Why not contribute to Web page on early Families of Wheathampstead
Expats Page 3
Barbara de Mornay Penny Simon
Johnson Nicholas David King Kim Lewis (nee Jackson)
Updated 04 June, 2011
hi my name is nigel barden i used to live at 12 tudor road wheathampstead from about 1966/67 cant quite remember was very young my dad was michael and mum was pauline she worked at the abbott john pub and the swan pub my dad worked for schweppes in st albans
i went to school in wheathampstead until i was old enough to go to townsend school st albans then my parents broke up and we moved to canvey island essex then i married and went to cornwall then we moved again to spain where i own a tattoo shop and a bar the people i remember are the wrights ,the pike family ,the wards the kennard family tracey munroe sharon archer sharon preston the cox family the puddephant family i think thats the way it was spelt ,i spoke to michael kennard a few months ago does anyone remember him
any way got to do some work now nigel email -
contributed October 2008
Barbara de Mornay Penny
I have just found Wheathampstead web site which brought back old happy memories. My name is Barbara de Mornay Penny. I was born at Gustardwood the daughter of Mr and Mrs R. de Mornay Davies. We moved down to Wheathampstead in 1946 to the brand new Swedish house which were I believe the first stage of the new Marford estate, remembering clearly the developement of Conquerors Hill, Caesers Road etc. This was my home till 1962. I married my husband Anthony (formerly of Ayot St Lawrence) in 1960 and from 1962-2004 our home was in Caesers Road. On retirement we moved to Wells, Somerset to be near to our daughters Deborah and Yvonne, and Granddaughter Phoebe who all now live in Glastonbury.
Since moving to Wells I have discovered this was the birthplace of my Grandfather and his forbears, evidence of which can be seen on floor plaques in Wells Cathedral and St Cuthberts Church.
For your interest and others I have attached a photograph of a girls sports team (of which I am one) to partner your photograph of a boys team taken the same year 1955. Incidentally I can confirm the boy holding the cup was indeed my brother Ian de Mornay Davies. see photo
Also in my possession is another sports photograph of my daughters era
which I will forward when I have seen my daughter who will be able to name
contributed March 2007
Hi my name is Fiona. My husband used to live in Wheathampstead
about 15 years ago. He went to Beech Hyde school and he was in the villages promotional video in the 90s. his name is
Simon Johnson. If anyone remembers him and wants to get in touch with him you can email me at my address because we are thinking about moving back into the area and would like to get in touch with his old friends and family.
Rugby, Warwickshire, England Thursday 28 April 2005
Nicholas David King
have been in Egypt for three years now and before that I lived in the Yemen
for seven years - not very computer literate countries.
Dr Nicholas David King email - contributed June2007
Kim Lewis (nee Jackson)
Have just come across the Wheathampstead website, and have thoroughly enjoyed the trip down Memory Lane it prompted.
Our family moved to 2 Tudor Road from Harlow in December 1963, when I was 20 months old. My parents are June & Herbert Jackson, my brother Colin was born at No.2 in June 1965. We left Wheathampstead in July 1978, moving to Gloucester with my father's job.
NEIGHBOURS - Neighbours I remember include, the Smiths at No.1 (children David, Caroline and a.n.other), the Woodrows at No.6 (children Susan, Anne and Jonathan), the Wrights at No.9 (sons Gordon, John and Alan), the Pikes at No.18 (Gwen & John, sons David and Alan), and a girl called Melanie at No.3 who had a cat called Cassidy. Neighbours on Dyke Lane I remember as the Playells (children Karen and Kevin), the Wards (Jenny & John, children Matthew, David and Ruth), Marjorie & John Brown, and Mrs Carter.
ST HELENS SCHOOL - I went to St Helens, initially in the Victorian School, before moving "over the road" to the new buildings, and was taught by Miss Bailey, Mrs Lefevre, Mrs McNally, Mr Sharpe and Mr Parkes. At the old school, I remember buckets on the floor to catch the rain, the woodburner or boiler in the middle of the room which we weren't allowed too near, the sliding door which divided the huge space into two classrooms, the little triangular playground above street level, and nature walks to Bury Green. I was christened at St Helens Church, and remember Harvest Festivals being held in the church, the Christmas Carol Concerts, and going to church for school assembly on Thursday mornings. My most surprising memory, by today's standards, was that Mr Parkes smoked at his desk in the classroom - and no-one batted an eyelid!!
