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1950's Prospectus

We know that the school opened in 1936 and the first Head was C.C.Moss until his sudden death from a heart attack in 1972. Then came Colin Winchester until 1987, followed by Ken Whiting at the school situated at the cross roads on Masons Hill and it was the last of the Clark’s branches when it closed in 1988.

As this page has only just opened we would appreciate all the assistance and guidance from fellow Old Clarkonians to widen both our content as well as former attendees.

Below are brief notes on some of the pupils who, since leaving, became known in their field of profession, business or other work. We would be pleased to receive information regarding others not yet included below, also, updated detail for those who are. In most instances more background may be gained by name search.

Pupil probably mid 1940s.

"After spending several years in London, where she attended, Clarks College in Bromley, her family (hoteliers) moved to Bournemouth where Julie Dawn met her French husband Francois."

FATHER JOHN HENNESSEY - attended Bromley c1950
"Born in Lee Green, London, in 1936, John Hennessey, the youngest of three boys, was educated at John Fisher School, Purley and Clark’s College, Bromley. On leaving school in 1951 he went to art college for a short."

Pupil mid 1960s enquiring about fellow pupils at that time.

"Born Ilford. His father was a compositor on The Times, and after intermittent education at Ilford County High School, Essex, and Clark’s College, Bromley, Ray left without qualifications at 14..."


In 2002 a few of us managed to get together via Friends Reunited, since when the numbers have grown. We initially met up in Richmond where Richard Beattie kindly offered to host lunch. We then went on to have dinner a few months later in Bromley it was wonderful seeing so many turn up, of course no one had changed in the slightest!! Since when we have managed several London walks followed by copious amounts of wine, a trip to Greenwich, the London Eye and dinner at mine in the country.

Those so far that have been in contact are David Canham, Chris Ely, Roland Coombes, Maxine Davies, Linda Mackie, Jill Trelease, Sue Hyde, Kevin Gilbert, Richard Beattie, Kevin Ball, Diane Harding, Neil Baird, Pamela Harvey, Roger Eastoe, Graham Pankhurst, Graham Martin and Gill Langford.


To open the "batting" Gillian Langford, who attended between 1964 - 1967, is contacting former pupils who, we hope, will start communications via this website, making these pages both interesting and amusingly nostalgic. Please contact Gillian via the address on our Contact Us page.

- (taken from our first web pages)

James Dowling

My name is James Dowling and attended Clark's College between 1980 and 1985. I won the school diving shield 4 years in a row 1981 to 1985. I also was a Prefect in 1985.

I left school and commence a career straight away obtaining a degree in life. I went on to a successful career in IT sales and also own a property portfolio. I remain in Kent however obtained a passport to leave Bromley.

I hope this helps piece together a little more history for your site. Feel free to contact me should you require more info. Two stories really stick out - one was where the Head Master Mr Winchester threatened me with the cane when returned from summer holidays dressed in Dr Martin boots and not school shoes! My dad owned a pub in North London so did my uncles and Madness practice there before they became really famous and did private fans discos in our cellars. Well I went perhaps a little too far as I had a skinhead and adopted boots! NOT the accepted levels of Clark's - oh it didn't help me suggesting that I was not afraid of what he was to do as he would have then follow-up his actions with my Dad!

I was a confident entrepreneurial kid and a source for cigs at 10p a fag £2 a packet in the 80s was a huge profit margin! Well when Mr Winchester called my Dad back from a busy pub from London back to Bromley well I thought I was in deep do do! BUT when told my Mr Winchester that you wait until your father arrives who was not a man to like his time wasted I would understand the seriousness of my action and punished severely and perhaps I may be shown the cane again!! Well Dad arrived and we sat around a table to discuss and my father (was) a fair man stated before you tell me about how to punish my son why not allow him to teach others the way to success in business as this was quite clearly missing in their syllabus. Naturally I was re-educated on what lesson to teach not cigs at school but this lesson stood me well for later life. No need for University and wasted money and efforts but get out there and make it from day one - well not giving up yet! My Dad did state to Mr Winchester that given that it was a private grammar school and fees were not exactly the cheapest he did state that how to handle money and business skills should have been key to getting students ready for life skills later and went to say he would reduce his paid fees to the school for allowing me to teach the school and their pupils - great negotiator my Dad!

