King John School Days in the 1960s - Remembered by Glenn Newman

Glenn Newman Remembers

King John School in the 1960s

These items are from the personal collection of Glenn Newman who attended King John School in the 1960s.

School production of 'An Italian Straw Hat' - June 1968
Glenn Newman
A scene from 'The Italian Straw Hat'
Glenn Newman
The Italian Straw Hat
Glenn Newman
The Italian Straw Hat
Glenn Newman
School Pantomime Pinocchio 1967
Glenn Newman
School Pantomime Pinocchio 1967
Glenn Newman
School pantomime Pinocchio 1967
Glenn Newman
Science Class - Car maintenance
Glenn Newman
Science Class - Car maintenance
Glenn Newman
Physics class 1968
Glenn Newman
Science class - Teacher in the white coat is Mr Neale
Glenn Newman
King John School hockey team 1967/68
Glenn Newman
John Garton - English teacher
Glenn Newman
Joan Clarke - English teacher
Glenn Newman
Mr Evans, Headmaster known by the pupils as Fritz far right of the photo and next to him Mr Bell, pottery/art teacher. General knowledge quiz 1965 and Appleton won.
Glenn Newman
King John School choir 1965
Glenn Newman
Glenn Newman
King John School Folk Group
King John School Folk Group - Talent competition held at St Clement's Hall, Leigh on Sea in August 1967
King John School class of 1970
Glenn Newman
Bernard Vaughan - Headmaster. Mr Vaughan and his deputy headmaster both wore their mortarboards and cloaks to school, hence the nickname the pupils gave to them 'Batman and Robin'.
Rogues Gallery
Glenn Newman
Rogues Gallery
Glenn Newman
Roger Flaxman - Head Boy
Glenn Newman
Roger Flaxman - Head Boy with Susan Halliday and Pauline Earwaker - Head Girl
Glenn Newman
Girls on the playing playing fields
Glenn Newman
Football on the playing field. Barry Mence, 1968 and who are the other two players?
Glenn Newman

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  • I attended King John 1956/58. Mr. Evans was head and Miss Boon deputy. I remember Masters Bell, Beddows, Garton, Harris, Brookes, Maine , Birchinald and Mistresses Punt, Redman . Nita Lann was head girl. I still have some of my reports!
    Marilyn Yeo – class 1 AH.

    By Marilyn Grimble nee Yeo (26/11/2023)
  • I’m trying to find any information/photos etc. of my uncle, Derek Allan Dudley, who I believe may have attended this school, he lived in Beresford Gardens. He was born in 1946 – 1968 passed away at the young age of 21. My name is Yvonne Warner, please add a comment if you can help.
    Many thanks Yve

    By Yvonne Warner (04/06/2021)
  • How very odd to read the names and see the faces of so many many young people from the 1960s.
    It not only seems like a life-time ago, it seems like somebody else’s life!

    To see this comment in full, with photos, please click on the following link:
    Memories of King John school in the 1960s

    By Steve Davis (01/01/2021)
  • Loved the picture of Pinocchio 1967. I think that is me (Rosemary Mitchell) in the long black skirt on the left. Seem to remember singing ‘Consider Yourself’ in that performance. In the second Pinocchio photo, that is Wendy Watts (kneeling), with Pauline Fulford (l) and Linda Johnson (r). Lovely to see all my former classmates in the Prefects 1970 photo. I left at the end of the 4th year (1969) but would have been a prefect if I’d stayed on. I even had my ‘Prefect’ badge given to me ready for the new term, which I never started, as my mum decided to send me to Dawe Commercial College at Chalkwell instead. Lovely pictures of our English teachers Mr Garton and Miss Clark. I was in Mr Bell’s tutor group. (After I left school I went to pottery evening classes in that same room). I started off in Essex House, then was in Sutherland after the changeover to comprehensive. I remember Roger Flaxman well, but not the Head Girls. With the coming of Mr Vaughan came a change of uniform colour from that lovely Royal Blue to black and red. I was not happy at all with the change. Your photos brought back lovely memories.

    By Rosemary Usselman (nee Mitchell) (03/08/2020)
  • I went to King John and was class of 68/69. Lots of names I remember. Barry and Graham Andrews, Barry Mence, Paul Taylor, John Evans, Glenn Newman for the boys and Lynn Williams. Kathy Jones, Christine Stone, Pauline Earwaker for the girls. Would like to hear from anyone for a catch up. John Taylor

    By John Taylor (10/01/2020)
  • What a surprise to find my younger self in a photo on this site. In the picture “class of 1970” I see lots of faces I remember well, but few names. Can anyone help out here?

