Between November 2001 when our website was established and October 2009 when we introduced the Blog we had a ‘Visitor’s Book’. Following a variety of technical mishaps mid-decade a chunk of the earlier archive went 'missing’ (long story but I blame it on Windows!). However, here are the surviving 43 entries which still make interesting reading. Some of the contributors are sadly no longer with us but their spirit lives on.
Well I suppose I had better go first! Does anyone out there know the whereabouts of John Woodhouse (1959-1965) who I lost touch with in 1988, last living in Sonning? And we would like to start an articles section if anyone would care to contribute, just a few thousand words would do to get the ball rolling!! Seriously, anything, any length would be very much appreciated.
Superb idea for a site. Through Friendsreunited I have already made contact with two old friends, Phil Robson and Dave Pescodd. I left in '67 and now live in Goring on Thames, Oxon. Well done Colin in getting the ball rolling. Looking back is almost as good as looking forward. Seasons greetings to all old Cray Vallians.
Colin, what a great idea to start this website. I was a CVTS pupil from 1957 to 1962 and have a mixture of memories from those days. I still keep contact with David Bruce and Martyn Hubbard who were in the same year as me. Having started skiing with the school back in about '60 (with teachers John Gale & Martin Carr) David and I still ski with a group of friends each year. I'll have a delve through the cupboard and see what I can find from those long ago schooldays - I know I have some ski-trip photos somewhere..
It was a very pleasant surprise to hear from Colin after delving into the Friends Reunited site, and the independence of the CVTS project is a fine example of the quality and initiative of the school's pupil output- preceding, I suspect, the metamorphosis into the 'Kemnal Manor' era. I'm sure we all had our opinions of school friends and masters, the latter being highlighted by over-sensitive reactions to remarks on the FR site, and I certainly had more positive memories about people like Messrs Kingsland, Mayo, and even Cowell and Wedlock, than the hatred of rugby for 20 years generated as a reaction to Martin Carr's 'style' of Games periods. I'm now weighing-up the options of investing in ROOK on CD-ROM to replace/enhance my original file copies. Best regards to all who remember me.
What a great idea, I was thrilled when my cousin Kevin (ex-pupil) told me about it. I loved CVTHS & have very many fond memories. Through the friendsreunited.co.uk website I have just started picking up lost threads. Periodically I still see Martin Carr. I was disappointed in what happened to the school when they merged it with Mottingham. I went back several times over the years & was gutted at the demise in tradition & standards. Call me old fashioned, but Jo Kingsland & his staff built a legacy we could be proud of but I guess as times change .. so do values. Anyway well done Colin for this. I never knew you but you have done a great thing! Warmest greetings to all Old Cray Vallians...we should get a giant reunion going someday!.
I only went to CVTS for a year and couple of months. As an "arts" person I was a fish out of water. I was thinking about medicine as a career and at the time you needed latin. I transferred to Dulwich Prep and later Alleyns. As it turned out i couldn't catch up in Latin and my math was so poor I couldn't handle the sciences necessary though I was a start pupil in biology for some reason. Must have been the hormonal-driven interest in all things reproductive. I moved to Canada about 1972 with my parents and remain here. After a moderately successful career in media, mostly newspapers, I now manage content on websites. As it turned out I do have the capability for technical details, and as long as I have a calculator, I can do math. I still have horrible memories of rugby and what';s his face Carr who could reduce me to tears just by looking at me. I was way too small to play rugby and was much happier when I could play soccer at Alleyns. I'm glad I went to Cray Valley because I did learn some useful things in that short time in woodworking and metalwork, so much so I actually enjoy renovating my home today and working on cars. Bit strange for a "writer" and "arts" type, I know but that's life for you. The mere mention of the word rugby however, brings back memories of icy cold mud and hordes of bigger boys piling on top of my hapless body. And don't even mention those bloody cross country runs in the pouring rain.
