Barnwell School


By Terri Anderson

David, my husband would have been one of the first pupils to attend Barnwell Secondary Modern as he had moved with his family from Greenwich to Stevenage in the spring of 1959 when he was 10, he remembers the move well as it was the first time the family had electricity! He had a year at Bandley Hill and then attended Barnwell Sec Mod until 1964.

There was a Headmaster and a geography teacher and one was called Mr Attwood and the other was a Mr Attfield but he´s not sure which one was which.

Anybody care to put his mind at ease?

He remembers Mrs Reece because she made all the kids quake in their shoes.

This page was added on 19/06/2012.

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  • Mr Attfield was the headmaster. Mr Attwood was geograghy teacher. Mrs Reese was really strict but fair
    then we had Mr Gibson not shy in using the cane. Maths teachers Mr Evans and Clayton both liked to go to The Red Lion for lunch. Mr Porter Science teacher.. less said the better.

    By Charles Knight (01/07/2022)
  • Hi Andrew Board. Read your reply below. Bought back so many memories! I’m Roger Williamson. They were my teachers too. How are you? I remember Canon and his brother and of course Chris Herbert, Steve De la Sal etc. wow. What a ride!

    By Roger (21/03/2022)
  • I attended Barnwell Secondary School from 1966 to 1972 after attending Peartree Junior and Infant school. I played rugby and hockey for the school. The rugby team played weekly matches against local schools of Heathcote, Letchworth Grammar, Nobel, Alleynes and occasional trips to Welwyn Garden City.
    I played alongside Christopher Herbert (his mother and father being founder members of the adventure playground in Featherstone Road ) and John Pugh,David Bullock,Steve De la Sal.We had some lessons in the old Rectory near Shephall Church. I left after the first year of A level to go to Hertfordshire College of Building in St.Albans when the school had a careers event which the college attended. I am still in contact with my school friend Alistair Prickett who joined Barnwell from Nobel at 15. Christopher Herbert and Robert Canon were among the first to go to University from Barnwell. Both studdied civil engineering at UWIST and Loughborough.
    Mr Atfield was the Head and we were taught by Mrs Catheral, Mr Atwood, Mr Reece, Mr Bowles ,Mr Porter,Mr Loads,.
    School “colours’ a badge to be sewn on your sports gear were awarded for special performance in sport and I still treasure mine awarded for rugby tries scoring. Good days.

    By Andrew Board (25/05/2021)
  • I started at Barnwell in 1962 after moving from Northampton. I was in 3 Alpha, our form teacher was Mr. Attwood, who taught geography. A few names I remember are Dave Allatt, Mick Plummer, John Clancey, Tony Lee and others. I also remember our maths teachers, Messrs. Evans and Cleaton. John Clancey won the senior cross country when he was a third year. He left after the 4th year for an apprenticeship with Tottenham Hotspur FC. I started cycle racing while I was in the 5th year, and often trained with Ray Little, our art teacher. I made him work hard. I moved to Scunthorpe in 1965 and attended the John Leggott Grammar School before pursuing a career in structural engineering, starting on the drawing board and ending up as a structural engineer in the offshore oil and gas industry. I have worked in Norway, Holland, Spain and Malaysia, but still have fond memories of my days at Barnwell.

    By Maurice Wright (07/03/2021)
  • Hi, I’m John Simmonds and was one of the first pupils when Barnwell had it’s first year at Shephallbury high School. My wife Janet nee Purcell was also a pupil although I didn’t know her until we both met later in 1967 and got married in 1973 at St Mary’s church Shephall. I worked for Kodak until 1979 when we emigrated to Australia. Would like to hear from anybody that remembers us.

    By John Simmonds (02/12/2019)
  • I was at barnwell from Nov 1977 to July 1982 I stayed in the sixth form. I graduated in Nov 2010 at st Albans cathedral. I obtained a B A Honours Degree in History and Linguistics. 2.1 I trying to return to university to do pre History and paleonotology. I moved away to Chelmsford in 2002 and got married. Came back on June 2006 and I am now separated. My other two brothers Ian and Sean were at Barnwell. I would like to get in touch with old friends esp Ray Smith who I last heard was in America. Anyone can get in touch, I remember the duck pond well

    There was Mr Hatfield, Mrs Hall, Mr Bowles, Mrs Wilkins. Mr Hatfield retired the same year I left. Also Mrs Felstead and Mr Mitchell my form tutor

