Town & Country
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Voice from your Past
Surprise, surprise -- another voice from the past -- but from a staff vantage point this time.
I was led to your site through one of our recent Docent Education Sessions on
art heists, fakes etc. that included a reference to a bizarre art forgery perpetrated
in North America by an eccentric, but talented, art donor who had been a pupil
at "Town & Country School, a Swiss Cottage, London, progressive school." I recognized
the name* but I won't get into that, only to say that I had taught at Town &
Country when he attended.
I arrived in London in 1965 after 2 years as Assistante de Langue Anglaise in a Paris Lycée and as a student in a Sorbonne French degree program and applied for a T&C post teaching French. But when Mrs. Paul addressed me in German (my resume also referred to my 2 years as teacher and student in Kiel, Germany ) I responded in my best Deutsch (complete with Scottish accent, as has been pointed out by one of your correspondents) and was hired on the spot -- to teach German! I was informed that I would be enrolled at Saturday morning classes at adjacent Central School of Speech and Drama, courtesy of T & C, and would be introduced to the preferred mode of instruction, loosely related to The Alexander Technique. More importantly, I would be paid above The London Burnham Scale, so I was quite delighted. Since I was 'young', I would assist with tennis coaching and unspecified sports.
I never did figure out how the Alexander Technique fitted in to preparation for O-level German, but I was at least able to work on my lisp at Central.
I,too, vividly and warmly recall Mr. Neville as well as the tidbits he would let slip when it was our turn to escort a class to what were the then newly completed, considered ultra-modern Swiss Cottage Swimming Baths. Ignoring the noisy splashing around below the spectators' gallery, he coyly mentioned how he was carpeting his stairway in tartan (!) to the taste of his new young 'friend'. I was suitably surprised, not to mention taken-aback, when it was hinted that this friend was a rising star in the world of dance... Sadly, 'Rudy' (Could there be two such?) soon moved on, and to this day I feel Mr. Neville's pain. I also heard much Vatican gossip -- a strange contrast -- and occasionally my conversational Latin was put to the test! We never ever talked shop -- and I looked forward to swimming days immensely, unlike tennis, where my noted 'short stature' often led me to lob my demonstration serves into the net. But you kids never complained, being already, thankfully, more proficient than I and seemingly quite happy more or less doing your own thing.
I likewise recall the joys of the Regent's Park Extension. On more than one occasion, if the assigned male staffer was absent again, Mrs. Paul, an early feminist, deemed I should take up the whistle and referee the junior boys' football practice. I took care not to venture onto the muddy field but stuck to the sidelines, calling the occasional foul.
But I thought I had met my nemesis on yet another wet sports day when the bus duly dropped us off at the British Museum and my flock dispersed with the speed of light. Upon their return more or less dutifully an hour or so later, the head count revealed one missing! After scouring the premises, and having had the escapee hailed on the Museum loudspeaker etc., there was nothing for it but to leave. I trembled at the thought of confessing to Mrs. Paul but our well-experienced leader took it in her stride, assuring me that he had likely had an errand to do so I should give him another half-hour before calling his home. (Apparently, it didn't occur to her that possibly SHE should make that call!). But, sure enough, his parents reassured me that there he was and they seemed just as cheerfully unconcerned as our revered Headmistress. These days that would certainly cost me my head, at least in Canada to which I emigrated after my stint at Town and Country and where I remain to this day.
Nowadays I am a so-called 'retired' Public Relations Executive and occasional Consultant. But mostly I am a passionate volunteer (English/French) Docent and Public Tour Guide at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (i.e. busier than ever). My daughter is a Hematology Oncologist in Toronto, while my son-in-law runs a small suite of restaurants there (be sure to let me know if you plan to be in Toronto, or in Nova Scotia for that matter) and I have a 4-year old granddaughter and 2-year old grandson. Talk about 'Time's winged chariot'...
Unlike you students, I was considerably in awe of Count (was he really?) Tolstoy and couldn't pluck up the courage to ask him to sign my copy of War and Peace. (How was he related to Leo Tolstoy?) He too has made news from time to time. And I remember you as a cheerful, ostensibly co-operative pupil, Norman, when I agreed to record something ("anything" was what you said) on the tape you were preparing to send to a former colleague, another Scot, then in Singapore. Yet had I known I was to go down to online posterity with a recording of an obscure poem in the Scots tongue, I might have thought better of it. But at least it's proof positive, right there on Google, of my otherwise unremarkable time at that memorably unique institution -- Town and Country School.
I never taught German again (no doubt just as well...) but moved into the PR field and after early retirement taught ESL at an independent school in Halifax, Nova Scotia, followed by an eventful six years in Kingston, Jamaica, helping to develop and teach an ESL program for MBA students, on behalf of the University of the West Indies Latin American Caribbean Centre and I am still in touch with several of my wonderfully vivacious Haitian, Columbian and even Surinamese students. (UWI interprets Latin America somewhat widely...) One is a noted Haitian author, in the local patois as well as French and most have made good, as, apparently, have so many T&C former pupils. I note from your website that an above-average number of T&C 'graduates' also have or have had careers in the arts and have attained success and even fame (not to mention notoriety in the case that I noted...). Could this be the lingering influence of our dear Mrs. Paul and of these earlier schooldays intended, however erratic at times, to help develop the creative spirit (as in your own case, Norman)?
You were ahead of your time as regards media applications, and I am delighted that I was serendipitously guided to your site. And I am really not surprised to find that Town and Country School left a lasting impression on so many alumni/ae as it did on me. I come to the UK now and then to visit my brother and nieces and nephews in Camberley, Worthing and London so please let me know if you plan a future reunion within reach of those locations.
With warm recollections of an unforgettable school and its extraordinary staff and pupils,
Fay (McGonigal) Lee
Teacher of German (although Scottish) 1965-67
PS. Although I recall the quiet, intelligent pupil*, a bit of a 'loner', who
was later to dupe several distinguished art museums, I had no idea of his true
talents. I believe Mrs. Paul might have approved.
PPS. Please feel free to share my email with former T&C adherents, with thanks. Norman, for the fascinating glimpses into the past that you have inspired.
23rd March 2017 -
I am happy for you to post my email along with my email address. I'd love to
hear from former pupils and staff:- email@example.com
How delightful to hear from our Scottish-German teacher - 'Miss McGonigal' The
passage of 50 years has eroded the teacher-pupil relationship somewhat, and
so I am not guilty of subordination by calling you Fay! I have written to you,
to ask if you have a photograph of yourself taken from around the period that
we knew you. I have realised that amongst all the staff for which we have photographs,
we are missing one of yourself, an ommision that I should like to put right!
pupil* who duped hundreds of art experts in the United States, here is an external
link to the story. It is well worth a read, being a remarkable story in itself.
FORGER'S STORY - Published in the Financial Times January 21st 2011
I do vaguely remember him, but he was in Upper Fourth, when I was in Sixth.
Further at the
risk of embarassing Fay even more, here is a link to the 50 year old recording
of her reciting "The
Norman, Thanks again for your excellent work on the T&C site! It's great to
see that the pupils list was updated as recently as a few weeks ago.
Taking advantage of an invitation to give a couple of talks in London last month,
I crossed the pond from the USA. On Saturday March 18, 2017, a sizeable fraction
of the the n'er-do-well contingent from the 3rd and 4th forms at T&C in 1970-71
(that would be 46-47 years ago, but who's counting) had a mini-reunion at the
Sir Richard Steele on Haverstock Hill.
Gang of Five L to R we are Shafique Omar, Uday Gadre, Jim McGuire, Ann Connock
(née Whiteman), and Mike Baess
Assembled at the pub, if I remember correctly...we stayed there for quite a
while, and it would be impolite to monopolize a table without drinking beer...were
Shafique Omar, Uday Gadre, Jim McGuire, Ann Connock (née Whiteman), and Mike
Baess. Sheff, generous as always, treated me to dinner! Thanks Sheff. Joining
us in spirit (by email) were Alex Alba (we knew her as Sandra Casimir) and Sharon
Pinsker, as well as my sister Anne McGuire and brother Steve McGuire.
We talked over old times, asked about families, remembered old friends who are
no longer with us including Leon Sweeden (we knew him as Pete Nissen) and Matthew
Rees, marveled that we (and our chaperones) had survived the expedition to the
Lake District, and shared memories of teachers like Mr. Neville, Mr. Johnston,
Mr. Gayton, Mrs. Kennelly, Mr. McMennamin, and Mrs. Blythe.
We would love to expand the crew next time around! Do let us know via the website
if a larger reunion is planned.
Jim McGuire T&C, 4th form 1970-71
I have beeen fascinated by all the memories of St Mary’s T&C you have managed
Thanks so much for them. It was an amazing school. I was at the school from
1953-6, a period from which you don’t seem to have many records.
I’m still in touch with two girls from those times - Rachel Ibbetson (now Paul)
in California and Kip Hampton (now Birkinshaw) in York.
Without more ado, here are all the photos of T&CS
I have. They would have been taken sometime between Summer 1954 and Summer 1956
[Norman's note: PLEASE
CLICK HERE to view all the photos that Sara's sent, displayed with captions
on a separate page}
All the very best and again, thank you for collecting together so much T&C memorabilia!
Sharpe (now Pienaar), Cape Town .
28th November 2016
I have just
remembered another pupil from my fairly brief time (1958-59) at St Mary’s.
have Peter White, who was a weekly boarder, listed. He had a younger sister
(about my age – 12 at the time -
I guess) who was Anne White. She was of course
also a weekly boarder. I think they came from Hanwell but that is a totally
Also a little
anecdote about Laure Huntziger, a French girl aged around 15 or 16 (they seemed
so big at the time!) from Alsace-Lorraine who boarded for the year 1958-59.
She shared a room on the middle floor of the boarding house at Glenloch Road
with Susan Hitches and Beattie Evans, and had had a somewhat conservative Catholic
upbringing. Beattie, who was I think just 13 at the time, did not in general
accept that boys under 16 or 17 existed.
She made a minor exception for me,
however, because I could do her homework – particularly maths – for her. So
from time to time I was summonsed to the big girls’ room to help Beattie with
her homework. On one – and as it proved the last – occasion Beattie was un peu
deshabillee when I arrived at their door. To be more specific she was in her
bra and pants. When I hesitated at the door she said “What’s the matter, haven’t
you seen a girl in her underwear before?”.
The honest answer would have been
“No, except for my sisters” but that seemed a bit lame so I replied “Yes, of
course” and went into the room. We then did Beattie’s maths homework under circumstances
that would haunt me for many a day. They also seemed to haunt Laure Huntziger
because she went straight downstairs to Matron – Mrs Weston at the time, as
I recall – and complained about the obscenity and immorality that was taking
place in her room. Mrs Weston, who was a very sensible lady for whom I had the
greatest respect, then called me down to her sitting room and told me that while
it was all very silly I should not go into the big girls’ room again – at least
till Laure Huntziger had returned to France.
Alas I moved on from St Mary’s
at the same time that Laure went home so I never did see the delectable Beattie
au (semi) naturel again. And in any case the love of my life at age 12 was Susan
Hitches, not Beattie (nor even Angela Pleasence, whom I regarded even then as
18th November 2016
great job on putting together a website of a very special school. My name is
Eyal Gutman and I attended the school for a short period in 1976/7. Forth form
I believe. unique experiences... Back in Israel now... would be great if you
could add my details to the list. Will check the Attic for some school memorabilia
and send over if found.
Regards Eyal egutman<at>brack-capital.com
16th November 2016
- I'm an FP from T&C too. Please ad me to the list too. It was 1969 to 1971.
Thanks Callum Moy
Callum Moy 07825
15h November 2016
to you from a little village in Catalonia, where I retired 15
better to do this afternoon, it suddenly struck me that I
might conceivably find T&G on the web. I've been very interested in what
I've found, not least your labour of love putting the record together.
I was at
the school before you were born. We had been living in
Buckingham during the war, as my father was working at Bletchley Park.
Then, I guess in 1946, we moved to London and went to live with my
grandmother at 29 Downside Crescent, just on the other side of
I must have been at the school, in Eton Avenue, for the year
1945/6, i.e. when I was 5/6. But my recollections are extremely hazy.
All I know is that I persuaded my parents to take me away because I
thought I wasn't being tauight enough - I take it that the school didn't
believe in pushing pupils. Anyhow, I then went on to a tiny school in
Lyndhurst Road, run by an old lady who had taught an aunt of mine many
years before, and I ended up at New End School, where I took the 11+ and
got into the City of London School. From there I went to Oxford and did
French and Spanish.
although my memories of T&G are extremely misty, you now at
least have another name to add to your list.
15th November 2016
Thanks for writing Henry. There are some others from your era who have been
in contact too
At the age of 6 you persuaded your parents to take you away because you thought
you were not being tauight enough? Wow you must have been a very discerning
six year old!!
Found - House in East Sussex
We recently found this letter when we had some work done to our bathroom ceiling,
unfortunately I am unable to provide you any names but thought that you might
be interested in reading it.
If you find out any information on it we would be very interested in hearing
2nd September 2016
What a curious puzzle! Does any ex-T&Cer have any clues as to who sent this
and to whom? There are very few clues, and no date. The Heading "From the
Headmaster" suggests pre 1960????
Does the name read 'Karin' perhaps this jogs your memory?
I attended SMTCS in 61/62, I think.
I was the kid
from Bermuda. Memorable days in Swiss Cottage.
Remember Kathy Evans (father
worked at CAN embassy), Morrow, Ridgeway and Graves.
Many memories for this
island boy including different school shoes for inside and out.
Malcolm Kirkland malcolmkirkland<at>gmail.com
21st April 2016
Are you OK?
The school Website seems to have gone very quiet for quite some time,
Here are my recently discovered (abysmal!) T
& C school term reports which you may find amusing.....
I went to T&C after being expelled from Sussex House Prep School in Chelsea,was
then expelled from T&C,
then went to Millfield boarding school in Somerset where I was also expelled....
an eventful school career you could say!! I remember reading something on the
website about how Mr.Neville (who I always thought a creep)
changed his name from Myerscough because of some newspaper headline sex scandal......
I wasn`t able to find on the website any precise details,
but would be fascinated to know what happened (!!?)
30th March 2016
My knowledge of the Myerscogh scandal is very limited, being an innocent 12
year old at the time, though I recall him visibly squirming when I directly
asked him why on earth he had changed his name - The reason he gave me was "Children
didn't know how to spell my old name" his nose turning a shade of purple
as it always did when stressed or angry. From that time onwards, he would always wear sunglasses when out and about, such as attending swimming or football on Regents Park, making him look somewhat like a spy.
I have given an exclusive page for your
T&C reports, Michael, thanks for being so cool about publishing
this blemish on your otherwise perfect childhood.
I am not sure
when I first attended but I left in 1950 I believe.
I went to Holloway Grammar School then Chelsea School of Art
And then The British School at Rome
I now live in Brooklyn NY City and Pittsburgh PA.
Edmund Tillotson ,
I maintain a web site under this name with additional information
4th February 1916
Just a note to let you know my email has changed.
I'm now akawoody<at>hotmail.co.uk
I have emailed you several times in the last few years requesting my name to
be added to the list of old girls, but for some reason my name never seems to
appear on the alumni! Please can you enter me under my maiden name when you
next update the list:
I went to put your name in, and voila! You were in there all along Undine, under
I was at St Marys Town and Country between 1959 and 1963 and my older sister,
Susan Palmer, and my two younger siblings Alexandra (Nan) Palmer and Christopher
Palmer were also there. I love your website which I just discovered, and it
brought floods of memories, those assemblies, choir with Mr Myerscough and Hedgerley
Wood. I went to Camden School for A levels but did my Os there.
Please add me to your mailing list if you organise any reunions. I live in Australia
but would definitely come back for one.
I was friends with Sabina Grimes. Also Pam Davies, Jamie Boyd, son or Arthur
Boyd, was there with me, and also a descendant of Augustus Johns, I think her
name was Fenella Johns - she was extremely gorgeous.
My little sister was friends with Madeline Tringham and my propther was friends
with a Piper kid, can't remember the name.
Also my best friend was Judy Johnson who was a ballet student and I believe
she went on to do ballet. She took me on a ban the baomb march - we all used
to wear the logo on a badge on our blazer lapels.
I have written a memoir of St Mary's, attached as a word doco, and I would love
you to put it on the blog.
Reina and I both played guitar and sang - in harmony. It was fun.
I have enjoyed looking at the photos and reading about the school. It's a great
|I was at St Mary's Town and
Country School from 1959 to 1964, from aged ten to fifteen. I was Patti
Palmer then; now I am called Patsy and my (married) surname is Short. I
started in Miss Bunting's class, which was my last year of primary, and
then moved to the senior school and took my O Levels there in 1964. Then
I went to Camden School for Girls for my A Levels. Sometime during my time
there Mr Myerscough announced in Assembly that he was no longer Edward Myerscough
- as of now he was Philip Neville. I'd love to know the story behind that
I have happy memories of Town and Country. They include:
Miss Bunting playing us the
BBC Music programme for schools, introducing us to Benjamin Britten's
music (The Little Sweep, Peter Grimes, St Nicholas)
Going to Kenwood House for
the afternoon when sport grounds were too wet
French without Reading because
Mr Myerscough was so charismatic
Choir because Mr Myerscough
was so charismatic and Mr Nash was great
Performing at the Rudolf Steiner
Hall - a beautiful building
Creative writing with Jean
Bennett and Mr Cheetham
History with a gorgeous little
female teacher from Cambridge
Singing and playing guitar
with Reina James - we did some Peter Paul and Mary repertoire such as
Five Hundred Miles
Students I remember: Judy Johnson took me on Ban the Bomb marches, Reina
James, sang with me, Giles Thomas (older brother of Joshus Thomas), Julian
Rothenstein, Sabina Grimes collected Victorian military artifacts when
she was 12, Ben Trisk took me to see Judgement at Nurenburg, Pam Davies,
Fenella Johns and Peter Sengupta.
Two Mr Myerscough/Neville memories:
Mr Myerscough was a wonderful raconteur and we loved to get him telling
us stories. He told us this one about his childhood. As a child Mr M/N
lived in France near where the aged Matisse lived. One day he was taken
to visit Matisse. Matisse sat in a wheelchair in the garden and appeared
frail. However, he had a long pole with a piece of chalk attached to the
end, and he suddenly turned his wheelchair to the house and with the chalk
drew on the wall of the house. Instantly there was a a horse rearing up.
The drawing was huge, and Mr Myerscough was transfixed.
I also remember the prayer Mr Myerscough used to say in Assembly. I am
not religious at all, but it is a nice prayer and has stayed in my mind:
Almighty God who in thy infinite mercy has brought us to the beginning
of this new day, give us the grace to use it for thy greater glory, for
the good of our neighbor, and for our own advancement in the life of the
spirit. [May the inner and outer man be at one]
A huge thanks to Norman for
setting up this site which has brought back waves of happy memories
as well as serving as a contact point. I am definitely planning to come
to a reunion sometime.
Patsy (Patty Palmer)
Patricia Short - firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia - September 23rd 2014
Note from Norman:
Thanks for your email Patti. I took the liberty of adding in the last part of
the prayer which Mr Myerscough/Neville may have included later.
Regarding Myerscough's change of name, which suprised us all (as did the sudden
appearance of his toupé!). To his apparent discomfort, I asked him the question
"why?" directly, his explanation was an unconvincing "Because the
children do not know how to spell it". The real reason being an exposé in a
tabloid newspaper, explained in more detail elsewhere in these pages.
I went to school at Town & country from approx 1973 to 1978
Please tell me how I would put my contact details on your website.
My email address is email@example.com thank you so much
laura Stechler - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - June 19th 2014
It seems there
was an equivalent sort of kind of school in New York!
Some contact or influence must have taken place because we were also called “ones”,
”twos”, “threes”, etc
"City and Country: The school where it all began for me"
What does anyone else think? Stefany Tomalin
Stefany Tomalin - email@example.com
UK - June 15th 2014
A bottle of red wine and a re-visit to your amazing work that is the Town and
Country School website.
For no other reason than it's not me, the picture of me with Peter Frieth ( Art
Teacher ) is not me!
Great work of love that you've put together
Norman, it is a resource both of happy times and a group of lovely people.
XX I remain a friend but not the one in your picture!
Matthew Rees - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - May 14th 2014
Hi there Norman
Your email below was forwarded to me by a close neighbour, Peter Fraenkel, who
wondered if I might be interested in attending the reunion. Believe it or not,
we discovered some time ago at a neighbourhood party that we had both been at
St Mary’s T&C, although his stay had been brief and he had left before I had
joined. One of life’s coincidences – we now live across the road from each other!
It has finally galvanised me into action! I discovered your marvellous site
some time ago when my daughter told me to look myself up on google – and there
I was gazing back at myself through the years. Very odd feeling!
I was at T&C from around 1953 until scraping through ‘O’ levels at the age of
15 and going on to A Level college with Reina James. I knew it as a boarder,
then a weekly boarder and finally a ‘day girl’. A time full of memories, stories
and friends. Much rummaging may yet produce a couple of photos for your albums
– I think I might even have one of 6 year olds in a ‘music and movement’ class!
What an extraordinary place it was, sometimes quite wonderful. It certainly
had its ups and downs – like any schooling experience surely. Looking back I
believe we were very privileged to have been there when we were. Not because
it was necessarily the best place for high academic achievement and I’m sure
it may not have suited everyone, although I don’t think many people suffered
too much in the long term. But because of the rich tapestry it introduced us
to - people, places, beliefs, cultures, the arts ( a little limited on the sciences!),
the tactile and the intangible, dreams and possibilities. It may not always
have taught me what to learn, but it did teach me to want to learn and for that
I’ve always been grateful.
Anyway, enough waffle! Do please put me down as an interested possibility for
the reunion. Re availability - Sunday is probably the best day for me as we
often work on Saturdays (family business now!). August is pretty clear at the
moment but I’m guessing that, with summer holidays still in the equation, October
will be an easier month for meeting. So 5th, 19th or 26th October would be great
Fingers crossed, I hope to see some old friends and share some new stories!
All the best and I look forward to meeting you.
Juliet (Glaister) Ealing, West London
Julier Glaister - email@example.com
UK - February 25th 2014
Note from Norman:
Thanks for your email Juliet. As you have probably seen, although there was
interest in a reunion at Hedgerley, it was not of enough size to go ahead this
year. I will see if more interest is shown in the coming years, as long as the
offer is still open from Anuradha and Peter
Well done for keeping up with us, your tenacity is admirable. I can still see
the undulating woodland with the tall trees shutting out all the light so that
nothing else grew, and 'feel' of those triangular beech nuts. I dived into the
not-quite-freezing swimming pool one day. There was a frog at the bottom of the
pool and for some reason I seem to remember diving in to save it… I can't believe
I thought it was drowning, even I wasn't that dumb. There must have been what
passed for a good reason though - perhaps we'll never know. It was also the only
place where I know I sleepwalked. I went to bed on the last night and, while still
asleep, got up went to what must have been a midnight feast (we did do that didn't
we?) and then went back to bed. The next day I could not remember anything about
the night before until it was described to me several times. Gradually it came
back to me but I thought it had been a dream.
I wish I relished the idea of a reunion, but the thought gives me a mild feeling
of dread. As you may remember from previous emails I hated T&C, not all of it
to be sure, but certainly anything to do with what today we would call the Senior
Having said that, I did make some friends, though I haven't seen any of them for
decades. And I remember the matronly teachers from my very young days with some
affection. The name Mrs Warmsley comes to mind, I mean, anyone who can knit at
high speed and teach a class at the same time can't be all bad. I sometimes think
OFSTED is inspecting the wrong aspects of the modern education system.
Anyway, it is clear that I have too much time on my hands so I'll get to the point.
I may be able to come if it does not clash with a working weekend. But I only
really want to come if there are any people that I remember with anything other
than despair on the list of attendees. The reason I am mentioning this is that
it occurred to me that others may feel the same way (not my whole jaundiced view,
just the bit about seeing people they want to see). Apart from your good self,
I can only name two people, Madjid (who I think lives in South America) and Sarah
Berman. There are probably more - so yes, put me on the list but don't be too
surprised if I bale out at the last minute. I don't suppose this is much good
in terms of making a reservation… is it?
I saw The Boat that Rocked a little while ago and thought of you. [Norman's
note: Oh Dear! I wish you hadn't! - I hated the film since it completely misrepresented
the true story, a missed opportunity really - though I don't mean to sound grumpy
Richard 'Not as miserable as he sounds' Paul-Jones
Richard Paul-Jones - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - February 14th 2014
I am Lillian, Harry Trigg is my brother. He was just telling me about the
possibility of a reunion this year. Definitely count me in. It does not
matter when as I am retired.
I have attached a picture of me, but I look very much different from 50
years (yikes 50???) ago.
Please let me know if you need any money for a deposit and also I would
be interested in places to stay over the weekend as I think Harry and I
will look into Hellfire Caves again.
Funny, I remember picking gooseberries in the woods. Good memories.
Did you know that I jumped from the roof into the pool. Got confined to
quarters for that one ;)
Looking forward to hearing from you and also I will contact Martin Bridger,
George Haller, and Richard Weiner and let them know.
Toodles for now Lillian in Victoria BC Canada
Lillian Trigg - email@example.com
Canada - February 1st 2014
I'm Paul Barton's sister. I also went to the Town and Country school but don't
remember the people you've mentioned, probably because I was in a younger class.
I only went to Hedgerley Wood once and again, have only hazy memories of it.
I would love to come to a reunion whether it's in London or Hedgerley Wood. I
live in Haywards Heath at present but will be moving to Suffolk in August. Are
Regards, Claire Duncan (nee Barton) Sent from my iPad
Claire Duncan - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - January 31st 2014
I'm sorry we haven't spoken in some time but I would like to tell you how excited
I am about your proposal.
I am, as it happens living in Lincoln at the moment but I have to go back to Vancouver
next week and try to sort out some immigration issues that I neglected to tie
up before coming over in October. I've made my life even more complicated than
it usually is and I've only myself to blame. My wife however will stay here to
continue looking after her mother who is getting on in years and needs some help.
Assuming a number of things like that I can come back here on a full time basis,
that I can get a job and that if I get a job, I can get the time off, then count
me in for at least a day.
I would be curious to know who from the years 1959 to 1962 might also be interested.
I was contacted by Alison Tudor-Hart some time ago, back when I was in Canada.
I promised to call her if I came over and we could have a coffee and a chat together.
Moving here however has been somewhat arduous and I've spent much less time in
London than I would like to have done.
I know how time consuming all the work you do on our behalf must be. Please understand
that I don't expect a personal missive back. I enjoyed the information you just
sent and will happily wait for anything further. I will contact Alison in the
Thank you once more for all your efforts.
Regards Harry Trigg.
I am also on email@example.com I think my iPod responds to both addresses.
Sent from my iPod
Harry Trigg - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK or Vancouver - January 30th 2014
I might be able to make it, although the chances are less than 50%. The problem
is that I'm in the USA and have some travel scheduled round about then. I am
definitely unavailable August 30/31. For what it's worth, September might be
a bit less touristy and cheaper than August for those of us flying across the
pond. However, please don't take this much into account because the chances
I will make it are somewhat slim.
I was just in the UK giving some talks Nov 1-11, 2013, and while in London I
met up with two of my T&C classmates, Mike Baess and Shafique Omar, at The Stag
in Hampstead . Mike and I were in 4th form in 1970-71; Sheff was in 3rd form.
We were good buddies that year and it felt so easy and natural hanging out with
them that it felt like 40 days rather than 40 years had passed.
I had walked past the old school a few days before meeting up with Mike and
and discovered that it's been converted into condos (if I indeed have the right
Photos attached! Is the new glassy area where the old catwalk was between buildings?
I remember the catwalk being to the right of the main building when you faced
it, whereas the new glassy area appears to be to the left of the main building.
Best wishes, Jim
James McGuire - email@example.com
USA - January 30th 2014
Yes there was an open catwalk between no 38 and 40 where we would sometimes
loiter, which is now a grand glass entrance. Perhaps your confusion stems from
your thinking of it, from the perspective of the junior school (40) rather than
from the senior (38)?]
i was at hull art college with arabella aphrodite seeds its lovely to see some
photos of her she was an amazing one off original person
i miss her a great deal and last talked to her on the phone in 1984 before she
died when she was living in starston with i think a classical guitarist.
i last saw her a decade earlier when she appeared briefly and unexpectedly on
the way to a civil war? re enactment and was looking forward to being thrown in
a ditch and ravished by a cavalier.
best wishes marion gillett
Marion Gillett - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - November 30th 2013
Please could you
put my name and email address on your website Alumni pages so I may be contacted?
I was there 1975/76.
Regards, Michael Hollamby
Michael Hollamby - email@example.com
UK - November 1st 2013
Su Lewis (Susan Lewis - on list!)
Su Lewis - SLewis8287@aol.com
UK - May 10th 2013
Very warm greetings to you from here on the Spanish Costa Blanca where I have
recently discovered your website all about the Town and Country School. I am
friends on Facebook with another former pupil called Gregory Matoorah and he
mentioned the school there, where I then found a link to your excellent website.
I was a pupil at the school from 1977 until 1980 and I then left to attend two
local tutorial colleges until I reached 16, followed by a college in Shoreditch
and later a university degree at the old City of London Polytechnic. In 1980
the school was heading downhill and that is why I was moved away. I lived with
my parents from late 1976 until 1996 in Belsize Park so I used to walk to school.
The science lab mentioned in Glenloch Road was very close to my former home.
As I lived in the area I saw the school close and then the conversion into apartments
that are mentioned on the website. These days apartments like that can go for
around one million pounds - madness!
The old school magazine posted on the website was fun to see as I contributed
to it - the article about actor Richard Wilson was my work. I interviewed him
as he then lived in Tudor Close which was my home road. At that time he starred
in Only When I Laugh and his later fame as Victor Meldew was still years in
the future. I have his book on my bookshelves here in Spain which I read a few
years ago, and only last month I watched some of his old performances in Only
When I Laugh. I also recall interviewing the actor Richard Barkworth for the
school magazine. He lived in Hampstead. My Mother contributed the advert for
her old employer (an optician in Belsize Park) mentioned in the magazine.
[Norman's Note: This
neighbourhood is very familiar to me and my contemporaries too, because 36 Glenloch
Road was the boarding house during my time, (I recall the elegant entrance to
Tudor Close). Every day, regardless of weather and including the London smogs
which still occured in the early sixties, we walked to and from the school via
Glenilla Road, Belsize Park Gardens, Lambolle Place to Eton Avenue, so the location
is etched on my mind.]
I do not really remember many old pupils although seeing the old magazine reminded
me about boys called Ian, Hiro from Japan, Chris and Jonathan. I remember that
Chris lived in Kentish Town and I once worked with Ian doing gardening a few
years after leaving the school! I seem to remember having a fight in Eton Avenue
with Jonathan which I won - my only other fight was then against a mugger in
the mid 1980"s in a dark side street in Peckham! As to teachers I also recall
Mr. Neville and the German teacher Mr. Griffiths who was an ex Army man - a
bit like the officers you see in comedies like It Ain't Half Hot Mum! I also
recall a French teacher who was forced to leave the school when some pupils
apparently found a gay porn magazine in his briefcase! Mrs. Paul was certainly
very eccentric by that stage and there were stories told that young children
were told by her to be good or they would be kidnapped by aliens!
Please do feel free to include my contact details in your database and you can
certainly post this message on the school guestbook if you like. I would also
be interested in any old school reunions held next Summer although if I am back
in England it may be during next Autumn and Winter, and I might well be back
here amongst the orange trees by the sea in the Summer months.
Many thanks for putting together this very enjoyable and interesting website
which I will read with interest as it expands in the future. Hope to meet you
and some other ex pupils in the future face to face, and in the meantime do
feel free to join my network of friends and contacts on Facebook and Linked
In if you are registered there.
All the very best from Spain.
Marc Leggett -firstname.lastname@example.org
Spain. - July 7th 2013
I was a pupil at the T&C during the mid 50's. Names I can remember are Miss
Green, my Canadian class teacher (she who taught me to write), Monsieur Prusteau
(he of the nicotene stained fingers and motor scooter), Mrs (or was it Miss)
Walmesley, and, of course, Mrs. Paul. As for pupils I can remember Alison Tudor-Heart,
and (my best friend of the time) Ronald Almaroth. You can see Ronnie and I sitting
in directly in front of the fire in one of Alison Tudor-Heart's pictures of
Hedgerly Wood. I have some photos of (I think) a sixth birthday party held at
my home, and all my friends sitting round the tea table are undoubtedly T&C
I wish I had stayed on at the school. However, I left in July '57 and in the
Autumn started at a Prep School - all last names and "Sir" for the teachers
- and where I was not nearly so happy.
Thank you for the website - it certainly brings back memories!
All the best,
Jonathan Weiss -
UK - July 1st 2013
Attached to this email is a .zip file ("SMTC1971Photos.zip") of photos
taken in 1971 by Steve McGuire, who was in the 1st Form during the 1970-1971
Feel free to post as a Gallery on the site! It's great to hear that there will
be a reunion in the summer of 2014; I will do my best to join you but am not
sure. Actually, I'll be coming to London in early November 2013 to give some
talks at King's College, Oxford, and East Anglia (I'm a political scientist
specializing in Latin America).
Mike Baess and I are likely to head for a pub, likely the Sir Richard Steele
on Haverstock Hill, either the weekend of Nov 2/3 or the weekend of Nov 9/10,
so if you or any other of the T & C family would like to join us, that would
We are going to try to roust out Sheff Omar at least, and I think Mike is in
touch with Sharon Pinsker.
The McGuire family moved in the summer of 1970 from San Diego to London for
a year when Bill McGuire (our Dad) had an appointment at the London School of
Economics. We returned to New Haven, Connecticut in the summer of 1971. The
three McGuire kids attended T & C for one year (1970-71) and got right to work
making mischief with the other perpetrators. We are Steve McGuire (1st form
in 1970-71), Anne McGuire (3rd Form), and Jim McGuire (4th Form).
The attached photos are of the same vintage as many (not all) of the photos
in Sharon Pinsker's Gallery 18. A picture of Steve McGuire is among the ones
in the attached .zip file. A picture of Jim McGuire is in Sharon's Gallery 18.
It's the second-to-last picture in the Gallery.
Although the photos in the attached .zip file have "Sep 1971" in the margin,
September 1971 is the month in which they were developed, not taken. By September
1971 the McGuires had already returned to the USA. I think they were taken in
May 1971 or thereabouts, but it might have been earlier in the year. I scanned
them a few months ago and ran them by Mike Baess (we tried to figure out who
was in which). Our conclusions are listed below.
Cheers, Jim McGuire
Jim McGuire - email@example.com
Wesleyan University Middletown, CT, USA - May 21st 2013
Jim has sent several photos, but since there is not enough room within this
guestbook for all the images he has provided, I have linked his comments to
photo gallery 21
Wonderful website - brings back so many memories. Think I was there around 65/68.
Same class as Sharon Fox & Diana Lock. I am still in touch with Sharon but
if anyone else from our class wants to get in touch I'm happy for you to pass
on my email address.
Su Lewis (Susan Lewis - on list!)
Su Lewis - SLewis8287@aol.com
UK - May 10th 2013
I hope you are
well, and thank you for the marvellous website which I still look at from time
more photos of St Mary's pupils and
staff from 1947-1948, at Stanford Hall, sent to me by Michael K. Hall, who does
not have email.
Michael was a friend of mine at Stanford Hall, and contacted me earlier this
year. He lives near Pembroke in Wales.
He sent me a long letter and said to put the photos up on the website. The people
are named in the file names.
I remember them all except for Wendy Burk. I shall send you more, paintings
by Michael. Mr (Leslie) Fairchild was an influential and popular member of staff
at the time - I remember he introduced school sports and cricket.
see that Anthony Roland (Tony to me) from the same era is now on the Wikipedia
everybody there except Wendy Burk, who was Michael's girlfriend. Twinkle the
pony is there - my sister Val sent you some photos of her already. Sally Walker
and Tony Roland were friends of mine. There is Zuleika Dobson (named after the
character in Max Beerbohm's book, no doubt), and Henry Hartley, and John Cameron,
and Mr Fairchild.
I am in contact with Tony (Anthony Roland) right now, building up a Wikipedia
entry for him on the web (see). He lives in Battle, Sussex. He has done extraordinary
and important work with his films on art. He sent me a pack of copies of newspaper
John Morrison - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - April 21st & May 5th 2013
John has sent several letters, but since there is not enough room within this
guestbook for all the images he has provided, I have linked his comments to
a Picture Gallery 20 all photos are there
I'm so delighted to find your website.
My name is Yumiko Ishida (Sasaki) and I was at school from 1969 to 1970.
So short time, but I still have a lots of wonderful memories.
Everybody was so nice to me while I just came from Japan and could hardly speak
I remember Pola, Amonda, Adriana, Gail (I read her mail on your website), and
I can remember unique science teacher(sorry, forgot the name)
Also, there are three Japanese girls,Yumiko, Makiko, Mari, are still my friends
Yumiko Sasaki - email@example.com
Japan - March 17th 2013
Is there going
to be another Town & Country School reunion, in the not too distant future?
is going well for you.
All the Best,
Biba Ashmore - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - February 20th 2013
Hi Biba, I am looking at the possibility of special reunion in 2014 - watch
out for more news on this idea and why I call it special!
This is Demetri Belegris 1966 and again 1970-74, played goalkeeper against Harewood
house when we won 2-0 with Mike Baes
Have been on the site and all I can say is Great Job !!.
I saw you
had reunions - I missed them all sadly, as I now live in Athens, but would like
to know if another is planned for 2013.
let me know if and when the next one is planned (hopefully July as August is
difficult with work) as i will make every effort to attend.
the good work
UK - November 17th, 2012
I've just been through all the photo galleries and haven't found my year; we
were Adrienne Ball, Sharon Fox, Peter Lucas, Stephanie Knapp and myself Ruth
(then) Bradley - any ideas where to look for photos?
By the way, I
think I was there from 1965 or 6 until 1967
Ruth Novaczek - email@example.com
UK - October 25th, 2012
Dear Mr. Norman
Yesterday I send you 17 pictures from 1974 by e-mail,
did it succeed ?
thanks Kumiko, they can be all found in Gallery 19]
I wrote my friends name too. I always thank you about what you did for us.
Thank you so much !
Have a nice day !
Kumiko Takahashi - firstname.lastname@example.org
Japan - August 31st, 2012
Acount of 11 year old Michael Kay Hall's attendence at
ST MARY'S SCHOOL, STANFORD PARK, NR RUGBY, LEICS. between 1948 & 1951.
In 1948 Dad took me in his old Morris 10 through the mediaeval village of Swinford
and 2 miles further east along the edge of the vast Stanford Park abundent with
oaks, elms, ash etc in completely unspoiled, beautiful countryside. Then left
through the gigantic wrought iron gates, up the long south gravel drive directly
towards the imposing, grand Stanford Hall, a C16 mediaeval mansion, previously
home of Lord Bray and the Cave family, rich in pre-reformation history, priest
escapes, tunnels etc. Then left through the gigantic wrought iron gateds, up
one of many long south gravel drives directly toeards the imposing Hall. Four
storeys high, tall windows, double external ballustraded stairways, gravel sweeps,
avenues of elms in all directions, serpentine to one side, river, lake and islands
to the other.
Then right, infront of the mansion towards the impressive stable and administrative
block-quadrangle and beneath one of two impressive entrance archways into the
cobbled courtyard. The sound of rooks cawing, and water birds, coots,duck etc.