Fair man and I did get a kind of talking to about my key points above.

Funny one a school skiing trip to Austria with several teachers(names escape me and looking into for you) led me to skiing of a lodge roof with a big drop the other side. Confidence again yes , in trouble indeed! Picked up from the snow and shaken like a rag toy being told off - oh and by the way I was alright! I was asked afterwards! Grounded for 1 whole day back at the chalet well that was cool and asked if I could be grounded for the rest of the week. A girls school 2 years older than me I was 14 at the time had arrived and being known as an ice breaker, like to talk and a smiler (nickname) I was happy to, what we call nowadays, to network! My request to be grounded for the remainder of the holiday was rejected how bizarre!

James Dowling


John Hooper

For the record I attended Clark's College Bromley joining the Lower Fourth in 1962 and leaving the Lower Fifth in 1965, when I moved, with my family, to Stafford.

I have many fond memories of my time at the School including a field trip arranged by Mr. Vaughn to somewhere in mid Kent of which a contoured map was built from polystyrene ceiling tiles. This included meeting in the village pub for lunch; was this my first pint of beer, probably not.

Reading your Memoir I remember Stephen Gammon who you mention (you are very lucky it was only a toad), and Bobi Bumstead who you do not and others who names I can no longer recall. I rember the Wimpey Bar. Also getting trapped in a lift in a department store because we had overloaded it with too many peple and because we stamped our feet to the rhythm of The Dave Clark Five's - Glad All Over.

Because we moved so far away I have lost all contacts from these days and would be interested to know how other scholars and teachers are getting on. I was shocked to hear that Mr. Moss died soon after I left the school. Would you keep me informed with news and any contacts lists you may have.

John Hooper


Gill Langford

My name is Gill Cameron (nee Langford). I attended Clarks College Bromley from 1963 until 1967, and in my last year became Head Girl. Anthony Allan was head boy during our last year with me.

I have many fond memories of my time at school, including:

A toad left in my desk by Steve Gammon which quite naturally jumped into my lap when the desk was opened!

Everyone on the back line singing one line out of sequence during Assembly.

The fire hydrant being used often to spray the girls along the corridor by the boys.

Mr. Moss would clip clop along the corridors with his hands behind his back flapping his gown... we thought he would levitate at any given moment!

Mr. Vaughan's fun Geography lessons, but woe betide anyone not listening he would throw chalk at the girls, and the blackboard rubber at the boys with accuracy!

Poor Mr Daddswell who tried so hard to teach RE, but for some reason the class would persuade him instead to do human biology!

We all would go after school to the Wimpey bar at the bottom of Bromley High Street or the cafe opposite which is still there! Happy days!

Gill Cameron


Sue Madden-Phaul

I came across the Clarks College website by chance and was quite fascinated to see a few names I recognised.

I attended the secretarial side of Clarks from 1968 to 1970. I still remember my first day so clearly, a lovely young gentleman named Tim was kind enough to guide me through the lunchtime rush and sat me down with him. He was so kind to me that day and I must admit I had quite a crush on him for quite some time!

I was taught by Miss Penny to the strains of the William Tell Overture to type correctly and precisely, together with specific instructions on how one should erase (being careful not to rub through the paper) both the top copy and the carbon. We were taught to touch type on old manual typewriters that were so heavy on the keys our fingers used to ache. "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" was the stock test as it uses every letter of the alphabet.

I still remember the day I had a nasty head cold and sneezed profusely, Miss Penny asked if my mother was aware that I was ill, to which I replied "I very much doubt it - she has been dead 5 years!" You could have heard a pin drop and the look on her face was priceless.

Mr. Moss used to take us for business studies and letter writing - he was so appalled at my handwriting he used to throw it back at me! I never did master the Clarks College Script (which was quite beautiful) but the business studies and letter writing skills are with me to this day.

