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Letter: Who Remembers Stoke School?

Published on: 11 Oct, 2018
Updated on: 11 Oct, 2018

From Tricia Gibb

In response to: Can You Help Solve Mysteries of Guildford Schools’ History?

My maiden name was Tricia Mandeville and I attended Sandfield Infant School from around 1948 and then onto Sandfield Girls School until aged 11 when I transferred to Stoke C of E Secondary Modern in Markenfield Road.

Having looked at various websites I seem unable to find any information about Stoke School. I realise this School has now closed but would love to find out more about the pupils and teachers that were there when I was during the period 1954 until 1959.

I remember an art master named Mr Hall, the headmaster a Mr Cross and headmistress Miss Gregory, who was a formidable lady.

She tried to arrange an opera based on the poem The Lady of Chalotte and we were all so happy to sing it. Unfortunately, it was abandoned and I am not sure why, maybe due to Miss Gregory’s ill health.

In my year I remember a Ruth Todd, Eileen Stevenson, Clare Squibb, Wendy Baker, Penelope Puttock, and often wonder what happened to them and also many others.

Can anyone help with their memories or information?

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Responses to Letter: Who Remembers Stoke School?

  1. Christine Culley (nee Boxall) Reply

    October 12, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I would like to respond to Tricia Gibb. I too have searched various internet sites hoping to find some information regarding Stoke School.

    The teachers I recall are as follows:
    Mr Leaver – French/English/Bookkeeping
    Mrs Ferguson – Domestic Science
    Mr Cross – Headmaster
    Miss Gregory – Headmistress/Sewing/Singing
    Mr Strong – History
    Mr Fell – Woodwork
    Mr Hall – Art/Geography
    Miss ?? – PE/Games
    Mr Pawley – Music (and hitting one’s knuckles with a ruler!)

    As to fellow pupils, your surname rings a bell but, at present, a face escapes me. I do remember quite clearly the following:
    Clare Squib
    Freda Adams
    Pauline Saville
    Julie ??
    Kathleen Burrows
    Janet Howarth
    Rosemary (Leach?)
    Christine Holmes
    Leon (?)

    I did find an article, way back, which mentioned there had been a “Reunion” but have no details.

    I should love to be in contact so that we could compare memories so do feel free to use my e-mail address. I’m living in Wimborne Minster, Dorset.

    If Ms Gibb contacts us We will try and put you both in touch, directly. Ed

    • Ray Hawes Reply

      November 10, 2020 at 3:33 pm

      I remember Clare Squib in my class. The form teacher was Fred Leaver, I think.

      I now live in Sturminster Newton not far from you in Wimborne, I believe.

      Do you know Douglas Downes? He sat next to me for a time. He was a ventriloquist and used to perform at Stoke School occasionally.

      It would be interesting to hear of others who attended Stoke including most of the teachers I remember.

      Brian Bentley was quite a close friend. He and I travelled in a Ford Anglia all the way to Italy. We visited Rome and Pompei. It was a very interesting and enjoyable trip despite having to rough it whilst camping.

      • Tony Widmer Reply

        May 11, 2022 at 2:54 pm

        I think I was probably at Stoke same time as you. Were you at Sandfield? Did you know Douglas Downes? He lived at one time, if I remember correctly, on Cypress Road, Bellfields. He became a singer, called himself Steve Perry and had a minor hit in the mid-60s with a song called, I think, Gennie Come Lately.

        I am in touch with one or two of the Sandfield and Stoke old boys. Gary Broad, John Etherington, Paul Fairmaner, John and George Trask.

        If you get this message please get in touch with us by responding to this comment.

  2. Michael Flowers Reply

    October 12, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Mr Hall died last year. He was in his nineties. Miss Williams is our last remaining teacher.

    Does Trisha Gibb live in Jersey?

  3. Rosemary Canning Reply

    October 12, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    I was at Stoke School. My name then was Rosemary Oldland, I left in 1957.

    I well remember Mr Cross, Mr Hall and Miss Gregory. I remember her working in a musical – I thought it was HMS Pinafore but that was cancelled due to ill health. Some of the costumes made for it were beautiful.

    There was Mr Leaver who taught English and French, and I think a Miss Williams who taught cookery (or Domestic Science).

    I have often wondered what happened to some of the other girls I knew back then, Heather Pratt, Stephanie Dinsley, Rosemary Greaves – I am still in touch with June Stemp – Liz Daniels and Janice Stenning are sadly no longer with us.

    I did have a video of the old school – I filmed it whilst at a wedding locally but unfortunately, someone borrowed it and wiped it clean – so now have no record of that lovely building. I have also tried to find out more on the internet without success.

    I know they held a couple of reunions which I didn’t find out about until it was too late. I would love to chat about the old school.

