Knole Park c1955, Almondsbury
Memories of Knole Park c1955, Almondsbury
I Was A Pupil at St Catherines School......
I was a pupil at St Catherine's School between 1954 and 1962. The school was run by Ralph and Joyce Cooper.
Teachers I remember are Mr Thunder, art teacher, Mr Smith, and Miss Muriel Stottart, who taught class 3b, the juniors.
At the rear of the building there was a large conservatory and a path that ran down to a long hut which served as classrooms. There was also a homemade concrete swimmimig pool. Our playground was a a grass area and a wood and beyond that were two fields. At the top of one field was a very old horsechestnut tree, where we had slung a rope over a high branch to make a swing.
We were given an amazing amount of freedom.
Each Saturday we were given pocket money, which ranged from one and sixpence (7 +1/2p) to two and sixpence (12+1/2p). We were allowed to walk up to the "top" of Almondsbury hill, to the post office/sweet shop to buy sweets and pop. The Swan pub, which... Read more
Very Fond Memories
I have some good memories of that school, Mr and Mrs Cooper and Mr Smith. The teachers that I remember are Mr Partridge ('Birdy') and Mrs V Houston who had 2 daughters Helen and Penelope who came to the school at holiday times. It was a vegetarian school in my day, and it was rare for anyone to be ill. Most of the school marched down to the church in Lower Almondsbury on a Sunday, unless you were Catholic and you got a lift from a neighbour who took us to Thornbury. It would be nice to hear form anyone from that age, I left in the Christmas holidays of 1953.
St Catherine's Boarding School
I have very fond memories of the school and Mr and Mrs Cooper, and I was one of the privileged children to move to Parkstone in Dorset when the Coopers moved there. I was in Miss Stoddart's class and I can still remember the smell of the herbal cigarettes she used to smoke, and on the rare occasion she would share one with the class. At the end of the summer terms I remember us polishing the classroom floor with wax polish which had a really strong smell, not at all an unpleasant aroma. After prep classes in the evening it was a mad dash to the study to see who could be the first one in so that they could pinch Mr Cooper's dog-ends out of the ash trays, so we could re-roll them to smoke at a later date. Mrs Cooper used to read her newspapers in the study( television room) and if you so much as uttered a word she used to glare at you over the... Read more
I was a pupil at this school from 1954 to 1961. I was in Miss Staddart's class. She used to take us to pictures on Saturdays, some of the films which I saw were 'Ben NUr', and Norman Wisdom's films. My friends I remember were Clive Wood, Peter Adams, Maurice Fountain. I can also remember trying to go swimming at nights, and also used to raid the food cellar. We used to play in the trees at the back of the school huts. All the fun I had was sliding down the hill on a tin sheet. My first girlfriend was Linda Yates who had a sister called Pat. I would also like to hear from anyone else who was at the school when I was. Tony Farrer
Marcia Bowen Circa 1950-1955
Ms Grisdale, I cannot tell you how excited my Mum was when we found this site and your comment to Mr Fountain's memory posting. Marcia Bowen (mum) was so happy and nostalgic to read all the comments and postings about her old school, classmates and faculty. She would very much like to regain contact with anyone who may have been attending St Catherine's during her years there. Please respond to my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and I'll be sure to pass it on to her. She would especially like to contact Beryl Maloney. I think I've seen her postings on here as well.
WW2 Memories at St.Catherine's
I boarded at St. Catherine's from 1942 until 1948, which I believe was connected to Middlesex County Council during that time. I was 3 years old when I started, my home was in Victoria Square, Clifton and my parents were both involved with the Services. The name Cooper sounds familiar for the Principal but I cannot be sure. He was a professor at Bristol University and his wife & daughter ran the school. I seem to think that the oldest pupils would have been 10 or 11 years, boys and girls and probably numbered less that 40 in all. We shared large dormitories and I remember being confined in isolation to a small room - the San - above the front door to recover from measles or chicken-pox. I remember that the tower was used by civilian volunteers for aeroplane spotting and that there were lots of cards with aeroplane silhouettes for recognition purposes. Someone refers to the homemade concrete swimming pool which I remember well,... Read more
Almondsbury & local memories
Read and share memories of Almondsbury and Avon inspired by Frith photos.
