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Memories 

Anthony Spencer

Having seen your web site, I attended Clarkes College Putney from 1960 until it closed in 1965. I then transferred in 1965 to Surbiton until 1966.

Putney branch was a tough South London school with a fair share of villains and bullies. The regime was very tough under the Headship of Mr Wheeler who was a bit too fond of the cane for my liking. The teaching was moderately good with Mrs Clague a firm favourite and Mr Douglas who was 72 years old when I was there, who intrigued us all with his stories of protecting the Kyhber Pass in India during World War 1 in between teaching Maths and Geography. Mr Byrne taught Science but he could not control discipline in the class. Unfortunately as we all found out, he was a sick man and died in service. Miss Wallace taught French and History and was a very nice lady. When Mr Hulland arrived in 1964 as Head the standards improved and the cane disappeared, but it was too late to save the school which closed in 1965. Remember my friends Braham, Lucas, Thwaites and Penman and the Prefect who always caught me without my cap (cannot remember his name). House name was Forest.

On arrival at Surbiton the ethos of the school was entirely different and I found myself learning with gentlemen and ladies. On reflection I wished I had started at that school in 1960 although it was a distance from my home in Barnes. Mr Hugget was the Head and was a real professional who everyone respected and liked. He was an excellent Maths teacher. Mr Hounslow taught Geography and stimulated my lifelong interest in the subject so much that I have travelled extensively. I remember Mr Butcher who taught English Literature and Miss Leaf who taught English. I remember some of the students Meager who beat me in the class exams every time but I did give him a run in Geography. Being a few years older I began to take an interest in the girls and remember Margaret West, Francis Green, Sally Epke, Rosalind Shea and Penelope Buckbarrow. Stuart Braham came with me from Putney. Also remember Parr. Enjoyed cricket but hated football. Did play in the first eleven a few times.

I did well in GCE's gaining six passes at O' Level and was the Head Boy in my final year. Some other reflections was the school holiday to Davos in 1965 where I was caught sneaking through a ground floor window being drunk at midnight by Mr Hounslow, who told me off, but did not take the matter further. There was also the Prefects party on our last day where we all got inebriated with Vodka. We thought Mr Huggett had gone home but he came back to the school to see how we were getting on. Luckily I posted a watchout who was able to warn us. Some years ago I made contact with Carol Hanks the school secretary who told me that Mr Huggett had died in 1992.

Overall Surbiton gave me a very good grounding which laid the foundation for a successful career and a comfortable lifestyle. Being 63 it is difficult to remember house names and I cannot remember the house I was in at Surbiton even though I was a House Captain. Still got my badges intact

I hope all the fellow pupils I have written about have had good lives, marriages, children, and grandchildren like I have, or just been happy. I suppose the only teachers mentioned that could possibly be alive now are Miss Wallace at Putney and Mr Hounslow at Surbiton. If anyone remembers me and wishes to post a message via email.

Anthony Spencer

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