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Rod Broad |
Just for info I happened to drive past the old school recently (first time in many years) and there are signs out that the court is having a public open day on July 5th.

Happy to hear from any-one - remove the to from the e-mail address first.
24 June 2003 - UK

Richard (Dickie) Holgate |
Some fuzzy memories returning - does anyone have any more photo's or pupil lists; was there 1969-71(ish)
18 June 2003 - East Anglia

Tim Reddick |
Hi Warren, Dave lives in your part of the world,i dont know if he is on the net,he is a police officer in the romford area,i will get him to contact you as soon as i can,i knew your brother
robbie better than i did you, i was sometimes yours and dave,s lookout when you needed a fag not always successful got the cane the first week i was there .
17 June 2003 - Lincoln

warren stoner |
Thank u for your kind thanks for signing the RWS book, I would like to get on to the grazygang to find my old freinds, that one never forgets Tony Dyer David Reddick Dave Bailey, and many more who was in churchill house 1965 to 1967 in 3b1
15 June 2003 - Basildon Essex

warren stoner |
good evening to all, it only feels like yesterday that we was at RWS. it's a shame we could,nt relive the time again see u soon
15 June 2003 - Basildon essex

warren stoner |
hi everyone sorry to her about mr lavender, many a time I could,nt sit down after a few wacks from his cane. but he was the best master any body could have at any school god bless him. I was at the school 1965 to 1967 best days of my life. I would like to get in touch with tony dyer, derek bailey, dave, reddick john wright, I still live in essex, and would be nice to her from them. thank you warren stoner
14 June 2003 - essex

Reginald Mercure |
When the Master? was calling for my expolsion, He saw my better side, Hi's seaching will never be surpassed
28 May 2003 - London

Andy F |
I remember a 'Smiler' Hunt during my time at RWS but it couldn't have been the previous correspondent because I didn't start there until 1963.

I was in east London last week: passing Whipps Cross, I could see the towers of the old place. I was also on the north circular that day and I remembered JV Davis's rowing club: we used to go to Lea Bridge with him.


If anyone reading this knows any of the following Wansteadians, please ask them to email me:

Linda Gray; Michael Sly; Owen Boosey; Sid 'Billy' Monk; Garland; Slick Paterson Jnr

I am at:
17 May 2003 - midlands UK

Terry Hunt |
Will never forget my years at Wanstead, was only in the juniors for two terms but lost my heart to Wendy Brindell who I met on vacation years later on Canvey Island,I Married someone else but will always remember her.I was at RWS 1956-1960, Athens house and my nickname was Smiler.
4 May 2003 - Ontario Canada

Keith Bryant |
Thanks for the sympathy.. where's the tea to go with it?
The site is back up and running again with an improved ( I hope) photo album.
Still there at
or at
28 April 2003

Andy F |
Sadly, Keith Bryant's website has been hacked (or, rather, the server hosting it has) and much of it has been lost. But at least the guestbook is up again! A sad blow and I'm sure we all offer Keith our sympathy.

Linda Gray; Michael Sly; Owen Boosey; Sid 'Billy' Monk; Garland; Slick Paterson Jnr... I'd love to hear from you so please email me at:

Phil Rookard - great to hear from you! Write again soon.

Andy F
24 April 2003 - midlands, UK

Paul Shearer | | N/A
I want to amend the dates, as i've just come across a letter written by Mr. Lavender for a reference on my behalf in which he states that I was an boarder there from May 1957 to December 1960, and not as stated before.
Sorry for the mixup.
13 April 2003 - Sussex.UK.