I still keep in contact with some ex- pupils, one Tony Linnell after serving in the TA Unit in London with me; eventually moved here to Devon and we manage a meal together occasionally. From CVTS I left in 1969 and for seven years ran a garage/filling station first in Exeter (where I met some of you) and later a garage in Tavistock. In 1973 I began teaching in Kelly College (a private School) and instigated the tradition of Design and Technology as practised at 'The School'. I remained there until retirement in 1993, 14 Ski Trips later. It's good to hear that at least some of you caught the bug and continued after school. I'll write more if anyone reads this. Drop in or send me an email.
I'm afraid the grey cells have declined at a greater rate than I realised - the name is familiar but... (Colin I mean - not CVTS!). I still live near Orpington and pass the old school often and doff my hat. I'm good friends with Dave Norman (History teacher after I left) and I certainly remember Martin Carr (who wouldn't). I think I have the distinction of having removed his track suit bottoms during his instruction on how to complete a text book rugby tackle. Oh - "Yogi" Hughes - am I right in thinking that he used to remove 60 Players from his case at the beginning of a Maths class - lock them in his desk and replace them to his case at the end of the lesson. Sorry to hear about Jo Kingsland - he was the real thing - the flowing robe etc. I somehow imagined that these guys passed away ages ago - at 15 they seemed pretty old then but obviously not. Messrs Brookes, Docherty (lethal with a ruler!), Mathews and a great character Mr Walmsley - his art room seemed so anarchic. A great school - I realise the value of those few years now.
I sincerely hope that this site grows and grows. I joined the school in 1961 and left in 1966. I have requested the CD Rom of the Rook and I am looking forward to reading them. I also enjoyed my lessons with Leo Walmsley. He once said to me, do something, learn from it and move on. I remember him even suggesting that when you finished a piece of work you should destroy it. I wonder if this is why I have never kept in touch with any of my old friends. Chas Kelsey made the effort and persevered with me but after a while gave up. A shame but as I get older nostalgia seems to grow and I am determined to make the effort. I have been having difficulty in accessing the 'friends' site but I do not recognise a whole lot of names. I enjoyed reading John Bishop - was he the one we called Sid - after the demolition contractor in the area 'watch it come down with Sid Bishop' and in drama 'hooray bananas for tea'. Trevor Christmas I remember although I was not in his year. Similarly Jed Bailey, who the last time I saw he was with the English Tourist Board and a 'government spokesman'. I posted the old ID card that I had on a Baltic Cruise - I have just moved house and this thing surfaced just as I was told about 'friends' - Mr Carr's writing for sure - I can't remember when this was - 1964/5? In john Bishops note about the music teacher I thought that it was MR Craig and we always asked him to play 'Nutrocker', by Billie Bumble and his Stingers, at the end of the class. Mr Wedlock - english - he was convinced that I was a foreigner and in drama, what was the name of the teacher? Mr West? - and was anyone else out there a member of the 't' - 'h' club. What was the name of the french teacher - we called 'fountain de paris'? Enough said the memories keep returning and I am enjoying the site, well done Colin Cadle although I am not sure that I remember you.
The photograph of the original nine masters in year 1954-the year the school was formed-excludes the identity of Alan Marshall who was on the woodwork and metalwork team. He married the Canteen manageress. The shot in The Rook 1965 of the first fifteen rugby squad was taken in 1954/55 and includes some notable Kent and England trialists. I think I may be able to name most of boys featured in the shot so I haven't yet lost all my marbles. Ian Packe and I are the oldest to have, so far, logged on to the Friends Reunited site. Keep up the good work!! Leslie Burrage.
It's December 26, Boxing day in the old country. I cannot think of a better way to reminisce than to browse through the copies of the Rook which arrived today. I discovered that I had not forgotten the students a teachers that I knew. They were just hiding in my brain waiting for the correct access code. The contents of the CD provided that key. If you have not considered ordering a copy or have been putting off until tomorrow, order one. I thoroughly recommend it.
