of St. Olave’s made in 1962.

    It’ll take you right back (for better or worse)

  24. thebarrowboy says:

    Thanks, Mark. It’s wonderful. I think I spotted you in Assembly.

  25. Steve Mann says:

    Eeeeeek. Just perused the video. Spotted Dodo, Oaf and Joe Davis. More than mortal Mann can take in one day.
    Going for a quiet lie down with a bottle of Jim Beam.

    Well done whoever found it, but it scared me.. This was my first year there if my math is correct, which it probably isn’t, given my education.

  26. thebarrowboy says:

    Hi, Steve. I’ve been in shock all morning! (I’m 7 hours behind Greenwich) Haven’t had time to watch it all but the first year at the front in Assembly is my year. I started there in Sept. 1961, so I reckon this is the first half of 1962. I spotted Phil Dibley, Unwin (?), Stevie Smith, Neil Morris, James Moffat… There are a lot of familiar faces I can’t put a name to.

  27. Steve Mann says:

    Dudman! Was he not the mad Australian? Taught maths. Evil b*****. Oh well, each to his own opinion.

    Hey! Does anybody remember Mr James? Ginger hair and we thought it might be James Robertson Justice moonlighting. He took music..had us practicing hymns then changed key halfway through – just for fun. Laugh? I thought my trousers would never dry. I think he fell out with Oaf for being too normal and got booted out. Always suspected he was fond of the old sauce..

    And there’s more. Remember Hurst? P.E. teacher. Very keen and had us doing circuit training and similar. Used to punish defaulters by making them hang upside-down on the wall bars. One fell off as I recall and there was a hell of a fuss, after which he vanished – back to the mother-ship presumably.

    Renshaw was fun. An Australian who knew more about English than most people ever will. Always recall him explaining how to pronounce “diphtheria”.. “The P is silent, as in bath”.. Took me about a week to get the joke.

    Ho hum…

  28. Steve Mann says:

    Where does that put you then? I’m cr*p at geography thanks to Dodo..

  29. thebarrowboy says:

    I was useless at most practical things, but especially PE and games, as I had been in hospital for a year with a hip problem and wasn’t allowed to even kick a ball for years. Being small and skinny I was, of course, singled out for “special” attention!

  30. Mark Shackleton says:

    My thanks to David Hollingworth for finding the film. Peter (Barrow Boy) – please email me – it would be good to get in contact with you and Alan Worrow (whose name he always reminded us was spelled the same going backward and forward).

  31. Mark Shackleton says:

    The Wit and Wisdom of STOGS Staff (1960s)

    R.C. Carrington (otherwise called Oaf – for the simple reason that is what he called boys who had supposedly done something wrong – like being born working class, perhaps?)
    I think this calls for a touch of the magic wand.
    If you were late for school, you had to recite by memory a poem. Carrington invariably set Shakespeare’s Sonnet “Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed”.

    Reggie Renshaw (English teacher, and generally dynamic character)
    I missed the English summer this year. I was in the toilet at the time.
    Mr (supply pupil’s name), you’ll go to hell.

    Fido Wright (RI teacher, who prided himself on being a punster.)
    “Tomorrow we’ll have a test. First we’ll put a Rip in it, and then the rest will go to Sleep”
    (Puns on two boys name: Ripper and Sleep.)


    You are right about the working brother and I came from a primary school in the middle of a council estate in Battersea and the poltist thing he evet called was “gutter snipe whilst giving me 7 strokes of the magic heneous crime? Being found out on the balcony on the last morning of term at Christmas. He also made the whole form stay till 4 standing in the hall,boy was I popular! It was only the blood seeping through the seat of my trousers that Davidgained me sympathy from my fellow students. Oh happy days!

  33. thebarrowboy says:

    After two canings in the first year (one was the whole class), my Mum went to see the Oaf and told him that if he caned me again, she’d go and cane him! He never did touch me again.


    My Dad complained after having to peel my underpants off carefully as they were stuck on with blood. Oaf’s reply. “If you don’t like the way I run this school take your sons away!glad your Mum had some effect. Were you there when he got the 5th and 6th year to clean the school when the cleanets went on strike he suspended any boy who refused?

  35. thebarrowboy says:

    Don’t remember that one. I was so nervous in the first year they put me on pills. I didn’t remember the film at all but it’s a gem (in retrospect, probably not as they intended!).


    It was around 1963/4 I think I was in the 4th year Kirkby was the form master of 4q our form room was on the balcony midway along hence getting seen by the oaf or Arsey as we knew him by.

  37. thebarrowboy says:

    Kirkby was a name I’d forgotten. Last year I located Ariza, the Spanish teacher, who was my biggest influence (I went on to study languages). He just turned 80 and I hope to see him in Manchester later in the year. Didn’t see George Collins in the film (1C form master).


    I came across Arizas’name years ago.I bought a lingua phone record at a jumble sale and on the back was his picture (he had a goldfish looking face) it said he was head of languages at a top university in Madrid I belive, may be wrong.strange on my last day of that school Dec 1964 I took my tie off on the way out and he stopped me and told me I was to report to detention that afternoon. I pointed out politely that I was leaving that day and declined his invitation.I have to say those dsys were the wordt days of my life.when I started work I couldn’t get used to people calling me David after 4 years of Watkinson or Boy!

  39. thebarrowboy says:

    Yes, I have very mixed feelings about the experience. It paved the way for university (unthinkable in my family till then) but lots of negatives.

    Ariza hated it there and got out as soon as he could. Turns out he had to flee Spain for distributing anti-Franco leaflets. His dad was killed in the first months of the Civil War (never knew him) and his mum was thrown in jail. He told me he asked to speak to the Oaf before leaving to tell him what he thought of him.


    I am sure that there was some good people there .I met Basil Taylor my 1st year form master a couple of years after leaving in the street near Tower Bridge he asked how I was doing and wished me well.met Hawkings in a dentist in Dulwich in the eighties and he recognised me,again a nice man but at school it was just them and us.Fanny Robinson was the only teacher who showed compassion whilst I was there.Fido sent me to the Oaf for cheating in a test. Not true at was 3.30 on.a Thursday the Oaf was out. Told to come back in the morning I got caned at 1.30 pm the next day.I went to his study at least 7 times expecting to be thrashed .She came and got me from lunch and said “come on this has gone on long enough still got 4 strokes after all you know why I hated the place,these events 54 years ago are still fresh in my mind

  41. thebarrowboy says:

    I understand perfectly, David. In my case, I think that repressing everything at school led to me flip out at university. I became very radical, lived in communes, and ended up wasting the opportunities I’d been given.

    I wish I could remember as much detail as you do. Too much is hazy.