Paul Shearer | | N/A
I was at RWS from 1956 - 1961 in Babylon house. I would like to hear from fellow pupils from that time & house who knew me. Only two that I remember, Paul Riches & Peter Berling. Anyone know of their whereabouts?
Went to Australia in 1962 and worked on cattle & sheep stations in north & south New South Wales. Left OZ in 1967 & went to live in New Zealand for a year or two, before returning to the UK.
Married & divorced, 2 daughters & 4 grandchildren. now a confirmed batchelor living in Sussex.
Now retired,(took early retirement due to bad health)from Royal Mail Parcelforce, where I was Assistant Depot Manager.
13 April 2003 - Sussex. UK.

Andy F |
Reading Wax Walker's post, I realised I had completely forgotten the Hawky Hall! Was that where we used to go the theatre to see the Woodford Players? I only remember one play, a Rattigan.

I don't recall a convent school: but there was another boys school over towards Whipps Cross... was it called Forest School?

When it comes to girls, I certainly remember the Hyde Hall visitors ;). And the kitchen au pairs - so near yet so far to us teenage hormone-driven lads. LOL

As to Rookard's first day: mine was similarly intimidating I fear. But I expect we 'skunks' were just as bad when our turn came as the years passed. I hated the school for about one week - after that, it was great.

Also, I remember Stewart Tippett too - from Dagenham wasn't he? A nice gentle soul - in fact, there he is on the far left of the picture of the whole school (on this site) standing next to my good friend Micheal Sly.

Did anybody else ever sneak off to that little tenpin bowling alley at the top of the High Street, right up by Wanstead tube station? I used to go there to watch the bowling but mostly to play the jukebox.

Talking of 60s pop, Wax recalls dances in the assembly hall: while I don't remember those, I do remember the Dansette in Grenfell's common room and scratchy 45 rpm singles, mostly Beatles and Stones.

Andy F
22 March 2003 - midlands UK

Phil Johns (Rookard) | |
On a recent trip to London, I had reason to drive past the old school. I could'nt help but stop and linger. The view was completely unchanged. The lake, the playing field and looking as elegant as ever was the old place. As I cast an eye over the windows trying to remember what was on the other side, my attention came to rest on the arched doorway in the centre. My memory was stirred back to that autumn day in 1961 when I passed through it for the first time. As I entered the building, a young lad who was crouched hiding behind the door brought a hammer down heavily on my foot. What with the agony of just watching my mother disappear down that long drive and the intense pain that was by now radiating up my leg, I was reminded of the darkest day of my life! I was comforted by a lad called Stewart Tippet. He was a kind of Frank Bruno type of character who was to become one of many great mates. I suspect this incident set a kind of pattern for the rest of my stay. Those despairing moments were always offset by one's peers that were in the same unfortunate boat. What happened to the lad behind the door did I hear you say? Well,..somewhere in that lake......
19 March 2003 - Kent

Jim (WAX) Walker |
A couple of memories from those days long gone: - My last night at school and I decided that the pillow fight was not for me so I took one - Liz Hardy to the pictures at Woodford, she was at the Convent School that ran those great dances at the Hawky Hall. Well Mr Andy Thorning had charge of Grenfell House at the time and he caught me climbing in through our ground floor dorm window at about 10:30; result - 4 on the bum in my Pyjamas. I started work with those marks!!
Can anyone else remember the rigmarole we went through to go those dances - Sunday Best uniform! Caps! and raincoats but Lavvy understood that you couldn't dance(!?) in school shoes so we were allowed our own. Mr Townsend saw us of the property - properly dressed; some of us ran round the Eagle Pond, through the forest gate into our dorm, get changed and back out. I'm not quite sure but I think we did the reverse to get back in.
Does anybody remeber those school dances in the assembly hall on Saturday nights? a record player and that band of ours fond memories!!
Last bit has anyone heard of Mick Lincoln recently all I know is that he joined the RAF after RWS - I've still got his Cap Badge! and Jack Schwartz who joined the Inland Revenue!
19 March 2003 - Lincs. England

david moakes |
was 15 when i left rws,went there from 1968-1971 grenfell house.not many memories of the school.
I remember my first day i was put in the wrong class with the third years,they were firing a gat gun at each other and fighting. someone eventually realized their mistake and put me with another bunch of nutters class 2b.
got in trouble with others for throwing stones at the beehive,sneaking out at night to buy chips,an advert made in the school for robinsons barley water,puggis the sweet shop.starting a fight with kowlesser over a jug of milk,he won.
names that ring a dumbar prefect,black kid called furgi,betts and ellis.well thats me finished ranting,please excuse spelling and grammer i blame it on my education.ha ha