    By Linda Lauder ( nee Johnson) (31/10/2019)
  • Some people / class mates I would love to hear from.

    Susan Williams from Hadleigh, she started a family quite young. Pat Salf, St John’s Road, Hadleigh. Linda Greedman, Margaret Hopkins, Harry Mimms, all in their early 60s now.
    Bernard Kevin Perch, Paul and David Chase, twins.

    My name was Ann Burden, I lived in Templewood Road with my mother, I was very shy in those days, now quite the opposite. Like I say, love to hear from any of the above, I now live in the West London area, almost retired.

    By Ann pettigrew (25/04/2019)
  • Hi all you King John school people, from long past to just a few years ago. I went there from 1968 to 1971 Mr B Vaughan was Headmaster aka batman and Mr Rothman was Robin. I took 2 weeks to find my way around. It was a huge school, my house was Thorndyke. I was told by teachers these are the happiest years of your life (kind of true), afterwards just lots of hard work for years. Now I’m enjoying life in my early 60s with 2 grown up kids, 4 Grandchildren, one in China. My name was Ann Burden then, from Hadleigh. Can anyone remember that time? love to see any pictures, ‘bye for now .

    By ann Pettigrew (31/01/2019)
  • I attended King John ’63 to ’68, I’m sure I’m on the naughty list somewhere, I can remember being sent to see Miss Boon, deputy head??

    By Moira Hawtin (29/10/2017)
  • I remember Hugh McGilvray. He sat next to me in junior school. We got sent to Headmaster for holding our breath.

    I went to King John’s from 1961 to 1966. Other teachers there were Miss Punt, Mrs Mason. Mr Evans found me outside the classroom once (sent out for talking). He told me to walk round the school once, from rubber corridor to girls PE hall and back and say Mr Evans sent me in. Also Buddy Edelen used to run past me on my way to school. Great sportsman.

    By Polly Yorke (15/08/2017)
  • I was at King John from 1973 to 1978….Mr Bell and Mr Neale were still teaching there to name a few! Does anyone remember Mr Beddowes being on Nationwide with the school orchestra playing Eye Level, the theme tune to Van der Valk?

    By Jenny Harris (07/02/2017)
  • Familiar names here – I have been to the McGilvray house in the early 60’s, but it was due to the younger son, Hugh who was in my class at Benfleet Juniors and we were good friends. I remember their back garden overlooking the golf course and how it dropped away dramatically.

    By Leslie Spurling (01/02/2017)
  • Dear M J McGilvray, I attended King John School 1958-63 and remember a Michael McGilvray, but not sure if that was the same spelling, but there can’t be too many.

    If the house you lived in at that time backed onto Boyce Hill Golf Club course, you are the same. 

    You will have known Merlin Dexter and Graham Eastgate too, I also recall that you may have been among the non-members of the Benfleet Yacht Club who placed bricks in my sailing dinghy. That does amuse because it was such a stupid thing for anyone to do, no harm was done except possibly to the the perpetrators’  self-esteem.

    Merlin, as you’re probably aware went to sea having completed his apprenticeship as an uncertified third engineer on a fruit carrier running between the UK and Spain. Graham completed his RO’s course at Dagenham and served about three years at sea as I remember.

    Having completed my production engineering apprenticeship (now styled industrial eng … ) and after a year as the works engineer I left and took up a role as a customer engineer with IBM UK OP Division working in the West End, in between a number of roles including 19 years in the Royal Navy, worked as a technical author, foreign navies instructor, training support supervisor, engineering tutor, designer, lecturer, having retired, occasionally teach mechanical engineering.

    That’s the short version Mac, kindest regards, Christopher ‘Chris’ Davis.  


    By Christopher Davis (29/01/2017)
  • I went to Shipwrights Secondary Modern School in about 1949 to 1953. Mr Evans was Headmaster then and the other teacher I remember most was the Music /RE teacher Mr Beddow. I still think of him when I listen to some classical music as he told us how an orchestra was set up and he played piano very well. He was in the Merchant Navy in WW2. Also I think he started the pop group that was on tv.

    Any more of this age group out there?

    By Brian Bellamy (23/08/2016)
  • I attended King John 1961 – 1965, many good memories, in Barton’s class last two years 3JG & 4EX1.