    After leaving and a brief spell at a printers I worked for London Transport for 26 years and had a good career in engineering. Whilst working at Peckham garage who ran the 78 route I was amazed ti be told that the worst behaved school gor slashed seats etc was St Olaves so all that repression came out other ways

  43. thebarrowboy says:



    I gather you were a local lad? the only local lads I remember are Martin Hampson, asked to leave after trashing a class room one evening, we all had to have our shoes taken away for footprint checks as some were left in spilt ink) and Carl Ward, Ward’s dad was a school caretaker locally so he lived in a school, Reg Sturt and Alan Penryn from Elephant and Castle, Alan was very advanced physically and very good at rugby being so strong for his age, good swimmer as well. and another boy called Clark , I bumped into a old boy near Scotland Yard in the early 70’s the name of Barry Balsh , a quiet inoffensive boy who was in the murder squad and had done two years on the beat at the Elephant, there was two brothers the Browns, one was in the 5th form when we were in the third, they both went on to have careers in the Met Only other old boy I have met was Kenny Mckintire who was working as a mechanic at Bexley heath garage when I managed there, no one else in years, looking back there are few that I would want to meet again, .It has been good conversing with you, we must do it again sometime, for now good bye.

  45. thebarrowboy says:

    Yes, I was born and lived in Long Lane. Walked to school. There were plenty of local kids in my year (started in 61). All the best, David.

  46. Mark Shackleton says:

    I remember Barry Balsh? Walsh? . As you say, mild-mannered, and good- natured. I remember we said at the time that he’d make a damn good (fair, decent) copper.

  47. David Hollingworth says:

    Barry Baulch. He was friends with Kevin Hall and me after we keft school. He used to tell terrible (hopefully tall) stories about life in the Met at the Elephant. The ginger haired music teacher mentioned in an earlier post was a really nice guy – I remember him playing brilliant boogie-woogie piano for us in one music lesson. About the only other interesting thing for me in that class was the “lives of the great composers” book we had to read. One of the lads had crossed out the word Ludwig from one the chapter titles so it read Bread van Beethoven – still makes me grin at the thought.

  48. Steve Mann says:

    I remember Baulch. nice quiet guy. The register went Adams, Baulch, Beaver etc..
    Seem to remember Kirby was known as “Killer – no idea why.
    Also recall a pupil in my class named Robin Hoodleader, (might have been hyphenated). The surname, oops, sorry, family name is strange enough, but “Robin”.. He was very bright and got off the train at either Elmstead Woods or Chislehurst.. Nice chap. Anybody know what happened to him?


    The Oaf under the guise of Sheriff of Dulwich expelled him for being a thief, liar and a guttersnipe to boot!

  50. Hi All Just found this site after all this time. Got whacked three times for throwing snowballs at the monitors and four times for leaving Saturday detention via the front door (messed up the brasswork appearently!!) Worst thing of all was trying to keep wicket to Hollie’s bowling playing for the seconds – that was a nightmare!!!!
    Press well and his little “punishments” – arms out for the whole period and Lynch – form master in my third year – was very creepy. Had a laugh that tear when Roger Goldsmith was caught playing boogie-woogie by Oaf – hilarious
    Checked the old film briefly, some other names were Alan Reynolds, Keith St Aubyn, Steve Smith, Barry Thurnell, Alan Alltimes – some I did not see – Jeff Baggott, Dave Williams, Roger Leggitt, Paul Ridgewell, Tom Rogers et al

  51. Philip Rusling says:

    I too remember A. Presswell, although I remember him from Lincoln School, and recognized him from the Burton Grammar photograph. His favourite punishment was to force pupils to lie back over a sloping desk and then tickle them. He did not last long there either, although you can imagine what it was like having him as a house master in a boarding school. He was just quietly moved on. When one thinks about all the paedophile scandals now besetting the Church, one cannot but observe that all institutions respond in the same way and try to hush such occurrences.

  52. David Hollingworth says:

    Reg Renshaw was a really good guy and clearly despised a lot of the Oaf-instituted crap. One of my favourite memories of him was an occasion when someone coughed during an assembly and Oafie reacted by demanding (in his usual polite manner) that the perpetrator should get out. Everyone was amazed when Renshaw immediately strode out the hall, ignoring Oafie’s protestations. It was delightful, perhaps even more so because we had to suppress our sniggers.

  53. Steve Mann says:

    That rings a bell. What year approx?

  54. You are right about Reggie. I recall coming back on the coach from Gravesend after a cricket match on a blazing summer day at about seven o’clock. He pulled the coach over at a pub and bought us all a cold light ale, only the one, we would have been 15/16 years old
    He just said something like that if we acted as men, we would be treated as men. Priceless, and, because he treated us like actual human beings we never gave him any trouble in school – well, not much anyway!

  55. David Hollingworth says:

    Not really sure when the Renshaw walkout occurred. I would hazard a guess (based on my memory of where I was standing in the hall) that it was sometime around 64 or 65.

  56. I really don’t remember, or want to remember much of this ………… not brilliant memories at all BUT I’d like to re-make acquaintances with any of you guys ……… I only ever went to the single reunion dinner. That was enough for me.

    I was in my last year ( the first year of the new school ) at Orpington and the boy with a car of my own and absolutely forbidden to park in an otherwise empty ( almost ) school carpark.

    Guess I might have been a bit of a rebel but only got caught and caned the once.

    I like seeing these photos and reminisce ( a bit )
    well done you guys for keeping in touch here, maybe it’s an age related thing, re-visiting one’s youth before shuffling off this mortal coil !

  57. thebarrowboy says:

    Hi, Malcolm. I have very mixed feelings about Stogs but going to the school did have a huge impact on my life. My last year was also the first in Orpington.

  58. HI Malcomb if you remember the strange segregation at Tower Bridge wearing caps until getting in the 6th year, cannot use this entrance,first years only not allowed to talk at mealtime etc your car experience is par for the course

  59. Steve Mann says:

    Funny thing about the caps.
    Having reached the appointed time, three of us sneaked out one lunchtime, (a hanging offence if my memory serves me correctly), and chucked ours into the Thames. Watched them float off into infinity.. That was a good day amidst the horrible memories of STOGS..

  60. You know, I cannot help but feel that making us put up with all that crap was part of the plan. I do know that in my personal/work life (and I was one of the very working class local boys from Lambeth) I have had to mix with all social classes and those years at STOGS seem to have equipped me for it. I seemed to have obtained the ability to manage both downward AND upward!! It also might well be that Malcolm is right, we are looking back with fondness while we have the chance. By way I was a 1961 starter, in Boggie’s 1B, think Malcolm was same year but 1C (with Collins (?) and Peter 1C (or with Basil in 1A???). I was good mates with Tom Rogers who I sat next to on my first day, we stayed mates until I left in 1967 and then lost touch soon after

  61. I remember your name at least Ray, and that of Tom Rogers too.
    George Collins it was lots of other names now spring to mind.
    Seeing those OAP ladies from Bermondsey in the Afternoon Tea scenes, jeez how social styles have changed, I guess in the 60’s they were just war widows from some 20 years prior !
    We are so lucky to have emerged unscathed from that time onwwards.
    Remember La Spezia cafe under the arches near to Thompson’s school shop at London Bridge station too, sometimes used to congregate there.
    The memories seem to be flooding back AND yes, the education at STOGS probably has made me a bit different from a lot of my generation.
    In my business life, emerging from a real working class south London background to being at ease with all social standings and right from the age of early 20’s through to now … so it probably did me some good …. or maybe it’s in my genes anyway eh !

