Appleton Comprehensive School opened 1966

Photo:taken approx 1966/67

taken approx 1966/67

Photo:taken approx. 1971

taken approx. 1971

Photo:taken approx 1972

taken approx 1972

Photo:approximately 1977

approximately 1977

Photo:Taken approx. 1977

Taken approx. 1977

Photos 1966 - 1977 + comments on the School corporal punishment: Anecdotes database

By J2 Terry

APPLETON SCHOOL, Benfleet, Essex -- state mixed secondary modern until 1967 then secondary comprehensive
LEA: Essex CC
Modi operandi mentioned: Cane on buttocks (boys); Slipper/gymshoe, target unspecified (boys)

Wembley School Trip -- The night of the visit to Wembly arena to see the Harlem Globe Trotters, a 45 seater coach full of the worst bunch of reprobates possible all under the wing of the then PE staff, Mr.Jones, Mr.Ellis. Some bright sparks (Paul C., Tony P., Steve G., Me, and various others) had the idea of smuggling cans of beer onto the coach, commandeering the back seats and getting into a serious drinking party on the way to London, all went well untill someone rolled a full can down the coach gang way!!! all hell let loose. 

We ended up in Eddie Haynes office (about 10 of us) with the confiscated beer on his desk and 3 buckets full of VIM on the floor, he made us empty all the cans into the buckets and then caned our backside raw. PRICELESS!!!!! (Still got the Ticket stubs) (Mervyn G., 1967-72)

Mr E.E. Haynes -- An honourable mention for the fearsome EE (Eddie) Haynes, the original (and still the best) Headmaster. He retired the same month as I left, July 1973 and softened slightly in his last few months. He terrified both pupils and junior teachers alike. Many's the time (when something was up) the classroom door would burst open and he would fill the door, his cape billowing and flexing his well used cane in front of him. Then with a face like thunder he would stalk round the room flicking certain boys behind the ear with his cane whilst I prayed that it wasn't me he was looking for. 

A milling throng in the corridors could be brought to a silent standstill if his familiar bellow of "YOU BOY!" was suddenly heard. The only boy likely to still be trying to sidle round the corner would be his chosen prey. Often me, unfortunately. [....] A frightening but a fine man. (Steven H., 1968-73)

EE Haynes -- Always will remember the Headmaster with the cane and cape and the very red face when in rage!! Which was quite often!! (Diane S., c.1974)

For info on the new 6th form 2015 click here

This page was added by J2 Terry on 16/07/2011.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

I attended Appleton School 1968 - 1971. I remember Mr Haynes with his flowing black cape, his deputy Miss Geoffries, Mr Musson, Mr Ellis, (who all the girls fell for), Mrs Grimes, Mr Lambinuion and Miss Hennesy.

By Celia Slate
On 10/10/2011

Being one of the original class at Appleton School I remember the demonic Jones and Haynes as being a pair of nut cases that should have been certified a long time ago. What they got away with then in 1966 they would get twenty years for now but they were still the best years of my life.

By Peter Murray
On 03/08/2012

Anyone from class of 1983 out there?

By Maxine Smith
On 20/05/2013

I remember Mr Sellwood the art teacher, Mrs Grimes for music, Mr Jones the welsh rugby wizard and Mr Cutmore for woodwork.

I also remember Miss Knott for English. It all went by in a blur.

If only I'd taken a bit more notice!!

By William West
On 20/01/2014

The picture at the top of the page is dated incorrectly; the correct date would be 1976, still recognise a few faces.

Kevin Hughes

1971 to 1976

By Kevin Hughes
On 24/02/2014

I agree with Kevin Hughes, the picture shown as 1966/67 is actually 1976. My brother Clint Courtney is in it, seated, 6th from the left front. The teachers names listed come flooding back, so long ago but very happy memories.