17 March 2003 - kent

Andy F |

I'd like to hear from several 1963-66 pals: Michael 'Wuz' Sly (Churchill); Sid 'Billy' Monk (Montgomery); Owen 'Bosker' Boosey (Churchill?); Garland (Nineveh); 'Nat' Paterson Jnr: and from the girls' school Jenny (though I can't remember her surname) and Lynd(y?) who I think is the lass in the picture in Rogues Gallery (do you remember visting Snaresbrook and correcting my mispronunciation of your name?).

My email address is
16 March 2003 - midlands UK

terence ramsay |
hi i was at the school between63-69 montgomery house house master pog.i knew dilly,bunny west and many more enybody know me e-mail thanks
8 March 2003 - london

Robert Wilson 62-68 Grenfell House |
Thought that I would just drop in and see what is what here. I was sorry to hear about Mr Lavenders death, I may never know what I owe to him, other than several good canes he wore out!
It is strange how it was so exciting to go out into the world, escape even, only later realising what I took with me! All the best to one and all.
4 March 2003 - Midlands

Andy F
Or was it 'Slick' Paterson? Was he in Babylon? Can't remember. And was it Linda and I called her 'Lyndon' or vice versa - anyway, she corrected me. Did I meet her at the carol service or playing footie?

Anyone remember the monthly films? The only one I can recall was 'Psycho' and our interest in, and later discussion of, the shower scene!

I've suddenly realised it was FORTY years ago. How fickle is memory! How life dashes by when you're busy doing other things!
2 March 2003 - midlands

Andy F |
Because the site asked for pictures, I emailed Anthony a photo of me then and one of me now. He replied asking me for more details which I emailed to him by retuen. Since then, silence from him. Odd? Hope all is OK with you, Anthony.

I would be delighted to hear from several 1963-66 pals: Michael Sly (Churchill); Sid 'Billy' Monk (Montgomery); Bosker Boosey (Churchill?); Garland (Nineveh); 'Nat' Paterson Jnr: and from the girls' school Jenny (though I can't remember her surname) and Lyndon (who corrected my mispronunciation of her name as 'Linda'). My email address is

Please get in touch!

BTW, do you all remember the 'rising bell'?

Andy F
2 March 2003 - England, midlands

Jim |
Hi everybody. recently touched base with John "Buddy" Tuck he still lives in Nottingham. He was rediscovered by some really wierd detective work by Bob Braithwaite. Don't remeber "Fuz" but it was along time ago.
11 February 2003 - Lincs, England

Andy 'Fuzz' (Nineveh/Grenfell 1963-66)
Today I found this site - and Keith Bryant's (I've posted a longer message on his guestbook).

I remember Mr Lavender affectionately. I must confess I had assumed he had died years ago - to a pupil he seemed very old back then but I expect that during my time at RWS he was younger than I am now.

I recall Lavender as a rather distant but fatherly and kindly man (and that despite having been caned by him several times, among other things for cigarette-dealing).

Of my former classmates and dorm-mates, I can only call a handful to mind. Funnily enough, 'Wax' Walker has recently posted to this list and to Keith Bryant's: I do remember him as he was on the same meal table as me when I joined the school.

My closest friend was Michael Sly who hailed from Brighton - his nickname, I seem to recall, was 'Wuz'. If you see this note, Michael, please post an email address.

I've had a very good life which has been relatively untouched or untroubled by three or four years at RWS.