    I sometimes have trouble linking through on here …. my email is and I live in ME11 postcode in Kent if any of you wanted to think about a coffee or summat.

  62. Steve Mann says:

    “George” Collins was definitely 1C.. Bless him. Decent chap. 1C was also the start of the Spanish set. Much as i disliked “Rizla”, he did make me learn the lingo. Now I have a small place in the Costa Blanca and can still manage to get by with the lingo. Spooky how it comes back..

  63. thebarrowboy says:

    I found Mr Ariza through the Internet. He is 80 and lives up north. As I’ve spent most of my adult life in Spanish-speaking countries, it’s been interesting interacting with him. He hated Carrington and told him what he thought of him before he left.

  64. thebarrowboy says:

    I remember the café very well. For some reason t made me think of Keith Harrison, who was ahead of us but also studied Spanish all the way through to university. He converted to Catholicism and took up the religious life. He seems to have been the Provost at Brompton Oratorio and now at Birmingham Oratory.


    Felt the same in 1A with Basil Taylor regarding french with Mr Peters, he may have been talking martian for all the good french was going to be to me back then, never envisaged visiting the country, now I have been numerous times on holiday and still do some work over there maintaining old London Buses ( another story) I was surprised how quickly the 3 years I studied came back, My identical twin brother who also was at STOGS has lived there for 12 years now and is nearly fluent

  66. hahahaha…… and Latin ?? I thought it was quite useless then ( failed O Level grade 9 I think ) remember ut and te ( or is that Spanish ! ) and apart from trying to decipher some medical stuff and plant names I sadly, I guess, still think it a waste of my time, some 4 years study was it to O Levels ?

    Spanish though, well, I had a great surprise when I went to Argentina the first time in about 1989 trekking in the Andes and suddenly found myself faced with a 5 year old lad in a village cafe and he started speaking to me and hey, wowee, I could understand him and maybe, just maybe, he could understand me too.
    That was the only time I used my Spanish from school. some 25 years earlier.

    Blimey, don’t I digress, sorry guys

  67. thebarrowboy says:

    That’s quite amazing, actually, that you remembered enough to engage in conversation after all those years.

  68. I remember the Spazz Bar so well, frothy coffee in plain clear cups and “Russian Tea” with a slice of lemon – so posh. One of the leader rebels about that time was Phil Josling – there’s a name from the past. Also Dave, as I was a close friend of Alan Alltimes, I also went to the Devas Boys Club in your homeland – that was a good place at the time
    As for Latin, amo amas amat was as far as I got. Strange thing is with the German (that would be 1B) is I now work for a small German bank and some of it still comes is useful – although I still say Lynch should have been a youth football trainer!!!!!
    Another memory was when Peter Hamilton was being bullied by a big fat bloke who had been held back in the 4th – blond guy, cannot remember his name, so he was a year older. Jeff Baggott (another name) from our year tugged him and gave him a spank – that was just so good!

  69. I lived just across the road from the Devas club went to cubs and scouts there Chips Blackburn and his wife ran the scouts,don’t know about the boys club,there was mainly boxing in the gym on the top floor Alan Altimeter was a year behind us he lived across the other side of the Patmore Estate, we used to travel to school together on the 44 bus from the Dogs home

  70. I knew his Mum and Dad (Harry and Flo) really well and I joined a football club where he was playing when I was 16 – Angell Athletic, based on a pub on what is now Angell Estate in Brixton. Best thing I ever did, played for them for nearly 14 years (great set of blokes) even though I had committed the sin of moving across the water to Essex by then. My brother lives in Sidcup and still sees Alan around .
    By the way the big fat bloke was Rod Walker from your year – a bully with a vicar for a Dad – now that should be an oxymoron but wasn’t in this case

  71. I remember Alan,s Dad well,he was a tube train driver and used to take us to football at Battersea Park when we all went to St James Barrie in his car I remember Walker, his Father was the Bishop of Woolwich! I had a fight with him once,nasty boy, always fighting someone lost touch with Alan, does he live in Sidcup? I spent most of my misspent youth there and still have relatives there,still go there once a month

  72. Just googled bishop of Woolwich, certainly not Walker

  73. I remember Rod Walker too, a brute of a boy who tried to terrorize so many, he even tried it on with a friend of mine ( wonder who that was ? ) and I ” called him out ” one day and he chickened and wanted to be best pals …….. ugh !

    I forgot amo amas amat but I do remember the daft notion of having to do O Level German, in the 6th was it, as a supplementary subject for a single year …… bonkers, I failed that too Grade 9.

    Phil Josling I remember too, a great pal at the time … wonder what happened to him.

  74. Interesting guy in our year ? . just trawling through google stuff for St. Olaves and come across Godfrey Bloom on wikipedia, take a look, I remember him a little now …………..

  75. Yep Dave, he still lives somewhere around there. Here’s another one for you Malcolm – John Lowden, he was in 1C and was a Millwall supporter, just like me. I remember we went straight to Spurs from Tooley St. for an FA cup replay. Lost 1-0 to a Jimmy Greaves goal! Others I knocked around with then, as well as Tom Rogers and Jeff Baggott, were Micky Laws, Terry Montgomery, Alan Reynolds, Jim Cooper, Paul Ridgewell and three who came from my primary school – Dave Williams, Keith St Aubyn and Roger Leggitt. God, this really is a walk down memory lane, they must have all scattered to the wind
    And just for the record I did German for five years and got the lowest grade possible. I always remember being told that I would need this phrase for the oral part – “Ich habe Sie nicht verstanden” ( I have not understood you). It is the only bit I really remember now – if only they could have taught all the other stuff like they did that bit then I would have been a German wizard!!!!

  76. I only scored one try for the rugby team, against Beckenham Grammar, and had the dubious honour of being pushed over the try line from a loose scrum by the one and only ex UKIP member. We used to call him Goff as I recall, he was a bit of a Hooray Henry then and does not seemed to have changed!!

  77. I remember all those names except Jim Cooper, was there a guy called Lucas who had sibling(s) at the school too ? a guy called Vosper who I trained in with from Nunhead for many years ……….and Micky Laws ….did he come from a prep school as a late starter, not with the usual year intake. And one or two others similarly. And a guy called Donovan who’s family had a business ( paper bags ) ? the name of which you could see on the train approach into London Bridge station.
    And my Best Man at my first wedding in 1971, Barry Barker who had an elder brother at the school ( I think )

    Jeez, this is a memory fest !

  78. John Donovan (played in goal for Lewisham area under 11’s), his mate Chris Duberry. I remember ginger Graham(?) Vosper. You are right about ML – but his Mum remarried and he is now a Briggs – I played football against him around 1973, he was captain of opposing team and you should have seen our faces when I went to toss up. Jim was a mate of Tom Rogers, think same primary school, another good playground tennis ball footballer. Trevor Morris and Jim Moffatt have also jumped into my memory. By way old Godfrey Bloom was very good mates with Paul Deeks and John Davis if that helps the memory
    I have had three best men in my life, on current no.3 Mrs Salthouse!!!!!!