Bitter Sweet Memories Of St Cathrines Boarding School
I arrived in 1955, I was there for three years. I was not happy there, it was like a jail to me. I do recall the names of Clive Wood and Peter Adams - I do not recall any of the others. There was a girl with a birthmark on her face, her first name was Rita, I think. Do you remember a girl called Diana? she had Tourette's Syndrome. Remember the cellar? We would all congregate there sometimes. What was that matrons name that used to watch us boys in the bathtub? I used to think she was a voyeur. When I was there, the big thing to do was raid the pantry at midnight. Someone used to have the key. We used to take the cans of Nutmeat. It was 'ghastly' I can't remember how we ever got those cans open - we didn't have a can opener. Does anyone remember a boy named Bill Shea ? I remember Mr Thunder, I think he was a music teacher, not sure. I loved... Read more
I know the above scene well! I attended the Knole Park house - now sadly demolished - which was then a boarding school, St. Catherine's. One weekend we went on a day trip to the shore of the Severn.......fascinating place. Would love to go sometime and spend a night at the Old Bowl Inn. I understand that St.Mary's in Lower Almondsbury is now a closed church.........I remember walking down the hill on numerous occasions and seeing the War Memorial. I was on holiday with a friend in the late sixties in Bristol and took a trip to Almondsbury and my old school, but found it deserted and empty with grass in back of the house much overgrown.......a very eerie experience. The private homes along the left-hand side of the driveway as you approached the building were still occupied, it seemed. Anyone else have any knowledge of memories of this?
I grew up in London (Ealing is my hometown) and moved to Washington,... Read more
When I Was A Lad....
Ahh.. What a rush of memories return to my mind as I ponder the view of the vale of Almondsbury laid out before me. I grew up in the lower village (then known as marshwell crescent). My father's family hailed from the deepest depths of Patchway common, where my Grandfather was the local Cobbler (always making ready the boots of the local gypsies as they prepared to make their yearly trek to Kent for the hop picking season, and paying my grandfather on their return from picking). I have wonderful memories of running, hiding, and enjoying family picnics on the tumps, and enjoying a glass of cool lemonade from the local pub (Swan on the hill), while my parents inbibed a glass of a more portly brew. Every weekend, we local lads would wind our way down to the marshes, to catch our share of elvers who were always there in abundance, living in the myriad of reens that inhabit that marsh area. I can truly say from the bottom... Read more
Almondsbury South Gloucester
Where do I start ? Living in Monmouth House on the top of Almondsbury Hill. going to Almondsbury village school sitting next to Tony Evans, head of the Patchway gang & a brilliant football goalkeeper. Gaffer Mersh, headmaster crashing his cane on his desk if someone was not paying attention to him. The "weakhorse" challenge when one team jumped on the back of another team who were in a line against the playground wall - when enough "jumpers" landed on the teams backs & the team collapsed there would be a shout of "weakhorse!" & the sides would change positions. This "game" would not be allowed these days but Gaffer Mersh would watch through the classroom windows, probably hoping all the lads' energy would be spent before returning to lessons. Weakhorse would definitely not be allowed with the health & safety rules these days. Another "would be banned" activity was "gaols" when a group of older boys would round up all the smaller... Read more
I was also a pupil at St Catherine's; 1954 to 1962 were my years. I remember Mr Thunder, art and geography teacher, Mr Smith, Deputy head; later married someone from the Bristol Old Vic, Mr Sydey, ex Royal Navy Captain but unable to recall his subjects. Mr Ross, art and woodwork. We used to go camping at Fowey in Cornwall every summer which is where I probably picked up my love for the place. My sisters Gillian and Wendy were also pupils but came quite some while after me.
I particularly remember the smell of the dog roses that grew in abundance to the western side of the property and down into the tiered woods where many fossils could be found. I recall the old horse chestnut tree in the field at the bottom of the wood where we had a swing. Unhappily I also remember being made to stand downhill from the swing while one of the bigger boys delighted in swinging down on me, sending me airborne into... Read more