Photo Album

Photo Description and Hyperlink ('click' on the underlined, coloured text) Contributor file size
('jpg' unless specified)
1950 Staff FriendsReunited - as was.  

‘Long’ School Photographs

“The photograh was given to me by a woman named Erica Sharratt who was also a founder student at Downer/Blackwell.  She lived in Minnesota, quite close to where I live.  I have since lost touch with her, I think she’s moved.
It is slightly damaged because someone in the dim, distant past rolled up the original causing some cracks.  It is an historic picture as it is the founder students so, if there is interest, I can try and make it available.  I am the kid in the back row second from right...  the one who isn't in uniform, who knows why?”,  or “I am the ninth boy from the left in the lower row.”  “I only remember two names: Lorraine Card and Olive Moule.”

“I’m afraid my memories are non existent or very foggy about those days.  It was so long ago that I actually traveled part way to school by steam train.  They were exciting times for us kids.  Blackwell was a brand new school and we were waiting for own new school to be completed.”
The 1950-51 staff- at higher resolution.
Jason Davis
In 1968 I went into Australian television news.  Seven years later I moved to the United States where I worked on TV.
I now live in Wisconsin, USA and worked at a TV station just across the border in Minnesota until I retired at the age of 75.  If you are curious, you can see the kind of thing I did by Googling “Jason Davis KSTP TV”.
*1954 - Upper School
"I originally posted the 1954 Group photos on Friends Reunited a couple of years ago.  They were then displayed full size in the website.  Since then FR have altered their format and I agree that the pictures are now so small that they are almost useless.

My scanner will only accept A4 size so the original photo was scanned in three parts into Adobe Photoshop 7.  I then copied each A4 section into a different and full size (74cm x 21cm) document and rejoined them.  The result in Adobe 'psd' is very clear."
John Kirby ('51-'56) 1.1MB
1962 - Lower School April.  Numbered subjects - matching the equivalent ‘Table of names’ (accessible under ‘Documents’). Greg Heath ('59-'65) 900KB
*1962 - Lower School high resolution, un-numbered version of the above. Greg Heath ('59-'65) 3.67MB
1962 - Upper School April, medium resolution.  Numbered subjects - matching the equivalent ‘Table of names’ (accessible under ‘Documents’). Jeff Lewis ('55-'61) 441KB
*1969 - Lower School - a ‘merge’ of 3 high-resolution scans of the long photo. Cheryl Daniels (Steve Drinkwater) - ('68-'73) 1.6MB
1969 - Lower School - Names Diagram (with recent [2019] amendments from Patricia Lynch [Mary Kelly].  A raft of additions from Christine Reyland, '67-entry, is awaiting deployment.)
If you’re able to correct - or to contribute more - names, please 'Contact me’.
(Master copy created and maintained by CP)
1.1MB (gif)
*1969 - Upper School medium resolution (the 'Table of names’ for this photo is accessible under 'Documents’). Lennie Bradshaw ('64-'71) 733KB
* 1973 - Upper School
This photo-merge comprises 5 individual, high-ish resolution scans.  The ‘merge’ was digitally lightened with ‘Photoshop’ for best facial rendition - but dark detail remains un-recoverable.  It was then sharpened by 60% (over 2 pixels).
Sandy Stodell (now Adams)
(Scan: Bob Ford)
1973 - Upper School - Names Chart (V20, Dec 2012.  Additions from Jeanette Pfaff, Terry Knight, Tim Cole and Peter Mayer are still awaiting deployment.)
(I'm afraid recent versions of MS Internet Explorer appear incapable of opening some 'gif' files directly from the internet - so you may need to first save them to your PC [right-click on the link, then "Save target as …" ] and then view them from there … or simply use a better browser.)