Names I remember from St Helens are Ghislaine Walker, Heather Clarke, Jayne Seymour, Sandra Culpitt, Tian Cappy, Debbie Holpin, Debbie Smith, John Beckett, Andrew Hurst, Graham Harry, plus others who, try as I might, I can only remember christian names - Carolyn, Caroline, Denise, Janet, Paul.
EVENTS - I remember the demolition of the railway bridge after the station had closed, and the demolition of the farm on the corner of Marford Road the The Hill - which I think made the evening news, as there was a preservation order on the building?
SHOPS - I clearly remember all the shops - all detailed already by previous ex-pat contributors! - but particularly the chemist, Halls the bakers, where we used to get free stale bread to throw to the swans on the river which ran under the building, the Doctor's surgery with its dark waiting room where no-one ever spoke, the wool shop, Stewarts the tailors, where my dad got his suits made, the Salad Bowl, the hardware store, and Stimpson Lock & Vince the estate agents, where I used to clean, once a week, for the princely sum of £2.50! I also cleaned the offices upstairs, and I think I earned £4 in total. I remember the Marford Road shop, at the top of Necton Road, where as a youngster, I'd take my mum's shopping list in, and they'd deliver her order to the door later that day. As a teenager, I'd buy my cigarettes there!
SCHOOL DINNERS - I have fond memories of St Helen's school dinners - Jamie Oliver would have approved, I'm sure. My mum was a dinner lady for a while, and remembers Lizzie Latchford, the head cook, and her daughter Margaret Drewett. I THINK I remember there being two Drewett boys at St Helens, and that one died in a tragic accident.
I left St Helens for the Girls' Grammar in St Albans in 1973, and as I said earlier, we left the village for Gloucester in 1978. I hold very fond memories of my Wheathampstead childhood.
Regards to anyone who remembers me; apologies to those I've omitted to mention!
Kim Lewis (nee Jackson) e-mail :
From Paul Langford
Found your web site very interesting, wonderful for the nostalgic
I was a teacher at Wheathampstead Secondary School 1966 to 1971 responsible for Environmental Studies and Head of Casio House. Beryl & I had a very happy time in the village joining in many of the activities then available. We also helped with Scouts & Cubs. We still hear from one or two old pupils and one parent each Christmas.
Leaving in 1971 I became Deputy Principal of the London Borough of Newham's Outdoor Education Centre where I remained until I retired in 1993. We still live in the village. I visited Wheathampstead in 2000 to take photographs of the village to compare with those I took in 1968. Very little had changed in the photographs except the Railway Inn, later The Abbot John ( my local ) has gone to make way for the roundabout on the bypass!! I have a photograph of the old railway bridge being dismantled, about 1968.
Paul Langford email -
Jean Collen (nee Campbell).
I was interested to discover your website. I taught music and drama at Wheathampstead Secondary School from 1966 to 1968 and have fond memories of the children I taught. My colleague, Vera Brunskill was a flautist and had a recorder group. She and I taught ourselves the guitar and worked with groups of children who were keen to learn the instrument in the days when the Beatles were all the rage. I have a recording of a number of the "children" who were keen enough to give up their break to come in to the music room to work at their singing. In particular I remember Reginald Dyke and Denis Andrews, who sang duets together, Sheila Faulkner, Mary Rose and Jeannette Wright.
I directed several plays at the school and enjoyed the improvised drama classes, where everyone let their imaginations run wild, although imagination was often tempered with TV series of the time, notably 'Till Death Us Do Part'!