I don't remember the shorthand typing teachers name, but remember that she was quite old (or appeared to be to me!) and wasn't particularly good at keeping track when we were sitting our shorthand exams - the amount of cheating that went on was unbelievable! I remember having to practice over and over again to learn the hooks, curves, dots etc., and whilst I haven't used shorthand for almost 30 years am still able to write certain sentences without thinking. I think she must have had quite a good influence after all!

The friends that I had at Clarks were mainly Jane Mainwaring and Deborah Wilde, who's father was in the American air force if I remember correctly, but I was acquainted with many more. I remember Jackie and Brenda (who went skating with boys, shock ... horror!), Sally, Lesley, Linda, who was tragically killed whilst crossing the road after school, Elaine (who was always so elegant), and so many faces spring to mind that I can't quite put a name to. Then the boys of course! I also have fond memories of waving to the boys at the school at the back of Clarks whom we could see from the windows.

I still have my Clarks College scarf along with many of my books - happy memories abound!

After I left Clarks I went to work in London as a secretary before moving to the south coast and then to Bristol, where I worked for Avon DC. After moving back to the south coast I met my former husband and we moved to Hong Kong where we lived for many years.

I am now remarried and living in Canada and am unable to attend any of the gatherings of the old school but I would be grateful if you would say "hello" to any who may remember me from those days. My name then was Susan (Sue) Beasley - I was very small (5'1”), skinny, with long dark hair and I was painfully shy. The only thing that hasn't changed is my height and the length of my hair, lol.

Sue Madden-Phaul


Sheilia Mann

Just found the Clark's site and was interested to see that Raymond Smith was still alive. Could you tell Katie that I will always have fond memories of her Grandfather. When at Bromley I used to be the principals table monitor through most of my 5 years there so had to take their dinner to her Great Grand father before he died and her Grandfather with Derek Thomas. As a young teenager at the school this was a very important role!! I remember one day being pulled aside by Mr Winchester as Ray Smith had commented that I had too much makeup on !!!

Left the school in 1972 as Sheila Griffiths,, having been the 5th year Headgirl and also gaining two of the first places in the LCC exams. 3 of us were given places in 6th form at Newstead Woods, which was the areas most prestigious school. We were very proud of what Clark's had encouraged us to attain and were the first from students who had failed their 11 plus to be allowed to enter this school.

At the age of 22 my own business was opened as a florist in the local area and unfortunately had to change direction as became allergic to flowers!!

For last 20 years photography and makeup is my chosen direction keeping with the artistic side of life. I now have a high street photographic business with my partner. If Ray Smith remembers me at all he should be pleased, as he quite often taught our art classes and always had great encouragement for me. We are very well known photographers now and our services also include makeovers for which I also apply the makeup. One of our recent makeover images has won Kodak Portrait Photographer of the Year. Other accolades are World Wide Award of Excellence for Family Portraiture and UK Award of Excellence for Wedding Photography. We have had the privilege of photographing famous people such as Martin Johnson, Trevor Mcdonald and Micheal Portillo.

Just thought it would be a pleasing to hear of success due their family efforts. In fact most of our school year has gone on to do very well in careers and life. ( I think we were the year at that time which had the most successful 'O' level results up to 1972). Just another memory prompt, we were the year that Mr Denis Vaughan's daughter, Susan, was in. If I remember Denis and Ray were good friends. Denis is still alive the last time I spoke with Sue.

Could you say thank you for being there for us and giving such positive and sound start to our lives. For me personally, without this I think I may have lost my way, so these years have a very fond place in my heart.

Sheila Mann


Keith Rowe

Many thanks for your prompt response. The 1954 school photo came to me in several bits, which I have been able to assemble as attached.

I live in Southborough, between Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells. Been in the area since 1970. Lived previously (with Mum & Dad) in St. Pauls Cray then Orpington. Used to cycle to Bromley every day with my schoolmates Stuart Neal and David Harding. When I was living in St. Pauls Cray I occasionally caught the train. Morag Mcgillivray was usually on it already. I recall she lived in Otford or Shoram. Last heard about by me as living in Australia. She is in the photo. I will identify all that I can, if you want me to.

