YOUR MEMORIES: (most recently submitted at the top)
from Jane BODDY (nee Austin), at Pancake Lane School 1960-1966. (Posted 18 January 2012)
Jane has many happy memories of her time at Pancake Lane School. Her brother was also there from 1957 - 1963. She was in Mrs. Dutton's class at one time, and played an angel in the school nativity.
from Suzy FLINT (nee LYNTON-GREEN) at Pancake Lane School 1978-1986 - (Posted 24th June 2007)
Mr Statan who was the Headmaster then and Mrs Abbey who was the school secretary - bit scary.
The small swimming pool at the front of the building, opposite the hall (now filled in) and fogetting your towel. The long grass at the top of the school field and the trees which you were not supposed to play in. The hedges which separated the school field boundary from the lane which was also out of bounds but which everyone used to explore. The supposed haunted library with the kiln room attached. Making peppermint creams in the cookery room - next to the library. Piping hot custard in those blue ceramic bowls and Mrs Basserdoni (not sure of spelling) who threw my hairbrush into the big metal cylinder bins outside - as I was brushing my hair when I shouldn't have been. (I could go on all night :)
Suzy currently lives in Norfolk, and would be pleased to hear from anyone at Pancake Lane at the same time. Her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
from: Nicholas SMITH, at Pancake Lane School from 1968-1969 - (Posted 13th Sept 2006)
I was at Pancake Lane in 1968/9; the last year of primary school for me. I moved from Rickmansworth to 51, Delmar Avenue, and stayed in Leverstock Green, before moving to Boxmoor (1988), Harpenden (1996), and then to Woodnewton, Northants, in 2003.
I read Simon Grist's two submissions below with interest, as this was my class; being at the school for only a year, my memories are not so deeply ingrained! However, names I remember in particular are Andrew De Peyer (who was a long-time friend thereafter), Simon Grist, Andrew Britton, and a load of girls who my sister (Charlotte Smith) used to bring round to our house all the time (poor young and innocent boy that I was). This takes me to Hilary Russel's notes below, as I remember The Crystals and Charlotte's friends Hilary Russell, Lisa Slade, Melanie Brewer etc. I can vouch for the fact that 'I'd like to teach the world to sing' really was AWFUL!
My two brothers, Neil Smith and Simon Smith also attended Pancake Lane; they were in lower years than me, so were there for some time and may well be much better remembered than me.
I also remember Fiona Avery, who used to wait at the same bus-stop as me a few years later, and was absolutely gorgeous...but I barely dared speak to her!
I remember my roller skates with metal wheels that Simon refers to, which were state of the art at the time...believe me ! I remember a few of us (including Simon) buying one of those mega-experiment Chemistry sets and starting a Chemistry Club...which soon blew over.
As for school, I remember Mrs Bennett, and I was amused when learning her name on arriving in Leverstock Green for the very first time and driving through Bennett's End, which prompted the sort of remark a well brought up lad would say - 'Oh good'.
That said, I did very much enjoy my time at Pancake Lane. I remember sports day on the fields near Westwick, the Fete with all the 'midsummer murder' characters and events, and several very good friends, none of whom am I now in touch with
Anyone have contact with Andrew De Peyer (or his sister Jenny or brother Richard?), as I lost touch with him a short time after Oxford, when I think he went out to the West indies /came back and his house / land was sold off for a new housing estate, after his mother and father died?
Another quick school memory; We all had to sing 'Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree' to get in the choir /for the school production. I waited until last, so no-one else was around in the classroom...and dried -up / sang completely out of tune ! I got in anyway and actually had a good voice, unless someone writes back to tell me otherwise !
Lastly for now (but not with any malice) I remember Andrew Chandler, as he was very much the big-kid on the block at my secondary school, when we all went into different 'houses'. We met-up again at a 25th anninversary of secondary school, when I had forgotten about it, and I think I can more than stand my ground now (err..maybe!)
I'm running out of time now, so I may well update again / look -in from time to time to see if anyone has any feedback on this lot
bye for now
Nick (Nicholas) Smith
from: Hilary HARDY, nee RUSSEL, at Pancake Lane School from 1970 - 1976 - (Posted 12th Sept 2006)
I went to Pancake Lane School from 1970 - 1976. I was Hilary Russell then. My sister Anna also went to the school and although she is two years younger than me, I think she was in the class below and was held back from Secondary School for a year. Mr Lightowler was the headmaster, Mrs Buxton, Mrs Dutton, Mrs Bennett, Mrs Gedge, Mrs Glennister and Miss Moore were all there!