By Vince Courtney
On 05/03/2014

I am on the front row of the year photo 1971 nee Stratford. My form teacher was Mr Moore RE. I remember Miss Jefferies Deputy Head and of course Mr Haynes the Head. We visited Venice by train in 1970 and had milk in a bottle for morning break. School dinners were a shilling and I would cycle my Rayleigh RSW 16 bike to school. Girls wore summer dresses which were made in Needlework lessons and Miss Jeffrey, in assembly, would measure from the floor to check that uniforms were not too short and then instruct girls to roll down the skirts to just below the knee.

By Lesley Utton
On 10/03/2014

I was in the first intake when the school opened 1964(5?). Anyone else for this time still alive?.

My son-in-law went to Appleton as well (many years later) and sent me the picture supposedly from 1966/67. Thought I was going senile when I couldn't remember any of the teachers or pupils in the picture, glad someone has now got the right time frame for it.

I also remember Mr Selwood - Art, Mr. Jones P.E. (my form teacher for some years). another Mr. Jones I think - science, Mr. Webster (later form teacher), Mr Cutmore - Woodwork, Mr Yardley - Technical Drawing. Must be more but can't remember there names at the moment.

I thought Mr Haynes retired before 1973. I left in 1969(70?) and I thought he had already gone by then. 

By Allen Playfair
On 12/03/2014

Just looked at my last entry and noticed an appalling spell mistake (there instead of their). Appleton taught us better than that!

By Allen Playfair
On 12/03/2014

I was one of the first intakes at this school and probably the first to forcibly have to leave. I regret having been one of the first to be made to try out the dreadful comprehensive system in the UK and ever having met up with the evil Haynes, Mutton, Jones and crew.

Thankfully I went on to better things, have become a successful business man and travelled around the world more than once and still do. I now live in Ireland.

Yes Allen I am still alive and remember you well old friend but recall Appleton only with bad memories. I loved school and these teachers did their level best to try and change this, which they managed.

By Peter Penn
On 09/07/2014

Ah my first real love was Ann Wakerling....where is she now I wonder. I went to Appleton in 1967 and my teacher was the wonderful Mrs Grimes. I was in the Jarvis colours at PE which was green. Loved Mr Cutmore and after that I found the teachers a little grim.There was a hot art teacher from Yorkshire but I forget her name....but not her face...If anyone knew me from that time please feel free to contact me.

By Philip Brooker
On 11/07/2014


Was the first intake 1964-65 or 65-66 or different year?  

Thanks :)

By jb
On 12/09/2014

Remember you well Lesley Stratford and others of class 71. Eddie Haynes was a character. Where is my old flame Rosalind Hall?

By Robert Raymond
On 09/10/2014

Hi Robert, We are all reaching 60 and how time flies since leaving school. I had a 60th birthday and Ruby and Jim Colverson came. Jim is over 80 and they are both in good health. Find me on Facebook ...surname Utton and have  a good look at some great photos. 

By Lesley Utton
On 18/11/2014

Oh my God!!!! How nice to see the names of teachers we once belonged to x Les and Celia hi xxx and Peter how very nice to hear you have done well. You were the heart throb for so many of us girls, and I'm sure you remember Gillian Smith. Perhaps we are all due a reunion soon xxxxxxxxx8yr49.

By sheila dear
On 29/01/2015

Hallo. Not sure if anyone will remember me, Carol Barrett as was, horse mad at school, spent a lot of time trotting round the playground in a world of my own.  I remember Mr Moore well, I was good at RE (can' think why!), and Mr Selwood for art. Who was our English teacher? Was it Mrs Mills? She had red hair, she took us for drama as well, she was really inspirational. And maybe Mr Garton or Garston for History, which I liked. Oh Mr Musson, he had a hard time with Tony Beavis and Edward Biggs, wonder what happened to them? Miss Jefferies was the bane of my life, apparently I wasn't 'respectful' enough. Hmmm. Lesley I remember the Venice trip! My Mum had knitted me the brightest orange cardigan to take with me, you could have seen it from space, and I lost in it a canal. Oops. And there were shenanigans in the hotel in Italy, lots of high jinks. I do generally remember us all rattling round the school..our we were only the second intake the school seemed huge and people kept getting lost. Probably on purpose....By the way I'm still horse mad. xxxxxx

By Carol Barnett
On 22/02/2015

I left Appleton in 1987 and if it was the same Mr Moore, who teached RE then as in 1971 then I understand he is a regular at the Essex Cricket Ground in Chelmsford during the summer months.