This was the classroom and boys' dormitory block. Also stables, workshops,gym
Across the gravel sweep into the Hall, along long wooden passages,tall ceilings,
grandeur, chandeliers, oak library, ballroom- the lot! The kitchens, laundry
in basement, dining room and heads' accomodation, ballroom etc on first floor,
girls' dormitories above.
The headmistress, Mrs Elizabeth Paul (EP) and headmaster Mr 'Higgy' Paul showed
us into the principal east living rooms overlooking the serpentine and vast
parkland/ estate, forests etc. grazed by sheep and their riding ponies.
Mum and Dad were obveously most impressed; Mum's family's progressive ideas
obveously satisfied, co-ed,11-18year old's,languages, art, mucic, riding scouts,
swimming, fishing, no corporal punishment (non-co-operatives just expelled.)
Visiting music, art and therapy experts from London (where they ran another
EP showed us a gigantic stack of most impressive pupils' paintings in powder
paints. (I managed to retrieve mine before I left in 1951).
My terror, sadness and wrench when Mum and Dad dropped off my wooden tuck box
(containing whole cakes in tins and other goodies which my dozen dormitory mates
shared on special occasions),my striped horse-blanket, a pile of Illustrated
London News and my fawn cloth suitcase -was terrible.
I loved the sight of that old Morris 10 as it came and went along that long
drive, most half terms, collections and deliveries during school holidays.
Then started very sincere friendships- we were all part of an enlarged family,
together all the time. My stammer didn't last long under those circumstances.
Too much going on. The staff, especially Jean Bennet, Len Fairchild and Higgy
were firm kind, caring and to the best of their ability, gave us the broadest
education possible. There were obveously many underlying problems with some
of the children. A fairly large proportion were Jewish. (I was most interested
to read the early history of St Mary's.)
EP appeared to be Middle-Eastern, probably Jewish, Black hair, vaselined face,
capable of sternness but could smile attractively. Fairly well covered, tall
and buxom. Apparently French accent, fluent therein and German. Was she a French
Jew who had escaped ? Reportedly she ran a school in Berlin before the war..
Higgy was German, diminuitive, handsome, cultured, composed piano music, pronounced
facial features, furrows, very sharp deep-set eyes. Lacked confidence. Kind
and humourous. Loved telling us Greek mythology in German lessons. I wish I
knew what happened to them.
Jean Bennett was Mother to us all, oversaw matron (who looked after the girls
in the main Hall - a charming Lady, local with a broad accent) and dealt with
domestic matters overall. She was tall, upright, smoked like a chimney, sharp
as a razor, copiously capacious in her ability to listen, sort out childrens'
problems, firm when green soaping our scalps to remove the nits, and concerned
when we were in the sick bay. She had a modest room in the stable block where
we boys were. It stank of her Cairn terrier which was usually beneath her left
arm on 'patrol' telling us to turn off "Dick Barton, special agent !" when it
finished after lights out at 8.30' ish.
My first girl friend, Sally Walker- then Wendy Burk (daughter of the American
Ambassador) were my first intense romances; Evelyn Masson-Forrestier was a very
special fried, she was a fantastic horse-rider and we climbed elm trees together..
On Sunday evenings Harry Walker from Swinford taught us old-time etc dancing
in the lavish ballroom from gramaphone records, which was most romantic.
Len Fairchild took us for workshop, scouts, boxing, gym - I think Maths etc.
Special friends were John Cameron, Robert Bacharach, Elon Salmon, Heinz Hertsberg
(Henry Hartley) and many more (I have in an old address book, also photo's.)
Sad, it is to know that we are all old now. (most of this was written 20 years
ago.) I attended one reunion at Ann Fry's in London; it disappointed me because
we had all moved on..
We were privileged to have lived in such a beautiful and tranquil place under
such circumstances; our experiences were endless and provided us with an enviable
broad, if not academic 'education' in a family atmosphere of about 65 pupils
I have often concluded that deprived children particularly would greatly benefit
from such Institutions.
I would love to hear from any old friends.
Michael Kay Hall
Michael Kay Hall
- c/o:- email@example.com
UK - August 27th, 2012
[Norman's Note] Michael, thanks for taking the trouble to send us such a
long interesting account of your experiences, I agree a lot of time has passed
us by yet although I started at the school ten years later than you, I also
remember the smell of Jean Bennet's little dog, Peter! If you search you will
find a photo of him, yet I will not try to respond to your questions directly,
but the answers, especially about Mrs Paul, and Higgy, can be found within these
pages, if you are prepared to search, best starting point is HERE
I was a pupil at Town & Country from 1966 -1973
My name was Gail Castle
I went down memory lane last night looking at all the old faces and names from
my school days . I live in France thankfully I don't have French without reading
I use to hate that class Mr Neville use to scare me half to death. Were you
at school with Janet Goldsmith ? She is a cousin of mine I haven't seen her
for years . Seeing the photos of all my old class mates is really very nostalgic
Unfortunately I don't have any old photos but I do remember the teachers and
all children in the photos Sharon Pinsker sent in ,she was my best friend at
school. Are you in contact with anyone ?
I would love to get in contact with Jenny Williams, Anne Whiteman, Sabrina Crewe
and Sharon Pinsker I now live in Paris and can be contacted on my gailraibin
hotmail address. I hope to hear from you.
Sent from my iPad
Gail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Paris - August 23rd, 2012
[Norman's Note] . I have responded to you directly, and this posting may
also bring results
I am Gail's sister, and I have been trying to find away to find people Gail
and I went to T & C School with for years .
Gail lives in Paris and I live in LA .
She emailed me before to tell me about this amazing website of memory lane.
It was more a holiday camp than school. I would so love to get in touch with
some people. I remember Mike Baess giving me the song Have you Seen Her
when i said the relationship was over age 11.
It has been really great reading the various stories from those years . Years
later i did the interiors for one of the apts there which was partly the assembly
room . Please email me at the above if you get a spare minute
Dawn Castle - email@example.com
LA USA- August 24th, 2012
[Norman's Note] Dawn I have replied to your questions directly, thanks for
we are now the very happy owners of Flat 8 - the apartment in 38-40 Eton Ave
which includes the round porthole window.
At our recent building garden party someone spoke of the history of the school
so I have been reading it with fascination.
I am so pleased that Paul Robison had children at this school - if indeed the
Paul Robeson you write about is the same one - the American Opera Singer. He
was an extraordinary man...and was the first person to sing at the Sydney Opera
House - to the workers on the site as it was being built...I am from Sydney
so there is a sort of symmetry about my living here.
It is a wonderful building with gorgeous gardens and a lovely group of residents.
While the Pauls' may be sad that it is no longer a school, they would be like
the current residents I think. Thank you so much for creating this website...
the wonders of the internet!!
Can anyone tell me why there is a round window in our apartment? What was that
area that it had this round window I often wonder?
Julie Taylor Mills
Julie Taylor Mills
NW3 - May 29th, 2012
[Norman's Note] Julie, I can confirm that the Paul Robeson refered to in
Priscilla Wilder's account is indeed the famous singer, one of so many famous
people of every field of art, whose children went to that remarkable school.
Now I wonder if there are any architechtural experts who can answer your question
regarding the curious porthole windows that feature in number 38. Certainly
the top floor would have housed the domestics in Victorian days. Perhaps the
porthole was one of their windows? Actually aren't there two of differing sizes
up there? During my time, the servant bells were still in place on each side
on every fireplace, with the fully working wood and glass bell and indicator
box in the basement kitchen.
Personally, I was always fascinated by the alcove at ground level in the room
to the right of the main door of number 38 as you face it from the street, which
in our day was the music/assembly room. It actually protrudes on the outside,
and can be seen in the alley that is formed between No 38 and No 36. The Football
team photograph is taken inside this alcove which can be seen if you wind down
the guestbook to an email dated November 26, 2007 by clicking
Thanks for taking the trouble to write in, please consider yourself an honorary
member of the school!
Hi, I was fascinated
to see your comprehensive list of pupils at t & c.
I'm listed as Ruth Bradley, and I'm now known as Ruth Novaczek, please add this
to the details and I hope more ex-students will add to the details of this amazing
ruth novaczek - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK -April 19th, 2012
What fun! I was
at the school for a year in 1965 when my father was taking a course.
I came from Ottawa, which seemed the dullest place in the world after a year
I remember some of the names and, as it seems to have done for everyone, memories
flooded back upon visiting your site.
The year was the most memorable year in my education, in and out of school.
Didn't you go on the trip to Tangier, Madeira and Vigo?
I also remember a day trip to Caen, field hockey and football next to the zoo
and semolina with rosehip syrup or something equally foreign to a Canadian.
Janet Milligan -
Toronto Canada -April 7th, 2012
Janet, It's a delight to hear from you, which I am sure is echoed by many visitors
to this page. Yes I was also on that extraordinary cruise to Madeira, Tangier
& Vigo onboard the MV Devonia back in April of 1965. I have long lost the
'log book' we each had to keep, but still have some of the trinkets bought on
the quayside in Tangier.
I am still amazed to this day, that as a naïve 13 year old, I was allowed
to wonder through the alleys and kasbah of Tangier totally unaccompanied, with
only the instructions to return to the ship before it left port!
Regarding the trip to Caen, (are you sure it wasn't Boulogne?) the idea was
partly to teach us about french cuisine, yet we were served a selection of german
sausages and Mr Neville was not at all pleased which he made clear to the restaurant
in question, though we did all get to drink wine. I am sure John O'Sullivan
will not mind me telling the story of how he considerately had bought his father
a bottle of dutyfree whisky. On the return trip, I noticed it was only half
full, and suggested to him that it was hardly the done thing to give someone
a half drunk bottle. Every resouceful, he finished off the rest, though was
in need of assistance, on reaching british soil once again.
Of course criticism of school food is a universal phenomenon, though the Town
& Country offerings, take some beating! - (sorry Anne!). Your recollection
of semolina and rosehip syrup does the food more justice than deserved. I recall
that the 'syrup' was actually the cheapest jam you could possibly buy, namely
Mitre Brand 'mixed fruit jam' a product marketed by Kearley & Tongue a very
down-market catering supplier who was responsible for much of T&Cs food
inventory, including the most appallingly pathetic sausages I have ever encountered!
Still we survived to tell the tale. Hey my comments have turned out longer than
your initial email, so If you have any photos, memorabilia or stories of your
time at Eton Avenue, even if they evoke some of the more gruesome memories such
as mentioned, do send them, this massive page of contributions really does captures
the spirit of the place.]
How exciting, I have been walking down memory lane since my dear friend Anna,
told me about your site!
I noticed the entry by Amanda adding her friend Deborah.
My gosh, these
lovely girls were my class mates and I remember their cute faces like it was
Other names, Jenny, Alison, Jim, of course there are more.
I will find some photo's to post...stay tuned! My heart longs for those sweet
Connie Russell -
UK -April 3rd, 2012
Love your website
about the Town & Country School.
is the school magazine from about May/June 1980
can add to the site if you like.
mention my name however.
UK -March 11th, 2012
Many thanks for an engrossing site and all the work you’ve put into it.
It has been fascinating to read the stories of those who attended this unusual
In particular to read about some of those long remembered names, now beginning
to slip from memory.
Thanks for the jog.
My brother and I were at Town and Country school from 1961 to 1964 and have rich
memories of the place.
We were interviewed by Mrs Paul or more accurately interrogated by her to see
if we were up to standard, psychologically rather than academically.
Rather ironic considering some of the comments in the preceding articles.
I never felt comfortable in her presence but nevertheless, once met never to be
As were her Bible lessons, sometimes delivered in French!
I remember Mr. Neville well, a man of fearsome and unpredictable temper but who
could be charm itself. I can still see him chain smoking in the playground.
The worst sessions were those awful morning assemblies when the older students
had to stand and recite some homework they had learned (or not as in my case)
the night before.
I can still feel the humiliation of mumbling the wrong answer.
Mr Cheetham, the English teacher, was always strict but fair and if you were good
at sport then he would tolerate your cheekiness with a quick riposte and a weary
Another memorable teacher was Mrs Beloni who taught us History, she was I believe
a friend of Elizabeth Taylor’s, a fact which impressed us all.
Languages were the school’s forte and I still recall the Notre Ville programmes,
the stories of La Fontaine,
but they were not particularly enjoyable experiences as there was always the risk
of public humiliation.
However, even after all these years I can still remember useful French phrases
to do with foxes and grapes.
The best parts of the days were the football sessions in the miniscule playground,
most of the time with a tennis ball.
Less memorable were the coach trips to Regents Park or Hampstead Heath for a once
a week game of football or cricket.
My contemporaries were Ben Trisk, Paul Allum, the Walton brothers, Nick Partos,
Mario Katibak, Gerald Ratner,
Nick Whitely, Haynes Miller, Yehudi Hoenig? who was the godson of Yehudi Menuhin.
I too have wondered what happened to Nick Partos as he was a particularly talented
He was great at organising things and roped my brother Tony, Mario Katibak and
myself into his plans to form a group.
We even went so far as to get bright orange waistcoats (this was the 60s).
We rehearsed at Mario’s palatial home, which I believe was part of the Philippine
Our music may have been poor but the food was fantastic. Where are they now?
The school was a rich, stimulating and sometimes confusing place. Its teaching
methods were sometimes questionable but it certainly left an impression.
Some of the good must have stuck, as I became a school teacher and later a university
Between these two levels of academia, I was a college lecturer – strangely enough
at a college where the main campus was built on the site of Mr. Cheetham’s old
I would often think of him as I taught in the classrooms which occupied the site
of his old home, which was on the north side of Paddington Green.
As a schoolboy I would sometimes see him leaving his Edwardian terraced house
as my brother and I strolled across the Green to catch the train to Swiss Cottage.
Once again many thanks for all the time and effort you’ve put into this memorable
Nick Woollcombe - email@example.com
UK - February 18th, 2012
Thank you so much for creating the T&C website I was so happy to find it.
I was a pupil between 1976-1977 not long you might think but long enough for an
experience that is as vivid today as it was then.
What a wonderful year!
When I tell friends about my time there they say I should write about it (they
think it's fiction!).
I was on Facebook and searched for the school but there wasn't a proper page and
no link to your site.
I uploaded a photo and put the website address on I hope that's OK let me know.
Just found the FB page under St Marys T&C.
During the year I was there I never knew about the St Marys part! Not paying attention
All the best
Oona Paraskeva (nee Knight)
Oona Paraskeva - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - January 15th, 2012
Does anyone remember the ancient
"Music Man" who played his violin
under the great old plane tree (still there) on the triangle at the Swiss Cottage
end of Eton Avenue,
opposite Winchester Road? Every morning, he would stand playing, giving a wave
with his bow and a huge smile to each child
as we hurried past him, trying not to be late for Callover, as we called morning
I thought him eternal - but he isn't there now. I so want one of you to remember
Naomi Stadlen nee Jacoby 1947-58 - stadlen@aolcom
UK - January 11th, 2012
Just a note to say that I was at Town & Country School from approx 1967/8 – 1969/70
(aged 6 – 8).
I have hazy memories, other than of watching the first moonwalk and having a crush
on an American boy named Jay.
I also stole a swimming medal at the ‘.country’ summer gala but was found out...My
father died while I was there,
so I left the school shortly afterwards, but still have one of the maths textbooks
which demonstrates that as six and seven year olds,
we were expected to do geometry and trigonometry that would defeat teenagers.
On returning to mainstream schooling,
my maths never recovered but my French was always excellent!
Susan Perry - email@example.com
South Africa - November 8th, 2011
Another FP emerges.....
I was at TC from 1968-70 (age 5-7) before moving to Aberdeen.
Mile End Primary then Aberdeen Grammar School!
Thanks and best regards!
Callum Moy - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - October 25th, 2011
I am trying to contact Mayo Elstob who I understand was a former pupil at the
Any help would be appreciated.
The reason I am trying to contact Mayo is that I am hoping that his father was
the author Peter Elstob
who was my fathers tank commander in WWII. Peter Elstob wrote a novel called 'Warriors
for the Working Day'
and dedicated it to his sons including Mayo Elstob.
I am obviously working on the hunch that there can't be many Mayo Elstobs out
there with similar backgrounds.
Stephen Pannell - DrStevePannell@aol.com
UK - October 8th, 2011
While looking through
my cabinets I found something :-)
Brings back memories.
Carl Petter (St. Mary's T&C 70-71)
Carl Petter Swensson
Norway - September 9th, 2011
I have just come across your web site. Congratulations! Thank you for doing
all the work. This is sincerely meant.
My name is Peter Wood – I do appear on your list.
I live in Shoreham-by-Sea these days.
Let me know if you are having a reunion. I would love to come.
One name you are missing there was an Anthony Ruda (pronounced ruder)
Anyway please include my email address. I relish abuse!
Peter aka woody
Peter Wood - email@example.com
West Sussex - September 9th, 2011
My name is Moira (Moschoula) Moundrea, I am Greek and I was in T & C in 1971 to
1973. Happy, happy years (not that I am complaining for now).
I was thrilled to come across this site about T&C, and I would love to get in
touch with my friends again.
Some of my teachers were Mr. Philip Neville (French), Mr. Ecklestone (I hope I’ve
spelled it right (History) ), Mr. MacMillan ? (Maths), we had a lady for Science
but I can’t remember her name, and for the life of me I cannot remember the name
(Mr. Davis?) of our teacher in English.
Also Mrs. Paul had arranged for my friend Uday and me, because our English was
poor to be taught extra English (for the first 3 months of 71) in the Library
when the others had Science, or other lessons, by a lady called Mrs. Hilland.
I think it was brilliant because then I was able to follow the actual English
class and work on “Great Expectations” and even English Literature “As you Like
it”, “Macbeth” and even get straight As, and poems like “The Ancient Mariner”
which actually was my favorite. Oh!!!! Good times!!!!
Some of my class mates were Gail Castle, Sophie Bellegris, Sharon Pinsker, Uday
Gardre, Ali ?, and others that I cannot remember their names.
I will make sure to follow the news of this site every day and I will not let
go ever again. I would like to congratulate you and thank you for the effort you
are making to keep the memories of this school alive.
Moira Moundrea - firstname.lastname@example.org
Greece - July 22nd, 2011
If you are still working on the Town and Country website you can add my name as
a former pupil.
You could also add a girl in my class whose name was Elizabeth Davis!
Michael Ridgway - email@example.com
UK - July 19th, 2011
Just thought I would drop you an E-Mail to say you are missing a very close
friend of mine who went to T&C so I would be grateful if you could add her
name Deborah Wawrik. Well done on website it makes for fascinating reading.
By the way I am the great Footballer.!!
Amanda Aron.[Correct spelling]
Amanda Aron - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - July 19th, 2011
Hi Norman my
maiden name is Nina scaroulis I was at Town & country from the age of 4
in 1972 till the age of 11 ( 1st form ) in 1979
I have very very clear memories from Town & Country , Mrs Beaven of course
Mrs Paul Mr Neville I was there when he died he was my form Teacher .
Names that I remember are John Samonas , Peter Kakouris, Joel House , Rita Patel,
Nila Patel, Tanya Murrat, Solon solomonides,
Diana Swan, Shelley Pitt ( sister of Lisa Pitt ) Sarah Welford, Keith Soul ,
Diana Soul, Eri Kittagucchi, these come to Mind at the moment oh and Glyn Teel.
So good to find your page brings back alot of memories I will get in touch with
you soon again.
I now live in Athens Greece Ia ma married with two sons.
Nina Scaroulis Pateras
Nina Scaroulis Pateras - email@example.com
Athens - Greece - July 12th, 2011
THE FOLLOWING WAS
PROVIDED BY Michael Noble Jackson at SMTCS from 1946-1951, in typewritten
form since he has no internet access
from which this is transcribed, Michael has provided a contact address.
My name is Michael Noble Jackson, the only child of Jennie Noble (1900-1989) and
James L. T. Jackson (1891-1972).
My father's decision in 1933 to rejoin the Royal Navel Reserve (Wireless Reserve)
had consequences beyond imagination to my parents. He saw the Storm Clouds brewing
over Europe!! By night he trained as R.N. wireless telegraph and in the day
continued his banking career in the City of London.
My parents had met in 1918 when my father was in the R.N.A.A.R and mother was
a WREN both of them serving at Redhill, Surrey at the recently established R.N.A.A.R.
Head Quarters and were demobed in the Spring of 1919 when they commenced a regular
correspondence, which resulted in marriage in October 1924, not quite ten years
later I was born 28th February 1934.
At about sixteen months the Jacksons moved to a recently built semi - detached
house in Woodside Park (North Finchley) on the edge of a portion of the North
London Green Belt where our garden gate allowed us access to a pasture landscape.
Here my father had an extension added to our garage where he now trained new
recruits to R.N.W.R. on certain evenings each week and my mother gave them refreshments.
My father continued his own training by attending annual courses down at Portsmouth.
At München my father was ordered to report at Portsmouth and mother and
her oldest sister and me travelled in our overloaded Baby Austin as far as Melton
Mowbray where we experienced our first air raid siren that night and continued
on our way to Yorkshire where several of mother's relatives lived and stayed
with them until Chamberlain's return from München and the famous agreement.
Shortly, Mother and family returned to London, as did my father from Portsmouth
and we returned to a normal life.
On our return to Woodside Park I attended my first school - Frith Manor which
could be seen from our house, where I stayed until the outbreak of World War
Within a couple of days father was drafted to his first ship steam yacht, now
H.M.S. WARRIOR (built 1904 of 1200 tons). Now an escort between Portsmouth and
Portland from 1939-40. (She was sunk August 1940 off Portland)
St. MARY'S TOWN & COUNTRY SCHOOL.
I guess I had mixed feeling about restarting full school life on that first
day in mid-September 1946, although, no doubt I was both anxious and excited,
I was a school boy again. Though, I am positive that I was given a warm welcome.
and great support from all the teachers. In spite of everything, it took me
time to resettle at the school.
Those two double fronted mansions of red brick of two stories plus attics and
four bays at the front. Every room had been stripped of all luxury except for
any panelling in the former studies & dinning rooms. The basements were
where Mrs. Brailford reigned as head cook. One of the original drawing rooms
doubled up as the assembly room and music room. School assembly at St. Mary's
was quite different from the normal because of the number of students practicing
different religions, though Christianity and Jewry were the majority. The assembly
started with classical music followed by a topical address from Mrs. Paul, or
the most senior member of the teaching staff and ended with the school notices
when teachers and students-afterwards began lessons. The day was divided into
hourly periods and two breaks, one in the morning and the second mid-afternoon
and school ended at 4 o'clock each day. Once a week each form was taken to the
Swiss Cottage swimming baths, nr. John Barnes shop. Another afternoon we were
bussed to the Hampstead Heath Extension where we leant to play football and
cricket. (Though I cannot remember whether St. Mary's played matches against
Although there was of course discipline, it was never more that verbal.
By now my father had been demobbed from the R.N.V.R. and was back working in
his office at the bank in Bishopsgate and where retired from in September 1951.
During my four years, at St. Mary's the senior form performed an annual school
play. I, particularly remember being La Hire in Shaw's St.Joan. There were others,
but I cannot remember their names or details. Whilst speaking of drama I enjoyed
the reading sessions when a small group of students read through Shaw and O'Casey
T.R. GIBSON was the teacher who I liked best and who influenced me most and
brought out my historical enthusiasms which are still with me. My other best
subject was geography, especially pouring over maps, which was encouraged by
my parents with going travelled a little further each year. Starting with a
holiday centred on Oxford and then two years running on on the Norfolk Broads
after becoming an enthusiastic reader of the Arthur Ransome stories.
By this time Mrs. Paul had established a foreign holiday scheme, which meant
in reality, a cheap holiday somewhere in France. The participating St.Mary's
families staying with French families in their own homes. (After being away.
from home for so long I had little interest in going anywhere without my parents).
My particular friends at. the school were Frederick Gardiner, the elder son
of Major G. who lived with his family in Primrose Gardens, off England's Lane,
Hampstead. The Gardiners' were sports 'Fans' and I remember being in their flat
on Saturday afternoons listening to the football results on the radio!! Fred
introduced me to Lords' Cricket Ground where. we watched County matches.
Another friend was Yvonne J. Phillips the eldest child of Mr. & Mrs. Phillips,
who lived in Victoria Road, Kensington. My memories are of going to tea at their
Other students I can remember their names:-
Leonora Box. daughter of Sydney Box.
1948 was crucial year in my School life when an old family and educational adviser
Director of Psychology, William Stephenson at; the Institute of Experimental
Psychology in Oxford to an appointment at Chicago University, U.S.A. his family
left for America months later. The main result of the Stephenson emigration
was I had lost my life long friend Charles W. Stephenson with whom I am still
A year later the Jacksons encouraged by another old family friends advised us
on a motoring trip to High Savoy. My father was still driving the family Baby
Austin and stayed on the road in 'tip top' condition. At last the Jacksons were
off at the beginning of September 1949 when father drove through the night to
Dover where we crossed to Calais and early that evening we were in Paris and
next day my father and I did a day's sight seeing in the French capital. On
the third day father drove south and spent the night in a town called Saillue.
After another days hard. driving we arrived in the lakeside village of Taillies
where accommodation had been booked. Three fairly. active days around Lac Ancery
and the town. Then my parents revealed the 'Holiday Secret' a trip around Lac
Lemmon and a night in Montreaux. (The reason for short stay was the government
limit of currency at that time)
Once back in London I was told that mother's health was of some concern to the
family and that she would be spending considerable time in hospital which rather
unsettled me at school...
Meanwhile, I had become an enthusiastic 'Loco spotter' travelling into Central
London to the termini or on my bicycle to Kings Langley, Bucks. where I knew
the signalmen and watched the Euston express trains speed past the box on their
way north. Regrettably none of my school mates were interested in railways.
Whilst on the subject of railways father and me together built a Hornby Gauge
0 layout in our garden complete with a tunnel, several stations and docks &c.
The 1950 summer holiday was spent in the Westmorland Hills when father introduced
me to his own childhood, holiday playground. Mother was too unwell to accompany
us. It was also my first visit to the Lakes.
I left St. Mary's Town & Country school at the end of the summer term 1951.
1951-55 Apprenticeship at the Times Bookshop, Wigmore St. London.
1955-57 Hatchards Bookshop, Piccadilly, Antiquarian books.
1957-99 The London Library, St. James' Square, S.W.
Feb.1999 Retired from The London library.
Michael Noble Jackson - Address Provided
London, UK - July 13th, 2011
I'm Elisabeth Davis (Liz) and I think i've been in contact with you before but
I've only just come upon the T&C website proper and I cannot describe my pleasure
in going through it. As you can see, it's terribly late at night, and the reason
is i simply could not close my laptop until I'd seen every picture and read
most of what was written.
How extraordinary our school was, to have had such a durable impression on so
many people over the years. I wonder if any of Town & Country's devotees would
ever wish to arrange a reunion? Of course there'd be lots of ex-students from
quite different epochs, but still...
As it is so late, I can't dig around in whatever photos or memories I have right
at the moment, but i promise I will soon.
There are so many people I remember, and your website has awoken even more memories.
I thank you from my heart.
I was at T&C, both junior and senior houses, from 1958 to 1965, when I took
my O Levels and went on to South Hampstead High school to take my A's - wow,
what a cold shower of reality that was!
Please upload this email to the website if you feel it's appropriate.
With warm affection, Liz (I am commonly known now and for many years by my family's
name for me - Bozsi - umlaut over the 'o'; but I don't mind in the least being
Elisabeth Davis (Liz) - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - July 9th, 2011
I was so delighted to find this website - it reminded my of the happy years
I spent at Eton Avenue from 1950 - 1957.
I have so many memories - Mrs Paul, Jean Bennett and the cottage at Beckley,
the time the Christmas tree caught fire, dissecting a pigeon in french, playing
netball at Russells in Haverstock Hill (did we walk there...?) and so on and
There are so many, I'm afraid they'll have to wait for another day - perhaps
when I look out some of those old photos I have. I haven't been able to stop
myself reminiscing though, since I found the site and have thought of quite
a few names to add to your pupil lists. I am listed already but my name is spelt
wrongly - I am Stella Ryser (not Stella Riser) and my email address is email@example.com.
I can also be found on Facebook. I now live just south of Cambridge and am married
and have two grown-up sons, and 2 grandsons, by the way.
There were also the Japanese family, the Akitas, who lived at 2 Maresfield Gardens:
Kimio = Kimyo Akita, Kikooka = Kikuko Akita and Kiwako = Kiwako Akita. They
returned to Japan about 1959 but I am still in touch with Kikuko and met her
when she came over about 15 years ago. We had a stroll down Eton Avenue to revisit
old times. One of Kikuko's sons is an animator on The Simpsons.
Then there were the Weinstein girls: Paula, the youngest (in my class), Lisa
and Dina, the oldest Their mother was Hannah and they lived at Cadogan Square
just behind Harrods and at Foxwarren Park near Cobham. The grounds there were
used as a set for Robon Hood and Sir Lancelot which Hannah Weinstein produced.
We used to go to stay and had great fun playing with all the props etc. Hannah
also produced William Tell and The Buccaneers with Robert Shaw.
Like many of the American children at SMTC at the time, their parents were fleeing
McCarthyism in the US. That was one of the wonderful things for me about the
school - I learnt so much about the world from other pupils - almost as much
as I learnt in lessons. We used to have debates on political issues in class
- it would have been about 1955 when we were about 10. Because of their experiences,
so many children were very politically aware, even at that age. It was one of
the great virtues of the school that it could harness that and let us all benefit
from their experiences.
Other girls not on your list who I remember were: Elizabeth (Auty) Ford Dorothy
Keller (German) Dorothy Kiwi (German) Simone Valy (French - from Villeurbanne)
Wendy Adler (Larry Adler's daughter) Maila Stivens (from Tasmania) Carol Berger
Daniella Borchard (Israeli) Mary Goldsmith Jennifer Reitlinger Judy Garnham
(American) Mary Lou Paterson (American) Wendy Kravatz (American) Rowena ? Felicity
And some more boys for your list: Fergus Cameron Michael Beaver Peter Austin
Crispin Marshal Peter Hoenig
Thanks so much for this website - I love it, and hope that I'll be able to add
to it again soon, even though I've ended up writing much more than I intended!
All the best
Stella Ryser (Lopez)
Stella Ryser (Lopez) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Cambridge, UK - June 30th, 2011
Dear Norman Barrington,
I have just come across your website and suddenly it's 3 o'clock in the morning
- I just can't stop looking at the photographs and reading about the school.
Esther Bateman and Bridgette Callendar were matrons when I was at Glenloch Road,
too. I remember making prorridge in the morning for everyone - we took turns
I must try to put my memories of T&C in order and get them written down and
hope to send them to you before too long. I have all my school reports somwhere.
Perhaps Mr Sylvain was still teaching there when you started at the school.
Harisson Birtwhistle taught music and singing for a short while.
The Anthology of 1956 is in my bookshelf, in it there is a little story by me,
much encouraged by Jean Bennett. Sent to the school in 1953 as a weekly border
age 9, I left, still boarding, when I was 16. There are photographs to be found
and memories to write down.
How do you want copies of photographs sent to you? I can email texts. With all
Susan Beringer (Susan Hitches)
Susan Beringer - email@example.com
UK - May 26, 2011
I was there yesterday.
And forty years ago. At 38-40 Eton Avenue.
My name is Carl P. Swensson. I'm Norwegian. My family moved to London for a
year 1970-71. We lived at Berkeley Court and I went to St. Mary´s Town & Country
School, as did my sister.
My memories from St. Mary´s Town & Country School are somewhat flakey. I was
7 and had just had two days in Norwegian primary school before moving, so I
was an illiterate alien landed in an English 3rd. grade where the other pupils
could read and write. But through the year I managed to learn to read and write
I was in London for business a few days this week and after work I had the chance
to take the tube to Swiss Cottage and walk up Eton Avenue. It was odd to see
it yesterday. The picture is from then. (I apologise for the poor phone picture).
Thanks for keeping the website. Carl
Carl Petter Swensson
Norway - May 10, 2011
Please add me to the pupil list:
I was at T&C 1958-59 and then again for 1 term in 1961.
Andrew Ranicki - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - April 13, 2011
Dear Norman I
have a friend who is a former pupil of St Mary's ( 1946-50 )
He does not have access to email or internet, but has some photographs and other
memorabillia which may be of interest and which he is keen to share.
Here are his details if you feel able to contact him: [Norman's note:- contact
details supplied with thanks - I shall follow up]
Best wishes Michael
UK - March 16, 2011
I was there from 1973-76. Friends with Andrina baldwin,Carol Sacks. Dont know
where they are. Get back got to run to work
Hans Doderlein - email@example.com
USA? - Frebruary 14, 2011
Hi, my name is Rasik Rajguru, I was former pupil at St Mary's Town and Country
School from 1971 -1975.
I came across your site by accident while reminiscing about my school crushes
and what they would be doing now. So on the off chance I typed Marlo Gripp on
google and your website popped up along with other names like Mike Baess, Michelle
I know she went to Virgina, America around 1974/5. I don't believe she knew
I had a crush. As I was very shy about such things at that time.
I notice that her name is not on your pupil list. neither is mine. I also have
a few more name missing from the list and name few that that I was with who
are on your list whenI was there. Also there are some teachers ot on the list
of teachers.I will list them below. Please forgive me if my spelling is a bit
In 1974 the fourth and fifth forms were combined into one fifth forn and our
O Level Examining Board was changed resulting in a completely different syllabus
to prepare on , and three teachers had left to be replaced by one. A major upheaval
for the fifth formers.
Barbara Scott Kennily - Science Teacher
Jill Sieff - Geography (I think she was South African, was there until 1974)
Mrs South German
Pupils I shared class on your list
Anna Papadopous from 1971 - 1975
Amanda Aron 1971 - 1975
Julie Berger 1971 -
Other pupil names not on your list with whom i shared classes with from 1971
Rosalind and Juliet Nelson (non identical Australian twins) 1973 went to Ashton
Marlo Gripp went to Virginia, USA
Deborah Warwick (Anna P's best friend both always top in French and German)
Other Pupils on your list in other forms to mine who were there when I was.
Nicholas Willing had a sister there also
As for me, I am now based in Porbandar, Gujarat India. for the last three years
if anyone wants to contact me they are more than welcome they can check my website
I do need to change the contact details on there as they are out of date but
the email is still good.
I would like to recall a memorable event 1973, because it was totally out of
character of what we were really like I believe where we were playing football
the ball got kicked over and we were of course banned from climbing over the
wall to get it. One of the pupils noticed the cement between the two trees used
as goa ts was crumbling and must kicked it in anger it must have broken off.
Then everybody joined as a laugh including one fifth former who was a brown
belt in karate with our combined efforts we managed to make a small hole for
the smallest pupil to climb through to retrieve the ball.
Next day at morning assembly. Mrs Paul had inspected the damage as nobody owned
up we were all banned from using the play ground for two weeks while the damage
was repaired and our fees would be increases accordingly to pay for it.
A comment was don;t you know it is against the rules to go over the wall to
get the ball.
What made it memorable was that after -
With the reply Nobody went over the wall and there is nothing in the rule book
about going through the wall or something to that effect with wide spread suppression
of laughter. Needless to say Mrs Paul was not amused.
I hope some of the info have provided has helped.
Rasik Rajguru - firstname.lastname@example.org
Gujarat India - December 2, 2010
Dear Norman, I
found your fantastic site quite by chance. It certainly is a true labour of
love.You must have been very happy there.
I'm a trifle more ambivalent about my time there, But I will always be grateful
to Mr. Phillip Neville for being a truly inspirational teacher.
I remember being deeply saddened to hear of his death only a few years after
I had moved on. I have bumped into a only a few of our ex-pupils over the years
and that was mainly in the decade after I left. I did do a film called 'Foreign
Bodies' with Amanda Donahue, who was in the same year as me, in the mid eighties.
I'm still acting and my elder brother is still a graphic artist.
Thanks again for diverting my attention for a couple of hours.
Kind Regards MILES RICHARDSON
Richardson in Wikipedia
MILES RICHARDSON - email@example.com
UK - November 4, 2010
Just like you, I knew Elisabeth and Henry personally, since I spend about 20
weekends together with them in Hedgerley Wood during the summer half in year
1961. My duty was to cut the lawns and doing the gardening (cutting the hedge
of the Public Footpath passing through the property) for exchange of their hospitality.
We had chicken on every weekend. In-spite of preparing it very well I could
not eat chicken for three years afterwards.
I had about three riding lessons which I liked very much. We were collected
to the Radnage Riding School with a hard sprung Land Rover.
The elegant Lady riding instructor called me Charles and told me to keep the
heels down. For some reason she did not like to call me by my Christian name.
I remember I was quite upset as Elisabeth did not want me to continue the riding
So it is very likely we met in
Hegerley Wood an of course at school and at my few evening visits to the boarding
house. Later on I was not allowed to the boarding house, as the children were
getting to excited, as I was told. There were two young (about thirty) sympathetic
ladies running the boarding house.
[Norman's Note:- Bridget Calender & Esther Bateman] The first four month
I was in the form together with the Walton twins. As I picked up the language,
I was moved to a form of somewhat elder pupils. Off course I saw and liked your
photos of Hegerley Wood.
I also remember very well the always
friendly and cheerful Mrs. A. (Ancebury or the like) the Irish cook and her
daughter at Eton Avenue 40.
We, a teacher who had formerly been a monk and me, had breakfast every morning
in the school kitchen.
During the summer holidays Mrs. Elisabeth Paul went regularly to the island
of Ischia in Italy and Mr. Heinz (Henry) Paul came to Darmstadt to stay with
his sister. On one of Heinz visits to my father, he invited me to St. Mary's
Town and Country School tor learn the English language. Vaguely I remember,
the family of Heinz sister had build a house and he gave some money to have
a room in it. I never have been to the place, so I have no address.
This is all I got on papers from that happy half year
Nowadays there are about 20 families with the name Paul in Darmstadt, so I could
not find out who is related to Heinz. As I mentioned, Heinz sister was married
and had children, hence her surname changed. Concerning the misspelled name
on the gate of Hedgerley Wood: Heinz told me some time after the uprising in
Hungary there were refugees staying in Hedgerley Wood. This people did improvements
to the house as putting a bathroom under the loft. Probably with little knowledge
of the English language they put on the letters to the gate.
As far that I
know, Elisabeth and Heinz had a school in Berlin and went to London of the reason
you suppose. Sorry, I am not able to shed more light on the mystery. Heinz told
me once, as I did stay during the week with him in Eaton Avenue 38, he was a
POW during the war. The camp was a good one, there were al sorts of lessons
and a theatre group. I suggest with all the Germans there, he could learn the
pronunciation of the English language only after leaving the camp. If you have
more questions, you reckon I can answer, please let ma know. With best regards
Karl Rothamel - firstname.lastname@example.org
Germany - November 1, 2010
I send you 2 not-very-good-but-they're-all-I-have pictures:
A picture of Kumiko (who has just sent a message in the guestbook), Faye Hart
and Paula (?)
It was taken at Town and Country in 1974.
Shakespeare pageant in Mrs Beven's class.
Those who know her might recognise Claire, and on the right, that's me sitting
at the table.
Miles Richardson (he was always good at acting) is standing there, but you can't
see his face.
I'm so happy to be in contact with Kumiko again through your guestbook Norman.
Rajni Lallah - email@example.com
Mauritius - October 30, 2010
Thank you so much for the website.
I 'm from Japan and I was at the school from about 1971 to 1974.
I have lots of wonderful memories.
Last week, from your website I found my friend Rajni and I succeed to make a
contact with her. Your website helped me to find my important friend who lives
in opposite side of the earth ( she lives in Mauritius and I live in Japan)
I remember Jackie Pratt and Faye Hart. Where are you ??? You were so nice to
me. I also remember Kelli Moriarty, Julia Herman, Julia Peters.