It's been interesting, though, to rediscover RWS online after three decades during which I haven't given the place a second thought. A tad unsettling too.

8 February 2003 - central England

Norman Conrad (Babylon 1945-52). |
I would like to hear from any of my contemporaries, and perhaps meet at the next re-union.
Thanks to John Scrimger for your reply. Vancouver is on my "must see" list, so look out! I had an extended visit to OZ and N.Z last year, but never thought to look up any expats.
If anyone wishes to make contact by 'phone, my number is 01342 893052.
2 February 2003 - Tandridge, Surrey, England.

Robert W. Allingham (Spam) | |
My condolances to Mr Lavenders family. I remember him well while at RWS (1964-1970), but to me he was a distant figure in the school.
26 January 2003 - Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Roy (Jelly) Thompson |
Condolances to Mr Lavenders Family he was a fare and concencious person he will be missed.

Nice site Finchy Ifound it at last not that hard. Thank you for careing.
19 January 2003 - Western Australia

Francesca Da'Riff |
I was Junior School Boarder, left in 1962, did not go on to Sawbridge. Was so touched to see myself aged 10 in photo with Patsy, Sandra, Elizabeth and Lindsay.My first'boyfriend' Graham (Squirrel who let me win the English prize) Fond memories of Mr Porter Junior School head, Mr Lavender, rather a distant person for us Juniors, Mr Cummings, lovely form master My number in school JGG 5, Miss Reynolds who was our house mistress. All those 'big' boys in Church and Sunday lunch, passing notes to us from the choir stalls. Truly a happy time for me
19 January 2003 - Brisbane Australia

Nigel Zeto |
Hi - thought I would sign in here. A comment to Collin Morrison's memorial to John Lavender. The best memorials are not statues or monuments but unwritten testiments. Where is there a memorial to Confucious and many others? Yet their influence lives on. My memorial will be the deeds I have done (good and questionable) and my progeny, I can think of nothing more fitting.
7 January 2003 - Dallas, USA

Anthony Finch |
Thanks Tich.
I wish all the CG's and anyone who shared 'that' time with us, wether we remember them or not,or they remember us. Happy New Year....
May your dreams come true!
1 January 2003 - Essex

Bob (Tich) Braithwaite |
I was at the RWS 1962-66 (Athens/Montgomery). Thanks to Anthony for this great site and also to Keith Bryant for his site, both which over the last 2 years have helped to uncovered many old friends both near and far.
I would like to wish all Old Wansteadians, in particular the 'Crazy Gang' and any one else that knows me, a Happy and Prosperous 2003.
Roll on the next reunion!!
31 December 2002 - Nottingham, England

Jim Gardner (Gogs) |
Christ! I looked ugly in the 1961 and 1963 School photograph !*!

I must have improved over the years having married with two adult children.

Still looking for a contact to purchase one of those enamelled Badges I know are around ?

Good luck to all ex members of "Athens for 2003 and keep the memories flowing they are good fun to read.

Question : Anyone remember a visit to Germany in 1963 with the CCF ?
31 December 2002 - Beckenham, Kent

barry giddings |
i was at royal wanstead montgomery house 1964 i would like to hear from any one who remembers me iremember tich braithwaite john iong
28 December 2002 - blackpool

Geoffrey James |
Attended RWS from 37 - 41 (I think!)- memories of turbulent times. Headmaster Mr. Pitt; with Mr. Horner; Mr. Geer and boys surnames of Rose and Nichols come back. Memories of evacuation to Rochetts; bombs in the garden; the lake; and being confused and homesick. Have a photo of a football team somewhere - will try to send it. (My wife typing this as I'm rather poorly these days).
28 December 2002 - Gloucestershire

Anthony |
I'd like to wish all the 'Gang' and anyone else that has visited the site a very happy Christmas and an even better New Year!!!
Take care all.......Hope to see you soon.

