Were you at Berridge?

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3 hours ago, Mess said:

I was at Forest Fields Grammar 1961-6 and several lads from my year had been at Berridge. I recall seeing a grainy picture on FriendsReunited a few years back that featured them.

The names I recall are Alan Allcock,  Nicholas Clark, David Jepson and Keith Brown aka Hovis.

Alan Allcock deserves a special mention because he was such a high performer. He went on to Cambridge, became a doctor and set up a practice in Portsmouth. His daughters are both dentists and work there too.

Sorry if I've posted this before but my short term memory is quite dodgy these days. 

Hi Mess.

It would see that I more or less followed you as I started there 66/67. I hated my time there. Early on I was ill and I got behind particularly in maths which I would have needed for the science I had in mind and just lost heart. It was quite intense and hard work and in truth I also discovered that I preferred girls and motorbikes (I had one on private land at when I was 13) to homework and couldn’t wait to escape FFGS. Left at 15 with no qualifications. The only name you mention above is Jepson. Could have been this one or a brother maybe. I’ve done pretty well since although blighted with health issues now.

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Through this door...and it's the original, although painted black in my day...I walked with my mum one cold morning early in 1962. I was just 4 years old. The door led to Miss Smith's office and my mu

Sitting on this exact spot, facing the stationery cupboard in Mr Parr's classroom, in spring 1969, I sat my 11+ exam.

The junior entrance as it was in 1969.

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Hi Letsavagoo,

Thanks for your reply.

I quite enjoyed my time at FFGS although like you I was thoroughly distracted by girls and guitars when I was 15 and left with just 3 “O” levels. I did much better at college and later Uni and carved out a respectable career as a chemist in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Over the years I've come across many blokes who struggled at school for many reasons but who then went on to do well with their lives and careers. As the song says “It's not where you start it's where you finish”

I think David Jepson may have had a younger brother. I'll ask him next time I'm in touch with him on FB.

I think Jill remembers Nicholas Clark because his mum and dad ran the Post Office on Gregory Boulevard. He took over when his parents stood down but I believe he's retired now too.

Sorry to hear about your health issues. I hope things improve for you.

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The Letsavagoo team take on the last photo is as follows:


Standing L to R 

Gary Humphries, ?,?,?, Jeff Warren, Jean Edis, Hubert Oliver, Denise Roper, Carol Lamb, Susan Wilkie, Jennifer Dench, Jeff English, ?, Malcom Flowers,?,?, ?, Pauline Cross, Hyacinth Gayle.



Jeremy Whitchurch, Charles Haskey, Keith Hudson,?,? Shirley Wilkinson, Jill Madden, Carol Gray, ?,?.

Sat at front.

Karen Pullen we think, Kevin Noon (killed on motorbike years ago).


Any other suggestions are welcome!

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1965/66 Berridge Infants class.  Taken in the infant hall before the infant department moved into the main building.


I'd say these are the equivalent of today's Year 1.  I'm intrigued by the teacher on the left, who is clearly pregnant.  I had just gone into the juniors at this time and I have no idea who she was.


This photo was originally posted by Chris Widdowson.  Front row (seated), extreme left, is Jacqueline Marshall, the youngest of the Marshall children who lived at the railway crossing house at Bobbers Mill.


Ricky Smith is also somewhere on this photo.  Presumably, the female on the right is a student.

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I misinformed Jill as Ricky Smith is not on this one. However I recognise Mandy Shipman 5th along L to R seated row with her hands clasped. Her elder brother Terry was in my class. She doesn’t recall the teacher but is going to see who else she can name.

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When I first saw this, I thought the teacher was Miss Stockill but it couldn't be her. Stockill didn't get married until the 1970s and the woman on this photo is clearly expecting. Those were not the days when unmarried teachers had children!


Infant teachers tended to be young, unmarried women who usually gave up the job once they married and became pregnant, leading to a fairly high turnover of staff.   Those who stayed the course were teachers like Hilda Smith who never married.

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19 hours ago, Mess said:

Jill remembers Nicholas Clark because his mum and dad ran the Post Office on Gregory Boulevard. He took over when his parents stood down but I believe he's retired now too.

I certainly remember his dad, Mess. For some reason, I was terrified of him and refused to go into the Post Office. On one occasion, he came out to talk to me and I screamed blue murder. My mum was mortified!


My sister was at school with Nicholas. Letsavagoo has just acquired an interesting photo which we need to date but I think I've spotted a very young Su Pollard who was my sister's best friend for decades. If I'm correct, there may be some of those Berridge boys on there, too.

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I’ve recently made contact with an ex Berridge boy, Phil Colver. He was the year above me so a pupil between 1958-1965.

He has sent me all his class year photos and has given consent to post them here. There are 7 photos below representing one classes journey through the school. Phil has supplied a long list of all the names he can remember which Jill now has and she will add the list below this post, no doubt amended with any additions she has wheedled out. Thanks to Phil for taking the time to take the time to record them for us.

First year infants. Miss Staton.


Second year infants. Miss Granger



Third year infants. Mrs Jones.