  79. Paul Deeks,a redhead ? did he have a brother who was School Captain too.
    another in our year named ….. Scadeng ?

  80. He did have red hair but no, that was Nigel Jacks, captain in our first year; his younger brother Digby was also there. I know who you mean re “Scadeng” – dark hair and glasses, gentle character, an Ian I think, but the surname…………Scalding???
    Am going off line now, away for a week visiting family and will not access the site. Cheers

  81. did any of you guys join me for the skiing trip to the hostel in Zermatt the Dec / January of 1965/66 ? I think it was then

  82. Michael O'Keeffe says:

    Mick O’Keeffe Resident of St Ollies 55-59. We also had our fair share of poufs and snotty-nosed pricks as teachers back in the 50s. What caught my eye was the ” Barrow-boy ” mantle. I was originally from the City of London but in 55 I lived in Rotherhithe ( after that New Cross in 57 ) On one of my more cordial exchanges with the dude with the funny hair-doo as I remember him : Herr Doktor Bass Charrington, I had been caught out over a misunderstanding and had to go up to his room for punishment, unfortunately for the old sadist, the other boys father had said no corporal punishment, so to make up for this, as I walked into the room, he hurled himself at me, grabbed my shirt and jacket, buttons popping, stuck his face into my mouth and screamed ” You filthy little barrow-boy “. I thought that made him a wonderful human-being. I met him once in 64, we’d both just got off the same train at Charring Cross, I saw him in front of me, a derelict old buzzard, for a second I had the burning urge to shove him onto the lines, then I thought what a pathetic old loser he is, not even worth it. I spoke to him : I was at St Olaves in the 50s, you axed me in 59. His face went like one of the German guards at a camp in 45. Stupid old fool. No wonder his wife left him. In 71 shortly after UK went decimalization and the price of a pint kept going up every 15 minutes I moved to British Columbia. Geoff ( Wally ) Worham keeps in touch regularly. I worked in the tour operating industry ( in the 60s ) in UK, and for 40 years in the Record business in Canada ( before it went belly-up ). I never broke into a sweat once in 50 years. My sons always ask me : How comes we cant get cushy numbers like you always had. My reply : Its merely Gods way of saying he was sorry that I spent four years before the mast at St Ollies. Roy ( Marsden ) Mold the actor and Martin Carthy the folk singer were also resident during the same period.

  83. thebarrowboy says:

    RCC certainly had a long history of doing what he did best! Apparently his dream was to be the Head of Dulwich College and he was very frustrated because he couldn’t get the job.

    I knew about Roy Marsden but don’t think I’d heard about Martin Carthy. I believe Mardsen bought a flat on the river in one of the refurbished warehouses.

    Thanks for the comment. All the best, Peter

  84. Chris Harris says:

    Chris Harris (1970-77) – current Chairman of the Old Olavians Society.

    I have no connection with Tooley Street apart from a couple of tours of the premises and the stories told by Tooley Street boys.

    Most of the contributors to your page Barrow Boy seem to have attended the school in the late 50s or early 60s, and some of the masters are familiar to me.

    The Society still has an annual reunion, and all Old Olavians are welcome. In September 2017 it will be a lunch at the school and the guest speaker, replying to the Headmaster’s toast to the Society will be Mr Des Swinburne, who I am guessing nearly all contributors before me will know, as he joined the school in 1957.

    If any one wants more details as they become available, email me at, and take a look at our Facebook page.

    I look forward to hearing from you, and one day meeting you.

    Chris Harris

    PS The hotel in the old school premises is opening in Feb 2017, I think.

  85. Steve Mann says:

    Thank you.
    I sincerely hope it all goes well for you who seem to have come through unscathed.
    My abiding memory of “Des” is when he lost his temper, picked me up by my lapels and shook me so violently that it tore my clothing.. Didn’t do much for my somewhat fragile ego either. Dr Phibes incarnate. All this because I was making a noise outside the music room door, (Tooley Street).
    I hope you all have a great time. Me, I’d rather stick pins in my eyes..

  86. Geoff Worham says:

    If I were to write all I loathed about STOGS 55 – 60 it would take up too much space. However although nothing to do with me here are just three I think are worth mentioning.
    An older friend of mine Rodney Mills after leaving school got his first job in the bank opposite the school. The school banked there and soon after his arrival as a very junior clerk who should come in but the OAF himself. On seeing Rodney he demanded to see the bank manager and informed him that he had an undesirable working in the bank.Rodney was moved to another branch and fortunately not sacked.
    Another boy by the name of Harvey Sambrook after leaving school went back to ask for a reference from the OAF. RCC asked him to come in to his office and said that he would be delighted to do it. He wrote “The very blood in this boys veins is a lie” passed it to him and bid him farewell.
    My final point is “What actually happened in the dark room when Fido Wright was running the photographic club?”
    My e mail is if anybody would like to get in touch with me for a chat or a beer.

  87. I was on the Zermatt trip Malcolm – best thing that happened to me at the school. I really enjoyed it, especially the snowball fight we had with the Germans at the hostel we stayed in; we had the upper ground and gave them another good thrashing. As for skiing, well, you either love it or couldn’t handle it – I was the latter!!!!!

  88. I remember that trip just a little ….. my parents had a helluva job paying for it then, about £100 I think ! We travelled by train to Folkestone Harbour then the ferry across from there and I remember the interchange at Basel . not much of the journey after that . I tried skiing but was a dead loss too …….. hahahahaha, I never tried since. I remember Biba’s Boutique shop in the town ( Zermatt ), a London icon in those days too.
    I have been back to Zermatt but not for any particular reason other than another place to visit.

  89. Actual cost of holiday was about £36!!!! but you had to have all the clothes as well. My parents struggled as well but school gave ideas to make it as cheap as possible like water-proofing jeans instead of proper trousers. Just to put £36 into perspective I left school that August and started with Westminster Bank and £36 was more than a months pay – about the price of a round of drinks now!!!!!

  90. Malcolm Bennett says:

    has this now finished ??

  91. Steve Mann says:

    Seeing the photos and remembering STOGS, I expect everyone has run screaming for the hills…

  92. Robin Wicks says:

    I’m very surprised to read the level of disdain that most here seem to have for their time at STOGS. I was there from 64-70, just over two years in Tooley Street and the rest in Orpington. I remember most of the teachers mentioned above, and was there for the last few years of RCC’s reign. I have very fond memories of my time there, it was full of characters and definitely the end of an era. But it was a good school, and I feel privileged to have attended.