24 December 2002 - Essex. UK

Jim (Wax) Walker |
My time at Wanstead remains clear in my memory. It is shame to hear of the passing of our Headmaster for those few short years. He and his staff put up with a lot of nonsense from us during '63 - '64 but I had a laugh and my time at the school taught me discipline if not alot else
12 December 2002 - Lincolnshire - England

David Dyer 1960--1965 |
My time at the RWS was mainly good,it taught me to respect others and to be disciplined, these attributes have helped me get where i wanted to be in the world. Thanks to John Lavender who i found to be a kind and fair man.Am now having fun in the crazy gang talking to ex scholars around the world and building new friendships.
5 December 2002 - Nottingham

Raymond Dobson |
N e 1 go to the reunions at all?
27 November 2002 - Blighty

Raymond Dobson |
Hi to all 1b,2b,3b,4b,5b from 1967/71.John Slade did you find fergi?Check out friends Reunited web site (cool)god l hate that phrase...My sympathy's to all Mr Lavenders(boggy) family
27 November 2002 - Sunny Britain

Mike Hamill |
Always behind the curve, nothing has changed, but I remember Mr Lavender well, he was strict, but we warranted it sometimes, he was a mentor to those who came in contact with him. I have a particular reason to be grateful to his foresight and forward thinking attitude and will always remember him with affection. As to the rest of the crazy gang, my Brothers and Sisters, who have helped me lay a few ghosts over the last year; Thanks to all of you.
5 November 2002 - Norfolk

(Robert)Graham Thomas |
Fond memories of a distant time and place, a formative experience never regreted.
29 October 2002

Chris Storer
I was at RWS from 1941 'til 1945. Have very mixed memories of pupils and
staff and of school life. Butterfly bombs, dormitory shutters being blown in
and cold showers in the old orangery. The kindly nurse Strand the unkindly
Mr Sinclair. Did Miss Spraggs ever get her man? I was sometimes called
'Stoso' it seems a little odd now.
Chris Storer.
21 October 2002

John Williams |
Great to be back
12 October 2002

Rod Harmer |
great to see the guestbook up again anthony,
boggy was a good man even though we may not have thought so at the time, there were a couple of occaisions he could have expelled me and did not,for that i am grateful,i have only realised in the last year or so what an influence on my life he was.
11 October 2002 - Newzealand

Ian Hammond |
: RWS 1962 - 1966 Churchill House
Went under the name Ian Wicks back then.
John Lavender was a great mentor for all of us who passed thru those doors at RWS. I always found him to be fair & considerate. He certainly wielded the cane with a strong hand. Great shame that we did not get the chance to say hello again before he passed away.
To anyone now living in Australia or o/sea's please contact me. We have a great group of Old Boys & Gals commuting via the web. We call ourselves "The Crazy Gang".
07 October 2002 - Australia

John Scrimger
Glad to see you up and running again

05 October 2002 -

Colin Morrison |
John Lavender was Headmaster of RWS throughout my 12 years at the school and, of course was the school's last Headmaster. He came to see the school as his life's work and therefore was more upset than almost anyone else when the school was forced to close. He was a kind, thoughtful, intelligent man who would have been an outstanding Headmaster of almost any school. But RWS was not almost any school. For most of John Lavender's time at RWS, the school was embroiled in a growing financial crisis punctuated by inevitable boardroom rows over how to solve them. As he himself later admitted to me, he certainly was not trained to operate in such conditions and found himself allied first to one chairman then another as he struggled to keep the pressures of the Boardroom away from the staff and teachers. That was a fight that he could not win. The result was some governors (and even a few teachers) openly criticising John Lavender for being too 'soft'. If you susbstitute the word 'kind', you inevitably form a totally positive view of the man who understood what many of us had gone through prior to joining RWS. The fact that RWS closed in a sense does not do justice to John Lavender's achievements. It's as if there is no monument left to an impressive man. There should be.
01 October 2002

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