    By Barry Dawson (18/08/2016)
  • Hello to you Val Pounds…You have said the Magic Words, Miss Elliot…..Apart from teaching P.T. she was one of our Housemistresses, at Runnymede House, along with another Dear Lady, Mrs. Cordon. We were a very lucky group of youngsters that were ‘boarded’ at this address, in Church Road, Thundersley, & attended the ‘very new’ Benfleet School. Now there are very few teachers that one can truly say spread such happiness…..Well, Miss Elliot, along with Mrs Cordon gave us young ladies so many Happy Memories.  She would take us down to Leigh on Sea to swim. Mind you, I think we walked all the way there…. but, I think of the kindness that she gave to us, I suppose, without even thinking that it was….  it was just her way…….Also, from the time that I was at this little residence, I remember that we had a Mary Veale, is this the same girl? If I remember correctly, she was a darn good swimmer.  So, Val Pounds, if & when you next contact Miss Elliot, please remember to  tell her that Linda Forester Thanks Her for Such a Happy Two Years……. If this is the Mary that I knew, then she will know of Jane Beecham & there were two Marys so one was re-named Kay……..& there was also a Joyce, same one…..? So to end, is to say,  that I am now 75 still going strong, although now living in Western Australia for the past 30 years, but, never will I forget, the kindness that was given to us all, when we really needed it.  P.S. ‘been informed that Kingston Primary now stands on the site of our dear ‘Runnymede House’    

    By Linda Lee (25/11/2014)
  • I was Head Girl at King John School until I left in 1954. Joyce Jaggers succeeded me. I have recently found Joyce, Mary Veale, and Mary Finch. I have kept in touch with Doreen Elliot who taught Physical Training, and I recently found an obituary on the internet for Lois Pye the other girls PT teacher. We are all now 75 years old and have many memories of our school days together. I remember Mr Garton well, also Mr Bell and of course Mr Evans.

    By Val Pounds (18/08/2013)
  • I cant believe it, I go to King John School now year 8. The uniform is the same and so is the house in the background. In the picture the girls on the playing field also in the background of this picture Science class – Teacher in the white coat is Mr Neale and Roger Flaxman – Head Boy with Susan Halliday and Pauline Earwaker – Head Girl picture is near my tutor now but I believe it now is by the sixth form college. It really amazes me that this school is still the same as it was since 1953 to 2013 and I’m sure it will last much longer.

    By Jasmin Reynolds (06/01/2013)
  • I attended King John 1958-63 and remember being on messenger duty for Fritz and having to take a note for his wife. They lived in a large house on the Benfleet Road. He certainly had a Germanic look to him but was actually Welsh and had several teachers from Wales on the staff.

    By M.J.McGilvray (30/10/2011)
  • I think the school was open before 1953 floods as I remember lessons and then when the floods happened the school was closed and used as a refugee centre and I helped out in the school kitchen getting food ready. During that time the Queen Mother visited the school. 

    Colin Mac

    By Colin Mac (08/10/2011)
  • Hi I wonder if anyone can help please my dad Warner barns Wallace was born in 1945 he said he attended this school until further wick was opened on canvey island , would he be in any of the pictures or does anyone remember him hes 66 now , thank u Dawn x

    By dawn robson (11/07/2011)
  • Thank you David for bringing back some memories of my time and my sister’s time at St John’s School. I left in 1960, and I well remember Mr Evans and Mr Bell. My Sister, Audrey Hayden (now Bourne -Newton) was the first Head Girl and was in the first group of pupils to attend the school in 1953.

    I have read on a Wikipedia Web Site that the school was built in the mid 1950’s and was once an hospital. Could I please take this opportunity of providing some background to the school? According to Hilda Grieve in her book “The Great Tide”, published by the County Council of Essex in 1959, the Benfleet Secondary School was ready to be Officially Opened on Monday 2 February 1953, but on the night of Saturday 31st January and Sunday 1st February, the 1953 Floods occurred and so the school took in evacuees, who subsequently named it ”Grand Hotel Shipwrights” or “The Palace”. After a few months it reverted to becoming a school and there is no record of it ever being an hospital.

    Kind regards

    Richard Hayden

    By Richard Hayden (07/05/2011)
  • I believe Mr Evans was called “Fritz” because he had a crew cut – flat top – haircut that made him look like a “typical” German Officer – he was tall and with the haircut had a “Germanic” look – hence the nickname.

    Richard Hayden

    By Richard Hayden (07/05/2011)
  • These pictures bring back a few memories. I’ll see if I can dig some of mine out. But why was Mr Evans, the headmaster, known as Fritz?

    By David Sol (16/03/2011)

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