Laverock School, Oxted, Surrey (1953-56)


A list of those of my little friends and acquaintances who attended Laverock School (P.N.E.U.), Limpsfield, Surrey, in the years 1953-56. I include this list, derived from the records kept by its founding headmistress Miss Bowser, because there ought to be a permanent record of it somewhere.

However, when this excellent little school celebrated its 70th birthday in 1999, both the records of its past achievements, as well as its future, appeared to be in very competent hands. It was delightful to rediscover it much changed but curiously still very familiar after 43 years.

Bearing in mind the school motto I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Will, I feel that I can, ought and will take this opportunity to apologise profusely to any of those listed below to whom I was horrid or who I 'pushed down the bank'!

Sadly, in 2009 (ten years after this page was written) we heard that Laverock School was to be merged with another and would thus effectively cease to exist. It seemed extraordinary that no one was able to preserve such an excellent little school. It had produced many hundreds of children exceptionally well prepared for secondary education and for life in general.

See also:
Sorting Out Sir Winston


Blue House Lane, Limpsfield, Oxted, Surrey.
Head Mistress: Miss Bowser; Deputy: Mrs Ward; Patron: Dr Andrae

The consecutive numbers before each name began with the first child to attend this P.N.E.U. school when it was founded in 1929.

1953 – January

306 – Clare Coupland – Farthings, Limpsfield, Surrey – (1956 St Vincents's Alverstoke)

307 – Simon Peter Fuller – Mariners, Chartwell, Westerham, Kent – (1953 Dunrobin)

308 – Sally Keeling – Broadwood, Limpsfield, Surrey – (July 1958 St Michael's, Limpsfield, Surrey)

309 – Marion Player – The White House, Tatsfield, Kent – (July 1959 St Mary's, Windsor)

310 – Rosemary Wheeler – Drayton, Hoskin's Road, Oxted, Surrey – (April 1958 Cobham, Caterham)

1953 – May

311 – James Calvocoressi – Court Lodge, Westerham, Kent – (1956 St Aubyn's, Rottingdean)

312 – Elizabeth Howell – Wayside, Oxted, Surrey – (April 1957 Moving to Dorking)

313 – Richard Leworthy – Beacon Hill, Westerham, Kent – (1956)

314 – Graham Pollock – Granville Road, Limpsfield, Surrey – (1954 Folkstone)

315 – Elspeth Ritchie – Kirkgate, Godstone, Surrey – (July 1957 Croydon High School)

1953 – September

316 – Anne Bell – Wester ?, Ballards, Limpsfield, Surrey – (April 1957 Effingham House)

317 – Christina Benn – Ballards Lea, Limpsfield, Surrey – (April 1958 The Manor House, Limpsfield)

318 – The Hon. Johnnie Browne – The Mount House, Brasted, Westerham, Kent – (1956 St Peter's, Seaford)

319 – Veronica Hamilton-Deeley – St Vincent's, Limpsfield, Surrey – (1954 Falkner House P.N.E.U. School, London SW7)

320 – William Hubbard – Mill Meadow, Brasted, Westerham, Kent – (1956 Edgeborough, Frensham, Surrey)

321 – Richard Longmore – Meadow Gate, Brasted, Westerham, Kent – (1954 Maidstone)

322 – Christopher Long – Monksway, Westerham, Kent – (1956 The Hill School, Westerham)

323 – Michael Perryman – Hilltop Farm, Godstone – (1955)

324 & 337 – Richard Roney-Dougal – White Woods, Brasted Chart, Kent – (April 1957 Chelmsford Hall, Eastbourne)

325 – Adriane Siemssen – Lapwings, Westerham, Kent – (1956 The Manor House, Limpsfield)

1954 – January

326 – Susanna Buxton – Greystone, Limpsfield – (April 1959 St Michael's School, Limpsfield)

327 – Julia Denne – Rough Hey, Oxted, Surrey – (1955 Gibraltar)

328 – Barbara Kinneburgh – Pinehurst, Oxted, Surrey – (July 1958 The Manor House, Limpsfield)

329 – Malcolm Ware – Station Approach, Oxted, Surrey – (1958 Convent, Lingfield)

1954 – May

330 – Sarah Blamey – Brockenhurst, Limpsfield – (April 1959 The Manor House, Limpsfield)

331 – Elizabeth Barker Bennett – ?, Oxted, Surrey – (July 1958 Siblon Park, Lyminge)

332 – Patrick Carpmael – The Corner House, Oxted, Surrey – (1956 Reigate)