During the time I was there the school was officially opened by the Queen Mother. (Click image on left to see larger version and use the 'Back' icon on browser to return here) We all spent a great deal of time practicing our curtsies for the moment when the headmaster, Mr JD Thomas would present us to the Queen Mother. Her private secretary came to the school several months before her visit to ascertain what she would discuss with each person being presented to her.
Although I am British by birth, I had lived in South Africa and had studied singing with Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, who were living in Johannesburg at that time. I was told that the Queen Mother would discuss South Africa and my association with Anne and Webster, whose singing she had always enjoyed.
The day of the visit was very exciting for staff and students alike. The music pupils played and sang "Cheelo Cheelo", a South African folk song, for the Queen Mother in the school library. I still have several photographs of us in that performance, and being presented to her afterwards. She was very charming and I'm sure everyone who was present will remember that memorable day thirty-six years ago.
I returned to South Africa in 1968, where I met my husband and married in 1970. I kept in touch with some of the children for a while, and with Vera Brunskill until the early 1990s. I was sorry to hear that the school in Butterfield Road is no longer there, as it began with great promise and had so many wonderful open-hearted children and staff.
It would be lovely to hear from anyone who remembers me or the days at Wheathampstead Secondary School all those years ago.
Jean Collen (nee Campbell) email -
Minton (nee Dixon)
Our family moved to Tudor Road from London when I was 6 months old in 1961 to what was then 14 Tudor Road; some more houses were built and ours became no 24. I remember playing with my 2 sisters in the the unmade road where there were plentiful puddles and and mud pies to be made. We lived next door to the Redwoods who said I should never walk past their gate again - I was about 5! Our other next door neighbours had a Cortina Mark I and lots of people envied it including us! Opposite us lived the Jowatt family and and next to them a family with 3 boys younger than us [one of whom - Alan who was autistic profile, but liked snails?] Next to them but one lived the Hollands. Mr Holland was a maths teacher who wrote maths books and taught at Sandridge junior school. They had an only daughter Elizabeth who was quite a few years older than myself. She was very good a knitting and I still have a tiny knitted jacket that my girls use for their dolls. She even won guess the name of the doll at the library Betty when it was Betty Lou and she gave it to me! Ttowards the end of the road there lived the Daltons and the Roberts family - one of their sons was called Robert. Parked near them was the owner of a bubble car - what a great site to see this vehicle going by negotiating the puddles!. At the entrance of the Road lived identical twin boys whose names elude me at this precise moment - they always wore the same clothes. Another family who moved in to No. 7 were Doreen and Douglas who had 2 boys I think and were into Woodcraft. A Scottish family with 3 boys moved down from Scotland and lived in a house about halfway down. They had plenty of comics that I read/devoured and they taught us naughty words!
My mum was friendly with Mrs Fuller who lived in Necton Road and she had a glass clock which fascinated me. The dustcart was old fashioned and the men used to ride on the back and there were always deliveries of coal. We used to love going to the Devil's Dyke and usually Elizabeth would take us and we would see if we could find blue, pink and white bells. We love running down and then up the other side of the dyke - what freedom. I remember going quite often down to the farm across the main road with our parents for walks via the pub. The farm was opposite a nice house where the Hicksons used to live [they moved to Rugby]. There was Rosalind and Hal and an older boy with dark hair. They might have been one of the first families to have a Hygena kitchen. My Mum is still friends with the Randall family who lived in the house with the steep drive down - they now live in Old Welwyn. Nicholas and Emily were the same age as us.
My sisters and I went to St. Helens school. I started with Mrs Lefevre, Ms Rose, Mrs Bailey and then Mrs Mc Nally - I loved that school with the bucket/pails to catch the rain from the leaking roof. Mrs Baileys class had toffee glue in red pots with white lids and I learned to tie knots. We read Little Black Sambo stories and made Easter cards of chicks with screwed up pieces of crepe paper. In my class I remember Carol Barrie, Katherine [Butterfield Rd?] Carolyn Olney, Ian? Whattaker, Vincent and Jasmine, My Mum was friendly with the Munday family who lived in a new house just up from the school - Jeremy Alan and Nicholas were the sons - all older than my sisters and I. I remember going to the Harvest Festivals with the school with home made bread and also the blind man who came to tune the piano at the school. My Dad used to go to work in London using the Wheathampstead station before it was closed down - very Victorian and lovely so it was. I remember going to the Dr Ackroyd's surgery in the village and getting injections and remembering how the surgery smelt of strange things - he had half moon glasses and was very old then. I remember the Chemists and the sweetie shop just up from their opposite where the new Fine Fare was. In there you could get jamboree bags, Bimbo comics and 3D lollies that came in chocolate or lime. I could go on for hours recounting lots of memories like blackberry picking on Nomansland Common with all the gorse bushes and picnics etc. I enjoyed reading the other tales too.