The photograph taken at the sports day in the 70's has a girl with glasses and a polka-dot t-shirt on. That's me! That t-shirt was PURPLE! believe it or not! The best thing I remember about sports day (which I hated because I wasn't sporty) was the 'Bicycling Slowly Race' where the last past the post won! I'm afraid I can't identify anyone else in that picture (except Mrs Buxton of course!).
The instant memories that spring to mind for me were the building of the new infant classes 6L and 6G. There was an article in the Echo about this - a huge picture of my sister in a chef's hat and a headline about the Queen of Hearts making jam tarts! I was thrilled that the 'new block' had a kitchen and a 'Quiet Room' where we had recorder lessons with Mrs Gedge.
I also vaguely remember the old hut in the playground that was shortly replaced with a large flat concrete slab that was the basis for the new Guide Hut. I remember playing on that large black flat surface and seeing where all the drain pipes were. I went to Guides for a while and I remember our lovely new hut - getting badges and cooking pancakes on the top of baked bean cans with candles underneath. When I heard that the school was being demolished, I couldn't believe they were knocking down the 'new' hall!
I was part of a pop group when I was in Class 1 and Mrs Buxton was kind enough to let us play in the hall to the rest of the class one afternoon. We were called The Crystals! I played piano, Charlotte (Smith?) played guitar, Lisa Slade drums and Melanie Brewer was our lead singer. We did some Carpenters songs and 'I'd like to teach the world to sing' as it was the only thing I could play. We were AWFUL!
I remember the celebrations for Princess Anne's wedding in 1972. We had a posh evening concert that we all dressed up for and I played the piano - some piece from the book I was studying from at the time. It seemed like everyone in the school took part and all the parents came.
I remember the huge plastic relief map of the world that was in the 'link' building to the new classrooms. We had to wait there in the lunch queue and I remember pushing all the mountains in! I was fascinated by that map and have loved maps ever since. I was also in the first year to have the new, plastic 'New Pence', so I never learned the 'Old Money'. I remember when the Dunlop airship came overhead and we all rushed into the infants playground to see it and, for some strange reason, there was a goat in the playground also and we thought it very funny that it ate a paper bag!
I remember the Country Dance club and I used to love it. There was a small notice about this on one of the boards in the hall and it said that it was on Wednesday's after school and refreshments were 2p. Years later I did visit the school and the notice was still there! All yellow at the edges! I remember forgetting my 2p one day and Andrew Collier lent me the money. Our refreshments were served in gold coloured beakers. I thought they were very posh!
I recognise many of the names in the photograph from the 70's but there are many exceptions (including me!). Names that spring to mind from my class were Claire Pedder (my best friend who lived next door but one to the school next to Helen Morris and had an older sister Catherine), Charlotte Smith (best friends with Lisa Slade), Nicholas Budge, Nigel Nash (who lived in Bedmond and had a sister called Aleta), Paul Hill, (lived in Bartel Close and went on to Townsend School in St Albans), Andrew Collier (who lived in Windermere Close opposite the Green) and Melanie Faiers who lived in the Horseshoe on the corner of the Green. I lived on the backside of the Horseshoe at the time, moving to the upper part of Chambersbury Lane during my time at the school. I have no idea where any of these people are now. The only person I kept in touch with for a few years was Melanie Brewer (also a best friend) who came to my wedding and was living in Berkhamsted then.
The photograph of the school choir is strange. I was in the choir for a number of years and I don't ever remember us wearing the choristors outfits so maybe that was the church choir? I do remember Mrs Buxton conducting us on the many occasions we performed in the pavillion. I enjoyed that very much.
I did have some pictures from those days, including some of the netball team sitting on 'the log' in the playground. It was around the time Sarah Hodge broke her collar bone or some bone that meant she was in plaster with her arm propped up. We had to disguise this in the photo with a teddy mascot! I wasn't in the team but somehow I ended up taking photos. I have no idea where these pictures are now, its possible my parents have them. If I come across anything, I shall send you a copy.
I still live in Hemel Hempstead - Boxmoor now, and have lived here all my life. I have been married for 22 years and have two sons now aged 16 and 18. Anna now lives in New Zealand.