Kumiko Naruse ( now Takahashi)
Kumiko Naruse ( now Takahashi) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Japan - October 20, 2010
I have had a couple of sleepless nights reminiscing after scrolling through
your wonderfully put together website.
From what I can remember I was there around 1969-71 and have fond memories of
My academic skills did not improve much at the school but I did have fun times
Football was my passion, love and life. I am the
boy in the photo of the football team in your guestbook (back left ) know
as Stevie (I am still a Man U fan).
I cannot remember all the faces on the photo. I think that is only because most
of the team were in the classes above me.
I would have been around 11/12 at the time and can remember playing some big
games against Hereward House school.
These games were taken very seriously at the time and I do remember a good victory
we had against them.
The playground was my training ground and I always looked forward to playing
there at lunch time.
From my class I think I can remember Rolland Perrin whom I played a lot of football
with at Regents Park and also carpet football (subbuteo) at his home in Baker
Julian Benka-Burns? who I used to hang out with lived near me at Warwick Ave
and he eventually followed me to Holland Park school.
Tommy Thomas Tomacek was an interesting character. We would swap postage stamps
and he always got the better deal.
I can remember an American or Canadian boy (Jason?) who lived on the corner
of Swiss Cottage who I played tennis with on a grass court not so far away.
He also helped build a great log hideout as one of our projects on our away
trip to Hedgerlywood. Our group was the best, I was lucky I was in his team
as he was a born leader!
Lynn Bolton was in my class and her brother Gary in the class above was a useful
football player who encouraged me.
We did have some other very nice girls there but I cannot remember their names,
as I said earlier football was my life!
This memory is rather sketchy and I don’t want to drop Matthew Rees in it, but
I think he gave me a few tips on how one could go truanting.
I must say my knowledge on London sightseeing was all the better for it and
had a good time until I decided to take my mate Julian with me and we got caught.
The English teacher who found out threatened to tell our parents if we did not
memorize a long poem in very difficult English which I never understood.
Matthew also mentioned that the trick to stop the local skin head gangs from
catching him and beating him up was to drop a few coins on the ground just as
they got near him so they would stop to pick them up and he would keep on going.
The cross country run at Hampstead Heath was a gruelling event but I enjoyed
the tennis near Belsize Park and swimming at Swiss Cottage.
I think I can recall seeing the Apollo landing on the moon in the hall on a
black and white TV.
I am now living on a hobby farm in Australia with my wife (married 31 years),
and four of our youngest children, ages 5-12. Our daughter who is 28, and has
been married for three years made me a grandfather three weeks ago. My eldest
son is 21, and has also flown the nest.
I would be happy to keep in touch, my email is email@example.com
Thank you Norman for your efforts.
Best wishes to everyone.
Stephen Halmai - firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia, October 12, 2010
Looks like that
was great fun. I love the end of the day drawing.
Please keep me posted with regard to future reunions, shall be in London in
Brilliant website, excellent work, take care, best wishes,
Patty (briefly there 63-64) Patty Hannock
138 Avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris
3 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, 34000 Montpellier
Patty Hannock - email@example.com
Montpellier France- , October 10, 2010
Thank you for the pleasant web site on St. Mary's Town & Country School.
As Heinz Paul and my father were friends from school days on, I have 14 photos
of him, single and within groups,
but only the two of Elisabeth Selver.
As my father noted “Dr. Elisabeth Selver” on the rear of the photo, it is likely
Elisabeth and Paul
were not married then.
Both photos were taken on the 15th of September 1931 at about 5pm, near Darmstadt,
Pictured are Dr. Elisabeth Selver, Heinz Paul
and my father Dr. Ludwig Rothamel.
Please click link to see Karl's photographs
With best regards
Karl Rothamel - firstname.lastname@example.org
Germany - Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 12:31:00 (CET)
I come from Mauritius and was at T and C between 1971 and 1975.
I have really fond memories of the school. I do have a few photos of the school
and friends of mine there.
I'll send you them when I find the time to scan them. I'm now a composer, pianist
and teacher in Mauritius.
I'm also active politically. I can still remember Gina Beck (who doesn't who
was at school at the time).
A few of the names sound familiar. My sister was there for a brief period too.
Thank you for this web site. It stopped my from sleeping one night and made
me re-live many a memory....
Rajni Lallah - email@example.com
Mauritius - Monday, September 20, 2010 at 16:58:30 (CET)
I found the Town and Country School
website by doing a search in Google.
I now live in Hove and have been
living here for 22 years - before that
I was living in Hendon, north west London since 1956. In 1956 we moved
over from Vienna in Austria where we lived for 5 years - a great deal of
my junior education was in Vienna. I am now 63 and working part time
with Brighton and Hove City Council doing Clerical and Admistrative
Duties in the Public Transport Department. - I have worked there for 8
years. Before that I had a 3 year health gap.
After I left the Town and Country
School I attended Kilburn Polytechnic
firstly to take a further GCE O Levels in English (at the Town and
Country School I passed 4 GCE O Levels in Geography, German, French and
Maths. I then took and passed 2 A levels in Geography and Geology and
the Institute of Linguists in German at A level standard.
After this in 1966 I had my first
job in Data Compilation in Borehamwood
at Hunting Geophysics and in 1968 joined Midland Bank where I was until
1991 completing my Banking Diploma.
In 1991 I started working for the railways and was there for 10 years. I
was based at the Travel Centre in Brighton Station. I have always been
interested in timetables, maps and travelling by train.
Claire Duncan - formerly Claire
Barton - is my younger sister - e mailed
you a few days ago - she now lives in Haywards Heath with her husband
and my mother now 92 lives with them.
I very much remember my time at
the Town and Country School. I started
there in September 1958 with Mrs Sylvain in the lower fifth class in the
number 38 building but next day after I started changed down to the
lower fourth class taken by Miss Anne Bunting.
I was a boarder at Glenloch Road,
mostly a weekly boarder but for a
short while I was a termly boarder.
I remember visiting the premises
in 87 Belsize Park Gardens - I believe
Mrs Paul was living there at some stage - it may also have been used as
a boarding school extension from 31 Glenloch Road.
I think you were Norman Barrington
- I think you were also a boarder - I
also remember Anthony Dessauer, Majid Tabatai , Charles Kenton, Adrian
Rivers, Mike Bunting, Donald Atkins and Martin Bridger.
Amonst the girl boarders that
I remember are Susan Fridberg, Rosalie
Smith, Reina James, Stephanie ?.
Miss Callender and Ester Bateman
were in charge at the boarding house in
At the school I remember the teachers:
Mrs Bevan, Mr Cheetham, Mr
Pruesto, Miss Bennett who lived in a village in East Sussex near Rye - I
think it was Beckley. Also Mr Locke, Mr Myerscough (but he changed his
name to Mr Neville). Ann was the cook - she had a daughter - I remember
they were from Ireland.
I very much remember Mr and Mrs
Paul. Mr Graham was the headmaster when
I first started. I finished the Town and Country School, in 1964. I
remember watching the French Television Programme - Chez Les Dupre (in
black and white on ITV in those days there was nly BBC and ITV!).
Others I remember are John and
Adam Walton - who were twins - and their
sister Sarah Walton, also George Haller, Robin Neuberg.
I enjoyed seeing the pictures
taken and reading the articles on the
website - they brought back many memories from my years at the Town and
Country School. The website has been considerably enlarged since I first
saw it a year or two back - wee ldon for the hard work that has gone
into proding this very informative site.
Claire tells me you recently had
a reunion - she thinks it was on the
6th August. What a pity that Claire and I missed this occasion.
Can you let me know when you are
planning to have the next reunion.
Where do you now live?
Look forward to hearing from you.
With all good wishes
Paul Barton - firstname.lastname@example.org
UK - Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 10:10:31 (CET)
I went there from '65 - 69 and it seems like a dream. Is there contact list so
I could locate my dear old friends?
Tommy Tomsig, Fiona Hill, Kristine Blair, Adrien Selby, Shefique. Also have you
considered a FaceBook page?
Thanks for the beautiful memories.
Jason Brown - email@example.com
UK - Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 01:50:37 (CET)
Going thru the site of SMTC I see that Joshua became a prof of art?
Whatever happened to him, What ever happened to Giles?
I am composing chapter 2 (1962 – 70)of the 40 year gap since we saw each other
last and will be mailing to U
Any news on the brothers Gabriel and Marcel Arnell?
Angelica Huston (can U believe she was the ex of Joshua??? I can’t)
What a good
idea the reunion - Wish I could be there (pink floyd memories of sid)
I was thinking... Make a DVD of the event and use web cam for people like me
from afar to record or participate
Make T-shirts and caps And get a photo book or CD
Love U and
Am keeping U close to my heart
This was a beauty
At 9, having been torn from my country, culture, family, and friends, I arrived
in London at the age of six unable to even speak english
My mother, who had me when she was 16 was in university at the U of California
in Santa Barbara, and her younger brother was studying medicine at Oxford ,
St Catherines, and was my guardian at 18 whilst I WAS at SMTC.
Well anyway as
you know well I was very unhappy, and Mrs Paul realized we had $’s as did most
of the foreigners and borders at school
Well she convinced my mother in California that it would be a good idea for
me to visit a shrink at 3 pounds every half hour to become more stable.
So twice a week I would walk all the way down the fincheley rd to see this woman
Dr Meyer (Austrian I suspect) who would offer me the best tea and biscuits I
ever had in London the give me a new toy to play with for the rest of our time.
She never talked to me And that would cost my mother 24 pounds a month
Just to put things in perspective, as Enzo Ferrari said the e type jag was the
most beautiful car ever made and at this time only cost 800 Pounds
The tea and biscuits easily cost half a Jag in 1961
Same story for
Prof Glass (Piano Teacher)
The other half of the Jag
Dreadful accent and put me off the Piano until I got into Jazz at 16
woman, Had taught at Rugby. Was a disciple of Neil at Summer hill.
The only part of the SMTC that I adored along with Hedgerley.
Again an interesting
anecdote for you Norman...
I arrived several years before you I think, and this took place before we became
(how marvelous, what were the odds that the Persian, direct descendent of the
prophet Mohammed and the lighting engineer from Wolfamstowe, would become brothers
in the madhouse opera that was Eton Ave)
Well anyway I
arrive at school and I was 6, as I didn’t speak English they put me in Kindergarten.
Imagine what I was feeling and could not express
I had been told I was going to London where everyone was very civilized and
advanced and all the time I was trying to understand why all these English were
so short, and that all they asked me to do was sit in a sand pit and play with
Dam right I needed the shrink Dr Meyer???
Well for the next
6 years at school I managed to catch up on everything but English
Thanks to this extraordinary Jean Bennet I learnt to write so well that I was
able to become a straight A student in the U.S at university and managed to
get a masters and PhD at the LSE, by writing so well that the bull passed for
I loved Jean so much. Her three cats. Granny had come in from the wild when
she moved into her cottage, it took her one year of leaving a saucer of milk
everyday outside in the garden and each time bringing the saucer closer to the
cottage, until one day she brought her kittens one by one to the doorway.
Two of the kittens were adopted by her, one was an enormous tom cat (Thomas),
huge, and colored as if he was wearing black tie, gorgeous, my best friend,
the other was called pansies', like the flower.
Both would stay out hunting all night and come back in the early hours and sleep
deep under my sheets purring all night.
Fantastic ! The autumn visits to her cottage were spent collecting hops for
Never did I enjoy autumn so much except for my stays in New England.
Then there was the fox hunting, so dangerous for a little boy and so much adrenaline
Jean made my weekends an English thousand and one nights not to forget the orchards
with such incredible apples and fruits.
Many years later once I had graduated from Tufts university in Boston and was
doing my MA at the LSE I went to visit her
We were all privileged to know her.
Janine will understand me
My brother - Love you
And pass it on
Majid T Yazdi (Tabatabai)
Peru - Wednesday, July 03, 2010 at 08:10:17 (CET)
Am forwarding, in this and a following email , some images
for the website...please apologise for me in advance if I have confused, mispelt
or completely forgotten some names... it has been a very looooong time !!
Thanks and see you on the 6th.
P.S....On scanning those and sending
them to you I just noticed how lovely that Arabella Weir ("Does My Bum
Look Big In This" and
"The Fast Show") is pulling a comical face in both pictures all those
UK - Wednesday, June 02, 2010 at 28:12:11 (CET)
Thank you for your wonderful site. You've ruined sleep for me tonight but I thank
you for the many memories you have restored to me.
I attended SMT&CS in Swiss Cottage in 1966 and 1967. I arrived in September '66
and left the following spring. I was in the Upper Fourth Form, according to the
categorizing whims of "independent" schools at the time and knew Timothy Bloomfield
(such a wonderfully English name, I never forgot it!) and I recognize some of
the young faces from those years. I remember Claire Green, whether we were in
the same form I don't know, but I was of course deeply in love with her. I played
left defense on the football squad that one year - badly, I'm sure! I remember
being soaked through and freezing out on the pitch, wondering why these crazy
brits liked this game.
I was airdropped from Houston, Texas into St. John's Wood from '66 to '72. After
the year at SMT&CS I attended the Overseas School in Knightsbridge in 1969 and
the USAF High school in High Wycombe after that until 1972. Scholastically I never
recovered from the shock of leaving Texas with it's casual Spanish classes to
taking Latin, French and German and being smugly insulted by the ineffable Mr.
Neville on the side. So today I learn Neville changed his name from Myserscough!
Well, I understand name changes, more on that later. I'll bet he got the name
from Neville's Bread - remember? I was a day student and yes, that was a far different
experience from the boarder's plight. I was quite miserable that year at St Marys,
but I at least I got to go home at night. I still feel sympathy for the boarders.
Does anyone remember the Swiss Cottage tube escalator? A couple of mates and I
while on our way to St Marys took the opportunity to slide down the flat steel
divider between the up and down escalators. Thrilling fun, but one of the staff
spotted us, (perhaps it was Neville himself) and we caught it when we arrived
at school. I think the punishment for the tube station incident was to learn the
names of every county in England and to repeat them for Neville on demand? It
was! How quaint it seems now but Neville's lucky we were so young. Enough said,
I found him to be a real character out of Dickens, along with Mrs Paul. That wacky
interview for admittance! She sat me down in a room overlooking the play-yard
and gave me fifteen minutes to write a two-page essay on being locked inside the
British Museum for the night. Great material, sure; and when she returned the
pages were quite... blank. I could catch and skin a rattlesnake for you but no
way would I write for this strange person. Somehow that situation was negotiated
away and I started classes the next week.
St Marys was full of amazing students from all over the world and the experience
was wildly good and bad by turn for me. Norman, I'm sorry that I missed you by
a year, I think we would have got on well, judging by your "rock star" poses.
A wife and three children since and life is rather ..tame. I miss London and this
August I'm bringing my family along to revisit the City. They will so enjoy watching
me wax nostalgic, don't you think?
Too much history has passed to go into much detail on my past. After returning
stateside and graduating (as a boarder!) from high school and college I went to
work in television and that has turned out well. I do visual effects/design and
also digital media management, whatever the heck that is. Life is good when I
Thanks again, Norman. Feel free to post anything you wish from this. Pace, Mrs.
Paul, here is your essay after all. Mac McAlpin (in 1966 it was "Dudley" McAlpin;
and do sleep well, Mr Neville) Los Angeles, California
"Dudley" McAlpin <mmcalpin(at)pacbell.net>
USA - Wednesday, June 09, 2010 at 10:13:12 (CET)
As has been expressed by so many others, I was excited by the web site you created
about our old school.
My sister Lillian Trigg first showed it to me about six months ago after she typed
her name into a web site she was exploring.
I think perhaps you were in my class (form).
Some of the classmates that come to mind are Paul Thorpe-Tracy -sister Peta, Jonathan
Weisse, Richard and Mandy, Sara Berman, Dorothy (Doy) Young, Alexis (Flexy), Majid
Tabatabai, Kublai Malik, Robert Haas - sister Jackie, Susan Friedburg - I think,
Susan Rappaport, Lynne Swaine, Sebastian Gardiner, Georgina Thompson - sister
Pamela, Jacob and Raymond Grandasobrata -sister Joanne, Anthony - affectionately
called Fattypuff after a book we were reading in class about Fattypuffs and Thinifers,
Elliot - last name? He never came to parties as his parents deemed him not strong
enough, Kathy Dragon -sister Carmen, brother Dennis; their father was a guest
conductor for the London Symphony Orchestra. Their mother used to sing the Maxwell
House Coffee commercials in America. Their older brother, Daryl became the male
half of The Captain and Tenille. My sister, my wife and I had lunch with Carmen
at a restaurant in Malibu, California back in 1997., Martha Spears, Anne Muller
or Miller, I'm not sure which, both Americans, another American called Gillie,
his brother was a native Hawaiian; had a brace on his leg and wore a boat captain's
hat, don't remember his name, a fellow called Derek; he was very big for his age.
During one of our dancing sessions in the first form, he lifted Kublai over his
head but then accidentally dropped him, breaking his arm. Derek was inconsolable.
Kublai was shipped off to hospital and came back a hero with a cast on his arm.
A name came up on the web site that I recognized; Richard Paul Jones. He said
that he remembered me but thought that I might have been an American, not Canadian.
Nicholas Paul Butler and Alison Tudor Hart are also people that I remember.
Teachers I remember; Mrs. Walmsley sp?, Sally Green - Canadian with red hair,
Miss Collins - a Quaker, very kind, soft spoken, thin.
You couldn't say Crikey in her class. She said it was a contraction of Christ
and it wasn't kind to say that.,
Mrs Beven dark complexed, a split in her front teeth and vivid red lipstick. Miss
Bunting had her class upstairs from Mrs. Beven.
She loaned my sister a record player and I bought my first 45 rpm record which
I still have.
My sister and I came to London in January, 1959. London to us was as different
to our Victoria, British Columbia home as to be on another planet. We stayed at
a hotel in Kensington where you had to put shillings in a meter to have heat in
your room. Children ate separately from adults. I remember a dinnertime food fight
in the children's dining room. I sat in fascinated horror as the 'butler' in tuxedo
and starched white shirt watched over the fracas; with no intention of breaking
it up, his face expressionless. I think my father found the school and then went
shopping for a flat. He found one not far from the school on Elsworthy Road bounding
Primrose Hill. My father, sister and I were interviewed by Mrs. Paul in her office.
Had I known the word eccentric at that tender age I would have applied it to her
as so many have before me. Lillian and I were escorted out of her office to do
puzzle tests while she and our father discussed our educational needs. It seems
that we were interviewed by someone with a psychiatric background. When we were
allowed re entry to the 'Ivory Tower' she and our father seemed to have come to
some sort of agreement. Mrs. Paul was wearing a fur coat, the heat in the office
was blasting on full and she had the window wide open. She kept on shaking the
front of her coat, expressing how hot and stuffy it was in there. She informed
me that as a Canadian, I would be allowed to wear long pants. This was part of
a negotiation I was later informed by my father.
To think back almost fifty years and try to come up with things in chronological
form is difficult so forgive me if I put things down in no particular order. My
sister and I spoke virtually no French so my father recruited Mr. Prousteau to
tutor us at home so we wouldn't be so far behind our classmates. I liked Mr. Prousteau.
I found that he taught French in a way that we Canadians hadn't learned to do
even when I finally left high school in Vancouver some years later. Anyway, we
picked the language up pretty quickly. I remember some time later, making my father
sit through my recitation of the play Cinderella (all parts) in French. He spoke
a little of the language and agreeably nodded his head in the right places. As
I said before, I liked Mr. Prousteau but he didn't seem to be particularly popular
with my contemporaries until one day when we were missing a football coach and
'Prunestone' stepped in. He actually proved an adept instructor slash coach and
soared to stardom like Rudolf after leading Santa's sleigh.
A lot has been said about the food at the school. It would seem from some of the
later reports I have read that nothing was done to improve on the culinary delights
we were subjected to in the years my sister and I were there. I do have to say
however that there were some items that I looked forward to; the shepherd's pie,
the baked beans and something called tunny fish. I never did find out what tunny
fish was but I liked it even if it made my top teeth stick to the bottom ones.
The smell of the cauliflower and cheese which is the only thing I hate more than
country and western music would cause me to leave the room and head for the nearest
door leading outside. On the days that I could not eat the main course, Mrs. 'A'
would make sure that I got a larger piece of cake and custard or whatever thereby
preventing me from joining the ranks of the world's hungry.
Somewhere in my personal archives I have the reports that the school sent to my
father from time to time. He dug them up and gave them to me some years after
I became what passes for a mature adult around here. You may remember that we
were not supposed to see these reports as they were issued so it came as quite
a shock to here decades later, what my teachers thought of my academic abilities.
I continued in this vein until graduation eight years after leaving Town and Country.
The difference in Canada is that your reports are sent home with the student so
you have time to check your grades and make up your excuses before presenting
the bad news to your parents. I think I can speak for my sister and I when I say
that our coming to London and going to a school like Town and Country was the
opportunity and experience of a lifetime.
Lillian being somewhat older than I has a sharper memory of what we did during
our three and a half years away from the colonies. Sometimes over a coffee and
conversation we will compare what we did and who was who at our London school.
We both remembered the roll towel on the back of the toilet door downstairs that
would be ringing wet after the morning or lunch break. How many times I 'dried'
my hands and face on that soaking cloth and lived to tell about it. I have alluded
to my stunning scholarly abilities in the previous paragraph but what we learned
while we were in London and at school has nothing to do with report cards.
The multi-culture of the staff and students alike helped form me into the person
I am today for better or worse. In the time that I spent at school with all of
you, I never heard a disparaging word about anyone's colour, culture or religion.
In retrospect I find it interesting that our friend's families didn't seem to
care who was who or where they came from either. What a lovely bubble I lived
in until I began to reach for that seemingly unattainable maturity. It was as
if spores of learning floated from form to form having nothing to do with the
text books we were issued or those putrid BBC Radio or Television programmes we
had to write reports on. The school had a range of ages that you would never see
in the Canadian educational system. Mere babies to students graduating on to higher
learning in the same academic shell.
You couldn't help but observe and learn from those older than you. Our school
forays out to the football pitch, the tennis courts, the cricket fields and the
gymnasium on Finchley Road were also something foreign to Canadian students. I
had my first lessons in human sexual anatomy at the Seymour Baths; our alternate
swimming destination. Carved in the walls of the changing cubicles were depictions
and descriptions of the fairer gender. I quickly learned that these same descriptions
were not ones you would use at the dinner table or in mixed company.
Prior to coming to London, I had never eaten in a restaurant. In Victoria dinner
would always be good but always at home. In London we were out fairly often. From
Wimpey bars to Lyon's Corner House to upscale restaurants with stiff waiters.
I had also never been to the theatre or to the cinema. As you know, the Swiss
Cottage Odeon was very near to our school. For two shillings and sixpence, in
the afternoon you could get a circle seat and watch a first run movie. We saw
things like Christmas Pantos to Covent Garden major productions. Pamela Thompson's
older sister took us to see My Fair Lady and afterward we were invited to tour
the set and backstage as Pamela's sister knew the director or producer.
Hedgerley Wood was another concept you don't find in my country of origin. We
have summer camps which I have attended but they are not attached to any schools.
I never understood why the food in the country was better than at Eaton Avenue
but it was. I remember running through a neighbours wheat field with Sara Berman
and some other kids. Has anyone mentioned the Hell Fire Caves? I saw a documentary
on them some time ago and got really excited. I seem to remember a bomb shelter
in the woods away from the house, closer to the road. I had never seen one. We
sometimes used to walk up the road where there was a sweet shop that seemed to
be in the middle of nowhere. I recall buying bottles of Tizer with those ceramic
tops like you find on some Dutch beers, gobstoppers, English sweets and bars of
chocolate. North Americans could only attempt to make confections as good as the
ones we used to enjoy in England in the 50s and 60s. There were the smells of
wild flowers in the air, open fires and story telling with Mr. Paul at night outside
the main house, the outdoor theatre; it was just a different feeling.
I could go on and on but I'm not submitting a book draught. Some of those who
wrote in gave an encapsulation of their life after Town and Country. I will attempt
the same. My father was transferred from London (approx six million) to a town
in the B.C. mountains (Nelson, population ten thousand). My sister was devastated.
Gone was our cosmopolitan lifestyle. We both missed London but I took to Nelson
better than she did. Lillian spent a year with us and then went to Victoria to
go to school there. Better suited for her. Nelson toughened me up. I had been
a city kid and now I was swimming in the lake as soon as the snows cleared, hiking
and biking in the mountains, playing baseball, skiing and street hockey.
We moved to Vancouver, B.C. in 1964 where I maintained some sort of residence
for the next three decades. It was still small by London standards but there was
a lot more on offer there. I kept what I had learned in Nelson and morphed into
a city kid again. I spent one last year in primary school and then went on to
high school where I maintained my lack lustre academic standing and focused on
having fun. By now I was the rhythm guitar player in a rock and roll band. We
played at dances, high schools, night clubs and were the house band at a local
roller rink. We kept our repertoire fairly simple and played it well. We had killer
instruments and amplification and in a 'Battle of the Bands' contest would usually
leave our competitors reeling. I've always had a secret wish that I could have
made it big in the business. I wasn't bad looking, I was popular and I had that
irreverence that was associated with the big rockers of the age. I lacked only
one thing. Commitment and major talent. We were soon torn between the endless
hours of practice needed to keep up with the music market versus muscle cars and
girlfriends, both of which also took many hours of our free time.
By '67 I found myself working in the notorious China Town strip club, The Shanghai
Junk. The owner was the brother in law of one of our band members, my closest
friend. I was too young by four years to even be in the place so if the police
came by I had to secrete myself somewhere until they were gone. To this day, I
am still friends with my band mate and the club owner. I lamented to Stan (the
owner) not so long ago that in the two years that I worked there, the only dancer
that wanted to go out with me was a midget. We still laugh about that. As an aside,
the owner's brother put together a comedy team that would perform on stage when
the girls weren't dancing. When the club closed down for tax reasons, his brother
Tommy and one of the cast members moved to Los Angeles where they formed the comedy
duo Cheech and Chong.
With no club anymore, Stan took me into the diving business which I stayed at
for a couple of years making wet suits and servicing equipment. I did a little
commercial work and then got into restaurants which has been my field of endeavour
up until now. I was involved in running some of the major restaurants in Vancouver.
I also did some cruise ship contracts taking me to twenty odd additional countries
and I worked in various restaurants, bars and a pub in London. I worked at the
Manor House Pub, N4 (Very rough), The Blue Jade Thai Restaurant on Hugh St. near
Victoria Station, Jimmy'z Brasserie on Sloan Avenue near the Michelin Building,
I had my own deli - off licence on Kinnerton St. in Belgravia, L'Etoile on Charlotte
St, The White Tower on Rathbone Terrace, both near Tottenham Court Road Station
and Sheekey's Seafood House between Charing Cross Road and Covent Garden. Working
in these places was as different to me as going to school in London and Canada.
I also did a short stint at a security company for a friend of mine in Duke of
York St. in St. James. Here I met a lady who ran a sister company to ours, a multi
media operation in Lexington St., Soho. She and I have now been married for fifteen
I have owned a seafood restaurant in Vancouver, a French restaurant on Pender
Island (between Vancouver and Victoria), and an espresso bar in Victoria. I now
work as a waiter in a hotel restaurant. Fewer hours, more money and less paperwork.
Soon I know I will yearn for more responsibility but serving tables suits me for
the present. Owning and running your own business takes commitment to a higher
level and has kept me from travelling to England since '96 although my wife has
been there many times for family visits. I do feel however that my return, for
longer or shorter is in the cards. I am feeling the need to walk past 38 & 40,
up Finchley Road past Toys, Toys, Toys, over to Whitestone Pond and the hill on
the other side of the Heath where I used to fly my kite as a young boy.
I know Norman, that London has changed immeasurably since you and I were at school
together but there are places like some of the ones I mentioned where I could
walk past, ignoring the new, flash cars and be the boy that I once was. I neglected
to mention that I now have a brother who was born when we lived in Nelson. He
is a computer expert who I will get to help me send over the few photos that may
put me in perspective for you. I may include some of my life's progression to
accompany the story I have submitted to you. I realize that some of this may not
make it onto your website.
Please feel free to chop and paste where you feel necessary. I have enjoyed writing
this almost as much as I enjoyed your amazing creation.
P.S. I never thought we called Anthony Fattypuff in derision. I remember him as
being quite popular. I liked him and found him to be an interesting character.
Best regards, Harry Trigg.
Harry Trigg firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Friday, May 28, 2010 at 12:24:20 (CET)
Harry, thanks for this superb account of your life and times. I am certain we
were both in Miss Collins and Mrs Bevans classes together. I agree that "Fattypuff"
was an entirely affectionate nickname for Anthony, as was the book from which
it came. There are hints, for me, of synchronicity as I used to frequently play
Cheech and Chong tracks on the radio as a DJ in the 70s! Their humour fitted
my type of program perfectly. I hope you can send the photos when your brother
finds time. I will add them to the growing collection in the galleries.]
My name is Sharon Fox and I went to Town and Country................ I believe
I was there for about 1964 to 1967/8
I recently met up with Sharon Pinsker who told me about the reunion and has forwarded
me the website. Its incredible!
But not one photo of me. I doubt I have any from there for some reason. But remember
I see you have some pics on gallery 12 or is it 13, of Michael Baess and Gary
Bolton. I was in their class.
I also remember lindy Rappaport, although i think she was in a year or two above
It may be nice to be able to email Michael Baess and wonder if you have any contact
details for him.....
Note: I am sure won't mind if I give you his email address, he wrote in below
on Jan 1st 2010 from email@example.com
If that doesn't work there is an earlier email address for him further down the
I have read the 'demise of the the school'. How deadfully sad! It was a great
Sadly I left early as my family moved further away from the school and sent me
somewhere more local.
The Web site makes great reading. Thank you for all your effort.
Sharon Fox <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 16:21:30 (CET)
Dear Norman, My sister Val (when
at SMT&CS known as Valerie Morrison) sent me these photos.
Val says please you are welcome to put on your SMTCS website, with the descriptions
if you can. I shall be sending you more pix, ones I took at Stanford Hall, with
horses and people featured. With best wishes John
(Val wrote to John) Dear John, While I was still at the
town part of St Mary’s (Autumn Term 1946 and Spring Term 1947) I was in a play
by William Butler Yeats, “The Land of Heart’s Desire”. This
is the set of photos of it. The curtain line up (No 11) is the clearest picture
of the cast. James Williams (the music teacher) smokes a pipe; the small girl
beside him was Nina (?), Daisy Glade (my best friend) played the part of the Priest;
Me the fairy (with long hair and flowers on my head); I can’t recall the names
of the other two. Love Val
John then says: My sister Val sent me some more photos - I took them myself -
from Stanford. You are welcome to add them to the Stanford Hall section of the
website. Mostly horses and people.
John & Val <email@example.com>
UK - Monday, February 22, 2010 at 10:16:27 (CET)
Thanks very much John and Val for all these photographs, I should mention that
although Val's photos are taken in NW3, for convenience I have included all
the pictures mentioned here on the same page for Stanford Hall - just click
Hi, I am Elizabeth Colton. Have just
found all these websites. Have various names from Yarkhill & Stanford. Would you
like? Greetings. Liz. (was Little Lizzie sometimes as there was a Big Lizzie)
Will save possible anecdotes (fire escape midnight walks/swimming etc) to put
into literate English.
We have so much
talent it seems from T & C. Some names from my Autograph book, they may appear
on other sites but anyway - Elizabeth Wright, Gillian White, Bridgid Hays, Karen
Lewis, Rosemary Thomas, Rochella Brown, Helen Craig, Edith Thierry Mieg, Joan
Askins, Sonia ? Camilla? Virginia Caffrey, Caroline Grigson. Roy Bigwood, Barry
Turner, Mike Askins. Greetings. Liz
Elizabeth Colton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(Now Liz Kinsley)
UK - Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 14:26:37 (CET)
Quite by chance,
I googled this morning and turned up such a wealth of memories. My own name
features in the staff list as I taught mostly mathematics at Stanford hall 1946/7.
My husband was Peter Pollock and my brother Mick Gamble. I do still have regular
contact with Jill Pole(nee Kennard) and Jeffrey Bernhard and various snips of
news have filtered through about one or two other ex-pupils.
I am now 84 years of age and live in Cheltenham Glos.
Lovely to make contact,
Margaret Pollock <email@example.com>
Cheltenham, UK - Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 14:26:37 (CET)
Photo kindly provided by Jacqui Mills (Margaret’s elder
Season's greetings and Happy New
Year to all ex-T&Cers everywhere.
Mike Baess <Mike.Baess@uk.tesco.com>
UK - Friday, January 01, 2010 at 12:23:32 (CET)
This is to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a wonderful year ahead.
Also to thank you for your support and kindness to me this year.
If you have a few moments, please click on this
link to my new website
UK - Thursday, Decemebr 24, 2009 at 15:02:42 (CET)
My name is Margaret Baker but formerly Margaret Walters. I attended the school
when I was 4 years old for two years before going to the City of London. For one
of those years my teacher was Miss Warmsley, and this would have been in 1956/57.
My cousin Carol Williams, was also in my class as she is the same age as me. Her
married name is Carol Faro and her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. She
now lives in Australia. However Carol remained at the school until she was 16,
so I’m sure would have a far better recollection of people in the class than me.
I do remember that Mrs Paul was the head, and that there was a boy in the class
called Steven Cauliver. Not sure if that’s the right spelling or not. There was
also a boy called Anthony, who was always in trouble with Miss Walmsley!!!
Norman's Note: Would that be Anthony Dessaur - a rather chubby boy?
Sorry, that’s the best I can do for now, however I will email Carol and see if
she has more detail of the class. My home email is email@example.com.
Margaret Walters <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Monday, December 07, 2009 at 17:05:36 (CET)
I greatly enjoyed my year or so teaching
English at St. Mary's Town School.
Three main memories:
1/ The glorious singing at several assemblies by one senior girl of "Dido's Lament"
2/ Julian Chagrin's acting in "The Pardoner's Tale"
3/ The nice little girl who presented me with a little blue vase from her collection
- I still have it on display..
All the very best. .
Harry Royall <email@example.com>
UK - Monday, December 07, 2009 at 17:01:03 (CET)
I was a pupil at the Town and Country
School from 1954 to 1957. I remember being taught to write properly by Miss Green,
a Canadian, and, of course, French by Monsieur Prusteau. He would refer to us
as "Mes petits singes", and (as it seemed to me at the time) would regularly fall
off his Lambretta on the way to school. He also directed me in a French version
of "Cinderella" in which I played (oh god!) Prince Charming. I was four at the
time, and delivered my lines with my chin on my chest, and almost completely paralyzed
I spent one rather confused and unhappy weekend at Hedgerly Wood. One abiding
memory is of waking up in the night needing a pee. I groped in the dark to where
I thought the door to the outside was, and proceeded to do my business into what
I thought was the garden. It turned out to be into another room... in which other
children were sleeping.
Looking back, I wish I had stayed on to complete my schooling at the Town and
Country. The emphasis on, for instance, art, was magnificent, and I spent many
happy lessons drawing in wax crayons (I later went on to art school). However,
my father decided that I needed a 'proper' English Public School, and sent me
to Colet Court and St. Pauls. I think he was wrong.
With very best wishes,
PS: Having looked through most of your great website, I came across Alison Tudor-Heart's
two photos. of a gathering at Hedgerley Wood - including, I think, me sitting
directly in front of the fire. So my dates of 1954 to 1957 don't seem to be quite
right! Incidentally, I vaguely remember Alison.
Another PS! I recognize the boy sitting next to me in Alison Tudor- Heart's photo
as Ronald Almeroth, who was my 'best friend' of the time. Anyway, thank you for
this wonderful website.
Jonathan Weiss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Monday, September 28, 2009 at 19:30:49 (CEST)
John Ker and I met up with Theo [Lemos], Melanie "King", Alfred Nathan and his
wife (not an ex T&C pupil), Mike Baess, Diana Krajkeman and Lindy Rappaport at
the Sir Richard Steele pub on Haverstock Hill last night (Friday 7th)
Here are some pics. Melanie has some of the boarding
house era she says she will send you to scan and put on the site. She mentioned
a border callled Timothy - do you remember him. She said he was very delicate
I don't remember him do you ? [Norman's Comment] He is Timothy Bloomfield and
was a weekly border at 31 Glenloch Road Pre Fire, and on the T&C football team
with a photograph in gallery 9
She also rembered Neville coming to school one day very upset and tearful because
his partner had died - do you recall that episode? [Norman's Comment] Yes I
do, though not the year, and at the time I was too young to understand the details
You must come to a mega-reunion I'm sure there would be a great opportunity to
hear tons of gossip and information
Haywards Heath, UK - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 13:39:51 (CEST)
Was thrilled to stumble upon your site the other day, and since then have gone
back several times and taken a longer look. Kudos on your dedication and devotion
to the task of memorializing our old school! Very exciting to see! You've done
a great job on it.
I have many memories of the place, but unfortunately not a single photograph from
that year, so I was very glad to see the photos on your site. I remember the stairway
at the top of which our classroom was, and I think I saw a glimpse of it in one
of the photos. I definitely remember the views of the front and back of the school
and was glad to see them again after all the years.
Our family lived in East Finchley and we would take two public busses every morning
to get to school (transferring at Golder’s Green for a bus to Swiss Cottage);
we were often late for Assembly, to our intense embarrassment. I seem to remember
that Mrs. Paul reprimanded us several (even many) times.
It seems to me that once a week at Assembly Mrs. Paul (?) would read an outstanding
or unusual composition of one of the pupils, I believe without mentioning the
name of the writer (were we all given the same topic, regardless of form?), and
we would wait with bated breath to see whether ours would be the one. Mine was
chosen one of the first weeks of the year. I was so thrilled to hear my work read
aloud that it set me on a course of trying to write the very best essay I possibly
could, to win the honor again (and I think I did, several more times over the
year), which set me on a lifetime course of writing.
I recall sitting in the dining room downstairs (was it in the basement, or slightly
below ground level, so that we could see or hear the children on the playground
outside?). I remember the whole class (were there about 20 of us?) sitting around
the rectangular wooded table, which seemed huge, and being served several courses.
(So different from and more personal than American school cafeterias, where we
would get our food on a tray and sit at long, narrow tables in a large hall filled
with such tables and numerous children.) Every day of the week had its set menu;
there was no choice. One day was shepherd’s pie, the name of which used to puzzle
me no end (why shepherd and why pie?) and the desert for one day was chocolate
pudding with coconut shavings on top (mentioned by another visitor to the site
as well), which I detested. Every week on that day it was a topic of conversation,
how Ruth could possibly not like that desert, and who would get to eat a second
I assume we also had some kind of uniform for sports classes, which I can't recall
at all (we went very occasionally to some very modernistic-looking building for
gymnastics classes; I remember lots of light-colored, polished wood) but I do
remember the white tennis shoes we had for those classes. Apparently we were told
they had to be kept clean and white, and so one or several of the pupils at school
set up a kind of business: they would whiten our tennis shoes for, I think, 2p
or 3p a pair. My sister told me about it and we both thought it was a good deal.
We were surprised when we got our shoes back after the first treatment: we assumed
they would be washed, they had simply been painted with white paint! I still remember
the sight of them.
Thank you, Norman, for your great site, clearly a labor (or rather, labour) of
Ruth Epstein Ben-Mayor, Israel
Ruth Epstein Ben-Mayor
Israel - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 13:23:27 (CEST)
P.S. Do you know of any other pupils in Israel? Maybe we could start a club
if you could give me their e-mails (or even just their names and towns of residence).