If you look closely at Dan Poole's lapel you can see where his two raised fingers were blacked-out in the print, and possibly Richard Phillip-Jones as well.  They, along with Pete Addy and others were messing about which led to the carpeting by Harry Becker that I referred to when I uploaded the same picture to the Friends Reunited site.  A very irate and agitated Becker screamed "Addy! Why do you have to act the complete chump in the School Photograph!!" - Tim Cole

If you are able to correct names - or to contribute more, please ‘Contact us'.
(Master copy created and maintained by CP)
880KB (gif)

Team Photos

'51/'52 Blackwell/Downer Soccer Team
Back row: Michael Sparkes, Rodney Crowe, ?, Gerald Houlahan (sic. - probably Gerard Olohan), Ronald Green, Peter Hammond, James Room*, Robert Eaton, Mr Woolrich.
Front row: David Horler*, ? Hammicks, Dennis Bloxham, David Davies, ? Brookes, Alan Wilkinson.
* - Downer Grammar School pupils who, during 1951 - while their school was being built, shared the Blackwell school site.
not known

caption via Coral Norton/Reilly
1960 Under 12s Football Team winning the Area Schools Football Cup at Edgware Town’s ground.  I am on the extreme left in the back row and Barry Rothwell (who now [2014] lives in Monaco) is on the extreme right of the back row. Chris Rew 630KB
Rugby - Under 14s '63/'64 John Dwelly 200KB
Rugby - Under 15s '64/'65
Back row L-R:  Martin Causer, Graham Shenton, Pat Holmes, Lyn Davies, Dick Milsom, Keith May, Mo Gatfield, John Dwelly, John Wade, Paul James.
Middle row L-R:  Nick Locke, Dave Smart, Ken Sheppard, Mick Gold, Graham Grant, Ed Fuller, Bill Harding
Front row:  Allen Smith, Paul Abbott.
This team was unbeaten all season!
John Dwelly 430KB
Rugby Second XV '65/'66 John Dwelly 500KB
* Rugby First XV 1965-67
Demonstrating fore-thought, Chris helpfully recorded all his team mates’ names on the back of his 8" by 5" print.  From the rear left: Bob Gledhill, (‘Fred’) John Dwelly, Simon Hobbs, Phil Mead, Mick (‘Dave’) Holmes, (‘Gary’) Graham Marshall, ‘Sandy’ x;  Chris Dunn, Dave Hull, Leigh Morris, Pete Loomes (Capt.), Pete Constantinou, Chris Thrift, John Davey;  Alan Gamble and Bob Wynn.  Talut Abassi (not present) was team ‘reserve’.
Chris Thrift ('60-'67) 700KB
(‘de-speckled', 50% sharpened, saved as low quality ‘jpg’)

Sports Day 1961

All photos copied from 'DGSEUK'  
Mel Williams, P Gould, Reeve, TaylerAndrew Forester  
Davis, Barker, Knight and GorsuchJeff Lewis  
Reeve and Davies Andrew Forester  
Knight and Gorsuch   
Glover, Wilson, Barnett, Lippett   
Brett, , Knight   
Reeve, JA Davies, Tayler, P Davies   
Alan Tayler and Peter Davies   
Cornes and M Wilson   
Spectators Can you spot them? L-R from Paul Blakeley (standing), Roger Mead, Ken Robertson, Mick Bralsford, Bill Ford, Mick Patterson, Ralph Moore, Dave Dale, Stuart Lewis, Carol Holmes, Frances Studley (hidden), Jackie Ross (being shy), Chris Barr on the wall (R), laughing as Jackie tries to hide from the camera, with Victor in foreground with white shorts. Peter Hoyles 
Peter Shepherd behind unidentified girlsAndrew Forester?  
Spectators Peter Hoyles  
Holmes and... Watson?
July 1965 - at the practice nets… it's Richard Holmes and Gerry Copp.  Gerald coached cricket.
Gerald Copp 180KB