By Wayne Harris
On 27/02/2015

The photo dated 1972 shows David Barratt, Jill Autie and Susan Burgess. I remember each but Sue and Jill I would love to hear from via Facebook. 

Sue Schutz nee Robinson

By Sue Schutz
On 08/03/2015

I would just like to correct that Appleton school opened sep 1965. Love Peter Murrays comment on Mr Haynes and Mr Jones, we was all s*** scared of Mr Haynes but mr Jones was a gooden.

By Gerald Griffiths
On 11/06/2015

I don't remember Mr Haynes going red in the face so much, but I do remember the several mass detentions where the entire school was gathered in assembly until someone confessed to writing on the toilet walls. Mr Musson was English and Music... totally inappropriate to describe him as Himmler to Mr Haynes' Hitler  (but he sort of was!). Old school, but kind of admirable. Education by rote, but it worked (It shouldn't have and I wish it didn't... I still love "As You Like It" the best). Peter Sellwood left at the end of our four year. Like losing your father.


By Mike Pazda
On 04/07/2015

I recall from a couple of the posters above some class mates; Allen Playfair and Peter Penn, Guy Parker, Mickey Reagan also remember, with affection, Sheila Deer. I also recall Geoffrey Richardson, Terry Rowe, John Oakman, Paul Axbey, and Michael Polley to name but a few, sorry if I've missed a couple out as my memory isn't all that great nowadays!

Also recall our Form Master, Mr Jones (PE).

Does anyone else remember our trip to South Wales to represent the English Schoolboys in rugby. We got hammered; their return visit / match wasn't any good for us either. Our girls did take a fancy to the Welsh lads!

I remember with affection Mr. Yardley, we had a Wayfarer dinghy which we painted navy blue. This was sailed around the creek. Also had a canoe club which was taken by a young temporary PE teacher (Mr.Bevan?).

The boys only camping club went to Germany and had a great time. We travelled by two mini busses driven each by the two Mr Jones', PE and Science. Those who I can remember from this trip are Brendan Foster and Terry Severn.

Also recall distant class mates, Andrew Salter and Bill (It's Beef), sorry Bill, can't remember your surname!
I remember Miss Lucy (nee Sachon), our Art Teacher, (very with-it and tuned-in to us youngsters). Also remember Mr Selwood who was my previous Art Teacher.

Must give a mention to Mr Ashdown, History Teacher (absolutely brilliant) as was Mr Garton English Teacher; Mr Webster, my Form Master after Mr Jones (PE). Mr Cutmore for woodwork, again, a nice teacher with a good approach to teaching.

On reflection, Mr Haynes was a BRILLIANT headmaster a true captain of his ship. Yes, I had been in his office and had the cane wagged in front of my face. It was my fault, I deserved it. No lasting harm, but I learnt a lesson.
I suspect why messrs Parker, Penn and Playfair, as mentioned above had the taste of "You Boy, Come Here", was because they were loathe to have their hair cut!

I was made a Sub-Prefect and because of some "misunderstanding" I wasn't promoted to full Prefect; low and behold on my leaving report it was stated that I achieved the position of full Prefect. How's that!

I remember having to participate in a sponsored walk to raise money for the School Swimming Pool. Never, ever, to this day have I seen, let alone swum, in that pool!

We had the end of year leaving dance in the sports hall, nothing like the money-spinning affairs of todays americanised "Prom".

Years after I left school I bumped into a Mr Les Drayton, (old RAF type), supply teacher at Appleton, and he informed me that John Garton (English teacher), had upped sticks and moved to a Greek island and was living the life of a hermit.