You may remember that I wrote to you last year having found your website? I now
have photocopies of the photographs from august 1959 when I was at the "country"
house before I started at the school in sept.1959. There
are just two photos, one with lots of us in what looks like the main sitting
room of the house, (I think they might have called it a "drawing room"(!).....
a very small me with very blonde hair looking perhaps a bit like a fairy! ...on
someone's knee! and another of three of us on the "see-saw" in the garden.
They are nice photographs I think. Unfortunately the originals are in my late
mother's album which is not to be fragmented until after her partner's death so
I just have these photocopies for now but they are ok I think.
I’m afraid I’m not clever enough to know how to scan these to you via PC but I
am happy to post them if you want them for your collection. but you will need
to let me have an address to send them to. [Norman Says: Yes Alison I will,
and thanks for sending in the scans]
By the way I still think your website is wonderful! I haven't visited since last
year when I wrote to you and I am most impressed that you keep it updated. Do
you give notice on the website of forthcoming reunions? I am living in New Cross
SE14 now and would be very interested to go to a reunion.
Anyway, let me know if you want the photographs.
Alison Tudor Hart
Alison Tudor Hart <email@example.com>
Lonndon SE14, UK - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 13:14:50 (CEST)
I went on a guided walk of Hampstead
today and the school was mentioned as we walked along Wedderburn Road. My sister
and I attended albeit briefly when it was in Eton Avenue. I often wondered what
happened to the school as I would pass the building when I was a GP in Hampstead
and did home visits !
So today I finally looked it up on the web and was very pleasently surprised to
find so much information. My memories of the time at the school do not include
other children alas - perhaps because I was only there for a short time, but I
remember vividly discussing the launch of the sputnick, staying late one afternoon
to watch a larva/puppa hatch into a buterfly and lastly being one of 2 or 3 children
to attend during a flu epidemic.
Sylvia Laqueur 1956/7 aged 10
my sister was Shlomit - aged 7/8
Sylvia Laqueur <firstname.lastname@example.org>
London, UK - Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:27:23 (CEST)
Remember me from 1967/68. I just spent the afternoon with Theo and would like
to have my details included on the site. My email is email@example.com
and I live in Worcester and am an orthopaedic shoemaker in the Cotswolds and in
My website is www.billbird.co.uk
I would like to be included in any ideas for reunions. It would be great to meet
up next time you're down this way.
All the best, Bill Bird
Bill Bird <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Worcester, UK - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 14:33:14 (CEST)
Thanks to your website I have got into contact with some old Saint Mary-ites.
I met Alisha Sufit last week at a gig and we have a lot in common, music and art,
and knowing several staff. And have been in phone contact with Elizabeth Colton
and John Ravilious, and also Ben Jacoby.
One name you could correct CHRISTOPHER WEATHERBEE please change to CHRISTOPHER
WEATHERSBEE (definitely has a S, and I knew him)
Please can you insert my email email@example.com as I would be pleased
to contact others.
It was Mrs Paul's interest in the Alexander Technique that got me into St Marys,
as my mother Dr Dorothy Morrison was one of Alexander's students' and gave evidence
at the Alexander libel case in South Africa.
Thanks again Norman.
John Morrison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Monday, June 01, 2009 at 15:19:27 (CEST)
I was dumbfounded when, upon doing a Google, your page popped up with a reference
to "Robert Hilliker" and St. Mary's T&C. I was indeed the young boy with the back
of his head to the camera in the picture
This does take me back. Things I remember vividly are:
Mr. Nevill and the bloody German song:
C-A-F-F-E-E, trink nicht so viel Kaffee. Nicht für Kinder ist der Türkentrank,
schwächt die Nerven macht dich blaß und krank. Sei du kein Muselmann, der das
nicht lassen kann.
I was at St. Mary's in 1972 before I got shipped off to boarding school in Bury
I remember playing football in my regular school shoes and freezing my bloody
feet off. Rupert (or possibly his brother) sitting in the window sill watching
the other kids play (what a beautiful soul he was). Cried on the day we were told
he had died.
My best friend was David Stuart-Murray. He loved the Moody Blues and would go
on for hours if given half a chance. I actually looked him up in 1982 when I was
back in London from college in American. Won't discuss what we had both learned
to do with some proficiency during our time together, but music was very much
a part of his life and he was a very skilled guitarist. Not seen him since. Memories
flooding back now but all in bits and pieces with no timelines. I was only at
T&C for a short time in 1972 but it is indelible on my mind. I remember the interview
process, by Mrs Paul, to gain admittance to the school...commands in French and
then odd little ditties that seemed to make no sense at all.
I am shocked that Karen Freund even remembered my name. So now I am a grey'ing
haired 47 year old father of 2 (boy 23 & girl 8...don't ask...lol)
I live in Houston Texas where I landed in 1983, after college, to take my place
in the Oil & Gas business (roller coaster ride would be too kind).
I now am VP Business Development for a leading Information Technology company.
Well enough. All the best and if this email has happened to land on a friendly
ear, I would love to maintain a dialogue.
Robert Hilliker <email@example.com>
Houston, USA - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 11:21:22 (CEST)
Is there going to be a reunion of T&C pupils this year? If so any idea of the
time & location.
Website is fabulous, I am surprised more of my old friends have not located the
site. Perhaps old is the key word! Anyway I would like to correspond with Keith
Many thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you.
Eric Jacobson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Friday, April 17, 2009 at 12:42:26 (CEST)
Mel Hughes (now Mannon) told me about this site and I am delighted to have explored
it from top to bottom. Can't 'do' Outlook Express for some reason (probably inherent
stupidity) so hope contacting you through my yahoo address will be ok. Please
feel free to put out my e mail address on that list thing and I would be grateful
to be informed of any up-coming reunions.
How totally mind-blowing to see pics of Theo Lemos and read an account by Vincent
Young, the 2 loves of my younger life!!! Get in touch! Please.
love Melanie King (now Armstrong)
Melanie King <email@example.com>
UK - Friday, April 17, 2009 at 12:40:01 (CEST)
I hadn't thought of my period at Town and Country almost since the time I left.
Your site is amazing...I spent so much more time in other schools yet there is
far less info and without a doubt far less passion is written about them; an excellent
labour of love and with so many fans! I did wander up Eton Avenue a few years
ago when I worked in the area, without remembering the house numbers but trying
to find the school or at least the buildings but seemingly no trace, now I know
why. Next time I am in Swiss Cottage I will have a look at 38 - 40.
I went to T&C for a year when I was about 10, so that makes it 1967 or there abouts.
The reason I Googled the school was because I was recounting a story to my kids.
The gist was that Gary Bolton was a keen ornithologist and at 10 I thought that
was pretty cool. Not wishing to copy him directly I decided to take up ichthyology
(incidentally my fascination with fish stopped when I left T&C!). Other fellow
pupils included Hirohito Hiashi (excuse spelling) we were great mates, I think
his father was based in the Japanese embassy in London and he left the school
before me. I also remember Mick ? (Man City's number one fan) and Mike ? (who
supported ManU), Johann from South Africa, (I note the name Schalwyk on the list
of pupils but I am not sure if it's him) he did have a sister at the school and
on your list you also include Rita. There was a guy whose first name I can't remember
but I am pretty sure his surname was Downs. His French was excellent although
I don't think he was a great fan of Mr Neville.
I wasn't into sport particularly although I was obliged to play cricket and I
did go swimming at the baths in Swiss Cottage. I am ashamed to admit that I used
to cheat at cross country when running across Primrose Hill by taking short cuts.
I can't remember the name of my co conspirator, perhaps if he reads this the memories
will flood back.
Teacher wise I remember Mrs Paul and yes she was balmy then despite being very
elegant, a german Lady Bracknell is how I think of her. Mr Paul was always floating
about. Philip Neville (I knew him after he had changed his name and hadn't known
that he had changed it until reading it on this site...so why did he change his
name?) I also knew him with the brown toupe complimented by the grey sideburns.
He discarded the "rug" during a school holiday so somebody must have given him
some advice...oh and I also recall the misery of Les Miserables. Mr Meulemann,
the maths teacher who I thought was very cool and much less stuffy than the other
teachers. I can't remember the name of the other staff but i wonder if anyone
can remind me of the names of the ladies that taught us English Lit and English
Anyway enough for now, it's been great writing this stuff down amazing how the
memories come back, despite being a bit patchy. I hope to hear news from my colleagues
and wonder if anybody remembers me (Andy Crown mentions a "bookish guy with glasses
called Max" is it me or Max Peacock?)
BTW have you planned a 2009 reunion?
Best wishes and congratulations on creating a very special website.
Max Weiner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Friday, April 03, 2009 at 12:20:57 (CEST)
My name is Eric Jacobson. I was at the T & C from about 1952 to 1958. I was absolutely
amazed and delighted to find the site. I have looked for the school before, but
without success. I have already emailed Daniela Bouchard, and received a reply,
very exciting! To think it must be about 55 years since I last saw her.
Names I remember.
Daniela Bouchard Ailsa Payne David Hyams Caroline Mortimer. Is she a step daughter
of John Mortimer? Angala Pleasence John Hall Rachel Ibbetson Naomi Jacobi Caroline
Tranter John Stevenson? Susan Coddington USA Diana Weinstein USA John Bloomfield?
Adrian Andrews, boarder from Kettering Freda Lipton Valentino Serra Italy A French
chap name escapes me Linda Grade daughter of Leslie Grade. Probably sister of
Michael Grade Keith Mullinar from Richmond Julian Chagrin Carol shelley Robena
Mr Brown maths. Very tall and slim. I’m sure his wife taught as well. History
I think Mrs Noyse John Silkin Robin Wood Mr Prousteau Mr Graham Mrs Gardener Mrs
Chagrin Anne Smythe
I can’t recall the reason for it but I’m sure it was a matter of perceived injustice.
The only person I can remember was Caroline Mortimer. I think she was a spokes
person. We all sat at our desks, refusing to budge. Eventually Mr Graham became
involved. He managed to talk us round, but it took a long time. He seemed very
nervous the papers in his hand were quivering. Any memories?
We had a visit one day from an Indian Gentleman who looked, and dressed just like
Ghandi. I don’t know what religion he represented, but in his talk he said they
never refer to themselves as I, Just by their own name. It was considered arrogant
to say I did this or that. This has stuck with me, and I get very irritated when,
particularly, politicians, Say I am going to do this or that. Anybody remember
On my first interview with Mrs Paul, I was shown into her first floor front office,
come sitting room, with my parents. After a while I was asked to go into another
room while my parents had a private interview with her. On the way home my parents
told me that the door to her office had three or four handles or catches, only
one of which was in use. The fact that I picked the correct one first off was
an indication of my powers of observation. Is anybody else aware of being tested
in this way?
Valentino Serra was a great member of our community. However there was one problem.
When it came to the rota for cleaning and sweeping the classroom after hours,
he would not enter into any form of “housework”. He was threatened with various
punishments, but was adamant. He said it is “women’s work”. I wonder if he is
still saying the same thing today!
I had an, after hours, extra lesson in French with Mr Prousteau, who fingers were
yellow and he stank of Gauloises cigarettes. He was late. After a couple of minutes
I made a dash for freedom. Next day I was summoned to Mr Grahams office. Although
he had, obviously, got the wrong end of the stick, his words made a lasting impression
on me. He said you should rather die than be late for an appointment. I know this
made me into a stickler for punctuality all my life. I better not be late for
the next reunion meeting!
I remember many stays at Hedgerley wood shortly after they purchased the property.
Walking along the lane to the pub at bledlow ridge. Under age but no one seemed
to worry. We were permitted to be amazingly free and easy. There was a very nice
lady visitor, who had a convertible Morris Minor. She allowed Adrian Andrews and
me to drive the car up and down the long winding drive while she was there. Adrian
called it “sptrintzling”
These experiences probably made me much warier about acceding to my own children’s
freedoms and use of my cars.
Rock around the clock
Somehow a group of us dressed in “teddy boy” clothes and performed “Rock around
the clock” in front of an audience, including Mrs Paul. David Hyams, John Hall,
and others I can’t recall were involved. It was not my scene, being rather shy,
but I went along with it to keep in with the lads. I was acutely embarrassed by
the whole thing. Anybody remember?
Some of the many memories, I shall try to recall more. In the meantime I would
be interested in any recollections of these events! Any of the names I mentioned,
if you are out there please contact me.
Eric Jacobson <email@example.com>
UK - Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 15:29:35 (CET)
My sister Cas (Caroline Willing) told me about this website. It's been fascinating
looking through it. I was at the school (I think) from 64-69. I left aged nine,
so I have almost a better memory of my sister's friends (Diana, Robin Rowe, Matthew
etc) than I do of my own. They seemed incredibly glamorous and sophisticated to
me at the time. I probably made a nuisance of myself trying to stand close to
them at any opportunity.
As for my contemporaries - I remember Tom, and Tommy Thomas Thomascyk (sorry I
bet that's spelt wrong and there are probably too many 'toms' in there), Fiona
Hill who loved horses, Dawn and Gail Castle, Janine Wingate, and a number of others
- not least my absolute best friend aged eight, Julia Maurice, who went off back
to the states at about that time. I also had my first crush (aged seven) on a
dark haired boy called Hughie. I never spoke to him but he'd run around the playground
making airplane noises. I would watch in awe...
I broke my wrist in that same playground whilst skipping with someone (?) when
only about six - the teachers were so used to hearing my tantrums and crying fits
that they didn't believe I'd hurt myself for what felt like ages.
Tom - well done for posting those amazing photos of the Elizabethan banquet which
I remember SO well. In fact I still have the dress. My daughter wore it to a school
thing a few years ago, when she was the same age. It seemed like the most important
day ever. I got to be Lady Drake, and Tommy Tomascyk was Francis Drake.
I remember a lot of singing in assembly, being lectured to by Mr Neville, being
frightened of Mrs. Paul, weekly spelling tests, and being read to when very little
by the brilliant Nicolai Tolstoy. There was also a particularly memorable occasion
when I was meant to have memorised Ariel's 'full fathom five' speech from The
Tempest. I stood up, full of confidence, and suddenly realised I hadn't memorised
it at all. I didn't know it! I was asked to sit back down - Ironic that I actually
became an actor.
As if going full circle, I did an M.A. only last year in screenwriting and playwrighting
at Central school of Speech and Drama, which happens to be... in Eton Avenue,
All the very best
UK - Monday, February 23, 2009 at 18:15:39 (CET)
Stumbled on your website while googling Diana Krajkeman. Something I've done occasionally
over the last few years with no joy. What a weird feeling it was to come across
a picture of me in pink mini dress posing with Duc and Robin et all.
I was there from 64 to 71 boarding on and off from 67 onwards.. I think I may
have boarded with John O'sullivan (memory banks mostly erased around those years)
Although I do remember being the only boarder in Mrs Paul's house the year before
I saw Duc and Alfred (Nathan) about 20 years ago but lost touch. Would you be
kind enough to pass my email on to those two?
What an amazing amount of work you've put in to the website. You must have been
very happy there.
Cas Willing <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 13:52:36 (CET)
I wonder if you could help?
When I was 6 or 7 I went to the country part of town and country school which
I remember in huge detail This was in 1946/7.I had been prior to this at the Swiss
Cottage part although it may be that I went to the Country part first.
This school has left me with so many memories. I would be happy to describe these..
for example the grand frontage and surroundings of the most beautiful stately
home building of the country school and its layout and matron....I remember singing
All things Bright and Beautiful in a most beautiful long ballroom long windows
pictures,gilding....utterly empty except for the grand piano and so many things.
Might anyone be interested?
One of the very difficult things for me was ididnt know where I was . I recall
walking to the boundary and longingly wondering where i as i looked up and down
the empty road. I often was wondering and thinking was my mummy?
If anyone can give the address of the school (Country) and or a photograph that
would be marvelous!
Ann (was Ariel) Froshaug
Ann (was Ariel) Froshaug <email@example.com>
UK - Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 14:07:35 (CET)
Hi there, [MORE
ADDED 9th Feb - see below]
Let me be the 700th person to thank you so much for putting together your website!
My name is Andy Crown. I'm an American, but attended St Mary's T&C for the one
year that my family lived in London. It was the school year of '69 - '70 and I
was in 3rd Form. It was a tremendous year, and a great age for an adventure. I
learned a lot about London, the world, girls, food, culture, skinheads. I made
a lot of friends, and I learned french, german and soccer. But academically, at
least, I can't say I picked up much of anything else.
Half of our class was made up of short term foreign transplants like myself, many
of whom were just there for that one year. If memory serves, there were 13 pupils
in the class, only three of whom were girls. And because we were at such a rambunctious
age (the boys, that is) it seemed that the girls would come up with any excuse
not to come to school, as a result of which on any given day there was likely
to be only one or two of them present which, I'm sure, made the experience all
the more horrific.
Let's see, there was me, my best friend Oliver Perrin (who had several siblings
at the school), Andy Collier (another yank) Sebastian Crewe, Michael Baess (Mick
then - who lived near the school, I think), Gary Bolton (who lived near me in
Highgate), Mark Pfeffer (likely the only jewish skinhead in Swiss Cottage) and
a bookish kid with glasses whose name i think was Max. Either I can't remember
two of the boys or I'm wrong about the class size. And the girls were Yamiko Aoki
(from Japan), a South African girl named Rita (who had an older brother at the
school) and Sophie something or other (who I believe was from Greece). They sat
in the back row, as far away from the pandemonium as possible. All three lovely,
all unfairly traumatized.
The Faculty was somewhat inconsistent, to be kind.
That year we had, I believe, three successive German teachers for a very simple
simple reason. Our Form drove the first two to quit. I specifically remember at
least one of them storming out of our classroom while muttering in German (likely
after being pummeled with chalkboard erasers when her back was turned) never to
be seen again.
We had a tall, porcine History teacher with pink skin and white hair, whose name
I can't recall. He had fought in The Great War and I believe it was Mick Baess
who was particularly adept at getting him off the subject of our lessons with
a simple question, "Sir, tell us what you did in the war again?" That was good
for 15 minutes anytime. He enacted his revenge though. For a big man, he had an
unusually stealthy ability to tiptoe to the back of the class with his enormous
history textbook tightly grasped, and then sneak up behind anyone who was misbehaving,
say talking in class, and thump them on the back of the head with that opus, just
a butterfly's wingbeat short of a full- on concussion. If you had any brains left,
it was certainly the last time you were guilty of that particular infraction.
Not that I would know, of course.
I seem to remember there were two teachers who were fired outright during the
course of the year. One was the Scottish Science teacher, McDermott??, a somewhat
hot-tempered guy, who had apparently beaten up our junior-skinhead Mark. It may
even have been on that odd walk we regularly made to the science labs. Another
was our Maths teacher (Mr. Mueleman?). He was tall with receding hairline. I mostly
remember his last day. If he shared with us his infraction, I don't recall, but
he was close to tears as he spoke with us more intimately than he ever had before.
I do remember he told us some rather off-color jokes that day.
I had to be tutored weekly in German and French, which I did with Oliver at the
house of a woman named Mrs Karger who lived just around the corner from the EMI
studios on Abbey Road. In fact, that was the year that the Beatles album came
out, so that was pretty cool.
Mrs. Paul taught us Bible, or Religion, or whatever it was and she expected us
to be very stoic in our absorption. Unfortunately, it was the dawning of an era,
and we were just reaching an age that almost demanded the questioning of such
dogmatic approaches. Those classes weren't always pretty.
I really liked Mrs. Blythe, the English teacher. The Geography teacher, Mr. Johnston?
(also the football coach, I think) was not overtly warm, but an absolute classic.
Mr Neville was, of course, a prince**.
One of my most vivid memories of the school was sitting down in the cafeteria
spooning some form or other of gruel into my mouth only to look up and see one
of the kitchen ladies gingerly transporting a plate of smoked salmon sandwiches
up the steps for Her Highness. Sadly, my only memory of a specific dish is not
a good one -- Shepherd's Pie. In theory it would be a dish that I'd enjoy but,
even today, seeing it on a menu brings back a rush of images. Of leaden potatoes
blanketing a soup of water and suet with bits of ground gristle and bone floating
around. I truly apologize for that image. Maybe Mrs. Paul fed it to me while administering
the Ludovico Technique and I just don't remember it.
The 3rd Form room was precariously located at the fulcrum of the school. The room
was in one building, but it also had a back door to that creaky skywalk to the
main building. If someone were disposed to, oh I don't know, dropping water balloons
out of the window onto innocent schoolmates playing out back, whichever building
a faculty member chose to race up the stairway in full fury, one could run down
the stairs of the other building and melt into the crowd. I hope you understand
I'm speaking only theoretically here.
I remember constant football in the back garden atop the gravel, walled in like
caged beasts. I shudder no to think what it must have been like for innocent bystanders
just trying to walk through. Speaking of that, I still recall the lump in the
throat whenever Mahmoud would line up that ferocious shot of his and you were
in the way.
I just now thought of one Saturday afternoon near Sebastian's house playing football
in Regent's Park. Sebastian, Andy, Oliver and probably Gary and Mick and I were
set upon by a gang of skinheads. We tore off and just made it onto a moving bus.
All except Oliver who didn't quite make it. We reconnected with him later that
day and he seemed to be pretty much intact. I think they got the ball though.
Well, that's all I can come up with right now, rummaging through the cobwebs.
I can't believe it's just coming on 40 years ago!! I sure hope my thoughts don't
come across as negative in any way. That's not my intention at all. It was probably
the greatest year of my childhood. And I wouldn't trade a single one of those
memories for anything in the world. Well, maybe that thump on the back of the
I live in Southern California now. If anyone wants to get in touch, please do:
andy (at) crowntown (dot) com
Best to all!!
Andy Crown <andy (at) crowntown
USA - Tuesday, February 03, 2009 at 13:18:21 (CET)
Lovely to hear from you Andy, Although I left in '68 I identify with all you
say! Your description of Mr Johnston as 'not overtly warm, but an absolute classic'
is spot on. One question though, what do you mean by "Mr Neville was, of course,
a prince." That may be an Americanism which we Brits might not understand? He
is certainly the one that most people have something to say about. ]
for getting back to me Norman! In the days since I sent you the email, I worried
that my memories and characterizations were a tad too
critical. Not that they weren't heartfelt, only that I hoped I wouldn't offend
you, the person who obviously displayed so much love
in crafting this fabulous website. My only real regret is in not being more
effusive in my praise for your fine efforts. It would be hard to
overstate the astounding rush of warm feelings I've derived reading through
the pages. It reminded me of an old line of Charlie Chaplin's.
Roughly paraphrasing here, "People always glorify their days in vaudeville.
It's not true, vaudeville was terrible. The pay was lousy,
the work was hard, the dressing rooms cold, the audiences unappreciative. It's
not vaudeville we miss, it's our youth." Well I
thank you for bringing back to me a magical little sliver of my youth that had
largely faded from memory.
It's funny that
you mention that sentence about Mr. Neville. Ironically, that was one place
I do remember pulling my punches. I
guess in deference to any sensitive feelings, I didn't want to come right out
and say he was a **self-aggrandizing poofter. I figured
'prince' would bring to mind his effeteness and queeniness. Clearly that was
WAY too subtle! Please feel free to quietly remove that
sentence any time you might find yourself working on the site. Or replace it
with something I've said here (yuk yuk).
Thanks again for
your labor of love. (Oops, I mean labour of love) I'll keep checking back and
if my memory is jogged further, I'll send
you an update.
Have a pint for
me. And maybe a Cadbury's Flake, some yorkshire pudding or maybe a nice curry.
Just stay away from Shepherd's Pie!
Denise Harris - 1969 to 1975
I was told about your web-site by Gina Beck, whom I have noticed has been mentioned
a couple of times in the guestbook! I can't believe this site exists. I remember
taking my kids to Eton Avenue to show them where the school was; obviously it
was no longer there. Reading through the guestbook has brought back so many memories.
Friends I remember from my time:-
Dawn Castle - both of whom lived in the same close as I did at the time. Dawn
Castles' sister was Gail.
Lynne Bolton? (not sure if I have her surname right)
Caroline ? (we knew her as Caz and she lived a few doors away from the school)
Clark Berger (I am sure I saw him on TV a few years ago, doing a donald duck impression!!!)
During my time, Mrs Sieff was the geography teacher (as someone else mentioned)
- Mrs Kennerly the science teacher. I am sure it was her that used to stamp her
feet and say "would you mind being quiet". Mr McMennemum was the Maths teacher
(Mr Mac) and he used to line us all up along the wall of the classroom on a Friday
and fire maths questions at us. If you got it right, you moved up the line, if
you got it wrong, down you went. I was ALWAYS at the end, so he would ask me some
simple question so that I could move up one place!
Someone mentioned Tomi Tomacek; I remember a Tomi who tried to push me down the
stone steps leading from the street to the alley that led to the playground. I
must have just come back from playing hockey because I had my hockey stick in
my hands. As he tried to push me, I turned and belted him one between the legs
with the hockey stick! Not only did he get punished by me, but we were sent up
to see Mrs Paul and Mr Neville, and if my memory serves me correct, I got let
off scott-free and he got it in the neck. He was punished twice!
I was in hysterics to see the picture of me posted in Gallery 16 (I think), dressed
up as Jester for an Elizabethan pageant. My Mum made that costume for me out of
a roulette cloth and I am sure there is one of me wearing it in her albums somewhere.
I have far too many memories of the place to list here, but things I might be
Hiding on the boys coach to go and play cricket because I hated netball. Getting
caught on the way back after having had a great afternoon with the lads.
Playing poker in the changing rooms for money; I don't know how many times I got
caught and had the cards confiscated
Final Assembly 1975: I cut the wire to the bell so the teachers had to go around
the school telling all the pupils because they couldn't ring!
Field Trip c1975: I was the eldest on the trip and for some odd reason was allowed
to smoke in my room - so that became everybody's smoking room! (I left the school
at 15, so this is not very good news really). You couldn't see a thing as you
walked through the door.
Sneezing - I used to pretend to have a sneezing fit and disrupted many a lesson
Thank you so much for this trip down memory lane, and thank you Gina Beck for
getting in touch and pointing me here!
Denise Leach (nee Harris)
Denise Harris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 18:54:13 (CET)
Discovered your website for the first time this morning. I was a day pupil at
T & C from 1961 to 1967 when I left at the tender age of 10 to go to Dartington
Hall School in Devon.
I started in the kindergarten and finished at the end of Mrs Bevans class. I don’t
have that many memories of T & C but your photo galleries did revive a few.
I especially love Gallery 9, as I recognise some of those boys, particularly Mike
Baess, Lewis Dodd, Sebastian Crewe, Peter Lucas and David Phillips. Peter and
David used to sit on my table in Mrs Bevans class. Peter was my hero when I got
a splinter of paint up my finger nail canoeing in Hyde Park and he accompanied
me to the hospital because he was a boy scout.
My best friend was Diana Lock at that time who I have totally lost touch with,
but her cousin became one of my great friends at my new boarding school.
Maddy Tringham (now Lewis).
Maddy Tringham <email@example.com>
UK - Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 13:59:08 (CET)
Ok, this is amazing, I attended the school must be in late 50s, you have my name
there spelled incorrectly, I’m Richard Weiner, not ‘Winer’, so you can fix that
(and put down my email address) and I knew Lillian Trigg who was from Canada and
Timothy Grimes whose Dad was an art director of some fame; you have them both
I’m American and ended up going to the American School in London and now live
in Aliso Viejo, California. Was a nice school.
And come to think of it there was a Janice that I had a crush on and I see a Janice
Lesser listed, that was probably her…I remember going swimming and to play tennis…
its coming back now, would love to contact these people…thanks..
Richard F Weiner
Richard F Weiner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
USA - Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 13:57:48 (CET)
Just a bit suprised to find that site and it brought back some old memories. Couldn't
find a lot of my classmates though.
I'll put some names together when I have a mo.
Toby Baker <email@example.com>
UK - Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 13:55:57 (CET)
Im missing from the list.
I was in the same years as Mark Foster, Philip Sachi, Robert Haas and Bellinda
Locke (daughter of the teacher Mr Locke.
I hope that you are well
UK - Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 13:53:33 (CET)
Two more names likely to be in the Gallery 11 photograph.
Jennifer Clegg - not sure what happened to her in later life, I saw her once in
Oxford (LMH) in 1968.
Oliver D'Arcy Hart - now a distinguished academic economist working in the USA
UK - Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 13:48:55 (CET)
I am absolutely amazed to find this website! I actually think I was at school
with you!! and i actually think i might remember you as being of a small, wiry
build and rather cheeky! but perhaps i am just imagining it. If it was you then
i remember you in mrs bevan's class. i liked her very much. she was kind to me.
I started in miss warmsley's class, then i went to miss collins' and then I went
to Miss Bevan, My sister Penny Tudor Hart was 21 months younger than me and she
was with miss collins when I was with Miss Bevan. I remember M Proustau and I
remember Mrs Paul ofcourse. I remember thinking she was mad! but she felt benign
and i think she was.
I was at the school between 1958 and 1962. I left in the spring of 1962. I was
a "weekly boarder for one term in 1958 ( the sept. term)when I was seven years
old and i cried every night and bothered everyone with my crying and it is a great
tribute to the school that they insisted to my mother to return me home which
she proceeded to do to my joy and to the greater good for my sanity. so I am eternally
grateful to the school for that.
i have good memories of my time at the school as a day pupil, possibly because
what happened afterwards was so awful. Now i see my experience there as a privilege
and definitely contributing to who I am and in a positive way I feel.
my closest friends when i was at the school were sara berman and Alexis Penkovski
(spelt wrong i'm sure). I used to sit next to Kublah and I remember having a secret
crush on him! I remember Gabriel who was a talented artist. i later called my
first child Alexis, remembering my friend Alexis from T&C and perhaps in memory
of the school in some way too. I had the name down for a girl or a boy and then
a boy was born! so he is Alexis and he is thirty six years old! he is an architect
and lives in forest hill with his wife.
i have another son aged 27 called Stefan. He lives in new cross, SE14 and i am
currently in the process of buying a flat across the road from him. i have a house
in greece and spend about half the year in greece and half in UK.
you probably don't remember me. i was a disturbed and unhappy child with a difficult
life outside school.
I have got a couple of photographs of when I went to the "country" part of the
school in 1958 (summer). They are in an album that is now part of my mother's
estate and i might be able to get copies of these for you if you are interested,
one of them has lots of pupils, all older than me at the time. i was the youngest
there i believe. i remember the older girls being very kind to me and one of them
sang me to sleep once," Golden Slumbers," when i was homesick.
thanks for setting up this web site. it's extraordinary. best wishes
Alison Tudor Hart (now Alison Butterfield)
Alison Tudor Hart <Alisonbfield123@aol.com>
UK/Spain - Saturday, Septemebrr 27, 2008 at 13:30:29 (CET)
I have just come across your interesting St Mary's T&C website. I was a pupil
there from 1953-1957 and some of the names are very evocative. Please do add me
to your list.
After further perusal of your website, I am fairly sure that I have recognised
my younger self in the photograph of gallery 11. The boy with only half his head
showing, next to 'Vicky' (Huxley I presume) and behind Christine Boudier, is me
I think. Thank you for a nostalgic trip - I had forgotten most of the names and
also that the boys were all in love with Juliet Glaister!
Allen Parrott <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Friday, August 29, 2008 at 17:56:12 (CEST)
I have just discovered your town and country website. It is an incredible archive
and I am still reeling from it! Well done, both Mike and I ( Michael Mannan
- ) are so glad you have done this. It was such a weird and defining place to
spend your youth!
Bizarre, crazy, sometimes traumatic, sometimes inspired, we feel it shaped us
almost more than anything else.
Mike and I met through Mel King in 1968 and have been together (more or less!)
ever since. We married in 1978 and have a daughter, Ilona. I don’t really know
where to begin. There are so many things I would like to ask you.
How are you? What are you doing now? Hope things are good for you and yours.
I may be able to help with more info re Mrs Paul. I stayed in touch with Ilse
(Mrs Karger) until her death in 1993. And I know people who knew them both.
You know the Swiss Cottage mafia. I
will keep trying to find out more about Mrs Paul. Nothing so far, but I am involved
with a film project about various German-Jewish refugees who ended up in London
and so am meeting a lot of old ladies in Swiss Cottage! Much Kaffee und Kuchen
later………. Will contact you as soon as I find anything out. Do you happen to
remember a doctor, GP I think, who lived at 13 Eton Avenue and was called Ernst
Cohn? He may have been Mrs Paul’s GP, not sure yet.
I was an actress for 20 years and then became a screenwriter. Mike went to Oxford,
did his PhD and post doc research (physics).
I met Biba
Ashmore in Hampstead in about 1972/3 – I was at the Central School of Speech
and Drama then and she was an art school, St Martins I think. But I lost touch
with her after that – I was in rep all over the place for ages and didn’t have
a base in London then. I would love to hear of her again. I also met Nicolette
Ismay during that time when she was at the Slade doing fine art. We met a few
times then and then lost touch. I met her again fleetingly at Chalk Farm tube
in the early 80s – she was painting and I was in a play about Gladstone for
Yorkshire TV, she was on her way somewhere and I was late for rehearsals so
we didn’t talk for long, but I think she was living in Stockwell then ??? and
had a baby son called Toby. We may well have met at this party you mention,
Norman, I lived in Belsize Square whilst I was at Central and then on and off
when I was in London, and after about 1979 Mike and I lived in Primrose Hill
Still a bit shocked but very glad to have found this site.
Hughes & Michael Mannan
Melanie Hughes &
Michael Mannan <email@example.com>
London, UK - Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 22:03:17 (CEST)
PS from Michael
Please do feel free to put our email in the guest book. Actually, I do see you
already have (he he), very Norman if I might say so (this is Mike by the way).
We are both very pleased that there is something somewhere for T&C and that
it didn’t just vanish forever. Maybe Mel and I can find some photos and we’ll
send these when we do.
Some more names
for your pupils list:
(friend of Patti Palmer)
pupils in the upper school.
In my previous guestbook entry I promised to scan some photos of a school pageant
for you. That was five years ago but anyway here they are! It was an Elizabethan
Feast with the pupils cast as various luminaries from that era of history. I'm
attaching six of them which cover just about everyone
who was in the class.
In order they feature: Myself and Jason Brown;
Fiona Hill and Adrian Selby;
Janine Wingate, mystery person behind fan talks to Denise ?, Konrad ?;
Jason Brown, Suzanne ?;
Lyn ?, Kristine Blair, Shafique Omar;
myself (with disturbing beard), victoria willing (the back of her head anyway),
tomi tomas tomacek.
I've just returned to Melbourne after four very busy years running a theatre company
in Perth. With a bit of time on my hands I went back for a look at your site.
I'm impressed by the accumulating material on the guest book. For some reason
though, no one else from my class seems to have stumbled on the website yet. Perhaps
they have but were from the 'traumatised' faction of ex-TCers.
By the way, my sister's name is in the list of pupils but not mine. I was there
from '63 to '69.
Cheers, Tom Gutteridge
Tom Gutteridge <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Melbourne, Australia - Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 21:57:12 (CEST)
I went to T&C for 2 terms beginning
I had finished 6th grade in the US where I was born- we were in London for a year.
I was about 11 and was the youngest in the class, I think.
The oldest was a Japanese girl- we were friends. ( there were sisters Kyoko and
Yokiko- one in my class and one in my younger sister's class)
I remember the names
which one of your correspondents mentioned(Sabah Zilouf)
my classroom was adjacent to the entrance of the building- opposite the auditorium,
an incredible geography teacher, playing a very small part in Beauty and the Beast,
the set lunches- every Monday liver and mashed potatoes, etc., learning enough
math in two terms to keep me bored for the next 2 years of school, standing up
when a teacher entered - till what year was that the custom?
Who were the teachers in the senior school that year?
Debbie Epstein (Rahav) <email@example.com>
UK - Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 11:20:34 (CEST)
My dear friend Norman - Great to
be back in contact again
I shall send excerpts so as not to bore you and to be able to give some chronological
coherence to the last 43 years since I saw you last.
Feel free to use whatever you want for the web site or edit as you wish.
The discovery and establishment of contact: 2008:
Last Saturday night I suddenly thought about Gabriel Arnell and Kublai Malek and
punched the names into Google.
I fell upon your site and could not believe it. I had spent years trying to forget
T&C, and now it was there again in front of me ?!
At first I wanted to see about you and then I realized you were behind it all.
Well done a great job of reconstruction.
My views on St Mary's are very similar
to John Paul Jones of whom I have vivid memories.
I was very unhappy there. I arrived before you in 1958 (aged six) and left in
December 1965 (in full rebellion and close to being a delinquent).
Reading thru your site I realized that the life we led as boarders was completely
different than that of the day kids.
For me it was some type of three dimensional Hogwarts with foul food and incomprehensible
Do you remember the punishments of standing on chairs in the landing with books
in outstretched hands ? The eternal lines? The number of times I was suspended?
The fireworks in the dorm curtains etc.
I loved the weekends in the country.
I remember you teaching me about electricity? The battery with cable and the
smallest possible light bulb.
The never ending feasts in the bedrooms at midnight. The business of selling
sweets and ending up eating them all.
On your list of names you might want to add Kublai Malek.
Tell me more about Paul Vaughn,
I can’t seem to place him although I know we were friends.
The man in the photo with me and Jean Bennett was my uncle Hossein, who was
at Oxford at the time, and who was my legal guardian in the UK.
I think it was he who found the school of St Mary’s.
He went on to be part of the first team to do a kidney transplant in the UK.
The Americans recruited him first to St Louis and then to North Carolina to
run Kidney transplant centers.
They gave him US citizenship and he did very well and ended up living in Florida
Its good to be with you again Norman,
I shall continue with chapter 2 (1966 –1974) shortly.
Majid T Yazdi (Majid Tabatabai) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lima, Peru - Monday, July 14, 2008 at 14:16:52 (CEST)
PS: the fotos are of my second
wife (Monica and kids)
my daughter Jade (first wedding) who will be 20 in August is studying art at
St Martins in London.
The contents brought
back memories and the names of my school day contemporaries, both of which I thought
long, long lost.
I have laughed out loud at some of the guest book postings and have been delighted
to have rediscovered an old friend, Ben Trisk. There are other names mentioned
and one in particular pops up a few times, that of Reina James. To those who asked
what became of her, click onto this link to discover more: http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/generalfiction/story/0,,2113260,00.html
I remember French without 'Learning' as some of us would sneeringly call it and
vaguely recall the tape recorder. The completely over the top Philip Mysercough/Neville
was someone with whom I got on, but in hindsight can see that he was an appalling
bully who took out all his insecurities on his young charges.
I was unaware of his News of the World outing. The redoubtable Mrs Paul must have
been particularly liberal minded for the time to have allowed him to continue
at the school.
He must have been particularly sensitive about it all. I was in charge of the
lighting at one his Christmas concert specials, which, at the time were staged
at the Rudolf Steiner Theatre just off Baker Street. Calling down from the lighting
gallery to the stage, where he was strutting his stuff, I made the mistake of
using his old name and received a booming broadside to remind me that his name
was MR NEVILLE!
Another Christmas play, Amahl and the Night Visitors, saw me step into one of
the leading roles at the last minute when the pupil chosen for the part had to
pull out for some reason or other. I'd had the task of chief prompt during the
rehearsals and seemed to know all the parts. I played opposite another of my friends
Tony Vaughan. His brother Paul features in one of the photographs on the site.
Other memories triggered by your site is of another friend, Charles Kenton, who
was a boarder and the son of the actor Godfrey Kenton, who regularly featured
in radio plays. I can still see Charles rising majestically to score a brilliantly
headed goal in one of our aimless football games on the Hampstead Heath extension.
I also recall Ben Trisk playing tennis in a tournament and using the lob to great
effect. Our weekly efforts with the old wooden rackets and worn tennis balls at
the courts just behind Belsize Park station, must have been hugely frustrating
to a talented player such as Ben.