    We will alert Trisha Gib to this response, and others, and ask if she wishes her email address to be passed on to allow direct contact. Ed

    • Raymond (Ray) Hawes Reply

      April 10, 2020 at 10:27 am

      I remember just about joining Stoke C of E January 1954 Mr Cross, Miss Gregory, Mr Hall, Mr Fell, as well as Mr Pawley and Mr Leaver, both my form teachers.

      Brian Bettley, Richard Stemp, Clare Squib, Douglas Downes (ventriloquist), Roger Mattingley.

      Anybody else remember them?

      I recall standing on the school stage singing The Hippo Song “Mud, mud, glorious mud…” with my classmates on a quite unforgettable occasion in front of everybody.

      • Laura Mattingley Reply

        December 13, 2021 at 11:50 am

        You mention Roger Mattingley, he was my Dad 🙂

  4. Shirley West Reply

    October 13, 2018 at 8:25 am

    I have sent a photo of one of the reunions to David Rose at The Guildford Dragon. I hope he can put it on for you all.

    I am sure you will know a few faces. I was sorry to hear of Mr Hall passing.

  5. George Trask Reply

    October 13, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Lovely to see some response regarding Stoke school. I was there from 1950 to 1954/5. Did Tricia Gibbs, nee Mandeville, live in Drummond Road? I lived in Artillery Terrace just around the corner.

    You are right there have been some reunions, mainly organised by Mike Smart but of late there has been nothing I did hear that Mike had been unwell so maybe this is one of the reasons. One old pupil came to the reunion from as far away as Wales.

    The list of teachers is just about right but Mr (Harry) Fell taught maths and technical drawing, Miss Williams was the games mistress and as stated. Mike Flowers is the only one still with us and was at the last reunion. The woodwork master was Mr Tickner the cookery teacher was Mrs Crouch but I know she left before I did.

    I now live in Swindon but I am still in touch with lots of old school chums, both male and female. In fact, I have just returned from visiting Marion Boast who lives in Javea Spain. I usually visit her twice a year. Most of the ones I am in touch with left at the same time as me, but to mention a few: Mike Flowers, Barry Randell, Rodney Moore, Hazel Bayless, Maureen Ives, Yvonne Parker, George Childs, Shelia Childs, Maureen Ellis. There are others.

    I will contact Mike Smart to see what he can do about a reunion as it looks like there could be some of you that would like to meet up. Hope to see more letters on good old Stoke School and anyone who wants to contact me on my email address, so editor feel free to pass it on.

    • David Phillips Reply

      August 17, 2019 at 11:35 am

      I went to Stoke School 1950-52. I was a prefect.

      I remember David Wallis.

      I played in the Football team.

      I remember Mr Tickner, woodwork, a very hard teacher.

      Was Mr Bell PT teacher?

  6. Bernie Bedford Reply

    November 5, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    HI ex Stoke pupils. I lost touch with most when I lived abroad. No excuse but it was pre-email days. I now live in the Chilterns.

    I was at the school from 1951/56. Mike Flowers was there at the same time as was Mike Smart John Sherwood Bernie Daniels
    Christine Roker. Mike Flowers did contact me a few years ago but a catastrophe computer crash wiped the whole system. So Mike and anyone else please get in touch.

  7. George Budd (Edgington) Reply

    November 6, 2018 at 7:11 am

    I was at Stoke School, Markenfield Road from 1940-1949 and wondered if you received any emails from that era. I would be interested to hear of any more news re Stoke School.

  8. Paul Fairmaner Reply

    November 10, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    In casually scrolling through The Guildford Dragon NEWS, I was so pleased to come across recent past pupil memories of Stoke School in Markenfield Road.

    Now 74, my memories of putting faces to names is a little faded, but in reading the memories of other contributors brings some of those memories back.

    After leaving Sandfield School, I attended Stoke School until 1959. Whilst realising the passage of time has claimed some of past pupils and all of the teachers that were present during my time there, I understand that Mr Hall who taught art, a real gentleman who I remember always wore a blazer, has more recently passed away, having been fortunate to live into his nineties.

    Like most pupils, you always had your favourite teachers, mine were Harry Fell – maths, Mr Walker – science and Mr Slight – woodwork.

    On a change of tack, I am pleased to say that I still have regular contact with my old pal Nick Lintott a very talented signwriter and artist and occasional contact with Michael Took who is still the proprietor of the very best clock shop you can imagine.

    My sister, Christine Fairmaner also attended Stoke four years after me. I would be so pleased to hear from anybody that wishes to contact me by email: So editor please pass this on.

  9. Penelope Rehbein (nee Jeffree) Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    I attended Stoke Secondary School in 1959 for a few years before being sent off to Sheephatch Boarding School in Tilford for a year or so, and returned to Stoke c.1965.