333 – Barbara Crawford – ?, Park Road, Limpsfield, Surrey – (July 1958 St Michaels School, Limpsfield)

334 – Anthony Hook – 3 The Parade, Westerham, Kent – (July 1957 The Hill School, Westerham)

335 – Camilla Probert – Squerryes Garden Cottage, Westerham, Kent – (1955 Wiltshire)

335 – Anne Probert – Squerryes Garden Cottage, Westerham, Kent – (1955 Wiltshire)

337 & 324 – Richard Roney-Dougal – White Woods, Brasted Chart, Kent – (April 1957 Chelmsford Hall, Eastbourne)

338 – Jane Sheather – Burn Edge, Limpsfield, Surrey – (July 1958 St Michael's School, Limpsfield)

339 – Stephen Shepherd – The Glen, Oxted, Surrey – (April 1957 The Hill School, Westerham)

340 – Brian Taylor – Ravensbrook Garden Flat, Oxted, Surrey – (July 1957 ? House, Haywards Heath)

1954 – September

341 – Arthur Blair – Titsey Court, Limpsfield, Surrey – (July 1957 ?)

342 – Robert Burnett – Tandridge Court, Oxted, Surrey – (1956 At home)

343 – Sally Job – Mandeville, Oxted, Surrey – (April 1958 Our Lady of ? Convent, Worthing)

344 – Patricia Kirwin – The Vicarage, Westerham, Kent – (July 1957 or 1959 Walthamstow Hall, Sevenoaks)

345 – Andrew McCagie – Greehayes, Limpsfield, Surrey – (July 1957 The Hill School, Westerham – Epsom)

346 – Peter McCagie – Greehayes, Limpsfield, Surrey – (July 1957 The Hill School, Westerham – Epsom)

347 – Michael Player – The White House, Tatsfield, Kent – (July 1957 St Thomas's School, Sevenoaks – Downside)

348 – Elizabeth Sheather – Burn Edge, Limpsfield, Surrey – (July 1960 St Michael's School, Limpsfield)

Others during this period included:

  1. Rosemary Long
  2. Thomas 'Tom' Winder
  3. Sam Winder
  4. Anne Leworthy
  5. George Threlfall
  6. Emma Threlfall
  7. Charles Sebag-Montefiore
  8. Mary Sebag-Montefiore
  9. John Evans
  10. Camilla Evans
  11. Nicholas Soames
  12. Emma Soames
  13. Theresa Tate
  14. Catherine Wansey
  15. Richard Calvocoressi
  16. Anthony Kidd
  17. Tessa Kidd
  18. Nicola Webb
  19. David Kirke-Smith
  20. Leone Kirke-Smith
  21. Jane? Wildbore-Smith
  22. Eleanor Beckett
  23. Angela Bluett
  24. Frances Tory
  25. Patrick Tory

On 28 March 2001 I received the following message from Jane Baker (née Sheather) whom I remember well and with pleasure.

Hello Christopher, I remember you at Laverock all those years ago! We still have a few photographs of those distant times, I'll have to dig them out and see if I can put a few more names to the faces. I was Jane Sheather, now married with two sons. The list you have makes fascinating reading; here are one or two additions.
Barbara Crawford lived at Kames, Park Road and Patricia Kirwin left before me so 1957 seems right. Several people are missing: Sandra and Morag Morris who lived in Quarry Road, Oxted; Jane and Keith Sykes of Hurdles, Granville Road, Limpsfield; and Roger Newnham of Starlings, Blue House Lane, Limpsfield. I could add a few more details, so if you are interested do let me know. And how did I find you? Doing a search on my maiden name! With best wishes, Jane Baker.

On 22 December 2001 Georgina Edwards (née Fox) wrote to me – another person I remember with pleasure:

Hi Chris, I was delighted to see your site, although I didn't go to Laverock, I was at Dunrobin from about 1953 and then at Manor House. However a lot of the names [on the page] are familiar to me. It would be great if you could work this up into a site for all the folks who were at all these schools. I have some wonderful old photos of myself and others dressed as fairies at a Dunrobin panto. Best wishes, Georgina Edwards (née Fox)

On 03-12-2009 Sue Cooper (née Atkins) kindly wrote to remind me of people I had forgotten...

"Dear Christopher, How lovely to find your musings on the good old Laverock days on the web and to see the names of ghosts of the 50s thereon!"
[She then mentions: Fiona Walker (married Irens, and her two younger brothers Charles and William), Alison Hook, Nicola Webb (married Squire), Mark Taplin, Kate and Mrs Somebody in the kitchen, Nicky Tate (married van der Gucht), Emma Tyrrell (married Jonas), Tessa Kidd, Phil Johnston (who had recently and sadly died), Christina Benn, Nicky Pocock (who may or may not have been at Laverock), the Threlfalls, Brian and Rosemary Taylor and the Titford and Hopkins families... Most significantly of all she wonders if we remember Miss Siddifin's bosom... as if any one of us could forget it?]