I hope my memories will help the website in some way, or maybe some of us might find each other again. I have happy memories of Pancake Lane. I went on to St Albans High School for Girls on my own as everyone else went to other schools and it was very lonely. I prefer thinking about my days at Pancake Lane.
from: David Burks, at Pancake Lane School 1944/1945 - (Posted 14th July 2006)
David has been tracing his early history and would love to hear from any of his early class mates. He can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com
from: Julie Dell, at Pancake Lane 1970-76 ( posted April 9th 2006)
I remember: School dinners, lovely doughnuts, 'rubber solution'(mash potato) and a always cheery Mrs Carson serving it. Also remember the 12 mile walk and Youth hostel stay with Mr Macey and class in Ivinghoe youth hostel. Loved having books read to the whole class by both Mr Lightowler and Mrs Buxton, Watership Down, Brother Andrew and the Day of the Bomb.
from: Ann BLUNDELL ( nee LITTLECHILD) at Pancake Lane 1964-1969/70 (posted 4th October 2005)
I remember the school with great fondness I recently returned and was devestaed to find it had been knocked down! I remember my lovely teacher Mrs Buxton and the teacher I was terrified of was Mrs Adams ( I think)The head towards the end of my stay was Mr Lightowler I dont remember who was before that the Vicar was Rev Morris Before that I think it was Rev Lajew!!!! or something like that, I remember one day seeing Rev Morris walking along eating a huge pork pie my Mum and I laughed for weeks, it made him seem more human and not so scary. I dont remember the names of many children that I was at school with except Suzanne Botnick, Julian (who was diabetic and had to have special puddings) Sonia Luck, Christine? who lives down Pancake Lane a girl called Oddette and another called Laurel, some unusual names, where are they now? Iwill put my thinking cap on and consult my Mum, Brother and Sister to see if we can come up with anything else.
From: Janice MAKOWER ( nee MUNRO) at Pancake Lane 1963-1969posted 27th August 2005
I remember Mrs Dutton on my first day at School. She was very kind to me as I was very upset and cried alot. I remember the black and white tiles in the hall, doing music and movement in the big hall and climbing the ropes to the ceiling.Mrs Adams taught us in class 3, I think I saw her the other day in a wheelchair in Sainsburys, very old.There was a pond outside the classrooms where we caught newts for study and we played British bulldogs on the school yard.Mrs Buxton had a lovely singing voice and I enjoyed the choir. Other people in my year that I can remember..Peter Flint, Richard Hancock,Suszanne Beuquet???, Fiona Avery.
We danced around the maypole and did country dancing in the Hall. I walked home every day along Pancake lane, stopped in Cleggs sweet shop for penny bubble gum and crossed the road to get to home to 24 Missden Drive.
If we were in the top class we were allowed to play in the trees at the back of the school. This was great fun!
So few memories. I was very happy at the school and look back very fondly at my time there.
Janice currently lives in Highclere Drive, Longdean Park, Leverstock Green and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary CLAISEN, ( at Pancake Lane until 1945)(posted 20th March 2004)
The following was in a letter dated 15th January 2001 after Mary ( long since married, her married name is unknown ) received a copy of "Leverstock Green & Bennetts End" as a Christmas present from a resident at the time.
"I was at Leverstock Green School School up to 1945, the headmaster Walter Ayre, who appears in the book, he was a keen bellringer and had a good bass singing voice, and by golly he could keep discipline in class! With the arrival of evacuees ( a rough bunch mostly from London's East End) the class grew to 42, and without a very firm hand it would have been chaos! We also had a very nice teacher named Miss Hilda Hoggett who taught the younger ones.
I remember some of the names of fellow pupils: Maureen Munns, Jean perry, Shirley Cutts, Sheila Maxwell, John Rae, Terry Rance, Martin Benn, Daphne Seeby, Kenneth ( or Keith) Sears, David Burks, plus quite a few more by Christian name only."
Mary currently lives in Woodbridge, Suffolk.
From TOM GIBBONS (at Pancake Lane 1955-1960) 22nd November 2003
Whilst at school his nick-name was Tucker
The headmaster was Mr Ayre - latterly Eric Garbutt. The teachers at the school included Mrs Whykes/Miss Redlich/Miss Watts. We used to occupy the hut opposite the Church - where the school meals were served - I believe that this was the Village Hall (now demolished). Five very happy years!
Tom can be contacted at email@example.com and is happy to hear from any of his old school chums. He currently lives in Hemel Hempstead.
More from SIMON EWART-GRIST (at Pancake Lane School 1964 - 1968)9th July 2003
The search goes on! I now believe I have a fairly accurate list of pupils from 1968.
I have been in contact with Daniel Clucas, Andrew Chandler, Peter Flint and Sally Baust and awaiting e-mail replies from Andrew Britton, Heather Young and Anne Horne who I believe is Elizabeth's sister. If I can contact more, there might be a possibility of organising a reunion.