  93. Chris Harris says:

    Good or bad, it is a shared experience. Why not come along to the Old Olavians reunion and reminisce. One of the masters from Tooley St is the guest speaker this year.
    The date 16th September.
    The venue is the school in Orpington.
    You don’t have to be a subscription member.
    Details can be downloaded from the front page of

  94. stranger and pilgrim says:

    Hi, Chris. I’m in Orpington taking care of my Mum. Unfortunately, I return home on Sept. 15, otherwise I would have loved to have seen Swinburne. He left my first year form unattended for a while in the music room, the Oaf cam by and caned the whole class! If memory serves me right, Des was very handy with a plimsoll. It was another world, of course. Peter

  95. Mick O'Keeffe says:

    Looking at my comment from last December, I notice that I got a date mixed up. I met RCC at Charing Cross in 69. In 64 I bumped into Leonard ( Benny ) Hill in Victoria, he was still as flamboyant as ever. His place was just round the corner in Pimlico and he invited me over for lunch. He was OK, so was Len Speirs, who supposedly was in the French resistance during WW2. I think it comes with the turf to kvetch about ones old school. I remember the actor, Robert Morley, on one occasion talking about his school, Wellington, he said : If I did have a reason to go back to that place, it would only be to burn the building down. On the plus side that school is a handy tool to have when putting someone down over here. When I happen to say : Founded in 1571 and John Harvard a pupil back in the early 1600s, it usually shuts them up.

  96. Chris Harris says:

    Hello Peter
    What a shame you can’t be there. Would Des Swinburn remember you? I could say hello for you!
    Have you checked out the photos of the Tooley St buildings on our Facebook page (The Old Olavians Society), now that the conversion to a hotel is complete? All of the Old Boys who visited had quite a few stories once we were inside the Oaf’s study, which has been transformed into a beautiful suite.
    If you, or anyone, wants more details of the lunch, or just wants to keep in touch, email me at

  97. Malcolm Bennett says:

    hey, today’s Saturday Daily Mail 15th. July 2017 …….. a small colour picture of the Old School in Tooley Street with the new blocks of apartments at the back ……. a review of it as the hotel it is now …………….. BUT the best colour picture I’ve ever seen of the Old School

  98. stranger and pilgrim says:

    Thanks for the heads up, Malcolm, I’ll have to try to get hold of a copy.

  99. Malcolm Bennett says:

    Hey guys, maybe a short update on this if there’s anyone looking !

    Just clicked on to tripadvisor and the Lalit has popped up with many many photos

    Quietly reminiscing at my desktop thinking about the wonderful remodelling of the old school building evidenced in those great photos.

    Breakfast at £25 looks a bit steep though …. the same Indian breakfast in Delhi might cost today about 100 rupees max if you make it yourself …….. or have your local India buddy making it for you from fresh ingredients from the market close by

  100. stranger and pilgrim says:

    Hi, Malcolm. There’s an Old Boys’ Facebook page with a lot of pics as well.

  101. stranger and pilgrim says:

    One of the doorrmen, a really nice young Romanian guy, gave me a tour last year. The Oaf’s study (now a suite) costs 1500 pounds a night.

  102. DAVID WATKINSON says:

    For 1500 pounds do you get your arse larruped?

  103. DAVID WATKINSON says:

    To think the price in my day was 6 of the best to get in there

  104. Graeme Wildig says:

    I have come across this string of correspondence looking for information about Arthur Preswell who ran the History Club and I think invited selected boys to his home in Southend in my early years at STOGS (1964-72). I was one of the Orpington boys given a season ticket to travel up to London Bridge. I remember the poor lad who was killed by a delivery lorry a few weeks after we started at Tooley Street. A boy named Sheffield I believe.
    My first form master was boggy Newmarch – a latin master who seemed to be a decent man among a few tyrants.
    I too got a whack in my first year for talking at lunch – not to mention many more for double detentions etc.
    I also sang in both the school choir and at the Savoy Chapel and so was involved in late choir practice on Thursdays as well as Sunday services and the occasional society wedding.
    I was fortunate to go on the skiing trip to Zermatt which was probably in my second year at the school. My mum insisted on packing my suitcase which I was unable to lift. Happily a 6th former helped me out on the basis that I carried his bag which was a whole lot lighter. As other correspondents I discovered that skiing was not for me but I did enjoy sledging down the slopes.

    I too hated my early years at school but things improved once the school moved to Orpington – the pedestrian entrance was almost opposite my house – and the oaf was replaced by Francis Coulson as headmaster.

  105. Malcolm says:

    Maybe we should all remember a little that whatever the negativity about the Oaf it was he who was Head for some 33 years until his untimely death at age 65 having received much academic acclaim for his brilliant Works on subjects that perhaps none of us ( especially me ) have or would ever have any interest,

    His tenure as Head was troublesome and challenging and it must be doubtful that any other person could have achieved all that he did in a positive way with the School during wartime Britain and after, especially with the move to Orpington. …………………… there can’t have been any other individual capable of such achievements ……. certainly modern day Heads of schools wouldn’t be given the opportunities nor the leeway to do what he did those times past…………….. corporal punishment was of its time …. and many might argue that a good wallop on the backside might not go amiss to relieve the boredom and tensions of some of the absolutely rotten knife wielding school youth of today ……… possibly making schools overall safer and more accepting for parents and kids alike …….. I don’t think our school days ever did us any harm ………… and I doubt any of us at St. Olave’s would grow up to be vagabonds and knife wielding junkies intent on doing Society harm.

    On balance ………. I guess a good Oaf

  106. DAVID WATKINSON says:

    Sorry do not agree,he was a sadistic man who took delight in humiliation and inflicting pain,a snob to boot,please explain the mirror on the floor so he could see your face when caning you sorry you have your opinion I certainly have mine,perhaps you didn’t come from a council estate and be labelled a gutter snipe in the first contact with him?

  107. Ray Salthouse says:

    I come from a council estate Dave, the Studley Estate at Stockwell (couldn’t be much tougher!) and i know what you mean about feeling a bit out of place in a school like ours BUT, and it’s a big BUT, I do feel that the strictness applied did me more good than bad. Yes, i know it was a bit “last generation” but Malcolm has a point about the current state of affairs with our youth. My Dad was very strict with me, as I have been with all my children (7), and if I had told him that I had been caned, as I was, he would have looked to me for the blame, hence I kept it to myself and just got on with it. I imagine that it what Malcolm is on about, ultimately we had a tough strict schooling and, speaking only for myself, I know i benefited from it later in life.

  108. Steve Mann says:

    Oaf was the worst human being..if you can call him such, that I have ever known.
    I believe that Hitler was a good academic..

  109. Ray Salthouse says:

    I think the problem was that nobody really knew Oaf. I only spoke to him when I was caned or when I had to have a sick note signed off – both were very scary occasions – but as for a conversation, nope that never happened. He was just there. Who else could come out of his back door on to the balcony for assembly and quieten a room of 600 kids with a look? And do not forget that Jack Hawkins, who was a much gentler person, also used the cane when necessary. I might also state that the cane (and slipper, ruler and blackboard brush) were also used at my primary school so that part was not so different. I also left early, did not take A levels and, just like with DW, Oaf did not like it but my Dad had written the letter and that was that but I still, and will always, look back at that time as a good thing rather than the other kind. Maybe the idea of all of us versus Oaf was what brought us all together.
    And do not forget, as mentioned before, we had some good teachers, all the PE were OK apart from Davies (even Esau(?) could take a joke), Reggie, who was my last form teacher, I liked Waring in Geography, Fanny always meant well, Boggy was like a Granddad, and many others whose names I have forgotten
    Not sure if Hitler would have been a better headmaster – we would not have seen behind the choir on the balcony for a start……………………………………………………….!