Best regards,

Keith Rowe.


Anne Torrington

I attended Clark’s College, in Bromley, Kent, England, from 1965 to 1971. I remember when Mr. Moss died. This site said he died in 1972, I know he died before that. I am sure it was in 1970. I remember sitting in the classroom on the last day of school before the summer holidays and he said “see you next term” and, of course, we did not. I remember going to his funeral. Very sad.

The following term after the summer holidays, I attended the Clark’s College Secretarial School, which I really enjoyed. I was absolutely useless with math and science, so I really finally found my calling. This class set me off onto secretarial jobs.

The teachers I remember were: Mr. Perver (French) (he was interim headmaster after Mr. Moss died), Mr. Long (science), Mr. Vaughn (geography), Mr.White (religious studies and English/Literature). I remember Miss Penny the typing teacher, Sports day at Catford, Ms.Tawn the shorthand teacher.

Looking at my old certificates, it looks like Mr. Moss signed one in March 1971, and then Mr. Perver signed one in May1971. As time goes on, one's memory does get the dates confused.

I joined with Friends Reunited, and found one old school friend of mine, Gillian Harris. I now live in the United States. I have fond memories of Clark’s College.

Anne Torrington


Leigh Savill

I and my brother went to Clark’s Collage, Bromley during the 70's and have fond memories of the time there. One memory is that I skipped off games to see the math's teacher Mr. Rolland who was ill and lived near by but was caught walking out of the hospital after visiting time. Called to the Headmasters Office the next day I was let off detention because I thought of others before my own gains but had to do some envelope sticking down at break time (thought I was heading for the cane).

So Colin Winchester, I have a lot of respect for you and still do, Firm but fair is a good description.

Leigh Savill


Dennis Vaughan (1921 - 2013)

We apologise to Mr. Vaughan’s family and friends for not adding this notice promptly.

I wonder if you would kindly put a note on the Clark’s Website, or notify folks who access it, that sadly, Mr Vaughan, who is my father, died last week on 16th February 2013. He was an amazing 91 1/2 years old and although his short term memory was failing and he had slight dementia, he still remembered his years at Clark’s with great fondness.

Both my bother Peter and I attended Clark’s at Bromley

Sue Vaughan (1968-1973)
Peter Vaughan ((1976 - 81)

My father loved his time teaching there, and I know he spent a few years teaching at the Catford branch before he came to Bromley. We all used to travel up from Sevenoaks in a car with Mr Smith and Mr Thomas who were the principals of the College.

We are having a family cremation, followed by a thanksgiving service for him on Friday 8th March 2013, at 3.15pm at St John’s Methodist Church, Sudbury, Suffolk. Also, any Clark’s College person who would like to attend is very welcome. We will have a table displaying some of his photos and trips after the service, where everyone is invited to stay for refreshments.

Sue Mitchell (nee Vaughan).


Sad to let you know Dennis Vaughan has just passed away. Sue, his daughter who was my friend at school has just phoned me. He got to the age of 91 and recently Sue had taken a photo at a reunion of our class and he could remember everyone. His short term memory was not so good, but was in good spirits up to the last. Could you let others know and post on the Clark's College site.

Sheila Mann (Griffiths)

Thought you would all want to hear this.... he was the best teacher I thought in the school.... and will always remember his smile and sense of humour.... plus I even got Geography O level which amazed him. He was one of the good guys.

Gill Cameron (nee Langford)

John Wilson

Mr. WinchesterPlease find attached photo of Mr. Winchester, from the Bromley school photo of 1952.

I have been able to identify a girl in your web site picture of four girls standing on the Bromley School tennis court. The girl second from left is Bridget Hasse. a German girl. She is in my 1952 photo, back row 5th from left. I had a look at your site but could not recognise any names, either from Catford or Bromley.

I have just remembered that the head at Catford was a Mr Dunkley in my time there.

John Wilson


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