God this is all so sentimental and making me feel ancient!
Keep up the good work and thank you.
Geoffrey Bowden <email@example.com>
UK - Monday, June 16, 2008 at 14:16:52 (CEST)
I found your website while taking a break and thinking about the old days. I wasa
quite surprised to find it actually! I went through all the photos in the gallery,
but none had a picture of me.
I was there for 1971-73, moving there from Switzerland and left when we were posted
to the US. I recognize some of the names, like Lisa Prudhoe, Fariba and Farina,
and Mandy, who crushed my chalk when it fell out of my hand (she wasn't very nice).
Other names I remember were Duncan ?, Richard Lever, and Peter Rothschild. Anyway,
Kevin Hill <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Friday, June 13, 2008 at 15:38:59 (CEST)
I came upon your website dedicated to Town and Country purely by chance – my son
had heard some very sad news about one of his school friends and I entered Town
and Country on Google. When I read all the entries and saw the photos I really
couldn’t believe my eyes.
I was at T & C from 1964 to 1969. My name is Beverley Cohen (Duboff) and I must
say I don’t have many fond memories of the School. Mrs Paul was a very strange
lady indeed (that is being polite!). I remember having to recite pages of French
poetry (La cigalle ayant chante) The only teacher I really liked was Miss Bennett.
She encouraged me and I think it is she who got me interested in the theatre and
It is easy to criticise the school now – who knows how I would gave got on at
another school? But I don’t think we were taught to aim high and to be confident
and it took me a long time to be able to do that.
When I left school I took A levels and a secretarial course and then I worked
in the theatrical and publishing world until I got married in 1977. I now have
2 grown up sons, Mark who is 27 and Richard age 25. They are both Chartered Surveyors
like Kenny, my husband. We live in Stanmore Middlesex.
I have worked on and off since I got married but the only work I do at the moment
is on my golf! My family all play the game and last year I was Lady Captain of
my golf club Potters Bar.
I was thrilled to read that Karen Miller remembered me and that Carol Williams
now lives in Australia – she has had an interesting time. I did see Carol for
a while after leaving school but we lost touch in the early 70s.
I do still see Lynn Swaine (Steele) and she’s still as bubbly as she was in that
photo in the playground, except she’s now a grandmother!! I also see Hilary Kaye
(Isaacs) and she’s also a grandmother!
Thanks for all your hard work on the website. It brought back some interesting
Beverley Cohen (Duboff)
Beverley Cohen (Duboff) <email@example.com>
London, UK - Monday, June 02, 2008 at 12:21:43 (CEST)
I have visited your website several times over the past few years and been amazed
at the warmth you display for T&C. My memories are mixed, but the overriding one
is misery. I hated the place. I hated the boarding house (even the words 'boarding
house' make me feel a little nauseous). I hated the tarmac playground and the
side gate with the trellis panel (remember?). And more... And that is probably
why I have never contacted you, thinking that you must be deranged, at the very
least, to have such fond memories. I went there from age 5 - 11, first as a boarder,
and how you could speak so kindly of this bunch of mad bastards who had such power
over small children was a mystery to me.
The Pauls were, as one contributor (Ernie?) comments, autocratic and remote -
that Mrs P was later described as mentally ill came as no surprise, I could have
told them that at age 5. Mr Neville was a particularly unpleasant pervert. He
had some very unsavoury practices which today would be seen as child abuse and
probably require him to resign or, preferably, be banged up. And Mr Prousto (?)
was little better. Of course I remember some individuals as being kind and warm,
but not many - and mainly the women.
Despite the above, I am not a twisted, rancorous old git, rubbing my palms together
in demented self-loathing staring at a wall and muttering under my breath about
the wrongs done to me by the world at large (well, not all the time). Like you,
I have had a varied career, mostly in the entertainment industry. Now I am too
old and wise to spend my life on tour, and too bored to order toilets, generators
and fencing for festivals, and now spend my time trying to stop those people who
still do these things from killing themselves and each other - and get paid a
damn site better. Oh yes, and quite a happy bloke really - for a health and safety
consultant, that is.
I remember you with some affection, a bright and inventive type, always entertaining
and only as 'good' as you needed to be to get by. Maybe that was the difference,
I always got caught and punished, often for things I hadn't done, and rather than
shut up and keep my head down, I'd protest my innocence until I managed to infringe
another arcane piece of etiquette (usually "talking back to my elders and betters")
and get into trouble all over again. I have a very clear memory of you pinning
a crumpled sheet of silver paper to the inside of your desk lid and poking a wire,
connected to the silver foil via a battery, through a hole in the lid and scraping
it about to create static and interfere with the radio reception of those dreadful
BBC schools programmes. I don't remember if it worked, but it seems vaguely ironic
that you went on to a 'career' where immense effort was expended improving wireless
reception. It is only with mild regret that I confess to being a Radio London
listener (Caroline was a bit naff within my circle of friends) and thus not hearing
you which I think would have been quite cool - though I expect London had ceased
broadcasting by the time you got to Caroline and I had probably stopped listening
to the pirates...
Anyway, thought I'd finally get in touch to say you have done an excellent job
archiving T&C - whether it will be read as a celebration of great schooldays or
a dire warning of the potential dangers of off-beam educational establishments
given free reign depends on the experience of the reader. Anyway, well done.
A few bits from the past to add to your collection - but no photos I'm afraid:
Names that drift in and out of focus...
Harry Trigg - American?
Dorothy ? (Doy)
Lindy Green (last seen in The Bell, Belsize Park 1970's)
Nicholas Paul Butler
The coffee shop was called Beverly Bean it was opposite the Finchley Road baths
and was redeveloped as a Sainsbuy's - I spent a lot of time in the area in the
late 60s and 70's and would tell friends that I leaned to swim in Sainsbury's
which we thought hilarious - but we were stoned most of the time.
Anyway it's a beautiful sunny Sunday down here in SW France and I must go tend
the estate as the grass grows faster than I can cut the damn stuff down, and if
I don't do it now it will be up to the eaves by the time I get back from bringing
some sanity and order to the Glastonbury festival (spoilsport!)
PS You can remove PJ, I only acquired the nickname in 1963 (after T&C) but it
is a limitation of Friends Reunited who ask for a nickname in your profile, and
then assume you had it since birth.
Richard Paul-Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Blagnac , France - Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 21:18:24 (CEST)
Norman's Note - Richard, thanks for writing, you say I "must be deranged, at
the very least, to have such fond memories" and you could easily be right - after
all this website is simply a labour of love! but notice how many other glowing
memories the site has accumulated. Strangley, I can easily agree with your summary
of T&C, and yet amongst all that dysfunction and madness, I feel it did me a great
deal of good, perhaps partly because of it! Yet your comments are just as valid
as any of the others, and your description is prefectly recognisable. Thank you
for deciding to write after all.
P.S. My foil experiments 'jamming' the BBC that you recall, must have been an
early indication of my disapproval of their monopoly of the airwaves?
I hope the attached pictures will give everyone
in them some fond memories. These are six more pictures
I found from the years 58 to 61 when I was at the old school.
One of the pictures I have labelled Timothy Grimes but it might have been Michael
Bunting who was being strangled by John Walton?
If anyone can name the others who I have failed to name in any of the photos please
let Norman know so he can keep an accurate historic record.
UK - Monday, March 24, 2008 at 15:24:28 (CET)
I have just had the extraordinary experience of seeing what I presume is your
web site on the Town and Country School. I was there from 1961 until 1964 when
I returned to South Africa. I am regularly in London and some years ago set out
to find the school only to learn that it no longer existed. It was , for me, extraordinarily
formative and encouraged so much intellectual curiosity among my friends and myself
that I often wonder what its secret was.
I am an investment banker working primarily in the international mining industry
for my own account. I would dearly like to know more about you and to make contact
with some of the people who were at school at that time.
I have seen on your website numerous references to a boy named Joshua Thomas.
He had a brother who was a friend of mine by the name of Giles. I recall that
the boys lived with their father somewhere in Belsize Park. Of interest is that
Sylvia Plath lived in the apartment below them and Mr Thomas was friendly with
her and consoled her after Ted Hughes walked out. I think it was he who was first
on the scene after she committed suicide.
Another boy with whom I was friendly at that time was Nicholas Partos – not on
your list. He was very bright and I often wonder what became of him. He lived
with his mother in Reddington Gardens (Redfern Gardens) in Earls Court. I note
that two other boys are not on your list whom I recall. The one was Martin Deutscher
(his father Isaac Deutscher was a renowned Sovietologist and at one time the Editor
of the New Statesman, and Paul Allum). The only school friend from those days
that I keep in contact with is Juliet Glaister. She now lives in Ealing. I was
very close to the family.
Do you have any recollection of a young boy, I think a year below me, who was
the godson of Yehudi Menhuin – also called Yehudi, I think. I remember the Dragon
boy, ultimate cool as someone remarked on your website and also a pretty girl
by the name of Pamela Mason. I believe that she was related to the actor James
Mason. Reina James was another friend of mine in those years. She had a South
African connection. Her father, Sid James was a famous comedy actor who was born
Geoffrey Bowden was on your list. I was very friendly with him and would love
to know where he is now – if you have a contact address. Oddly, I remember Lilian
Trig. I see that she lives in Canada and she was a Candian girl whose father was
on secondment to London if memory serves.
I have always wondered about a marvellous French teacher that we had. His name
was Myerscough but at the commencement of a new term he announced that he was
now Philip Neville and he remained like that for the rest of my stay at Town &
David Cheetham taught me English. He had been at Stoneyhurst and his approach
was very public school. I often puzzle about why he taught at Town & Country at
all. I was a great fan of his and got on famously with him because he loved sport
and I was very sporty – far too sporty for T&C. I recall getting time off from
school on Tuesday and Thurday afternoons so that I could go down to Queens Club
to play tennis.
I had some splendid teachers who gave me wonderful insights and sparked my intellectual
curiosity more than one would normally expect out of a 14/15 year old schoolboy.
Other than David Cheetham and Philip Neville, tow who come to mind were Mrs Belloni
(an outstanding History teacher although your reference to her is as a junior
school teacher) and Helen Fehling who also taught English.Mrs Haak never managed
to teach me much German but she had great legs and that was sufficient to grab
Just as a point of personal background, I am married (for the second time) to
Helen Maisels, whose father Isie Maisels QC was a great barrister who led the
Defence Team in the South African Treason Trial. Nelson Mandela was one of the
accused in that trial. All the accused were found not guilty in 1961 and Mandela
and Isie remained close right up to the time of Isie’s death in 1994. We have
one son, Simon, who goes to St Johns College, in Johannesburg and we will likely
move to London in the second half of next year so that Simon can do his A levels
at one of the Public Schools close to London. Simon will go to University in the
UK. My son from my first marriage lives and works in New York.
I hope that you find this helpful and once again my applause on your website.
It is a wonderful vehicle for connecting old friends.
Benjamin Trisk <email@example.com>
Johannesburg, South Africa - Sunday, March 16, 2008 at 13:17:39 (CET)
I went to both the Town and the Country School from about 1947 or 48 until 1952.
My name started out as Jennifer Jacobs, then became Jennifer (Jenny) Greene. My
sister, Lindy Greene attended the town school starting in 1959.
During my years there I remember some names of schoolmates: Zulieka Dobson (Zooey),
Susan Bisham-Holmes, Sally and Molly Branch, Sally and Jackie Turner, Neil Crawford,
Kip Hampton, a Swiss girl named Vivian (?) and another girl named Harriet (whose
last name I have also forgotten) among them. These were mostly at the country
school (Stanford). And I remember a girl named Sandy with red hair and a horse
named Lavender! Might you know the whereabouts of any of these people?
Miss Bennett was my favourite teacher.
Unfortunately, when my parents moved us to Canada in the winter of 1952 they were
in arrears on my school bills, so I was not allowed to tell anyone I was leaving
and therefore lost touch with everyone. (They did pay up on returning to England
in 1959 and enrolling my younger sister).
I have many complicated memories of my boarding school years. It was hard to be
out alone in the world at such a young age, but if one must, St. Mary's was the
most benign of places to be alone in.
It's lovely to see this web site, thank you for doing it.
Jenny Kastner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Toronto , Canada - Sunday, February 24, 2008 at 21:25:39 (CET)
Hi Norman, I was totally shocked
– surprised – blown away – whatever, to fined your web site. I'd love to make
contact with Jennifer Staffy Peter Neomey Rachel Ibittson Sean Sears John Hall
Eric etc. I have lots of Photos of cottage kids and plays we produced, parties,
plus Jean, bless her, Robin Wood, Caroline Mortimer. Do get in touch. Sorry about
layout and spelling can’t work this blessed computer. Yours Daniela Borchard
Daniela Borchard <email@example.com>
ISRAEL - Monday, February 04, 2008 at 17:20:14 (CET)
Hi, what a great website! I have
very fond memories of the school (73-76). I heard recently that Mrs Paul was once
an eminent psychiatrist. I'm not sure whether this is true, but it certainly figures
as she had a tendency to analyse both pupils and parents. She once told a friend
of mine that she was an unloved child!
Pls can you add me to your list of pupils.
Undine Bowmaker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 18:45:19 (CET)
I was a young pupil at St. Mary's
school. Don't remember the London part, but do remember some of Devonshire. Learned
to read from AAMilne book: When we were young, or some such, with poems.
I was born in Vienna, and left with my brother in Dec. 38 to go to a family in
London. He is 5 years older, and went to a different school (and therefore was
separated from him at evacuation). I was about seven years old. Remember learning
french, and arithmetic playing at a toy market in the schoolroom.
Also remember working at the beach, where I got chilblains (frostbite) from inadequate
footwear. Remember staying in a ?nurse's big soft comfortable bed with a hot water
bottle, and the large comforting woman sitting in a rocking chair beside a small
table with a lamp, reading. Think we regularly wore knitted bed socks to bed.
Liked Mrs. Paul also. Think it was Mr. Paul who worked at exercises with me for
my flat feet: tearing up paper strips with my toes and walking with them curled
around paper, or pencils.
We did hear bible lessons, and I was very interested in them. First time I knew
of such stories. Think I liked hearing about Jesus because I felt somewhat deserted
and ignored by parents and elders.
Do remember knitting scarves. That was when I learned to knit. Older girls made
squares for blankets. Remember soldiers visiting us to show us how to don gasmasks.
Remember the views of green fields, separated with hedges like patchwork, when
we went on walks. And clambering through hedges, and over wooden styles. Do not
remember the beach though. Think we went to visit a farmhouse, and had tea. (Visited
England in the 90s and a cottage kitchen with blue decorated plates on the wall
seemed very familiar).
I did not do as well with food and eating, I guess. I was considered quite underweight
for my age when I arrived in school in New York (April 1940).
I do remember feeding pigs, and not wanting to eat pork. But think I also remember
working in a vegetable garden. We had rides on a horse one day, I still was suffering
from frostbite, but got a ride side saddle with the help of Mr. Paul, wrapped
in a quilt. Other children had bikes to ride.
I wore braids, had dark hair and brown eyes. My nickname was Bibi. I was at St.
Mary's from its evacuation until ?March 1940.
My daughter found your website. I am now 76 years old, living in Massachusetts.
Sincerely, Phoebe Joseph
Massachusetts, USA - Monday, January 21, 2008 at 16:50:34 (CET)
As the clouds of time pass, I'm stunned to find this site and well done!
I live in Norfolk nowadays and in a moment of nostalgia I took a look at Eton
Avenue when in London to find the School closed.
I'm Matthew Rees and I was at Town and Country from about 1964(?) until 1971.
I say suppose because I thought I moved from the Junior School up to the Senior
School next door in Eton Avenue. I then made a vague attempt to pass my 11 Plus.
I think I had been to four perhaps five School's prior to this and it was now
arranged for me to come to Swiss Cottage every day whilst I lived at the bottom
of Holland Park.
The first year I would be dropped off and collected, it was the clever thing to
do in those days as many Women didn't work was to pull a coat on to cover the
nightgown below and pretty much throw the child from the moving car. My wonderful
Mother was always just a little late and I generally missed Assembly. Subsequently
I would have to make a Central Line Journey through to Baker Street and then northwards
on the Bakerloo to Swiss Cottage. I remained Late! To day I have a nervousness
of large groups of silent yet expectant people. I suspect it must originate from
My first memories are of the young Nikolai Tolstoy reading us a type of Tolkien
Fairy tale once if not more times a week. Of Course I didn't know who he was until
twenty years later. I swiftly started to drop this nugget into conversations about
my schooling. I think it in some way absolved me of doing pretty much no School
work at all during my career at T&C and I hoped it might indicate that I had in
some way been touched by his intellectual power.
I don't quite know how we managed it but the School day seemed to be directed
pretty much entirely to highly skilled and sometimes violent games of Football
in what was after all only a concreted suburban garden.
In the summer the class room after Breaks must of been full of sweating and exhausted
Children. Their minds still full of visions of stirring deeds on the Football
Grounds of Old Trafford, Gunnersbury and White Hart Lane. God knows how anything
This enclosed 'pitch' had various hazards including a small wooden cabin, usually
full of the Girls. In addition a slope down into a basement area that gave access
to a dingy dining room and possibly changing rooms.
This lower area was inhabited by the chain smoking Mr Neville (I never was clear
what his role was but it involved watching us change for Football and something
of an artistic nature) and the portly Mr Gayton(history). I once caught poor Mr
Gayton with a sweetly struck volley which knocked the poor man sideways. He fell
to the ground and a small amount of blood seeped from the back of his head. This
is it, I thought, but the generous and liberal nature of this School came through
and I pretty much got away with it scot free. The poor Mr Gayton who was now blowing
like a Hippo was taken to Hospital. I think the game ended due to lack of time
due to the inconvenience but started as usual the next break.
As I grew older it was clear that this brick lined and watery passage also had
uses for other types of socialising other than Football but I wasn't really clear
of those until 'Girls' became important. The older 6th form could be glimpsed
in tight close intimate activity that wouldn't become clear until I was is in
my last year perhaps. The pleasure of casting off one's naivity. Some of my fellow
schoolmates whether in my class or not would have been,(apologise for my spelling,
never did improve) Shafiq Ali, Lived near me off Ladbroke, Westbourne Grove, Alex
Priest,Mahmoud, Ali Nafis, Isaac Moliyan, Kevin Matthewson, Johan Schacelpec(
S.A Very good all round sportsman) the amazing Gary Bolton who had a deformed
back and played great football. I have a vague memory that he had an operation
and was transformed from bent to tall and elegant pretty much overnight. A guy
whose name I can't remember who played football in the playground who had a quite
nature but hummed classical music as he dribbled the ball at his feet. Mike Baess,
who lived round the corner from the school and scored one of the best goals I've
ever seen from, well, it seemed like 40 Yards. Alfie Nathan, Julien.
We were blessed with a School of beautiful and lovely girls, Caroline Willing,
Robin Rowe, Lindy Rappaport, Anne Wild, Diana K(In my early kissing days I bit
her lip during our go at 'Spin The Bottle' Sorry Diana, I still blush) Stella.
I will have forgotten many and I'm sorry. I can only hope all has gone well for
these happy clever and talented people. I remember this part of my life with great
fondness. All of these people are welcome to contact me and those I haven't mentioned
This school has left me with an inquisitive and searching mind, I read constantly
and I have a positive and energetic manner. I don't know a lot but I can find
out. What more could you ask for from your School.
Matthew Rees <email@example.com>
Norfolk, UK - Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 19:30:28 (CET)
Have wondered on and off what happened to St Mary's T & C School and discovered
your website - congratulations! My brother Chris and I were there for a year 53/54
but it made such an impression on me like so many of us. Chris and I were driven
from Hammersmith to Eton Ave every day by our Mum- she had been a single mother
for 6 years - she remarried - she bought a car - heard about the school somewhere
and decided to take us there. I think the commuting was unusual in those days
- but I could be wrong.
I see that there are pictures of some of the class I was in put up by Alicia Surfit.
The picture of the table with the creative artwork pouring out really brought
back memories - freedom to splash the paint about! Attached is a picture of a
'Nativity' play we were all in - I seem to remember it being a variation of 'Jason
and the Argonauts' but could be mistaken. I am sitting at the front with a tennis
racket press converted into a lyre.
I was given the
photograph by Seth Mydans whose father who was a professional photographer-
where are you Seth?
Why did the school so excite us? My own thinking for what its worth is
1. Small classes
2. Mixed boys and girls
3. Subjects taught by different teachers, even to juniors.
4. Classmates from different backgrounds
5. Teaching style - use of stories etc
The last point is hardest to say since we are looking back as adults. I remember
having to learn lines from Shakespeare of Ceasar's wife pleading to him. We
were treated as adults yet had masses of time for dressing up and creative play
eg jungle gym etc.
I never went to another school with more than 3 of the above 5 features, and
I went to a lot of schools.
It would be good to meet up if there are reunions planned.
Ronald Associates <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hemel Hempstead, UK - Monday, December 31, 2007 at 21:20:29 (CET)
1: During my period at T&C there was a general decline in standards and
yet it still had similar impact in our decade. Maybe you should add the teachers
themselves, to your list. Often they would also be artists and writers - examples
from my time; Mrs Gorara and Count Tolstoy, or eccentrics with wild imaginations
- examples; Mrs Paul herself, and of course Mr Edward Myerscough AKA Philip
Neville - need I say more!?, or wonderfully warm and inspirational individuals
- many would nominate Miss Jean Bennet but also I would add, in a different
way, Kenneth Johnson.]
2: Richard kindly provided us with a high quality (high resolution) copy of
the photo above, although of course it's impractical to show it directly, due
to size restrictions, you can download
the super copy here. (Right Click and 'save target as..') I would imagine
this would especially apeal to those in the picture, since it can produce excellent
What a brilliant site you started, I just hope more old pupils will Google themselves
and find it and make contact. I was delighted to hear from both George (Juerg)
Haller and Lillian Trigg.
1958 -1961 When I wrote to you in June, I promised to send some photographs which
I said would follow. I hadn't quite planned that they should take me this long.
Attached is a compressed Zip file containing seventeen photos.
Some of the names of pupils have slipped my memory, I am hoping that others of
that time will be able to fill in my gaps.
I have found the negatives for another ten which I will get printed unless I can
find the prints. They are of George (Juerg) Haller being beaten up (posed for
the photo) by Timothy Grimes (I think), also pictures of Gerald Davies, Donald
Atkins, John Walton, Robin Nueberg playing cricket watched by teacher - David
Sorry, I don't have any photos of Esther Bateman or Bridget Callendar the matrons
at 31 Glenloch Road. I remember Peter White, Donald Atkins, Michael Bunting but
I am sorry to say I don't have any recollection of Charlie Kenton or Angelica
With all my very best wishes for 2008
Martin Bridger <email@example.com
UK - Monday, December 31, 2007 at 16:16:48 (CET)
Hi Norm, Wow, what a lot of memories
that picture [see entry below] stirred up.
The photo was
definitely taken in autumn 1969 as some of the team only arrived at the school
in September of that year.
In those days
we were just getting a good team together and were starting to get better results
against our old enemy Harewood House.
The peak years
would come between 1970 and 1972 when we had such strong players that we would
soundly thrash Harewood almost everytime we played them.
Anyway, l to r
in Back: Stevie (Man Utd fan who had a German surname), the Mighty Mao, Julian
Esterson, Matthew 'Reecey' Rees, Alex Priest, Isaac Molayam, Alfie 'what's it
all about' Nathan and Johann Schalkwyk. Front l to r: Oliver Perrin (now a famous
pianist), yours truly, Andy Collier, Russell 'The Actor' Collins, Gary 'GB'
Bolton and Shaffique 'Shef' Omar.
All the best and
keep the good work up Mike
Mike Baess <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 15:48:59 (CET)
I came across this picture of the football team, while I was rummaging through
I have no idea why I have a picture of the football team. Judging by the people
in the picture I think it must be from about 1969 or 1970.
My memory fails me on the names of some of the team but I can identify a few.
I hope someone will recognize some of the other faces.
Back: Stevie Halmai (Man U fan), the Mighty Mao, Julian Esterson, Matthew 'Reecey'
Rees, Alex Priest, Isaac Molayam, Alfie 'what's it all about' Nathan & Johann
Front: Oliver Perrin (now a famous pianist), yours truly, Andy Collier, Russell
'The Actor' Collins, Gary 'GB' Bolton and Shaffique 'Shef' Omar.
Thanks for posting
Diana Krajkeman <email@example.com>
UK - Monday, November 26, 2007 at 18:48:04 (CET)
I have inserted Mike B's list of names from his email above.
Remarkably, this photo framed by the alcove, in the music/assembly room clearly
the painting of a river shown in full view in
picture gallery 11 used to hang, a question many of us were wondering about!]
I am in a bit of a state of shock. I googled my name and up popped SMTCS with
my name attached. I attended the school from 1958 till 1962 and have fond and
interesting memories of the place, people and the kids. It is very late here -Victoria
BC Canada but I will write again as I wish to add to the stories and remberances.
Does anyone know where Pamela Thompson is?? I know that Dennis Dragon is in California
and so is his sister Carmen.
It was wonderful seeing pictures of George Haller and Michael Schmidt and others.
Where in the world are you living and is there a way to contact any of the others
except by email?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Cheerio Lillian Trigg
Lillian Trigg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Victoria BC , Canada - Monday, November 19, 2007 at 14:23:07 (CET)
How strange and wonderful to stumble upon this site. It would have never happened
had a friend not been looking for another school on the east coast of the US with
a similar name, St. Marys...etc,which prompted a conversation that led to finding
My brother, Jason Acosta (deceased),and I attended T&C in '69-'71, and both had
very fond memories of this school and its cast of characters. After reading through
the list of entries in the guest book it really brought back the memories, like
the chocolate pudding, bangers and mash, the dreaded jelly and custard. I recall
trying to find the school around 1990 and could not locate it, and could not find
out what had happened until reading the articles you had posted on this site.
All the names mentioned brought back the memories, Matthew, Sheffi, Mic, Gary,
Alex, Lindy,Gail, Sebastian...etc..
I remember doing
a film while at the school, obviously, Victor Hugo's' "Les Miserable's" starring
Sabrina Crewe as Cossette, orchestrated/directed by Mr. Neville himself. A copy
of this must be languishing somewhere, definitely one not to be missed. And
the question of the time," where did Mrs. Paul always find that tissue to wipe
her nose, and where did she return it to after use???"
I have recalled a few names to add to the alumni list. The Perrins, Roger, Margot,
Oliver, Roland and their youngest sister (name?) already noted about Roland's
career. The Roegs, Waldo (I think attended), Nicholas and Lucien, whose father
is the film director "Nick Roeg", Lucien starred in "Walkabout" butt naked with
Jenny Agutter. The Williams, Jenny, Mark and Joseph, whose father is the prolific
composer John Williams (Star Wars, ET, Superman, Harry Potter...etc..etc) Jenny
went on to become an attorney, Mark, a drummer for Toto and Air Supply, as well
as many other bands and recordings, now resides in Utah with his family and
studio. Joe also went on to sing for Toto and many film scores including The
Lion King, resides and writes music in LA.
As for myself, many years of travel as an audio engineer for studio, live shows,
film and TV. Now residing in California and Florida, in-between all the travel,
just writing and producing music nowadays.
I do remember quite a few of my classmates and the staff, notably,Sharon Pinsker
and her sisters, who would arrive daily in the Bentley. Gail Castle (who taught
me how to french kiss) Angus Cameron(another name to add) whom I kept touch
with up until the mid 80's.A fellow American named Andy ?? Would be great to
hear from a few of these people and see what has transpired after all of these
years, truly a magical school in its time, THANK YOU for putting together this
P.S. The only photo I have is one of my brother and I ,in uniform, waiting for
the coach to arrive.
Gregg Acosta, aka "Josh"
Josh Hemingway <email@example.com>
Joshua Tree, CA, USA - Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 18:22:10 (CET)
Josh, a rather mundane answer to your question regarding Mrs Paul's apparently
magic tissue; I recall she simply stuffed it back up her sleeve, but none-the-less,
your memory of such detail as her perpetual nose wiping is impressive!.. Another
ex T&Cer reminded me about how she would keep every one waiting at the start
of morning assembly and then walk slooowly in with great aires as though royalty,
wearing her Dr Schol's sandals, and with very waxy toes peeping out, (close
proximity to us sitting on floor) - lowering herself carefully (following strict
Alexander Technique) onto her 'throne' actually a very rickety plywood chair,
which no one else would ever dare to sit on... I could go on, but such details
certainly stay with you]
I have found this snap of Jean Bennett she sent to my sister Val about 1950.
I believe she is outside a Swiss chalet.
There was a request for Mrs Paul's maiden name on the Wanted page of the St Mary's
Town and Country School website.
My sister Val has told me that Mrs Paul's mother was Mrs Selver. Val and I were
at the Country School about 1947.
John Morrison < firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Friday, October 12, 2007 at 00:56:38 (CEST)
Thank you John, for sending in this photo for all to enjoy seeing. Jean just
radiates warmth as always.
You mention that you and Val were there in '47 whilst I started in '61 - quite
a long time between us, yet you, the readers of these pages,
and I are all linked by having known this turned on lady.]
My name is John Rolph and I believe that I must have been the longest serving
pupil at St Mary's T&C. I started at Stanford Hall in May 1949, tranferred to
Eton Avenue in 1951 and left in August 1959.
I have written to John Morrison about my time at Stanford. I could name quite
a few pupils during my time at Eton Avenue. Among my contempories were Angela
pleasence and oliver cotton who went on to became quite famous. if you would like
a longer list, please let me know and I will try and get the "little grey cells"
John Rolph [Name & Address Supplied]
John Rolph <email@example.com>
Towcester, UK - Friday, October 12, 2007 at 00:50:56 (CEST)
I attended the Town & Country School in 1963-1964. I believe that we were in the
same class during that academic year. It was nostalgic for me to see your web
site with all the pictures of our class mates.
In case you don't remember me very well, I arrived at the school in September
1963 and could hardly speak a word of English at the time.
I sat next to Vincent Young throughout most of that time. I remember you, of course,
I also remember Joshua Thomas, Anjelica Huston, Brian (the American), Simon Pentel,
John Ker, Gabriel, Peter Wood, Judith Lock (the headmaster's daughter, I think),
an oriental girl (can't remember her name though) and Majid.
It would be good to hear from you.
Sabah Zilouf <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Tuesday, October 09, 2007 at 14:40:23 (CEST)
It's a shame there are no contact details for Cathy, Melanie or Ilona. I did see
Janine some years ago, and I must contact her again.
Re Memorabilia, etc, I don't think I have any photos, but if any turn up, I certainly
will send them to you.
Re anecdotes, well I'm afraid they are mainly negative, as I absolutely hated
the place - the staff, not the kids. The only teacher I liked was Miss Bennett,
the English teacher, oh, and Count Tolstoy was ok, for his brief time there.
Vivid memories I have are:
Yes, Melanie on the diving board. Amazing, she was.
All of us behaving in a rather suspect manner in the sweet shop on the way back
from the library/swimming pool, i.e. coming out with more sweets than we'd paid
Mrs. Paul not allowing Hattie Jaques' daughter (can't remember her name) to read
poetry for a tv programme [Six Sides of a Square BBC2] about the school
because she was wearing a brace, and didn't look right !!
That 'orrible maths teacher [Mr Kimmel] bawling at me in class, and saying
he'd throw me out by my hair, and me surprising myself by shouting back with what
sounded at the time like a cool line - that "I wouldn't touch you with a sterilised
plastic bargepole". Funny what you remember isn't it?
And did I imagine it or did Mrs. Paul make us go up to her bedroom to say goodnight
to her each night? Creepy.
I also remember one or two rather alcoholic houseparent types, who were charged
with our care, eating endless marmite on toast for breakfast, and tormenting the
boys in their dorm by dangling things from our bedroom window !!
Claire Armon-Jones (Green)
Claire Green <PBastow@aol.com>
UK - Tuesday, October 09, 2007 at 14:36:01 (CEST)
It's been almost three years since I discovered your T&C website and posted a
message to the guestbook, and yet still no one has written in to admit that I
was the long-lost love of his life, had he only had the nerve to tell me so all
those years ago... heavy sigh.
Anyway, I've noticed you're requesting a photo of the school
logo from the blazer on your "Wanted!" page, and, believe it or not, my 35-year-old
blazer is upstairs in a closet (I think I have my mother to thank for its still
If you're still looking for a photo, let me know, and I'll get out the ol' camera.
I've also located several photos I took in the yard towards
the end of my time at the school in 1974 - incredibly blurry and not very enlightening,
but if you'd like them, I'll send copies along of those as well.
I remember the names of the people in them... I think.
Karen Freund - (T&C Upper Forms 1-2, 1972-1974)
Karen Freund <email@example.com>
Algonquin, IL, USA - Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 21:32:32 (CEST)
How extraordinary to be emailing you !! My name is Claire Armon-Jones (was Claire
Green) and I was at St. Mary's at the same time as you, I think. I was there aprox.
1964 - 6.
I stumbled across your web site a few days ago and was quite amazed to see it.
My contemporaries were people such as Ilona Lazar, Cathy Anderson, Melanie King,
Joshua Thomas?, Mayo Elstob, etc.
It was really fascinating (and wierd) coming across all those photos. I just wanted
to say 'Hi' and 'thanks for doing this website' and to ask whether you have any
contact details for the people above. I have often wondered about them over the
I look forward to hearing from you.
Claire Armon-Jones. Email: as above - firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Armon-Jones <email@example.com>
UK - Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 14:39:33 (CEST)
There are many members of staff who deserve to be added to your list. Here are
a quick dozen:
Mr Brown (Geography)
Mme Chagrin (Maths)
Miss Margaret Dodds (Reception class)
Miss Rosamund Gardner (Mrs Paul's deputy for many years)
Mr Graham (Succeeded Miss Gardner as deputy head)
Mr Gubbin (Maths)
Mrs Elizabeth Isaacs (English)
Mrs Caroline Nicholson (History, Drama, Netball)
Mrs Margaret Noyes (English)
Mr John Silkin (Poetry and brought out the Anthology)
Mr Nicholas Walter (History)
Mr Robin Wood (English)
Many other gifted and very original painters, writers and academics often did
a term or perhaps a year at Town and Country. Mrs Paul seemed to attract unusual
The more you add, the more readily people's memories will be triggered by the
Many thanks for this from Naomi
Naomi Stadlen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Friday, September 14, 2007 at 13:54:04 (CEST)
I came across the T&C site by chance and was only there briefly – not even sure
of the dates. BUT was very interested to see the pic that Christine Boudier sent
(no. 11 I think) where I appear in the left corner. I (and especially my husband)
would love to know if the original photo was cropped and whether it has the whole
of my face? I have almosy no pictures from that time as we moved around a great
Jill Kravitz <email@example.com>
UK - Friday, September 14, 2007 at 13:43:59 (CEST)
This is something I said I would never do! - Make contact with anyone from T &
C. But having read other pupils experiences, on your most excellent site, with
memories as dreadful as some of mine, perhaps I should risk it.
Just by accident I stumbled across your website tonight. I was a pupil at T &
C between 1958 to 1961. I am one of the two "louts" Peter Heller refers too and
says cuffed a Whalen twin; of which I have no memory of either them or the alleged
offence but Donald Atkins of course I remember.
Peter & George Heller - got photos of you two in the playground
Sarah, John & Adam Walton - used to live in Richmond Surrey in a terraced house
with bay windows on every floor which looked just like a lighthouse. Their mum
used to make wonderful home made bread.
Sarah Neuberg - have a great photo of you in the playground
Donald Atkins - last heard of living on the East Coast - sailing Stella out of
Burnham on Crouch. Ann Cruickshank
Michael Schmidt - photos of Michael on a School trip to Southend on Sea (I think)
or Margate. messing about on the beach.
Peter White - boarder
Lillian Trigg - Great photos on Primrose Hill
Pamela Thompson - Great photos on Primrose Hill
Beatty Evans - photos sitting on the iron stairs
Gerald Davies - photos of Gerry in the playground
Reina James - daughter of Sid James a brilliant actor.
Adrian Rivers - a boarder
.......and I remember Bridget the matron - I will remember the other matrons in
I have lots of photos from those days. I will dig them out and send them to you.
Football games in Regents Park with Mr Sylvan sitting in his shooting stick; (
which I managed to break whilst sitting on it and taking the micky by trying to
When it was raining and too wet for Mr Sylvan to sit and watch us play football.
He used to instruct the coach driver to take us to the British Museum. Where on
arrival we, would be 'first' off the coach and on our best behaviour, dutifully
walk into the museum up the stairs (now out of sight) along the top gallery, down
the stairs at the other end, out of the doors, across the road and into a coffee
bar where we would stay until it was time to board the coach again.
I was a 'weekly' boarder, at 31 Glenlock Road, so never went to the house in the
'country' at weekends. I was also the son of a psychoanalyst and got sent to see
one, five times a week - because at that time no-one had heard of or understood
I will put the photographs together with some more memories and drop you another
line. Anyway it's late and I'm off to bed as I've got work in the morning. Oh
yes, I'm married with two children, currently at university and we live near Southampton.
"Born in the First Half of the Last Century"
Martin Bridger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Southampton, UK - Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at 12:23:07 (CEST)
HI, I just came across the T and
C. website. I was at the school from about 1956 to 1960 and have such fond memories
of it. I came from a very academic school and T and C was like a breath of fresh
air. Not having to wear full uniform, wearing bright coloured tights to school,
my mother scoured London to get them for me. I remember my first teacher there
Mrs Smith who kept horrible insects in the classroom of which I was terrified.
I sat next to Lucinda Huxley. I remember Alicia (sufit) as being a wonderful artist.
I also rmember Michael Schmidt, Donald Atkins, Anne Cruickshank. Gloria Harris,
who I still sometimes see and a girl from New Zealand called Robin Neuberg. We
became very close friends, though lost touch and I believe she now lives in Spain.
My love of poetry, english literature and music all came from that school. Taught
by teachers like Jean Bennett, together with Peter of course, who could be surprised.
My Myerscough for History and the Sylvain's for French and Maths I think. We used
to watch Mr. Sylvain very closely as he used to have this habit, when sitting
down, of shaking his leg up and down. This we concluded was because he visited
a lot of prostitutes and had obviously been with them the night before.!!
I remember Mrs. Paul giving our class a lesson on how to be tolerant of other
religions and beliefs and making each of us recite a prayer from our different
faiths. I also remember Angela Pleasance, the daughter of Donald Pleasance being
at the school and a high percentage of American and Canadian children.
I learn't very little at the school except about people but I certainly had a
Selma Feiner (now Shrank)
Selma Feiner <SHRANKS@aol.com>
UK - Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 11:52:10 (CEST)
I just wanted to send a quick note of thanks to you for starting the Town and
Country web site.
It is because of the web site that I reconnected with a good friend, Alex Priest,
whose letter I found on your site. He had seen the pictures that you posted for
me and when I came home to London for a visit this April we met and spent a day
visiting the houses, 38-40 Eton Ave. and walking down memory lane.
I really get much enjoyment from the history, letters and pictures that you have,
especially the one that you recently took on the front step of the house with
the flash back.
Thanks again, Diana Krajkeman.
Diana Krajkeman <RobertsD@bsd405.org>
UK - Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 13:35:19 (CEST)
First of all thanks that you have taken the trouble to compile this fascinating
site about T+C - a remarkable school-from sublime to disastrous.
I was at Eton Avenue as day boy from 57-58 to 1961 and my brother George also
was there then, give or take a year more or less. After that we went to Haberdashers’
Aske’s in Elstree. There stark reality in the shape of academic performance destroyed
the pink blossom and jasmin world of NW3
George and Peter Haller in the playground
Some unlisted ones I remember: Leslie Taussig, local boy who bopped me once in
the changing rooms (or was it other way round ?).