Attending from 1966 - 1971, I have a lot of memories from CVTS, some very good, some not so good.Many, many thanks to both Colonel Turner and Mr. Wedlock without whom I would definitely not have got my maths and English 'O' levels. I enjoyed my time in the school band, 2nd cornet, albeit short lived. Enjoyed also all practical classes such as Art, Woodwork, Metalwork, plus engineering drawing.
Pet likes: Woodwork. School Dinners. Working in the tuck shop. Pet Hates: (1) Bullying by classmates (2) Schoolboys being given detention by other schoolboys (prefects). Does anyone remember the student teacher 'Mick' McManus who was supposed to teach us sex education?
Overall, I am proud to have attended CVTS when it was CVTS. It's a pity it merged into Kemnal Manor as it appeared to lose all its high standards.
Hello Folks, I have been busy looking after my organic crops on two allotment plots but have taken time out to send a message. I was at CVTS from 1955 to 1959 and had a grand time but left with no qualifications. This is no reflection on the high standard of the school but my rebellious nature. When time permits I am going to find out more about the Meteor jet that crashed locally and when SAS Cowell died - that is assuming he is not still with us. As I often sense him around I do feel he has moved on. Here's one of our sayings I remembered recently: "May his life be long and placid, he added water to the acid. On his gravestone you will see "Be careful with your chemistry." Good luck to all the ex pupils.
I’m not one for nostalgia but having stumbled upon this excellent web site I just couldn’t resist a jog down memory lane. Thanks to Colin, I’ve never met him but he has done a great job putting it together. I have greatly enjoyed reading the comments and studying the pictures, I hope to add my own soon.
I always found school hard work and preferred to while away my hours across the way fishing in the Ruxley gravel pits. I sympathize with all the masters that had the unenviable task of trying to educate me – I never did much revision! (But I think they knew that).
My passage through CVTS was unspectacular but I have no doubts that a great deal rubbed off on the way and I owe a lot to the example set by the staff and the general ethos of the establishment.
Some best memories: Reg (Dowel) Wincott - mentor and guiding light. Di Watkins- board art works to rival any pavement artist, Bunny Ray for his perseverance, ( I still talk to my self when think problems through), 1d. buns at break, Martin Carr-Rugby, Graham Robilliard – access to O&DAA and Ruxley lakes, hot sunny days eating our pack-up on the field, (a hanging offence I seem to remember), Paddy Wedlock for believing that one day I would finally grasp the English language, the woodwork and engineering workshops-my sanctuary.
Some worst memories: Wearing a cap, knitted school jumpers made by my dear ol’ mum, sports days-they seemed to go on for ever, Martin Carr for shouting at me whether I got it right or wrong, French homework – I was useless, hot sunny days in those stuffy south facing classrooms, Music-I’m tone deaf, never getting in a cricket team.
All my best to all my old pals, would love to hear from any of you.
I always remember Leo Walmsley as having longer hair! - This is a great site except that I generally have to get Colin to talk me through the computer bits - brain the size of planet but not so hot on the computer - I was at the school from 1961 to 1966 the memories are still quite vivid - would like to to see more images from my era, especially from my peers.
Hi Really interesting site and made me acutely conscious of how good the school was and how wasted it all was on me. Sadly couldn't find much reference to any of the guys that I remember. I started in 1955 and can't actually remember what my first Form was. Friends I can remember though were Frank Long, Jack Burchill, Peter Savory, Spud Murphy, who was brilliant at art and Roger Meddeman who I played a lot of chess with. He was a year older because he'd been ill and seemed to me to have a brain the size of a planet. Too weedy to be any good at rugger and hopeless at metal and wood work I did OK with Mr.Mayo in English and wangled extra art classes with Mr. Walmsley, which is probably why I ended up in advertising as an artist/copywriter. Does anyone else remember the guys I remember? Cheers John Nash, alias at various times Sneegers, Snidge and Wee Georgie Wood.