Andrew de Peyer
I read with interest the article on your website written by Peggy Buxton. Is she contactable? She of course being the class teacher whos name so alluded me.
from SIMON EWART-GRIST (at Pancake Lane School 1964 - 1968)13th June 2003
Whilst at school his nick-name was "Gristy"
I remember the following names and would be pleased to hear from any as to their whereabouts.
Headmaster: Harry Berry,
Class 3 teacher: Mrs Adams
Class 2 teacher: Mrs Bel.....?
Class 1 Mr Berry
Some of my classmates:
Best friend : Andrew de Puyer, lived in Chamersbury lane Andrew Britton, Andrew Cheshire, Christine Higgins, Sally Taylor, Sally Baust, Andrew Chandler, Nicola Munro (fav. with all the boys!) after that the memory fades! Oh and not forgetting Daniel Clucas the son of the actor William Lucas who lived in the farmhouse oposite Green Lane. My older brother who also attended the school was friedly with Nigel Rees who had a brother Justin. They lived in one of the
two blocks of flats at the end of the village on about the 6th floor. I remember us visiting and dropping peanuts onto the rooves of parked cars! Why peanuts? less damage than stones, I guess!
We were also friendly with our neighbours in Greenacres. The Avery family, with children Graham and Fiona and the Curtis' family with Erica, Myles, Paul, Peter and Johnny!
I remember the art room which was like a long shed at one end of the playground with steps leading up to the entrance. At the other end of the playground was a small wall with a tree behind it and there was a hedge between the back of the four classrooms and the playground, with a grass area between and a fish pond. There were two corrugated iron bike sheds behind which the usual mischief took place (not that I ever got the chance lol!)
School dinners were served up in the school hall collected from the serving hatch to one side. I remember a boy called Julian who was diabetic and always had fruit and 'Ideal' milk. Another girl in my class was Alison Taylor who I fancied and the one I always tried to avoid was Sally Charmers. She always made a b-line for me when it was time to choose partners for country dacing or maypole!
Its funny how some images stick with you. Nicholas Smith who moved into Delmar Avenue became a good friend and I always remember his roller skates with metal wheels! My older brother Nigel was shot in the neck with an air rifle (thankfully only grazed but the local village 'bobby' got invilved) He went to Townsend School in St Albans for a year before we moved away from the village to live in Guildford in the summer of 1968.
Simon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and is happy to hear from any of his old Leverstock Green friends. He currently lives in Burgess Hill, Sussex.
from ROBERT STOCKWELL (left Pancake Lane School 1958)25th April 2003
(Click here for 1955 photo of Robert)
I've started working my way through your website and thought you might like a photo of the person mentioned twice in Eric Garbutt's piece on Pancake Lane School, ie me!
Pancake Lane school photo taken c. 1955.
Just a few suggested corrections: Reference Mr. Eric Garbutt, Headteacher 1957 - 1965
My name is spelt incorrectly - should be Stockwell rather than Stackwell. (This and a few other spelling errors suggested by Robert have been corrected.)
In the same paragraph: I don't remember a Tony Waites. There was a Raymond Waight, whose grandparents lived in the same road as me, ie Curtis Road. Raymond lived in Cupid Green and came to school on the school bus along with Raymond Stanbridge and Ian Dunbar. Whilst there may have been a Paul Stanbridge, I think it should be Raymond in this case.
Later on it mentions my friend Richard Ellis. He sadly died last year. His mother still lives in Leverstock Green.
Robert currently lives in Deeping St. James, Lincolnshire.
from MARK COLLINGWOOD (1973 - 1980)21st April 2003
Walking to school from Tile Kiln Lane. Getting Slush Puppie from Balfour, across football pitch through 2 allys to
school. Church on a Monday morning in a line across main road. Looking at Jesus on the cross for an hour, and singing my best song The Golden Cockrel Crows in the morning. Going behind the bike sheds then the brownees hut and collecting small snail. Through the hedge into the overgrown garden next door. Playing in the woods in the play ground.
from MELISSA RODICQ nee GODDARD (1977-1984)11th April 2003
Daniel Patterson setting fire to the library......(did that really happen, or was it a school myth?), sewing in the quiet room, the school bell on the shelf in the corridor, The Pond, Sir Spense and a Dragon called Horace (school play!) Nicholas Carr was Sir Spense, I was Princess Doris...! Being embarrassed by Miss Gerrards Lilac jumper with the 3D knitted lady on it...(anyone who remembers it will know what I mean...) Rolling Daniel Patterson down the hill in the playground in a tyre... Kiss chase and never getting kissed.....
Meliissa currently lives in Hemel Hempstead & would be happy to hear from any of her old schoolfriends on email@example.com