First year juniors. Mrs Taylor.



Second year juniors. Miss Clark (not shown)


Third year juniors. Miss Stockill.



Forth year juniors. Mr Turner.



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First photo 1958/9  Teacher, Miss Staton


Back row:  unknown, Steven Harriman, Roman Andiasko* , Russell surname unknown, Georgina Shoebridge, Billy Hawksley, unknown, Julie surname unknown, David Wakefield, unknown, unknown, unknown


Next row: Barrie Read, Philip Bond,  unknown, Colin Prest, David Wright, Philip Colver, unknown, unknown, Georgina Shoebridge, Colin surname unknown, Janice Earnshaw, unknown


Next row: Unknown, Marion Purnell, Bernice Forest,  unknown, unknown, Ricky Sheard, unknown, unknown, Michael Searcy, Linda Turner, unknown, Steven O'Brien, unknown


Seated  Andrew Smith.


*unsure about the identity of this child.


 Georgina Shoebridge listed twice.


Second photo. 1959/60 Teacher, Miss Grainger


Back row: Tim Madden, Russell surname unknown, Steven Birkin,  unknown, Roman Andiasko*, unknown,  David Wakefield, Colin Smith


Next row: Barrie Read,  Philip Bond, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, Alan Smith, Philip Colver


Next row: unknown, unknown unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, Maria Melnichenko


Seated:  Steven O'Brien,  Dennis Thompson, unknown, Ricky Sheard.


*identity of this child is uncertain



Photo 3. 1960/1. Teacher Mrs Jones


Back row:  Roman Andiasko*, Colin Bosworth, Dennis Wakefield,  John Scrimshaw,  Philip Colver, Alan Smith, Keith surname unknown, Stephen Birkin,  Barrie Read


Next Row:  Tim Madden,  unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, Patricia Preston, Georgina Shoebridge, unknown, Trevor Holmes


Next row: Linda Turner, Maria Melnichenko, unknown, Georgina Shoebridge, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown


Next row:  Russell surname unknown,  David Talbot, Colin Prest,  Michael York, Dennis Thompson,  Ricky Sheard,  Steven O'Brien


* identity of child uncertain.


Georgina Shoebridge is listed twice.



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By way of some background information before I list the Junior photos.


These children were born between September 1953 and August 1954.


Philip Colver, who originally posted this series of his school photos, was a contributor to the 1984 Berridge Centenary booklet:


"My main recollections of Berridge are from my last two years in the juniors, such as the trip to see the circus on the Forest and the day out out with Miss Stockill at a farm near Newark.


 The older boys got to play football at Nuthall Road and, in retrospect, it is one of my major regrets that I couldn't go with them. I suffered from asthma and my mother and the doctor considered such a hectic activity would have a bad effect on me.  I had to stay behind and do work instead.  


It was after more time off school that I came back and found I was to sit the 11-plus that day.  A few months later, an envelope was handed to each of us with the results inside.  This we were to hand to our parents.  I hadn't the courage to face my mum, so I posted it through the letterbox and ran off.


Fortunately, it was good news and I subsequently took a place at Forest Fields Grammar School. 


The secondary boys left at the end of my third year but we had so little contact with them that we wouldn't really have been aware but for the fact that we now took over their yard at play times.


I was one of four boys, supposedly considered sensible, who daily took around the crates of milk to each class. We did the job well all year until the last day when because of a moment's carelessness, I dropped a crate. So I finished at Berridge not so much with egg on my face as milk on my shoes."


Source-  Berridge The Schools' First Hundred Years. Published 1984.

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Photo 4. 1961/2.  


Back row:  Colin Bosworth,  unknown,  Dennis Rockley, David Wright,  Roman Andiasko*,  Philip Colver,  unknown, unknown, Alan Smith, John Stamper.


Next row:  Dennis Thompson,  Stephen O'Brien,  David Talbot,  unknown, Georgina Shoebridge, Cheryl Taylor,  unknown, Patricia Preston,  unknown, Colin Smith,  Trevor Holmes, Peter Pavier, Stephen Harriman, Ricky Sheard


Next row:  Marion Jesson, unknown, unknown, unknown, Janice Earnshaw, Maria Melnichenko,  unknown, Linda Turner, Bernice Forest.


*identity uncertain



Photo 5 1962/3.  

Back row: Michael Searcy,  unknown, Robert Raynor,  Tim Madden,  Billy Hawksley, unknown, Peter Freestone,  Richard Green,  Philip Colver,  Dennis Rockley, Colin smith, unknown.


Next row:  Barrie Read,  Colin Prest,  Angela Green, Pat Howatson, Patricia Green, Patricia Preston,  Mary Wilson, Linda Turner,  Julie surname unknown,  Janice Earnshaw, Stephen Harriman,  unknown.


Next row:  unknown, unknown,  Cheryl Taylor, Cath Smith,  Georgina Shoebridge,  unknown, unknown,  Marion Jesson, Audrey Wilson,  unknown, Maria Melnichenko.


Seated:  Dennis Thompson,  Stephen O'Brien, Ricky Sheard.