I have just discovered the website, and have spent the last few hours cruising, reliving some very old memories of people and places. It all seems so far away now, I have lived in NZ for the past 27 years, and before that for 7 years in Australia. I became a nurse in 1975, and have continued with training and working in a variety of jobs. Now, at 58, I find myself in charge of A&E on nightshift at Greymouth Hospital, having just completed 5 years as rural nurse in Haast, South Westland. The photos are really good to see, the memories that I have are mostly pleasant, a ski trip in 1964-5 to Switzerland when I broke a ski remains prominent, and even now I can recall the class register....probably moderated by diminishing neurones and time. I still have a pair of red/black rugby socks which have survived for forty years, which is a shame as I am a keen Otago/Highlanders supporter whose colours are blue/yellow and Canterbury Crusaders are the avowed enemy. Four O levels in two attempts didn't reflect too much in scholastic ability. I'll write something later, but had to make a connection today. Happy to hear from old chums, and if you're passing, do call in. David Verrall (aka "Yeti")
The old boy talking to John Gale in image 0395 is George Holroyd taken on 31 May 2006 at our annual get together at Browns restaurant in St. Martin's Lane.
Seems a long time ago that I left Cray (1959 - 1964). I remember my first day - it was thick fog and you couldn't see the school from the road! The trauma of being led through the maze of passageways to the assembly, and then they put me in the wrong class!! Apparently there were two Paul Webbs (ah I can hear some people say, especially Paddy Wedlock - remember Junior detention?) Like some others academia and I were not close companions, I seem to remember 3 zeros in row for English essays! However eventually one grows up. I moved out to New Zealand and am now married with 5 children and 13 grandchildren, including a university professor. Great website - keep adding to it.
I too was saddened to hear of the passing of two great people who influence my behaviour ( with six of the best many times) The site brings back many memories and with hindsight all of them good. I'm still in touch with John Gale a gentleman who kept in me in line in class and was also a big influence in my school life. I'm now a great grand parent and loving showing the site especially the pictures to my grand kids. the memories of CVTS will live forever with this site. keep it going!
Excellent, Only just bumped into the site which brings back (mostly) happy memories at Cray Valley. Tiny correction for you in the image library: Image 0141 U/14 rugby XV 1961-2. Second from right in the middle row is me, rather nippy (but lightweight) winger. Thanks for sponsoring and running the site.
I have just been asked a question regarding a former pupil at Kemnal. Apparently he has scored the most 100`s at the St Lawrence ground and went to Kemnal. If anybody has any idea who it might be please send us an email.
Googled Cray Valley Technical High School, didn't expect to get anything and got this site. Great job Colin. I will ask my father if he has any photos or anything which could be of interest. I have nothing you don't already have.
David, I am absolutely delighted to hear from that 'ever smiling face' - as that's how I remember you. How is your father and where are you all living? I last saw him in BOSP Bromley about 10 or 12 years ago. Is he in good health I hope so? At the very least please send my very best wishes to probably my most memorable and influential teacher! With very kind regards Colin Cadle PS May I have your email address?
I was amazed to find such a comprehensive site on my old school. My interest being aroused by Cameron jumping on the anti Grammar [Technical?] bandwagon. Does anybody know of any concerted effort to promote the continuation of Grammar/Technical schools? Also I would be interested to contact any old friends.
Great site with plenty of nostalgic memories. Picture 301: the student is Robertson who built his own analogue computer. Very bright student, but hey, it was a grammar school. Keep up the good work.
Four great memories of Mr Walmsley during my 1954 - 59 stay.
1. Leo drawing a shoe to illustrate how pictures and objects should be built up.
2. Teaching the class how to tie a Windsor knot when we received our school ties during his lesson. He also showed us the 'poor man's method' as most of us couldn't master the Windsor.
3. Entering my painting of matelots in hammocks down on the mess deck.
4. Telling me I'd have to work if I was to take GCE and later coming to tell me "you didn't work -you're not taking it!!!!"
Please pass on my very best wishes to Leo.