That's all from me – happy memories!

By Graham Pugh
On 12/08/2015

I remember you Graham Pugh, and all the other names mentioned. It's Bill Wakeham.

By Bill Wakeham
On 19/10/2015

Bill Wakeham . . . yes, it's beef! Heartening to learn that you're still in the land of the living. ATB

By Graham Pugh
On 04/11/2015

Hi everyone pupil from 1971 - 1976, I went to Appleton between these dates I would love to catch up with my old english teacher Mr Morgan, also anyone who remembers me. The teachers I remember were Mr Jones, Mr Ashton, Mr Ashley, Mrs Grimes and Miss Ellis but memory not that good these days lol.  pls either contact me on e mail or Facebook I now live in Suffolk.

By Jackie Leggett nee Grainger
On 07/01/2016

+1 for Ashton and Garton!

Terrific teachers

By Martin P
On 04/02/2016

Hi, I was at Appleton 1973-78. I  loved Mr Ashton teaching us about the blood and guts of history, and of course Mrs Grimes in her white trousers! I only remember Lovegrove as head teacher. I remember the hippy art teacher and the drama teacher name beginning with P?


By Caroline Rixon
On 08/02/2016

I thought our english teacher the one who had a heart attack name was Mr Morgan am I wrong?  I was at Appleton from 1971 to 1976.

Would anyone be able to tell me what happened to Mr Morgan, he had a heart attack left appleton then came back then left permanently. 

My maiden name was jackie grainger, I would love to know what happened to him, many thanks.

By jackie leggett nee grainger
On 05/04/2016

I was at Appleton School till 1977 and I remember the English Teacher with the red hair, I think her name was Mrs Mills she was great and also Mr Snell Maths Teacher though not so great I hated Maths. The PE teachers were strict too, though I can't remember their names one was a woman. Can anyone remember there being a very small sweet shop somewhere near the school?

By Angela Davis
On 10/04/2016

I forgot to add my English teacher Mr Morgan drove a blue Capri car, if anyone remembers him please send a message. I was at school with Caroline fountain, Jackie Jones, Diane Piercy and Elaine Pell.

By Jackie Leggett nee grainger
On 17/04/2016

Oh my what a lovely trip down memory lane. I left Appleton in 1971. I was only there for the last year of my school life but I have many happy memories and I remember you Lesley. 

By Terri Randle nee Hammerton
On 04/06/2016

Hi Angela,

I left Appleton in 1971. My form teacher was a Mr Webster. I remember Mrs Mills too, quite a stern woman and a match for Mr Musson!

I beleive the small shop at the end of Croft road was owned by the Grove family. I went to school with Stephen Groves.

By Bill West
On 07/06/2016

Lovely to read about some of the people I recall from those school years 1966- 1971.   I have attended two school reunions.  I see I have not been forgotten by Sheila.

By Gillian Smith
On 10/06/2016

Appleton football team - yellow shirts

back row, left to right- Colin SMitch's brother, Gary Field, Gary Coldwell, Marcel Porcar, Gary Pettifor, Gary Davies, Graham ?, Robert Fellows

front row - Andy Martin, Colin Smith, Ian Webb, Daryl Nunn, David Lazell, ?

in front - Gary Dance

By David Lazell
On 13/06/2016

I was at Appleton School from 1975 to 1980 nee Lazell. Hated every second I spent there but it's been lovely reading here names and places bringing back strong memories. My memorable teachers were Mrs Suglini ( biology) scary lady in class but extremely effective teacher and kind when I was struggling with  exam stress. Mr Thompson for Maths and Mr Bennett the mad RE  teacher. I did do it yourself o levels as most of the time classes were sheer anarchy. Can't imagine OFSTED having been too impressed with Appleton in the 70s!!! 

