Bow Boys Remember

Bow School recently held a heritage day at the school in recognition of  the 100 years of its existence.  It was a celebration of its past and of its future  – this year  it moves to a state-of-the-art new school building  in Twelve Trees Crescent.


Up to two hundred past and present students turned to enjoy the day.  You can see pics and quotes from the day in the school magazine.


OurBow and the Geezers were on hand to video  some of the ex-students about their memories of the school, and over the next few weeks we will be posting these videos on the site.


We are starting with Alex Stratton who was at the school from 1946-1950 .  After school Alex started work as an indentured apprentice, and after further study, finished his working life heading up a 14-strong team of work study officers in a London Borough.








  1. Hi all past Bow boys , Sid Stavri here , I was there between 72 – 78 great memories of teachers and class mates . Stickings Head. , Young PE , Gibbs English . Hollingdon History , Marley Science, Hendricks Woodwork and TD

    1. Hello Ian,
      It’s been many years since I have spoken to you! How are you?
      I certainly remember Mrs lebethe.
      From what I remember she was really nice, always helpful and friendly. She used to teach English and writing etc.

  2. Did anyone know a lad who went to this school. His name was Romiul. He was tall 5.9-5.10” Bangladeshi. year attended would be late 80’s (1986-1990)

  3. Hello,
    I went to Bow School between 1980 and 1985 and I have to say it was a brilliant time.
    Mr Stickings was one of the best, along with Mr Williams, Mr Becker, Mr Marley, Mr Hendrix, Mr Lee (Art), Mrs Gowler, Mr Gibbs, Miss Ford, Miss H Brown (Music), Mr Vernon (French), Mr Fry, Mr Ray (Remember him by a diesel Ford Sierra), Mr Dave Horn, Mr Abrahams, Miss Hollington, Mr Vernon (Science), Mr Mark Dipple (Math/Computers), Mr Durrell and many others. Mr Young was also really decent. Can’t remember the Music teach Mr? and the Geography Teacher (He had a old orange Skoda). We Used to all sit round an old electric bar heater in Geography and he would tell us long stories)
    Fantastic times. I had a lot of respect for the teachers, still got all my School reports from Bow School.
    I loved doing ‘extended day’ (3:30 to 5:30), doing woodwork and Art (Mr Lee). in 1981, I made a clay house with Mr Lee, About 15″ high. I still have it now with the date painted in the front gateway. We used to make clay badges (with the pin clip on the back), one of mine was a miniature Twix Bar) Mr Lee painted it for me and I still have it now.

    I think the teaches were excellent, some very strict, but that was a good thing I think at that time.
    Mr Durrell (?) was a class teacher (Metalwork) very strict but he was top notch and so was Mr Hendrix and Mr Stickings.
    I would love to look around the School building now. I used to always get caught going down the back staircase (Near the music Room) which was supposed to be used only by the teachers.

    Good times, good memories and lots of fun.
    My Mum actually went to bow School when she was little, she is now 90.

    Sorry for the long post…
    Paul Boorman

    1. Hi Ian,
      Of course, I remember you. We spent many years as good friends, from when you were 11 until you moved away to stains(?) when you were about 18 I think. We spent years doing all sorts of things. I have a few pictures of us together along with Joe Cove and others. They were really good days. If I can send you a private message I will send you my email address. Hope all of your family are doing ok. Of course, I remember your dad, mum, sisters and Ben your baby brother. Would be good to catch up via email / WhatsApp or some other way. Must be 35+ years since I last spoke to you.

    2. Ian,
      We actually went to Old Palace Primary School together before going to Bow School
      Actually, it would be really good to have a section on here for Old Palace School, which also had good teachers and pupils. Again, really good days. The 70’s and 80’s seem so long ago now.

  4. Just picking up on this thread and is it correct that Peter Stickings has died? If thats the case that is really sad. He was a hard teacher, but he cared about the boys and would quietly encourage boys from difficult back grounds (of whom there were loads). It was true he would ‘dead arm’ random boys. You couldn’t do that now as a teacher but then it was just accepted as part of growing up and it was also Stickings giving a little warning of what would come your way if you were really out of order. The fact that seriously tough lads respected him and would come in to see after they had left the school showed the impression he made. The boys I remember from my year; Keith James, Peter Steele, Tommy Fitzsimmons, Barry Pace, Ian Hodgson, Kerry Tydeman, Derek Waldron, Lee Arrowsmith (sure he turned up at the school gates once with a girl on each arm…probably girls from what was Bow Brook school), Ronald Strelitz, David Singh, Raymond Hyde…loads more. Teachers….Mr and Mrs Williams (Maths and RE and she was my Year 1 form teacher. Mr Durham (Science…volcanic temper), Miss Venn (art), Mr Headley (PE), Mr Young (PE-lovely bloke…I was pretty crap at sports but he never gave up on me), Mr Marley (Physics…he also taught some of us Bridge), Mr Gibbs (English), Mr Morgan (English), Mr Braidwood (maths- he was given a tough time by the lads), Mr Proust (French), Mr Butterworth (metalwork…he’d slipper boys who forgot their aprons twice)….good times….