I was only at CV for 6 months - 1965-66 before emigrating to South Africa. While I only recognise Trevor Hall from my time it is fascinating to trawl the site and pick up what old boys have been up to. I clearly remember the names of Mr Eaton and Mr Carr.
Someone else has probably filled in the gaps on the photo bank picture 0397 but someone might just be interested in my small part in that play. I’m Peter Hider and I played Baroness Risotto who is first on the left pointing. Paddy Wedlock tried in vain to get me some ladies’ shoes size 11, hence the shoes and socks, a big hairy suit, hat and very itchy wig. I got a laugh just making my entrance. The make-up was applied by Mr. Kingsland in the best possible theatre tradition, i.e. about ½ inch thick. In fact another photo 0376 shows another character in the same play whose make-up is a testament to Mr Kingsland. Great memories! Ron Hanks is also in the photo holding David Turner’s hands. He got a much prettier dress. Somewhere in my archives I have the programme, I’ll search it out. Have you ever heard from Chris Gardener, or Gardner who lived near Sidcup Station? He had a brother Noel. Bob Kingsland, Chris, Pulford and I drove in my old mum’s Ford Popular to a Seminar at Oxford’s Jesus College. I still have a standard 8 film of the trip from 1959 or 60. I remained in the sixth form for an extra year and Image Bank number shows me second row from the back, second from the left. Chris Gardner is in the second row second from the right. He and his brother knew a lot about cars. I bought a 1936 Austin 7 for £10 with a clunky engine. A Woodruff Key on the flywheel was all that was needed and Chris and his brother helped me complete the 20 minute job to replace it in a little under seven hours. At midnight I fired it up as sweet and quiet as a nut. “Take it for a turn round the block” they said. Into 1st, clutch in, and I shot off backwards. The engine was firing backwards. Only another three hours and I was able to drive home to Chislehurst. There are also the notable Divall twins and in centre back row is Brian Cole (looking very bulldoggish!) He was the first pupil to bring a motorbike to school and I was the first with a car. Brian went to Canada and became somebody important in Canada’s coldstore industry. Enough rambling from me. Many thanks again for the website.
I remember your Ford, Peter Hider. I think you were one of the first of us to get his own car. I recall being impressed that when you put your foot down in a rainstorm the wipers stopped working. Remember that? What a marvel of automotive engineering that was! Also regarding school plays, I even remember my first line in one "Where is Thalia?". Now why do I remember that when I have forgotten so much that might have been of great use to me over the years? I guess the shear terror of forgetting my lines must have engraved them in my memory! Less remarkable perhaps, is the fact that the thought of you & Ron Hanks in dresses had been suppressed, at least up until now. Thanks for the memory!
Hello anyone who remembers Spikey Stevens from 1969 to 1974, in Tonbridge class, I am a sad git who remembered all my class mates, arnold, bale, beddell, butler, crow durham , field, fliesig, heath, hodgkin, hoare , house , johnson, kemp, lambie, malling, morrison, nicholes , rowe, smith, stevens, wilkinson, desouza., email me if you remember cray valley, names to remember, RONNIE C! ROSS, AND, NEIL HILLER, and the apple core nailed to bills office door. BOBBY PIKE, GARY GORMAN, PAUL MORRISON, CHESNEY, IAN LAMBIE, TOO MANY TO REMEMBER, love to hear from anyone.
Very interested to see a note from David Dalton. David, I do hope you see this as I am not yet set up on the internet at home. I do remember you. You left at Easter 1966 to emigrate to South Africa. LT. COL. Turners form 1X (those Maths periods!) It would be wonderful to hear more from yourself or anyone from our form. I still live near to the old school and have been there for boot sales.