By Paula Jenkins
On 22/07/2016

Hi, I was in 5m back in 1969-70. I remember Mr Masson very well, who sadly died, very eccentric and always took us for chat in his "little room" where he sneaked a fag. Sadly my best mate Terry Severn passed away in May but what happened to others like Stuart McGowan, Maria Murphy, Andrew Salter the Mount brothers? 

By Howard Embery
On 28/07/2016

I did not actually attend Appleton (already left school before it opened). However looking at the top picture the teacher with the balding head and moustache would be Stuart Blackshaw; I remember him from Rochford Hundred Rugby Club. I believe Chris Dismore was also a teacher there at the same time; also played for Rochford

By Peter Houghton
On 22/08/2016

I was at Appleton from '71-'75 (I left a year early - 'hell on legs!' me! I feel sorry for the teachers who had to take me). Mrs Cunningham was my form tutor, such a great teacher. Used to bunk off with Robin Smith AKA Daddy Dobs and Sara and Claire Lambkin to name but a few. Would love to hear what they're all up to 

By Maria Andrews
On 11/09/2016

I was at Appleton from 77-82 class M form tutor Mrs Cunningham, then Mr Webster. Left Appleton with hardly any qualifications that I should have achieved only maths, English and science (never mind) enjoyed my time there great to hear from anyone.

By Richard North
On 16/09/2016

I moved up from Benfleet Primary in the Autumn of 1968. I will always remember it as a school in building progress the whole time I was there. Arriving in Miss Cushing's class, 1K, on that first day and seeing all the new faces around me I was convinced that I must be in the wrong class as everyone already seemed so big and grown up to me. Miss Cushing took us for English and later Miss Kettle.  Mr Jacobs was our maths teacher and thankfully could be sidetracked into lengthy digressions in double maths lessons. Mr Peacock was a popular metalwork teacher and took us on a trip to Switzerland in 1970, Miss Durham and I think Mr Davies also came, a whole week for £40. I will never forget the night train across France and Switzerland. I shared a room with my mate Kev Holliington and we still see each other occasionally. Harry Ashton was a legendary History teacher, ex King John School.  Mr Haynes, Miss Jefferies and Mr Musson were all well established teachers of the 'old school'. The hippy art teacher as far as I remember was Miss Hadraba, I recall making a papier-mache car in her class. Miss Grimes was the music teacher and one of my most enduring memories is of Mike Hobday and Graham Lavender playing a duet on the piano of 'Nutrocker'. Another musical highlight was when Ashley Gough brought his drum kit in and gave it a good thrashing on stage in a school assembly.  

The school was modern and well equipped.  Where else was I going to see radioactive isotopes in class or 10 foot tapeworms in glass jars. Imagine at 13 years old being able to use a forge and anvil to make your own metalwork projects like snakes and coat-hooks; of course no safety gear apart from your woodwork apron.  A field trip to Ingleton and Ambleside with Mr Webster (History) where the boys stayed in an annexe of the YWCA. Ghost stories were told in the dark and high jinks engaged in. It was very snowy up on the peaks and Mr Websters dog Ruff accompanied us. I too remember a long sponsored walk, in the rain, around Pitsea, Canvey and Benfleet; I think it was in aid of a school minibus. Another sponsored walk comes to mind involving a walk around Epping Forest?  Cross country runs were taken through Thundersley Glen to avoid cutting up the acres of playing field reserved almost exclusively for rugby, thanks Mr Ian Ellis. I could go on, with plenty more teachers to recall and of course all the other kids who were there with me. 'What larks Pip'.

By Ian Lipscomb
On 07/11/2016

Oh my god......hi guys!

I was a pupil 1972-77 ish.

Want some names.....?

Brian Browse, Jane Menell-Taylor, Bev Yaffee, Mr. Bennest, Mr. Lee, Alan Jones, Sue Hilliard, Mr. Cutmore, Mrs. Grimes, Mr. Portwain, Mr. Barnard, Bill Blackshaw.

By Derek Scott
On 12/01/2017

I was in the first intake at Appleton too.