We left Wheathampstead in October 1968 to live in a larger house in St. Albans. None of us are there either any more! I last visited W'stead about 10 yrs ago; Newcastle is a long way away!
Zoe Minto nee [Dixon]
I was born in St Albans 1962. and lived in 1 High Ash Road, probably until I was around 8 or 10. Then I moved away with my parents to Leicester. I remember cutting through the churchyard to go to the store on the high street. My mother would give me a threepence to get a mars bar. I remember fishing for those little fish (stickleback?) in the river near the pub. One day the Queen was to drive through the village and, all the school children including myself would line the sides of the road, waving union jacks. I recall walking home from school in the snow. At the end of High Ash road, was fields that led to the commons I think. I recall having a hiding place in one of the trees there. Now I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I was browsing and found this site. Quite amazing.
So long ago now. :)
I was born in 1959 and lived in Wheathampstead until 1980 when I moved away and got married. I lived in a 27ft. caravan at the bottom of Sheepcote Lane, which the Cory Wright Way now cuts across. Our caravan was on a strip of privately owned land across the ford and up a driveway bordered by tall lombardy poplar trees, all long gone now, although it seems new different trees have been planted. Our caravan was the fifth of five and right at the top of the drive, neighbours to our landlords who were the Watts family. I lived next door to Renshaw, Mark, Graham and Stephanie. Mrs. Watts was extremely kind to us when we lived there and I can remember she allowed my sister Heather (two years younger than me) and myself to play on their lawn and to ride her children's bicycles. On one occasion we swam in their pool, and sometimes we had a go on the zip-line which hung from a tall tree at the end of their lawn and allowed us to ride down it to the bottom. We also played with their collie dog called Shadow, but mostly we played at the edge of the river which ran at the bottom of the land behind the caravan, and roamed the fields and climbed trees. I was a total tomboy. There was no one else about and nothing but trees and birds and the cows in the fields, so with no television or music I lived very much with my imagination.
We did not have any modern conveniences or electricity (until 1974) and life was very tough for my poor Mother, washing our clothes by hand and filling our water tank with a hosepipe from the tap in the garden. We had a chemical toilet which needed emptying each week, and she had to go in to the village almost every day because meat, milk and butter had to be kept on the air vent in the floor, so food wouldn't keep. Cooking was on a small gas stove and heating was from two paraffin heaters which also served to dry the washing when it was hung on a clothes-horse in front of them. There was a coal fire in the caravan but it burned the side of the water tank after about ten years so we couldn't use it.
My Mother had come to England from West Berlin after the war as a Housekeeper on a four year visa. She met my Dad, who was English, they got married in 1955 and so she stayed in England. I never met my German relatives although I got to know them through my Mother's descriptions and photos. We lived in our caravan until the by-pass came and then we were housed at 12, Saxon Road. I found this a very traumatic experience, being almost sixteen at the time and never having lived in a house before, suddenly to be surrounded by other houses with no fields, trees and river outside. I had nightmares for years ( still do) about trying to get back to the caravan and not being able to quite get there due to something terrible happening each time.