I visited the CVTHS site quite by accident and then became enthralled. I attended CVTHS from 1961 - !965. In those days I was a bad boy and not school material. I was saddened to read about the passing of John Freed. For much of the time I attended CVS, he was one of my closest friends and we enjoyed many an evening at the local dances held in and around Orpington and St Pauls Cray. He was a ladies man in those days. A brooding, good looking chap, who spoke very little - An English James Dean. We lost touch in the sixties and I began travelling in the seventies. I lived in the Bahamas for many years and for the last twenty or so years in Los Angeles. I am a writer, and actor, (you will see me on shows such as Murder She Wrote.) My stage name is Richard Davies. I also remembered another name on the CVS site - Peter Adams. Visit my space if you remember me. http://www.myspace.com/richardlilijon
To Peter Clay. Peter - amazing you remember me! I have tried to contact via your email but my msg gets bounced. If you read this and want to contact me please mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. I should get hold of my brother who was at CV from 1956 to 1961.
To David Dalton David- so sorry I haven't responded. Am getting to grips with early retirement! Also need to have my own computer fixed and get on the internet. I hope you are well. It would be very interesting to hear of your brother's memories.
Once again mulling over the website. One wonders what old school friends have been up to. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who started in 1959 (until 1964) and was in 1N, 2N, 3A, 4A or 5A.
I met Barry in a professional capacity when he was in Cleveland, Ohio. He came to see me the next time he was here because he felt I was a caring person. After a while we became friends but he always called me Mum. He never forgot to call me on Mothers' Day. I visited him and his family when they lived on the Isle of Wight and had Barry and his sons with me a week when they came to the States for a vacation. We has a wonderful time. I am 87 years old and saw Barry as one of "my kids". I am truly saddened by his death and hope to keep in touch with Matthew and Michael. Thanks for contacting me.
I am sure it is worth a note on the cvths website that 5 ex pupils from Cray Valley and their spouses are celebrating 50 years since all meeting at school and staying in touch regularly ever since with a cruise together down the Amazon and through to the Caribbean. Alan Benn, Ian Chalmers, Andrew Daley, Ian Hunt and Phil Proom will be reminiscing down the Amazon. Unfortunatly another colleague, Tim Askew, was unable to join us. Watch this space for some photos on our return.
And another evening reminiscing through the upmarket Friends Reunited a.k.a. the CVTHS website. And as we can expect - more and more, sad news of people we knew passing on - the latest Barry Jones , who although I don't actually remember him, I must have jostled with more than once in the bun queua/quea/queue - sorry Mr Smith, I still can't spell eveything. Where are the likes of Bustin, Granados, Parkins, Cook, O'Shaugnessy etc from 1959 - 1963. I see few peer's names that I can put a face to - could be my memary/memorriy/memory, of course. My thanks to Colin Cadle for doing a superb job with this site - he who seems to endure every known ailment, survives it and then disseminates the knowledge for our benefit. Good CVTHS stuff there! Well done boy.
Colin I think you're doing a magnificent job. I do appreciate this website and intend to put an article and photos on. I'm really updating with my E-mail address for anyone interested as I'd love to get in touch with people.
I was just blown away when I discovered this amazing time capsule today on my Apple Mac. So many memories - most of them happy ones - and such great characters from the classmate placed in the chemistry fume cupboard to the teacher who drove to school in an old blower Bentley. I was a pupil from 1955 - 1962 a member of the Arts Sixth Form . If any old chums or teachers read this please get in touch . I remember Mac Mcgregor, Graham Baulch, Hoddy Anthony, Peter White, Vic Small, Stephen Tebby . Am now retired and living in Santa Barbara, California. I feel privileged to have been a pupil at CVTS and now even appreciate the Bauhaus design of the school! Anyone know who the architect was? With Best Wishes to all who attended this great school.
Colin - very good to hear encouraging news on the health front. And I hope the CVTHS site gets the modest financial support it and you deserve to continue. Look forward to hearing more on this. Anyone out there know me? - Malcolm "Tub" Davis - 1959-63 (otherwise undistinguished).
Colin, Hopefully CVTHS will raise the funding you need. All the best Martin (Meggsie) Meggs.
All the best in your funding & support. Hope to send more info later - perhaps an article when time permits.
At around this time the Visitor Book was closed for last time to be superceded by the Blog which now enjoys far better facilities and an excellent regular readership.