  110. DAVID WATKINSON says:

    Sadly Ray the caning was not the issue, it was the severity, I was caned at Primary school but one stroke across the hand,that was enough, not seven strokes for just being out of classroom! The sending for you when you were in the gym just wearing paper thin shorts and the monitor saying that you couldn’t change into pants and trousers on instructions from the Oaf,yes I was intellectually challenged at that school perhaps that was part of the problems, the fact that I am 70 this year and I know that if the oaf walked into the room I would jump up 59 years later cannot be right, he also had his favourites, two boys messing about at Dulwich station on his line get no punishment yet my brother and me late for the first time due to the bus delayed due to a fatal accident get detention yet Alan Altimes a younger boy on the same bus gets a run along,I cannot remember anytime in the 5 years I was there that I can say that I enjoyed.

  111. stranger and pilgrim says:

    Very interesting to hear the opposing views of the Oaf. Small in size and gentle by nature, I suffered a lot during the first two years. I got bullied by other kids as well as the Oaf. Some years ago, I saw Kenny Ripper and asked him why he bullied me and he said it was because I was always the best dressed kid in the class! My doctor put me on medication for my nerves. In the first year, my mum went and told RCC that if he caned me again she’d go and cane him! I think by the time I was 14, and shooting up, I got more of a handle on things I was in the R stream and my school work improved a lot. But everything I’ve learned about the Oaf in recent years has only confirmed that he was nuts – sadistic and all about class.

  112. DAVID WATKINSON says:

    I agree Ray, there were some good teachers and we’ll meaning ones as well,it was just the fear regime I hated,the getting through a week without a detention and or two with the caning to follow, enjoyed the sports side and Joe Davis was actually good when I was on the schools athletic team, Esau I felt was out of place,bit like us really, never remember Jack Hawkins caning,as said before I met him some 20 years after leaving and he remembered me and was very complimentary, looking back I would have been better at somewhere like Archbishop Temples at Lambeth.

  113. Ray Salthouse says:

    Not sure about the other school mate, some of my Sunday football team went there and they were not too complimentary about it, but then we were all young school kids, a bit unknowing of what to expect in schools like ours. Do not forget it really was (and still is) a big thing to get into such a renowned school as STOGS
    I seem to be defending the school but only because I think it toughened me up and made me stand on my own feet. I was also a bit timid when I started but came out the other end a stronger person which helped me later at work. Strangely, I spent most of my working life in stockbrokers offices which were just like school – a lot of toffs, and I do mean serious toffs,and a lot of south londoners/eastenders but because of school I knew that people are just that, people no matter what their background. I really enjoyed working in that enviroment – well, until Big Bang in 1986, when the big banks, UK and American, took over and gradually spoiled the whole thing
    By the way, I knew Mr Alltimes really well (my year and my Sunday football team) and he always was a lucky bugger!!!!

  114. Robin Wicks says:

    It’s interesting how views here differ so wildly. Personally I thought STOGS was a wonderful school that I was very pleased to have attended and one that did very well for me. RCC was definitely a strange character, one from another era, but who added to the aura of the place for me. I bridged the Tooley Street and Orpington eras having attended from 1964-1970. I was one of the few boys never to have been caned, but it didn’t seem to harm anyone I knew, and did some good to many if I read some of the comments here correctly. And the education we received here was really top notch, from some really talented and wonderful teachers. And what characters they were – George Collins (drew a perfect circle) and Vic Dudman (threw the chalk at you) in Maths, as well as the fearsome organ-playing Mr Oram. Reggie Renshaw and Gus Wiseman in English – two of the most differing characters you could imagine. Jack Peter and Giovanni Baldelli in French, John Fowler (wonderful man responsible for my lifelong love of German) and Lynch (he never taught me but I heard about his camping trips). Bas Taylor, my first form master, and Geoff Dodo Chapman in Geography, the notorious Arthur Presswell in History, Mike Morris, Wes Hall and Matt Holmes in Latin. The list goes on and on…. Wonderful days for me.

  115. Malcolm says:

    I’ve just reflected a little more on all this and understanding that some of you guys had quite a torrid time ….. and I didn’t … and some saying that he was a snob and like that .. and I just never experienced that at all BUT on reflection, whilst I was just a simple lad from a very ordinary working class background ( as were most I guess ) I do actually remember hat one’s application to join STOGS had to be ( did it ? ) supported by someone other than parents and prior school.

    And coz my father had a little personal influence with the Courage’s of brewery fame and at Horsleydown just across the road ….. either Peter or John Courage actually signed my support letter ( or whatever it was ) So I guess that was RCC’s awareness that the merchant side of snobbery should come to bear …………….. or maybe the Courage Brewery influence was a tad too close to upset in any way for any reason …….. maybe the School was a beneficiary or some such or maybe the Governors were closely aware …………

    Or maybe I’m just imagining that would have made any difference at all …. I would hope not but hey, what would I know !


  116. DAVID WATKINSON says:

    Hi Malcom, I think the definition of working class in your summary is misleading, My Dad was a bus conductor, there was a tube train drivers son, a school caretakers son and a couple of other working class boys I knew, the majority came from professional backgrounds, a great deal from Kent who lived in owned homes, It came home to me when Mr Peters , the first french teacher we had came in the class and spoke in french, then asked if anyone knew what he said, half the classes hands went up! “where did you learn French he said” ?” I did french for two years at prep school” was the reply, then I knew I was out of my depth, the only reason my brother and me went there was because the local vicar at the church in the middle of the council estate I lived on in Battersea, his son had been turned down, I assume it was he who may well have written the support letter, not sure, could have been my godfather who was a newspaper editor in Norwich who my Dad served with in Burma, still rue the day I set foot in that school, went back about 20 years ago when it was a college, still gave my the creeps, I agree with previous comment that we didn’t know Carrington, We were for some obscure reason made to come to school for the 3 days of half term once and he took the lessons and proceeded to spend the whole time explaining the American political system, it was only fear that kept me awake, just one more Oafy special, a boy in our class fell asleep on a Sunday in the sun and got badly burnt, went to Carrington with said signed letter from his parents on return to school and got put in detention! The Oaf’s reasoning, the weekend was for recovering from school, not school for recovering from the weekend! you could not make it up!