    By kevin patrick bland (04/07/2018)
  • To David Allett..
    Your name doesn’t ring a bell at all?
    I started Barnwell 1962. My maiden name was Bristow. I too have fantastic memories of Switzerland in 1963 with Mr.Atwood,Miss Kennelly too…that long smelly train journey through France after the ferry. Our carriage was mixed boys and girls. Kay Akehurst came too and Geoffrey (Benny) Benfield..Those lovely packed lunches the hotel did us…this year I’m 68 and my husband and I have been talking about next years hols. We thought we might go down memory lane (for me) to Wilderswill in Switzerland on a Shearings coach trip…that hotel was called Alpen rose…kathleen Nye

    By Kathleen Nye (01/06/2018)
  • I started at Barnwell in 1964 and my class teacher was Mrs Catherall. I was in class 1X. Mr Barclay was my English teacher, and was it Mrs Patterson that taught Cookery or Sewing? Mr English taught Science (always thought he was strict). I left Stevenage in 1966 to move to Calne in Wiltshire. I now live in Houghton Regis in Bedfordshire.

    Some may remember my sister Margaret Andrews who is 5 years older than me and also went to Barnwell

    By Ruth Andrews (10/04/2018)
  • Mr. Attfield appointed me to teach technical drawing, metalwork and some maths in 1962. I was 21 years old, fresh from Uni., bright eyed and bushy tailed and appreciated the support I was given at the start of my professional life in education. My new wife Elisabeth was appointed in 1963 as an art teacher. Mr. Attfield took us under his wing and on one occasion invited us to join his family for a day’s sailing in the Lee valley lakes/water-ways. Jim was a keen sailor but I’m afraid we learned that life on the ocean waves was not for us. He gave me good advice which served me well throughout my 40 year teaching career. Barnwell in the early sixties was staffed by some wonderful, eccentric, professional Mr. Chips’ and Jean Brodies who live long in the memory as inspirational influences in our lives but who might just raise an eyebrow in these days of ticky-box OFSTED. For more of my reminiscences see “Barnwell School duck pond” and “Barnwell School ‘Do it Yourself’ Operetta.

    By John Patterson (19/02/2018)
  • I attended from 65 thro’ 70. The teachers I remember were, Mr English science (aka Zulu), Graham Bowles P.E, Mr Little Art, Mr Staniforth pottery, Mr Attwood geography (he introduced me to hill walking in the lakes), and Mr Reece maths. I’m having trouble remembering the teachers for English, we had one or two over the years, metal work, biology, history, french and wood work…. can anyone enlighten me?

    By Guy Kean (27/03/2017)
  • I was a pupil at Barnwell from 1960 to 1965. The school wasn’t quite finished, the only classrooms were in the 3 storey building, the ground floor was the dining room, which later became the library. I remember well the little pond which bred lots of frogs that invaded everything once a year – great fun avoiding them! I was lucky enough to go to Switzerland with the school in 1963 which was wonderful. I have lots of memories of my school and was very proud to wear the school uniform. My last class was 5E1. I live now in NSW Australia but that is another story !

    By David Allatt (06/07/2016)
  • I remember Mr Attwood, Geography teacher. And Mr Attfield, who was the Headmaster.

    Sadly Mr Attfield died not long after he gave a good reference for me when I joined the Army. I shall always treasure that, and the memories I have. I would also like to know what happened to Mr.Stone the art teacher. 

    I lived in Stevenage for 11 years with my parents, Len and Dot Pomroy, sadly we lost Mum January 2014. Live in Clacton now with my partner Hilary, been here just over a year now. 

    Time certainly flies past, I am trying to find friends that I used to hang about with, Martin Faulkner, James Stevens.

    By Paul Pomroy (02/02/2015)
  • I believe Mr Crellin was the very first Headmaster of Barnwell. We shared a part of Shephall School, while the site was being finished. He was an excellent cricket coach. Mr Atfield replaced him. Happy days

    By Peter Braddy (13/03/2013)
  • I will always remember the geography teacher Mr Atwood too. During one lesson he told the class that he got married on the 10th September because historically that was always a fine day! Ever since then I have watched the weather on that date and now 40+ years on it has only rained once on the 10th September.

    By Lynne Newbury (30/12/2012)
  • Yes Mr Atwood was lovely. We all (from his geography class)went on a trip to Wilderswill in Switzerland, with Mrs Kennelly and Mr Atwood, I was 13 in 1963. I still remember every detail and have longed to return there, idyllic! My friend Kay Akehurst came too and Geofrey Benfield. We went all the way by ferry then train and I think it cost a total of £28, which at the time was a lot of money.

    By Kathleen Nye (Bristow) (29/12/2012)
  • Mr Attwood was the Geography Teacher – A lovely man and an excellent Teacher. I remember when we were taking our CSE Geography Exam in 1965 there was a selection of items laid out that we had to identify. He was very embarrassed when he pointed to one of them and said “Please do not pickup the piece of Coal” Oh dear – we all got that question right!

    By Tony Smith (29/06/2012)