  5. 88-93

    Absolutely hated this school. Full of bigots and dysfunctional addicts. Thats just the teachers.
    New Bangladeshi kids really took the brunt of it. From the AfroCaribs and the white kids.

    They all knew each other from Roman Road and Tredegar.

    The blacks were falling behind because the white sons of alchies and alcchie themselves were holding them back. The teachers treated the white boys nicer because the the fathers of these white boys had themselves attended and been taught by the same teachers.

    I remember the ‘fight fight fight paki and white’ chants every break.

    Stickings and son , tyrants, racists, predators of the worst kind.

    Cape and Simmons, paedos (convicted}.

    Hollington, Salam, Khan, Stevens , McCauley, Eastman. Thank you, you actually helped a lot of us. Wish there had been more the likes of you.

    Escort, Dove, Sadler, Passmore, Giles, Bacon, Ray Shame upon them

    1. Hi there
      Big head Eddie
      Not the school I remember
      But I was there 1968-73 so 20 years before you
      So I guess your about 46-47 now
      I guess I’m from a different generation
      But please don’t include Pete stickings in your rant
      He was the best teacher I’ve ever had and helped me do A leave maths in one year

      My best friends in class were David drew (white British) Danny brown ( Afro Caribbean) Richard cowie ( mixed race) turan armeed ( Asian)
      And Grantham hall (white British)
      Peter stickings treated us all the same
      He was John Lennonesk
      His wife was Indian

      He adopted black and mixed race children
      Maybe you never got to know the man as I did

      We need more teachers like him and not
      The politically correct snowflakes we have now

      I will defend that man’s memory till the day I die
      Good bless and RIP Pete stickings

  6. Loved every minute there, shit education but brilliant place to grow up in.
    TEACHERS: Stickings of course (RIP), Williams, Mr and Mrs, think she ran off with Mr Stewart, PE teachers Barry Walton (RIP) Joe Young, Miss Rudd, Miss Moran, Mr GIbbs, and the bastards Chambers and Barker.

    PUPILS: Tony’s Humphreys, Phillips, Strong, Mahoney, Lee RIce, Steve Woodruff, Jimmy Purdy, Graham Lambert, George Whitfield, Michael Keleris, Camelle HInds, Ian Wrigglesworth, probably remember more later

    1. Hi pottsy and all
      Sad to hear the passing of Pete stickings
      I believe he was in he’s late 20’s early 30’s when I was there 68-74 so that would make him late 70’s early 80’s to young to die
      I remember lots of the names you mentioned
      So I guess we were there about the same time

      So hears some more that you May remember
      Richard cowie
      Pete stickings would draw a target on he’s arse
      Make him bend over draw a cross on a slipper
      And run the length of the class room and we would all bet on how close to the bullseye he could get ??
      Danny brown
      Peter kamin
      David adams
      Graeme hat (know as Hattie ) very tall guy think he went on to be a cabbie
      David drew
      Richard Fordham
      Eggeburt hart

      I am sure there are more
      Does anyone know if and how we can contact any of the old teachers
      Would love to talk to miss Rudd
      And miss Moran our music teacher
      And any off the old boys that went there 68-74
      Before it’s to late as I am 66 in December
      So our old teachers are getting on a bit

    2. Hi Pottsy, I remember all the names you mentioned as I was in the same class as the students . Great times , do you also remember Colin Glen , Steve McCann , Tony Marney the Cohen brothers . There was also a art teacher called John Bangs who we locked in a cupboard for a whole lesson . Happy times . Cheers

    3. Yes Vic I remember steve McCann and Colin Glen, and also we had houses, Park, Lea, Marsh and Bridge. Who can remember which house they were in?

    4. Hi everyone
      Keith Barclay hear
      I was in park house we never seem to win anything 😳
      But more to the point I met with Graham hatt last week the first time on 50 years we were both at bow 68-74 with Richard cowie , Danny brown,David drew , Peter kamin, Richard Fordham, Gary Baldwin , Robert Mahoney
      And many more
      We are trying to find as many of the old boys that went to bow 68-74 with the view of a reunion
      With boys and teachers next year some time
      So come everyone let’s see what we can do to make it work before we are to old 😆😆😆

    5. Hello Potsy. I was at Bow the same time as you. I remember a lot of the names. I was very sad to hear of the death of Mr Stickings.
      I remember he took a science class and was very strict and punched the table and broke my pen. After the lesson he was very sorry and gave me his special pen.
      I was in Lea House and remember Miss Rude and the Boxing teacher Mr Chapman.
      About 15 years ago I returned to the school to help with mock interviews. I was very proud to have been to Bow. I remember James Purdy and Malcolm Gibbs. Ian Barral