* School Buildings

Copyright - if you wish to reproduce any of these images for other than personal-use then, as a courtesy, please ‘Contact me’.    
A former pupil (‘The Oracle’) - who wishes to remain anonymous - has generously made available a number of high-quality, 35mm colour images of the exterior of the school - taken in late-June 1966 at about 16:30.
Take my arm, let's step-back a half-century and revisit some of our favourite old haunts together:
… starting, naturally, at the main gate and the Physics block. 'The Oracle' 311KB
The plaque by the Main Door reminds us that the school was "Founded 1950" - honest. Oracle 265KB
… if we briefly time-travel to ’74 - hold tight - we can scrutinise the plaque.  Hmmm, "H. J."? Keith Halsey (originally posted on 'DGSEUK’) 51KB
Cyclists, bound for the bike racks (and car drivers heading for the lower parking area), would have passed the lower entrance. Oracle 240KB
From the left, the single-storey rooms are: Music Room, Library and Geography Room - taken from a Drawing Office window. Oracle 245KB
While we're here let's nip up to the Prefects’ Room to see if anyone is sneaking-in late … Gosh! - who stole all the cars?  In the distance: the 'Mount’. Oracle 207KB
Library, walk-way, Geography Room and the weather-vane (fabricated by 'Team Biggar’ and erected in about '61) - taken from the Craft Room. Oracle 336KB
Spot the join?  A panorama of the school complex - from the bottom of the playing field.Oracle 265KB
Rather fatigued by all the activity, we now need to rest and day-dream a while: ‘Harrow-on-the-Hill’ featuring a guest-appearance by the ever-popular ‘Queensbury Parade’, Honeypot Lane.  The red brick tower at the foot of the hill was home to ‘Harrow Tech’.  This early-morning photo was taken out of a Drawing Office window. Oracle 298KB
Finally, during a round of golf up the ‘Mount’ at Stanmore, through a clearing, we catch a glimpse of Downer’s twin towers (to the right of the tower-block towards the left) … and the memories come flooding back … Oracle 93KB
Janet Sutton's external views around the school - from the 2013 Reunion afternoon  
Gym entrances, Gym - looking south, Gym - looking north-east, Gym - girls' changing rooms JS  
The new 6th Form block from the Gym - and, on the left, a new classroom. JS 68K
Music Room from lower playground JS  
Playing Field, Tennis Courts from field, Canteen from field. JS  
Main Hall JS  


6th form badge Oracle 22KB
Camrose Avenue probably taken in the early 60s, showing the Turner Road right turn.  Bridgewater Gardens was first left off Turner Road.  "This is the entrance to the school that I always used.  Many a time we trooped across this picture to get to the Carreras sports ground for games (which was the subject I loathed most at school)." John Brown 
Mr Woosley's car, an Austin A70, snapped by John in Harrow, probably in 1959. John Brown 
2010, John Brown and his wife, Meryl, at Lake Tekapo at the top of Mt John (New Zealand - where they now live) where an observatory is situated.John Brown  
Former-pupil John Baldry - circa ’56
'Outside the Music Room’ - a photograph from Long John Baldry - In the Shadow of the Blues, broadcast on Friday evening, 23 March 2007 (part of BBC4’s R & B night).  During the programme, John paid tribute to music teacher, Mr Evans, for his influence on John’s music.

A few interesting facts that emerged about John during the programme were: he was a choirboy at St Lawrence Church, he founded a Jazz and Blues Appreciation Society at the school in about ’54, his father was a policeman and his partner was called Felix.  Also in the programme, portly purveyor of popular prose, Reg Dwight, claimed, for his stage name, to have combined ‘Elton’ from the name of his hero, English jazz saxophonist Elton Dean, with LJB’s christian name.

In a departure from his traditional material (Blues), the 6ft 7inch Baldry topped the UK Pop Music charts for two weeks in November ’67 with ‘Let the Heartaches Begin'

* School Trips


Italy 1965

Images and recollections from two Educational trips.

Anne Taylor
(attended DGS from '61)

Greece 1966

August 1966 trip to Greece (journeyed mainly by rail) via Milan, Ancona, Brindisi and the Corinth Canal and returning via Rome.  Led by The Barkers and Miss Bewley.  The party also needed to include a half-dozen pupils from Camrose - to achieve the minimum acceptable party size.

5th form: Jackie Avadis, Linda Brace, Diane Brignell, Audrey Blair (from Chandos - now married to Leon Parker and living in NZ), Sheila Jennings, Marilyn Miller, Monica Raddan (deceased c.1999), Sue Rogers, Janice Smyth, Robina Watson (widowed), Jennifer West, x, y, and z;

lower 6th: three girls … but, to my eternal shame, I am unable to name any of them (possibly from Camrose);

upper 6th: Christine Mee, Lesley Morgan, Claire Barker and Christine ?, the Barkers' niece.