Michael Schmidt, whose parents ran an hotel in Chelsea.
Son of famous conductor Carmen Dragon, who we just called dragon, and who was
so cool and uncommunicative that we reckoned he was understudy for Kookie in “77
Spencer was unobtrusive lad who was said to be of Marks and Spencer dynasty.
Even though I passed the requisite number of O levels at T+C, my academic performance
was lousy because us boys not in love with Myerscough or Nash were caught breathless
by a bevy of schoolgirl beauties - enough to put us off learning. The best lookers
were actually in my brother’s class. The following names spring to mind – in no
order merit or discrimination at all (honest).
Pamela Thompson (both Canadian)
Senior girl called Celia, who used to snog with Rodney on back seat of coach taking
us to museum on sports washout days.
A unique feature in my time was that there was a clean-up roster which meant that
once or twice a term we had to sweep the classroom floor, wipe the blackboard,
dust the desks etc after school - it was delightful if you had to help someone
like Beatty Evans with her broom. (actually it was just a matter of pining all
the time) but I am not surprised that recent research shows that girls do better
academically in girls’ schools - and I don’t know what co-education does for boys.
I never liked Mrs Paul, and never consciously registered hubby. Someone on the
site says Mrs P had a thing about psychology-too true;
After school there was always a lot of jostling to get out, and I remember seeing
one of the louts (Martin Bridger or Donald Atkins) cuffing a Whalen twin who was
in his way - I roared with laughter, and in the avenue ran the gauntlet of the
yobbos from the neighbouring Kynaston “busy bee” school who liked to bar our way
to the bus stop in Swiss Cottage.
Next morning I was summoned to Mrs Paul in her queer office - not an idea why...
“Peter vhy did you laugh vhen Whalen was slapped yesterday ?” The delivery, pose,
and accent was just like in the old Pinewood war films when the German officer
says to the plucky Brit :”for you ze war is over”.
However to put the record straight, the good lady praised me on my last day at
T+C by saying “Peter, you haff discovered ze joy of hard work”
Enough has been written about Myerscough/Neville.
The Sylvans (but pronounced “Sylvaine) had spent most of their careers as teachers
in Egypt, and had had to leave because of the Suez Crisis.
My art teacher was Mr Polowski (that’s how we pronounced it)
The gutsiest and most capable teacher in my view was David Cheetham. Unlike many
of the schoolkids who reeked of wealth, and were picked up outside school by flash
motors, with or without chauffeurs, the teachers always looked like something
out of Dickens - and I remember Cheetham (went on to become a quack?) drove an
antediluvian, or at least prewar Rover banger.
And I can corroborate all the evidence about the chocolate pud with grated coconut.
Getting second helpings was quite easy, on one occasion the rat-arsed Sylvan had
his back turned, and I got a THIRD helping off Anne.
Be glad to have my e-mail address on site, and I think re-unions could be formalised
one day (at Haberdashers they have Decade dinners), a first step might be to get
Peter Haller <email@example.com>
Switzerland - Monday, April 23, 2007 at 18:48:54 (CEST)
Thanks so much for the website commemorating St. Mary's Town and Country School.
Every so often, I wake up sweating in the middle of the night, with 'flashbacks'
of Mr. Neville, red-faced and screaming at me for missing a Latin declension,
or [horrors!] singing out of key on choir--from which I was eventually booted
for that very infraction. I was there as the 'lone Yank,' from 1966-1968. I even
made it on to the school soccer team as goalie in some of those infamous matches
against Herwood [sp?] House, and had 'flashbacks' of those as well--so feared
were they--thanks to the patient coaching of Mr. Johnson. In his geography class,
I first heard the word 'ecology.'
I remember: Mr. Neville [who could forget him? That horrible toupee always comically
askew], giving strange talks about Krishna and Arjuna on the Battlefield from
the Bhagavad-Gita during assembly and closing with remarks about ' the inner man
and the outer man becoming one,' sounding more like a Hindu mystic than a Latin
and maths teacher in a British grammar school. I
was poor at Latin, maths and on-key singing, all subjects dear to his heart and,
although I think he secretly liked me, he was forever screaming at me in class,
waving his wristwatch 2 inches from my nose, his bright red nose ready to burst,
yelling, ' Ya can't.....ya can't.......ya can't! ' when I would have difficulty
telling time in Latin.
Ms Bevin, our 5th form [?] home room teacher, introducing us to Henry the VIII
and his many wives.
'Miss' Jean Bennett, who quietly encouraged us to write essays and was probably
the first inspiration I had for writing.
Mr. Meuleman for Science........I don't know why, but my memories of him are
bizarre, but I could never quite put my finger on why. Without wanting to cast
any aspersions, because I could be wrong, but with the hindsight of maturity
and years, I seem to recall a sort of suppressed 'gayness' among some of the
male teachers. My last day of school, he spent a lot time trying to tickle me.
Whatever, right? I'm not judging anyone.
Of the students,
I remember: Michael Baess, who once turned bright red and gasped out loud in
Creative Writing class when Sebastian Crewe said the word 'vagina' as part of
his description of a child birth film he had seen recently. Also Peter Lucas,
whom I assumed from what others have said on your Guest Sign In has died. What
happened, do you know? I also remember a highly intelligent and absolutely astonishing
forward on our soccer team, with magic feet, named Gary Bolton, who had the
'gift of gab' and was a notorious 'ladies man,' scoring with the girls long
before many of the rest of us were. He was also a 'hunchback,' who stayed over
at my house at least once over night, where we discussed our human bone collection--that's
a story for another time, perhaps!
I have such
fond memories of that place........me and David Phillips, son of a dentist,
who could frequently be heard bemoaning the 'scum' on his teeth, passing the
soccer ball back and forth in the yard before class. Sneaking out of school
during lunch period with Sebastian Crewe to 'score' Cadbury's chocolate bars
and rush back before out absence would be noted. I have vague memories and Sebastian
and his sister Sabrina, dropping the names of British autocracy around a lot........something
about their distant relative 'Lord Mountbatten,' a mystery I never solved for
myself, because his mother was American. She must have married into it, eh?
was just before the '60s Revolution' hit the school and I never saw any drugs
used there, but I'm sure some of that changed after I left. Still, students
were humming songs from the Beach Boy's 'Pet Sounds' album that had just been
released........I remember David Phillips could always be heard humming "I'm
pickin' up good vibrations....she's givin' me excitations..." Miss Bevins
was always admonishing him for 'rolling about,' a term I was never quite able
to define for myself, but I think it had to do with his later weight gain and
proclivity for doing The Twist in class.
shortly after RFK was assassinated, in 1968. I recall that a bit of anti-Americanism
had crept into the hitherto Yank-friendly school atmosphere, as it was world-wide,
due to the Vietnam War debacle, and I remember getting into some scrapes in
the yard with both males and females [the name Ruth Bradley comes to mind, for
some reason] over 'America getting what it deserved' with the RFK and MLK assassinations.
of months before I left, one or two other Yank students had begun to trickle
in, the only one I remember was a pretty blond by the name of Maria [Sonnett?],
whom I fell madly in love with and we used to steal kisses down in the basement
area, out of the way of prying eyes, until, that is, the day I lent out my new
B&W Polaroid camera, and as she and I 'came up for air,' so to speak, we
found ourselves facing a camera flash going off--caught in the act, by my own
camera! Unfortunately, none of those pictures have survived the years [old B&W
Polaroids don't 'keep' well], or I would have gladly submitted them. I got Maria's
Stateside address and wrote her after leaving the UK, but alas, never heard
back from her. Rats! She's probably a freakin' grandmother by now!
had been a civilian working for the USAF in Ruislip Air Force base outside of
London and, in late 1969, got transferred to Saigon, Vietnam, and due to a lapse
in US regulations at the time, my mother and I [I have no siblings] were allowed
to accompany him to Vietnam, for another, even stranger year there as US civilians
in a war zone. Again: a story for another time, perhaps.
you, Norman, so much, for going to all the trouble of putting up that website
devoted to the magical years we all spent at St. Mary's.
being quite bad with names in general, I do not remember you. If you have any
recollection of me, I'd love to hear about it! Is there any way of getting in
touch with any of the above mentioned students? I would love to correspond with
some of them........ Any word on what happened to people such as Sebastian Crewe,
Gary Bolton or Mike Baess? I didn't see any email listings for them.
thanks again for what you have done......you have brought gladness to all our
PS: I am
a Technical Support Manager for HP, now living in San Diego, California, with
my 'lady friend' and dive buddy whom I go SCUBA
diving with on our boat every week.
Mike Bear <firstname.lastname@example.org>
USA - San Diego -Friday, March 9th, 2007 at 11:40:12 (CET)
What a magnificent
job you have done compiling the T&CS website, which I have only recently discovered.
I was there as a boarder 1956-1961. Here are a few names of pupils you can add
to your list: Elizabeth (?) James, Susan McEvoy, Peter Sen-Gupta, Peter White,
Donald Adkins, ? Bridges (?), Adrian Rivers, Timothy Grimes, John Walton and
Among the teachers distinctly remember Mr Myerscough, for whom fact and fiction
were never clearly separated . He once told us he and his aunt caught a priceless
Greek statue while fishing in the Aegean. And once that his butler had disappeared
with the silver.
I do not know why he changed his name to Neville, and would be intrigued to
find out. Mr Myerscough was fond of conducting imaginary orchestras, but came
unstuck when he failed to notice that the boy operating the gramophone had inadvertently
played a 33 rpm record at 45 rpm.
For a short time we were taught musical appreciation by Harrison Birtwhistle,
but none of us was able to understand him. Were you at the school at the time
of the Glenloch Road Sex Scandal, involving Bridget the Matron and [name supplied]?
I can't think of much more information to give you, but if I can remember any
more I will let you know.
UK - Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at 21:50:32 (CET)
(Norman's Note: I do remember your name, although I arrived the same year
you left. I missed out on hearing about that particular scandal, however more
were to follow! Regarding the name change, Mr Myerscough was allegedly featured
in a News of the World exposé on a gay sex scandal. Following the name change,
I recall that he'd usually wear dark glasses in public, such as supervising
football on Regent's Park, however this could also have been part of his fact
and fiction confusion)
Dear Norman… another note, this time
after exploring your Caroline website … It dawned on me that whilst at uni (Bristol
- Drama & English, 1972-75) i often listened to you, without ever making the connection
(with St; Mary's T & C). Incredible. What a fantastic website, ahhhh radio.
Do you know anything about that steel monstrosity- Sealand? I heard it was to
be bought for an absurd sum of money, to be used as a hacker's paradise/ empire/
About Mr. Neville. Of course not virtuous.( I did say it was late). The Nureyev
stories went on to become legend with my teachers, My maths teacher at the next
school would drop tantalising if obscure remarks about Rudy and his friends. He
made Youth and Music membership mandatory- meaning oohs and ahhs for both Rudy
N's dancing AND (his true obsession) Maria C's singing.
Years later my own little sproglett danced aged 8 and a half under Rudolf's direction
in Don Quichotte at Palais Garnier! She now lives in London.
Yes I remember the portrait, tiled floors, bearded fat face. The mural fascinated
- and depressed - me, I remember thinking, that's it, no way will I ever become
a painter. It remained vivid for ages, popped up in my mind years later when studying
Eisenstein, the Film Sense, storyboards.
As I said, I'll burrow iinto the old boxes and find those reports - I suspect
some things are in my mum's boxes but, it's been decades and decades so… Wasn't
there a gentle, whimsical girl in lower fifth called Olivia? Couldn't find trace
Best wishes, Patty
Patty Hannock <email@example.com>
France - Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 16:41:29 (CET)
Just reading the famous website again. Such a fascinating wealth of detail!
I remember Mr Paul telling me the town he came from in Germany was Damstaat. (Spelling?)
He commented that everyone there was musical. Even the butcher's boy would whistle
Bach tunes as he went about his delivery rounds!
Wonder if there are records of the Paul's in Germany? There must be census and
electoral rolls. (Unless everything was destroyed in war time.) GenesReunited
is a great website for tracing families. We know Elizabeth Paul's maiden name
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The one I had in your Guestbook
is now out of date.
Keep the site going! We love the memories!
Best wishes Yours Val Reed (Morrison)
Val Reed (Morrison) <email@example.com>
- Wednesday, February 07, 2007 at 11:44:41 (CET)
Hello Norman, it's awfully late so
this will be quick, but how enchanting to find a record of that curious year,
(marked me forever), at St Mary's T & C 1963-1964: so… two brief corrections.
(I promise to return later, read EVERYTHING etc.)
a) not Patti Hannah but Patty Hannock, half American half English via Switzerland,
I was there for a year
b) Mr. Neville, who seems to have been for you a paragon of virtue, or wit, or
whatever - is in my mind ever synonymous with a certain priggish intolerance and
self satisfaction. He had me, at 11 years old, stand on my chair for 45 minutes
saying "missile missile missile) (I'd popped the unfortunate American pronunciation
In any case, in France now as you can see from the email address, depuis 27 ans,
work in theatre & film, and am of course curious about this oh so curious school
so à bientôt ( I shall do my best to dig up photos from that year).
Shall send school reports (stashed in a a box somewhere )
do you remember that incredible drawing (by Josh I think?) of Napoleon's retreat
from Moscow, it went right the way round the assembly room, from a long shot perspective,
men ttrailing through the snow, to a closeup on a broken button.
Patty Hannock <firstname.lastname@example.org>
France - Thursday, February 01, 2007 at 14:05:39 (CET)
(Norman's Note: I would have never described Mr Neville as a 'paragon of virtue',
nor indeed would The News of the World!
He was all the things you say, but also very talented in a way which was an education
in itself. I can remember being terrified of his anger, when his nose would turn
red and double in size should he hear someone singing out of tune. Yet I felt
sorry for him with his delusions of grandeur - "Rudie (Nureyev) bought me tea
at the cafe royale, because it's my birthday"... and loved his high camp act as
a duo with Mr Nash. One thing for sure, he made a lasting impression on us!.
On Joshua's artwork, I wish someone had photographed the mural, perhaps you also
remember his Henry 8th portrait, which I personally hated!)
Your T and C website is a welcome discovery. I was there in the 4th form, 1953
- 54, a visitor from the U.S. The year previous, I had been at Barrow Hill LCC
school, and St. Mary's was a welcome change. Some of the names on your site are
familiar; certainly Paula Weinstein was in my class, and a girl named Alexis.
My most fond memory is of my wonderful teacher that year. I was certain her name
was Miss Smith, but do not see any mention of her from others, so perhaps her
last name changed, or perhaps her stay there was as brief as mine.
I currently work at the National Academy of Science in Washington DC, where I
manage several small research programs.
One final memory is of Willy and his singing classes. Though I couldn't carry
a tune, I did retain-
We the spirits of the air
That of human things take care,
Out of pity now descend
To forewarn what woes attend.
Greatness clogg'd with scorn decays,
With the slave no empire stays.
(You go way down in the bass for "Greatness..."). This turns out to be from the
Indian Queen, Henry Purcell and John Dryden.
Jon Williams <email@example.com>
Washington DC, USA - Thursday, January 04, 2007 at 13:28:28 (CET)
(Norman's Note: Jon I have added more of your remembered lyrics
My mother has just seen your contact
photos on Friends Reunited as I guided her through the site. Her name is Rosemarie
Lea and she left the school in 1956. She recalls the school as multicultural,
religiously diverse and of lasting importance regarding attitudes towards others.
She attended the school from age 12 to 16 when she left. Remembers singing alot
in assembly with Mr.Williams (Willy), recalls lots of enjoyable artwork with Mr
Anthony Underhill (Australian).
recognised Jean Bennett from the photo as a fantastic essay teacher who brought
her dog to school and she has never lost the love for writing ever since. My mother
is still extremely artisitic, went to art school and has taught me lots about
Now retired, after running a coffee bar in Edinburgh, landscape gardening and
interior decorating, raising six children, two sets of twins and two singletons,
to a Welsh cottage..
Would love to hear from anybody who left around a similar time, especially Gillian
Booth and Francis (Kip) Hampton. Can be contacted through my email ad.
Rachel Campbell (daughter)
Rosemarie Lea <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wales - Saturday, December 30, 2006 at 00:49:10 (CET)
I’m so pleased to have found this
site.. My name’s Alex Priest and I was at T & C between around 1968 and 1970..
I recall the place with slightly hazy nostalgia and remember the period as an
exciting and mainly happy time in my life. I also remember some friends from those
days with great fondness: Matthew Rees - my best mate both in and out of school;
Alfred Nathan, Mike Baess, Pete Nissen, Sheff Omar, “Mao”, Peter Robshaw, the
lovely but unfortunately nicknamed Diana “Di Di Duckface”, Lindy Rappaport, Robin
Rowe, Caroline Willing, Andy Lubin and many others.
There are even some pics of me from Diana Krajkeman’s collection ! I remember
her being a good mate – I emailed the address for her on the page but got a bounce
– do you happen to have her current email address, or would you forward mine on
to her ?!
I particularly remember taking part as a goalkeeper in the continual football
games in the playground. There were some good players – Matthew Rees, Pete Nissen,
Mike Baess, Sheff and Mao sping to mind. After some “heroic” performances in the
playground - I was never afraid to get a kick in the head, but only because I
was as daft as a brush and wanted to impress the girls - I was eventually invited
to join the team. Sometimes we won big, against “the Pinkies” (was that Hereward
House ?), but mostly we were hammered by better teams with older players (King
Alfred’s). I remember with humiliation players from the KAS team commiserating
with me after beating us 11-0, saying that without me “you would have lost 20-0”.
Not much comfort, frankly...
The only blot on these nostalgic memories is that my mother made me go to extra
French and German lessons at the weekends with old Mrs Karger – I could have done
without that at the time, but at least I am now able to order beer with a flourish
and swear fluently in both languages !.
I’m now 50, and having had a career as a professional musician for many years
I finally settled down and now commute to London every day from the Cotswolds
to work as an IT Manager for Ipsos MORI, the opinion polling organisation. It
would be great to hear from anyone who knew me at T & C. Finally, many thanks
to Norman for creating this extraordinary site..
PS:please add my email address to my space on the pupils page. It would be great
to hear from some of my old friends from T & C. I’d particularly like to hear
from Mike Baess, Peter Nissen and Alfred Nathan – if you have any of their contact
details I’d be very grateful to receive them. My best friend, both in and out
of school, was Matthew Rees. I saw him briefly in the 80’s – he was working as
a journalist at the BBC. I’ve lost contact with him again since then.
I’ve noticed there’s someone missing from the pupils list – Peter Robshaw, who
was a good mate of mine in around the 1969-1970 period. He lived in Rickmansworth
at the time.
I’m trying to remember if you were there when I arrived – I gather you left in
’68 but I can’t remember whether I started in 68 or 69. Norman's Note: I left
T&C in July 1968 (see picture of me with Theo Lemos & Bill Bird at front entrance)
Alex Priest <email@example.com>
UK - Sunday, November 05, 2006 at 15:32:20 (CET)
Dear Mr. B, Thank you so much for
doing this. My brothers and I went to the school for one year (70-71), while my
father was on sabbatical from Portland, Oregon.
Paul Wild, no e, and not Peter, was 11, Phillip Wild was in the fourth form and
I was in the fifth with Diana Krajkeman et al. Johan Schalkwyk or Schalkvyk from
South Africa was there. I remember him saying that apartheid would slowly disappear
over the next 50 years.
I have four photos from our Lake District trip including Oude, Mr. Hopkins, Matthew
Rees, Mic Baess (sp?), Ana Rogers, Stella (?) Mr. Johnson, Marc Samuels, Jim and
Steve McGuire, Max Peacock, Shafique Omar, Caroline Willing, Diana K, Margot Case,
Anne McGuire, and Reitha (?) Schalkwyk. I don't remember studying that year.
Mrs. Paul was already strange. She wanted to put my brother in the 5th form because
he was bigger than I was. She taught only one passage for bible studies, something
about Paul on the road to somewhere, as it would be more useful to know one thing
well, than many thinly. Good memories of the above people, also the Pinsker sisters,
Ali Nafis, Hooshang (Isaac) Molayem,Alfred Nathan, Simon Leroy, Lindy Rappoport,
and Gary Bolton who spent a lot of time in hospital that year getting his back
Also Elton John and Neal Diamond. That year was a high point in the Wild kids'
lives, definitely. London was a big place to roam, and our parents gave us a lot
of freedom because it was so much safer than home. Please add my name and address
to your list.
Thanks. Anne Wild (Mozell)
Anne Wild (Mozell) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Salem Oregon, USA - Friday, September 01, 2006 at 17:47:58 (CEST)
the girl aphrodite is my big sister ---we attended T&C as a family my brother
andrew,my other sister sophia and myself anthony.All kolokotronis.Unfortunatrly
I remember very little about my time there and as for remembering peoples names
that is asking too much!!!!!
What I do remember is being introduced to the merits of CHELSEA FC.Whoever that
boy was that convinced me that Chelsea were better than Spurs didnt realise how
much heartache he caused for all these years untill now!!!
Good luck with your site
Tony Kolokotronis <email@example.com>
UK - Sunday, May 14, 2006 at 23:51:48 (CEST)
I was just told of this web site, and I need to get to work, so I shall quickly
add something to the guestbook for now.
I'm 40 now and joined the school as a senior, about 1977 '78. I stayed for two
years and 1 1/2 term. I look back today, and regret leaving, but you can not change
the past, and from all accounts the school was in some decline.
I wanted to go on and play football with another school in Finchley, not far from
where Mrs. Paul eventually died. Similarly my family were having financial problems,
but this could not of effected my decision to leave as she offered a bursary,
for me to stay.
I have fond memories of her, and Mr. Neville, despite what I have heard, either
from the time, and today. I was also attending at the time that Mr. Neville died.
He was very good to me, so I was upset. As were many of the girls, who could not
continue with German that morning.
He was smoking a lot, and It was observed that he may not live another ten years,
as one boy commented during tea at Ken Wood house. We used to go there during
Further to the page about the football team, whilst I was there we desperately
wanted to have our own team, and play other schools. First Mr. Finch took training,
then the Geography teacher, a young post graduate whose name I can't remember,
and finally a professional coach, But this ended after one session. I don¹t think
he knew what he was doing.
I think we played King Alfred's, and I believe we lost. We certainly wanted to
play them, but I'm not exactly sure we did play them.
Thanks for putting the site on line, good luck with it. If I find anything else,
like photos etc, I will send them on.
Kind regards Brian Monaghan. (77-80)
Brian Monaghan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Friday, April 07, 2006 at 14:21:28 (CEST)
After some idle lunchtime surfing
I've just come across your magnificent pictures of
Hedgerley Wood on your web site!,
Many thanks for making them public - they've awoken many powerful memories for
me. My father (Eric) built the house, and I lived there until about 1953 (age
6), when my father died, and my mother and I moved to the West Country.
There's not a lot of difference between the view from the drive, and the way I
remember it from 1953. The pagoda wasn't there, and I think the hut beyond the
kitchen was smaller.
My bedroom window was the one obliquely above the outside door facing the drive
- the room had a large platform in it (over the staircase) and you could climb
up a ladder from there up to the 'lookout' - which was also a bedroom.
I remember flying up that ladder once to take refuge from some cows that once
came onto the veranda downstairs when I was in the house on my own!
The 'upper middle lawn' wasn't there in my day - that was mainly woodland, some
garages, a holiday hut in the woods, a rusty old car and a large redundant horsebox
(the latter items constituted my playground!). The 'swimming pool' used to provide
our (rain)water supply.
Wonderful. Many thanks for the memories!
Best wishes, and thanks again!
UK - Monday, April 03, 2006 at 15:07:37 (CEST)
1st April 2006
How are you? As one old boy to another, I’m impressed by the school website which
is remarkably well documented and easily navigable too. Well done. Top of the
Do you remember when we last saw each other in the playground; July 1966, I think
it was, and I promised to send these photos as soon as
they were ready? Well, here they are at last. Sorry for the delay but it has taken
longer than expected to get them developed. If it hadn’t been for the extra sixpence
Boots were charging for their optional Pronto-Print service, they might have reached
Since they already appear in your photo gallery, no doubt
you will recognise these pictures of Melanie King, John O’ Sullivan, Joshua Thomas,
and of course our own Webmaster shown, in one typical pose (!) hanging upside-down,
appropriately enough perhaps. Paul Vaughn and Majid (together) were caught off-guard,
studying the illustrated edition of La Fontaine’s Batman - they said it was afterwards..?
Upon reflection, all at the time were posing though unwittingly, for Posterity!!
My time at T&C began when I joined Mrs Salisbury’s class of ’63 and ended in the
summer of 1966, and in common with other ex-pupils, my memories of those days
are vivid. In particular, life as a boarder when we shared the boys’ dormitory
along with several others, and when at one time Anna Grimes was briefly but memorably,
our House-Mother, at the tender age of 17 years old, I believe.
A few random fragments of school life that I recall to add to the collective montage
of memories are: music classes with Mr Neville spent, in part, listening to Les
Swingle Singers doing Jazz Sebastian Bach: successfully learning numbers in German
through playing Bingo, with Ms Haak: less successfully learning French despite
watching regular episodes of Notre Ville on TV. , numerous slide shows of La Fontaine’s
fables, AND constant conjugation of verbs in bewildering variations of form and
tense: - Subjunctive, Infinitive, Imperfect, Pluperfect, Past Historic, Past Imperfect,
Future Improbable, et al: oh, and not forgetting Tiki & Taki, les deux petits
Outside of the classroom, as boarders we quite often visited the local library
where John O’ Sullivan and I would read all of the available books by Ian Fleming
and Arthur Conan Doyle with great enthusiasm, and we swam regularly in the new
and excellent pools which were situated in the same building complex. I can still
see Melanie King diving fearlessly from the high board, straight and slim in her
red bathing suit, while we watched somewhat in awe from the shallow end.
Incidentally, two names missing from the ex-pupils’ register are, David Benalisha
(?) whom I remember singing in a school concert or play, a song from which I only
recall this one haunting refrain: “Angels ever bright and fair, take o’ take me
to your care,” (‘twas very moving) and Lal-a-gee, pronounced in that way, I think,
though my spelling is suspect, and her surname I’m afraid I have forgotten altogether.
I hope these photos will reach you safely through the medium of cyber-space which
is rather an alien environment to me, at least. As a precaution I shall mark this
e-mail ‘Do Not Bend ‘in bold letters!
All the best,
UK - Saturday, April 01, 2006 at 12:05:18 (CEST)
Although Mrs Paul's administration
left rather a lot to be desired, I enjoyed my brief period teaching at Town and
Later I introduced Mrs Paul and some of the pupils (I'm sure no one there will
have any difficulty recognizing anyone!) into a novel
THE FOUNDING OF EVIL HOLD SCHOOL.
I hope all my old friends there have prospered since.
P.S. Does anyone else remember the day when Mrs Paul opened a cupboard at assembly,
to reveal Mr Paul hiding inside?
UK - Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 22:05:35 (CET)
[Norman replies with this email:] Dear Mr Tolstoy (or should I still say Sir!)
Perhaps you might not remember me but we were inmates at the same time, you taught
me English/History for a short while.
How delighted I was to read your short and sweet email, I hope you enjoy trawling
through my collection of bits 'n' pieces from T&C.
Did you notice the short recording of yourself reading from Evil Hold.
The Website is a labour of love, but I have been stunned by the feedback. T&C
seems to have produced a real kind of 'family'.
I do vaguely remember Mr Paul in a cupboard, but then there were so many weird,
nay surreal, goings-on. Anyone know why!?
Even you managed to incur her wrath, I recall, by bringing your duelling pistols
You probably guess the next bit... Please, please can you write some more for
us, maybe some 'staff room' anecdotes? Anything!
Thanks again for writing, I have followed your exploits ever since T&C, including
various court cases,
and I, like anyone else who knew you from back then, wish you all happiness.
yours, Norman Barrington
Mr Tolstoy replies:
I am delighted to hear from you, as I still have vivid memories of Town and Country,
as well as fond recollections of all of you youngsters.
I have forgotten most of the staff, with whom in fact I had little to do, except
for the bizarre-looking Mr Neville with his orange toupée.
Yes, I was amazed to hear my voice reading something from "Evil Hold", but I can
that somebody was tape-recording me while reading it in class (I presume).
Sadly the book has long been out of print, and I think is now quite rare.
Although I suppose with sufficient effort one ought to be able to get it on the
which I find a wonderful though expensive resource.
I put Mrs Paul (or "Paul-bag", as I recall some of the less reverent of her pupils
referring to her) into "Evil Hold",
and attach a copy of the surprizingly
accurate illustration which appeared in the book.
The dialogue where she first meets Mr Dredge-Strangler is in part taken from my
own interview when I first came to apply for the job.
Most people would probably find this hard to believe, but not anyone who like
you knew the unredeemed glories of Town and Country.
I can't at present remember any really amusing anecdotes, though I do recall the
school itself and all you lively boys and girls vividly.
But now one scene springs into my mind. Mrs Paul insisted that one of my English
class is put on a little play
(rather ambitious, when one comes to think of it) of scenes from Victor Hugo's
To my acute embarrassment, she insisted at one point that I should walk onto the
"stage" holding the hand of a little boy -
I suppose something like this must appear in the book. She declared that this
entry looked "very sweet",
although I imagine the boy felt as I did that it was rather weird.
In my copy of "Evil Hold" here, I have the cutting of an article from a newspaper
several years ago
which described the closing down of the school.
As poor Mrs Paul was completely barmy even when I was there, I am not surprized.
I put some of the girls whom I taught into the story, though I think it was some
(prescient, as it turned out!) of libel which led me to change their surnames.
The two I remember were Cathy Anderson and Karen Miller, but others may recognize
themselves from their Christian names.
I was so pleased to hear from you, and would be happy for you to include my e-mail
address. I should say that I can't always be guaranteed
to be swift to reply, as I am so behind with my work that at times I find I have
to neglect everything else.
But I would be really pleased to hear from more of you whom I knew in those distant
With best wishes,
Nikolai (alias "Sir")
Nikolai Tolstoy <email@example.com>
UK - Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 10:05:35 (CET)
I just came across your website & was fascinated to read Priscilla Wilder (Eaves)
account of Yarkhill. I was there for a short period- circa 1945?- with my parents
("the Wares" mentioned by Priscilla) & brother & have many very vivid memories
of that time, although I must have been younger than Priscilla. Because of this,
I would be interested to make contact with her if that was possible?
Hoping you can help me,,
Jill Ware <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 15:06:03 (CET)
Great to read about the legendary T and C chocolate pudding. I, too, remember
it being a highlight of the week. Hats off to Geoff Collier for reminding us all
about it and for you trying to replicate it at home. Geoff's email made me think
about the other T and C food at lunchtime.
If memory serves me well on Mondays we had dreaded stew followed by cake so hard
it could loosen your fillings plus custard; Tuesdays it was some kind of meat
with baked potatoes and cheese with semolina for dessert; Wednesdays it was egg
and cheese flan with rice pudding and a dollop of strawberry jam; Thursdays it
was liver, bacon and mash with onion gravy followed by jelly and custard and on
Fridays, before games, we had dreaded fish fingers with mash again and fruit salad.
These were the days before schoolkids would get pies, fish and chips or ice cream
at lunch in the 80s and 90s. Oh how we longed for that type of unhealthy fodder
back then. And now, thanks to Jamie Oliver, it's gone back to the type of fare
we were given.
By the time we reached the Fifth Form some of us opted out of school lunches and
were allowed out at lunchtime and would make special treks to the Cook Inn take
away in Belsize Village from where we would bring back orders of chips or pies
for other pupils. Does anyone else remember any other great lunchtime delicacies?
UK - Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 20:08:05 (CET)
Norman Comments:- I can add a couple more items; On Thursday, the regular cook,
Anne had a day off and in the evening, boarders were always treated to weiner
schnitzel which seems to be the only thing Freda, the Thurs cook could make.
The hard cake you mention always had strange greasy patches in it which tasted
Along similar lines to the choc pudding, was a seriously lumpy semolina with a
cinnamon powder/sugar mix sprinkled on top. The cinnamon/sugar ratio varied wildly,
so it was russian roulette as to whether the pudding was eatable
When jelly was made, several flavours were mixed together creating a reddish generic
jelly. Frequently, we would raid the pantry at breaktime, stealing Jelly blocks
which we then ate, like giant fruit pastilles - but unbelievably chewy, however
most were thrown onto the ceiling where they would stick semi-permanently, like
swords of Damocles, dropping off again weeks later with hilarious results. An
American called Charlie and myself were also fond of stealing unsoaked prunes,
which at least were probably good for you.
One of the tables in the dining room had a drawer in one end, kids would put bits
of uneatable food in this draw. and quite a collection in various states of decay
and putrefaction was building, however someone had put a full 1/3rd pint bottle
of milk in the drawer sideways but still with foil cap. After a few days it soured
then pushed it's cap off. Mr Shell (History/English) was eating his meal when
he sensed his leg getting wet. Smartly pulling the draw open, to see why, he revealed
all the mumified food sloshing around in the curds and whey, whilst the flow through
the drawer onto his lap turned into a veritable deluge... to the amusement of
all present, of course - Anyone else got some good stories?
Wow! I just got the link to your
T&C site from my brother. I was there for only 1 year, 1969-1970, but the year
made quite an impression on me.
It wasn't the happiest year of my life, but one gets sentimental with old age.
I was in the 5th form at the time, along with Mahmoud El-Tabi, who was corresponded
with you, Windham Jones & Francis Langfield (my two best friends there), Julian.
Let's see, who else? There was a fellow name Gregory, another fellow named Roger
who was an American with a Scottish accent (his sister was Margot, I think, there
were several of his family there). There was a sad-eyed girl named Rowena and
another (round faced, curly hair, if I remember her correctly) named Angela. Some
other sloe-eyed girl who's name escaped me, but I seem to recall her having gotten
kicked out some point for getting pregant (so the rumour went). I remember lovely
Robin of the red hair in 4th form, as does Mao apparently (she was another American
actually). Mao's favorite expression: "Keep your pants on!".
Windy Jones, Francis & I used to get 10 or 20 bob together on a Friday night,
by a bottle of sherry and get drunk. I remember falling into the serpentine one
time (Jone's apartment was near).
Other memories? French tutoring with Mrs. Karger (quite nice, actually). I remember
conjugating endless verbs. Mr. Gatton, older and fat, I seem to remember lectures
on Trevithick's railways (important stuff, shows how important it is to keep one's
nose to the grindstone when in school). He could be distracted by his favorite
topics when we were bored-one was how the cities should all be built on stilts
to alleviate traffic problems.
Mr. Johnson I couldn't stand. We used to call him jaggers, if I remember correctly.
"Laddies! Laddies!". Mrs. Blythe-anal but well-intended. Didn't the scottish fellow
(Mcdermmot) get the boot for coming on to one of the girls whilst in his cups?
And of course, Mr. Neville with whom I used to get into theological and philosophical
arguments (he was quite religious, I seem to recall). And the grand dame herself,
Mrs. Paul, let me bring in a long Coltrane record to play at morning assembly
to enlighten the young lads and lassies (I was a member of the London Youth Jazz
Orchestra that year, perhaps the highpoint of my career).
What else? Chocolate pudding with sugar and coconut sprinkled into it in the dungeons
of the lunchroom, my idea of heaven on earth. Ah but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now. Geoff Collier
Geoff Collier <email@example.com>
USA - Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 12:00:42 (CET)
Norman Comments:- However we were all very fond of Mr Johnson, he seemed
to be such an unintended comedian to us, with his fascination with the likes of
U shaped valleys and terminal morraines. For some reason we all called him Karate,
and it seemed to stick. He took us for hikes across Box Hill in Surrey and on
one occasion I recall someone lobbing a hard boiled egg at him, so they probably
fell into your camp.
I still try to emulate the choc pud with coconut/sugar it's that thick dark skin
that forms in the areas of the surface that are unproteced by the coconut coating
that throws up the challenge. So you must east a little coconut with every spoon
but not run out before the chocolate pud does! Oops I sound a bit compulsive,
I assure you I am not. Thanks again for writing, and hey mr tambourine man, play
a song for me.
I happened on your website. Quite a shock. In any case, I was at the school for
one year, 1969-70, with my brother, Geoffrey Lincoln Collier. The email of my
brother is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I knew Sebastian Crewe quite well (and stayed in touch for a while) and Mick Baess.
I have since lived in London in the 80s and in China most recently. (My brother
and I still jokingly quote from Victor Hugo and I became a french major in college
as a result of St. Mary's.)
My father, James Lincoln Collier, is a children's book writer. You will be amused
to know he wrote a book called "Murder at St. Baskets" that was very loosely based
on St. Mary's.
Do you have a contact for Oliver Perrin? I, too, am a jazz musician, drummer.
PO Box 536 1100 Village Lane Orient, N.Y. 11957
Andrew Collier <email@example.com>
Orient, N.Y., USA - Sunday, March 12, 2006 at 19:50:40 (CET)
Christine couldn't send me an email,
so she phoned and kindly gave over fifty new names for the pupils list.
She has kindly sent some photos of her era Taken in 1955/56
Christine joined the T&C in 1953 and left in 1962, if you would like to contact
her, then email me and I will pass it on to her.
Thank you Christine for providing these updates.
Christine Boudier <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Enfield, UK - Tuesday, November 08, 2005 at 22:42:14 (CET)
For some reason I’ve been thinking
about T&C a lot lately, which prompted me to look for a website. Thank you so
much for creating this. Judging by the pictures, I believe we were in the same
class, but I regret to say I don’t quite remember you. Perhaps you can jog my
I was sorry to read about the demise of the school. As you said, it was a very
I was at T&C from 1964 to 1966. I almost stayed on, but my dad turned down another
project that wouldl have kept us in England two more years. At the time, I was
eager to get home as well. Now I look back on those two years as the most formative
of my life.
I visited the school in 1970, and Julian Esterson was still there. I was always
curious abou that. Learning our class' O-Levels were held up a year explains a
Among the sillier memories was an episode with Tolstoy and a set of antique dueling
pistols. I happened to have some caps from a toy gun that fit perfectly. The good
Count and I faced off in the Upper School yard during lunch. Unfortunately, Mrs.
Paul was watching from a window . . .
I also remember among Mr. Shell's obessive behaviors was his intense dislike for
a dirty blackboard. There was a small piece of wood that held the blackboard in
place. I think it was Cameron who came up with the idea to apply a large amount
of chalk very close to the peg. When Mr. Shell entered, he immediately cleaned
the offending marks with wide, swift strokes of the eraser. Cameron's scheme succeeded!
As soon as Mr.Shell turned around, the blackboard tilted forward, coming to rest
on his head. In the end, he "stepped forward smartly" (as he put it ), and the
blackboard crashed to the floor,much to our general amusement.
If I can think of anything else, I'll pass it along. I hope you keep up the website.
It is a thing of beauty and is very much appreciated.
Ed Flavin <email@example.com>
USA - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 at 13:37:45 (CEST)
I was at the school from about 1947 to 1953 - mostly at the "Town" but I had a
term or two at the "Country" in about 1948 or was it 1949? My memories are fairly
vague - I remember the school summer outing to somewhere near Little Bardfield
in Essex probably in the summer of 1953.
I remember Janet Nelson (who lived across the road in Daleham Gardens NW3) - we
walked to school together. Keith Mulliner and Sven Hammerling were good friends
at that time. Toby Allenwho was a year older, went to the same secondary school
as me subsequently and we are still in touch. If I strain my brain a bit I might
think of a few others and will possibly add another message if I can think of
anything worthwhile to add.
So far as the teachers are concerned I remember Mr & Mrs Paul, Miss Gardener (spelling
?), Mr Gubbins and... ? More brain straining needed to come up with other names.