  117. Ray Salthouse says:

    Re the mix of boys at the school I seem to remember that somewhere in the “school deeds” it stated that a definite percentage had to be boys from the local boroughs i.e. Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Battersea and the old Bermondsey etc. I can recall lots of working class kids (Tom Rodgers (sat next to him on first day in 1B), Jim Cooper, Phil Simmons Jeff Baggott, John Lowden, Alan Reynolds and three from my primary school, Dave Williams, Roger Levitt and Keith St. Aubyn and lots more. I think there were more of us that we actually realised. Sure, there were a large number of kids who came in on the train to London Bridge but that just shows how well the school actually was regarded. I member Micky Laws joining in the second year (from a prep school in Dulwich) – he was very good at all sports. We became mates and when I took him home for a meal one night he could not believe how the other half lived – but not as shocked as me when I went to his very posh house in Tooting. Mick was a good bloke: ran into him once much later, the footie thing – he was captain of his team and me mine (we were both very surprised). He suffered with the setup at the school re discipline and got belted a few times. At least proves that, as far as caning goes, Oaf spread it around

  118. DAVID WATKINSON says:

    Ray let me give you another for instance snobbery of Carrington, My dad was putting 3 boys through school, my twin Brother Brian and me at STOGS my elder brother at Temples, as you may remember all kit had to come from Thompsons the outfitters at London Bridge for STOGS and was not cheap especially for 2 of us. My dad bought my brother and me Duffel coats to wear in the winter, they had hoods and the horn toggles, these same design coats that the Royal Navy had worn for years, Not good enough for the Oaf, we were t told we cannot wear them! what was wrong? the toggles it seems, My Mum took them off and put buttons on, still not good enough! It was now the hoods! My Dad told Carrington that what was good enough for Naval officers was good enough to wear to school but he still wouldn’t have it ! We had to buy other coats otherwise be sent home.Don’t know if you were there around 61/62 perhaps when the cleaners went on strike and he got the 5th and 6th year boys after school to clean to break the strike? A fifth year who used to come in on the same bus as us but I don’t recollect his name, His dad was a union official told his son not to do the cleaning, the Oaf suspended him and every day he came into school, reported for attendance and the Oaf sent him home , went on till he left at end of term

  119. DAVID WATKINSON says:

    Reference the boys from Kent Ray, as it had already been decided in 1957 that the school was going to Orpington, they were recruiting boys from the area from then on, thinking back we did have a mix of local as well as kent boys

  120. Malcolm says:

    I was local, Nunhead nr. Peckham, London Borough of Southwark I believe ………… came into London Bridge with other boys whom we met at the next station along, Peckham . and it didn’t get a lot more ” working class ” than Peckham in those days I guess !
    Maybe my grandparents coming from Peckham when that was a somewhat elite area, before going very very working class and now I understand may be reverting to ” elite ” with tiny 2 up 2 down terraced artisan houses/cottages fetching maybe a million or two !

    But I was most certainly working class . I remember orange boxes from the Borough Market as our ” new ” furniture when my parents actually managed to buy their own small terraced house in Nunhead in the mid 1950’s.


  121. Mick O'Keeffe says:

    The reason RCC banned duffle coats ( sometime around 57 I think ) was because he had read somewhere, probably in the Beano, that only Teddy Boys wore such apparel. That guy was a narrow-minded, out-of-touch, arrogant, petty martinet who when he moved the school from Tooley Street broke the original mandate for the founding of that establishment.

  122. Malcolm says:

    I definitely remember Rupert the Bear wearing a duffle coat …….. maybe got confused with teddy bears not teddy boys !

    I suspect the pupils need for new fit for purpose school premises had something to do with the move to Orpington ……………….

  123. Ray Salthouse says:

    On the coat thing I remember Phil Joslyn (?) in my year started a trend that really wound up Oaf but he couldn’t do anything about it – donkey jackets, as worn by builders, but without the leather bit on the back. A lot of us bought them and Oaf was snuckered because they met all the criteria namely dark in colour, conservative in look and smart. One up to the pupils!

    I started in 1961 Dave but do not remember the cleaning thing. My Dad would have gone nuts, he was Secretary of the TGWU 1/1258 branch (covered Sainsbury warehouses) and the thought of me scabbing would have sent him mental
    You are right about the school shop, when we went the first year my parents could not believe all the gear we needed at ranked up prices

    They moved to Orpington was because of the London Council political threats to scrub grammar schools. Kents position was, and still is, in favour of them hence the move – and the reason I left early as I did not fancy the journey and also wanted away

  124. Malcolm says:

    just out of curiosity I’m intrigued to know who ” stranger and pilgrim ” is please
    I’m Malcolm Bennett from 1C with George Collins in 1961 thru to 1968

    I remember very many of the names of you other guys and of some of the names mentioned in your reminiscences, pupils and teachers alike ……………. so I’m not a totally lost soul !

    Do any of you know of Barry Barker from the same year ? and his outcome maybe ….. I’d be interested to chat with him again. he was a Best Man of mine in 1971.


  125. stranger and pilgrim says:

    Malcolm: S&P is me, Peter, the owner of the blog. I used to show up as The Barrow Boy. Don’t why it changed. I remember you well from 1C. I was there during the same years.

  126. stranger and pilgrim says:

    Have you watched the video from ’62 that’s linked on the blog? Lots of familiar faces, especially in the Art Class around minute 28.

  127. Malcolm says:

    ah…… Peter Bunn rings a bell !

  128. stranger and pilgrim says:

    I remember PB very well but I’m Peter Leaver

  129. Malcolm says:

    I remember you, hello Peter, but sadly not very well ……….. names and numbers are good ( PIN numbers brilliant ) but abstractly putting names to faces just eludes me mostly ……………….. where are you now based ? I’m in Kent


  130. stranger and pilgrim says:

    I’m based in Panama at the moment but have spent a lot of time in London in recent years caring for my Mum.

  131. DAVID WATKINSON says:

    Going back to Carrington, what other headmaster would cane boys in their first year at the school for talking at Lunch?I asked for someone to pass the salt as he lumbered by, got a tap of his magic wand for my trouble at trying to be polite at my new posh school

  132. stranger and pilgrim says:

    Well, he caned all of us in 1C for rowdiness after we’d been left alone by the music teacher. What do you expect a class of 11 year olds to do if left alone? Absurd.

  133. DAVID WATKINSON says:

    He made the whole class come in to school for a half term holiday 3 days then I believe strange when other schools got a week,the reason escapes me believe it was 4 Q,he took the lessons

  134. Arthur David Wood says:

    Hi Michael O’Keefe. You were in my class when we arrived in ’55. If I remember rightly you were sent home for wearing “winkle-pickers” . I remember that you were one of the first to have a “teddy boy” haircut. That obviously made you a marked man.
    Good to know that you are still around.
    All the best,
    Arthur Wood

  135. Mick O'Keeffe says:

    I sometimes wonder why I rarely see any comments from the crowd that attended this school during my tenure, mid-fifties to late-fifties. Did they all croak or don’t they want to go down memory-lane or up the garden path. All I ever see are comments from younger individuals. There was only one St Olaves and it was located on Tooley Street. When that paranoid idiot moved it away from London, whether it was to Orpington or out to the Ozarks, it could’ve been called anything ( Bribe Central for example ) but one thing it sure couldn’t be called anymore and that was St Olaves.