Apart from all the names of teachers mentioned already I also remember my first French teacher, Mrs Suglini, and an American temporary teacher named Mr Sutorious.

My favourite teacher was Mr Musson for English and Music. The teacher I disliked most was Mr Jacobs .... completely bonkers mental.

Names of schoolfriends - Steve Watkins (died of a brain tumour over 10-years ago), Paul Tucker, Dennis Franklin, Philip Webb, Philip Howarth, Alan Playfair, Billy Wakeham, and Tony Schmidt. I also remember beating up the school bully (an evil little brat named Claxton) .... and I remember a boy, who used to fart really loudly in assembly, named Carl Mingard.

I left when I was 15 and became an electrician. I now run radio stations in West Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Aldershot, Cambridge, Norwich and Woking.


By Tony Smith
On 17/02/2017

Anyone have the original of the first group photo, 1966, here.

I would love to see a better copy.

By David Sheldrake
On 28/02/2017

I left Appleton in 1972. I was in Mrs.Grimes class. Some of my classmates were Linda Avery, Linda Brixton, Jonquil Carpenter, Mark Beaumont, Gerard Kennedy, Billy Brightmore, Russel Bowles amongst others. Anyone remember me?

By Linda Hart
On 02/04/2017

Hi Linda,

I was in Mr Webster's class and must have been in the same year as you.

I remember Billy Brightmore and Mark Beaumont. Others I remember were the Mottrams, Steve Munday, Paul Guppy, Celia Parker, Tina Maher, Linda Doren and John Penny.

By William West
On 02/04/2017

Steve Mundy  passed away recently  r.i.p Steve. (see comment above)

By brian heale
On 06/04/2017


That's sad. I'd known Steve since our schooldays but haven't seen him for probably five years. He was a friendly, likeable bloke with a ready sense of humour. As you say, RIP Steve.

I wonder if his Brother Tony is still around?

By William West
On 12/04/2017

Hi.. I was at Appleton from 78 till 81 when my family moved away. Headmaster then was Mr Lovegrove.. I remember a few names.. Adam Swainsbury..Gary Ventura.. Shelley Salisbury.. Martin and Adrian Pel.. Diane Northfield.. Patrick Holmes.. Robert Holmes.. Mark Taylor.. Maxine Smith.. Saraha Oliver and few more. Would love to catch up on fb.. this was the best school I went to. 

By Tanya Priestley
On 03/07/2017

Hi, I started Appleton school in 1967-1972. I was in Mr Selwoods class, 1-5P! I still am in contact with Janet Phillips. I remember my school years fondly. I enjoyed all sports, Mrs Ellis was one of the PE teachers? I also remember Mrs Grimes and the school orchestra! I hated playing the violin! But I loved all our school productions, especially Trial by Jury with Mr Lambillion? Christopher Fulford and Glen.? were the real actors and Chris has been seen many times on TV. The one thing I always hated was the cross country, especially in the mud! Great times! 

By Janice Carrington was Sandiford
On 24/07/2017

Hi, I was at Appleton from 1967 until my family moved to Sussex in 1971 (which was a wrench for me, losing touch with my school friends since our days at Benfleet Primary school). I have many happy memories and remember many of the names mentioned, both teachers and pupils. Mrs Grimes was an inspirational music teacher and got everyone playing an instrument. I particularly remember singing early Lloyd Webber in her classes (Joseph, Jonah and the Whale etc) and find myself singing descant along to the radio at times which is pretty scary for others! I remember Mr Sutorious the American teacher who followed us from Benfleet Primary where we of course had called him "Sooty" (what else?!).

I also have embarrassing memories of our class treating our form teacher (whose name escapes me but began with a W) very badly and I think he left as a result. I missed everyone when I left. A few names come to mind - Susan Whiting, Susan Witchell, Jackie Catchpole. Like a previous contributor, I hated the cross country runs (my blood still runs cold when I think of them!).

By Christine Green (nee Whittingham)
On 02/09/2017