    After about 58 years on Wednesday evening November 28 I attended a memorial gathering for the husband of a fellow bell ringer. I was absolutely stunned to find I was in the company of Margaret Edgington who I went to Stoke School with along with her brothers and other family relatives.

    I am hoping to be invited to attend next year’s reunion at Fairlands (which I understand may well be the last).

    A few of the other names I remember are: Christine Fairmanor, Shirley Pink, Eileen Pink, Rosemary and Linda Aish, Stella Childs (Sheila’s sister – I see Sheila regularly), Linda Cooper, Roger and Trevor Holt, Robert Tester, Bobby Summerfield, Malcolm Denyer, Raymond Atkins (who stabbed my bottom with a fork one dinner time when the D for silence was up and I got the cane).

    I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me. I’m on facebook Penelope Rehbein [nee Jeffree]. My mum and dad had The Live and Let Live pub in North Place.

    • Fred Sheffield Reply

      July 26, 2019 at 8:25 pm

      My mum and dad had the Rats Castle pub in Sydenham Road.

      We must have been at Stoke School about the same time.

      The names I remember are Clifford Holt, Robert Tester, John Cooper, Trevor Cass (my best mate), Terry Habgood, Mike Smith, Margaret Brider, Patrick Love, Peter Poloski and Albert Arbor.

      I was there from 1957 to 1961. Had some great times and l went on to have a five-year apprenticeship with H. G. Collins Builders in Down Road, Merrow, as a carpenter and joiner.

      I’m 73 now and live in Loxwood with my long time partner Pauline.

  10. George Trask Reply

    February 10, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Good news! Mike Smart has arranged a Stoke School reunion at Fairlands Community Centre, Fairlands Estate, Guildford on May 31, 2019, at 1900. I haven’t any more details, his wife put it on facebook.

    • Frank Ayling Reply

      April 25, 2019 at 3:13 am

      Hi Tricia. I just read your post I went to Stoke School from 1956 to 1960 and remember Mr Cross and Mr Hall and a Miss Liddell.

      I remember in the winter we used make an ice slide at playtime and it used to slope down to the steel fence. Great memories.

      In have lived in Adelaide, Australia, since 1970, but still get back to see family.

      Ny real name is Francis, but always known as Frank.

  11. Ruth Heelan (nee Todd) Reply

    July 30, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    I remember you as Pat Mandeville and others you’ve mentioned.

    I also remember Miss Gregory and the Lady of Shalott operetta, which was abandoned due to her illness.

    Anyone remember Mr Hammond?

    I am on facebook, if you want to contact me.

  12. Tony Widmer Reply

    January 30, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Have just seen this. I was at Sandfield Infant School from 1948 and then went to Stoke also at the same age as you Tricia!

    So we were probably in the same class at Sandfield Infants and Stoke!

  13. Helen Brown nee Rowe Reply

    September 8, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    I went to Stoke School for two years, 1959 to 1961 ‘ish.

    I remember Miss Gregory and her “1st years love tap” as it was described, if you were sent for a caning. I also remember performing in the Lady of Shalott.

    I do remember Mr Palmer the science teacher who sent me to be caned for kneeling on my stool. My favourite teacher at the time was the French teacher, Mr Lever. He used to give me a lift home as I lived near the grammar school where he picked up his son.

    Names I remember:
    Rachel ?
    Anita, (who played the piano by ear)
    Brenda Hall
    Michael Randall
    Mena Degrow

  14. Christine Frith Reply

    March 8, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    I wonder if anyone can help? I have a picture from when my mum Jean Baker was at school in 1951 in Guildford, I think it is Sandfield Infant School, possibly with a Ms Jerome as the Teacher. Would love someone to confirm this for me.

    Editor’s response: Please send tour picture to:

  15. John Ellis Reply

    November 2, 2023 at 12:04 am

    I went to Stoke School for three years before its closure in 1964. I lived in Stoke Fields and my parents owned the little corner store there. I lived opposite Ray Wallace and across the road from Alan Franklin, both pupils at Stoke.

    Teachers I remember: Harry Fell, Fred Lever, Mr Slight (Jock) who wielded a mean bamboo cane as I remember too well.

    Others I recall: my best friend Malcolm Denyer, Bob Summerfield, and Roger Holt who were the year bullies (probably nice guys now), Adrian Smith who protected us smaller kids from them and John Cant. I also remember Christine Fairmaner who I continued to see quite often after we left school, Sylvia Humphrey’s who I believe passed away in a car crash soon after leaving school and the twins Annette and Elizabeth Wishton.

    I can’t say I remember my school days with any great affection and was quite pleased when school was over.

    I do remember that on the last day before I left when the school was closing for good but they let us go a day early because there was a rumour there were some pupils who were going to trash the place. If that was true or not I don’t know.

    I have lived in Sydney Australia since 1976 and done Very well.

    Others can feel free to email me with their memories of Stoke School at:

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