I will read your website more fully and that may trigger some more memories.
Thanks for taking the trouble to organise this - very nostalgic!
Peter Fraenkel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ealing, London , UK - Tuesday, September 13, 2005 at 18:05:20 (CEST)
I was at Town and Country from 1967
- 1969 and some of that time I weekly boarded. I can't remember an awful about
it as I moved schools every couple of years as my father was in the Navy. I remember
Rita Schalkwyk, Arabella Weir and a girl called Ann whose parents owned a shop
I remember playing British Bulldog and flatteneing all the boys as I was a strapping
Now living in Dorset and have husbad Nick and two children Monte and Hebe.
Bella Neate-Clegg <email@example.com>
Dorset, UK - Tuesday, August 30, 2005 at 23:46:56 (CEST)
I started kindergarten at T&C in
1957 and left in 1969. In 1959 ( I think) Mrs Paul had a psychologist person conduct
intelligence tests with some of the junior classes – by some fluke I scored quite
highly and my parents were offered a full scholarship for me. So that was that
for 12 years! A few years later a contemporary was also given a scholarship (
I won’t say who as I haven’t asked them if they’d mind) and when our class was
playing up or there was trouble in the school we would be called for and threatened
to have our scholarships revoked which was pretty unfair as our parents could
not afford to have kept us there.
I was three when I started at kindergarten our teacher was a Miss Collins.
She was absolutely lovely, youngish and very pretty and she always wore embroidered
blouses and full pleated skirts that made her waist look tiny. She was very soft
spoken and gentle and everyone loved her. We used to sing a lot of songs, especially
ones that involved a dance or doing actions to the words. There is one I remember
really well it went -
“ I've been to London, I've been to Dover
I've traveled this wide world all over.
Over, over, three times over
Drink all you have to drink and turn the glasses over”.
Sailing east, sailing west
Sailing over the ocean,
Better watch out when the boat begins to rock
Or you'll lose your girl in the ocean”.
It was a great class favorite and we had to pair up boy and girl – the girls had
to pretend they were falling off the ship and the boys had to rescue them ( sometimes
not, depending on who got paired with who).
The other songs I remember are :-The Drummer and the Cook.
O Soldier, Soldier Will You Marry Me (with your musket fife and drum). Aiken Drum.
Il était une bergère et ron et ron petit patapon &
Sur le pont d'Avignon
– gosh as I write more keep flooding back but that’s enough.
Mid morning we had our regulation 1/3 of a pint of milk which we had to drink
– no excuses. With great forethought this was always kept by the radiator in the
hall outside and used to be tepid to hot by the time we got it. In summer it was
also kept in the hall where it was nicely heated by the sun. I have had an absolute
revulsion of warm milk since!
In the afternoons after lunch we had to have our “sleeps”. We struggled to put
up little cot beds and dutifully lay on them –a lot of the children actually did
go to sleep – notwithstanding me trying to conduct whispered conversations with
them. In the end Miss Collins gave in and allowed me to read during these sessions
– reading was my passion then and I couldn’t get enough. Miss Collins used to
borrow “readers” from Mrs Robb’s class for me for these times as I’d gone way
past the picture book stuff she was using.
Then we all moved up a class to Mrs Robb. Mrs Robb changed her name halfway through
the year back to Miss Walmsley ( she has been widowed) which was very confusing.
She would have been in her late 50’s and dyed her hair an astonishing bright red
and she was a bit of a tyrant. She had one of those 3 yard rulers that hinge in
two places and a very good aim. You would be chatting away quietly in a civilised
manner to your neighbour when - whoosh the ruler would snack down about a hairsbreadth
from your fingers – never once did I see her actually connect but it was enough
to guarantee good behaviour for the rest of the day. She had a wonderful old wind
up trumpet gramophone and a huge stock of musical seventy eights which she would
put on and then we had to stretch up like a tree or rush about like the wind –
pretend to be a seed busting out of a pod etc – all very Isadora Duncan- ish !
My worst memory of Mrs Robb involved a lunch time incident. At junior school you
had to eat what you were given – I hated brussel-sprouts especially the school
ones which were like soggy lumps of cotton wool. I swear Mrs A had it in for me
because I always asked for just one and she would give me three or four. Anyway
I came up with a plan.
My mother took me shopping to buy new underwear and I begged her for knickers
that had a sizeable pocket in them. Tuesday (or whatever day we had the horrid
things) came round and I wore my new knickers. Mrs A, as usual gave me a big serve
of the sprouts and laughing to myself I secreted the damn things in my new knickers
when I thought no one was looking. At the end of the course before pudding Mrs
Robb as usual checked to see we had all eaten up and I clearly remember smirking
and congratulating myself on my brilliant wheeze .
That is until she speared me with her terrifying gaze and said “Carol Williams
I do not think you are finished “ –then she picked me up and stood me on the table,
lifted my skirt revealing my knickers and a pocket full of dripping green sludge
for all to see. I don’t think I have ever been so embarrassed in my whole life
– in front of the boys too- I was mortified!. Then she calmly held up my plate
and emptied the contents of my pocket onto it, sat me back on the bench with the
plate in front of me and told me I would not have any pudding, indeed I would
not be allowed back to class until I had eaten the mess on my plate.
I sat there all afternoon with Mrs A keeping an eye on me. I was actually sick
at one point (in the bathroom- not on my plate) and I was terrified that when
my Uncle came to pick us up from school that Mrs Robb would make me stay there
all night, sitting in the dark and staring at the ugly goo on my plate. She didn’t
and I was allowed to go home but I never ate any of the dreadful things. I still
have a “bit of a thing” about brussel sprouts- funny that!
Actually, except for that awful incident (I think she must have had a really bad
day or something) she could be a very nice kind person, I know this because I
used to go away every summer for two weeks holiday with my aunt and cousin – usually
Brighton or Bournemouth and this time for some reason, at the last moment my Aunt
was delayed. The Hotel Splendide was booked, the Brighton Belle tickets had been
purchased so Mrs Robb was asked if she would accompany Margaret and I and stay
a few days until my Aunt could get away to join us. She was a completely different
person out of school and we really enjoyed her company.
Mr Prosteau was our French teacher and a great highlight of that year was the
production of Cendrillon (Cinderella). I was an ugly sister but I learnt the whole
play by heart just in case Cinderella or the fairy Godmother got ill – they didn’t!
My cousin Margaret was the other ugly sister but I can’t remember who Cinderella
was. We put on a proper production and all the Mums and Dads were invited, my
aunt and another cousin came to watch – very nerve wracking it was too!
After that was Miss Priest with the unforgettable bosom and uncanny resemblance
to a mole. She was a quietly spoken and I think a very shy person. She certainly
didn’t have the same impact on me as Miss Collins or Mrs Robb. She wasn’t very
good at controlling the class and it was often pandemonium with much yelling,
fighting and chatter – Mrs Bevan used to storm in sometimes (we were all very
obedient when she was around – terrifying women) and regain calm but it wouldn’t
last. I went into the staff room once after one fairly awful episode and found
her crying – I don’t think she was made of the stuff required for survival at
T&C) The major memory I have of her class was learning very, very long poems by
heart such as The Pied Piper of Hamlin much of which I still recall Anyway that’s
enough - good grief I could go on and on.
As you said in your email – I wonder what the point of all these things stored
in our heads actually is! Well that’s one of life’s sweet mysteries innit !
I have had fun and yes pick out any bits you like (just make sure you don’t use
anything I’ve said which could be construed as rude – I wouldn’t want to offend
anyone). As one goes through the memory process its easy to remember peoples mis-behaviour
or even cruelty sometimes but I’ve purposely not gone down that track – its unimportant
now and completely irrelevant ( tempting sometimes though!).
On a trip to Hedgerley Wood, Jeanne Orden made up the following which we sang
with great gusto and has for some incomprehensible reason stuck in my head.
“We go to Town and Country school
we sit all day on a rotten stool
we learn the junk and then we flunk and then we get suspended.
The water comes from a dirty well
its bad enough to make you swell
in my bed I found a tick
its about enough to make you sick” etc.
Anyway I know I’m leaping about all over the place but if I don’t get this done
now it might not happen for a long time.
Before I forget, I have listened to the audio recordings – wow what a blast from
the past they were. The Christmas Carol 1965 is the Coventry Carol ( Lully lullay
thou little tiny child - by by lully lullay) and I’m pretty sure Kat and I were
singing on that one. The other (Musical round) is London’s Burning and ditto as
before. Adeste Fidelo is the latin “ O Come All ye faithful”
I also remember us singing Lullay My Liking ( my dear son my sweeting, lully my
dear heart, mine own dear darling). You sang a solo verse in this – “Angels bright
they sang that night and said unto that child” etc). I remember these so clearly
as I used to sing them to my children when they were small and at Christmas when
I first came to Australia and was homesick. I have a fairly comprehensive memory
of most of the songs we sung at music – it was just about my favourite class –
Neville and the pulse in his temple and going purple not withstanding!
I also remember Mr Nash’s famous composition :-
“ I love the little Shetland ponies that trot around the circus ring. I like the
way they kick their heels up when they do the Highland fling. I like to watch
the lion tamers and see the man on the trapeze but the little Shetland ponies
thrill me more than all of these” etc.
Lovely to hear all those familiar voices too – John Ker, Theo, Joshua etc although
of course they were “ seniors” to us.
Re - Nick Tolstoy – it will be a miracle if you are able to get a copy of The
Treasure of Evil Hold School and if you do I want one too! I tried for years to
find it but without success. It was read on Jackanory at one time, in episodes
and in its entirety which may be a help.
About 12 years ago I was listening to the radio in Melbourne one morning when
who should be interviewed but Tolstoy himself. He was over here promoting his
favourite cause – that of the plight of political prisoners. I was so knocked
out I phoned the radio station and they gave a him a message from me – that night
he phoned and we talked for an hour before he had to go to a dinner and he flew
back to the UK next morning. Anyway with all the reminiscences I asked him about
getting hold of a copy of the book - he hadn’t even got a copy of his own!
I have attached a list of names which I remember, which aren’t on your list. You
have Katie Riddley on yours I remember a Katie Ridley – contemporary with Prudence?
and Angelica Houston. The one I’m thinking of committed suicide during the summer
holidays while at school, she was pregnant and jumped out of a window or off a
balcony – caused quite a sensation.
You also have a Peter Teichman – if it is the one in our class I think it was
spelt Titchman ( or simular) - well that’s what we used to call him behind his
I do have very happy memories of Beckley and Jean Bennett – she had a tame fox
called Pip who I was fascinated by and old Peter of course. Even in my time getting
to the cottage was a bit of an adventure getting dropped off at the pub etc. Jean
was a real inspiration and really encouraged me in my writing. I owe it to her
that I won a prize in an Evening Standard competition! Years later in Melbourne
I took up the pen again and managed to get a few bits published but didn’t have
the staying power to continue.
Hedgerley Wood was fun too – I remember one visit when we had to follow clues
from Princess Risborough ( I think). My group was hopeless and we got lost. I
got terrible blisters on my feet and couldn’t walk so Bix Qinn – ( god bless him,
a lovely bloke ) carried me piggy back for miles. That Saturday night we had a
midnight feast and toasted marshmallows in a big fire and on the Sunday before
we left we had strawberries, cream and cake – I can still taste them – heaven!
After leaving T&C I went to Chiswick polytechnic for A’levels and left home at
the same time. I used to work at the Wedgwood Centre in Oxford St on Thursdays
and Saturdays and in Carnaby St on Sundays to supplement my grant. I did a bit
of this and that until I was 20 when I got a job working for a non profit Housing
Association in London and have spent most of my life since working in the non
profit housing sector.
I have two children – Alex (boy) 26 in October and Gemma 23 also in October.
I came to Australia 21 years ago and lived first in Perth (Western Australia)
and then in Melbourne (Victoria).
I have been married 3 times, remain on good terms with my two ex’s and think I
will definitely keep this one.
Damien ( No 3) and I took a year off 3 years ago to travel extensively around
out-back Australia ( bush camping – it was great fun) and to decide where we would
like to move to as Alex had already left home and Gem was only there in between
long stretches at her boyfriends place and we were ready for a change. We really
liked the idea of Alice Springs – its small, out-back, in the middle of a desert
and there is plenty of employment. So May 2004, after selling up we bought a crappy
old caravan and came to Alice where 15 months on we are still living in a caravan
park and having a ball. We did take 3 months off to go and house sit my cousins
place in Queensland which was lovely and now were back.
Damien is an ex IT specialist and is working as a bank teller ( 30 hours a week)
and I have done a variety of jobs from working with intellectually handicapped
to being a “check out chick” in a $2.00 shop. We neither of us wanted to continue
in “front line” type jobs so it’s worked out very well.
We have no idea how much longer we will stay or where we will go to next – probably
somewhere closer to Melbourne but warmer – Adelaide or Brisbane maybe so we can
be closer to the kids and D’s family. Also all our possessions are in storage
in Melbourne (including all my T&C stuff) so we will have to settle eventually.
Do keep in touch – please feel free to put my email address on the web site –
I would love to hear from any other contemporaries – as Mr Johnston used to say
I love gas bagging! Wouldn’t he be impressed though – I’ve travelled through all
the deserts of Australia and a lot of Africa - I even know their names - at school
I couldn’t tell whether the Sahara was in the Artic, Africa or Australia!
I will stop now before I embarrass myself further. Perhaps later on I’ll send
you some more as I progressed through the school ( well maybe).
Anyway I have enjoyed myself tremendously putting all this down and thanks for
the opportunity – it’s obviously been cluttering up my head for years – so that’s
why I never became rich and famous!
Carol Williams (Now Caro Farrell) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Alice Springs, Australia - Monday, August 29, 2005 at 17:16:36 (CEST)
I liked your site. You can add me to the list of pupils. I was at the school from
69-71. I went on to St Pauls Girls after that, then York and Bristol Universities
to do BSc DPhil and finally Medicine. So I suppose Mrs Pauls ideas didnt exactly
put me off studying!
I would like to contact Margot Case if you have her e-mail?
Anita Jamal <email@example.com>
UK - Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 21:16:41 (CEST)
In Middle V, when Mrs.Paul came to the end of the Scipture lesson she said, with
a dramatic flourish,"By the grace of God I go" got up out of her chair, caught
her foot on the back of it and promptly fell over. There was a sharp intake of
breath in the class but nobody moved. Some kind soul(whom I cannot recall did
help her up. And she slowly limped out of the door and which point we all broke
up into hysterical laughter. Slowly her head came back round the door and she
said "zis is not funny"
The other one I remember was when Mrs.Paul was giving a German lesson, evidently
you were day dreaming, so she suddenly said "Norman! Vot is english for "Mit Vergnugen"!
You fumbled for some convincing response when John O'sullivan whispered in your
ear "with cream" You, thinking your life was saved, repeated "with cream!". She
was not amused at all, since the correct response would have been "with pleasure",
she thought that you were trying to be funny!
If I remember any more I shall send them.
London, UK - Monday, August 22, 2005 at 22:46:21 (CEST)
Thanks Norman for the virtual tour
of T & C. Katya Coupland –– Karen (maiden name) Miller – though my nickname ‘Katya’
stuck. I went to T & C in 1962 aged nine, as a weekly border and stayed until
I was 16. I was looking up Jean Bennett - who (as Alicia Sufit also mentioned)
I regarded as a second mother - experiences in the Cottage and long conversations
with Jean still informing my life in many respects – and got a link to your site.
I often went to the cottage in the holidays and think of her very fondly. I remember
long conversations covering everything from ‘prems’ – premature babies she used
to look after – to philosophy and the stars. Her strong convictions helped steer
me through some very choppy waters.
Jean’s tea recipe (I asked her) was one third Earl Grey, one part Lapsang Souchong
and one part Ceylon – with a little sugar (latterly) and milk though I don’t think
she was religious about the proportions. I still drink Earl Grey – bags – the
proper Jean mix is too much of a hassle. There was a picture of an ossified looking
George Bernard Shaw over the door leading from the sitting room to the kitchen
which went straight up to the thatch and was festooned with swags of ancient spider
web. In the big bedroom there were pictures (water colours/prints?) of scenes
of the Lake district (I think) – framed with worn blue-green velvet, but you may
remember better… And there was a rope to hang on to on your way up the perilously
steep stairs. I still grow some of the plants she had in her garden and think
of her when I smell them: santolina, lavender … I was in the sitting room with
her one stormy evening and she had the Third programme with someone warbling away
when a huge flash of lightening went through the wireless - with us sitting not
feet from it. There was a huge crack, then silence and then the thin strains of
the warbling voice once again. They don’t make radios like that any more.
You and I were borders together in Glenloch Road Norman and I remember you putting
a rubber hand in the coal bunker and trying to frighten us. We played along. Then
we met up briefly in the seventies - you were just about to go to Scotland I believe
and I remember thinking how incredibly cool you were and wondered where the ink-stained
giggling nerd had gone.
In response to your questions I spent hours remembering names: names for your
pupil list – apologies if I missed them – Bix (?) American black guy, Michelle
Petrie (American whose father was a doctor and who told Carol Williams and me
that you got pregnant by holding hands or even fancying someone). We pretended
not to, but actually believed her. Anthony Gross, Beverly Dubof (?). My path crossed
with Vicki Berger and Susan Bocking who had gone to T & C much earlier and I still
see Susan. Katrina’s last name was Rigby and there was Yukiko Kyoto or maybe I
invented that one…Jane Burton whose home was filled with clouds of fruit flies
(her mother studied genetics) and who was very popular with the boys... And was
it Pam (?) who had some story of Terence Stamp discovering her as a pinball wizard.
Nicolette Ismay – brilliant painter also a pupil and Joanna Lewis – a thin shy
girl with glasses and braces.
Teachers: Miss McGonagall (spelling?) – did you have her - who had an enormous
bee hive to make up for her lack of stature and earnestly taught us German with
a Scottish accent and a lisp. Mrs Bevan was a great inspiration to me with tales
of having gone up/down the river Amazon (which I would do if I weren’t afraid
of spiders). I remember her with big African jewellery and big fly away teeth.
Why oh why am I doing this – I should be working. Mary Garrara (spelling?) who
taught art while I was in the seniors. Peter Freeth who also taught art later
ran an etching class in Camden which I went to for years in the 80s 90s having
forgiven him for intimating that my record sleeve design was crap when I was 15
(he may have been right).
Memories: of Mrs Paul’s macrobiotic lunches going upstairs when we ate Mrs.A’s
gruel and of sessions with her more than once in Mrs Paul’s Buddha-lined study
where she shook her head despairingly at me and pursed her lips. She had a rather
waxy-embalmed looking skin and was clearly of great age even then and I remember
her sharing some of her beauty (!) secrets with us girls…Of a Christmas performance
at Rudolf Steiner Hall – a hideous dramatic creation with music by Mr Neville
and Mr Nash where I sang ‘Peanuts peanuts I have lots for grown ups and for tiny
tots’ (Mrs Paul took my skirt off and made me perform in my knickers for another
scene). My ambitions to become an actress died that night. The absolute highlight
was Joshua Thomas bounding Nuriev-like across the stage for no plot line that
I can remember.
That’s more than enough.
UK - Wednesday, August 03, 2005 at 20:39:48 (CEST)
Hi. Jehane Markham passed on your
fascinating link - it brought back many memories. I was only there for 2 years
from 1964 till my GCSE the following year but my brother Jonathan was there for
a further 2 years. He was friends with Hideaki (tho I don't think they kept in
touch) and Jon now lives in the States.
I was only a day student & never went to the country - in fact my over-riding
memory is one of being unable to sit through one of Mr Snell's lessons without
hysterical laughter. Poor teachers! I also particularly am grateful to Mrs Fehling
for a lasting love of literature & to the school for introducing me to the people
who were to change my life.
UK - Monday, July 11, 2005 at 22:17:36 (CEST)
As the controller of the TC website
you should know that in the film Aces High, made in 1976 you can see a Town and
Country scarf. In case you do not know this film it is about British pilots during
the first world war and it is generally considered a good action film. Towards
the beginning of the film the young actor Peter Firth is seen flying his biplane
wearing the T&C scarf. I was 17 when i saw this film in the cinema and i noticed
the scarf immediately. Tom
Tom Tomaszczyk <Tom.Tomaszczyk@arup.com>
UK - Monday, March 28, 2005 at 23:11:52 (CEST)
I was 13 (in 1946) when I began
as a pupil at St Mary's in Eton Avenue. My name was Valerie Morrison then. My
special friend was Daisy Glade. I have photos of us both in an Irish play. I loved
and was loved by both Elizabeth Paul and her dear husband 'Higgie'. Also remember
the Deputy Head, Rosamund Gardener and the music teacher Mr Williams.
I envied the pupils who went to the Country section at Stanford Hall, near Ruby.
Persuaded my parents to let me go. Loved it! Staff members who were special to
me were Margaret Pollack, (Maths) who had a beautiful singing voice. Jean Bennett,
who came on holidays with us - with her little dog, Kim. Aileen, the inspiring
Art Teacher, who went for a holiday to a kibbutz in Israel. My special friend
was Jill Kennedy. My brother, John Morrison went to the school too. His special
friend was Tony Rowland - son of an auctioneer.
I have some photos - mainly of the horses. Margaret Lewis was the riding teacher,
and allowed each of us seniors to look after a particular horse. Mine was a palomino
Shantung Star. Maybe none of this info is new to you. Fun remembering though!
AN ACCIDENT AT STANFORD HALL - and AFTER
One day Paul Belcher was playing with a bow and arrow. His arrow got stuck in
a huge tree. . A group of children gathered under it, looking up to see where
the arrow was stuck. Suddenly it fell into a little girl's eye. (Anne Profaze)
It was not Paul's fault. It was an accident.
Years later my husband and I were driving in Wales, and stopped at a country pub
for lunch. The Proprietor's name over the door startled me. 'Profaze' is a very
The dining room had a beautiful series of appliqué pictures around the walls,
illustrating the Canterbury Tales. I asked the lady who served us; "Who did these?"
"My daughter, Anne" she said. If Paul knew that, I think it might be healing for
Pupils - 1947-1950 Elizabeth (Lizzie) Colton and her brother Robbie was the best
horse-riders at Stanford Hall in the late 1940's. John de Villiers. Michael Sutton,
Staff - Mr and Mrs Gibson. Their Staffordshire Bull Terrier got excited when children
were outside playing, and bit! When it headed for twin five year old girls, I
tried to catch it and got bitten myself! The Gibsons did get rid of the dog.
Val Reed (nee Morrison) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
SPAIN - Monday, January 31, 2005 at 20:11:30 (CET)
I hope you had a great Christmas, and wish you a happy new year! Since I last
wrote to you - through your wonderful website - I've met up with some old classmates
from the 50s, some of whom came for a reunion tea at my house in Crouch End recently.
I've written a description of the event - It would be
great if you could post it on the website and it might even attract more people
from that era, who may be interested.
I should add - we cannot thank you enough for reuniting us!!
I hope you have a good 2005,
Alisha (Alicia) Sufit
Alisha (Alicia) Sufit <Magicalia@aol.com>
London, UK - Saturday, January 01, 2005 at 16:24:50 (CET)
I have been trying to find out whatever happened to T&C for years now and have
just come across your site. My family moved from the US to London in 1972, and
I entered Senior Form 1, stayed through Form 2, and then in 1974 my family moved
on to Yugoslavia (my father was with the Voice of America at the time). My younger
brother Merrill Freund was in the Junior School during those years.
I always wondered what had become of the school and am so grateful to have found
Names of other pupils I remember from those years include... Amanda Donohoe, Debra
Leci, Abbe Hart (I'm pretty sure her name was spelled Abbe), Ishbel Poole, Laura
Rifkin, Hayedeh Mokfi, Farinaz Darugar, Fariba Darugar, Robert Schubert, Lisa
Prudhoe, David Stewart-Murray, Erez Lilienthal, Julia Zitterstein, Philippa Baldwin
(I'm surprising myself at the length of this list...) - probably if I checked
back at my old diaries from those days I'd find more. Mr. Nash and Mr. Neville
doing Gilbert & Sullivan and tossing a rubber chicken at some point... writing
with Miss Bennett... French Without Reading, my God, I'd forgotten that... tutoring
with Mrs. Karger in French and German to catch up with everyone else... having
to go see Mrs. Paul because I wore a blue short-sleeved jumper with white stripes
across the chest (the stripes were the problem)... arguing with Mrs. Paul during
Bible class that Cain had gotten a raw deal... winning 25 p. from Mr. MacMenamin
in a maths contest (and bringing him back a small bottle of whiskey from a trip
to Scotland)... learning to write with a fountain pen (we hadn't done that in
the States)... Ich Kann Deutsch Lesen (not anymore)... catching a batted cricket
ball in the yard (my greatest athletic achievement!)... conkers in the yard...
jelly with custard... those terrible bacon rashers... Spam and beans (hadn't had
that in the States, either!)... Primrose Hill... mud in the hockey boots... so
Anyway, I hope more people discover the site and add things to it (I wish especially
I could see the inside of the school again - I always hoped someday I would).
I've lost touch with everyone I knew back then, sadly, but I do remember so much
- much more than I realized when I started writing this message.
Oh... about me. I ended up continuing the language study I started at T&C and
wound up as a Russian translator. I'm now combining translating with cabinetmaking
(having married a cabinetmaker five years ago and started working in his shop).
I'm a New Yorker who's now living in Illinois, and I've only been back to London
once in all the years since I left in 1974. During those few short days in 1989
I tried to go to Swiss Cottage to try to find the school, but had no luck (the
tube station was closed for repairs, and I didn't have time to try to find another
way). As it is, I now see it would have been too late. Does anyone know what's
become of the buildings?
Karen L. Freund
now living in Algonquin, IL
Karen L. Freund <email@example.com>
Algonquin, IL, USA - Thursday, December 23, 2004 at 22:43:16 (CET)
My younger brother, Ben Jacoby, has just introduced me to the St Mary's Town and
Country site, and I am so grateful to you for making a start on piecing together
the story of our extraordinary school.
I was Naomi Hazel Jacoby, and was at the school from 1947 to 1958, when I graduated
to North London Collegiate. It was an enormous cultural shock, a bit like Stefany
Tomalin describes about her own change to South Hampstead High.
No one seems to have mentioned Mr Graham. As I remember, Rosamond Gardner, the
acting head of Town and Country, left, and in her last Callover she announced
her engagement to the maths teacher, Mr Gubbin. They were both middle-aged, and
the romance of it enchanted us. But I think they broke up soon after the announcement.
Mr Graham was engaged to replace Miss Gardner, and ran the school for several
years in the 1950s. He was an extraordinary man and left, I think when I did,
I also remember two articles in the Ham and High tracing the demise of the school.
I think they ought to be added to your site. The second article mentioned that
Mrs Paul was then in a nursing-home in Woodside Park. I was very shaken, as I
thought this was an undignified end for my ex-headmistress. I telephoned round,
found where she was, and went to visit. There she sat, slumped in an armchair
in a communal room, while a nurse admonished her: 'Eh-LIZ-a-beth! You left the
covers off your bed!'
I told her my name, and she said she remembered me, but it was obvious that she
wasn't sure. She told me repeatedly that the nurses didn't understand about her
bed. She had diamonds on it and she was afraid someone would steal them. I wondered
if this were a symbolic description of her position. Her understanding of the
present seemed a bit shakey, so I decided to focus on her childhood. She became
really animated then, and remembered all kinds of landmarks and anecdotes. Somewhere
I must have notes on all she told me. I meant to visit again, but kept putting
it off because I felt so tearful and powerless to do anything positive to improve
I read the Ham and High every week, but never read about her death. She affected
so many of our lives, yet she herself must have died alone and forgotten. There
does not seem to be a photo of her on the site*.
With many thanks,
UK - Tuesday, December 07, 2004 at 00:10:19 (CET)
[*Norman's Note:- Good point! - it's a glaring ommision too, although there is
one taken from a distance at Hedgerley. So does anyone have a photo of Mrs Paul,
especially a portait, that they could scan or donate for the site Please?
Hello! I've just been introduced
to your wonderful website. Just to say that 2 of my 3 brothers and I were at the
school from 1945 to 1956 - roughly. I left aged 11 in 1954. How amazing to see
photos of my class!! with me in it.
I remember quite a few of the faces there. I would LOVE to know how some of you
are from those days. The stories I could tell... And the DREAMS I still have about
Frances Hitchcock as was - now Hudson, though married now to an Emmerson... and
commonly known as Frankie. I even answer to Fran.
Frankie Hudson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Saturday, December 04, 2004 at 13:14:21 (CET)
I was very fascinated by your website for the school, and was pleased to spot
both a photograph of myself (!) and my name on the ex-pupil list. One thing though,
my maiden name is spelt incorrectly, it should read “Findon”. I was at the school
from 1951 till 1957, and was in the same class as Alicia Suffit. I am in touch
with Stefany Tomalin and Jennifer Risner who were in the same class as Alicia
and me. We all used to go to Jean Bennett’s cottage of which I have very fond
memories. I would be grateful if you could post my e-mail address next to my name.
Well done for going to all the trouble, it means that some of us can go on a little
nostalgia trip! The photos are particularly interesting.
Best wishes Alexis Pfeiffer
Alexis Pfeiffer (Findon) <email@example.com>
UK - Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 12:34:01 (CET)
Its fascinating to see what's appeared -since I wrote something, you posted another
couple of bunches of photos. I've remembered some more stuff too: The years I
was there must have been '50-53, as i remember being there for the Coronation.
We all got a commemorative spoon in a box. The kindergarten teacher was either
called "Miss Dodds" or "Annie". She wore a pinafore. Some of the children wet
their underwear and there were days when pairs of pants were draped across the
fender in front of the fireplace which must have had a live fire because sometimes
they got scorched!! Because of Mrs Paul I got a brilliant grounding in spoken
(and sung) French, starting in Kindergarten, which has been a great asset. I remember
we each had a blanket, spread it out and slept after lunch for "Rest" every day.
I also recollect that on Fridays we did "Baking". that meant each child got some
flour, sugar, margarine, and flavouring such as cocoa or cinnamon, in a white
china christmas-pudding type bowl which we mixed with a wooden spoon, and we each
had a rectangle of greaseproof paper and we rolled and shaped interesting bicuits
which were lined up on baking trays and went into the oven together. We could
take them home, but they often got eaten on the way. I also remember "Potato printing"
It was fascinating to read on Ernest Weiss's pages, an account by someone who
must have been there a few years before I was, that the children were marched
in a crocodile down Merton Rise to Primrose Hill for games, and she even mentioned
walking past "the little door where a witch lived"! Until recently, that very
house with that very door in the side still existed and I passed on the folklore
to my own children whenever we drove past, (it was painted green for years), but
it has now been removed and Merton Rise is bisected by blocks of flats, etc.
To reach the "Garden"(=playground) we used an iron fire escape/outside stairs
from the entrance hall level via a "balcony".
To the credit of St. Mary's, children could attend for a short time and still
feel included. I remember someone called Monica whose parents went back to Germany
with her. After I suppose a couple of terms she reappeared and I was amazed that
she had (temporarily) forgotten english! but we resumed our friendship and it
may have been at her house that I was introduced to the delights of sweetened
Another in the "Whatever happened to" department: Leon Desborough who lived in
Curiously Craig Sams appears in the class which had some of my friends and companions.
Maybe he arrived after I left, because I dont remember him, though for nearly
20 years his business was very close to my Bead Shop in the same block in Portobello
Road! Likewise I know Peter Adler but never realised that according to one of
the online reminiscences: "the children of Larry Adler the harmonica player" were
Also remembered dimly: American girl called "Abby" Judith Fry Nicky Hubbard
reminded by the other reminiscences of: Yoko Suga,
A question that interests me now as a result of finding your doorway into my past
and also talking to my son, can be put briefly like this: My only really happy
schooldays were those early ones. Later I passed the exams and got a scholarship
to South Hampstead High School which were about 8 years of unhappiness pressure
sarcasm and competitive egos. (My mother never understood this). So why do I find
myself still valuing the academic education of SHHS and the "O" levels etc, more
than the rich, humanly rewarding time building up personal and social confidence,
etc. etc. which was the result of those years at T&C? My son, now a successful
designer, who also had a nightmarishly miserable time after the age of 11 at a
boarding school and quit after less than 2 years, finishing his schooling at a
Steiner school, told me to my astonishment that though it was nice, friendly,
not so stressful at the Steiner school, nevertheless he still appreciates the
short but stimulating time he spent at the public school where socially it was
horrible but the facilities were "State-of-the-Art".
I'd still like to think that its the positive school time that moulds a future
independant thinking and feeling person who can cope in this world. Certainly
now I'd put that first when choosing a school for kids.
I have contact with Susie Huxley (now Susie Ray), Alexis (nee Findon), the Brandts,
Yes I'd like to hear more from others so you can put up my Email address by my
name on the pupils list.
I've written 3 books about Beads, and still avidly research and lecture on the
topic. Yes it is a huge subject and just beginning to be recognized in the worlds
of Archaeology as well as Desgn, Costume, religion, Technology, trade and barter,
Stefany Tomalin <StefanyTomalinBeads@compuserve.com>
UK - Thursday, September 23, 2004 at 22:01:20 (CEST)
In an idle moment recently it occurred to me to do a search on my old school...and
I was rewarded with your wonderful site. Names and faces are coming vaguely into
my mind as I read the collection of reminiscences. I was there with my brother,
Nicholas Casimir, two years below me, 1969-70. I was in the same year as Amanda
Poole, Diana Fortinberry (sp?), Sabrina Crewe and, according to your site, many
others whose names I cannot properly recall but which seem awfully familiar, Greg
(from Rhode Island?), Virginia Solomon, Isabel Neate, one of the Pinsker sisters,
Polly Newcombe, Sheff Omar??. Other names are also very familiar but I'm not sure
if we were in the same year.
I enjoyed the school, especially socially, although looking back I'm not sure
it was that good academically (except for French of course). My strongest memories
are of a chain-smoking Mr Neville and his love of German songs, playing hockey
in Regent's Park, liver and onions in the darkest lunchroom I have ever known,
nearly dying of muscle soreness on the Lake District trip, one break when a football
hit the history teacher (Mr Gayton? whose teaching method consisted entirely of
drawing pictures on the blackboard which we then copied) and knocked him unconscious,
Mrs. Paul's dark and mysterious study, the Nuffield science series on the human
body(!), walking to Swiss Cottage swimming baths to swim or do gym, a truly wonderful
English teacher, a fear-inspiring walk to my classroom across the bridge connecting
the two buildings several times a day, that skipping game we girls played with
an elastic around our ankles, some crushes on older boys...many memories.
From St Mary's my brother and I went on to boarding school, St Christopher's,
Letchworth, Herts. Sabrina and Sebastian Crewe joined us there. I am now living
in Washington DC. My husband, who is Spanish, works for the World Bank, and I
teach ESL part time. We have two teenage daughters, both older than I was at St
Mary's. I would love to receive emails from people whose memories are better than
(A word on my name: at St Mary's I was Sandra Casimir, at the next school I was
Alex Casimir (Alex and Sandra both come from Alexandra, my full name, and changing
my nickname seemed a cool thing to do at the time), and now I am Alex Alba, my
My very best to all my old school mates, Sandra Casimir/Alex Alba
Sandra Casimir <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Washington DC, USA - Thursday, September 23, 2004 at 21:54:39 (CEST)
Hi I'm Stefany Tomalin
Found the "Town & Country" site by chance.. When I get a few quiet hours I'll
write some recollections. I was born in '45, and attended from kindergarten up
to the age of 7 but these were the happy school years! I also went to Jean Bennett's
cottage in the summer and other holidays.
Right now, a list of names some of which you dont have on your list yet- (but
its possible I've remembered some non-pupils as well)
I'd really like to know what became of:
A very naughty boy called Dermot!
Paul Joannides -birthday 1 day later than mine.
A girl from a kibbutz called Daniella
Carol Berger sister of Vicky
David Risner (brother of Jennifer, not Mark, that was their father)
Naomi and Ben Jacoby
Sarah and ??younger brother Shepheard
Mr Gubbins arithmetic teacher who hit people with a ruler. Uncle Willy who is
remembered for the "Galloping tune" if nothing else!
I remember the classes were called "Kindergarten", "Ones" "Twos" "Threes", etc.
Morning assembly was "Call-over". and I remember the "Jungle Jim".
I'm the one with the long pigtails in one of Alicia Sufit's photographs taken
at Jean Bennett's cottage. Me, Alexis Findon, and Stella Ryser were the "3 Big
Girls" at school.(In the sense of quality, not size of course) Michael Bieber
used to chase us and pull hair. I am in touch with him and of course he is not
like that now...
I think a high proportion of the T&C kids in the late '40s early '50s were children
of the eccentric and left-wing jewish immigrant families who discovered Hampstead,
many were artists, actors, writers, and also unconventional doctors, analysts
Will write again and hope to hear more from others!
Stefany Tomalin <StefanyTomalinBeads@compuserve.com>
UK - Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 11:15:33 (CEST)
Hello Norman -
I hadn't thought about Town and Country for years then suddenly it occurred to
me today to look for it on the web. Congratulations on the site. All of a sudden
it's brought back to me what wonderful, unique, eccentric years those were. I
don't think I've ever come across such a diversity of people in one place, and
believe me, I've travelled. More importantly T & C taught me what plimsolls were,
and introduced me to semolina pudding with a blob of jam.
I was at T & C in 1973 (first term) and the whole of 1974, in second and third
form. My father was working at Australia House and after our stint I went back
to boarding school in Canberra - a definite step down creatively, if possibly
a slight improvement academically!
I remember Mr McMenaman (spelling??) the maths teacher, a wry Scot, once telling
us we would soon forget most of our fellow pupils. He was probably right but I'm
amazed how many names (and faces without names) are coming back as I think about
it. My best friends were Vilas Roberts (another Aussie) and David Haas. Where
the hell are you? I also remember Miles and Jeremy Richardson - Miles used to
come back to my place and hook into the scotch, but our friendship ended irrevocably
when my mother caught us being naughty - can't remember what the big crime was
but you can be pretty sure Miles commissioned it. Other names of my fellow students
that are coming back - Toby Russell (son of Ken), Hayedah Mokveh (from Iran),
Hamid who was possibly Hayedah's elder brother, David Bulheimer, Erez Lilienthal
from Israel, who once nearly stabbed me (by accident) on the tube, Karen Kyberz,
the lovely von Bibra sisters from Melbourne - Sonia and, sorry can't remember
the names of the other two. Duncan Atwell, Seven Spiro, Clark Berger, Bobby Schubert,
Kelly Moriarty (American), a couple of Japanese brothers called Hiroshi and Artie...
Everyone had a crush on Gina, except for me I guess - I was besotted with Jayne
Chubb, who joined in 74 I think.
From the teachers I remember Mr Neville, of course, and Bernard Prousteau, who
tutored me in French with his brilliant method. 'Peindre d'abord une cage...'
rings a bell, and there was a word identification game called the Little Green
Man. I believe he died, back in the 70s, as did Mr Neville. Mrs Paul thought I
was some sort of genius and actually kissed me before I left the school - would
be interested to know if she handed this treatment out to everyone?? I also remember
Mr Nash, the eminence grise of the music classes, Mrs Scott-Kennerly the science
teacher in her flared pants suits, Mrs Petzel the German teacher, and Mrs Bennett
(I think) who taught creative writing and liked my stories, clever woman. There
was also Mrs Sieff, the coolly alluring South African geography teacher, and Mr
Rothwell, who taught English and history, scarily. And an English teacher before
him, another brilliant educator - can't remember his name but remember his blow-by-blow
grammatical dissection of 'Jason sailed in search of the Golden Fleece.' Oh yes
and another English and history teacher, Mr Brown, who also had some interesting
ideas and was a nice guy.