I can remember playing with Rosalind Hickson who lived in a house almost opposite Marford Farm, at the bottom of Sheepcote Lane, next to what was then a Potato yard. Rosalind had red wavy hair and freckles. Her older brother was called Nicholas and he had a bicycle which he sometimes let me ride a short way. Their younger brother was called Hal, and he was very fair. I can remember clearly one day when Rosie's parents were out, at work I think, and we ( Rosalind, my sister Heather and I) went back to her house. There was a Cadbury's chocolate and orange-squash dispensing machine in their house and we were able to get chocolate bars and plastic cups of squash from it, which we thought was heaven. We played a game with a lipstick and no mirror, then we dressed up in wonderful clothes from a huge dressing-up trunk and Rosie (Rosalind) put 'Lily-The-Pink' on the record player very loudly, and we danced all around the house, ran upstairs and jumped up and down to the music on a bed (which I think was Nicholas' bed) and swung from a rope ladder which was hanging from the ceiling above the bed! That record is always associated in my mind with that wonderful memory.
The entrance to the yard on Sheepcote Lane was directly opposite the entrance to Marford Farm. Two alsatian dogs called Bamby and Kim were kept loose in the Potato yard and would rush out on to Sheepcote land and bark and chase anyone passing by. They did this regularly and it wasn't until after they had bitten me on the backs of my legs and my parents had called the police, that we discovered I wasn't the first person who had been bitten, so in the end I think they were 'put down'. I had a phobia of dogs for years after I was bitten. I was absolutely terrified. I was fourteen or fifteen when they attacked me. I was walking along on the pavement near the farm entrance, and I realised they were coming for me and I knew not to run or scream, I stayed calm but they still attacked me.
Mr. Lamb and his family lived at Marford Farm. I can remember his daughter Carol. My sister and I used to help Mr. Lamb by swilling out the yard with water to prevent the cow pats sticking to the concrete, then running to the field to shake the chain on the gate and shout to the cows. The cows came running to the gate as they were ready for milking and Heather and I herded them up the lane, over the ford and in to the farm yard, where each cow knew her own place to go in the milking stalls. We also fed the calves, who had the same names as their Mothers with a number attached, but the next number up from their Mothers. It was terrible to hear the Mother of a calf call endlessly for about two days her calf after it was taken away from her.
I attended the Infants school, St. Helens school near Bury Green in 1965. My Mother held me back a year as she didn't feel I was ready for school aged five, so I was six when I started school. It was a long walk. I clearly remember being greeted and welcomed in to the classroom by Alison Palfreyman on my very first morning. I remember teachers vaguely, names more than people. There was Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. McNally, and I know the names Mr. Hayes and Mr. Price, although I can't remember much about them. I believe it was Mrs. Bailey who made me stand on a chair for something I had done wrong or had not done correctly, but I don't know what. When I told my Mother she came to the school with me and told the teacher in front of all the children that she did not send her daughter to school to stand on chairs! She must have been very angry as it took a lot for her to do something like that. We used to line up and hold hands in pairs and march in a crocodile over to the Church where we sat on the hard wooden pews and sang hymns. I loved going in St. Helens Church. I have since been back in there twice, for my parents funeral services. They are now together in a double grave by the path from the lych gate. The wonderful Reverend Jill Hazelwood conducted both services, my Father's in 1992 and my Mother's in 2003.
In the Junior school over the road from the Infants, I remember Mr. Parkes who sometimes shouted and got impatient, which made me scared because I was quite timid, and Mr. Sharpe who was very nice. In Mr. Parkes' class I can remember Denise Gilham drawing beautiful pictures in yellow or red abstract forms which resembled exotic birds, and which greatly impressed Mr. Parkes. In Mr. Sharpe's class I can remember he staggered our desks boy-girl-boy-girl in an attempt to prevent talking. I had Jeremy Raine one side of me. We were made to drink those little bottles of milk, which I hated. In winter they sometimes had ice in the milk but we were still supposed to drink it as fast as we could, if we wanted it or not. I remember Julia Willis who played the piano in the class room and we all crowded round as she played it so beautifully, and she must only have been about ten at the time. One snowy day some one threw a snow ball with a stone in it at Annette Drewitt, and I can remember the shock of the blood running down her head through her hair. Mr. Sharpe was furiously trying to discover who had thrown it, and the class was crowding around Annette to stare at her. I was friends with Sharon Flitton who lived on Lower Luton Road, and her Mother invited me back to their house for tea once and I was over-whelmed by the lovely selection on the table, as we never had that much, and she kept coaxing me to eat more and I couldn't!
