Barnwell School duckpond

By Pauline Maryan

Barnwell School duckpond 1961
Stevenage Museum P7008

Barnwell School duckpond in 1961, soon after the school opened.

This page was added on 17/01/2011.

Comments about this page

  • I had mr alison head master teachers mr brown mrs smith mrs green friends were michelle mcveigh twins lisa peter

    By susan forrester (17/06/2018)
  • Hi Evelyn Gadsden,
    Linda Loten (poulter) told me you’d left a message on this site. Oh didn’t we all have such fun at Barnwell school, I certainly cried when I left. Some really lovely and helpful teachers and some that put the fear of god in me…I’ve recently been talking about going on a trip back to Wilderswill in Switzerland where I visited in 1963 with Mr. Atwoods class…I’m always reminiscing aren’t you?
    Linda can give you my email if you like….
    Recently we went out to lunch linda lewing (Jones) she was once married to Brian Mansel, bet you remember him? I’m also meeting up with Valerie (Crisford) and Linda ( poulter) for a drink soon…….

    By Kathleen Nye (01/06/2018)
  • Hi I went to barnwell I remember dawn angel tony blackamoor karen Harris Angela ciggies Barbra highs Gary freeman we had great time wonder what everyone doing now my name was sandra holt then now sandra ruddick

    By Sandra ruddick (23/02/2018)
  • My classroom windows in the Tech Block looked out on to the duck pond. I joined Barnwell in 1962 fresh from Uni. as a teacher of technical drawing and metalwork with a bit of maths. I left in 1966 for a promotion as head of engineering at a boys’ grammar technical school in Sunderland from where I retired in 2001 as assistant Head. My new wife Elisabeth Patterson taught art in the classroom next to me. We lived in Nash Close, Chells. We have very, very happy memories of Barnwell and still keep in touch with friends after 55 years especially Dai Cleaton (maths), Jenny Kennerly (H.E.) and Joyce Stevens (English). However at the age of 77 yrs. practically all of my ex Barnwell colleagues are now dead. I have so many happy memories and anecdotes from this period. Mr. Bilton was the caretaker and trained German Shepherd dogs. He would let two out into the school grounds each evening and we never ever had a school break-in. One day from the staffroom window I observed a pupil taking a message across the car park to Mr. Bilton’s house. A car was just pulling in to the car park. As Mr. Bilton’s wife opened the door the dogs got out. The pupil dashed across the car park pursued by the dogs. He dived into the car driver’s seat, recently vacated and slammed the car door leaving the visitor pinned up against the bonnet by the dogs, hilarious. The recreational drug in early sixties Stevenage was ‘Purple Hearts’. Mr. Gibson caught a girl with a packet and all hell broke loose. Parents, agencies etc. were all informed and there were purple faces when it transpired that the packet contained ordinary mints. On another occasion Mr. Gibson took a school party out on an ex-curricular visit but failed to inform Mr. Bilton that they would be returning late. The school gates were locked, the dogs were loose and Mr. Gibson had to leave his car in the car park and get the bus home. The school magazine was called The Bridge (reference the bridge over the duck pond). One anonymous poem about me went something like this,
    “The bell has gone. We’ve clicked our biros and dropped our pens. But still he’s going strong. Oh where, oh where have I gone wrong?” I’ve always known who you are Jerry and David. Where are you now? What a talented and professional staff Barnwell had. Mr. Attfield as Head, Miss Reece then Mrs. Gledhill as deputy. Mr. Gibson senior master. Then of course the ubiquitous John Loads (history). Dai Evans & Dai Cleaton (maths) Gwyn Thomas (rural science), Harry Parker (Head of Craft), Tony Menadue and Dave Porter (biology) , Mr. Attwood (geog). Mrs. Kuipers, Jenny Kennerly (domestic science) Brenda Baines (textiles), Mr Little and Stanniforth (pottery), Pete dennison (PE). The school production of an original operetta “The Other Side of the Urn” was a fantastic success, dialogue and lyrics by John Loades and Mr. Rich (eng) and music by Roger Judd who was an inspirational music teacher. The first few bars of the operetta were from the National Anthem which then morphed into the overture. The audience stood up and then realised that they had been fooled and sat down again laughing and applauding and this set the atmosphere for the production. My wife Elisabeth helped with the scenery and designed and printed the programme. I organised annual trips to the motor show at Earls Court in London which proved very popular.
    What fantastic people (staff and pupils) I was privileged to work with between 1961 and 1966 and I shall always treasure this period of my life. I hope Barnwell continues to grow from strength to strength building on the traditions of those very first years.