5th form: Reg Thomas (now in USA), Neil Keidan (at Nottingam in 2005), Robert Arnott (Professor 'Bob’);

lower 6th: Paul James, Laurie Moore, Albert Cliss, x, y;

upper 6th: Martin ‘Waste-meister’ Straus, Colin Poyton.
Day three - preparing to board the overnight ferry, Atreus, at Brindisi.  Miss Bewley and a few friends are seduced into making a (chilled?) quayside purchase before embarking.  Mr Barker lurks between Paul and Laurie.  A shock of Mrs Barker’s black hair is just visible behind Linda Brace.  A straw-hatted Neil Keidan, Downer’s persistent CND activist, patrols the perimeter. C.P.540KB

Holy Zeus!  It wasn't until 2012, whilst watching Cambridge University's Professor Paul Cartledge’s BBC News programme about the origin of the Olympics (On The Road With … the Ancient Olympians), that I was reminded that, nearly half a century earlier, our itinerary had included a morning visit to the site of the Hellenic Games at Olympia.  (As a devout Philistine, I certainly didn't need to trouble myself with annotating my slides with such trivial detail as their location.)

Unfortunately this photo comprises mainly the backs of our group queuing to enter the Olympia site.  But obligingly, Jackie Avadis turns as she's distracted by a nagging spider bite (which eventually required six months treatment by a skin specialist) … Albert Cliss and ace pal, Linda Brace, trot to the rescue. C.P.245KB
Olympia.  Clambering… our guide steps tentatively over a ruin. C.P. 414KB
Watching a restoration artisan.  I'm afraid this is another, mostly 'backs’, group photo … but, from the left, I spy: Martin Straus, Reg Thomas, (tiny) Lesley Morgan approaches, Sheila Jennings, ?, Marilyn Miller, Jackie Avadis in her distinctive 'hooped' dress, ?, 'Dave' Cliss, Linda Brace, the Barkers' niece, the guide, Mrs Barker, Monica Raddan, ?, Sue Rogers.  (The unidentifiable girls may have been part of the Camrose contingent.) C.P.240KB
Our group approaching the arch spanning the competitors’ tunnel leading into the stadium (just out-of-frame to the right).C.P.  
Surveying the track's line of starting blocks in the stadium.

Something adjacent to the competitors’ access tunnel seems to have attracted the attention of the party.  Mrs Barker, followed by Jackie, scampers off leaving Dora Bewley struggling with her camera.  Linda Brace, followed by Robina, explores the outfield as Albert Cliss, Monica and Sue provide close-in support to Tina, our guide.

Naturally, the surrounding ground slopes towards the track.  Dr Cartledge reckoned that the stadium would have been able to accommodate 40,000 spectators.

If you expand the image, you can see that the starting blocks have two grooves cut about 8" apart - one to align each foot.