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Photo 6  1963/4. Teacher Miss G M Stockill  

Back row:  Dennis Thompson,  Tim Madden, Robert Raynor,  Peter Freestone, Richard Green, Billy Hawksley, John Stamper,  Barrie Read,  Michael Searcy,  Stephen O'Brien


Next row:   Ricky Sheard, unknown,  Cheryl Taylor, Julie surname unknown,  unknown, Patricia Preston,  Mary Wilson,  unknown, Angela Green,  unknown, Georgina Shoebridge.


Next row: unknown, unknown, unknown,  Janice Earnshaw,  Pat Howatson,  unknown, Patricia Green,  unknown,  Marion Jesson,  Maria Melnichenko.


Photo 7. 1964/5. Teacher, Mr. Turner


Back row:   Stephen Harriman,  Tim Madden,  Robert Raynor, Richard Green,  Peter Freestone, Dennis Rockley,  Billy Hawksley, John Stamper.


Next row:  Kevin Ely, Cath Smith, Patricia Preston,  Parveen Mirza,  Mary Wilson,  Julie surname unknown,  Cheryl Taylor, Billy Hawksley.


Next row:  Audrey Wilson,  Marion Jesson,  Angela Green, Georgina Shoebridge,  Pat Howatson, Janice Earnshaw, unknown,  Maria Melnichenko.


Seated: Dennis Thompson,  Stephen O'Brien,  Michael Searcy,  Barrie Read,  Ricky Sheard, Colin Prest.


Billy Hawksley is listed twice.

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On 9/1/2020 at 1:06 PM, Jill Sparrow said:

I certainly remember his dad, Mess. For some reason, I was terrified of him and refused to go into the Post Office. On one occasion, he came out to talk to me and I screamed blue murder. My mum was mortified!


My sister was at school with Nicholas. Letsavagoo has just acquired an interesting photo which we need to date but I think I've spotted a very young Su Pollard who was my sister's best friend for decades. If I'm correct, there may be some of those Berridge boys on there, too.

IIRC Nicholas Clark's dad wore wire rimmed specs and was bald as an egg which may explain why you were so alarmed as a child. He was actually a very nice bloke and one morning in 1967 gave me a lift to People’s College when the 43 bus was late and I was due to sit an important exam.

Strangely his wife always reminded me of Petula Clark.
Nicholas and his older brother Chris both attended Forest Fields Grammar and went on to uni.

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He was indeed a nice chap, Mess, and he loved children. I don't know why I didn't like him. I had older relatives who were bald so I doubt it was that.


My overriding memory of that post office...I did go in on occasions...was the perfume emanating from the right hand area where all the birthday cards were kept. Cards in those days were often scented and, even though most were kept in large brown cardboard boxes behind the counter, there was a display rack which I always made a point of sniffing!  The same smell pervaded the newsagents at the bottom of Bobbers Mill Road, mixed with the aroma of newspapers and magazines. Quite unforgettable!

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Smells are remarkably evocative.

I vividly remember the smell in the newsagents/sweet shop on Ambergate Rd Beechdale where I bought my sweets as a youngster.

Talking of newsagents do you remember the large book full of little detachable receipts that the newsagent used to use when you paid for your papers you'd had delivered? What about the triangular bags they would use when you bought 2 oz of sweets? I remember somebody buying a half pound (8oz) of loose sweets once. The shopkeeper used a great big bag. Talk about envious lol.

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Yes, indeed, Mess. There was a bakery cum sweet shop just along from Mr Clarke's post office where my grandfather often bought me some dolly mixtures in such triangular bags. He often took me with him, in my pushchair, on a Thursday when he went to collect his pension from the post office!


I see that Mr Clarke was Charles W Clarke and his wife was Joan.  Did they live over the post office? I presume they resided somewhere in that area.

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Yes, the Clarke family lived above the Post Office in a very nice apartment which I visited on one or two occasions when meeting with Nicholas aka Nick on a Saturday lunchtime before going off to see Notts play at Meadow Lane. IIRC correctly they had a grand piano in their living room.

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I thought perhaps they did. The whole row of shops along there had at least three floors, so there would have been plenty of space.  I remember explaining to Mr Clarke on one occasion that I'd had a toy post office set for Christmas and my immense disappointment that it didn't contain the heavy wooden stamp used by real post office staff!  I did go in and converse with him on occasions!


I wanted one of those stamps for my pretend post office but not as greatly as I coveted one of the clunky date stamps from my beloved Hyson Green library across the road.


The only establishment in that area I steadfastly refused to enter was Beech's, opposite the old police station. It had one of those automated overhead cash systems and the noise terrified me.  Fine Fare's 1960s rubbish flat roofed structure was later built on the site.

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Not certain of the date, about 1967. Photo courtesy of Jeff English.


Back row L to R. Michael Chomyn, Robert Gilman, Malcolm Flowers, Jeffrey English, ?, ?, ?, ?

Front row. ?, ?, Jeremy Whitchurch, ?, Lindsay Webster, Steven Wheat, ?, Robert Wyer.


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