These days I'm a photojournalist, currently based in Delhi. My pictures sometimes
appear in the Times, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and Time. I published
a book, years ago, 'The Five Foot Road', with HarperCollins, which regrettably
is out of print.
I'm not in touch with anyone from the school but would be interested to hear from
anyone who remembers a tall pale Australian who was good at French and English
and rubbish at sport.
Angus McDonald <email@example.com>
Delhi, India - Friday, September 10, 2004 at 21:38:23 (CEST)
An internet search for "Baess" and "Nissen" led me to your fantastic, amazing
website! Mic (for that was his name then) Baess and I were in the fourth form
together in 1970-71, the only year I spent at T&C, and re-connected in 1977, when
I spent a few months in London while taking a year off from college. It was on
this latter occasion that I first met Peter Nissen, who became a great friend
too. We had a number of adventures in those few months in 1977, mostly involving
playing or listening to of extremely loud rock music (e.g., the Stranglers). Maybe
that trip to the Stonehenge Summer Solstice festival explains why they can't seem
to remember me (I had to drive them back to London in a dilapidated van, on the
wrong side of the road, for reasons they have probably repressed). My brother
Steve McGuire and my sister Anne McGuire also went to Town and Country. They were
in first and third form respectively in 1970-1971.
I'm now a college professor at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut,
USA, where I teach political science and specialize in Latin American politics.
I wrote a book called Peronism without Peron (Stanford, 1997), and have just finished
another called "Politics, Policy, and Mortality Decline in East Asia and Latin
America" (not yet out).
Besides Mic I remember fondly from our fourth form class Sophie Belegris, Gary
Bolton (nice guy and great soccer player), Margot Case (went to Lake District
with a group of us led by Mr. Johnston), Uday Gadre (among my closest friends),
Alex (Ox) De Groot (from Belgium but con madre peruana), Mark Samuel (nice guy
who liked Irish castles), Ranjan Sanjay (from Gujarat), Peter Wilde (from USA),
and Jenny Williams (from USA). From my sister's third form I remember the great
Shafique Omar, Greg Acosta (from USA), the lovely Sandra Casimir, the also lovely
Amanda Poole, and the also, also lovely Sabrina Crewe (wow, what a class!!). From
my brother's first form I remember Marlo Gripp (forgive me but I believe she is
misidentified as male on your list).
Let me add my name to the many who harbor deep affection for the late Mr. Neville.
Thanks to his great teaching I actually learned some French. Other teachers who
made an impression on me in various ways were Mr. Johnston (Geography), Mrs. Kennelly
(Science), and Mr. McMennemon (sp?, Math).
In my year at Town and Country I learned not much academically (except French)
but an enormous amount about life, and I treasure the memories of the fine folks
I befriended that year. I would love to hear from any of you mentioned in this
note, or for that matter anyone who remembers me or my brother or sister. I would
be especially interested in contact info for Mic Baess and Peter Nissen so I can
catch up a bit on the past 25 years and kick their butts for not mentioning me
among their classmates. Well, sorry I went on so long, got to get back to work.
Fondly, Jim McGuire
Jim McGuire <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Middletown, CT, USA - Wednesday, August 25, 2004 at 00:01:16 (CEST)
Hi Norman, Came across your site
today. Really brought back some memories and I had wondered what had happened
to the school after visiting Eton Avenue a few years ago.
I was there with my sister for a short while. I left as soon as I finished the
juniors but my sister was three years older than me and stayed in the Senior school
for a short while after. She knew Lisa Pitt , who I see is listed on the site.
They were in the same class together. I was in the same class as her sister, Shelley.
Anyway, if you would like to add me and my sister to your pupil list, please feel
Here are the details: Stefano Da Tos Alessandra Da Tos If anyone is interested
in contacting either of us, my email is email@example.com
Thanks for putting in the effort with the site. Kind Regards Stef
Stefano Da Tos <firstname.lastname@example.org >
- Thursday, August 12, 2004 at 11:51:18 (CEST)
Dear Norman, I am totally fascinated
by your site. Gulp!! What memories! I adored Jean Bennett, who was such an exceptional
person and teacher. Peter, her dog, was like some grumpy consort who had been
magically changed into canine form. I used to go down to Jean's thatched cottage
in Beckley, near Rye, Sussex (not Kent, by the way) and spend idyllic holiday
times there. I hit on your site trying to research Miss 'Trasvinsky' the ballet
mistress, whose accompanist was her mother, Madame T. They let me do Russian ballet
exams, the examiner being Madame Nicolaeva Legat, who was a frequent visitor and
friend of Nijinsky in the 50s. I'll write to you soon, as I have interesting photos
of pupils in classroom from the time - Lucinda Huxley, Christopher Burns, Sarah
Walton, Vicki Burgess, Gloria Harris, Harvey (American?) Seth Meyer, Gered Mankowitz
(sp?) Michael Beeber (sp?) etc. Some more senior names are John Maizels, Mark
Latimer Sufit and so on. My mother, Mary Sufit, taught at the school during the
time I was there, 1952 - 1956, so brief, but so deep. My parents had a cottage
called Sunley Bank, right next door to Hedgreley Wood, strangely! kind regards,
Alicia (Alisha) Sufit
Alicia (Alisha) Sufit <email@example.com>
London, UK - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 at 01:57:54 (CEST)
[Norman's Note:- Alicia has since sent a number of interesting photos, and anecdotes
Click Here to see them
Hello I'm Peter Muir I was at the
school 1967/68/69 i remember Mr Neville very well just thought i would add my
name to the list since school i started up my own business a recording studio
in London - married to Linda with two beautifull daughters Sandy & Beth, and well
done Norman. p.s. will there be a reunion?
PETER MUIR <PPMUIR53@YAHOO.COM>
LONDON, UK - Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 21:07:55 (CEST)
Unlike my brother Matthew I did not
get the cane. We were only in the school for approx 1½ years and nearing the end
of my stay I used to have a grey vespa motor scooter. I can't say it was the best
school I ever went to but the folks were okay. The headteacher was a character
from what I remember! Now aged 52 and married for 28 years I have two children,
one married and one starting her first job in would you believe sunny Finchley
Road area. I doubt if anyone would remember me as our stay was flying one.
Mark Laming <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bournemouth, UK - Wednesday, May 26, 2004 at 23:22:52 (CEST)
Hi folks great site always wondered
what happened to town and country school, I was a pupil in the 70s for 4 years
with my brother Mark Laming whos name is in the pupils list cant find mine though?
(NB It is now!) Had some great years, even got the cane from Mrs Paul.
In your pupils list you have the name Jed? I know he was american and was at the
school for two years, I think his surname was Chambers. On independece day jed
brought in to the school a pole with the american flag attached on it he took
it into the playground and in the middle of the playground was a drain he removed
the cover and planted the flag in it and then saluted before he was marched off
to Mrs Pauls office. What ever happened to Mr Neville?
I hope to hear from you, please contact me..
Matthew Laming <email@example.com>
Roscommon , Ireland - Wednesday, May 26, 2004 at 21:38:20 (CEST)
I was at The Hall School in Buckland
Crescent and Crossfield Road from 1933 to 1940. We lived in Eton Court, a block
of flats on a corner in Eton Avenue. Have you come across anyone from that time
and those places? I've much enjoyed your website. Michael Wolff
Michael Wolff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at 23:39:16 (CEST)
As a former pupil at the T & C School from 1959 to 1963 I found your site very
interesting. I have a few old photos from my time there
which may be of interest to you. We must have been at the school at the same time,
but you must have been in somwhat younger than me and I do not recognise the pupils
in your collection of photos. However, quite a number of those in Ernie's webpage
were in my class.
I enjoyed listening to your recordings of Mr Myerscough/Neville's music lessons!
I also well remember Mr Nash, with the short white socks! I sent an email to Robin
Neuberg, with whom I was in the same class, but I didn't get any reply so far.
I could add some more names to your list of pupils if you are interested. Do you
have any email or other addresses of these former pupils. To avoid confusion I
should point out that through out my childhood in England (1947? - 1969) I was
known as George, but in Switzerland I have gone back to using my real name Juerg.
Whatever happend to to all these pupils at the T & C from the 'Swinging Sixties'?
Do you have contact with any of them?I lost all contact when I left T & C for
Haberdashers' Aske's in Elstee in 1963.
Look forward to hearing from you,
Juerg (George) Haller
Switzerland - Monday, May 03, 2004 at 11:19:43 (CEST)
I was called Ruth Bradley when I
went to Town and Country in 1965-6 I think, Mrs. Bevan was our class teacher.
I stumbled across this site after talking with a friend about a trip we all made
to the Hellfire caves and did a search on Hedgerley. I remember Adrienne Ball
who was my best friend, and Stephanie Knapp, Sharon Fox, Anthony Kolokotroni,
Mike Bear, most of whom weren't mentioned on the site, and i've lost touch. I
was sad to hear about Peter Lucas. I wasn't at Town and Country for long, a year
I think, then I went to Holland Park Comprehensive. I'm now a video artist and
living in London.
London, UK - Sunday, April 04, 2004 at 15:33:23 (CEST)
I remember being at T&C in 1971 -
left Hereward house. I knew David Haas and Gina Beck and Dawn Castle. Its nice
to look back and see some people I knew in those good ol' days. I remember I played
a prank with a friend, lighting matches and was accused of wanting to burn down
the school. I was given detention and a day off from school. I remember Mr. Neville
and his singing classes aswell as having to learn the french poem "Peindre d'abord
an ouiseau avec un...." My sister Sophie Kolokotroni used to attend the school
aswell. Nice to reflect on times past....
Andrew Kolokotroni <email@example.com>
Bergen County, USA - Wednesday, March 24, 2004 at 20:01:23 (CET)
At the start of a new year, best
wishes to all past visitors/ex-t&c people and to all those yet to come - Your
Norman Barrington <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Thursday, January 01, 2004 at 01:25:04 (CET)
I was thrilled to come across these
sites about T&C. I started there in 1966 and left in 1971. I do actually have
a few pictures of my time there but am not sure how to get them to you.
I don't have any pictures of the teachers except Mr. Johnson who was the geography
teacher while I was there. Mr. Neville was by far my favourit teacher however
I was terrified of him on some level.
He was quite sick during my first year and I seem to remember he was gone for
about 6 weeks but I always looked forward to his class even though I really struggled
with Latin. I remember Mr. McDermott, the science teacher and also having to walk
to the science lab around the corner. I can't remember the name of the history
teacher but he was a big man!...
Looking at the pictures of you and Theo I do remember you but since I was so much
younger I'm sure you don't remember me. Please let me know how to submit my photos.
I have a bag full...Diana (Di-Di-Duck Face - a very unfortunate nick name)
Diana Roberts (Krajkeman) <Krajky@msn.com>
Bellevue, WA, US - Saturday, September 20, 2003 at 18:42:49 (CEST)
I greatly enjoyed visiting your web site, listening to Mr Neville warbling in
Latin brought back a lot of memories and proves that time travel (of a sort) is
I was transported the assembly room watching Mr Neville and Mr Nash performing
during "singing". The object of the class momentarily forgotten as they expressed
their love for each other publicly in the only way they could. I remember the
sting of Mr McMennemum's ruler slapping the palm of my hand (I do not recall my
crime) and Mrs Kennerly reduced to tears by class bad girl Dawn Castle.
I felt the heartache of my hopeless crush on Gina Beck (and the South African
Geography teacher whose name escapes me). I remembered laughing at Clark Berger's
Donald Duck impressions and all too frequent Spanish guitar playing, the death
of Rupert Atwell, and my first spliff in the girl's toilet (Thanks Annie and Lynne!).
It was a curious and strangely magical school - I'm not sure I learnt very much,
but it certainly left a lasting impression on me.
(Town & Country 1972-76, now a graphic designer)
Jeremy Richardson <email@example.com>
London SW11, UK - Sunday, September 14, 2003 at 19:11:06 (CEST)
Hi Norman, Great site. I often wonder
what's happened to old classmates and friends from my Town and Country days. I
was at the school from 62-73 and remember you clearly from the mid to late 60s.
I have lots of wonderful memories from my time at the school, and some of the
earliest were those week long breaks at Hedgerley Wood, staying in tents and roasting
marshmallows during a nighttime BBQ. I remember having a huge crush on a classmate
Diana Lock who also won the hearts of two other pupils, Robert Maxwell and Pete
Lucas who sadly died in the 80s after being landlord of The Nag's Head in Heath
My teachers in the junior school were Mrs Robb, Miss Priest, Miss Mennell (I think
she was only there for a year or two), and Mrs Bevan - a fearsome Welsh woman
who resembled Shirley Bassey and who would cuff you with her hefty gold ring if
you were naughty. (I got wacked quite a bit, an early sign of rebellion).
I never found T and C that good academically but it sure inspired a wonderful,
unregimented way of thinking that bode me well for my future endeavours. Most
of my time was spent in the playground taking part in absolute death or glory
football games, honing skills for the highpoint of the week which was the game
on Hampstead Heath Extension. I have a great memory of playing in a game in which
my good friend Peter Nissen was the goalie and we lost 13-2 to our arch rivals
Hereward House. In the early 70s we got the better of them and regularly trounced
them with Sheffi Omar, Gary Bolton, Dimitri Belegris and myself in the side!!
Looking back on those days I think those who were at the school in the 60s and
early 70s were lucky to have grown at perhaps the best time of the 20th century.
There was so much going on in terms of great music, sport and world history in
the making such as Vietnam, the Apollo moonshots, supersonic booms over the school,
the Aberfan disaster etc.
A few other pupils you may wish to add to your list are Caroline Willing, Uday
Gadre, Graham Grumi, Rochelle Minson, Marlo Gripp, Anna Papadopolous, Johan and
Rita Schalwyk, David Bulheimer, Rena Selby, Dave and James Phillips, Alex de Groot
(Ox), Sharon Marks, the Faith sisters - Alex, Penny and Sarah, Luisa Fernandes,
Amanda Aron (a great footballer), Peter White, Phillip Rice, Jonathan Chapland,
Isaac and Angela Molayem (who were from Israel), Lewis and Linda Dodd, Oliver
Perrin (now a famous jazz pianist), Amanda and Cordelia Donahoe (yes, that Amanda
Donohoe), John Collier (the window to watch), Susan Collier (no relation), and
an Australian teacher called Mrs Blythe, and an absolutely gorgeous Californian
girl called Maria Sonnet who was there for a year in 1969 and gave me a copy of
Fleetwood Mac's Man of the World single for my birthday.
Until about 15 years ago I watch in contact with Sheff Omar who was studying to
become a doctor and Uday Gadre who had become the manager of a bank. I've remained
friends with Pete Nissen and the legendary Simon Turner and I've also bumped into
Sharon Pinsker and Ann Whiteman in the late 70s. I'm now going to dig through
my archives and try and find any old photos. I definitely have a pic of the Junior
School football team in 1967.
Pete's account of robbing the locker at Swiss Cottage baths brought some funny
memories back and I remember the inquiry when we were all called before Mrs Paul,
Mr Neville and other teachers and trying not to snigger. It could have been an
unused scene from the film If. Anyway, keep up the great work and I'll have a
look at my archives.
London, UK - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 13:08:36 (CEST)
Hi Norman Mike Baess, who's still
my best buddy, just rang to let me know about the T&C site and it's sort of blown
my head a bit. Someone might remember when I was done for ripping off the sixpenny
bits in the lockers at Swiss Cottage swimming pool armed with a hammer and chisel
and giving most of them away to everyone else in the classI (for which I was suspended
by Dr Paul) and possibly the time that I let in thirteen goals for the school
football team. Not majorly positive contributions to the history of the school
but there you go, it takes all sorts. One of my most meaningful memories was of
Mrs (or was it Miss) Bennett telling us about some guy who'd died prematurely,
at the age of nineteen, a diver, I think, but had still had a complete and meaningful
life because of what he'd achieved in that limited time, I think he may have been
working with Jacques Cousteau who, I seem to remember was a favourite of hers.
- that story had a big influence on my future attitude to life Another poignant
moment was the death of Bobby Kennedy which I remember hearing about in the playground.
Anyway, thought I'd help fill in a few missing names - as far as I can remember
these guys were all in my year (with Lindy Rappaport) or the year before. There's
me Peter Nissen, Michael(?) Kisolevsky. Michael Baer, Sheila Patel, Sheila Lock,
Bruce Blair, Matthew ReeS (not Reece), Alfred NathaN (not Natham), Danny Bani-Israeli,
Pete Lucas (Died), Diana Krajkeman, Tom Norris(Canadian), Sharon Marks.
Good to hear about you Norman, I'm sure I remember you, you were two classes up
from me; I was there from 66-68. I've always wanted to know one thing though,
did Mr Neville wear a rug?
Cheers Pete Nissen
UK - Thursday, August 21, 2003 at 20:40:56 (CEST)
[Norman's comments] - I remember the 6d escapade well. I was amongst those who
helped themselves, but when we realised there was going to be a major inquisition
that afternoon we swapped our tanners for larger money with Theo Lemos who was
known to collect sixpences and therefore could be the only legitimate owner of
so many! (I kid you not!)
I also recall that when our class's turn came to be questioned it was Mrs Paul
and Miss Fehling who arrived in force. Although I had traded most of my tanners
with Theo for larger change, I still had one sixpence in my pocket. Mrs Fehling
got me to show her my change and when she saw the sixpence, she pointed at it
and shrieked "There's a sixpence!!"... I calmly replied that it was not unusual
to have a sixpence in ones change and luckily she calmed down muttering something
like 'I s'pose so' and moved on to the next pupil.
On reflection, I don't think she could have been a very bright woman, though keen
on Literature, and you couldn't 'mess' with her in class. Actually whenever I
see a film with Joyce Grenfell, I am reminded of old Miss Fehling; "jolly hokeysticks"
But I digress! - So I got away with my haul of locker cash, though some less fortunate
boy was caught with a heap in his socks! (He had been walking strangely!) He had
to take them out and hand them over in front of the whole class.
Neville did have a rug, I remember him bald at the end of one term and
suddenly at the start of the next he had hair again! During a downpour at regents
park during football his real hair at the sides were flattened, whilst his toupé
made of best quality nylon stayed perched precariously on top like a thatched
He had that not amused look, when his nose would turn red and swell up.
I just had a flash of memory. I remember M. Prouteau climbing up one of the horse
chestnut trees that grew over the fence in order to pick conkers for us. He fell
off and broke his arm, poor man, and I think we all laughed... thought it was
one of his tricks, until he started to cry!!! He was a large lad, as I remember,
and what a special teacher.
Another thing I remember, which you may know more about, was a TV program that
was done on progressive schools. I think they had Preshill and a couple of other
funny little schools like ours. I remember they caught me stuffing my face with
some goop or other in the dining hall! I can picture the nanosecond of me, with
two pigtails and a look of surprise, before it passed on to someone else.
One more for the road. One of my good freinds was Diana Fortinbury (Fortenberry???
no idea how it was spelled), who lived in the Duke of Bedford's house in Regent
Circle. Gorgeous place with Wedgewood-style white on powder blue cameo busts of
every member of the family (Duke of Bedford's family, I presume) on the cupboard
doors in the palacial main bedroom. Anyway, I don't know what Diana's Dad did,
but I suspect he was either with the American Embassy, or a major US company,
because I happened to be spending the day with Diana when JFK was assassinated.
We were actually watching it live in the little downstairs den. A room with walls
completely covered with framed paintings (all sizes, styles and qualities) of
which one space was filled by a black and white TV. You know how everyone remembers
where they were when Kennedy was shot, well, my memory is a blurr of screaming,
phone calls, white faces, tears, people tearing around in a shocked frenzy, and
me... forgotten in the middle of it... curling up on the couch in the den. My
Dad was sent for and came to collect me... he was also a diplomat, so the two
dad's had a serious and anguished conversation in the hall before I was ushered
out. It is so vivid, I think I could probably story-board it for a film!
Anyway... no doubt more will pour out in time!
Thanks for unplugging the memories
Virginia Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Australia - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 22:49:41 (CEST)
Just read the demise of T&C and it brought tears to my eyes. It is a shame that
the school which meant so much to the students found such a sorry end.
I must commend you for your efforts to bring back all the memories, some sad but
mostly happy ones. Listening to your recordings of Neville and Mrs. A took me
back 30 years.
My name is Demetris Belegris brother of Sophie Belegris. We both began in the
junior school in 1966 and took our O'levels there in 1974 and 73 respectively.
I wonder if any others from my years have contacted you so as to keep some contact
with the past. An idea might be to arrange a reunion if for no other reason but
to see what we all look like 30 years on.
I went back to the school in the mid 90s only to see that it was now a conversion
into flats and I always wondered whatever happened. Now I know, sad but Victor
Hugo is to blame.
Do keep up the good work and I will be visiting your site regularly to see that
I was not erased from history.
Regards and best wishes to all T&C alumni
Demetris Belegris <email@example.com>
Athens, Greece - Monday, July 28, 2003 at 16:50:41 (CEST)
Hi Norman, What a fascinating site.
St Mary's Town and Country School truly is a wonderful and worthy subject for
commemoration. There is no doubt that the school had a powerful and positive impact
on me and my sister - Tom Gutteridge and Virginia (Ginny) Gutteridge (now Virginia
We were there from 1963-69 while our father was at Australia House as Head of
Trade Publicity. The creative atmosphere and liberating educational ideas stay
strongly in my mind: performing pageants in history (I remember a particularly
elaborate Elizabethan feast), Mr Nash's songs at assembly, "The Tie Game" - Mr
Prousteau's circuit-breaker when French lessons became bogged down, and of course
Hedgerley Wood - that Arcadian world of discovery, adventure and excitement.
I would have been at least two years behind you at T & C and I was also ridiculously
young - I started in the Prep year at 3 1/2! I can't remember who I had in my
first year (clearly I really was an infant. My mother never fails to regale people
with my first report which began "Tom bumbles about in an aura of good will")
but my first real teacher was Miss Priest (and 'yes' my mammaries... memories
of her are distinctly coloured by her particular endowments). From then on I actually
can't remember who my form teacher was - my memories tend to get mixed up with
Ginny's and my parents' versions of things.
Strangely enough I am currently working with another ex-T & Cer, Kirsten Von Bibra.
We both now live in Melbourne, Australia, and even spookier, both of us are directors
of theatre, opera and other media. Personally, I blame Mrs Paul!
I thought I would share one particular story with you because it relates to the
tragic decline of the school and Mrs Paul. In late 1979/early 1980, my sister,
Ginny and I met up in London after travelling for a while. We hadn't been back
since we left in the late sixties and we decided to pay a visit to our Alma Mater.
We arrived on a cold winter morning at those familiar steps and rang the bell.
After a while a woman answered the door who turned out to be Mrs 'A' who by then
had graduated from cook to teacher. She told us that the school had deteriorated
badly over the past few years and that there were only a couple of dozen pupils
left. She then offered to take us up to see Mrs Paul. She would love to see us,
Mrs A said.
We climbed up those steep wooden stairs and I realised that I had never been up
so high, so close to Mrs Paul's 'seat of power' while I was a pupil. I felt slightly
nervous. We were shown into a very dark room, and there sat Mrs Paul, piles of
white hair pinned to her head, back straight and eyes piercing. We explained who
we were and why we had come but it was clear to us quite soon that Mrs Paul was
not fully connected to reality. She listened to us in silence and then began to
tell us of her life. She was visited, she said, by angels. They came to her to
sooth her. They included the poet, Verlaine, and Mr Neville (we had not realised
he was dead). She spoke some more about the school but I wasn't really listening.
I was thinking how sad it was that she should be sitting there with her wonderful
school collapsing around her.
I don't remember what Ginny and I talked about as we left. Mrs Paul and her angels
were both ridiculously funny and painfully sad, but I can't remember if we laughed
or cried or both.
Some more names from my year: Janine Wingate, Victoria Willing, Jason Brown, Tom
Diamond (brother of Emma), Tomi Tomas Tomacek (!), Noah Tucker, Christine Blair,
Derek Cotton (he and I were 'allowed' to swim for 5 minutes longer than others
in the freezing Hedgerley Wood pool because we were Antipodeans!) and others whose
names have escaped me.
I'm pretty sure we've got a few photos of T & C times. We've certainly got some
of the Elizabethan feast I mentioned (including embarassing ones of Jason Brown
and me in tights posturing frightfully). Ginny's got a scanner so I'll see if
I can persuade her to email some of them.
Thanks for the site and good luck with your archival efforts
Regards, Tom G
Tom Gutteridge <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Melbourne, Australia - Friday, July 18, 2003 at 13:53:06 (CEST)
How did you find me, a pupil way
back in 1953-1956 and put my email on your website? Fascinating stuff. I remember
the day that muesli was first served up at lunch, back in 1954. Frau Bohm, our
German teacher, was an enthusiast. It was real Bircher Benner muesli too, soaked
overnight to allow the development of lactic enzymes and thus make it more digestible.
Long before anyone put it in packets. My classmates included Jasper Selwyn, Peter
Friedman, John Rolf, a girl called Usha, and the Weinstein sisters, Lisa, Paula
and Donna, whose mother produced the Robin Hood TV series. My favourite teacher
was Mrs. Noyes (Noyesy behind her back) and my naughtiest moment was putting a
drawing pin on her chair, which achieved the desired result. We would go to summer
camp at a farm near Thaxted. We'd play hares and hounds in the countryside, go
for walks to Finchingfield and nurse a bottle of Tizer for several days, kept
in the sleeping bag. I also remember playing football and the goalie, once exhausted
from defending, would hold up the ball and shout 'quis?' to which aspiring candidates
would shout 'ego' and the first one to shout got to be goalie. Like one of your
other correspondents, I found that subsequent school was pretty effortless - I'd
learned stuff at T&C that stood me in good stead throughout my subsequent American
high school education. The muesli rubbed off - I started up Whole Earth Foods
in 1967 with my brother Gregory (from the junior side of the school) and more
recently founded Green & Black's chocolate and am now also the chair of the Soil
Association. Poor old Mrs. Paul - such an uninspiring ending to such a successful
balancing of progressive methods with good, solid academic grounding. Regards
Craig Sams (now living in Hastings)
Craig Sams <email@example.com>
Hastings, UK - Sunday, June 08, 2003 at 16:23:35 (CEST)
Dear Norman,I stumbled on your fantastic
web site and took a walk down memory lane! Boydid you bring back old memories.I
was a student at Town & Country from 1968 - 1970 - although I don'tremember your
name I'm sure I would know you if I saw you.My name is Mahmoud El Tabei (aka as
Mao) - I'm an Egyptian. I was verydisappointed to not find my name on your list
- its like dropping me fromhistory! I used to go to class with Julian Esterson
(he was a great mate ofmine - can you put me in touch with him). I was also in
class with WyndhamJones and we were also great friends. Let me add to your list
some names:- Francis Langfield (we were in class together)- Robin Rowe (she was
an American red head one class below me -boy did Ihave a crush on her)- Angela
Newmark (she was in class with me and I aslo had a crush on her)- Sally Field-
Mark LamingThat's all I remember.Take care and thanks for the fantastic web site.Mahmoud
Mahmoud El-Tabei <firstname.lastname@example.org>
New Zealand - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 15:54:35 (CEST)
[Norman's Note:- I left in 68 so we may have met like passing ships. Sorry about
the omission of your name on the illustrious list which I have now sorted]
Dear Norman,Have been meaning to
write to you for a long time to tell you how fantastic we ( my sisters Barbara
and Suzanne) think it is that you have taken the time and trouble to design and
create such an imaginative site, paying tribute to what we all remember affectionately
as an extraordinary and very eccentric school!! I 'm sure Mrs. Paul and Mr. Neville
would have been extremely touched and amused by all the anecdotes and recordings....I
think you will have made them very proud indeed!!!I do have a few photos featuring
splashing around in the pool at Hedgerly Wood, geography walks and the "golden
ball" on the way to the Hell Fire Caves, football inthe playgruond Eton Avenue
and a trip to the Lake District .Also some fuzzy group shots and a couple of less
fuzzy head shots so wondered if I entrusted these valuable relics to you, you
might want to include them on my behalf? Meanwhile I have a few names to add to
your list... Mr McMennemum....Maths teacher Peter Freeth (now very well established
R.A.).... Art teacher Mrs Kennerly........Science teacher Ali Nafis Sebastian
Crewe Alex Priest Matthew Reece Simon Leroy Wyndham Jones (Winnie) Mark Samuels
Neil Fader Greg Acosta Alfred Natham Gary Bolton Binny (?) Jed (?) Rupert (sadly
deceased) Philip Wilde Jenny Williams Anne Wilde Lindy Rappaport Sophia Kolakotroni
Elizabeth White Virginia Gutteridge (Ginnie) Oh yes, and while you are there,
Shafique Omar was definately a boy back then , so should be in the other column
Sharon Pinsker <email@example.com>
UK - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 20:20:38 (CEST)
[Norman's Note:- Thanks for the kind comments I would be delighted to add your
pictures, the more the better, especially from different years. I have added your
new names for which I also thank you. I hope others will follow suit in due course!]
Dear NormanI was wondering if you
remembered Reina James, who was a great friend of Juliet Glaister, as well as
of mine, and I would really love to find out where they are, and what they’re
I reverted to the first name by which all my family called me; I was only Liz
at school. It’s pronounced Berji (as in ‘version’), but of course I don’t mind
at all if you continue to use Liz!
I was moved to tears, yes actual ones! – by so many things on your website, the
mixture of farce and pathos in Mrs Paul’s determination (I too chuckled at the
Victor Hugo recitings!) and sad decline, the photos, the school uniform list (wonder
if anybody has the girl’s list), Hedgerley Wood, and lots more. It’s really great.
– I look forward to hearing the recordings so much.
Very warm regards,
Bözsi/Liz Davis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Thursday, April 24, 2003 at 18:05:16 (CEST)
Mr Nash is still to be seen walking
his dog on Hampstead Heath and still looking amazingly young - or am I just catching
up with him!
Ann Whiteman <email@example.com>
London, UK - Monday, March 03, 2003 at 20:57:21 (MET)
I was sorry to hear about Mr. Neville's
death, even with a near-thirty year delay. I still remember the characteristic
glee with which he told us about thelease on the flat he had obtained from the
Andrew Ranicki <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Edinburgh, UK - Sunday, March 02, 2003 at 00:07:16 (MET)
I first arrived in T & C for the
year 1958-1959, straightout of Poland. I didn't know any English, and found learning
French (from M. Prusteaux) in English particularly hard going. I cannot remember
any fellow pupils, but some ofthe teachers, Mrs. Paul of course, and the charismatic
chain smoking Myerscough/Neville, and Mrs. Bevan. I returned again for the summer
term of 1961, by which time I had at least learnt English. If anyone remembers
me from long ago, I would behappy to hear from them! Also, please let me know
if you know of the current whereabouts of Myerscough/Neville --assuming the cigarettes
didn't do him in.
Andrew Ranicki <email@example.com>
Edinburgh, UK - Monday, February 24, 2003 at 00:39:05 (MET)
[Norman's Note:- I am afraid that your assumption is correct, Andrew. The fact
is that Mr Neville died in the mid 70's (not sure of the exact date) from a smoking
Wow. What a trip back to memory lane.
I was a pupil at T&C from 1968 to 1970 when i was in the junior school. I was
there from the ages of 8 to ten. I spent one year with Miss Priest and the other
with Mrs. Thornton. My next year would have been with Mrs. Bevan ( whose class
was right at the top of the building) but I moved on to another school in the
locality, North Bridge House School. Even though I was very young in my T&C time,
I have always remembered it as an incredible place, partly perhaps because of
the era in London and partly perhaps because the whole place was the essence of
Mrs. Paul.The classmates I remember were Sinty Stemp (we are still friends after
all these years - she now works at Jean Muir Limited in London), Clark Berger,
Topper Quinn, Toby Baker, Suzanne Pinsca, Lucian Rhodes, Clare Gluck, Dawn Castle,
Caroline Hatter and Carl Sultana.The photos of the school playground bring back
a host of hidden memories. It was an unusual playground with the way it was divided
up. Our French teacher, Mr. Bruno used to take us to the playground for learning
numbers in french. The boys would be lined up on one wall, the girls against another.
We were all allocated numbers. Mr. Bruno would call out a number and one boy and
one girl who had that number would try and pick up a tie fromk the middle of teh
playground and bring it back without being touched.Mr. Neville's classes were
memorable for the variety of ideas and sounds he got us to make. I remember once
he assigned us each a colour of the rainbow and we then had to make individual
sounds.I remember the smell associated with going down to the basement for lunch
and Mrs. A serving the food.The most memorable times for me were always with a
trip to Hedgerley Wood. I must have gone there about six times. During one stay,
I remember watching live on an old black and white TV the coronation of the Prince
of Wales. What else - the smell of the bonfires, the walks along the paths picking
berries, the tiny swimming pool that was always freezing.Only once in my life
have I met an old T&Cer. That was here in Sydney, Australia two years ago. His
name was Andrew Cotton and was about three to four year older than me. His father
was the ambassador for New Zealand in London then. I can get his contact details
if anyone is interested.Thank you, Norman, for putting up and maintaining this
site. T&C deserves to have its unique memory preserved and you have done a wonderful
job in bringing back a flood of otherwise forgotten memories and images.Jason
Jason Nyilas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
sydney, Australia - Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at 03:28:56 (MET)
Both Judy Mikes (who I still see regularly) and I, would love to get back in contact
with Pam Taylor.
Also, on the list of teachers, where was Mr Bantock? (he of the brown velvet or
was it cord jacket?)
Best wishes, Stephanie (Sullivan)
Stephanie (Sullivan) Portway <email@example.com>
UK - Sunday, December 08, 2002 at 22:27:33 (MET)
Hello there Norman....do you remember
me Sandy Dale? This is brilliant! I remember you in the science lab...didn't you
once try to blow it up or something!!
You obviously remember Judy Lock and her dad. She was my best friend. I think
I have a photo of you somewhere, after a walk in Regents Park. I am still in touch
with Judy - how could I not be - she is so lovely! I shall pass on your e-mail
address to her.
I too am married with three children. Natalie 29, Daniel 23 and Joshua who is
10. Yes I know I must have been mad, but I'd do it all again! I work as a Counsellor
in private practice. I have been doing this for 13 years!
My education was pretty chequered, being changed from school to school. I remember
you as a very sweet gentle boy, a little quirky maybe, and I remember being in
awe of your cheekiness!!
Hope you still are all those things.
Best wishes and happy to see your name
Sandy x (Wick)
Sandra Dale <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK - Friday, November 22, 2002 at 00:02:09 (MET)
I don't know if I knew you when I was a student at St. Mary's but it blew me away
to see my name on your student list along with many of the students who were my
friends at the time. I did notice that you did not have my brother Gerald (Gerry)
Davies on your list who was a year or two ahead of me. I also was friends with
Sabina Grimes and Theresa Lieber who also are not on your list.
The pictures of the school and the articles etc. on your website brought tears
to my eyes. I have not seen or heard of the school since we left to return to
Canada. I heard of Friends Reunited from a British friend here at my office and
put my name on the list not expecting it to grow as rapidly as it has or to find
your great website.
Is there any discussion of a school reunion at some time? Have you heard from
anyone about Miss Bunting who was my teacher for nearly 3 years?
I sent your website to my brother, he was good friends with John Walton. I remember
quite a few people that weren't on your list. Some were people who remained after
I left and others left before I did. There were always anumber of people from
"the colonies" like us attending the school. Here are a few other names: Theresa
Lieber, Sally Mumford, Barbara Levy, Steven Penkowski ( was a good artist and
returned to the US a year or two before I left), Daniel Unger who left to live
in Israel while I was in Ms Bevan's class, Yasuko Hashimoto who went back to Japan,
Patti Palmer who was also a Canadian and played the harp, Richard who's name I
can't remember -he had a brace on his leg from polio - maybe you can remember
him. Are any of these familiar to you?
Something I participated in that you may or may not remember happening was an
opera. A few people from my class made up an opera which we performedfirst at
Hedgerley Wood around the bonfire for a number of classes and then for the school
for a lot of classes. Patti Palmer played the witch and I played the male romantic
lead!! I think it was Barbara Levy who played thefemale romantic lead. Anyway,
it created quite a big splash at the school at the time or maybe only in my mind!!
A funny link to that opera was this. Ihad a ballet dress which I had had for years
because I took ballet and used it in various little recitals. Before we came to
England I gave lessons to a girl named Mavis Staines who later became the principal
for the National Ballet of Canada. Anyway that dress is the dress Patti Palmer
wore in the opera. Isn't it strange what you remember?
Do you remember the time we had pet rabbits which we kept in cages in the school
yard- what a disaster that was..
Thanks again and keep up the good work. I think I have a couple of old pictures
of my brother and I in our school uniforms which I will try to digout and send
to you. I must go and tax someone now! (I work for Revenue)
Bye for now Pam Pratt (Davies)
Pam Pratt <Pamela.Pratt@ccra-adrc.gc.ca>
Canada - Tuesday, November 19, 2002 at 15:23:53 (MET)
Norman I went to St Mary's (No 40)
between about 1962 and 1968. My name then was Polly Hogg, my best friend was Emma
Diamond and I also remember Mark Finlayson. There was another girl, who's name
escapes me at the moment, who's father owned the Chic clothes shops in Hampstead.
He used to collect her from school in his car which had the registration CH 1C!
We were there from approx age 5 to 11. If I think of anyone else I will let you
know. I remember Mrs Bevan who took us for English and Miss Priest for obvious
reasons! We also had a fantastic German teacher. I always wish I had been able
to stay on past 11 because the educational standards in the school I moved to
were not a patch on St Mary's. Unfortunately I do not have any photos from my
time at the school but it was really great to see the ones you have posted on
the site. It was really strange seeing them, especially the ones of Hedgerley
Wood. One thing I do remember was coming joint runner up in a writing competition
(something to do with Camden) for a story I wrote called, I am six inches tall
and I live in a box! I remember being filmed in the assembly hall (I think it
was the BBC) reading the story. I often think that I will try and find out about
it when I have more time on my hands. Keep up the great work. All the best Polly
Polly Hogg <email@example.com>
UK - Tuesday, November 05, 2002 at 23:19:55 (MET)
I would like to add my mother's details
to your site (she is sitting beside me and you can use this e-mail address for
contact details). My mother is listed as Robin (?) on your site of pupils. She
was at St Mary's between 1958 and 1963. Her name is ROBIN NEUBERG, she is now
Robin White, and lives in Vall de Alcala, Spain. You can hyperlink to my e-mail
if you wish (I'm her son Tristán who lives in London). Robin would LOVE TO FIND
OUT where her best friend at school is now... this is REINA JAMES who is listed
on your site. She would love to get in touch. You can also add to the site some
names that are missing from the pupils....Gloria Harris, Ann Cruickshank, Selma
Feiner, John Walton, Joanna (?surname), Joanne (?surname), Juliet Glaister, Gerald
(?surname). Robin White (pp. Tristán White) PS You can also add staff: MR & MRS
SYLVAIN (could be Sylvane), He taught French and Science, She was Robin's form
teacher MR PAPALOPHAGOS (that's how it's pronounced anyway) was an ART TEACHER
from Poland, and played the piano for Mr Myerscough (who became Mr Neville).
ROBIN NEUBERG (now WHITE) almondtreeREMOVEFORNOSPAM@gmail.com
Vall de Alcala, Spain - Tuesday, October 01, 2002 at 20:38:44 (BST)
Welcome to the new guestbook for
this site, please feel free to leave your comments, memories or, if you wish,
contacts address/email etc.
Norman Barrington (Webmaster) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Peterhead, Scotland - Tuesday, July 09, 2002 at 00:03:14 (BST)