Olympia.  Our tour-guide demonstrates to the ever-attentive Misses Jennings, Brace, Bewley, Smyth (eyes-only) and Miller how to construct a ham sandwich…  However, Robert Arnott, later to be an esteemed authority on Greek history, is otherwiswe occupied. C.P.157KB
Late afternoon in Athens.  Scaling the Acropolis C.P.108KB
Well, we all made it up here safely to the Parthenon - now let's see the ruins… and the view.  (Further reconstruction has been effected since our visit in 1966 - and ‘clambering' access has been curtailed.) C.P.  
Even more ‘backs'.  ‘Up the Acropolis' - from the left: ?, Diane, Christine, Miss Bewley, Jackie, Linda, ?, ?, Claire Barker, Mrs B, Mr Barker is occluded by the guide, Albert, Jennifer, Laurie (scalp), Lesley, x, Monica, Sue, Janice, Marilyn, Martin.  Those big, brightly patterned, ‘blanket’ bags were a popular local acquisition; and mmm - short shorts … five years before the debut of ‘hot pants’. C.P.463KB
In awe of the temple, from the left: ?, Mr Barker, Paul, Reg, Albert (squatting), Lesley, ?, Linda, ?, ?, ?, Jennifer, Sue, ?, Janice (hair-only), Sheila, Audrey, Diane, a relative of the Barkers, Martin, ?, Christine Mee (cuff), ? C.P. 470KB
Sat in the temple - Laurie Moore (smoking), (female '?'), male behind her ?, Paul James’ back, female ?, female ?, Lesley Morgan stares impassively, ‘Dave’ Cliss partly hides a diminutive Reg Thomas. C.P. 174KB
Phew - what a scorcher.  Miss Bewley, sat in the shade, has the right idea.  I'm not sure where we were - possibly Delphi … about to view - yup, you guessed it - more infernal blocks of stone (Philistines ’R’ Us, remember). C.P.  
A shady repose.  Where was this precisely?  I know not…  From the determined advance of the girl (probably a Camrose pupil) from the left, we may have been walking down-hill (to the right), presumably to a historic site.  Mr Barker surveys from the right.  Oh - you lean, lanky-legged lovelies. C.P. 470KB
Descending to a ruined temple. C.P.  
Exploring a temple.  Lesley Morgan, facing away from us, preparing to snap the Barkers' niece, our guide and ‘x' in front of the massive central column. C.P. 338KB
Except for the waiter, everyone in this terrace bar was on the school trip.  The choice of headwear, given that it was the '60s, was commendably protective.C.P. 292KB
Returning to the coach after visiting the catacomb of San Callisto.  Mrs Barker and our guide lead the stragglers.  What's grabbed all the girlies’ attention?
The Pepsi Cola vendor must have been really disappointed.  "A Cola monsieur?" - "Nah fanks mate - far too sweet for me".

* Recent Reunions

December 1991 - Pennant Pub, Watford
Nineteen 1961-entry former-pupils attended:
Back (4th) row: L-R: Laurie Moore, Dave Smart, Dick Milsom, Pat Holmes, Ian Hullett.
3rd row: Ed McAllister, Dave Silver, Shiela Davidson, Bill Harding, Maureen Adshead, Jo Lawford.
2nd row: Linda Harvey, Liz Jones, John Dwelly.
Front row: Lesley Steer, Linda Adams, Sue Clark, Ken Sheppard, Mick Wilson.
John Dwelly 
Westminster College Garden Concert - August 2007

Hell's Grandpas.  Bob Beasley ('62-'69) and John Clayton wisely opted to travel to the August '07 re-union in Westminster College Garden on these gleaming mounts.  Not only could they stay cool, but they also avoided London’s tedious Congestion Charge and parking charges too …
… oh yes: a baby Harley-Davidson and a ’70s vintage BMW.

Colin, John;
Alison (’68), Alan (’69) and Bob

Alison and Alan reviewing family photos.
C.P. c. 350KB
Westminster College Garden Concert - August 2006
Diane Brignell, Sheila Jennings and Alan Purveur.
C.P. 125KB
Diane, Sheila, Alan and Colin scorching in Westminster. C.P. 233KB
January 2006

ex-Greece ’66 - trippers … 40 years on.
Outside the Royal Academy.  Three roses: Jackie Avadis, Diane Brignell and Sheila Jennings, between Colin Poyton and Robert Arnott.
C.P. 43KB
‘ …in whom we entrust the education of our progeny’   Refusing to grow old gracefully: the colourful … the irrepressible … the thoroughly outrageous (fortunately) … Diane Crocker (née Brignell) entertaining Bob Arnott - both aged 15 years … and-a-bit! C.P. 62KB
December 2004
3 at Thrifty’s.  From the left: Colin Poyton, Colin Tigg, and Chris Thrift struggling to recall missing names from the ’62 Lower School long photo.
C.P. 84KB
May 18th 2013 Reunion
Regrettably, Downer’s first Head Girl, Vicky Blenkin (now living in Watford), was unavailable for our get-together.  She mails that, nevertheless, she still maintains regular contact with several school chums and clearly remembers her time at the school during it's formative years.

Photos from the reunion.

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