  136. stranger and pilgrim says:

    I just realized there were some old comments that I hadn’t approved, so they didn’t show up. I miss things sometimes when I’m away or working too hard. Sorry! Peter

  137. Mick O'Keeffe says:

    A.D.Wood. Are you the guy that lived on Kender Street, New Cross ? I moved there from Southwark in 57 and lived in a new building near the Montague Arms until the late sixties. I am still breathing, but haven’t been around on a permanent basis since 71. I skipped town after decimalization and moved to Vancouver BC. Stay healthy pal. I’m on FB if you get the urge to chat sometime.

  138. Arthur David Wood says:

    Hi Mick
    Yes I lived in what was then a new block of flats called Palmer’s House which was adjacent to Kender Street. I now live in East Yorkshire after retiring as a Christian Pastor back in 2007. Also still breathing and enjoying life.
    I wasn’t a very good student at St Olaves coming out with just one GCE . Spent the first 25 years of my life working in the betting industry and then in the insurance industry.
    I remember you as being a bit of a character and you had a close group of friends who all seemed
    to be pioneer rockers.
    I used to mainly hang around with Jim Rees, John Lawrence, David Pike and Iaian Row who sadly died in a motor bike accident while still in his teens.
    I will look you up on face book. I hope you are enjoying life in Vancouver.
    All the best Arthur

  139. Mick O'Keeffe says:

    Well as I’ve been in Vancouver for the most part of the last 47 years, I guess you can say that I do tolerate it here. Back in 55 / 56 when me and a group of pals started hanging out together RCC got it in his head that we were a ” Gang ” and I was the gang-leader. Whereas I saw myself as merely the Union Rep. Consequently I did have more than my fair share of one-on-one dealings with the Old Man. In 1959 I had decided I would not be taking any more canings, so when the idiot in the gym Davies supplied me with a reason, I knew it meant immediate expulsion for refusing to bend over. It was kind of amusing when a few days later RCC tried to get me to come back, not because he cared about me, but because he knew that an expulsion was a blemish on his record. I refused. I spent nearly 40 years in the music business here, eating and drinking in far too many restaurants ( part of the job ). I retired in 2008. Last December I got a call from a woman in UK. Turned out I have a daughter, grandchildren and a great-grandchild in Northumberland. Thats in addition to the 4 adult sons I have here. Sometimes I think its a funny old world. I still hear from Worham. If you look on FB its Mick O’Keeffe ( with 2 F’s ). We can only do our best.

  140. Geoff Worham says:

    Hi A D as apposed to G C Wood. Geoff Worham here, glad you are still about. You sat next to me first class, first day 1b Newmarch. I think that you moved to Downham and then worked in a betting shop. I still keep in touch with M P O’Keeffe and am very tempted to write a RCC character assassination which will include some of his spineless staff who allowed such outrageous physical and mental cruelty to go on at Stogs for decades seemingly without question

  141. Arthur David Wood says:

    Hi Mick
    Interesting stuff. I had a few canings myself. Sadly, one was for bending Worham’s fingers back and sending him to hospital. We became good friends after that. RC had both sets of parents in his office and I ended up with a comment on my report saying, “your son is a lout.” I really didn’t intend to hurt “Bunny” . I left school a year early to earn a living. Glad I did.
    I have a wife, two children, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. I should imagine that phone call in December came as a bit of a shock . How did you respond to that?
    Hope to see you on Facebook.
    All the best

  142. Arthur David Wood says:

    Hi Geoff Woreham,
    I still feel guilty about the fingers. Sorry mate. Good to hear from you.
    All the best Arthur ( the tall one)

  143. Mick O'Keeffe says:

    Art. The phone-call wasn’t a shock, me and Kenny Mayer had bumped into the mother on Kensington High Street in 64 and she was just about ready to roll even then. Me and one of my ex-wives on a trip over there in 80 had tried to locate the child, impossible. Took the girl nearly 30 years to find me, her mother sure did not help her out. As this is all non-RCC chat, I can continue this on FB if you are interested. I’ve always been in complete agreement with Geoffs view of RCC. That time in 69 when I bumped into him at Charing Cross Station I almost had an urge to toss him onto the tracks. But after talking to him and looking him in the eyes I could see that he was already in the early stages of dementia. For a guy that was supposedly involved in philosophy he had zero insight into other people. The words : For every action there is a reaction were lost on him. With that dude at the helm, the rebel in me came out in spades. All my adult life I’ve never been able to take orders from anyone other than someone in a uniform holding a side-arm or someone with a cheque in their hand with my name on it. Everyone else, forget it.

  144. Arthur David Wood says:

    I suppose as I look back at my time at the school, and then read all the comments about RCC, I realise that at the time I assumed that being caned for the least little thing was normal. I remember that even the teachers seemed terrified of RCC and when he walked into the hall at assembly a sense of foreboding descended upon the gathering.
    My first caning was for leaning back on my chair. I thought that was a bit severe especially as I was just eleven years old. Another trivial event that led to my being sent to the headmaster’s study was playing in class with an aeroplane shaped pencil sharpener. I got four strokes for that?
    My mum was horrified when she saw the stripes on my posterior. How schools have changed.
    Still we survived and hopefully haven’t been damaged by the apparent sadistic acts of a very sad man.
    Good to talk over old times.
    One person I have tried to trace is John Lawrence whose dad was a bookmaker. Have had no joy so far.
    Take care Mick

  145. Arthur David Wood says:

    Are all you guys on this blog aware of the YouTube video entitled “St Olave’s on Horleydown” it is over 40 minutes long, recorded in 1962 a year after I left. You will see plenty of old faces there. Including RCC . Enjoy the experience.
    Arthur Wood

  146. Mick O'Keeffe says:

    Art. RCC was not a unique case. After the war and well into the fifties, that’s the way the Brit education system operated. The parents, ignorant of any rights they might have and the teaching ” profession ” well populated with schemers and half-wits. An example : shortly before 1950 I got a concussion at my Primary School, the teachers left me in the class-room, semi-conscious, until the school-day ended and then they dragged me over to my pre-fab, two blocks away, no thought of an ambulance ever in their tiny heads. I ended up in St Olaves Hosp for a week having x-rays etc. If that happened today, the parents would be suing the school boards collective butts for dereliction of duty.

  147. Arthur David Wood says:

    Is that what is meant by “the good old days?”
    Sounds like we did well to survive.
    All the best

  148. Mick O'Keeffe says:

    One always has to take the rough with the smooth. Me and Kenny Mayers first half-pint in a pub in Surrey Docks, when we were about 13, cost sixpence ha’penny ( old pennies ) and a penny banger did cost a penny. The late forties and the fifties ( before rock’n’roll ) were no bowl of cherries in London, but is that town really any better today ? I’m not sure I could hack residing there again. I’m most likely going to be there in a couple of months for a trip. Only going because some of my kids are bugging me.

  149. Arthur David Wood says:

    I have many happy memories of being a teenager in the 50s & 60s. Even my memories of St Olaves are good despite the heavy discipline. They were good times. I feel privileged to have been a part of that era. School dinners were awful though. It was also hard for my working class parents to put me through Grammar School. I didn’t realise at the time the sacrifices they made. If I had I would have worked a lot harder. My main focus at the time was sport and girls, so not entirely wasted.
    Cheers Art

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