On 09-10-2015 James 'Jim' Hammond kindly wrote with his memories...

Hello Christopher, Just found your piece on Laverock School. Cannot remember just exactly when I joined the School, but the first class that I joined contained Stephen Shepherd who remained a friend for many years. Others that I remember were: Jane and Elizabeth Sheather, the McCagie twins, Richard Leworthy, John Stone, Sarah Blamey, Michael Player, Nicholas and Emma Soames, Catherine Wansey (daughter of Canon Wansey) and Michael Stevens. I can picture others, but the names have gone!! I must have known Patrick Tory, as I remember going to a party at their place near Broadham Green. I remember Miss Bowser and Mrs Ward. My first teacher was a Miss Harmer – she sent me out of the class one day (presumably I had been naughty) and the kindly Miss Bowser consoled me and brought me back into the classroom! Mrs Couldrey (of Uvedale Road) taught games, and Miss Hoare gym (I think they were both peripatetic). I had piano lessons with Miss Edwards from Old Oxted. Like many Laverock pupils, I joined Limpsfield Tennis Club, where the tournaments were organised by the indefatigueable Mrs Couldrey.

I was/(am) James Hammond, from Greenhurst Lane, Hurst Green, I went on to Streete Court School, Godstone in 1957. My sister Philippa Hammond (4 years younger) also attended Laverock, and went on to Whyteleafe Grammar School.

Best wishes, Jim Hammond (Daventry, Northants. retired School Teacher)

On 14-01-2021 Peter Minshall wrote with memories (a few years after my time)...

Dear Christopher, I saw your work about Laverock online and it took me back to when I attended with my brothers and cousins in the early sixties ; there was much ‘pushing down the bank’ I can assure you!
There was also an occasion when I wanted to avoid music one afternoon and having having acquired a small cap fired suction timer grenade from Brocks Toy Shop, primed this and inserted it into the grand piano before we all gathered to sing. It worked brilliantly and I was summoned to spend the afternoon outside. Perfect way to spend a sunny June afternoon.
However, the real reason for contacting you was to see if you could remember the colours of the school tie?
I rather recall there may have been pale blue, brown and one other colour but no recollection of the order in which it was fashioned.
I am wearing one on my first passport photo which is black and white and I suspect the actual tie has been long since eaten by the mice.
Any help would be great. With kind regards,
[Peter asks about school ties and I had entirely forgotten that we wore them... yet there they are in a school photograph - boys only. Peter, incidentally, is an author, see: Whispering Children]

On 20-04-2023 Rebecca Baker kindly wrote to remind me about her mother, Patricia Russell (Miss Russell to us children) who taught most of us in the list of children above. She was quite delightful and I owe her a huge debt since it was she who first excited my interest in history – a subject that has played a huge role in my private and professional life ever since. She introduced us to Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall's Our Island Story and Our Empire Story among much else. Thank you very much, dear Patricia. She seemed very old to us then but in the group photo above I now see that she was just a slip of a lass when we knew her... The reference to Ambleside is interesting because Miss Bowser herself had strong links with the Lake District and I remember visiting her there (in retirement with her partner) on my honeymoon in 1973...

Dear Christopher, I came across your link about Laverock School today. Thank you for posting the photo at the top and for the information in your blog on the school. I was excited to find a picture of my mother ‘Patricia Russell’ (10th from left hand side middle row) who was a newly qualified teacher at the time, at the top of your post. She often spoke about the school at Oxted and how she loved the children. She also spoke of teaching Nicholas and Emma Soames. She was trained at the ‘Charlotte Mason College’ in Ambleside, Cumbria. I am the eldest of her two daughters. Mum died in 2015 but one of her granddaughters, Lizzie, has embraced the PNEU teaching methods. Lizzie recently went to Ambleside to do a course on the Charlotte Mason method of teaching. She home-schools her daughter (Patricia Russell’s great granddaughter) and has the words “I am, I can, I ought, I will” up on her kitchen wall. I just thought you’d be interested to know how much we appreciated finding your article online and we wanted to thank you for sharing it.
Kind regards
Rebecca Baker

Patricia Anne Russell (m. Paine) 1931-2015.

Any constructive information to add to this page will be welcomed!

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