I moved up to the Secondary Modern School on Butterfield Road in 1971 when I was eleven. It is true to say that I hated it. I didn't fit in, found it hard to make friends and was a bit of a loner. I got called 'Gippo' because I lived in a caravan, and couldn't find anything much in common with others my age because we didn't have a television or a record player so I had no idea what was No.1 in the charts or who was on Top of The Pops. Also my clothes probably appeared shabby, and I was extremely self conscious so I was a target for bullies. I can remember Giselle Battin who came to school for a while, with her wonderful French accent, because she was nice to me and we sometimes walked to school together or home together, as she lived at Water End House which was en-route past our drive way. Giselle had a very long walk. It was about a mile and a half to two miles from our caravan to her home, and nearly a mile to school as well. She had to walk across the fields after I said 'Goodbye' to her from the end of our drive. It would not be safe today, but that was 1971 and it seemed much safer back then. I did not have many friends but I saw her as one of them. Then one day she was gone! She had moved away.
I was friends with Carin Berriman who was very artistic, and she had very blonde almost white hair, also Lyn Osbourne who lived with her parents and brother Peter? in a house one of a pair of houses at the far end of Tudor Road. Then there was Sigma Robertson and her cousin Betsy, who had an infectious laugh, and Susan Collier. Pauline Rolfe was my friend when we were fourteen. Sometimes she took Susan and myself back to her house at lunch time where we gave her our dinner money and she put the chip pan on and cooked us eggs and chips which were delicious! Pauline lived with her Dad and I think also her brother. One day Pauline asked me if she could tell me something and would I not laugh at at her. I told her I wouldn't. She then told me her Mum had come in to her room the night before and tucked her up in bed and said 'Goodnight' to her. She explained that she was frightened in case in happened again, because her Mum had been dead several years, so it was her ghost and she was scared. I told her that her Mum loved her and that if it happened again, all she had to do was say 'Goodnight' back to her, because it was only her Mum and nothing to be afraid of as her Mum loved her and would never hurt her. ( I never knew her Mother but I felt my advice must be true.) Shortly after that, Pauline died, I believe it was from leukemia. She had always been very pale and tired. Looking back, I believe her Mother came for her. I saw her on the Friday at school and on Monday they announced it in assembly. I couldn't get over the shock. I was in shock for weeks. She must have been fourteen. I still think of her quite a lot.
I remember Miss Finnegan who taught the girls P.E. and Mr. Oxley who taught the boys. I hated P.E. although I liked netball, because I was mortified having to undress naked in front of others to take a shower afterwards. I had very long hair so I used to hang my hair down over my front like lady Godiver to hide myself, I was so embarrassed. Others weren't bothered, I think it was just me. There was Mr. Gerry Barber who taught English. David Sneddon taught Art, which was my favourite subject. (I now have my art work for sale on an artgallery website.)
I left in school in 1976 and worked in Wheathampstead Engineering Co. on Southdown road, Harpenden. I walked there and back, quite far. Later I worked at other places but ended up at Murphy Chemicals in the High Street and finally Timberland, which was a D.I.Y. store opposite Murphys. Then I got engaged and moved away. I now live in Mid Wales and have four grown up sons. I still get home sick for Wheathampstead, especially the area where our caravan used to be.
People I remember in school;
Pauline Rolfe who lived on Brewhouse Hill,
The pictures show the caravan I have described which I grew up in; me with my sister on the back step and me aged ten standing in the doorway of our caravan, as it used to look, in 1969.
My name is Brian
I was born in Wheathampstead in 1952, but we moved to St. Albans the following year. I was Baptised in St. Helen's Church and my father is buried there. My mother's ashes were scattered on his grave.
Whenever I am in the area, (not often as I live in Yorkshire) I return to the grave. I have also been to look at the house I was born in on Conquerors' Hill.