    By John Patterson (19/02/2018)
  • I started at Barnwell in September 1960 when it opened and left in May 1965 after staying on a year to do a secretarial course. I remember Mr. Little (pottery teacher I believe) but I cannot remember the name of the science teacher although I had him as my form master in 3rd year and he used to instil fear into his class and would only call the register by surname. All the other names also ring bells especially Miss Reese. She was formidable but very fair. Mr. Attfield was a great headteacher and I remember Mr. Atwood (geography) I liked him. Those were the days!!

    By Patricia Cheeseman (nee Taplin) (06/02/2018)
  • Hi,

    I remember you Kathleen Bristow. I’m Evelyn Lee, nee Gadsden. I moved from Stevenage and I have lived in beautiful Pembrokeshire since 1985.

    I enjoyed every aspect of Barnwell School from 1962 – 1967, save for scary maths lessons with Mr Cleayton.
    I remember with joy the musicals written by Mr Judd. I was in the school choir.
    My Gibson inspired me for English despite my being terrified of him. But he was an excellent teacher and a huge artistic talent. I’ll never forget the Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes. Thank you Mr Gibson.
    Thanks also to Miss Drysdale who became Mrs Waterworth. I have fond memories of our Lake District walking holiday. We stayed near Coniston Water.
    Mr Thomas inspired my love of nature and horticulture. I always recall him saying how the Earth is beautiful when he rubbed the rich loam through his hands. He always said to tuck daffodil bulbs in bed like babies. He’s there in my memory always.

    Good teachers are a rarity nowadays and we had many at Barnwell School.
    They were happy days for me. I remember them fondly.

    By EVELYN LEE (19/12/2017)
  • I was one of the first pupils at Barnwell School, from 1959 to 1964, so I was there when this picture was taken. I remember Ms Reese well – strict but fair – and Mr Gibson, Mr Atfield, Mr Attwood (I didn’t know about his son; that was very sad). We had a reunion for our form back in 1993, and I met Mr Attwood and Mr Crellin again. My last form master was Mr Harris who taught French. If anyone is reading this, do they have a contact address for Mr Evans. If he is still with us, I should like to write to him.

    By David Moorcroft (28/10/2017)
  • teachers I remember when I was at branwell are
    mr Gibson mr little mr stone mr England mr mills
    mr attwood mr attfield headmaster
    mr bowles and mr Donaldson pe teachers
    mr evans mrs kuipers
    ms powell

    By peterbaker (07/07/2017)
  • teachers I remember 1970-1974 when I went to barnwell
    mr attfield head
    mr Gibson mr little mr evans
    mr attwood
    mr England
    mrs kuipers mr mills mrs powell

    By peter baker (07/07/2017)
  • Unusually I passed through Stevenage, and Barnwell which set me thinking about my time there. So was very surprised to find this page. 65 thro’ 70 was the time I attended the school, and yes those teachers’ names mentioned above did indeed in my day, scare the living day lights out of you! Especially Mr Gibson, Ex RAF I understand. Oh what a childhood experience it was. – would like to hear from any class ‘B’ members……

    By Guy Kean (27/03/2017)
  • Wow to see your name Sue was a pleasant surprise.  I am 67 now and I am one of the girls walking on the bridge.  Miss Reese was strict but a lovely lady.  She took me to London to see an opera, didn’t understand a word of it but it was magical to me. She gave me two plates that I still have. When she left the school she became a Nun.

    By Ann Smith (23/07/2014)
  • Mr Gibson, now there was a man to put fear in ones heart. I can remember also Mr Evans (Maths), Mr Stowe (Art), Mrs Powers, Mrs Kuipers..

    By Stephen Hepburn (04/01/2014)
  • Both my partner and me attended Barnwell school. It opened in 1959. The first head was Mr Crellin, who went on to become head of Knights Templar in Baldock. For the first year we lodged in shepalbury school. Barnwell was still being built. Mrs Reece was deputy head, and very frightening. Other teachers there in the early days were Mr Dennison, Mr Gibson, Miss Brown, Mr Little, and Mr Attwood, Mr Attwood had a son who died of leukaemia, and he lived in the same rd as me, Furzedown. My partner Derek Bradnick lived in Shephall Way.

    By sue church (11/05/2013)
  • I started Barnwell that year too. Lovely grey and red new uniform. Ms Reece scared the daylights out of me.Later on we used to be called into her office for wearing our skirts too short.

    By Kathleen Nye (Bristow) (08/02/2012)
  • You are indeed correct Robin – I am 62 now and Miss Reece is still the strictest lady that I have known in my entire life – bellowing ” Keep Left” at the bottom of every stairwell!

    By Tony Smith (06/11/2011)
  • The first Head of Barnwell School was in fact Jim Attfield, who was in post from September 1960 until his retirement in July 1982? Ms Reece was Deputy during the first part of Jim Attfield’s tenure, but not Head.

    By Robin Parker (20/09/2011)

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