  7. I didn’t enjoy all my time at bow boys school in the 70s first day Mr Williams (HT) showed us the cane book and canes. Which he and Stickings would use at a later date on some of us as we went through the school. l am dyslexic and made to read to the class. Punched and hit by some teachers when working at my table or walking through the corridors for no reason not good for a young persons development.
    First mr Holland and then Fry was my form teacher. I remember mr Gibbs ,mr Gibson, mr Hendrix woodwork , mr Jones music , mr Pruce my first class teacher.Ms Hollington history and we had a science teacher mr Bob Marley. I loved sports and our sports teachers mr young , mr Walton were so much fun and looked after me and took a group skiing in Italy.
    Great memories

    1. Hi paul
      Sorry to hear you had some not so good times
      I was there 68-74 .
      when were you there as I was in the school band with gary Baldwin,mark Bryant and Robert Mahoney
      That school and the teachers set you up for real life in the real world
      Boys were boys girls were girls and all the snowflakes melted in March

  8. I was there from 1970-75. Great memories. Peter Stickings was a great teacher. Others I remember are Mr Williams, Mrs Williams, Mr Starkey, Mr Headley, Mr Durham, Mr Giles and quite a few others. There were some real characters there among the boys as well.

    1. Hi all
      I was there 68-73
      We did not realise at the time these were some of the best days of our lives
      Great teachers
      Pete stickings was my form master in the 4th and 5th year
      Sad they don’t make the likes of him now days

    2. I went to Bow Boys from 1980 to 1987.
      Some of the best yrs of my life sl far.
      I remember Pete Stickings and he helped me a lot and gave me great advise.
      Also Mr Williams who was the Head when I started. I particularly remember Mr Frier, he inspired me a lot. Mrs. Hollington, Miss. Parmenter. So many great puplils that had so much character and indeed individuals!
      Its was a great time and inspired me!
      Ossy Yusuf

  9. Hi
    I was there 1968-1974
    Yes I stayed on to the sixth form
    Pete stickings was the best teacher I have ever had the pleasure to have known
    He helped me do A leave maths on one year
    And mr Williams the big rugby playing Welsh man
    Two of the best

    1. Hi Keith , I was there the same time as you do you remember Miss Rudd and Miss Moran, I went on some great skiing holidays and canoeing to the south of France with the school , best years of my life.

    2. Hi vic
      Yes I remember miss Rudd she was the English teacher and used to wear the shorted mini skirts
      Not good for 14 and 15 year old boys ??
      Miss Moran was the music teacher
      I remember playing records in the music room
      T. rex Alice copper and Elton John in 1972
      Yes 50 years ago
      Where have all those years gone

  10. I was there 1960-5,I remember the big boys hanging science teacher Mr Smitar ? Out of the window. Not all good memories but met my oldest friend there.Left early even though in A alpha got a job never looked back.

  11. My husband who died recently,
    taught at Bow Boys School 1959 to 1965
    His name : Norman James Walklin.
    Subjects English, math, Geography
    Sailing at weekends.
    He was inspired by the students to qualify in Mal-adjusted children
    Were love was not enough.
    His life was dedicated to this role both in England and New Zealand.
    Congratulations on your anniversary
    Best wishes
    Judith William’s Walklin

    1. I remember the head was a mr Williams when I was there in the 70s his deputy was mr stickings a very apt surname but l

    2. How lovely to hear from you, thank you Paul.
      I hope you have had a very happy and productive life, inspired through good teachers and friends.
      May I wish you and yours a wonderful and joyous Christmas and a Covid free 2022.
      I look forward to hearing more about you Paul if you wish
      Kind regards,

  12. Brilliant ,school, Loved it ,made me the man i am today , the teachers were hard but fair . David Black 1966 to 1971 .

    1. Hello David,
      Thank you for taking the time to reply.
      I was the Public and Community Health Nurse at 68 East India Dock Clinic, and met Norman when he brought a group of boys from Bow Boys School. We were married 12 months latter.
      Several lads turned up at the Greenwich Registry Office of their own volition. A wonderful time being had by all !!
      I also did the school medicals at Bow which probably accounts for the lads dressing our little
      standard 10 van up with a large nurses cap, a very large home made stethoscope going into the bonnet and a bucket on the roof with a long tube plugged into the the exhaust pipe for an enema. A Large map of the world taped on the window screen with very humerus comments about were we might like to go!!
      Their English would have passed UE standards!!
      I would love to hear about your life David if you have time
      May I wish you and yours, every happiness for Christmas and a blessed 2022 sans Covid.
      Kindest regards,

    2. I went to Bow Boys from 1981 to 1987.
      I remember both mr Williams & Me Stickings.
      This was the best time of my life and I loved Bow Boys. I always tell my two sons how much I love it. Mr Williams was amazing and so was Mr Stickings.
      All the teachers, Mr Becker, Ms Hollington. And one teacher who inspired me so much was Mr Fry. A very tall brilliant maths. I was actually very dyslexic and in the 70s & 80s there was no much known about it. But i tried so hard and i will never forget Mr Fry writing a letter to my parents saying I was the most determined person he ever met. That letter made me achieve what i have today and Bow School and its amazing teachers made me.
      I Loved that school.

    1. Was there in the 70s remember them all but mr stickings rearly was the teacher with a very apt name all good though

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